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Thinking of getting a puppy...

(27 Posts)
saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 09:03:12

Hello, would really appreciate some advice from puppy owners.I work from home, so will be able to take my new puppy for walks, give him loads of attention and company... BUT, will I ever get any work done?! I keep hearing that puppies need round-the-clock attention and while I'm happy to give him loads of it, I will need to work for around five hours a day. I'm planning to do this in the same room as him, but will he just be pestering me for attention, or will he chill out long enough to let me work? (actually love the idea of being pestered by a pup, but don't think my boss will think that's a good enough excuse!). Thank you for any advice...

DustyTv Fri 24-Oct-08 09:10:27

Get a kong and stuff it full it with lovely tasty treats, if you make sure the treats are packed tightly it will take the pup ages to get them all out. Keeps my two quiet for ages, I usually give it to them after a walk, to help with the extra treats they get.

Also loads of toys, but mostly a puppy will be happy with company.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Oh and WRT the kong, always make sure you get the correct size for you size dog.

saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 09:19:14

OK, will look into kongs. Thanks for the tip DustyTv!

DustyTv Fri 24-Oct-08 09:27:35

Kongs here

They do kong stuffer in a can, but TBH I have never bothered with it as it looks bloody awful and is mega expensive, I usually give cheese, meaty left overs, veg, etc.

bella29 Fri 24-Oct-08 09:30:03

Hello Saturdaykid

I'm in a very similar position to you as I work from home and I have 2 dc. I have always had dogs (plus various other furries!!!) and got a lab puppy this summer. He hasn't interefered with my work - for the very first few months they are like small babies, with short bursts of frantic activity interspersed with long sleeps. The only interruptions at first were needing to take him outside for wees whenever he woke up, after he'd eaten and every hour otherwise. I have a dog gate on the kitchen and he spends most of the day in there with my other dog, then when I go out he is in his crate for short periods, plus overnight. In the evenings he explores the rest of the house (under supervision!).

As they get older they of course need more stimulation but a couple of walks plus lots of toys (and I mean lots, I have about 20 which I rotate each day religiously!) should be enough, especially given that you will still be in the house with him/her.

HTH & best of luck grin

saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 10:05:42

Ooh, thanks for the link.
Hi bella29, well that all sounds pretty doable! Do you definitely recommend a crate, then? I was going to keep him to our back room – kind of like a giant crate – because there's nothing really there that he can destroy, and where he can sleep and eat and have down time. Or do you think a crate would be better? Thanks for your help!

bella29 Fri 24-Oct-08 10:30:17

A crate helps with house training because the pup is confined to a smaller space and, as they don't like to mess in their beds, they will soon let you know if they need to get out for a wee!

It's also a good idea because they see their crate as a safe den and you can even take the crate on holiday, to in laws or whatever.

Also please don't underestimate what damage a pup can do to a seemingly empty room - skirting boards and plaster can become fair game for chewing. See Saltire's thread & photos for what her pup has done to a bare room!

DustyTv Fri 24-Oct-08 10:36:17

Whe we got our first dog as a puppy we never got a crate, TBH I really wish we had now, not so much for the house training as she seemed to pick it up really quickly, but for the chewing. Doors, skirting boards, TV remote control, mobiles, land line phone, xmas tree shock I kid you not.

Niether (Our other dog was 18mo when we got her) of my dogs will go in a crate now and I do regret it. If we ever get another puppy then we will be getting a crate.

Ripeberry Fri 24-Oct-08 10:43:51

I keep toying with the idea of getting a dog.
Might start with a young dog not a puppy (never had dogs before). But a neighbour down the road has a 10 month old puppy but she never takes it for walks herself (he other dog actually takes it for walks all by itself) i kid you not!
So i offered to take it for walks at least once a week so that i can get the feel for walks with a dog.
Might wait for another 5yrs, at least until by youngest DD2 is over 9yrs old.

newpup Fri 24-Oct-08 11:50:51

We got a lab puppy in the summer holidays she is almost 5 months now and I can not imagine life without her. At first, pups have energy spurts and then flop and sleep for a long time but my pup is happily napping at my feet as I type. Even though, I had to leave her for 3 hours this morning!

I would definately reccommend a crate. it means she has somewhere safe to go to when she has had enough of the dcs and also I know she can not eat the kitchen while we are asleep or out!

Definately do not underestimate what dogs will chew, mine has had a go at the skirting board and kitchen door so goodness knows what she would do if she was shut in there without the cage for a few hours.

When we are home she has the run of the laundry room or the kitchen if we are in there and in the evenings she will come in the lounge with us but I could not leave her loose unaccompanied yet!!

saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 12:05:27

Thanks all of you for your replies – really helpful. Will def look into a crate, then. Only concern is, isn't leaving a pup in a cage for a few hours a little cruel, or am I missing the point? I guess they need boundaries and a place to keep out of trouble but.. well, it's a cage! Don't like the idea or it somehow. But so many people and books recommend them so I guess they're the thing to do. Hmmm.

