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!

Excitedly awaiting news of dog smile

EuroShagmore Sun 10-Feb-13 14:56:28

Labs won't bark if left (in my experience). They will just glue themselves to the front door like a draught excluder!

Varya Sun 10-Feb-13 15:01:54

Have always had rescue dogs and they adjust to new owners at varying rates but labs in particular are usually good and not too highly strung. We had a dog walker who was ideal and never left the dogs for too long at a time.

Christelle2207 Sun 10-Feb-13 15:42:21

Really does depend on the dog but for many I would have thought ok. We are out 8-6 (albeit not every day) which is a big fat no unless we can get someone else in at lunchtime.

moisturiser Sun 10-Feb-13 16:07:11

KFC I was going to say the same, 8 hours would be awful for most dogs.

I say that as someone who lives next door to a family who leave their collie for 8 hours a day. It barks, it whines. I feel so sorry for it. I'm quite sure they come home each day too thinking it's been fine.

OP fingers crossed they say that particular dog could cope for being left for that long, I'm sure in every other way you could give it a great home.

Well she isn't alone all the time as such- dh is in bed for most of that though as he works nights, so though there is often someone in the house, she isn't getting outside or seeing anyone as the bedroom door is shut. I just count that as alone as there is nobody actually with her iyswim. She definitely isn't barking or dh would wake up and she doesn't destroy the house. Saying that she is very placid and gets v long walks twice a day. Me leaving the house is unavoidable as it's usually for hospital appointments. We live rurally so when she does go out we run the legs off her and she is happy and sleeps for a fair chunk of the day. I know this wouldn't work with many dogs though as we have had others who needed you to be around all the time, and luckily then I wasn't ill so I was around a lot more. I agree with the kong idea, though our dog has managed to chew through an extreme before, but she is a power chewer.

HarrySnotter Sun 10-Feb-13 18:29:29

Well to update. We have reserved her and we are being checked out next week! She is the most beautiful dog ever and I have gone from being unsure to being desperate to have her. I think it was the eyes and now I'm totally in love with her. The rescue centre say that she is used to children and was often left for 7 hours + previously so perhaps it'll be a little easier for her now if we're lucky enough to get her. Very nervous and excited now!

grin good luck!!!!

countrykitten Sun 10-Feb-13 18:44:48

Oh Harry that is such wonderful news! Good luck with the homecheck - she sounds so lovely!

countrykitten Sun 10-Feb-13 18:45:08

KFC - grin at 'power chewer'!

Lovethesea Sun 10-Feb-13 18:51:55

Fantastic news, she sounds a perfect match for you. I think most dogs will be fine with 5 hours if they get tons of attention and love the rest of the time. Your house will be quiet and warm and safe and totally non stressful unlike kennels.

We got a cat as our kids are small and I am trying to increase work hours as they age so don't know what pattern we'll have in a year or two. He's great because he thinks sleeping 17 hours a day is a minimum and has a 2 and 4 year old to entertain him for a number of hours a day, fields behind to hunt and snack in and our kingsize bed for his dreams. Hope we can get a dog one day though, they are fantastic. Enjoy!

everlong Sun 10-Feb-13 18:52:03

Ooh fingers crossed! Exciting.

What colour lab?

ElsieMc Sun 10-Feb-13 18:52:07

We have a lab and she settles well when left. I think that labs in particular adapt well to a routine. For example, ours will sleep a lot in the morning then be raring to go around lunchtime. Everyone remarks that she is a very happy, contented dog.

A rescue dog is different of course as she will have to adapt to changes in routine, but given the breed I have no doubt this will not take too long. Good luck.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 10-Feb-13 18:56:05

Exciting news. our lab goes to doggie daycare 3 days a week as we are out from 8-5.30. The other day I'm at home with him, and the 1 day he is home by himself, he sleeps all day, having been worn out at daycare.

The fact that you have thought all this through shows what a good owner you will be. Good luck smile

countrykitten it was how the vet described her. She has an incredible jaw (staffie) and can get through pretty much anything. We don't buy toys for her anymore as once she hit about 6 months she was able to eat (and I mean literally eat) even the toughest. I've been recommended one of those stag antlers so I'm gonna see if that works, since at least that isn't plastic and she is supposed to ingest it grin She has a penchant for eating blankets too, and ate part of her bed- she now sleeps on the floor under the coffee table as we won't give her anything textile based again. She was t-rexing stringy poos for a week the last time, the daft sod. She won't eat anything else though, just nicks the kids' soft toys and sort of cuddles and licks them. She's a real sweetie smile

TheFunPolice Sun 10-Feb-13 22:33:20

KFC stag antlers are brilliant! Apart from being left in places designed to trip me up.

tropicalfish Sun 10-Feb-13 23:20:05

I dont understand why you would want a dog. Why would anyone want to tie themselves down with the responsibility.
Arent there going to be days where you want to go out for the whole day.
What about a dog's barking. Doesnt that put you off. What about your neighbours enjoyment of their garden, do you think its fair to put a barking and territorially aggressive dog in your garden, doesnt that impact other people.

