Is a dog out of the question

(147 Posts)
feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:12:44

My 11 year old has always wanted a dog. It's just me and him and I know he would benefit hugely from us having a dog. But! I work and I don't know if it's fair to leave a dog on it's own most of the day. Ds is back just after 3 and I guess I could employ a dog walker. I would be happy with an older dog and a type that would be ok for periods on their own. I know next to nothing about dogs but I do read a lot on here and have learned such a lot about the responsibility. Any advice from those in the know would be great. Thank you.

tabulahrasa Thu 14-Nov-13 17:23:15

An older dog (not a puppy) and a dog walker should be absolutely not an issue.

Looking for an adult dog, you don't need to worry about what type of dog so much - as a good rescue should be able to match you with the right individual dog.

mistlethrush Thu 14-Nov-13 17:24:18

If you are prepared (and can afford) to have a dog walker everyday, I think that an older dog might be suitable for you - some would be quite content, but you would need to make your situation quite clear to the rescue you approach, and a young dog or a puppy would not be suitable.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 17:28:32

I don't mean to be harsh but no I don't think dogs should be left all day with just one walk.

Why do you want a dog if you are not there much to spend time with it?

Do you want to get up before work (often in the dark) to walk the dog

What will happen when you 11 year old wants to go out and be with friends and does not come home at 3 or goes to College in a few years and is out of the house for longer?

Who will train the dog if you are out all day?

Dogs can live for 16 years so even if you get an older dog you could be looking at the next 10 years - how is this going to fit into you life style when DS is not even at home anymore?

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:30:41

Those responses have made me feel really happy. I have avoided any kind of discussion with my son because he would get too excited. We're visiting friends at the weekend with a dog that my son completely adores. It warms my heart to see how much he loves that dog. I honestly don't know where to start to look or which type of dog to have?

LadyTurmoil Thu 14-Nov-13 17:32:24

Where in the UK are you roughly?

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:32:30

Idir, yours is the kind of response I expected. Are you suggesting only people who don't work should have a dog?

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 17:33:33

Tbh I don't know where you will get a dog if you are out working all day. Not many good rescues would home to a full time worker so I would be very very careful.

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:34:27

Lady I'm in the West Midlands.

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:36:14

It's a big responsibility and I am worried about being out and leaving the dog on it's own although I do know people who work who do have dogs. I really don't want to have one if it's affected negatively by being on it's own.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 17:37:04

Dogs crave and need stimulation and human company. The fact that dogs will tolerate being left all day does not mean that it is the right thing to do.

Dogs want company, exercise, stimulation.

If you are out for hours this can not happen.

Even the greyhounds that everyone is going to suggest you get will need this. They do sleep a lot but still are so much happier if people are around.

WereTricksPotter Thu 14-Nov-13 17:40:17

I think if someone's circumstances change and it's a choice between having to rehome their dog or do the early walk/dog walker/longer periods on its own then that's something an owner has to weigh up.

Getting a dog when you know you will be out at work all day is completely different and not advisable imo.

Lots of 11 yr olds want a dog, but it doesn't mean they are ready to make the decision to have one, or that their parents should get one if there is no one in the house all day.

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:41:57

Idir, how about a rescue dog that's been used to being on it's own in the day. I appreciate it will involve lots if love and attention. I understand the commitment and I've lurked long enough to understand that they need to be part of the fily. Yes, ds will grow up and move away but I'll still be around smile

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 17:43:25

Ok, more people saying don't get one if you work. I think I'll take your advice and won't get one.

mistlethrush Thu 14-Nov-13 17:55:05

But if you get a dog that is not in its infancy and which otherwise would be remaining in kennels, without a 'home', it could work out well. I'm not remotely suggesting that 'any' dog would be suitable, but I bet there's one out there that would be ideal for your circumstances.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 17:56:12

Not many good rescues will rehome to someone who works all day so I doubt you will find a dog waiting to be homed to spend most of the day alone.

I only said about DS moving away as you said he would be home by 3 so I guessed the dog would be left for longer if you were on you own.

I do feel for you. I could not live without dogs but in doing so have made major life changes to ensure that I can.

Don't dismiss contact with dogs though - look at local rescues who would love your son to walk the dogs regularly and spend time with them.

everlong Thu 14-Nov-13 18:12:20

A think a dog walker and ds coming home at 3 should be fine for an older dog that is happy to be left.

Many people work full time and have a dog walker and it seems to suit.

I wouldn't recommend a puppy or a dog that's used to company all day but I think what you're suggesting sounds ok.

A dog is such a wonderful addition to the house!

