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Can someone advise me please re: puppy

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Rubyloobs08, Apr 26, 2011.


  1. Rubyloobs08

    Rubyloobs08 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello, new to the forum, we are thinking of getting a puppy - we would like a Bichon Frise.

    We have a young daughter, she will be 3 in November and i work part-time.

    I only work 3 days a week but on one of those days my partner finishes work at lunchtime so the dog would be alone for 2 full days a week.

    We do not know our neighbours that well - not well enough to ask them to come and let the dog out (give them a spare key!) so that is out of the question.

    Will the puppy/dog be ok to be alone for this long, i know people who work full-time that have dogs so it must be possible.?

    any tips/information about this would be appreciated.

    thank you.
     
  2. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    Personally I would say no, I don't think it's acceptable to leave a dog for more than four hours at a time especially a puppy, and I know other people do it but still doesn't seem fair or right.
     
  3. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

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    There are Bichon owners on here so I am sure they will correct me if I am wrong as I have not owned the breed but I have read up on the breed and read they don't do well left for very long periods of time.

    Also you would need to consider if getting a pup and needing to go right back to work, how would training fit in there??

    Personally am not a fan of leaving a dog for a full working day so would consider a dog walker/sitter- Taking the dog to stay with parents/friends/other arrangements on these days and providing plenty of mental stimulation after the dog walker has been in the form of Frozen kongs, radio on etc ,etc

    Also having a 3 year old, possibly visiting a rescue before hand, so she learns to be responsible, taking dogs for walks together, being around family and friends with dogs so she learns to respect dogs and what is acceptable behaviour and what not in prep for getting your dog.
     
  4. Bex190

    Bex190 PetForums VIP

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    Hi, welcome to the forum:D

    Have you considered getting an older dog from a rescue?

    I ask because an adult dog may be fine to be left all day if you got a dog walker or similar to let it out at lunch time but this would IMO be too long for a puppy.

    When you first collect a pup it will need to be let out every 20 mins or so to toilet and will need lots of human interaction. Could take some time off work when it first comes to settle it in?
     
  5. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    You may be able to build up to a couple of full days a week once the puppy is fully grown - but not as a puppy.
    You will need someone in the house for toilet training initially, then you will need to gradually build up the time the pup is left alone to a couple of hours, then as he matures build the time up.
    Even as an adult Bichons are very people orientated and may not adapt to being left alone.
    Things to help would be, give the dog things to do when you aren't there, crate train him and emply a dog walker to come in the middle of the day to visit/walk the dog.

    I work 3 days a week - the longest mine are left are 8.30am to 3.30pm as my kids get in from school at 3.30 then I get in from work at 6.30pm.
    When possible I pop home at lunch time to let them out and have a quick cuddle on the sofa.
     
  6. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I don't really think you can leave a puppy alone for this long. But since it's only for 2 days a week there are other options - you could get a dog walker to come and check on the dog (usually for an older dog just at lunchtime is fine but for a puppy they would probably need to be let out a few times while toilet training), or you could take the puppy to a doggy daycare type of place. Or do you have any family/friends that could look after her on those days, even for half the day?

    Hope you can find a solution :)
     
  7. kimdelyse

    kimdelyse PetForums Senior

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    Hello, I am the proud owner of Flo, a 9 month old Bichon Frise.

    Until 2 months ago my husband and I worked full time, with frequent trips home to play and let him out to toilet. It did not go well; they are typically a very "needy" breed and do not take well to being left alone. They flourish with a lot of stimulation; whether physical or mental and will be very bored whilst you are at work. I found he didn't use the time to nap; he got himself all wound up and then was very difficult when we got home due to all the pent up energy and anxiety. I was given the option of leaving him with my Mum during the day but I wanted to try and get him used to spending some time alone. We tried all the tips; building up the time gradually, not making a fuss, hiding in the other room to "correct" him when he started.

    However I now work 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. But he comes with me. It's made all the difference to us and him, but I know not everyone has this option.

    I know if someone had told me this, I wouldn't have wanted to hear any of it and I might have ignored it thinking my puppy would be better behaved. In every other aspect Flo is fantastic - toilet training was a breeze, sleeping through the night, knows TONS of commands and words. But if I need to pop to the shop, there will be tears!
     
