To think leaving a dog on its own for 9 hours a day plus is mean?

(71 Posts)
Beavie Tue 22-Oct-13 22:19:04

Please settle this argument. Dp and I have been together 2 years and when we met I already had my dog, who is 9 now. I got him when I was pg with dd1 and since then have pretty much always worked from home, so my dog has rarely been left on his own for any more than a few hours. I recently started college 2 days a week and I get up half an hour earlier so that I can drive the dog over to my mum's house, otherwise he would be shut in for 8 hours.

Dp won't stop going on about getting another dog. He used to breed pedigree dogs and really misses having his own dog, which is fair enough. But the problem, as far as I see it, is that I will be going to uni next year so will not be around so much, then after uni I will be working ft, if all goes to plan. So we will both be working ft and I think it's not right to get a dog knowing that for its whole life it's going to be left at home on its own for at least 9 hours a day. My dog will be 13 by then so will be cracking on. My mum doesn't mind having him but she would point blank refuse to look after another dog, especially as she has two of her own.

Dp's view is that there is nothing wrong with leaving a dog that long for 5 days a week, as lots of people do it. I know that's true but it just doesn't sit comfortably with me. I know I would be the one tearing myself up feeling guilty about the dog being on its own. Opinions?

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 11:21:18

ginger no, I haven't contradicted myself at all. I have to put up with howling and barking. Me. That doesn't apply to everyone now does it? My Mum's neighbour has 2 Westies, they leave at 6am and return at just gone 4pm. Not a peep is heard from either animal all day. Their dogs are fine.

My neighbours dog isn't fine. My neighbours dog isn't all dogs though is it and to suggest otherwise is putting words into my mouth.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 11:19:01

Let me clarify here that I don't agree with leaving a dog for that length of time.

What I don't agree with though is calling out the RSPCA to an otherwise well looked after and healthy animal just because it has been left alone. The time taken by those officers to go out and investigate would be better served dealing with those who use dogs for fighting, those who chain up dogs in yards with no food, water or shelter, those who leave their animals suffering because they can't be bothered to take them to a vet. Those are the cases I want the RSPCA to focus on.

My neighbour took on a Jack Russell 3 years ago, a rescue of types as his old owners couldn't keep him and from all accounts treated him poorly. My neighbour is 60, lives alone and works various shifts, fortunately the latest being 10pm. From the minute the dog came into her home he barked as soon as she left him. Constantly. For 3 years she has been trying to find a solution to this but his anxiety is such that the moment she walks out of the door he barks constantly until she gets home.
Yes, its unfair on the dog. I can apportion a lot of his stress to his mistreatment with his old owners, he needs company and reassurance that she can't give him. The situation is the same whether she leaves him for half an hour or for her 2 - 10 shift.

I wouldn't dream of reporting her to the RSPCA because despite this he's a well fed, walked and spoiled little dog whom she dotes on. She's hoping to retire next year in which case the situation will resolve itself. She shouldn't have taken him on, but under the circumstances I don't blame her for doing so.

Gingersstuff Wed 23-Oct-13 11:12:31

Juice you've just contradicted yourself. Saying initially that "plenty of people do and their dogs are fine" and then in the next breath that you have to put up with a dog howling and barking because it's left for 8 hours a day. So clearly, it's not fine at all.
And I think you're putting words into Shakes mouth there. It IS cruel to leave a dog for that length of time on its own, they are social animals who need human company, because we've made them like that.

MissScatterbrain Wed 23-Oct-13 11:08:50

Ask him if he is able to keep his legs crossed for 9 hours each day hmm

Its cruel to expect them not to need to wee (or poo) or stimulation.

Boredom and separation anxiety will also mean there won't be much of a house left.

