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Getting a dog whilst working full time?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by ab1385, Jul 11, 2009.


  1. ab1385

    ab1385 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I appreciate that this topic has probably been done to death elsewhere, but I'm new here so go gentle on me!

    I have grown up all my life with dogs around so I'm well aware of how much work and attention dogs require. Having now moved out of the parents house, I'm now 26 and married, but work full time. Both my wife and I desperately want to get a flat coated retriever (or maybe two) and are trying to figure out the best way of doing this, or if it's possible at all to do so without being cruel to the dog(s).

    I'm a doctor working some strange shift patterns, so will be at home during the day one week in 6, but most of the time we'd both be out 8.30 to 17.30. I know that this would be cruel for a dog, so we're trying to find ways around this. I've found a few dog walking companies around Cardiff who could walk the dog everyday from, say, 12.30 to 13.30, meaning that they would never be left alone for much more than 4 hours. My sister is a student and so would probably be able to pop in and say hello for 30 minutes most days, at least whilst he's still a young pup.

    I'm quite willing to pay for a dog walker, and when we got it/them we'd take a lot of time off work to get him used to being with us, but would this realistically be enough to keep a dog happy? Being social creatures would they have less problem being left alone for 4 hours at a time if we were to get two?

    What are people's thoughts? Is it possible to get a dog or two and keep them happy whilst working full time, by doing things like hiring a dog walker?

    Thanks for your input!

    Alex (and Deb) :)
     
  2. Varkhond

    Varkhond PetForums Member

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    I used to work 8-17.30 as well. The way i got around with it was getting home at lunch brake to walk my dog. So (had an little dashhound then) was only alone for 4hours tops a time. Then there is breeds who demand alot of exercise and attention, where a collie is in the good end. Very self sufficient dog who likes he's cuddles but is less likely to suffer from being alone. (getting 2 dogs can help, but that you know). :D Don't know how well a terrier alone, all terriers are bit more on the hyper end.
     
    #2 Varkhond, Jul 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  3. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Hi, hiring a dog walker you need to be careful because in this heat it's stupid to walk a dog around mid-day. I avoid walking my dogs anytime between 9am (at the latest!) and 5pm (at the earliest!) because it is just far too hot!

    So you would need to make sure that your dogs were not going to be left too long and not walked when it's too hot.
    So you could have someone walk them twice, instead of one long walk?

    What about doggy day care? Is there any of them near you? They are more likely indoors so the dogs get looked after while you are ate work, and exercised, played with and not out in the heat.

    x
     
  4. Matrix/Logan

    Matrix/Logan PetForums VIP

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    A dog walker sounds like a great idea but like it has been said before if the weather is too hot maybe just an hours play in the shade of your home and toilet break time would be a good idea instead of a walk on those days!!??

    I would certainly get your dogs one at a time, never fall for getting 2 litter mates as you feel sorry for them being on their own so 2's company(BIG MISTAKE)!! You should aquire dog number one, do the training and everything, get that one bonded to you then when he/she is a year or so old get puppy number two. Getting 2 litter mates is very rarely successfull as the pups become too focused and bonded on each other to make bonding and training very difficult for you, especially when you are at work during the day. And as an ex veterinary nurse i have seen a lot of fights from litter mate sisters when they reach sexual maturity. I am not saying always but often!!

    My pup is 5months old and is left for 4 and a half hours in the morning and 1 and 3/4 hours in the afternoon. He is walked in the evening and seems very settled.
     
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I would go for a rescue dog as you can only improve it's quality of life and you sound like you are willing to provide for it.

    I took on 2 rescue's and I would not recommend anyone else doing it. I would get one and then consider another a few months later.

    Defo do not get a pup as they need a lot of time which you are unable to provide.

    You will need to go to an independant rescue centre as you will prob find that big places such as Dog Trust, Battersea etc will not re-home due to the amount of time you are out for. Best person to speak to is JSR, she is into rescue and can give you some great advice - send her a private message.

    Good luck x
     
  6. ab1385

    ab1385 PetForums Newbie

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    Grr, stupid laptop just deleted a whole long post I'd written out.

    How long would it take from getting a pup to being able to leave it for 4 hours at a time? I could feasibly be at home during the day for a maximum of 3-4 weeks, including when I'm working nights. I'd really like to have a dog from a puppy, if only 'cause that's what I always had with my parents and I've felt you develop a relationship more like that. That and the fact that they won't have had years of getting away with bad behaviour for them to unlearn.

    How old are the youngest ones at a rescue centre anyway? I don't hugely mind not having one at 8-9 weeks, but wouldn't want to get a dog older that 6 months...

    Thanks for all your advice so far!

    Alex
     
  7. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Hi,
    Ok pups need lots of attention,they need feeding 4 times a day,toilet trips every 30 minutes to an hour for the first few months,then can still have accidents.
    The flatcoat I'm led to believe are a happy breed,however they are part of the gundog group and need alot of mental stimulation and exercise,I'm really not sure this is the correct breed for you at this point in time,you may also have difficulty in trying to locate a breeder who would be happy with your current situation.I am also led to believe there are not many breeders of flatcoats in the uk.
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Agree with sallyanne, you are not in a position to offer a good home to a pup because of your time limit.

    I disagree about the bond with pups and rescue's, in actual fact quite the opposite. Rescue dogs are almost more loyal because they may not have had the best start in life. Also you mention that they have gotton away with a lot. This is not always the case, sometimes an owner has died, for example.

