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To wonder how hard dog ownership is?

(55 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Sun 21-Dec-14 22:55:04

I love dogs but I don't know if I would be a good dog owner. Sticking points would be:
I work all day. Surely it's not fair to leave a dog at home?
I like going on holiday. Kennels are expensive.
Most shops don't allow dogs.
Vets are expensive.
Dog training seems tough.

Plus points are:
Having a dog encourages exercise/ walking.
Companionship for only child dd and myself.

I like spaniels and red setters but I know spaniels are very hectic.

championnibbler Sun 21-Dec-14 23:00:11

Yes - spaniels need a lot of walking (at least 2 hours daily) and would go forever. i know a few people with spaniels and to be honest, this breed of dog is not suitable for city life. they are better off on a farm where they can tear around fields after birds and wear themselves out. they need a lot of attention. they do not do well left on their own.
a pug might be a better breed as they are lap dogs - happy with small walks and lolling around on sofas.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:00:14

Your negatives outweigh your positives. Don't get a dog.

bakingtins Sun 21-Dec-14 23:01:56

It's not fair to leave a dog alone all day every day.
Vets, kennels, dog daycare are all expensive.
I don't understand the relevance of the shops thing - don't take the dog shopping confused
Basic dog training is easy, you need a book or a YouTube video or a few lessons, some treats, and lots of time.

Why not look into walking dogs for the local rescue, or sites like 'borrow my doggy' which link you up with someone struggling to exercise their dog. You could have the exercise/companionship at times when you and DD are free without the commitment and expense of having a dog 24/7.

GloriousGloria Sun 21-Dec-14 23:03:21

Don't get a dog.

One of my neighbours once mentioned she fancied a dog after getting to know my three. I asked her if she wanted another child?
Yes it takes that much commitment. You HAVE to holiday in this country, you can't leave them all day everyday it is unfair, you must insure them but they have more jabs than your children will.

If you can commit to the basics you'll make a good owner otherwise don't get a dog.

LividofLondon Sun 21-Dec-14 23:08:59

Going through your points:
Don't get a dog.
It's not fair to leave the dog all day while you're at work. Either don't get a dog or hire a dog sitter to spend a few hours a day with it.

Kennels are expensive and not all dogs take well to them. Some get really stressed.

You're right, you can't take a dog shopping with you.

Vets are expensive and so is insurance.

Dog training is a skill. Before you can train a dog well you have to learn how to train (training classes are for teaching owners how to teach their dogs). It takes dedication to raise a well adjusted and well behaved dog. Think of it as not dissimilar to the work you need to put in to raising a child (you get out what you put in).

You're right, a dog does encourage exercise, but so does joining a walking group.

There are more suitable pets for your lifestyle if you want a companion.

Spaniels are lovely but bonkers! Only get one of you have endless amounts of energy.
Don't get a dog.

DeckTheHoopsWithBoughsOfHolly Sun 21-Dec-14 23:09:25

It does sound like you shouldn't get a dog just yet.

But... You absolutely do not HAVE to holiday in this country. We have taken our dog to France and Belgium without any problems. We have also left him in kennels and he was fine with it.

I would not leave him home alone for more than around 3-4 hours though.

Monkeymarbles Sun 21-Dec-14 23:11:41

I have a greyhound. They are lazy little critters who need 10-20 minute walk before work and 20-30 minutes in the evening. She's used to being in a racing kennels so is happy snoozing all day whilst I work full time. Because she's used to kennels she's happy to go into kennels when I go away, tho it is expensive.
I got her as a retired racer so she was pretty well trained and within a few days of bringing her home she was settled right in.
Greyhounds are awesome pets and there are thousands that need rehoming

Scuttlebutter Sun 21-Dec-14 23:12:36

Having a dog in your life doesn't have to be a binary owner/non-owner thing. If you love dogs, there are a myriad of ways of having them in your life. Volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust, and you'll also be helping a person too. Talk to a couple of your local rescues - they can always use volunteer help, whether walking dogs, helping at events, transport, homechecking etc.
Friends with dogs are always glad of a dogsitter when they need a weekend away. To be honest, if you love dogs, you'll find ways of them being in your life without actually being able to own one.

