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Having a puppy with a full time job...

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Abbey Colbourne, Nov 30, 2018.


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  1. Abbey Colbourne

    Abbey Colbourne PetForums Newbie

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    My puppy is currently 12 weeks old and for the last two days I've been back at work and left him in his crate (which he loves and is his happy place) for the whole day, I have come home on my lunch hour to let him out, give him some food and a play. When I return from work I just make sure I give him all the love and attention he needs.
    Every day whilst at work I keep going over in my head wondering whether I am a bad dog mom for leaving him, I've read so many of these forums looking for advice. I hope with the right training and exercise he will grow up a good independent dog.
    Surely just because we are a full time working couple we shouldn't miss out on such companionship? We have always loved all animals and wanted a puppy for many years before getting one.
    Any thoughts/comments from anyone going through the same scenario would be appreciated. Just looking for some reassurance really, every minute of our time with him is completely devoted to making sure he Is happy and has everything he needs.
    Thank you
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I think it depends on how long you are out. I have two dogs adult and work full time however I can work from home and have school holidays at home. We have a dog walker if I can't come home for lunch. I also find I can't go out after wk as I feel guilty so rush home. Hubby is self employed so takes time off if they are sick.
     
  3. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    It's really not ideal to leave a puppy in a crate all day to be honest even with a short break at lunch time.

    He looks like a Collie from your picture? have you actually recorded him to see if he is distressed at all when you are gone? it's not something I see the average Collie puppy coping with long term if I'm honest......

    I do work full time by the way but my dogs are adults....I also pay a dog walker to come in if I'm on an early shift. When mine have been puppies I've paid for someone to look after them all day. My conscious would not allow me to keep them in a crate all day, sorry.
     
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  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I agree with @labradrk. It’s not really ok to leave such a young puppy in a crate all with just a break at lunch. Even if he wasn’t crated, it’s just too long alone.

    I am a full time worker and my current ‘puppy’ is now 2.5 years old. Initially when he was very young I paid for someone to care for him all day, every day. Now he goes out with a dog walker 3 days a week, and stays home the other two (and I come home early from work on those days), but that setup only works now that he’s an adult.
     
  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I know you are looking for justification and reassurance on your puppy-buying decision but i don't think any of us can give you that. However, you have a puppy now so you will need to find ways to make sure that he can be as content as can be while fulfilling his companionship role to you.


    You say that you're looking for re assurance but why? You say your pup is happy and has everything he needs? I'm guessing you are only just now starting to consider the situation from the point of view of your young pup.
     
  6. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    I'm afraid I agree with the above comment. A working day is too long for a young puppy to be left alone , specially crated and even with a 'let out' at lunch time.
    I wanted a dog for many, many years , but couldn't justify having one until I finished work.
    Yes, plenty of people do work full time with dogs and puppies but it's not ideal. They need company, stimulation, regular feeding and toilet breaks.
    You ask why you should miss out on the companionship of a dog because you work, what about the pup's need for company ?
    What would you do if your dog was unwell, could you take time off ?
     
  7. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    Many, many people work 'full time' and have dogs - I do and have done for the whole of my dog owning adult life - but my goodness it takes planning to get it right and ensure things run smoothly - especially when the dogs are young.

    It's not about whether we should be able to have the companionship of a dog, it's about whether we are fulfilling those dogs needs. And as i said, that takes planning and commitment.

    Now you have your puppy start looking at how you are planning his day. Puppies at 12 weeks need regular feeding so hopefully this is covered by your lunchtime visit home - but his toilet training breaks wont be (puppies need toileting regularly) and his needs are going to change as he gets more lively. You don't say how long you leave him for. For me I would suggest a couple of hours maximum for a sleeping puppy presuming that he has had you interacting/playing with and walking him before you go to work. One break at lunchtime is unlikely to be enough for him during the average working day, especially during his puppy and young dog stage, so I would get someone to come in and do an extra visit to perhaps play with and walk him and you do the other visit in your 'lunch hour'. In this way the average working day is sliced into four more acceptable segments. I would also look at a play- pen set up to allow him a play area, too and ensure he has things to do and chew.

    If you are a working couple - as my wife and I are - then you also need to plan things between you; even though our youngest dog is now 18 months my wife and I still plan our days with military precision to ensure the dogs are never left for too long or without adequate attention and exercise.

    So if you want assurance that it can be done - you've got it - but as i said it all takes planning if you want happy, fulfilled, balanced dogs - it's not about 'these are my hours and the dogs have to fit in to them' - it's actually the other way round - how can I fit my hours around the dogs needs.

    J
     
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  8. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Agree with everyone above.

    If we’re talking about companionship then, whilst Jack tends to spend the day lounging on the sofa or bed he will come and seek me out at certain times of the day.

    As an adult dog, totally settled and fully toilet trained I’m happy to leave him a maximum of 5 hours. Any more and I have a friend help out who will walk him and have him with her for a few hours.

    Being at home all day myself, without Jack around I’d be very lonely tbh. However, I can take myself out if I need some company.
     
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  9. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    Totally agree with everything that's been said so far. Do you not have any family, friends or even a neighbour who would maybe pop in, between you leaving in the morning and coming home at lunch, let your pup out, play with him for 20 mins or so, check he has water etc and do the same in the afternoon, or arrange a dog walker to take your pup out either morning or afternoon ? I also agree with @Jamesgoeswalkies, that a puppy pen Is a much better option than just the crate when you are leaving your dog for a longer time, it will give your pup more room to move about, play a little, stretch etc.

