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To rehome this dog?

(29 Posts)
lesbican Mon 24-Mar-14 14:10:13

Hi all, don't jump on me if you disagree, it is simply a question and I have not decided on anything as yet! Hence the reason I am asking for advice.

A friend of mine takes her dogs racing and has met a guy there (not romatically), upon visiting his house he took her to show her his female Lurcher.

She is kept outside, has not been speyed and isn't being treated very great. She seems very underweight.

My friend removed the dog from his house immediately and he did not put up a fight, explaining he didn't want to breed her anyway (!)

She knows I love dogs but I am unable to have one as I work 9-5.

However, surely being alone in my warm dry house is better than being kept alone outside in this weather, underfed etc?

Of course she would have huge walks morning and night and join me on my weekend hikes and camping.

But also I know I would feel guilty leaving her, guess I'm looking at it like rescuing her and giving her lots of love.

Not to mention what with her having living outside she probably isn't house trained.

What do we think?

formerbabe Mon 24-Mar-14 14:13:37

Do you have kids op?

MuttonCadet Mon 24-Mar-14 14:15:43

At the very minimum you'd need someone to come in every day to interact and let her out to relieve herself.

We've got a dog walker who's brilliant. So if you're okay to pay £10 a day / £200 a month then I think you'd be fine.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Mar-14 14:15:54

Do you have any idea how old she is?

She probably hasn't been trained, so your house could be chewed to ribbons as soon as you turn your back, plus the obvious stuff like toilet training.

I'd be worried about a lurcher who had no recall disappearing after rabbits etc.

The leaving alone thing wouldn't be my biggest issue - there are ways around that, ie "Dog Daycare" or a regular walker in the middle of the day. It's everything else that goes with it - and if she's had multiple pregnancies she is more prone to illness later down the line.

I would suggest talking to a breed specific rescue first and asking them to assess her for you.

DoJo Mon 24-Mar-14 14:16:45

I would direct your friend to one of the specialise lurcher rehoming charities - whilst your house might be ideal as an interim home it sounds as though it might not be a great long-term solution as to what to do with this dog. If you are unable to care for a dog then you are unable to care for one, even if it is one which needs a lot of love. It isn't a question of your house or the other guy's house - there is a perfect home out there for this dog somewhere.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 24-Mar-14 14:16:48

She might be better off being taken to a rehoming kennels where she can be homed with someone who's around more. Being out the house five days a week is quite a lot. You'd certainly have to get a dog walker in, which would add up. I feel guilty leaving my dog 2/3 days a week.

mistlethrush Mon 24-Mar-14 14:17:41

I got my lurcher from a lurcher rescue 18 months ago - she was 2+ and had never been inside a house before. It took 2 - 3 months before she was (relatively) safe - despite there being someone at home all the time.

Lurchers often suffer from separation anxiety too - you can do things to help them not to develop it, but it takes work, and not all would be able to be left for 2 hrs, let alone all day. However, some lurchers don't suffer from it.

The one thing that would be easier than you are imagining is the amount of walking necessary. Many (not all - depends on their breeding) lurchers will 'make do' with not that much exercise - less than you might expect. Ours gets a good hour or so in the middle of the day and short walks before and/or after work (unless its raining - she doesn't really enjoy going for a walk in the rain). She will happily walk all day long and won't give up if she has the chance - but a long snooze on the sofa is still quite an attractive proposition to her.

My concern would be the length you were leaving her (in terms of potential distruction and separation anxiety as well as well being) and the problems you would find in housetraining with being out all that time.

Lurcher Link have a section ('other hounds') where a new home could potentially be sought for her if she's safe in the meantime.

Hubblez Mon 24-Mar-14 14:17:48

If she is kept outside and seems neglected then I'm sure she will prefer being in your house while you work and have attention when you're home, as opposed to being alone outside all the time anyway. I expect she will be used to be alone so leaving her while you work shouldn't be an issue, though there will be lots of training needed! Good on you for trying to help her, poor girl sad

diddl Mon 24-Mar-14 14:18:30


Would she really have a huge walk before you leave for work?

And again after you've been at work all day?

I think it's too long to leave alone for.

Don't dogs need three walks a day anyway?

Not big walks, but chances wee/toilet at least?

LackingEnergy Mon 24-Mar-14 14:18:31

Do you have any other pets that a potentially under socialised lurcher could consider as prey?

Do you have the time to invest in training her and socialising her?