And dog training is actually really good fun. You and your dog will be increasing the bond between you, strengthening communication and enjoying working together. For me, it's one of the best parts of every week.

Good luck. fsmile

ghostyslovesheep Sun 21-Dec-14 23:15:22

get a cat

you can't leave a dog alone all day

ProcrastinaRemNunc Sun 21-Dec-14 23:15:57

I have a friend who runs a rescue. He was of the opinion that for a rescue dog, a stable, loving home was more important that company 24/7 and preferable to sitting in a shelter.

I know my own dogs would be absolutely fine without company throughout the day. They have each other and entertain themselves, however it would not be a fair or appropriate living situation for a new dog or pup or maybe a single dog, long term.

Neither a spaniel (which type?) or a setter would suit your lifestyle. Both are working breeds, who need to be kept relatively busy and well exercised throughout the day.

YANBU to wonder but you would be BU to get a dog, at present.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 21-Dec-14 23:16:19

Dogs can be left all day - the world is full of dog owners who work. But one dog would probably be lonely so you should get two so they can keep each other company.

And of course you can holiday out of the country, but you'll need to spend a fortune on boarding/sitters/kennels. Which charge double rates over Christmas.

Spontaneous weekends away with friends or family are impossible.

And yes, you get lots of exercise with walks, get to meet other dog walkers and get to know the woods and fields near your home. But even on the coldest, wettest and darkest days you will still need to be out for an hour or two.

Not to mention the costs of insurance, vets bills and food.

Our old girl probably has a year left in her, and her brother passed away earlier this year. As much joy as they have brought to our lives, we won't be replacing them. We just don't want the responsibility, the costs and the restrictions on going away any more.

Reenskar Sun 21-Dec-14 23:18:21

Don't get a dog. It is a huge commitment and unfair on the dog to be left at home all day. Spaniels especially need a lot of stimulation. Kennels aren't always the best option for dogs either. When looking for our dog I was heartbroken to see the amount of adverts for people rehoming their dogs because they couldn't give the time time and attention they needed. Kindest not to get them in the first place.

If you can make it work, I would recommend bare minimum of two good walks a day and someone to come and interact with them in the day if you are out.

spamanderson Sun 21-Dec-14 23:18:26

Dogs are wonderful but blooming tough. We weren't having any more DCs so I managed to convince DH to let us get a labrador puppy, then another a year later. My dogs aren't my pets, they're my boys, like my surrogate children but I tell you what, they're possibly more difficult than children although they don't answer back! you've got the annual boosters, insurance payments or vets fees, they need to be left for 4 hours max, all day every day isn't fair, they need exercise, training and lots of time and effort. I luckily am self employed and work from home so it's very rare my boys are left home for very long. We take a week holiday every year and FIL stays at our house and looks after them, we fill up the cupboards and he's welcome to make himself at home. I worry about kennels as not only are they expensive, they need the additional inoculations before they go and there's good chance of them coming home with fleas etc, bleurgh, no thanks! So many people don't consider everything nefore they take on lets (dogs in particular) and those poor pooches are the ones who end up being sold on, given away or end up in shelters sad
I think you know what the sensible decision is, or you wouldn't have asked smile it's a shame more people don't think it through!

EustaciaBenson Sun 21-Dec-14 23:21:47

Get a greyhound, they dont need long walks are lazy things who will probably snooze most of the time you are out and if they are a retired racer they will be used to kennels.

Nunyabiz Sun 21-Dec-14 23:23:56

Hello. Owner of 2 nutty spaniels and 2 somewhat less nutty small humans here.
Do you like things clean? Do you want to spend the rest of your free time cursing the effing dog hair and paw marks and mud splatter on the walls? No. Don't do it. For the love of dog, please don't do it! (But if you do, my golden cocker is pregnant- the puppies will be ridiculously cute)....
Trust Me, children are the easier option. Have another child?