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 11:08:28

When I got home, forgot to add to the last post. Shouldn't try to post and talk on the phone at the same time.

specialsubject Wed 23-Oct-13 11:06:18

don't complain if you do this and get either the RSPCA around or find the dog dead from a poisoned steak through the letterbox because someone nearby couldn't stand the endless barking.

the destruction of the house is your problem.

in short - no.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 11:06:14

ginger I'm one of those neighbours who puts up with howling and barking actually because the owner works 2 - 10pm but I digress.

I didn't say it was trivial for the animal, I said it was trivial for the RSPCA. They have a lot better things to do than chase round after dogs left for longer than their 4.5 hour guideline.
My comment was aimed at shakerattlenroll who seemed to think that leaving a dog longer than the prescribed 4.5 hour guideline warranted having words and more That more would indicate the removal of the dog and/or prosecution of the owners.

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 11:05:45

Lol at tamagotchi mostlylovinglurchers! Maybe something for him for Christmas.

I agree about lurchers, I used to have one (daftest thing you ever met), and if I ever had to leave him, he would be beside himself when excitement. Absolute rapture, spinning around in circles etc. he definitely missed me!

ErrolTheDragon Wed 23-Oct-13 11:04:25

No, the point is that while the RSPCA couldn't intervene, its totally irresponsible not to heed their advice in the first place and deliberately choose to leave a dog alone for this long. The Dogs' Trust recommends leaving for no more than 4 hours.

Can't remember whether you said whether he was contemplating getting an adult dog or a pup... if the former, a reputable rescue would be unlikely to rehome to someone out this long, and the latter is obviously an even more ridiculous idea (how did he manage when he was breeding dogs? )

LEMisdisappointed Wed 23-Oct-13 11:03:22

not good - but you can always hre a dog walker, sorted

Gingersstuff Wed 23-Oct-13 11:01:50

Juice it's not trivial to the dog though is it? Or maybe the neighbours who have to put up with the howling and barking?? And how can you possibly say a dog in that situation is fine? You don't know that do you?
And I don't anyone is recommending that any dog in that unfortunate situation be hauled out and thrown into a shelter. But the OP is asking if it's ok for a future dog to be treated like this and clearly it's not.
I'm also hmm at the husband wanting "something of his own". FFS a dog is not a toy. Get the whining brat him a bloody iPad or a tamagochi.

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:57:00

*loudly not loading!

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:55:55

It's true that the RSPCA wouldn't actually do anything. I used to live next door to a woman with mental health problems, who played Bonnie Tyler's total eclipse of the heart every morning really loading from 5am onwards. But I digress, that wasn't the problem. She had a collie dog who lived in her tiny garden, which was just a strip of mud. She never ever took it for a walk, I lived there for 9 months and I saw her waddling down the road with him once, and that was on Christmas Day. The rest of the time he was shut outside, day and night, and used to howl and whine a lot. I called the RSPCA and they came over and said whilst it wasn't ideal there was nothing they could do because the dog had shelter (a wooden box with a manky blanket in it), and water, so his basic needs were met. I then spent the next x number of months getting abuse over the garden fence for calling the RSPCA on her.

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 23-Oct-13 10:50:53

I still have guilt from having to do this with an old gh boy I had. My work changed from where I could have him with me all day to being office based. He got a good run in the morning and in the evening, and I used to go home for him at lunch times, but it was so lonely for him. He's been gone over ten years and I still feel terrible about it. My rather extreme solution to the problem in the end was to have a nervous breakdown so I couldn't work any more! One of the only good things to come out of that was I got to be at home with my boy in his last years.

These days the hounds are never left for more than a couple of hours. If we need to be away longer they go to my friend. This is with greyhounds and lurchers who are the laziest dogs in the world - you have to peel them off the sofa, but they still need company and some mental stimulation. I hope your dp realises what a selfish arse he's being - maybe he should just get a tamagotchi.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 10:41:52

ShakeRattleNRoll
^ If the RSPCA knew about this they would be having words and possibly more for being cruel to an animal.They reccomend you should not leave a dog longer than 4.5 hours^

They really wouldn't. Warm, well fed animal in a home environment. Not ideal I agree but the RSPCA wouldn't be 'having words' at all, they wouldn't be interested and thankfully so. They have bigger things on their plate than a dog left all day whilst its owners work and tbh I despair of people who waste their valuable time on such trivialities.

