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Could we get a dog?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Veba, Jan 17, 2018.


  1. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    EDIT: Would a cocker spaniel be suitable?

    My boyfriend and I have talked about getting a dog for quite a while but only recently started to seriously consider it. I've been doing a lot of research but think advice from this forum would be a huge help.

    We are open to buying a puppy from a (reputable) breeder or rehoming a younger dog. I keep an eye on some local rehoming centres but there's never been much suitable for us. I have heard though that they only put their harder to place dogs on there so it's best to visit.

    Working hours has put us off previously but do you think this would be fair:

    We can guarantee to feed/exercise him at 7am/8am and any time after 5.30pm. I was hoping I'd be able to let him out for the toilet when I got in at 5.30pm then a proper walk after we've eaten then out for a pee around bedtime. I work 9-5. My boyfriend works a 5 week shift pattern with 11 days off and the other days the dog would be left alone:

    8.15am and 3.30pm - dog walker either for 2 half hour puppy visits or 1 hour walk
    2.00pm - 5.30pm - feed/walk before boyfriend leaves then we hope he'd be fine until I got home
    8.15am until boyfriend wakes - 5 hours would be good but he could get up then go back to sleep later if 5 hours is too much. Garden or walk asap.

    We would be able to take two weeks off work together when we get him then I could be flexible with hours for a while if we have a puppy/dog that still needs getting used to being left alone. The feeds mentioned above will cut down as the dog gets older. The walks will add up to at least the recommended amount for the age/type of dog.

    If this isn't a big no-no then advice on a breed would be good. I've read so much and completed so many of those breed-matchers but end up going round in circles.

    We're looking for: medium sized ideally but we'd consider small/large, up to 1 hour exercise each day but could cope with a lot more, doesn't shed too much, doesn't drool (deal breaker!), can be left alone as mentioned above - either crate/pen or whole of downstairs if not a chewer. We're ok to brush him, take him to groomers as required and I'm excited about training. We have a house and large garden with lots of great walks nearby.

    We won't be having our own kids but are around kids sometimes and will introduce them early on. We like to go abroad once a year and enjoy weekends away. We'd put him in kennels for a long holiday or find places where he can come too when it's more local.

    I have read the puppy reality thread to get a real idea of how it could be. We still haven't agreed on who will be picking the grass out of the dog's bum if that is ever the case but we'll cross that bridge if we ever get there :) :)

    Apologies for the novel. I surely can't have left anything out but let me know if you have questions :)
     
    #1 Veba, Jan 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  2. Lauren5159

    Lauren5159 Lover of Terriers, loser of the plot.

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    Hi and welcome :)

    It sounds like you’ve given it a great deal of thought, which is awesome!

    I’m not going to tell you that you can’t have a dog if you work full time like the majority of people seem to believe. I have a five year old Terrier and 12 week old Cocker Spaniel and I work full time. It can be done. Sure, it’s harder but it can work.

    I would also say that it depends very much on the dog. My Parson Russell Terrier has always been so low maintenance -never chewed as a puppy, was fine being left alone and was so easy to house train. To this day, at five years old, I could leave him for 8-9 hours a day and he’d be absolutely fine and content. But he’s a more independent breed than the Spaniel so I think that’s something you should probably consider. Independent breeds tend to be better for schedules such as yours.

    The Cocker Spaniel is a super demanding puppy and even after a month, she can only be left for a couple of hours max. She’s full on and she wants to be with me at all times! Teaching her to be okay on her own has been one million times tougher than it was with the Terrier. She’ll probably always need a dog walker to pop in around lunch time after a walk in the morning and she’ll also have a good walk in the evening.

    I guess what I’m saying is, think about which breeds are going to be best being left, even for four hours or so before a walker can come in and also consider the work involved in a puppy. Taking two weeks off is great but some puppies take way longer to settle in and adapt.

    As for breeds, I struggle to decide on breeds for myself so I’m absolutely no help lol!
     
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  3. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I just saw photos of your puppy and fell in love. Your terrier is very cute too but spaniels are one of our favourites.