Bulbasaur Sun 21-Dec-14 23:26:24

Depends on the dog, breed, and temperment. We adopted a dog that was more work than DD ever was as a baby. We had to give him up before she was born as we couldn't house break him due to severe anxiety issues. He would not have done well if I left him home all day alone. We did that once and he messed all over the kitchen where we kept him penned in.

I'd make sure you either adopt a chill dog that is relaxed or get a puppy from a reputable breeder to train and raise yourself.

QuicheConverter Sun 21-Dec-14 23:27:06


Children grow up, change, learn etc. Dogs do not. They are messy, expensive and incredibly tying.

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Sun 21-Dec-14 23:48:16

I have been dog sitting for the last year (only for a friend not as a commercial venture)
I am now on the fence as whether to get my own. Its been such a tie.. i am lucky that i work for myself but as i don't always work from home I have had to drive home at lunch time to cuddle and let her out for a wee!
Its opened my eyes right up! As have my 8am jaunts around the park in the pissing rain and the spooky in the dark ones at night.
Have you considered dog boarding for someone in your own home? Maybe for just weekends as you work full time? Its a brilliant way of getting the joy but without the responsibility full time!

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Sun 21-Dec-14 23:49:43

This is my part time love.

FilbertSnood Sun 21-Dec-14 23:59:07

These are my thoughts:

Do you love dogs? I do... It makes my heart sing to walk mine alone and I adore them.

They are expensive. Get insurance and be prepared for vets bills.

Pay a dog walker if you are out. When I worked full time, my dog walker had my dog (just one then) from 11-3 each day. These days, I pay one for the couple if days I am not around.

Don't get a cat because it doesn't need you in - both dogs and cats relish human company, they're bred to. They need your attention.

They need training. But I enjoy it. Don't underestimate it tho. Invest in it (either in time or time and money!).

They are great companions for children. Mine love the dogs. It's lovely. But be aware that you must police interactions and that puppies need particular policing around children.

Consider the breed very carefully. It matters a lot. Consider what you would like to do with your dog. I have Labradors. They suit us, I love waking and they really need it. Mine are skinny healthy labs. If you don't love lots of walking (spaniels need that too). Consider other breeds.

Be careful where you buy.

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Mon 22-Dec-14 01:04:45

Filbert my occasional dog is a lab.! I love having her

Topseyt Mon 22-Dec-14 01:33:41

It is good you are trying to think this through rather than just blindly getting a dog and then finding you cannot cater properly for its needs.

Dogs are a big responsibility and a tie, almost like having another baby. You need to have the time to commit to them,

I have a Labrador and a cocker spaniel. Said spaniel is quite a nutter, and the Labrador is more laid back. Both need a fair bit of exercise each day, though it is lessening a bit as they are ageing now.

I work part time only though. Three hours a day, very locally, so can make it work. I wouldn't regularly leave them for much longer than that.

There is a lot to consider. It does sound as though the time is not yet quite right for you to own a dog, unless you have family living just around the corner willing to take the dog while you are out, but that is a big-ish ask.

HemanOrSheRa Mon 22-Dec-14 02:03:20

Can I say a big hooray to procrastina's friend who would rather a dog be in a loving home rather than sat in a kennel and eventually becoming impossible to rehome.

Its good that you're looking at the negatives OP. You absolutely can not get a dog/puppy on a whim. They are hard work but the rewards are endless. I would hold back and consider it some more. Maybe look a a different breed to a spaniel (other than a king charles).They are 'working' dogs and need an enormous amount of exercise to even start to become a good family pet.

cruikshank Mon 22-Dec-14 02:40:22

Dogs can be left all day - the world is full of dog owners who work.

Yes, and those owners have no idea that their dogs spend all day howling/barking/desperate to be let out. They think that it's just because they're walking up the garden path that the dog makes a noise. During the time I worked from home, I had two next-door neighbours whose dogs were noisy all day while they were out. There were several others in the neighbourhood who were the same. Talking to other friends who are at home during the day it's the same story. You can't hear your dog when you're not there. That doesn't mean they're happy. If you work full-time, either get a sitter or don't get a dog. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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