Illgetmegoat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:27:18

Tropicalfish - are you having an issue with your neighbours and their dogs?
Your response seems frothingly specific.

Good luck OP - she sounds lovely, I hope your checks go well.

tropicalfish - lots of sweeping statements there! Sheesh!

None of my dogs have ever been territorially aggressive of my garden because they are trained - but even if they were as it is my garden (back not front) how on earth would them being territorial over it affect anyone else? To be affected the person in question would have to be IN my garden, without me (dogs trained so wouldn't make a peep if I was there) - and then I'd want the dogs to be territorial as there is no reason for anyone to be in my back garden without my knowledge.

None of my dogs are allowed to bark outside - the slightest noise and they are hoiked in. End of story. Consequently they don't bark in the garden.

In fact the only times they bark are at the doorbell and the window cleaner. Being as both signal someone is on my property then again, I want to know.

As for why anyone would want to tie themselves down with the responsibility of a dog.... Well you could say the same about kids....

It sounds like you are coming at this from a very skewed standpoint, I'm guessing your neighbours have dogs who do all the things you describe. In pretty much every case of dogs causing an issue it's down to the owners not training them or meeting their needs, so to rail about all dogs when you've probably come in contact with useless owners is unfair.

Good luck OP - hope everything works out!

Empress77 Mon 11-Feb-13 10:25:45

Tropical Fish I have the opposite view! - I cant understand how people can not want a dog! They are amazing! My poor dog put up with me being grumpy all day yesterday and yet still loves me soo much. He sees his job in life is to be my protector and yesterday chased off a fox from outside my front door with no fear (despite being very elderly & arthritic and smaller than the fox). Id hate to be without him. smile

countrykitten Mon 11-Feb-13 14:47:23

I cannot imagine our home without dogs. They are the best.

HarrySnotter Mon 11-Feb-13 15:02:48

tropicalfish I'm guessing you don't like dogs? grin

I did mention in a previous post that we have no close neighbours and as for tying us down, this is something we have obviously considered. We holiday in this country anyway so the dog would come with us too and if we were to be out for a day when we can't take her, MIL has already offered to have her on the odd occasion. To me, they are part of your family really.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 11-Feb-13 15:06:32

I work pretty much the same hours as you and our dog is fine. She goes out for quick walk in the morning and still snoozing when I get home (I have a very lazy dog)

tropicalfish Mon 11-Feb-13 21:11:42

Hi all,
yes you are all right, my neighbour has a dog which barks non stop when it is outside. It follows me and hurls itself against the fence when I do gardening or walk through my side gate. It has a nasty bark. It is part beagle and beagles have very loud aggressive barks and also track people the other side of fences.
It is a real problem in our area, everyone around here puts there dog in the garden at 6pm just as the last warm sunshine disappears from the garden so there is almost always a dog barking all of the time and sometimes more than one. Surely even dog lovers can understand what that feels like.
Essentially I am a quiet fish grin

You don't have problem dogs living near you Tropicalfish - you have ignorant, selfish neighbours who haven't bothered to train their dogs!

The vast majority of dogs are emminently trainable, even Beagles who don't have to bark or track people. My dog is a sight hound, a Bedouin hunting breed designed to chase, catch and kill anything that moves. But she doesn't - because I trained her not to.

Beagles are hard work, and it sounds like your neighbours can't be arsed to put the time in.

countrykitten Tue 12-Feb-13 20:25:46

Agreed. It is your stupid and uncaring neighbours who are the problem - don't blame the dogs.

HarrySnotter Sat 23-Feb-13 14:31:51

Quick update.

She's here, she's beautiful and we are all besotted with her. Her name is Dolly and she's so calm and gorgeous and loving. We got her yesterday and I feel as if we've always had her. Came downstairs this mornings and found DH sitting on the floor beside her crate chatting away to her whilst reading the paper and she just lay there snoring. All changes when she sees her lead and she goes loopy! I'm so SO happy to have her and I think we'll make each other very happy! Off for a nice long walk now with my new buddy. smile

grin oh that's lovely I'm so pleased it all went through ok. How wonderful to have her home. Welcome Dolly smile

Megatron Sat 23-Feb-13 15:33:52

Hello Dolly! Sounds like you'll bring a lot to each others lives. smile

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