    I get obsessed with researching things so have been reading lots and watching TV programmes for the last couple of months. I'm aware that a puppy is a huge amount of work and that I'll probably not realise just how much until I get one! I did think two weeks would be optimistic but we could be flexible for weeks after that, my boyfriend could take extra days and I could take half days or even take an hour of the day to nip home for a wee visit. We are happy to rehome too but so many places want experienced owners or owners who are home all day. I'm hoping to get to visit some rehoming centres soon to see what they say.
     
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  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    My niece and he's husband bought a cocker spaniel puppy about 18 months ago, they both work full time although she works close by and was able to come home at lunch time. They both took two weeks off work, one after the other, so that the puppy had four weeks of settling in and getting into a routine. Then they employed a dog walker who did puppy care to come in during the morning and the afternoon and with my niece coming home at lunch it seemed to work well for the pup who seemed quite laid back anyway.
    When the puppy was old enough they only had the dog walker coming in once a day and the dog also goes to a small day care twice a week.
    It can and does work very well for those people at work full time, it's just a matter of being organised and being prepared to put yourself out, those early morning walks in the middle of winter must be a killer on occasions
     
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  5. Lauren5159

    Lauren5159 Lover of Terriers, loser of the plot.

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    Aww, thank you. She’s trouble but her cute looks make up for it!

    Sounds like you’ve got it all covered :)
    Spaniels are great if you’re willing to put the work in at the start. Like I said, my puppy Winnie has taken much longer to settle when left than my Terrier ever did but she’s so attached to me that she really hates me leaving. She’s getting there though -Kongs and crates are fabulous things!

    The good thing about liking Spaniels is that there’s so many to choose from :D
    And if I can make it work with a Terrier and a Working Cocker Spaniel -anyone can with the right amount of groundwork and time :)
     
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  6. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely no reason why you cannot work and have a dog.

    It seems you have thought it all through.
     
  7. pupperino123

    pupperino123 PetForums Newbie

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    We work full time and have a dog. He is 4 months old.
    It's just a case of being prepared and willing to make sacrifices.

    I get up super early (5 or 6am) and sort myself out for the day. This means I can dedicate a good chunk of time to a morning walk and play time. I also prepare him things to do during the day - a long wobbler or treat ball, stuffed kong, etc. I often put half of his breakfast in his bowl, and half in one of these.

    We have family go in and see to him through the day but I also have a camera connected to my phone to make sure he is ok.

    In the evening, I dedicate most of my time to him. He gets a good walk, lots of play, and little chunks of training.
    On the weekend, if we are going to be out for a while, we take him. If we are only going to be gone for a little bit, he will get a good walk just before so that he just wants to sit with one of his toys.

    The deal with us is that one of us is prepared to make sacrifices. I wanted a dog more than my husband. So I don't tend to do anything on week nights as that is his play time.
    If you are doing something that requires you to be away for a longer period of time you need to plan. We have family weddings later this year and have been speaking about which of us is going to leave half way through the day, or what family member can have him for us.

    It works wonderfully for us and I can safely say that our boy has filled a hole in our life we didn't even know we had.
     
  8. Isotonic

    Isotonic PetForums Junior

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    In my opinion, you seem like your more than able to take care of a dog but do you have any breeds in mind? some dogs don't even need that long of walks where as some need long walks and lot's of attention.
     
  9. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    Sounds ideal! It sounds like so much of it is luck in getting a dog that suits us.
     
  10. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    The earlier morning would be the biggest sacrifice for me but I'd get used to it. We're not very sociable in the evening or at weekends and most weekends away we'll be able to take a dog with us. I'm hoping we're comfortable (us and dog) with boarding so if it was needed we'd have that option. I cheekily mentioned to my friend's son if he'd look after a dog for us and his Dad said yes straight away so it might also be an option.
     
  11. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I work full time it can work as others have said it is a bit of a lifestyle change. I'm up at 5:15 you can't go out for the day at the weekend without thinking about the dogs. Holidays abroad are no more mine couldn't do kennel s and I miss them but we have discovered some great uk places.

    Overall for me it's worth it ! Sounds like you have thought of everything it's good you are happy to be flexible about the breed.
     
