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To ask if you think company or exercise is more important for a dog?

(44 Posts)
RogerThatOver Tue 07-Nov-17 21:44:25

I have three dogs; two are old and not particularly fussed about walks but enjoy them when they happen. My other dog is young (not sure exactly as she's a rescue dog) and would happily run and fetch all day. However, on really rainy days she's fine to skip a walk. I have my own business and am home most of the day so she always has company and I usually walk her at lunch time for 15 mins to the park, play fetch for 45 mins then 15 mins home- she runs for miles during this time. Then at weekends we take her on more leisurely family walks to woods etc.

I've recently become a lone parent to five children, including a new born, and my brother has suggested he take my dog to lighten my load. He thinks it would make my life easier and be better for her. He would take her for an hour run in the morning and an hour in the evening but then she would be home alone all of his working day, except for him popping home at lunch to let her out to the toilet. That's at least nine hours alone.

I love my dog and don't want to give her up but am prepared for your opinions as to whether I'm being unreasonable to think company is more important than exercise? She's very affectionate and needy and spends all day around me or the DC wanting to cuddle or be stroked. I know she would love the exercise my brother would offer but nine hours alone everyday is a long time. He lives 45 mins away so dog sharing isn't an option smile

SassySausageSupper Tue 07-Nov-17 21:46:16

It doesn’t sound like she’s causing you any bother and she seems to have an ideal life. Do you want to give her up?

SassySausageSupper Tue 07-Nov-17 21:47:06

Also, I think her living arrangements at the moment are better than her being alone for all that time. Especially if she’s used to living with a family.

Kitsharrington Tue 07-Nov-17 21:47:18

No dog should be expected to hold their bladder for nine hours. Could you? Keep her with you and keep up the exercise as much as you can. If you send her away she won't understand why and will miss her family very much. I'd also bet it's better for you and your kids if everything stays the same as much as possible at the moment. I'd never have forgiven my parents for rehoming my pet during such a tough time.

Wildestflower Tue 07-Nov-17 21:47:44

I'm sorry to hear you've suddenly become a lone parent. As a mother and dog owner, I'd keep your dog in your position. If you can afford an occasional walker to give you a break on rainy days, great. If not, don't stress.

inkandstone Tue 07-Nov-17 21:48:05

I think she'd be much happier if she stayed with you. Nine hours is far too long to leave a dog alone.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Tue 07-Nov-17 21:48:49

You are taking her most days for a good walk/play/run around, so I’d say she’s much better off with you.

I expect she would hate to be on her own all day when she’s been used to company all day.

wheresthel1ght Tue 07-Nov-17 21:48:56

9 hours is too long to be alone, the maximum most rescue centres would allow when rehoming is 4.

If your brother is wanting to help, does he live local enough to do the morning and evening walks with the dog and it spend the day with you?

Not that it helps but I think both are important for a happy dog. Young dogs do need lots of exercise but you sound like you aren't doing bad at that. Are you actually finding it hard? If so would 2 shorter walks be better maybe? So your 30 mins walking to and from park and only 15-20 mins ball chasing as opposed to 45 and do that twice?

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Tue 07-Nov-17 21:50:01

Sorry about all the *days in there.

Pancakeflipper Tue 07-Nov-17 21:51:46

I think your dog would miss the other dogs, the children and you. A social hub is mentally stimulating for them. They might get longer walks at your brother's but they might be bored and lonely.

Does your brother live near enough to borrow her for long walks e.g a weekend but she lives with you ?

Floralnomad Tue 07-Nov-17 21:56:14

Obviously both is perfect but a short walk and company is better IMO . My dog has had limited exercise in the last 6 months because I’ve been ill so he’s been relying on dh , who has equally been doing a ft job and all the housework and cooking . After the first few days Dog was fine with his 30 minutes in the evening . Fortunately he’s now back to his 1-2 hours a day with me but if things had had to stay the same for another 6-12 months or even longer rehoming him wouldn’t have crossed my mind .

mustbemad17 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:56:15

There's more to stimulating a dog than a walk. I had a dog that trigger stacked on walks, so some days we simply didn't walk; if you are supplementing it with something then there's no problem. I'd be more concerned with the potential of her being left alone for 9 hours; the absolute max recommended is 4 hours for various reasons. Exercise is not enough to excuse 9 hours alone.

