Would a dog suit my lifestyle 'Advice Please'

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Min73, Mar 18, 2017.


  1. Min73

    Min73 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Everyone,

    Me and my fiancee are looking at getting a dog in the future but we worry about leaving him/her home alone whilst being at work. We both leave for work at 7am and I am first home at 3pm. We were just wondering if anyone has any tips on keeping a dog on these terms as we know people out there do have dogs and work full time, and some help would be very much appreciated. We have looked at possibly getting a dog walker to pop round about 10 or 11 just to break the day up for the dog or maybe doggy day care but we don't really think it would be good to send him there 4 - 5 days a week. Plus is crating a dog a good idea and if so for how long do you recommend?

    One last thing taking our job times into account is there any specific breed of dogs that would suit us better than others? (for example certain breeds that cope better with being left alone more than others).
     
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell PetForums VIP

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    I will get jumped on for this but I would say you shouldn't have a dog yet. That's way too long to leave a dog alone. Even with an hour's break in the middle. Unless you know someone who can have the dog for a few hours.

    No breed copes well with being left alone for more than a couple of hours.

    Just my opinion.
     
  3. Happy Paws

    Happy Paws PetForums VIP

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    I agree. I know some people are OK about leaving dogs on their own for more than a few hours but I'm not one of them, I would never leave Dillon longer than 2 hours, they are pack animals and some of them really suffer when left alone.
     
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  4. Lilylass

    Lilylass PetForums VIP

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    There are many who successfully have dogs and work full time :) BUT it's a lot of hard work to make it work

    You absoulutely could NOT leave a dog crated all day so maybe an older one that's used to being left would be better - or access restricted to certain areas of the house only (mine isn't allowed upstairs for example)

    If you leave for work at 7am - what time do you get up?

    Are you prepared to be up at least an hour earlier - every weekday morning (even when it's chucking down with rain, snowing, windy etc) - as if they are to be left, you can't scrimp on their morning walk!

    Again, same in the evening - are you prepared to spend every evening with the dog? (it wouldn't be fair to leave one all day and then go out in the evening too)
     
  5. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    Lots of people work and have dogs - after all most of us need an income to be able to pay for their needs.
    8 hours is a long time for a dog and especially a puppy.
    But it can be done.
    Think about your current lifestyle, are you ready to say goodbye to it? (My life is completely different now I have dogs)
    Are you prepared to get up an hour earlier every morning and go for a walk no matter what the weather?
    Are you happy to rush straight home from work no longer stopping off on the way home to take the dog out?
    Holidays abroad cost more as kennels are expensive, holidays in this country will revolve around the dog!
    If you are planning a family will you be able to manage baby/toddler and dog? ( I know many do but I personally wouldn't of coped - having a dog is like having a permenant 1 year old in the house! )
    Are you prepared to pay someone to come in twice a day? More whilst the dog is young/settling in?
    What would you do if the dog was ill? Can you take time off at short notice? What support in the way of family or friends do you have around you?
    If you are confident and happy with all of the above
    Firstly don't rush once you have found a breeder or rescue that you are happy with wait for the right dog.
    Not many dogs are happy to be left alone they have evolved and have been bred to want to be with humans.
    But most cope - although be prepared for one not coping and needing more say care than expected.
    Crating should be for no more than 4 hours maximum during a day total unless there is a medical issue.

    Breed wise a retired greyhound may be a good option - happy to snooze the day away, love being with their humans but not overly dependant.
     
  6. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    You need to be a bit more specific about what you want from a dog; how much exercise you can give, how much grooming you are prepared to do, traits you would prefer to avoid, any size preference etc.

    It's perfectly possible to have a dog while working but, and its a big but, it will have an enourmous impact on your life and everything you do. Plus it's tiring. And potentially expensive if you have to rely on hired help. Think long and hard.....
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Read this thread first and you and OH have some long talks about it. Millions of people have dogs and work full time too, but not all of those homes take the dog's quality of life as the priority they should.

    http://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/partner-wants-to-rehome-dog-help.443591/

    Sounds like maybe you two will. Just keep in mind, as what has been said here...having a dog (or any pet) changes everything. The animal relies on you, for everything. It's a very big responsibility.
     
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  8. ouesi

    ouesi Wag More Bark Less

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    Hi Min, welcome to PF :)
    OH and I both work full time, our kids are very active in activities outside of school, and we manage to make it work for our dogs :)
    It is a commitment for sure, and you have to do a lot of creative scheduling, but it’s definitely doable.

    I would strongly suggest going for an adult rescue dog who has been thoroughly assessed already by the rescue, preferably has lived in a foster home and the rescue has a very good idea of how the dog will cope with being alone.
    No, you don’t need a crate, but initially it’s a good idea to have a dog safe area to keep the dog in until you know better how they’re likely to behave when you’re gone. Our dogs have free rein in the house but they’re both adults now. As puppies, they were totally not to be trusted.

    A good dog walker can be a godsend for working homes, but you will still have to re-structure your mornings and your afternoons to accommodate the dog’s needs.

    Think about what you want in a companion and then start talking to rescues and/or breeders who may have adults available.
    Another option if you’re not sure quite yet is to volunteer for a rescue and maybe take on a foster for a bit to get a good idea of what it’s like to take on a dog :)
     
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  9. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I think it is unrealistic for most people not to leave their dogs for several hours at a time. I used to work full time and my dogs have 45 minutes walk every morning (and I often left home at 7 or earlier). They had about the same when I got home and another walk last thing at night in the local park. One or two evenings a week was dog training and weekends were long walks and/or dog shows. Holidays were walking usually staying in a caravan. So though we worked full time the dogs were fully catered for.

