AIBU to consider getting a puppy?(46 Posts)
DP and I are considering getting a puppy. We're leaning towards a Labrador retriever at the moment. The only thing is we both work and not sure if we have the time for a dog. Here's what my week looks like:
Mon: Out 8am-4pm (Hire a dog walker)
Tue: Out 12:15pm - 3:45pm
Wed: Out 12:15pm - 3:45pm
Thu: Out 8am - 12:30pm
Fri: Out 12:15pm - 3:45pm
Sat: Home all day
Sun: Home all day
What do you think?
In the early days that's too much home alone time for a puppy. .
I’d hire daycare for the day Monday and be prepared to be very committed to those times coming back - it’s hard because you can’t shop, pop for a coffee on the way home
I have doggy daycare for 3 days from about 9.30-3.30 (2 walks plus lounging around at the daycarers house with other dogs)
You’re also going to need to be very committed to lengthy morning walks if you’re leaving him for the afternoon as they’re an energetic breed - I’m sure you know that
I love dogs, and I have one, but honestly, I think having a dog is harder than having children in some respects. You can take your child basically everywhere, but you certainly can't do that with a dog. Therefore you constantly have to take into consideration where you're going and for how long because you can't leave a dog to languish all day. It can be very restrictive.
That schedule would be fine for an older puppy or an adult dog, but not for a very young dog. For a start, how could you possibly toilet train if you’re leaving them for 4-5 hours on your longest day? Puppies can’t hold their wee in for that long!
We got a labrador puppy a year a go, I've never had a dog and wasn't sure about a rescue. Puppy needed near constant attention for first few months, not necessarily in same room but at least in the same building. We were lucky (ha!) in a way that I was unemployed so could be around for caring duties. I would suggest an older dog if you can't be there all the time. Puppies are great but they are bloody hard work! Next time I would seek out the right rescue dog, and watch youtube for cutie puppy videos to fill the awwwwww void.
Get daycare for at least the Monday and Thursday, and in the beginning for all 5 days if you're not planning to take a few weeks off to settle the puppy in. Once the puppy is a few months old I think being left for 3 hours would be okay if you've built it up gradually.
Also research crate training, it will help massively.
Have a look on the puppy survival threads in the 'doghouse' section to see how much work a puppy involves.
I work full time but a mixture of office and home. I stayed at home the first month to settle him in and also toilet train him which was essential. I was really lucky in finding someone to take him for day care at 3 months old as most were over 4 months. At that age just having a dog walker come in for a bit is not enough because they can't be walked far and they need frequent short bursts of attention.
Also my dog is very ill right now and can't go to daycare or be walked. Fortunately my work is flexible so I can work from home but without that I would be stuffed.
You can't leave a pup that long, they need socialising, training, toilet training, I'd look at an older rescue if I were you
Go for an adult rescue instead! The hours are fine for many dogs, but they have to be adults who are already house-trained and used to being alone for a few hours. The added benefit is that they are usually house-trained and well adapted to living in a home.
I have two collies that both came from rescues at between 12-18 months old. I've never had to mop up wee, pick up poo or worry about anything being chewed that wasn't meant to be. They were both ready-made house pets. I can't fathom why people want puppies when there are so many adults to choose from.
I considered a dog but like others have said they can be very restrictive. I have friends/family who "have to get back home for the dog" I wouldn't want to live my life like that at the moment.
Oh yes as others have mentioned they can be very restrictive. We no longer just pop out shopping for hours or decide to go somewhere on the way back from work. Personally I don't care as I really wanted my dog and love being with him but I do now have to consider how long he has been on his own and whether it is right to leave him any longer.
Also when you work you forget how much time you spend doing other stuff around the house, getting ready, preparing meals, cleaning etc. Your dog will want to play and be with you whilst you need to do all the other stuff. DH and I work as a tag team so he interacts with the dog in the morning whilst I get ready and then we swop. Make sure you are happy to spend a lot of your 'resting time' from work being with the dog as they want more than just walks when they are young puppies.
It's not just your working hours you have to think about. What about visiting friends, going to the theatre/pictures/restaurant, or in fact going anywhere you can't take a dog? The problem is you can't do anything 'off the cuff', as the dogs needs always have to be considered, so trips anywhere have to be well planned. It can restrict your lifestyle quite a bit.
Puppies need you there all the time really. Ours is now 11 months, and we are retired, but we still schedule things so that one or other of us is with her most of the time. She is okay now left for a few hours, but it has taken time as we didn't want her to develop separation anxiety (which she hasn't - happily sleeps while we are out).
