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Dog owners - please answer this quick question...

(39 Posts)
fluffles Tue 23-Dec-08 18:51:16

If you have a dog, how long does it spend (if any time) alone during the day a)normally and b) occassionally.

If the answer is that it is never alone then what do you do for a job? If you are a SAHM will you still be a SAHM throughout the dogs whole life and have you always been at home since you got the dog?

I really want a dog one day but right now it's looking like i'll have to wait till retirement (i'm only 32 now!) as i can't work out a lifestyle to fit.


JingleBellaAllTheWay Tue 23-Dec-08 18:55:34

Hello fluffles

I am a SAHM but I do leave my dogs, for a max of 4 hours at a time. Obviously pups can't really be left at all at first, and if you took on an older dog you would also have to build up to that graudally so it didn't get separation anxiety.

On a normal day they are left at home for an hour or so, and when I need to I leave them for the 4 hours.

There are dog walkers you can use to fit a dog into your lifestyle wink


jollyoldstnickschick Tue 23-Dec-08 18:57:10

fluffles our dog is never left alone im a sahm and my dh works nights so even when i return to work the dog wont be alone,sometimes my fil takes the dog (buddy) to his, for a good long walk and an afternoon with grandad.

I did voice my concerns that our lives could change and how would we fit the dog in?
but dh an experienced dog owner says that its only whilst they are puppies and young dogs that they need ll this 'babysitting' as they get older they seem to enjoy periods of quiet during the day.

My neighbour however has a beautiful black labrador that has for its life known nothing than a tiny square of shit filled patio and a dish of food in all weathers between the hours of 7am and 5pm- this poor dog howls most of the day sad and that to me is a selfish dog owner,she herself justifies it saying its a 'working' dog?????.

bollockbrainASSofBETHLEHEM Tue 23-Dec-08 18:58:56

mine can stay alone all day if necessary. I am at home but can quite easily go out for the whole day if i want. I have 3 so they keep eachother company.

fluffles Tue 23-Dec-08 19:03:55

surely a 'working' dog would be even more used to being in company?

i really want to fit a dog into our lives. i am ttc and hope to stay at home for a year or two and then work freelance so would be WAH most days but with some days WOH. In theory mat leave (after the newborn bit) would be a good time to get a dog used to the home but not sure new dogs and toddlers go together well.

not fussed about getting a puppy - would rather not have a young puppy actually. but not an old decrepit dog either as i'd like company on long walks and runs smile

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 23-Dec-08 19:06:48

Never, but he eats his way out of the house if he is left on his own, when we had 2 they would be fine, DH would come home at lunchtime (I know work at home).

jollyoldstnickschick Tue 23-Dec-08 19:13:49

surely a 'working' dog would be even more used to being in company?

fluffles that is her mentality - its heartbreaking hearing her dog howling and whining all day sad

ChasingSquirrels Tue 23-Dec-08 19:14:03

we used to both work full time, so she was left alone all day at that time.

bollockbrainASSofBETHLEHEM Tue 23-Dec-08 19:17:45

which breed are you interested in as this can have alot to do with it.

Doodle2U Tue 23-Dec-08 19:21:35

Four hours max - never had the need to be away for any longer yet unless it's known in advance that we'll be out ALL day - in which case, he's sent on a playdate to my brother's.

ohreindeerwhatamessysleigh Tue 23-Dec-08 19:27:43

6 year old springer.

Normally spends 2-2.5 hours alone each day.

Has very occasionaly been left alone for 5 hours (once every few months). Was left alone today for 4.5 - this stood out as unusual.

I got dogs (used to have 2) when I started working from home. Plan (hope!) to be a SAHM for the life of the dog.

AaliyahsFirstXmas Tue 23-Dec-08 19:31:44

We're getting a dog in the next year or 2. I'm a SAHM at the mo but will be going to work when DD is 5 (4 years away) We will be having a younger dog but not puppy - around 2/3 years old so it's litter trained etc from a rescue (as they are good at sussing out how much excersise etc)

When I go to work I will only be working during school hours and am hoping to either get home during lunch or get a dog walker.

If you want a really lazy dog get a greyhound. They need a good run in the morning and then will pretty much sleep all afternoon for you then another good run in the afternoon.

If you're worried get 2? lol

smartiejakeonachristmascake Tue 23-Dec-08 19:36:08

I work 2 full days a week and one half day. My lovely neighbour goes in to let her out and play with her in the middle of the day for about half an hour a day. DD gets home from school about 3 hours later (about an hour and a half before I get home from work) and usually takes her out for a walk.

fluffles Tue 23-Dec-08 19:40:39

I'd never get a greyhound, friends have one and he gets cold too easily (we love camping) and his feet get sore and he doesn't like to sit down on the cold ground and he gets tired before any of us do when we're out walking - in general he's a bit of a princess to be honest hmm

I'd love an outdoorsy dog who would run with me daily and walk with us as a family and might even be up for going out with DH on his bike (if training goes well)..... but i think that any dog who is up for all that would be wanting company all day and at least a lunchtime walk sad

Will investigate dogwalkers locally... and think about whether we could have room for a pair of dogs.

ohreindeerwhatamessysleigh Tue 23-Dec-08 19:43:50

I wouldn't get a greyhound either. They don't need much walking, but the ones I've known (including my MIL's dog) are very prone to separation anxiety and bark a lot when left alone.