Do you have the finances to spay, insure her, check her vacs are up to date, flea and worm her?

With leaving her alone - do you have a safe space for her like a crate? To minimise any destructive behaviour and could you get someone to let her out/ interact with her during the day?

I'd consider giving her a home :-)

firstbaby01 Mon 24-Mar-14 14:19:24

I don't think yabu. I would do the same in your situation. Could you try it and see how she get on? If she does get stressed being on her own then you could find her a more suitable home, but if she is used to being outside on her own all the time then surely she will be much better off with you? Is there anyone who could go and let her out for a wee at lunch time?

AlpacaLypse Mon 24-Mar-14 14:21:27

Is she staying with your friend right now?

diddl Mon 24-Mar-14 14:28:55

"but if she is used to being outside on her own all the time then surely she will be much better off with you?"

I agree-but, she might be even better off with someone who wouldn't have to leave her for so long.

NoodleOodle Mon 24-Mar-14 14:29:21

People do manage to raise healthy sociable dogs and work full-time, it does take extra preparation and money, which you're obviously being conscientious about in your considerations. Look into the availability of a reliable dog walker, and whether you could afford it.

As a teen, my best friend had a dog walking job, would pick up the dog from inside the house at ten past three, then walk for an hour and leave it securely in or outside of the house depending on the weather.

Do you have any flexibility in your work hours, could you start later so that a three o'clock walker would be suitable? Or, get a dog walker that could come earlier, to break up the day more evenly, minimise the amount of time it's left alone?

lesbican Mon 24-Mar-14 14:30:38

She is with my friend at the moment who already has 2 dogs and a young DS.

I do not have any children, I live alone, apart from my partner staying over at weekends.

Unfortunately I do not know anyone who could walk her in the day as all my friends work full time.

A dog walker is an option but don't know how I would feel about a stranger coming into my house during the day!

It's such a difficult decision.

diddl Mon 24-Mar-14 14:32:54

Doggy day care?

Another thought is back up for if you are ill.

Scuttlebutter Mon 24-Mar-14 14:33:37

Please get in touch urgently with a specialist lurcher rescue such as Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue, Lurcher Link or Hounds First Sighthound Rescue. They have experienced volunteers who will be able to advise and assist you, whether you decide to keep the dog yourself or help it to be rehomed via one of these specialist rescues.

If you do the latter (which would be a responsible, caring thing to do) you can be assured this beautiful lurcher girl will get excellent vet care, will be spayed before rehoming, chipped, vaxed and given lifelong backup along with expert advice and support by people who know about and are passionate about lurchers. If she is adopted, it will be to a home where a careful, thorough homecheck is completed first and a lot of care is taken to match the right dog to the right home.

Most of these rescues predominantly use foster carers rather than kennels so she will be in a home environment, where she can be carefully assessed and begin training to be a pet (things like housetraining, recall etc.)

NoodleOodle Mon 24-Mar-14 14:38:46

An interior lock is cheap and easy to install. Depending ont he size and layout of your home, you oculd leave the dog in the kitchen in the mornings, give the dog walker a back door key, where they'd only have access to the kitchen if you installed a lock on the door from kitchen to rest of house.

The friend who dog walked when I was a teenager was VERY trustworthy and conscientious. I would wait at the end of the drive while he went to get the dog, although he had access to everything in their house, he loved the dog, loved his job, and would never even dream of doing anything other than what he was supposed to. You would of course interview the candidate before a trial at the job, and you'll likely find that any person wanting to be a dog walker is a complete dog lover, and only interested in the dog's well being, not your things. Plus, an interior lock would maintain your security even if they ever made a mistake and didn't lock up properly one day. You would have to be comfortable with them though, check references well etc.

oddsocksmostly Mon 24-Mar-14 14:59:15

Try googling Dog Walker and your town. There are probably a few local to you who would be happy for you to contact their other clients for references.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 24-Mar-14 15:02:10

I have a lurcher who came from a rescue centre (a generic dog and cat home, not a breed-specific one). When we adopted him they asked a lot of questions about how we would care for him and if we had been out of the house 9-5 or longer then we wouldn't have been allowed to take him away. As it was, at the time DH could take him to work, which he loved.

About a year later, DH was made bankrupt and had to take the first job he could find, which was 9-5 and meant being out of the house from 8.15 to 5.45. Dog, who had settled in with us and seemed v happy, began to display separation anxiety and howled like crazy from roughly lunchtime until we got home. We lived in a flat...irate wasn't a good time! Our dog rarely messed on the floor, so it wasn't that he physically couldn't hold it, it was purely that he was lonely. In the end we got a dogwalker to come in at lunchtime and this solved the problem.

