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Working full-time, whilst looking after a puppy? I'm sorry, this is really ranty.

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Lizz1155, Aug 24, 2013.


  1. Lizz1155

    Lizz1155 PetForums VIP

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    Surely there are some people on here who have adopted puppies whilst working full-time?

    I'm aware that this is not an ideal situation from the puppy's point of view, and that there is a vast amount of criticism levied at people who work whilst owning puppies (or dogs). However that essentially means that puppy-owning is a pastime which can only be enjoyed by those too wealthy to need to work (since owing a dog is really expensive and requires lots of time)?

    On this forum I have seen a decent amount of guilt-tripping those who cannot spend (almost) 24 hours per day with their puppy or dog, along with not-so-subtle hints that "your dog will be really miserable", "it's going to have major SA", "it will be impossible to housetrain it", "it will become vicious due to lack of human contact", "it will become a delinquent" etc...

    To me, this also sounds a lot like the kind of criticisms levied at working-mothers ("your child will grow up not loving you and be undisciplined") , and in particular those who are familiar with attachment-parenting ("unless you wear your baby for 24 hours per day in a sling around your tummy, you're not a good parent and your child will not love you"). Clearly the last two statements are absurd and unfounded, however all the doggie-related statements continue to be thrown at those who do not have the luxury of spending the day with their dog(s). Where is the proof that the dog will inevitably end up a miserable delinquent?

    I may be much mistaken - perhaps all puppy-owners do have the ability to spend all day everyday with their dogs. However I suspect there are many people who have raised adorable, well-behaved, loving dogs whilst working full-time -yet, perhaps do not like to admit it, for fear of being called "cruel" by ultra-left-wing animal lovers. (I apologise if this is the wrong stereotype - I'm referrring to the PETA types who choose to vegan-feed their cats (yup, that's a PETA policy) and who are against any forms of animal-testing, despite the stringent regulations on animal use in laboratories. There might be a word for these people, but I'm not sure what it is) .

    From what I have seen on various online discussions, the typical advice given to someone who has to go to work whilst looking after a puppy is to rehome the puppy. Since there are so many homeless dogs and puppies out there, to me it seems utterly pointless to make another one homeless just because their owner works; the puppy already has a loving home.

    I absolutely adore my puppy, and he is thoroughly spoiled (as all dogs should be). I do not currently work full-time, however I'm really shocked at all the online anger and criticism aimed at people who do work full-time and who own puppies (and dogs).

    NB: for the purpose of this diatribe, I'm defining a puppy as "over 8 weeks, but under a year" - since it would be a bit foolish to leave an under-8 week by itself (except for incredibly short periods of time).
     
  2. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    You may want to chat to a few Rescues about the reasons all their young dogs are handed in?
     
  3. Lizz1155

    Lizz1155 PetForums VIP

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    Why are all their young dogs handed in? :confused:
     
  4. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Working and having a puppy/dog can and does work.. if you're prepared to put the effort in when at home.
     
  5. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

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    Not quite sure what the context is to this thread, but certainly working full time can be a barrier to bringing up a puppy properly. If you don't have a job where you can nip home on your lunch to toilet and play with your puppy then yes it's cruel and you will have a lot of work on your hands. I got a puppy when my OH was going to be home all day as I've always worked full time. I'd only ever get another puppy if I was in a similar circumstance, or if I had the money to pay someone to come in during the day. Even now I don't leave Kes alone all day and she's grown up and has no SA etc, I still walk her for an hour before work and pay someone to come in during the day. I could technically leave her alone for 9 hours at a stretch, but what I come home to is a very wound up bouncing off the walls dog which is the last thing you need when you've had a hard day, and that's why so many people give up and hand in their dogs to rescue.
     
  6. Lilylass

    Lilylass PetForums VIP

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    mmmm I agree with you to some degree and I do think that with hard work and a willingness to compromise on a lot of things (eg always straight home after work - never able to go to last minute drinks / nights out etc) that it is possible to work FT and have a happy health dog .......