  8. Rolosmum

    Rolosmum PetForums VIP

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    My friend has a Bichon, the only experience i have of them, is with hers, she leaves it to its own devices a lot with the run of the kitchen or shut in the garden, and to be honest the dog is a bit of a nightmare!

    I know it is only a couple of days, but that could be time spent undoing all of the hard work you will be putting in the rest of the time with a puppy. I have had a puppy from 9 1/2 weeks and another from 9 months and both needed someone pretty much constantly to start with in the home, apart from short breaks for school runs leading up to a 2-3 hour shopping trip and the rest of the time revolved around teaching the dogs appropriate behaviour. We are fortunate in that there are two of us and we both work from home with children, so at any one time there was usually one of us on hand with the dogs.

    I know the Bichon above is now not socially able to be around children because of the missing time spent with it and it can not be let off lead and has a habit of bolting the very second the door is open.

    I am not for one minute saying this is what will happen, but i think it does show that dogs of any age settling into a home need time, and to try to sort a puppy from scratch whilst not being there is much harder, maybe an older dog from a rescue say one over two might be the way to go, especially as you might see that there personality would be fine for a day or two on its own.
     
  9. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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  10. DirtyGertie

    DirtyGertie PetForums VIP

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    I'm a Bichon owner and as above, I would say it's not a good idea to leave a Bichon all day, even for two days a week.

    They have a reputation for being people dogs, they want company. We are retired and so the breed suits us very well. She very very occasionally gets left, one hour max. Fortunately she doesn't bark or cry but she's at the window looking for us.

    They also have a reputation for being difficult to toilet train. We've been lucky and not had a problem in that department but you need to spend a lot of time to start with to toilet train any puppy.

    Don't forget they need a lot of grooming, they should be brushed every day to stop their coat getting matted. When Poppy's coat has just been cut it takes about five minutes, the next week 10 minutes, up to about 25 minutes before her next groom. She is groomed about every 5 - 6 weeks as she still has her puppy coat. Once she has her adult coat it might be less.

    Also, think carefully about a puppy with a three year old. At that age your 3 year old will not properly understand about being gentle with the pup, and you will have to keep an eye open for the things little ones like to do such as tail pulling. If your 3 year old handles the pup roughly it could end up with the pup nipping her. My son has a 15 year old, a 12 year old and a 7 year old. The youngest was 6 when they got their Bichon and she was a bit of a nightmare, wouldn't leave the pup alone and constantly messed with her.
     
  11. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

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    I think it's not impossible for you to get a dog if you work part time. But on the days you are working all day and the dog will be left 3-4 hours or more, you really need to make dog walking or doggy daycare arrangements. Or is it possible to drop them off at a relatives/close friends house for doggysitting?

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    If you're thinking of getting a puppy remember that you'll need to train them as they will not know ANYTHING. Most importantly for you you'll need to put real effort into building up the time your dog can spend alone comfortably.

    I have a 10 month old beagle and he's comfortable with about 2 hours alone now - but a couple of months ago he got very distressed the instant i closed a door behind me. I've had to work really hard to build up the time I can leave him alone. Remember, it's not necessarily a breed trait as each dog has it's own personality and you can end up with one from any breed that gets very distressed from being alone.

    So maybe rethink the puppy idea and go for an older dog that can reliably be left alone?

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    All I know about Bichon Frise dogs are that they are quite needy. MIL has one and he's always begging for attention or to be picked up. He follows them around the house so he's not left in a room alone.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    All I can say is you need to think long and hard about your choice of dog - age, breed, traits, needs...You need to consider than you're bringing home a family member that will rely on you for everything. Part of that consideration will need to focus on whether you're making fair arrangements for your dog whilst you work.

    Don't expect the dog to slot into your life as it is now - you'll need to change your life for the dog. Perhaps it's not as extreme, but its similar to how you'd expect to change aspects of your life for a baby.
     
    #11 Helbo, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  12. Rolosmum

    Rolosmum PetForums VIP

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    From my experience of a puppy they change your life more than a baby, the dog needs walking regardless of the weather!!
     
  13. IndysMamma

    IndysMamma PetForums VIP

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    Hi

    have a shop around your area - you may have a doggy day care where you could take a pup for the days you're not at home.

