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Working and having dogs?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by frodos_electric_guitar, Apr 18, 2011.


  1. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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    I just wanted to get a sample of opinions if no one minds?

    My partner and I work (9:00-5:00) and sadly see no change to that anytime soon. We both love dogs and desperately want one of our own.

    How long is too long to be left alone do you think? I've read varying opinions on other sites and was just curious if there is a concensus.

    We have looked at various options in terms of breaking up the day. Does that make a difference?

    1. We have looked into doggy daycare. We like this idea the most and have found a wonderful place but we are concerned at the cost of this in the long-term.
    2. A dog walker. I like this idea but is a one hour break in the middle really enough?
    3.Dropping the dog off at our parents houses. In particular I work very close to my parents house and would be able to get out for a walk with the dog at lunch (which I very much like the idea of). The problem is I really wouldn't want our dog to be lumbered onto our parents.

    We have picked out a breed which is considered to be low energy. We would also of course start the day with a walk and take the dog out when we got in from work too.

    What do people suggest? Who here works and has a dog? How do you balance it? All opinions welcomed. :D
     
  2. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I work long hours but am lucky enough that my dog comes with me :D.

    I would think that the doggy day care idea is the best option that you have; however, like you said, the cost may become prohibitive. There is one near work that I have used a few times when I have had to and Kilo has had a great time.

    Maybe you can come to some kind of compromise e.g., Mon, Wed, Fri doggy daycare, Tue dogwalker, Thur your parents or some such combination?

    I think that although you have chosen a low energy breed, they would obviously still need company and stimulation.

    Are you going for a puppy or adult dog? Things would be much more difficult with a pup I would think.
     
  3. SpringerHusky

    SpringerHusky PetForums VIP

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    It can be done but Dogless has the best idea is to even thinks up vary it about, i'd also look into a rescue or at least an adult dog, a puppy needs allot of attention and it's harder to leave. Good luck :)
     
  4. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

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    I think you have considered a number of ideas there- I think of course many, many people work, have to work but still want to have the benefits of owning dogs but yes a full working day is in my opinion to long to leave and isn't fair at all, others may disagree. Maybe you could conbine your ideas if you went ahead and got a dog. For example a few days a week the dog could stay with your parents if they were okay with that, then you could look into getting a dog walker, I think as long as the dog has been walked before you leave has stimulation I.e Kongs, a dog walker with a good walk in between would be fine to tire them out. Maybe you could even look into a trusted/retired neighbour doing some of the time as well, who may also take the dog into their house for part of the day? Lots of possible ideas to look into:)
     
  5. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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    Well in truth we'd love a pup but unless we can come up with some sort of plan for that we may have to look at an older dog. I mean I can take time off work, as can my partner but even if we both did that we wouldn't be able to string enough time together. I know my parents would happily puppy sit for us but again I feel that's unfair to them (although I appreciate the kindness).

    It's interesting you say that, I too was thinking a mix of activities might be a way to make it more affordable. I really love the idea of daycare, I think the stimulation and socialisation would be fantastic fun for the dog.

    I do wish I could bring my dog to work with me, it would be perfect but I can't see it working out. :)
     
  6. AmberNero

    AmberNero PetForums VIP

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    Routine works really well for dogs, but perhaps you could still use a mix of your ideas? Use doggy day-care for three days and ask your parents to watch the dog for the other two? If it was a fixed set up it would still be a reliable routine?
     
  7. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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    Also just to throw another idea into the arena - is it better to have 2 dogs when leaving them alone? Or is that just doubling the problem?
     
  8. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I had 5 weeks off work to settle my pup and get him to the stage where he would actually be OK to come to work...I would think about the same amount of time would be needed to get a puppy secure enough to go to daycare too, but that is just my opinion. Maybe an adult dog would suit better?

    The lady that runs the daycare I have used has one pup who has gone daily from 10 weeks of age and some weekends; that seems a shame to me, it wouldn't feel like it was me training my pup in a way.

    At least you are thinking long and hard about what to do :).

    By the way, I am not skiving at work to be on here; I'm on leave for 2 weeks :D.
     
  9. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't get two together; especially if working full time as you would need loads of time to do individual training, walks etc with them and ensure that they bonded with you as much as with each other.
     
  10. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    What breed have you decided on? becuase if you decide on a dog walker the dog will still be on its own quite a long time its not a case of them been high energy or not its the breed in general, i have springers considered high breed and they are happy to be left alone for some time always have been with no problems, yet you could get a lower energy dog that craves human attention, that doesnt take well to be alone for long. There is always someone in the house while ime at work but we can all go out for 5/6 hours and leave them but i do know some wouldnt take to been left alone for that long.
     
  11. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

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    I work 8-4 or 8-5 20 miles from home and my Fiance works a split shift of 6am-10am and 3pm to 6pm but we live on site at his work (in the Site agents cottage / bungalow at a Primary school).

    Therefor the dogs are not alone for to long but having said that Millie sleeps all day, ingnore my OH and only arises when I get home (So goes without a toilet break from 8am to 4:30 most days) my OH will take her out but she doesnt always go wih him so he gave up! hehe.:D

    Makita spends most of his day asleep on the patio outside with the back door open whenever it is sunny so in theory he can go toilet whenever he wants BUT again he certainly doesnt do a number two in the garden - Only on walks so tends to hold it.

    They both get an hour walking the morning at 6 am. Then another hour walk at 6pm (Just after our dinner) and then a 20 minutes around the block at 10pm. At weekends we will walk them for maybe one walk but longer and then two quick 15 mins aorund block for toilet breaks.