They key word is ^ recommend^ . Leaving a dog for 9 hours isn't brilliant, I wouldn't do it myself but plenty of people do and their dogs are perfectly fine.
What would you suggest shake? That the dog who's left for 9 hours but loved, fed, watered and walked when it's owner comes home be taken from that home and thrown into a shelter where it will stay for god knows how long until someone comes along who doesn't have to leave it for longer than 4.5 hours?

Callani Wed 23-Oct-13 10:41:08

No YANBU, in fact knowing that it's mean is the one thing that is stopping me from getting a dog and every time I get the puppy pangs I have to remind myself of this very forcefully!

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:41:07

I haven't told him about this thread yet. I wanted to muster a few more replies first, but I will show it to him later right after I have frog marched him to the doctor about his incessant bloody snoring.

Yes he said it's not fair that he doesn't have anything of his own, so he very much sees it as being his dog.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 23-Oct-13 10:38:24

So angry with your DH I may have steam coming out of my ears!

You know what, if mine insisted on doing something so fuckwitted, despite every word of advice from me and from every expert out there, I really would LTB!

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:36:24

I guess so echt! But he's not getting a dog, so it's irrelevant smile

ErrolTheDragon Wed 23-Oct-13 10:33:59

>no no, he is very clear that it would be HIS dog.

So...he's viewing it as his possession, not as in any way a member of your family? hmm

If he's not convinced by the almost unanimous agreement with you on this thread, how about he posts his own in Doghouse?

echt Wed 23-Oct-13 10:31:39

Second what ginger said about walls and digging. We patrol our fences regularly for signs of digging.

Our pooch is pitifully respectful of fences of the leaping variety, shying away from even foot-high wire flowerbed edges, but they can always surprise you.

OP, so your DP would do all the walks, feeding, etc.? I'm taking for granted this would be twice-daily.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 23-Oct-13 10:30:41

I feel guilty leaving ours for 6 hours when I work on a Tuesday.... and hubby goes home at lunch mid way through to let him out to pee..

Dog has such big eyes and wants to sit on my lap when I get home...

Gingersstuff Wed 23-Oct-13 10:24:35

See, I don't get that it's ok to go out for the day and leave your dog "access to the garden". I subscribe to a rescue service and the amount of folks that lose their dogs from their back gardens is ridiculous. Not just thieves you have to worry about, but someone opening the gate either deliberately or by accident, the dog coming across a wee hole in the fence and going off for a jolly across a busy road, or digging under the fence, or jumping a 6-foot wall (which we were horrified to discover our lab could easily do, after we'd had her almost 3 years)...the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the dog being outside all day and howling its head off and pissing off the neighbours because what he/she wants is HUMAN COMPANY, not to be left alone for hours and hours on end without knowing when the human is coming back sad
Our dogs have access to a third of an acre walled garden which has been gone over inch by inch for possible breaches, because we've had some of the above happen but luckily when we were at home, because I would never leave my dogs outside even if I'm only popping to the shops. They're only ever left outside to play when someone is at home.

Beavie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:23:32

Echt - no no, he is very clear that it would be HIS dog.

LeGavrOrf Wed 23-Oct-13 10:22:41

I wouldn't leave a dog on its own all day. It is horrible cruel. I would love a dog but because we work FT it's simply not possible.

Could you quote what the RSPCA and dog rescue centres say - in that they will not rehoming a dog to people who are out all day? Mind you he sound a bit of a know it all so that possibly won't make a difference anyway.

People who leave their dogs and say they are happy to be left have no idea what their dogs are up to all day. They could be barking endlessly, or simply whining with unhappiness (which is what my MIL's neighbours dog did all day, whined and whimpered).

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