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 12:09:59

Gosh I can't believe how many people have suggested using a crate. They are awful things.

If you don't have the time or inclination to raise a dog properly then don't have one.

everlong Fri 24-Oct-08 14:16:50

Crates are not awful used correctly.

They are a god send actually. They help with toilet training, they stop a puppy from chewing furniture, shoes etc and they teach them to settle on their own for short periods of time when you are doing something else. You cannot spend 24/7 with your puppy as much as you may want to.

Kids need feeding and taking to school, you need to go shopping or do the housework etc and a crate is somewhere safe for your puppy to go.

I used one with my cocker spaniel for around 6 months. ( she's now nearly 5 ) she was housetrained in 2 weeks, never chewed anything she shouldn't have and loved going in her crate, which may I add was decked out with a gorgeous soft quilt, toys and chews.

Obviously leaving a puppy ( or any dog ) in a crate for long periods without food or water or going to the loo etc is cruel and wrong but that is a different matter all together than what is being discussed here.

To the OP, what sort of puppy are you getting ? I bet you are all excited now!

saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 14:49:57

Hi everlong. I'm getting a hungarian vizsla actually. Had one as a kid and they're such lovely dogs - great around children, very obedient and affectionate. Yes, am very excited (but a bit nervous too!)Have actually found one for sale and if all goes well can pick him up next Saturday! Only thing is, it's the night of the local fireworks display round here, which goes on in the park next to our house. Poor little bugger – what a welcome!

everlong Fri 24-Oct-08 17:08:33

I love Hungarian Vizla's! There are two near me called Oscar and Cora and they are beautiful. Good luck and keep us posted!

souroldtrout Fri 24-Oct-08 17:18:50

The early days won't be a problem! Little puppies do sleep a lot but need a lot of attention too. I'd say though that it's from about 20 weeks to a year old that you will really need to put the time in though but I could have managed 5 hours work, I think.

Do get a crate. Used properly it is far from cruel and will help you end up with a dog who is well behaved and can be left to his own devices without destroying the house (as well as all the toilet training stuff others have mentioned). Our dog is almost two now and we hardly ever use the crate to actually confine him, but he sleeps in it with the door open (it is his own little space) and it is a comfort to know that he will never freak out on a long car journey, or at the vet if he were injured, and that if necessary we can put him somewhere where he is guaranteed to be safe and completely quiet (added bonus!).

Good luck!

souroldtrout Fri 24-Oct-08 17:19:33

Oh, and join an obedience class as soon as you possibly can! I learnt that the hard way ... !

saturdaykid Fri 24-Oct-08 18:14:00

Everlong – yeah, they're fab, aren't they?
Souroldtrout – thanks for the advice! And will definitley sign up for obedience class - my local vet does them apparently.
Think I'll call him Walter (Wally for short).

bella29 Fri 24-Oct-08 18:58:55

In total agreement with all the pro-crate people here. If my dogs didn't like crates they wouldn't be queuing up to get in, would they?

In any case, the time that I am able to lock my poor maltreated pup in the cage is limited by the fact that the dc's spend a good deal of time incarcerated there too. That and a bowl of gruel for tea soon sorts them out, I find grin

Alambil Fri 24-Oct-08 21:43:33

Cardboard boxes - millions of them; to chew - saves the rascals chewing skirting board/plaster from walls (trust me - it happens)

Freeze the kongs - lasts ages; get 2 and rotate them so one's always in the freezer ready

Obedience training is a MUST - it is as important as food for a dog IMHO. If you can't afford it - think seriously.

I'm looking at getting a rescue greyhound and one of the rescues I've been in touch with will NOT rehome unless you DO have a crate. They say that it totally helps a dog settle.

saturdaykid Sat 25-Oct-08 13:04:46

Really, Stripeyknickers? Guess that says it all, then. Am off to get one today! Good tip re the boxes LewisFan and yep, going to obedience classes with him. Exciting!

saturdaykid Sat 25-Oct-08 16:37:35

Just went to buy some puppy treats to help with training him, but they all seem to be for puppies over four months. What do others use while they're still very little? (He'll be eight weeks when I get him.)

Alambil Sat 25-Oct-08 21:36:34

cheese, ham, bits of liver or such from butchers - cooked, obviously

anything "human" basically but NOT CHOCOLATE

Qally Wed 29-Oct-08 03:16:27

At 18 months my dog treats her crate as her room. We never close the door anymore; she just trots in when she fancies some quiet time.

Pups are a phenomenal amount of work, but actually need some alone time every day so they don't develop separation anxiety (it's nor normal for dogs to ever be alone, as pack animals, and you do need to be able to go out sometimes!).

Grapes and raisins are deadly to dogs - they slowly poison them. Chocolate and onions, too.

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