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  12. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    We've gone over and over breeds but just end up going in circles. As you can see above there is two completely different cocker spaniels. I'd hate to get a dog that was unhappy but it seems like it's just a case of luck and a risk we have to take. Worst case scenario is we end up paying a fortune in doggy day care, I guess.

    We've looked at every breed pretty much but mostly miniature schnauzers, various spaniels, beagles, basset hound, all the little fluffy ones...

    I was hoping for suggestions here :)
     
  13. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    db2172b0-1708-41aa-ae72-95b4e080afe7.jpg

    How about a boxer :p great fun.
     
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  14. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    There are two kinds of cocker spaniels these days, should only be one, but these things happen. There is the working cocker, which is what my niece has, which can be extremely manic always on the go and have a tendency to be smaller, have smaller ears and a less profuse coat. Then there is the show cocker, usually calmer but can be barkers but training should stop that, they will be taller and have longer ears and a heavier coat.
    This is a useful website which will tell you about the health problems of various breeds and what a good breeder should be testing for. Make sure they are breeding for a good temperament too as there can be problems with spaniels resource guarding.

    http://www.dogbreedhealth.com/
     
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  15. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    Umm, 5.15am exists?! :eek: I did worry about the boarding/kennels and we do like to go abroad so I'll have to really think about that. We're in NE Scotland and driving isn't our favourite so not a huge amount of places to go :(
     
  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    The dogs you listed are all quite similar in size so that's one thing you seem decided on and that's a good start. What other things are important - for example some dog types are better off lead than others. Some have lower exercise requirements. Some as @Siskin in said may be prone to particular health conditions. Some need more grooming than others or even in the case of the schnauzer need clipping regularly. If you can list the sort of must have traits or must-not have traits maybe we could suggest some to think about?
     
  17. pupperino123

    pupperino123 PetForums Newbie

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    We did lots of research on breeds and got a staffy. He is a rescue (litter abandoned at a day old) so we got our dream of adopting but also getting a pup.

    The reason we went for staffies:
    Good temperament
    Kind natured with children (precautions and socialisation as with any breed)
    Affectionate
    Low shedding
    Medium sized
    Loyal and smart
    Fairly trainable
    Not too high energy but not too lazy either - fairly middle of the road so we can enjoy good walks and time out with him, without it taking over our lives
     
  18. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    4 30 am in the summer lol ! I know many people who still holiday abroad so you should be fine.
     
  19. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    That's my absolute favourite but I just couldn't cope with the drool.
     
  20. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like you're ready. We got a dog this year and yes, it is a lifestyle change but it was worth it. We got a year old rescue as we couldn't take a lot of time off to have a puppy.

    We got him from Blind dog rescue UK and he came from Spain (he's not blind). We looked on their website and spoke to them and they were very informative and gave us a list of dogs that suited our requirements. They put us in touch with Teddys rescuers and they sent us lots of pictures and videos and told us all about him so, even though we didn't get to meet him, we knew what to expect. He was transported from Spain and it took 5 days but he was delivered to our doorstep with all his paperwork. So don't rule out a rescue dog there are other rescues out there.

    I took a week and a half off work and my OH took a week and a half after me, then my mum took a week and we all took one day the next week off so that Teddy had around 4 and a half - 5 weeks of settling before we all went back to full time work. We built up his alone time in this time and his house training and by the time it came to leave him he was completely fine.

    Now, I walk Teddy on a morning and then go to work, my mum comes back at lunch and walks him and her dogs and I come back towards the end of the walk so they have around an hour and a half with someone around. OH or I then go back after work and pick up Teddy (he stays at my parents now during work time) and we normally do some training/scentwork/enrichment in the evening. I do have to go to my horse though so I don't spend all evening with him but either me or OH are with the dog.

    Weekends are spent mostly with the dog and horse, we take him for a couple of longish walks on a weekend. We do go out sometimes but not for too long. Or if it is for long my parents will look after him (we do the same for their dogs).

    So a lot of your life is centred around the dog but it sounds like you have it planned out. I would consider getting a rescue first, because puppies take a lot of time and effort. Whereas a rescue, while takes time, does tend to pick things up a bit quicker. Our rescue boy is quite happy to sleep when we're relaxing and when we're out whereas I think a puppy would need more entertaining.
     
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