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 18:15:30

I might go along to a rescue centre and have a chat with someone and see what they say. Unfortunately I have a mortgage to pay and I'm on my own so not working isn't an option for me smile

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 18:19:02

Sorry, but a choice between being left in a rescue all week or a loving home where five days a week he is left from 9-3 with a nice walk in the middle? In what lunatic world do people prefer to see a dog left without a family or be killed just because someone works?

Get up half an journey earlier. Take dog for walk. Leave dog snoozing. Book dog walker from noon to 1pm. Then your son is back.

When I got my staffy there were so, so, so many lovely little dogs aged five or so who had been dumped. They trotted up to the doors of their cage, tails wagging. I bet each and every one would have been so happy to go home with you.

I think you sound fine to have a dog. Of course not a puppy or dog who needs training, but older dog, no problems.

I think some dog rescue centres have to wake up a bit to the realities of the world we live in. We can't all live on a farm amd stay at home all day making cup cakes.

feelinlucky Thu 14-Nov-13 18:26:32

Spero, thanks. I guess that was part of my thinking. That we could offer a nice home to an older dog. I'm pretty sure there are local dog walkers and we have lots of love to give to an older dog that may be in a rescue centre. I'll give the local centre a ring tomorrow and have a chat with them to see what they think.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:07:40

"not a dog that needs training" there is no such dog confused

Never made a cup cake in my life to busy out and about with my dogs! smile

Half the dogs in rescue are there because people are out at work no longer have the time or inclination to look after the dogs or refuse to pay the dog walker........many dogs will then have behavioural issues through boredom, frustration and the owners are not there to be able to sort this out, dogs are then put into rescue being named as problem dogs.

If you work full time it is never the ideal situation to have a dog - get a cat or a house rabbit.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:10:08

I think some dog rescue centres have to wake up a bit to the realities of the world we live in. We can't all live on a farm amd stay at home all day making cup cakes. this is such an insulting comment especially if you are not involved in rescue.

The very reason that rescues do not rehome to full time workers is that it is not in the welfare of the dogs - not that the do not know the realities of the world they live in.

Believe me anyone involved in rescue is very very very aware of the realities of this world and how dogs are abused daily by ignorant people who do not understand the basic requirements of the dogs

See, I am in two minds here smile

I recently changed my working hours, albeit I work two days a week, through choice.

So, on my working days, DH gets up with Ddog at 6am and they spend half an hour in the garden training. I then take Ddog out for an hour at 8am, we meet friends with dogs and they have a romp. I leave for work at 9.15 ish, and now get back about 2/3pm. Ddog is over the moon to see me, but there is no sign of behaviour that would indicate distress.

I don't even put the kettle on, I just grab the lead and off we go for an hour to 90 minutes over the fields, I usually visit Dpony, so dog gets to romp further with the farm dogs and eat poo smile

He's then with us for the rest of the day and evening. On my days off, I can pop out for a couple of hours, but generally no more. DH takes him to dog training on Saturday mornings and he passed his KC Gold last week at one year old and I am very proud of this tbh! I suspect however that, should I work more days than two, because he has this routine, he wouldn't actually suffer.

Everybody I know without exception, laughs at how much we 'give' our dog. Most of the dogs I know get left most days and are happy, well behaved and well adjusted.

So, no I don't see how giving an older dog (it MUST be the right dog) a secure home, would be preferable to kennels?

If you turn it round, would any of you suggest I rehome our dog, where I feel he is loved, trained and secure, as he is left for 5/6 hours two days a week? I honestly don't think so, even though it's not ideal?

As I said, it must be the 'right' dog though.

Good luck OP, I have had a bit of a time adjusting to having a dog, but wouldn't be without him now.

Spero Thu 14-Nov-13 19:12:47

When I got my rescue staffy there were a large number of dogs aged between 3-5. I assume they had all been toilet trained by then and knew to come to their names. They had not been dumped due to behavioural issues but due to relationship breakdowns - or at last that is what the rescue said.

There are many dogs who are happy to be left for 3-4 hours.

I am afraid I find a lot of dog rescue places absurdly precious.

You need to find the right dog. I accept some would find it hard.

But to put a blanket ban on people who work having a dog, when they are prepared to pay for a dog walker, is nonsense.

idirdog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:19:13

No one is saying there is anything wrong in leaving a dog for 3-4 hours

Working full time is 40 hours a week 5 days a week - that is not fair on the dog.

Well I am glad that you know the answer to the rescue situation from when you got your rescue dog - I am sure that qualifies you above those that have been involved in rescue 24/7 for decades. You will probably be inundated with rescues asking for your advice - (not!)

There is no doubt that some dogs will tolerate being left alone for many hours but that still does not make it the right situation for the dog to be in.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now