The older ones that lost a step in their old age were adopted out and the ones that the guy who raised and trained them bonded with became house pets in their retirement. It might seem sad but to those dogs, it was what they were bred to do and they got to be “pet” dogs after they retired. It’s not so bad for them. I’ve seen pet dogs develop issues because they lack purpose and their owners don’t stimulate them enough or allow them to fulfill their natural instincts by simulating their desire to herd or hunt or whatever.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. As a person who is a part of the dog sledding community, it’s a quite similar situation with huskies who stay outside in huge kennels where all they do is run and pull sleds and eat food. But they aren’t unhappy with that life, they enjoy running more than anything. And my dog too, who is wholly an inside pet dog even though he is a husky, he still prefers being outside by his dog house and going running and pulling us skiing and the like.
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