    BUT I personally don't think it's fair to leave a pup or very young dog for that length of time when working FT (unless you're maybe in a relationship where you both work shifts and the dog won't be left long)

    I am with Maisie all the time (apart from when I'm at work!) - I don't go out in the evenings unless I can take her (wouldn't be fair) and rarely go out at the weekends either - they're out time for extra long walks:)

    I was supposed to be at a wedding reception last night ...... Maisie wasn't well and we ended up at the vets ..... you do have to be prepared to drop everything and put them first

    I do think rescues need to be a bit more willing to rehome to FT workers - it's absolutely not for ALL dogs BUT for some (especially if they've been left for periods in their previous home) it's absolutely fine - it's about matching people / dogs up and not having blanket policies that exclude huge chunks of the population


    Many people turned down by rescues want a dog and end up getting a pup - and I truly believe this then contributes to the ads (and we've all seen them - there were around 20 new ones on my local Gum*tree today:() of pups from 11 weeks (so they've had it a couple of weeks :eek:) to 7 months+ as they can't cope with the amount of work involved with a pup ... but they may well have been OK with an older dog
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  7. Quinzell

    Quinzell PetForums VIP

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    I think it obviously really depends on circumstance and stimulation when there isn't anyone around.

    Much like a human could go stir crazy if left with their own company for many hours a day without anything at all to do, it would be the same for a dog.

    When I got Harvey, I worked full time but had a neighbour who would pop in several times a day and spend quite a bit of time with him.

    If you can provide lots of stimulation for a dog so that it doesn't get mentally bored, then I think it can work but owners really do need to be realistic and understand that how much effort you put into your dog can absolutely have a huge impact on how that puppy develops into an adult.
     
  8. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    You can't really generalize as everyone's situation is different.

    If you take a normal working day, say 8-5 or 9-6, I think most of us can agree that it would be cruel to leave a puppy for 9 hours alone. Especially when you consider that most people do not have the luxury of working close to home so add on travel time to that.

    But, if the full time worker took a few weeks holiday to acclimatize the pup and get it used to being left alone gradually, THEN employed someone to come in and spend an hour or so with the pup in the day, then that could work. Then when the dog was older, a dog walker could be hired, day care could be looked at etc.

    Some breeds of dog cope better with periods of time alone than others. There are certain breeds of dog I would avoid if I was going to be out for most of the day; namely very active working breeds. My Lab and Yorkie would have had no problem with that routine, whereas my Slovak would struggle with that as a puppy - she was just too active to spend hours doing nothing.

    So if you consider your breed choice carefully and accept that you are going to have to spend money to accommodate the dogs needs, then yes of course you can have a dog and work full time.
     
  9. H0lly

    H0lly PetForums VIP

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    I work full time and have brought up 2 well rounded very happy puppies. However I work 2 mins from home so came home lunchtimes and other half finishes anywhere between 2-3:30.

    It can work as long as you put the effort in. Once im home thats my dogs time and I sacrifice other things to spend time with them ( as I should do, they are my responsibility)

    on the other hand tho yes it is cruel to leave crated all day and then ignore them of a evening.
     
  10. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    I would never sell a puppy to someone who worked full time away from home.

    A bit off topic but related. Wasn't there a tv program this week about dogs being left all day and suffering. I saw it advertised and meant to watch it. Can anyone remember when it was one or what it was called?
     
  11. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    wow, lots of sweeping generalisations in your post!! I think there are quite a few full time workers on here who dont spend 24hrs a day with their dog!
    Having said that I think it is selfish to get a very young puppy and expect it to spend a full workday alone. Most people will take time off, get a pet sitter or have some sort of arrangement for them when young. (I had a friend take mine for some of my nightshifts until they were 6mths).
    Dog ownership isnt just for the wealthy who dont need to work but I think you have to consider what is best for the dog. When I worked day shifts I just didnt have a dog!! It took me years before I was in a position to accomadate one.

    No doubt I will be hung, drawn and quartered now though as my dogs are going to have to spend 14hrs on their own for the next 2 nights.:rolleyes: Coz I have to work and so does my dogsitting friend!! The dogs will survive though as they have each other for company and me for the other 5 nights and 7 days!!:)
     
  12. Lizz1155

    Lizz1155 PetForums VIP

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    My apologies for the sweeping generalisations, however that is the impression that I've been given from here, Dogforums and Champdogs. It was a bit difficult to convey that impression without making generalisations. It's just a relief to know that FT workers with dogs actually do exist, since somehow they don't tend to appear in discussions.
     