    However do not let me convince you, rescue dogs come with their individual challenges and they are not for everyone. I do believe you have to be a certain type of person, which maybe you are not .......
     
  9. ab1385

    ab1385 PetForums Newbie

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    Oh, I'm not saying I'm against getting a rescue dog - I've just not got any experience with rescue dogs so I'm just going by (probably unfair) assumptions!

    Are there many reasonably young rescue dogs out there? I wouldn't want to get one that's getting on a bit.

    I don't know what sort of person you need to be to get a rescue dog? I think we're definitely 'dog people' though :)
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Rescue's are very close to my heart, I have 3 of them!

    Rescue's come from new born up to any age. You are better to get advice from somebody that knows, rather than us advising you. I understand your thought process about getting a younger dog, but you need to get a dog that is right for your situation.

    Rescue dogs are very rewarding and they don;t all come with issues.
     
  11. Luvdogs

    Luvdogs PetForums VIP

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    Agree with other posters about maybe considering a older rescue, Flat coats are very active dogs and need Lot's of mental stimulation as you are probably aware :) Also a reputable breeder might not consider you suitable due to your work commitments.


    Good luck :)
     
  12. ab1385

    ab1385 PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah, I have actually been looking around quite a bit now. There are quite a few nice looking dogs around at about 6 months to a year old, which is probably what we'd look at - does that sound like a reasonable age given our situation?

    I've e-mail a few flat coated retriever breeders to ask what they think about our getting one, I'll see what they say. I'm guessing that a labrador retriever would be a very similar sort of dog, in terms of temperament and requirements, so we may consider one of them too. I'd be interested to see what the rescue centres feel about our situation and whether we should be looking after one of their dogs or not. I don't want to do the wrong thing by a dog if we can't give him all the support he needs, but I think we're very much a dog family.

    We're probably not looking to do this for a month or two anyway as we're not moving for another month, but it's best to do your research early I guess!
     
  13. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    Gundogs, collies/shepherds and terriers or any working dog for that matter are usually very high energy, and need lots of stimulation. A flat coated retriever may not be the best idea, especially two.
    Either aim for something a little more lazier or a rescue.
    Greyhounds are good, they don't require a lot of physical exercise and love to sleep on the ocuch all day. So if you hired a dog walker and your sister came in to play for 3o mins i am sure it would be very happy. :D If you were to get a greyhound, please rescue an ex racer, they need homes:(
     
  14. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Excellent advice about the grey hound. A friend has just rescued one and she is the sweetest dog! x
     
    Patterdale_lover likes this.
  15. lifeizsweet

    lifeizsweet PetForums VIP

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    I work full time as does my OH, he will be taking puppy to work with him when he is old enough, but till then my sister will watch him during the day. I did look into puppy day care, a creche for dogs, which if my sister is ever unable to watch him we will use.
     
  16. Varkhond

    Varkhond PetForums Member

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    Grayhounds.. Doesn't they need loads of walks? :p Just assuming as they do get used to run fast... :p (hate that btw). Not to informed on this breed so excuse my ignorance. :blushing:
     
  17. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    Nope they are actually a very lazy breed. :)
     
  18. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    Patterdale is correct, very lazy dogs:) Greyhounds are sprinters so get tired quickly, my greys don't get to run everyday but are perfectly happy with 2 walks of about 30 mins + . We tend to do longer walks at the weekend and they are up for that too.

    I have 2 ex-racer greyhounds that i adopted just before there 2nd birthday (litter brothers) as they didn't make the grade. My partner & i were both working full-time when we adopted via an RGT branch. I worked locally so would come home in my lunch hour to let them out. The greys are quite happy to laze all day and don't require much exercise so suit this lifestyle well.
    Our dogs have their individual quirks but no major issues as they were well looked after by their trainer and used to being handled. They were pretty easy to housetrain over a long weekend and passed the KC bronze award with a novice handler as they are the 1st dogs i've owned.

    There not a breed for everyone tho, if you dream of playing fetch or having your dog off lead a lot and want a very obediant dog best to go for another breed. My dogs arent safe off lead unless its a secure area as their recall isn't great with distractions, which is common for greyhounds but its ok as they don't need to go off lead in order to burn off energy like some breeds do.

    Retired Greyhound Trust
     
  19. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Flat coats are lovely dogs and so long as you are prepared to give a decent walk in the morning, a dog walker at lunchtime and a good walk in the evening I see nothing wrong with it. Working when you have a pup is not ideal but it can work. If you are thinking about 2 dogs why not get an young rescue dog with no issues, there must be some where owners have died or split up or whatever and the dogs are well reared. Then when that is established with you get your flat coat pup as there is no doubt leaving a pup with an older dog is much easier. I have felt comfortable leaving my pup for 4 to 5 hours at a time with the older dog since she has been about 4 and a half months. Before that I was getting someone to let her out for a wee if she was going to be left more than a couple of hours. She just curls up in the basket with the old dog and sleeps, it doesnt bother her at all. I am home most of the time but in the past I have had pups and worked all day. I have always had older dogs though and the pup has never minded and it hasnt affected house training.
     
  20. nicola1980

    nicola1980 PetForums Member

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    This could be just the company you need to keep you and your dog happy when you are out at work K9 SERVICES WALES: Welcome to K9 Services Wales they run a doggy daycare and it looks really good.
    I don't know where in cardiff you are but this company cover the hole of cardiff and the vale of glamorgan so should be able to help.
     
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