I say keep your dog & keep doing what you're doing, sounds like it works for you all 🙂

Littledrummergirl Tue 07-Nov-17 21:58:35

Keep your dog.

RogerThatOver Tue 07-Nov-17 21:58:45

He wants all or nothing hmm A dog walker costs £18 per hour shock There's no way I can afford that.

RogerThatOver Tue 07-Nov-17 22:03:36

I don't want to give her up at all. I just feel guilty because she gets so excited every time I get ready to go out because she's hoping for a walk and I just can't squeeze in any more walks because of the DCs activities after school. Though it will be easier to take her along and walk her during activities during the summer.

My brother doesn't think it counts as 9 hours alone because he's pop home to give her a toilet break but I still think it's a long time to be alone. Especially if he then goes back out to the gym after tea.

SassySausageSupper Tue 07-Nov-17 22:09:04

Definitely don’t give her up in that case.

Sounds like he’s being a bit selfish to be honest, rather than actually trying to be helpful.

mustbemad17 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:10:42

RogerThatOver have a nosey at the Cinammon Trust. I've just signed up as a volunteer to help walk dogs when their families can't do it as much. Not sure the criteria as a dog owner but worth a look 🙂

Do a couple of brain games with your girl every day, she won't miss her walks so much as she will brain tired!

TattyCat Tue 07-Nov-17 22:23:00

mustbemad17 thank you for the words 'trigger stacking'!! I've been trying to determine why my rescue is reacting, so I've had a quick look at it makes perfect sense, so I can learn to help her. Great stuff.

Op, please keep your dog. So much time alone won't be great, even if he can 'call in' to let her out during the day; there will be times when he can't and she may be left for 9 hours. What I would ask you is this: is she giving you any indication that she's really unhappy with her lot? I suspect not and seeking company and affection when she can is normal within the realms of what they think they can get away with! Are you only agonising about this because your brother has suggested that his lifestyle would suit her better?

What's your gut instinct? Don't forget that your lovely girl won't be young forever, and when she's old and aching, will want company more than long walks, rain or shine.

TattyCat Tue 07-Nov-17 22:28:13

Just a thought, but what's in it for your brother, exactly? He leaves the dog ALL day (a loo break for 5 mins just doesn't cut it I'm afraid; it's still 9 hours alone) PLUS he goes to the gym after work sometimes? Then he'll need to eat, so no focus on the dog again whilst he does that. What time does he go to bed? At best, your girl will only have company and/or attention for around 3 or 4 hours a day out of a massive 24. She won't be happy. Please don't let her go. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 07-Nov-17 22:33:43

I think she would be happier with you. It sounds lovely and while she may have the odd day with minimal walks, she is with people nearly all of the time.

Does she play fetch in the house too? I'm only asking because my dog runs around with the children fetching toys, playing hide and seek etc. so actually is being exercised and stimulated indoors as well as out. He is very happy.

NoMudNoLotus Tue 07-Nov-17 22:35:46

Keep your dogsmile

rubums Tue 07-Nov-17 22:36:31

Me and my mum were discussing this the other day actually, we each have a dog and mine goes to my mums whilst I work as she is retired. On the (rare) days my mum goes out without the dogs and leaves them at home alone they are so clingy when she gets back and just wants to sit on her. She says in the house all day they just mooch around after her and usually sleep/ sunbathe where she is and enjoy her company. However the odd day they miss a walk they're perfectly fine. I would always always say dogs prefer company to exercise and in your shoes wouldn't give my dog up.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 07-Nov-17 22:38:17

I can't imagine a dog being happy to go from a house full of dogs and humans like yours to being on her own for so much of the day. I think she's better off with you.

converseandjeans Tue 07-Nov-17 22:39:19

I think she would be happier with you and the kids. It would be really hard for her to go from being with you all to being alone all day.
There is a website called borrowmydoggy - you might be able to get a match with someone local who can take her on walks.

www.borrowmydoggy.com/about

numbmum83 Tue 07-Nov-17 22:44:40

No keep the dog .
She will become depressed on her own .
My ex had our dog for a short while and she hated his flat so much she used to sit staring at the walls . He used to walk her a lot more than I did and do but company for pets is more important .

At the end of the day how would a human feel being on their own day after day. It's a bit like segregation. Not a chance would I give my dog away to have this life .

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