And of course, holidays require a lot of planning re arranging dog care while you are away.
My husband and daughter really wanted a dog, and we now have a 4 month old puppy. I do wish we hadn't, and its not the training that's really my issue, but the complete lack of ability to do ANYTHING without having to consider the dog. I hate the time constraints, and having to plan everything around her, when I could literally go anywhere at any time with the children before. It's so restrictive.
I'd reconsider if I were you, especially a puppy.
Too many hours to leave a puppy I'm afraid OP. How could you toilet train if you're out of the house 3+ hours a day? Little puppies cannot hold their bladders for that long.
My Shih Tzu puppy is nearly six months now and I've had her since she was 8 weeks. I'm a community support worker working round my own area, and for the first three months I was running back to flat every 90 minutes to let her out of crate for a wee and to play with her. It was exhausting. You just can't establish toilet training though if you're not there ALOT to reinforce it. I was lucky and she's house trained really quickly. However you can realistically expect it to take a year for toilet training to be properly established.
As others have said puppies are exhausting. I say that as someone fortunate enough to have an incredibly calm laid back puppy who has rapidly stolen my heart for good. A Labrador will need a ton of walking and will chew your house to bits if left unattended for too long.
I would definitely consider an older dog if you really have your heart set on becoming a dog slave
Unless you can take a long time off work and have your partner do the same then toilet training will be difficult with those timings.
I should also add I barely worked for the first month and a half so she wasn't left. Baby puppies just cannot be left alone for long.
That schedule would be completely fine for an adult dog but, as others have said, it’s far too long to be leaving a puppy and would cause issues with house training. You also need to build a puppy up to being left very gradually which takes some time.
Labradors are lovely when they're fully grown, ie 3 yrs+ but in my experience they're a nightmare as puppies. You can't take them for long walks until they're over a year old so it's hard work finding things to calm them down and stop them chewing everything and leaping about.
Mine's 7 now but when he was 4 months old I decided I'd never get another puppy.
I got an adult rescue mongrel when lab was 3yrs and he's been brilliant, so much easier than a pup. He would have easily fitted into your work routine as happy to be left for a few hours.
Take a few weeks off to settle him in and then day care for the Monday until he is 6 months old after which a minimum hour with a Dog walker. I’d say that would be fine (we did similar for ddog2) but of course it depends on the Dog
Pls pls pls get a puppy or dog from a rescue centre.
I think that's too long for a very small puppy. Labradors love company.
Don't forget that as well as being out definitely for all of that, there'll be the times when you are shopping, visiting friends, going out to restaurants/cinemas, going on holiday etc. That's a lot of time a young dog will be left.
There are lots of lovely dogs in rescue who would be happy with that schedule, but it would not work for a puppy under 1 year (and some breeds under 18 months imo).
Puppies need socialisation, company, training, and more socialisation, and they get that from being round you. They are also piddling, bitey, zooming monsters who will eat your shoes if not given something else to think about quickly - under stimulated puppies are brilliant at finding things to do that you won't want!
Echo what others have said. I’m on my sixth puppy - but the first for 15yrs. I was based at home for the first 4, my exH was working from home for the 5th. Knowing what a tie they are I waited until I retired to get another, though I have had a couple of older rescues.
My current pup is a golden retriever, I was on her breeders waiting list for a year. I knew what I wanted in terms of breeding, health tests, temperament etc. She’s now 18 weeks, so I’ve had her 10 weeks, and we have another older rescue terrier. I cancelled all the activities I was involved in, arranged for meetings to be at my house rather than anywhere else, and have had a totally restricted social life.
Bit by bit I’ve left her for longer periods of time, both with the other dog and on her own while I walk him. Retrievers (including labs) are particularly social dogs, they are also prone to joint problems if over exercised when young - their exercise needs to very carefully managed.
Otoh, my little rescue terrier, once he settled in, was very happy to jump into an armchair and sleep for England if I went out. With any dog you really do need to take some time off to help them settle anyway.
It really wouldn’t be fair to a lab puppy to get one at this point in your life.
Puppies need lots of stability, routine, patience, supervision. I think you're setting yourself up to have conflict (wet floors, chewed things, anxiety in pup etc).
Would you not consider a slightly older rescue dog? They are SO rewarding and just as much joy as puppies. Ours was 2 when we got him, came toilet trained and after a few training sessions had very nice manners indeed. Was so happy to have a forever home will sleep for England like PPs dog and still as playful as a pup!
Please do reconsider your options 👍
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