That dogwalker claimed he walked dog for 40 mins and charged £9 per walk. I was home ill one day and he came in, didn't realise I was there, took dog and came back 20 mins later! Our current dogwalker charges slightly more (£10 per day) but she picks dog up and goes off with him for between 2 and 5 hours - going round picking up other dogs, walking them all for a minimum of an hour and usually longer, dropping them all off again, sometimes takes a few back to her own house for lunch...basically, for our dog, it's not the exercise he's missing, it's the company, so driving in the van is great for him. And he gets really good exercise and lots of socialising with other dogs.

So with your working hours, OP, I would be prepared to pay for a dogwalker before I could take on a rescue dog. That's leaving aside issues of house-training etc! I know some dogs who manage perfectly well with being walked before and after a 9-5 job (my dog when we were little did this), but not all dogs will cope with this and you won't know until your new dog is fairly settled which type they are.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 24-Mar-14 15:09:36

In terms of home security - all I can say is that we've now had 3 dogwalkers (had the third as dog had an accident that meant he couldn't go for long walks, so while he was recovering he went for shorter walks with a walker recommended by our current one. Luckily he made a good recovery and is now back with the long walks) and had no issues with theft or anything like that.

And btw, the dog's accident was in our own garden and not when the dogwalker was in charge!

AlpacaLypse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:31:09

I run a dogwalking agency, we are all insured and police checked etc etc.

Lunch time one hour walk five days a week would be £45.

A lot of professional dogwalkers are registered with NARPS (National Association of Registered Petsitters), although there are some perfectly good ones who aren't. But they should as a minimum have third party public liability insurance and you should ask to see the certificate.

Having said, I think poor lurcher would be happier in a rescue foster with a human around most of the time, certainly until she's settled.

You really need something like maternity leave to settle a new dog or puppy into a new home!

Pawprint Mon 24-Mar-14 16:36:32

Hi Lesbican - I work as a dog walker. I charge about £7 an hour, which is quite reasonable.

I do think you would need to have someone pop in and walk her or, at the very least, let her out to go to the toilet during the day. If dogs are left alone too long, they tend to get behavioural problems such as being destructive of furniture or barking excessively.

If you are giving her big walks morning and night, then a quick walk at lunchtime should be fine. Lurchers and greyhounds actually don't need a lot of walking - 20 minutes three times a day is absolutely fine. They are real couch potatoes!

The house training may be an issue - in general, adult dogs are perfectly trainable if you do it properly and are consistent. The problem is that, if a dog has been kept in kennels for a long time, they may never be completely house trainable and may have the odd accident.

Pawprint Mon 24-Mar-14 16:37:25

Oh and, if you do get a dog walker, make sure they have proof of being fully insured and police checked. It is definitely best to get one recommended by someone you know.

Ohbyethen Mon 24-Mar-14 17:18:52

I do actually think Yabu, sorry.

Although that is with experience of a dog from a similar situation and no further info of how this lurcher is coping with your friend. I think her best interests would be served by a dedicated rescue placing her with a foster carer and finding her an appropriate home. She deserves it after the awful start she's had.

I also am wary of thinking a dog walker makes things tenable. Initially she will need intensive health care, trained into becoming a house dog, how to walk on a harness, she is likely to have food issues, issues due to neglect with people or other dogs, unknown fears or phobias. What were her coping strategies? Stress reactions? Is she a chewer, vocal, digger, does she self mutilate, jump, chase, pace, repetitive behaviours or completely shut down? She'll need an assessment and a lot of gentle work initially. I'm not saying she will have everything, or even anything (forgiving little things that they are) wrong but regardless she will need time and energy and you won't have a full picture until she has settled in and these things come out of the woodwork. She'll also go from having company at all times to being alone again. Lots of big and little things that need time and attention.
I would let my head rule my heart on this one so she gets health care, behavioural foundations laid and an appropriate home for her needs.
But it's a lovely thing that she is safe, well fed and warm now.
However if you decide to go ahead then budget for some one on one behaviour help (not straight into a training class) to get the best picture you can and what will be best for her.
She's a lucky girl regardless to have been rescued - is your friend reporting her acquaintance? I'd take photos asap if not done at the time if she is.

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