WorzselMincepieYummage Tue 23-Dec-08 19:52:35

Sometimes no time atall sometimes ages it depends. Usually we're in and out all day but there are times when we need to be out all day or i am in bed all day because i work nights and tbh the Dog sleeps all day then looks disgruntled when i disturb him.

There are very occasional times when he's been on his own for 8 hours and there are also times when he's been on his own over night and he's never bothered as logn as he gets his quota of attention when we're there.

All our dogs have been left for longer than 4 hours but we've never neen a house where we've both worked full time. Dogs are family pets so have to mould round us. I wouldnt get a dog if we had to leave it evey day but i certainly don't buy in to this no longer than 4 hours rule, dogs are social creatures yes but then so are we and most people manage the occasional session without having company.

Ours is a Lab

ib Tue 23-Dec-08 19:57:13

Never yet, but he's only a puppy.

Dh and I both WAH and intend to continue doing so for the foreseeable.

If we had to leave him for whatever reason we would take him to a dog sitter, there is a lovely one nearby who does dog minding when dog owners work.

Millarkie Tue 23-Dec-08 20:03:42

We both work outside the home (although I work shorter days than average) but we employ an au pair to supervise the children after school and be company for the dog during the day (it's in the job description ). She also gives it a lunchtime walk.
In the few weeks before we got the au pair, we had a dog walker who would break up the day by picking up our dog and taking her for a walk or even back to her house to see her dogs.
We have a lab-cross and she does like to sleep for large chunks of the day, as long as she gets a couple of walks and plenty of retrieval-type games each day.
I would agree that toddlers and dogs don't mix though, our youngest child was almost 5 when we got our dog, and even then was a tad too young (not as calm/gentle as she could be). We had tried to get a rescue dog from a rescue centre but there were no dogs suitable for children under 7. We ended up with a rescue who had been passed around family/friends for a while.

MamaChris Tue 23-Dec-08 20:04:11

I think it depends a lot on breed, age, and an individual dog's character. Our dog used to be alone all day when we were both at work, so 9 hours/day, 5 days a week. But we got an old rescue dog.

She's a staffie, and was about 6 when we got her (I was a student, and she was only left for a few hours at a time for the first two years while she settled in and we persuaded her the world was safe). But by the time she was 8, she mostly wanted to sleep all day anyway, so it was fine for us both to work (she'd get a big walk mornings before we left). She can still (at 14) do biggish walks (over an hour) although less running than she used to, and has given up trying to keep up with greyhounds

hercules1 Tue 23-Dec-08 20:04:40

For the first couple years of their lives someone was at home virtually all the time and they were left occasionally for a couple of hours.
Unfortunately our circumstances changed. It's a difficult one and I dont know if we are doing the right thing. I did look into it for our breeds and came across similar thoughts as an earlier poster said about it being importnant in teh early stages to have someone at home.

Now we both work out of the home although I am lucky I am able to pop home at lunch time most days to let out and give cuddles. There are 3 of them and they seem fine. Occasionally we get back to a wee or poo. Trouble is it would be wrong to rehome them because it was no longer convenient now but I wonder about the fairness to them.

That said I am home during the holidays.

elastamum Tue 23-Dec-08 20:07:57

We have two labradoodles. I sometimes leave them for up to 5 hours but only if they have had at least an hours walk in the morning first. If they have been out and properly exercised they sleep all afternoon anyway. If they havent had enough exercise the puppy will wreak something. I can here them wrestling as I type. We got 2 so they keep each other company and they seem happy enough and only bark when people approach the house which is good as we have no streetlights or fences

loler Tue 23-Dec-08 20:09:23

Mine has been left since she was a puppy (built up slowly) - a behaviourist (brought in very expensively for a completely different problem!) told us that consistancy and routine are key (like with dc) - it's unfair to leave them for a long time for eg once a week - better to leave them every day as they learn that you will come back. She also said that in the wild they would often sleep for most of the day in a small dark cave so try to reproduce this in your home so they can settle on their own.

I work - 3x6 hour days but she is left on her own at some point every day. Have never heard her cry and doesnt get over excited when we come back. She is pretty chilled but not that different from the other 4 dogs we've had (all beagles).

elastamum Tue 23-Dec-08 20:09:33

If I am out all day they go to doggie daycare

beanieb Tue 23-Dec-08 20:11:35

I had a dog (cruelly taken away when I split with the ex) which was left alone for about 8 hours a day. We had a dog flap so he could go to the garden and he had 2 walks a day if not three.

you need to think about what you will do if you go away - I found that much more complicated.

higgle Wed 24-Dec-08 10:25:01

Our dog is 15 now, when the children were little and he was a puppy there was someone at home all day, as the years have passed he has been on his own for longer periods, but since he has been about 10 he is fine with that as long as he has a good walk am and pm.

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