  13. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I would not take on a puppy because I do not want the responsibility and hard work that it entails. I do not want to be tied to the intense toilet training, stimulation, etc. that is involved in bringing up a happy puppy.

    Personally, I believe that it is unfair to get a puppy in the full knowledge that it is going to be left alone for hours on end because the owner is unable to get home for short spells throughout the day or make alternative arrangements that would be equally suitable.

    I waited until I was around most of every day before I took on a rescued dog. That was partly for the benefit of the dog, who may or may not have needed lots of rehabilitation and also for my own benefit - why create hassle for myself?

    As it was, he had SA (not surprising he had abandonment issues :() so I had to spend some days/weeks slowly getting him used to be left until he was happy and settled. That entailed leaving him for 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins, etc. building up over a period of days/weeks until he can now be left happily for 5 hours. If I was committed to a full time job, I wonder how I could have done that? Just going through the front door and hoping for the best really was not an option for me.

    I wanted the dog to be able to fit easily into my life and not create any issues.

    Just because we want something NOW, doesn't mean we should necessarily have it.

    Having said all the above, I am not going to tell someone that they cannot have a puppy because they work full-time, but they should not be surprised if a lot of people do ;)

    And, perhaps a homeless puppy or dog would be better off in a loving and committed household, even if the owners do work full time - on the proviso that adequate arrangements can be made to accommodate that.
     
    #13 Lurcherlad, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  14. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    Re your query......
    1. "..the puppy barked all the time and upset the neighbours...
    2. the puppy cried...(see "1)
    3. the puppy ate the walls / floor / furniture...
    4. the puppy was shut in a crate and ate its own poo and trod in it
    5. the puppy didn`t learn to use the garden before I left and pooed in the house.
    6. the puppy couldn`t hold its wee for 6 hours and I got fed up at the mess
    7. the puppy got ill and I couldn`t look after it
    8. the puppy wasn`t socialised because it only went out in the dark for 6 months of the year
    9 I was too tired after an 8 hour working day and an hour commute to take the ruddy thing out...
    etc etc etc
     
  15. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    they are people that would not look after or want a pup even if they are home all day though.

    I was working full time when I got some of my pups but I had other dogs thatwere kennelled with an outside run so it worked fine. Looking back they probably did not get house trained quite so quickly as my current dogs when I am home most of the time but they were quite acceptable. Evenings and weekends were devoted to the dogs and they got a long walk in the morning before I went to work.
    It worked fine for me anyway and I had happy well balanced dogs. More difficult if the dog is just an extra in your life and you do not want to spend the time with it.
    A friend who works full time doing caring and cleaning jobs so is mobile took her pup in the car with her from day one and she was fine with that and house trained in a normal length of time.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat but not every way works for every person and dog combination.
     
  16. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    A lot of those issues could be stopped with supervision and training and it is prominently working people who will these kind of issues no?

    I will never agree with someone working full time 9-5 bringing home an 8 week old puppy without taking time off work and hiring dog walker/visitor, doggy day care, friends or family etc. what's the point? You miss all the best bits and crucial points of the pups young life you may as well rescue.
     
  17. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    I personally wouldn't get a puppy while working full time unless I had help or could afford care for it so they get their needs met, they require such a lot of training & socializing and its difficult to do that when nobodys home.
    When they have learnt to toilet indoors or have developed behavior issues and tore house up many become unwanted, If people weren't so selfish they'd definitely be less young dogs sat in in rescue so totally get why most rescues won't home pups to people that aren't home most of the time. Many do home adult dogs to workers (I'm one of them) but then they can't just hand dogs out to save selfish folk buying pups ( plenty private rehomes available?) when those dogs may not be suitable to be left hours and remember those that don't cope well tend to be swiftly returned which isn't good for the dog or rescue trying to find space when adopter wants rid ASAP, so can understand those that choose to be selective.
     
