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Is there a dog which is good with children, OK with being left alone 3 days a week for around 9 hrs each time - and small

(77 Posts)
Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 22:51:37

Or am I being completely ridiculous?

We've been talking about getting a dog (our first one) for a long time, but understand it's a huge commitment. We have 3 children, but I work p/t, 3 days a week and so it would be on it's own for that time - which is what's stopped us up til now. We also don't have a mahoosive garden or house, so would like a small breed - or am I being unrealistic? Any suggestions or ideas gratefully received!

unknownrebelbang Sat 08-Aug-09 22:53:44

I think 9 hours is too long to leave a dog by itself, tbh.

SlartyBartFast Sat 08-Aug-09 22:53:48

have you thought of a retired greyhound?
though 9 hours is too long for any dog i think.

SlartyBartFast Sat 08-Aug-09 22:55:40

you coudl get a dog sitter for those long days?

Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 22:59:45

Just recalculated - 8 hrs on a Mon and Tues, and 7 on a Wednesday. Probably still too long? sad

We did wonder about a dog walker, but I'm not sure if that then makes it completely prohibitive cost-wise. I think a greyhound would be too big for our house, but I know they make fab pets.

RoseBlossoms Sat 08-Aug-09 23:01:45

9 hours is a long time for a dog. If i were to leave mine for this amount of time i would expect some destructive behaviour. Do you have any neighbours or friends who could pop in during these days? to spend an hour or so with it?

Plus when you come home from a working day with the 3 children will you have the energy to walk it?

How old are your children? If they are young could you wait until there are a little older (like coming home from school alone?).

TBH i wouldnt leave my dog for more than 5 hours, i have a v.good neighbour who also has dogs so if i'm going to be out for longer she will let mine out to play with hers in her garden. Mine needs two walks a day or is crawling the walls (he is a collie mix). Small dogs (terrier type) from my experiance tend to need lots of exercise, or go a little stir crazy and yappy.

hth

RoseBlossoms Sat 08-Aug-09 23:05:20

I would say still too long

Maybe a dog walker could come mon, tues and then on weds you could give it a massive 1-2 hours walk before work?

Bibithree Sat 08-Aug-09 23:05:28

9 hours is far too long to leave a dog alone, and the reason we don't have one.

islandofsodor Sat 08-Aug-09 23:07:18

My bichon fits all those criteria but he didn't when he was a puppy. We got him in a summer holidays (dh is a teacher) and I worked fuuny hours so it is only in the last few years and even then not very often that he is left for that long.

Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 23:09:49

The kids will be around 13, 11 and 4 when we thought we might get one, so the oldest 2 would walk it when they got in from school - but that still means it would be on it's on from 8.15 to around 4. It would be walked twice a day, so that's not really an issue, but the time on it's own definitely is for us.

Sounds like it really is a no go, sadly - but for the best. Has anyone used a dog walker - if so, do you know how much they charge?

ash6605 Sat 08-Aug-09 23:12:00

I have 2 bichon frise and they are all of the above,small and perfect with kids. im going to throw a complete spanner in the works and say that mine are regularly left for 7-8 hours at a time,I mean are people with dogs not meant to sleep? hmm

I don't work at present so the dogs aren't left alone alot during the day but when I was working,part time I was out of the house for up to 8 hours which I don't see as a problem and it never did them any harm(however it is a bit different when you have 2 dogs as they keep each other company)but I did make sure they had a good walk before work,a good walk in the evening and were left with plenty of water,toys etc.

Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 23:13:39

That's interesting, Ash - do you think the key is to have 2 dogs?

ash6605 Sat 08-Aug-09 23:13:53

Oh and meant to add, the dog walkers in our area are around £10 per day but not sure if that covers 1 walk or 2.

ash6605 Sat 08-Aug-09 23:20:29

well imo yes,it has worked for us.we got them a year apart though not together but they get on fab and keep each other company when we aren't there. I can't reccomend bichons enough they are such lovely dogs and ideal with children.the only problem is they are around £500 and need regular grooming.

Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 23:24:19

I've heard other people saying that bichon's are great dogs, and they are extremely cute - but £500 is perhaps a bit out of our price range sad

I think we may have to be content with the hamster and the guinea pig!

islandofsodor Sat 08-Aug-09 23:40:44

£500, my goodness. We only paid £100 for ours though it was 11 years ago.

Ours is perfectly happy to be left for a long time, now he is older we do have a few tinkles if we do though. He sleeps on the sofa mostly.

Paolosgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 23:43:54

DH did mutter something about taking it to work - he's quite taken with the idea of it sitting under his desk and then taking it for walks at lunchtime. Not sure if a)his boss would agree and b)if the dog would know it was supposed to sit quietly!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 09-Aug-09 00:41:36

9hrs is too long to leave a dog alone

do you not have a neighbour/pay dog walker to come in?

i have left my monster alone for 7hrs - but was only meant to be 5 and got stuck on m25 in huge traffic jams

tbh he was ok - had the run of kitchen (obv remove all food/clothing oven gloves tasty nibbles out of reach) and had plenty of toys and water, as well as his bed

tbh all he seems to do is sleep when im there so sure he spent 6/7hrs asleep

Bella21 Sun 09-Aug-09 10:48:13

I knew someone who had 2 dogs which he left all day.

They began tunnelling their way out of his kitchen.

He had to get the builders in and it cost a fortune.

Then they did it all over again.

You simply cannot leave dogs that long alone.

Southwestwhippet Sun 09-Aug-09 12:07:22

I am really sorry but my mum is a dog breeder and she absolutely would not sell to someone who had to leave a dog alone for that length of time even if they were the perfect family in other respects. The RSPCA will not consider rehoming if the dog is regularly left alone for more than 4 hours.

If you could get a dog walker or leave dog with a family member for those days it would be do-able. If you could solve that problem I would recomend a whippet (surprise grin). They are small, very quiet in the house, utterly devoted to you, humble and good with children and provided they get a good run in the park everyday will be perfectly happy with only a small garden. They also do not shed much.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 09-Aug-09 16:53:45

tunnelling out of the kitchen shock

did the owner not notice the escape hatch/hole? grin

Bella21 Sun 09-Aug-09 18:40:37

Oh yeah, he had noticed. Was really pissed off about it. I asked if maybe they were bored but he said no, they were each given a stuffed kong every day.

Poor dogs sad

Paolosgirl Sun 09-Aug-09 18:51:03

Yes, I thought 9 hrs was too long, which is why we've not done anything about it before. The thing is, I do know people who do leave their dog for that long, and say it's absolutely fine, so as someone who's never had a dog before it's difficult to know what to think.

Thanks for all the advice, though - it's certainly given us a lot to think about smile

arolf Sun 09-Aug-09 19:00:58

My parents leave their 3 home alone for 2 or 3 days a week when mum is at work - they have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, who are the soppiest, most silly dogs in the world. They are great family dogs too (I grew up with the family always having a few spaniels, and really miss them). They get a short walk in the morning and a short walk in the evening on those days, and decent length (hour and half to two hour) walks when mum isn't working. The dogs are fine, and have no behavioural problems that we're aware of! So long as they get 3 or 4 long walks a week, they're happy, and they get fed at 6 every day, so even when parents are out, it's not a huge break in routine. The dogs are 14, and 2 3 year olds now (our 15 year old died two weeks ago poor old thing)

MaybeAfterBreakfast Sun 09-Aug-09 19:04:43

I'd leave mine alone for 4/5 hours max. He has been left for 8 hours once (stuck in traffic) and was fine, if very anxious, but I'm sure problems would start if that was a regular thing.

I wouldn't get a dog from any breeder (or rescue centre) who would think this was acceptable.

Dogsitters are the way to go, rather than dog walkers, imo.

Fwiw, don't believe everyone who says their dog is fine being left for long periods of time. There may be an element of 'head in the sand' going on there. My neighbour leaves her dog for up to 10 hours once or twice a week and the dog howls and cries, but not when she is earshot.sad

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