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to think that we shouldn't be getting a dog just now?

(54 Posts)
HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:04:27

First post. shock!

DH and I have been debating about getting a dog for the last 3 years or so. I always had dogs as a child (he did too as a young adult) and would absolutely love to have one as our family pet. We have two children 9 and 7.

My worry is that the dog would be on it's own for too long during the day. That is absolutely my only concern but it's really putting me off. I work from 8 til 1 every day and I work very close to home so taking into consideration dropping the children at school and getting home (2 mins, literally) I would be out of the house for just over 5 hours a day every day. (I work term time also if that's relevant)

I just worry that it's too long. Obviously the dog would be walked early in the morning and as soon as I get home and again at night but I still worry that it's too long. DH says I am being completely unreasonable and that it would be fine and that I am looking for excuses not to have one. This is absolutely not true, I would really love a dog but I want the dog to be happy and comfortable, not miserable and lonely.

He has found a rescue dog that is exactly what we would be looking for and now I feel in such a position it's totally getting me stressed. She's a beautiful dog, perfect for us in every way apart from this worry I have.

Now I know this is not a major problem compared to many things I see on here but I do think getting a dog is a big decision and I want to do the right thing. Any advice would be much appreciated.

BabeRuthless Sun 10-Feb-13 14:22:30

If you can afford it you can hire a dog walker to come in and walk your dog during that five hour period. Post in The Doghouse or ask for this thread to be moved there. I've been lurking there for a fair few months as we're considering getting a dog and there's a wealth of knowledge there.

Five hours isn't that long really. How big is the dog could under a dog flap so it has access to outside?

Failing that get a dog walker.

Under? U get blush iPhone auto correct fail

Floralnomad Sun 10-Feb-13 14:27:12

Why don't you just ask the rescue ? If they say the dog can't be left that long then that would be that . FWIW I'm sure there are lots of dogs who get left for longer and if it was a choice between being in a rescue kennels or asleep in your house for 5 hours I know which I'd choose! I do think going down the rescue route is sensible for you though as a puppy would be a definite problem with being left for that long .

specialsubject Sun 10-Feb-13 14:29:05

five hours is an eternity for anyone who has to listen to the endless barking...

the rescue centre will advise.

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:30:02

Oh I didn't know there was a 'doghouse' section, thank you. It's a lab we're thinking about too. Thanks everyone. smile

everlong Sun 10-Feb-13 14:30:25

5 hours is probably just about ok. If walked before you go out.

Bear in mind a rescue dog might have separation issues though.

But it sounds like you are thinking long and hard about this which is good.

Why is the dog in rescue? Does it have issues?

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:31:28

We don't have any close neighbours special so that's not a problem but obviously it would be for the dog. sad

toboldlygo Sun 10-Feb-13 14:31:47

I do home checks for a breed specific rescue and I would pass a home where a dog would be left for five hours a day provided that you met all other criteria and, most importantly, that you were matched with a suitable dog. Five hours is nothing for some dogs, five minutes too long for others.

A good walk before and after, a nice consistent routine and a stuffed kong while you're out - not a problem for the right dog, honestly. smile

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:34:08

Her owner died everlong, she's totally beautiful.

everlong Sun 10-Feb-13 14:38:08

That's sad. How long has she been in rescue? Have you had labs before?

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:41:29

She's only been there two days so we need to move fast if we're to have her, if we're not too late already. Never had a lab, always had collies before.

musicmadness Sun 10-Feb-13 14:41:52

5 hours could potentially be OK, but talking to the rescue centre would be the best bet. They will know if it is suitable for this dog or not. Some dogs have separation anxiety and can't be left alone for any period of time, others are happy for hours as long as they have water and a nice warm bed!

Doha Sun 10-Feb-13 14:42:29

5 hours acceptable as long as the dog had a good walk beforehand and again immediately afterwards.
I have a dogwalker the days my mutt has to be left longer, this happens infrequently but works well.

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:44:23

boldly your post is really encouraging!

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 10-Feb-13 14:46:24

It would really depend on the dog. Both our dogs (current dog and last dog) have been elderly rescue dogs - they were fine being left for that long. With a puppy though, or a dog who has real issues being left and would bark the whole time, it would be very different...

I agree with previous suggestions of talking to the rescue.

My dog often gets left alone for 5-8 hours at a time, it is no different to when you are in bed really, they aren't getting outside or getting attention then either. You just have to be careful about the type of dog you get, one that needs lots of exercise and attention would probably be too much for you, and would be bored and therefore hard to handle. If you were to have a dog would you expect to stay home 24/7? It isn't practical to live like that, and most dogs will be fine when left for several hours at a time- they get used to how long you go for and won't be bothered, plus you get a lovely welcome when you do go home smile We have a specific coat for walking the dog so that she knows if you put a different one on she won't try to escape as she knows you are going out with out her- but she also knows you will come back later.

Empress77 Sun 10-Feb-13 14:49:27

I think you sound like an excellent owner for a rescue dog - just the fact that youve really considered all of this makes you much better suited to own a dog than so many people who do. As long as the rescue home are happy that the dog wont have seperation anxiety while your not there then you should be fine - dogs are all so different that 5 hours would be unbearable for some dogs and yet be no worry atall for others. The rescue home wouldnt give her to you if they had an concerns about the 5 hours.

My rescue dog has separation issues but routine really helps for him. I work 9-6 sometimes and on those days ill walk him before work, then hell have a walker come in at 10ish, then i come home for lunch and hell be on his own from 1-6 so easily alone for 5 hours & he copes ok and nicely tired from the walks and knows the routine & just snoozes in the afternoon. He has the radio on, a kong and a treat when I leave him, and a dap collar and is a very happy guy. After all in the rescue homes theyd be on their own all night and hes a completely different dog to when I first brought him home-hes soo much happier and relaxed.

Good luck deciding anyways. Adopting a rescue is such an awesome thing. Hope she settles in well if you do get her, I bet your children will love her!x

countrykitten Sun 10-Feb-13 14:50:18

I homecheck for a rescue too and would be a bit worried about 5 hours a day if you were matched with the wrong dog. It could however work really well if she has the right temperament and is exercised twice a day. I second the vote for a stuffed kong too - our Springers love them!

Well done on considering a rescue dog and not doing the 'let's get a puppy' thing as a pup would not cope with a 5 hour absence.

See what the rescue say - good luck!

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 14:51:50

Ok, well you have all really put my mind at rest. We're off to Wood Green in a mo to have a chat with them. grin If anyone is interested, I'll post later and let you know what they say. Thanks all.

ChristmasJubilee Sun 10-Feb-13 14:52:09

Our dog (lab) is fine being left that length of time. We have outdoor space with a kennel so we can leave him out but he probably prefers to be left in his bed! I didn't really want a lab as I have always had spaniels before and would have had another one but dh wanted a lab and i have to say he is a really lovely pet smile

countrykitten Sun 10-Feb-13 14:52:19

KFC - 8 hours is a really long time to leave your dog alone as a frequent thing.

countrykitten Sun 10-Feb-13 14:53:00

Do post back and let us know how you get on!

everlong Sun 10-Feb-13 14:53:41

Good luck!

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