    My dogs now sometimes go days without being left for long but are quite happy if we go out for a few hours. If we are out for a whole day I usually get a friend or neighbour to let them out in the garden.

    So it depends what you want. Is your dog going to be an important part of your life or just something you fancy having around when you have time.
     
  10. JulieNoob

    JulieNoob PetForums Member

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    We work similar hours to this and have multiple dogs, but you have to be prepared to put time and energy into it.

    What do YOU want out of a dog?

    Do you have someone who can call in, or are you averse to paying a dog walker/ puppy visitor?
     
  11. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    It's not so much that people are "ok" about it; if I had my way I wouldn't work and would spend the overwhelming majority of time with my dogs ;) BUT most who do so have no choice but to because they have to go to the work. Otherwise that would really only leave dog ownership to those who are unemployed or retired.

    The reality is that most dogs are absolutely fine provided they've been conditioned to being left alone and all of their needs are met. They can quite easily be achieved without being there constantly.
     
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  12. Mercgirl

    Mercgirl PetForums Member

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    We thought long and hard before we got Wookie. In fact, from the initial 'Would a dog be possible for us now' thoughts to actually getting Wookie took six months. We were aware that she would have five days a week where we both worked, so had 'Wookie-sitters' in place before we got her.

    I work a permanebt late shift, Pete does two weeks of earlies followed by two weeks of lates. When we're on different shifts, Wookie is only alone for two hours, but when we're both on lates we're away from home for nine hours. During those nine hours Wookie has a couple of hours with Julie, our next door neighbour and her dog Yoyo, from three until five. At six, my boss Leigh and his wife pick Wookie up and take her out for walkies with their dog, Daisy, and then back to their house (a two minute walk away) until around eight. We are home at ten thirty.

    We are extremely lucky that Wookie has people who love her as much as we do, and see spending time with her as a pleasure, and not a chore. Needless to say, we return the compliment with both Yoyo and Daisy when required.
     
  13. MaggiesMom

    MaggiesMom PetForums Member

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    I agree with what other have said about working out what you want from a dog, lots of thinking to be done and discussions about how it will change your life.
    I work full time and do the same hours as yourself. I wouldn't leave a puppy all day however we have an adult dog and she has taken to it well. We realise we're very lucky and via a pet cam we borrowed we discovered she plays with her toys in the morning then sleeps a lot! I'm sure this wouldn't suit many dogs though.
    It really depends on the individual dog though, I mean Maggie was a street dog from Romania then after being rescued went into a kennel environment being by herself 23 hours a day to only being by herself around 7 hours a day so I consider that much better!
    Then of course I'm with her all night and weekends, she comes most places with me too.
     
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  14. ouesi

    ouesi Wag More Bark Less

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    Actually, dog’s aren’t pack animals :)
    Yes, they are social animals who in general enjoy the company of others, but just like humans dogs can vary greatly in their need for social interaction and companionship.

    There are tons of dogs out there who are perfectly happy spending long hours by themselves. And of course there is nothing wrong with a dog spending time alone. In fact we call it an issue when dog’s can’t cope with being alone.
     
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  15. cbcdesign

    cbcdesign PetForums VIP

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    I am afraid a recent study by Langford Veterinary School, one of the most respected in the country shows that in fact most dogs are not ok being left alone for long periods. Some tolerate it pretty well and are ok but that is a relatively small number, around 20%. Others are unhappy being left but put up with it and for more still its traumatic for them on a daily basis. Dogs that had the company of other dogs fared far better as one would expect.

    The problem is we don't know in advance what category any dog we get fits into and with 8 out of 10 dogs in their study showing some form of separation issue, the risk of getting one that doesn't fit the 20% category is high.

    The study incidentally was covert filming of dogs in their own homes where normal behaviour during periods of separation could be monitored. It was an eye opening study for both the people conducting the research and any dog owners who watched the documentary I am sure.
     
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  16. Happy Paws

    Happy Paws PetForums VIP

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    Me be, but if we are at home there is always something we can do, what can a poor dog do, it can't run the vac round, read a book or do some knitting, no just sleep. What a life :eek:
     
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  17. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    I do not pay attention to such studies as it is such an individual thing based on the dog.

    For a start it depends on what we are defining as "long" periods - continuously or with breaks? If a dog is clearly traumatised or showing signs of distress at its owners absence then clearly something hasn't quite gone right down the line.

    Most dogs can be conditioned to being left happily. The problem is that many people don't do it correctly and/or rush the process and wonder why their dog ends up in distress.

    Unfortunately in the modern world there is no way around it; even once upon a time when you had families where one parent stayed at home, that isn't the norm now. Again, conditioned properly, the dog should adapt.
     
  18. ouesi

    ouesi Wag More Bark Less

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    Mine get on pet forums :D
    [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, my dogs lead a pretty awesome life and it’s a bit presumptuous of you to make comments like “what a life” regarding dogs who are left for more than two hours a day.

    And what difference does being home make if the dog is just sitting around watching his/her humans knit and watch TV, that’s not much better is it?
     
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  19. Happy Paws

    Happy Paws PetForums VIP

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    I just stated MY oppion like it or not, as far as I'm concerned that's it.
     
  20. cbcdesign

    cbcdesign PetForums VIP

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    Sure they can be conditioned to coping with being left alone for long periods, happily I would argue is unlikely for the vast majority. Left for a time, a few hours at a time is perfectly fine. But left for 8-10 hours day after day on their own just isn't something a social creature enjoys. Apart from misanthropes most people don't cope well with being on their own for 8-10 hours a day either. Who would?
     
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