    To be honest it completely depends on your dog. My OH and I still have had occassions (not often maybe 4 times in 15 months) where we have both been out of the house for 11 hours - Millie was left in the kitchen / Utility room where it is hard floored, with her Kong and food / water and bless her no accidents. Even with our rescue Akita (only had him 3 weeks) his first time being left for a complete day (6-7) hours and no problems. But I may have two exceptionally large bladdered dogs. BUT there is a huge difference I guess with this occassionally and this happening everyday.

    Plus it's also the element of the dogs having company during the day which prevents boredom related behaviour ie barking or chewing.

    I am not sure what I would do if my OH changed to regular 9-5 working, although he has less to do with the dogs than me I do rely on him for being in the house whilst I am not there.

    To an extent dogs are very flexible - Certainly Millie has learnt to almost preserve her energy / sleep all day so she is awake and alert for evening walkies / games and the long evening snuggled up with her own on the sofa. :D

    Ohh justt wanted to add I got Millie and Makita at 10 months old - Neither as a puppy puppy - My OH and I both knew a slightly older puppy would fit better onto our routine.
     
    #11 Milliepoochie, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  12. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    We work full time and we had a pup and to be honest i never had any issues. When she was tiny up to about 6 months she went to day care 3 days a week, monday wednesday friday, and on tuesdays and thursdays she was so tired from the day before that an hour break in the middle of the day was enough for her. As she got older we dropped her day care to 2 days a week (tuesday and thursday) and left her at home monday wednesday friday. She is and always ahs been totally fine. When she was little we used to work our dinner hours so my oh went home 12 - 1 and i went home 1 - 2 but now we both got home 12 - 1 and that is more than enough for her, she gets up goes out for a wee has a potter about and goes and gets back on her bed and waits for us to go again. She gets half an hour walk every monring, an hour at least every night, on a weekend we always take her somewhere nice and fun, and she is out for at least a couple of hours both days, she swims and does flyball. I think the amount of stuff she does when we are withher makes up for the amount of time on her own, she hasn't been crated since 6 months old and has never destroyed anything. Some people may think i leave her too much but if we are ever there through the day she just sleeps. I know i have a happy little dog.
     
  13. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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    Indeed, the last thing I want is to get a dog that won't feel like "mine" because someone else has had more of a part in it's life. That just wouldn't feel right. I want to be there to train, for me that's a lot of the fun.

    We could manage around 5 weeks to introduce the dog, but we'd need to string it over the Christmas period I would think to tag on the extra days as freebies.

    I mean there's no doubt all our mornings and evenings would be fully interactive with the dog, we'd want to get the most out of our time together. But even so that amounts to around the same time with the dog as apart.

    It's likely in a few years we would also be starting a family and at that point my working hours would be far less extreme but that would just feel like the wrong time to bring a dog into the picture.
     
  14. L/C

    L/C PetForums VIP

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    My partner and I work full time and we have a pair of greyhounds. They get at least an hour walk before we leave (at 9.30) a dog walker visits them for an hour in the middle of the day and then we're home by half 5 and they get another two hours or so of walks in the evening.

    For us an actual walk or doggy daycare isn't an option as our male has severe fear issues. He's much better then he was but daycare would be far too overwhelming for him. They're fine with it as even when one of us is off all they do is sleep for the whole day! They aren't destructive and theirs no sign of seperation anxiety.

    Two is better then one - so you could look for a bonded pair that a rescue are trying to home together if you wanted to go that way. I wouldn't adopt/buy two seperate dogs and then try to introduce them to each other and you.
     
  15. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    I don't feel like i didn't bring my dog up, i think day camp helped with her doggy manners and i think her gonig to day camp help socialise her with other people, ie she will listen to commands from most people if told to sit etc.
    However i did all her training classes and various other things and i have an brilliant bond with my dog, she knows who her 'mummy and daddy' are but she just has lots of extended family.
     
  16. frodos_electric_guitar

    frodos_electric_guitar PetForums Member

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    A chow chow is what we have decided on. We have been reading for a very long time about various breeds and from everything we've seen and read we just think the chow would be a fantastic fit for us.
     
  17. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I don't think that you should have a problem as you are obviously taking the sensible approach to all this; haeveymolly did make a good point about the breed you choose in terms of separation anxiety traits though.

    There are loads of people who do tell you not to get a dog if you work but, as you have said, time outside work would be devoted to the care of your dog (as mine, and many others' is) plus you realise that early mornings become the norm as do weekends planned around the dog.

    Working does not a bad owner make; I know a couple who don't work and cannot be bothered with their dog - it is never trained or taken anywhere, just treated as an embuggerance. I think it is all down to the commitment of the owners to the welfare of their dog, and the recognition that it changes your lifestyle beyond all belief (in a good way) :D.
     
  18. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I wasn't commenting on all owners whose dogs attend daycare from a pup, so sorry if I have caused offence; just the one lady that I am aware of as she puts her dog into daycare on lots of evenings and weekends too so she can go out, meaning that she doesn't really take her to classes etc. I think I was trying to get across the extra commitment required if you work full time (which you have clearly put in).
     
  19. _Sara_

    _Sara_ PetForums Member

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    Obviously not a chow chow but if you get a smaller breed of dog they can be cat litter box trained. I know my 2 would quite happily just sleep all day if their was nobody in my house, luckily everyone works different shifts. I would defiantly look into getting an older dog tho :)
     
  20. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    The fact is that the majority of dogs coming into my breed rescue do so because they owners are working and the dog is not coping with being left/the reality of having to take the dogs for walks before and after work is too much etc. That said, many of us have to work and it can work if you have the dedication to your dogs, because it does mean the hours that you don't work belong to your dogs ;)

    I wouldn't recommend a puppy, and there are many breeds that would be unsuitable, but have you thought of a couple of retired greyhounds. Low energy, are used to company and are often rehomed as pairs, and a short lunchtime walk would probably suffice providing you are walking them before and after work.
     
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