    I know the people across the road have a bichon and he is a poppet - but man you can hear him both sides of the village if they leave him alone! poor lil guy has a very piercing crying yelp - and his owner only leaves him to do the shopping! he's fine when she takes the kids to school or runs out for a little while but if she's gone over 2 hours then the whole street knows.

    keep in mind this doesn't mean 'no'... it just gives you something to consider and options to look at:

    getting an older dog that can be left and pop home for loo break and fusses at lunch
    taking pup to a family member for day care
    taking pup to a doggy day care
    taking pup to work (if suitable)
     
  14. Rubyloobs08

    Rubyloobs08 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all your comments , they have been very useful.

    with regards to the days i work, there is no way that i can come home to see the pup in my lunch hour as i work in the middle of town and have to get a bus to work, which takes 1/2 hr and my partner does not have a lunch hour so that is also out of the question. My family all live at the other side of town and my partners family, his mum has my daughter and her other granddaughter so will no be able to look after a pup, and my partners grandparents have a Yorkshire Terrier and i hear that they are not very good with them, but also that they are getting old and wouldnt cope with a pup i dont think!!

    We were also thinking about a pug, although they are quite expensive which is why we thought of a Bichon Frise - i think Pugs are better at being alone arnt they?
     
  15. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    Leaving a dog for more than 3 or 4 hours for me is a NO NO, you wouldn't leave a baby or a young child so why leave a puppy, I don't think it matters what breed of puppy you have they need someone round to comfort them and make them feel secure.

    As it's already been mentioned day care sounds a good option, a local vet may be able to recommend someone.
     
  16. celicababe1986

    celicababe1986 PetForums VIP

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    where abouts are you based. Maybe posters can help with reputable resources of care on the two days s/he will be alone.

    Regardless of what breed, as a pup they cant be left along for long amounts of time at a young age.
     
  17. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    There are a few Pug owners on here so hopefully one will spot your question and be able to advise you.
    I don't know much about them at all - I do think they are more independent than a Bichon, however it is very dependent on the individual dogs.
    You would still need to build the time up slowly so it was used to being left alone. I arranged for someone to be home most of the day for the 1st 3 months of getting our dogs, gradually building up the time they were left alone until 6 months so they could be left for up to 4 hours. At 1 year I continued to build the time they were left so by 18 months they could be left up to 7 hours if needed.
    During this time, I used family and paid a dog walker to visit when they were small and them walk them when they were older.
    It's not easy - however by investing time and money at the beginning my dogs do not show any signs of seperation anxiety, are not destructive or mess in the house - I still think that I've been lucky as well though.
     
  18. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I agree I'm afraid - while a pug might be easier to leave for short periods, there's no way you can leave a dog, or especially a puppy, for a whole day.

    If it was an adult dog you could get away with a dog walker coming midday, but a puppy either needs someone around frequently or some form of day care.

    Sorry, probably not what you want to hear :(
     
  19. kimdelyse

    kimdelyse PetForums Senior

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    Leaving a pup all day with no lunch break I imagine would make training damn near impossible. When I worked full time and popped home, we got Flo down to one about "mess" a day - not good for us or him (especially him).

    In terms of budget, although you may save on the initial outlay by purchasing a lower priced breed, I have to factor in around £200 p/a in grooming costs. This will be specific to your area, but that is based on a visit every 8 weeks (which really is the max you want to leave it) at £30 a go. As it happens I now do a lot of the grooming myself but this is only because I work so few hours now. It is very time consuming and once his adult coat is fully developed I will have to purchase a blaster (pro dryer) and it will take even longer.

    What's more the importance of choosing KC regstered litters is ever important as more and more people make the bad decission of intensive breeding - just look for yourself at all the ex breeding Bichons (and other breeds for that matter) on the Many Tears website. KC registration will appear to push the price up compared to all the others, but actually that is just what a well bred pup is worth.

    But honestly, without doggy day care or equivalent I don't think choosing a different breed will do much to improve the situation. I feel bad for going on a downer at you when you must be so excited at the prospect of a new puppy but I think you'll find this to be the general concensus.
     
  20. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

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    Well I've never had a baby myself so I just assumed it would be a bigger change of your life than getting a dog. :D For example, I've never seen the law regarding paid doggy maternity leave ;) And i've never redecorated a room for a dog. Just joking around :)


    In all seriousness, I thought a baby would be more of a change because at least a dog is somewhat independent and toilet trained by 6-9 months old. But if you've had both i'll bow to your experience.
     
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