    Like @Lurcherlad, I have a fully housetrained, very settled adult dog who is perfectly happy to be left alone for quite some time but I wouldn't leave him alone for more than 4 hours or so, I certainly wouldn't leave him all day, even though I'm confident he would be fine, when I do go out for the day he goes and spends the day with my friend and his 2 dogs, Woody is happy to go there and my friend is very happy to 'dog sit ' for the day.

    You can work full time and have a dog, lots of people do, people on this forum do, my daughter and her partner have two huge mastiffs and do, but you need to be looking at things from the dogs point of view, his needs must be met, and not just food, water and toileting, but his emotional needs too, he needs company, interaction, training, playtime, excercise and settled, calm petting time, he needs all these things to become the well adjusted , happy independent dog you hope for in your original post.
     
  10. Abbey Colbourne

    Abbey Colbourne PetForums Newbie

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    Just want to say thanks for all the comments so far, we already planned on having a dog walker during the day but currently still awaiting his 2nd injections before we can do this.
    We plan on filling our weekends with many activities we are not expecting to just lie on the sofa all day.
    He isn't a whimperer at all and when he's in his crate he understands that's his bedtime and doesn't cry to come out.
    His toilet training is brilliant he had one accident the first day we got him and since then he never fails to use the puppy pads (they will be moved into the garden from next week) I check his bed every time I return and he has never soiled it in any way.
     
  11. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    He could be taken out into the garden now, in fact could have been when you first brought him home. A dog walker that is able to care for a puppy might be a good idea during the morning and afternoon until your pup is old enough to hold on until you come home. You may find you have a bit of difficulty getting him to toilet outside due to him using puppy pads indoors for so long. If you do, please ask here for advice.
     
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  12. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I know this is well intentioned but you might be best to keep his weekends low key, as he is going to be expected to spend many hours alone during the week.

    Probably the kindest thing you can do is to spend time teaching him to amuse himself - through settle/calmness/impulse control games and teaching him to be a kong chew toy a holic so that he learns to spend a long time chewing himself to sleep.
    Lavishing all your attention on him in your hours at home is not (imo) going to help him be a settled and calm dog when you're out.

    Of course as he gets older and his need for physical exercise increases, you will be able to start your pre-work day with an early morning good run with him and that will maintain his fitness levels for weekend exercise.

    By all means spend time training at weekends, but i would also have him still have him spend frequent shorter spells in the crate so it's not such a shock when monday comes round again.


    When you get sorted with more people to call in during your working day, you will be able to roughly match his weekend days to the week ones
     
  13. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I used to work and have dogs including new puppies. There was always an adult dog to keep them company though so they did not get lonely. I would not crate all day, sounds horrendous. Remember such things did not used to exist and puppies managed very well confined to one room. I would not use puppy pads either. What is wrong with house training your pup in the garden from the moment you got him home. If you are going to use a dog walker then I would pay her to come in mid morning and mid afternoon to take the pup in the garden and play for 10 minutes or so. After all even after the second injection he is going to be far too young to join in group walks or have more than a 10 minute stroll anyway so the play time is far more important.
     
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  14. Abbey Colbourne

    Abbey Colbourne PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. My other half and I have talked long and hard about this and we have decided to take the dog back to the rescue shelter as it's not working out.
    Deep down I agree with everyone's comments about it not being practical and not fair on the dog being left for so long. He deserves a better life than I can give him.
    I feel we may never adopt any pets in the future due to this experience, it really has affected us so much and put such a strain on our relationship too.
    I fear people are going to judge us and think we are horrible people for doing this but this is the best thing for both parties.
     
  15. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    On the contrary, I for one have great respect for your decision.
    I think you've realised the dog's needs have to come first and have taken the right steps. I'm sure you feel very sad about this step, but it jusn't wasn't the right time and set up, it's surprising the rescue gave you a dog under those conditions really.
    Never say never, as I said I didn't get my dogs till I retired, so glad I waited, they are fantastic company and I have time to care for them as I want to.
    When you have more time at home you can think again.
     
  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    People will judge you - but favourably; for having been responsible and putting the puppy's needs first. I am sure it was not an easy decision.
     
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  17. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Yes i am very surprised a rescue placed a 12 wk old puppy into this circumstance.
     
  18. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    If only more people took dog owning as seriously, and thought about the welfare of the dog. It must have been a hard and very upsetting decision to make. I take my hat off to you for thinking of the pups needs and not just what you wanted. What you have done is a very caring and unselfish thing. As @SusieRainbow says, never say never, in the future your circumstances may change and you may find you do have the time to care for a dog, and I for one think that if and when that time comes you will make excellent dog owners.
     
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  19. Blaise in Surrey

    Blaise in Surrey PetForums VIP

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  20. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    Well Done, that was the right decision. TBH the words Collie and Crate in the same sentence were such awful alarm bells that I couldn't write anything anyway. Don't let it put you off though, I too waited until semi-retirement and my collie will happily, no, I will say needs, to have the morning, alone, asleep, at least four hours. They are sensitive souls. Perhaps you could fill your pet needs with gerbils, guinea pigs, etc, that don't require anything like as much time, but they are there when you need a furry cuddle! I had many small furries and they are great fun.
     
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