  18. BessieDog

    BessieDog PetForums VIP

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    I had three dogs from young pups and worked all day away from home - in fact for a bit of Bess's young life this was so, except she was only left a couple of days and we'd timed in so my son was at home most of the time.

    For the others I popped home at lunchtime for the first few months, and then they were left for 8/9 hours.

    None of them barked or whined. They all had a kitchen or utility room to play in.

    On the days I was home they fell into their normal pattern of sleeping all day.

    They were well rounded dogs with no anxieties.

    It can work, and I totally agree with your state,ent that dog owning shouldn't just be for the rich, people with a second income, pensioners or the unemployed.

    The Internet wasn't around when I got my first dog - and forums weren't around when I got my next two. I didn't worry about it - and neither did the dogs! :)

    When I have to leave Bess now- she just runs into the hall when she sees me get her biscuits out, and when I come back I often have to wake her up from her crate. (She's not crated, but can go in there as she likes). I do feel more guilty nowadays (thanks to the Internet), but on the odd occasion I have to leave her for a day she doesn't seem to care at all. I'm not sure she has a concept of time.
     
  19. Hopeattheendofthetunnel

    Hopeattheendofthetunnel PetForums VIP

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    Actually, I understand that. People get defensive and frustrated by the barrage of criticism and the sneery implication that they are selfish, uncaring, unfeeling owners because they need to work to put a roof over their own and their dog's head.

    I used to be horribly judgmental of full time working owners myself. Why have a dog if you can't look after it and the poor creature sits alone at home day in, day out?

    However, I have meanwhile met many FTW owners whose dog has arguably a more interesting life than a great many who are at home all day. Example: One chap I know has a young BC. As he is away all day, he walks the dog 2 hours in the morning ( with a miners lamp on his head since it is still dark!), then he walks him for another 2 or 3 hours when he comes back. Every weekend they are off hiking and camping together...and whenever he is not at work, the dog is with him. Everywhere. In the pub, at concerts, you name it - they are inseperable. BTW, the BC is 2 years old, not a puppy.

    Other FTW maybe don't go to those extremes but they enlist family, friends, paid sitters, dog walkers, neighbours to bridge their absence.

    In no way is a dog like that neglected or has a diminished quality of life because the owner works.

    However.....

    .......leaving a puppy alone all day, 5 days a week WITHOUT an additional support system IS negligent. Never mind how much the owner insists they love their dog. What does "love" mean in this context? "I am sick of coming home to an empty house and I need somebody to wait for me and make me feel loved?". Fair enough...but what about the dog's needs?

    Love alone is not enough. Not by far. Nor are good intentions.

    The reality of FT work is that the owner takes dog for a quick trundle before work, is then absen all day, the dog bored and lonely, the owner may return with a screaming headache or a stinking cold, there is nothing in the fridge, bills still need sorting out, housework and laundry need to be tackled, its lashing with rain outside......so tired owner takes bouncing off the wall pup for a quick 30 minute walk, feeds the dog, maybe throws in a quick play session...but then expects pup to settle peacefully so that owner can unwind with a bit of TV. And then its off to bed.

    That is the usual day-to-day reality of a lot of FT working owners and their dogs. And it REALLY isn't brilliant for the pup. Least of all when they are the ONLY dog. Different situation when they have canine company.

    True, the dog grows up and gets used to it. And many grow into fabulous, happy, social companions. The reason we domesticated dogs instead of goats is that a dog is an immensly adaptable, affable creature. But not everything that CAN be done, SHOULD be done.

    If a parent did that to a young child - left them locked up alone in a house all day - Social Services would come and break down that door with an axe. Never mind how much the parent swore they loved their kid or how many toys the child had. That child would be removed instantly and the parent prosecuted.

    Ask yourself - Why is it ok to do it to leave a puppy all day but not a toddler? Because puppies and their needs are inherently "different"? Or because they don't enjoy the same legal rights?

    Don't do it. There are many possible solutions to mitigate a working owners absence.
     
  20. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    There is a huge difference between working full time and leaving a puppy alone for 8 hours - and working full time and having other family members around for part of the day or popping home at intervals throughout the day, or having a walker.

    To me - one is undesirable - the other is acceptable ;)
     
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