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Is there a dog for us, or could we have a dog at all?

(32 Posts)
NomenOmen Wed 18-Dec-13 00:00:37

We'd really love a dog (DH, DD 5yo, and I). Both DH and I grew up with dogs, but haven't owned one recently. DD adores dogs and is very responsible, respectful, and careful around those she meets. All dog owners comment on her great attitude towards their dogs.

The trouble is both DH and I work full-time, although I only need to be in the office 3 days a week and could work from home the other 2. But on the days I go in, they're long days, so I could probably only squeeze in a half-hour walk in the morning before commuting. DH and DD could walk a dog on those afternoons about 4.30 when she gets back from school. The dog would be on its own (with access to a big garden if we could set this up safely) from 8am til 4.30pm on the days I go to the office.

My gut feeling is that, regardless of how much we would love a dog, it just wouldn't be fair to leave a dog on its own 3 days a week. Admittedly, it would only be like this about 30 weeks a year (because of the nature of my job), but I don't think that would mean much to a lonely pooch!

Also, we tend to spend 5 weeks a year away from home. 2 of those weeks we could conceivably bring a dog along, but it would be difficult. I'm not sure it's kind to leave a dog in kennels, or with friends, etc., for 5 weeks a year.

There is a remote possibility that I will be able to work from home from next autumn for between 6 to 18 months, so if we were to get a dog, I might be in a position to help it gradually get used to being left for longer periods of time.

Is there a dog breed which would tolerate being alone for 3 days, and which does not need 2 hours of walks a day? Would we ever be likely to find a rescue dog which would be suitable?

I think I know the answer sad and we wouldn't dream of getting a dog unless we could offer it a good quality of life... But I thought I might ask in case any of you have any bright ideas.

Thanks in advance, and apologies for the long post!

bellasuewow Sat 21-Dec-13 23:23:45

That is fine if you get a dog walker or doggy daycare for 3 days and if you get an older dog that a rescue says is suitable then great however I would seriously think about this as having dogs when you were a child is a world away from the 365 day a year routine that can be really hard when you work ft. You cannot really work late or make changes to plans you have to give them attention and walks. It is doable but not ideal. I work ft and have two. Luckily it works and it is a long story why I have them but speaking from someone who knows I would be reluctant to have another dog and work ft again.

34DD Thu 19-Dec-13 20:46:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cansleepanywhere Wed 18-Dec-13 15:33:09

I work part-time, 2 days at home and one day in the office. On the day I'm in the office my lab gets a 30 min walk in the morning, I leave at 7am, DH and kids leave at 8am. She's out with a dog walker (group walk so loads of play) from about 10/11am - 1pm. I'm home at 3 and she's always out for the count, sometimes she's not even bothered about a late night walk on these days. I've also used doggy day care if I'm working longer hours. The way I look at it is that it's like having another baby and doggy daycare is WAY cheaper than nursery wink

higgle Wed 18-Dec-13 13:11:29

I have, over the years, owned a collie cross, a dachshund, a PBGV and two staffies (what a mix!) they have all be OK with being left for lengthy periods, though we try to avoid it.

Karbea Wed 18-Dec-13 11:39:48


To be fair to the dog (regardless of breed), I think it's completely unfair to leave him/her for more than 3 or 4 hours in any day. I wanted a dog for years but until I was no longer working I had cats.
A dog will need stimulation not just a couple of walks a day and would be upset (and likely) distructive if left that long.

beingagoodmumishard Wed 18-Dec-13 11:31:48

If you can afford doggy daycare that may be a solution. Near us there are 2 forms of daycare available, either at kennels or at someone else's home. The kennel daycare seems to be like toddler daycare grin with toys and games, they are not shut in the kennels all day.
If you get a slightly older rescue dog that is used to being around other dogs that may work. I wouldn't recommend a puppy with your current set up as they require huge time commitment to start with and also daycare may not accept them until they are a certain age

Sunflower49 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:10:57

And I agree about not focusing too much on breed (speaking as somebody with an incredibly lazy husky. Nobody believes me on that one)!

Sunflower49 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:09:56

An older dog may be a better option but also if an older dog is used to company the SA would be even worse than a younger dog, just pick carefully if you do go for it smile

needastrongone Wed 18-Dec-13 09:59:17

Mmmm, spaniels have lovely natures, but most enjoy a lot of company and also have a lot of energy too, I thought an older dog, a retired greyhound or the like?

mistlethrush Wed 18-Dec-13 09:49:39

With the right dog, if you were willing to get someone in on your work days, this is certainly doable. You would need to choose your breed carefully though - you wouldn't want a high energy breed like a collie, spaniel or some of the terriers. Some pointy hounds would be fine, although some suffer from separation anxiety so you would need to ensure that you got one that didn't - or get two that keep each other company to some extent (still won't work with bad SA, but can help).

theeternalstudent Wed 18-Dec-13 09:49:32

We have a dog walker that comes and takes her out in the middle of the day for a couple of hours. We walk her in the morning before going to work and in the evening she gets let out in the back garden.

I think rather than looking for a certain breed of dog rather go looking for a low energy dog that will be happy with his own company for those hours that you are at work.

Our dog is so lazy, she is happy to sleep when we are out.

It is possible as long as you are willing to pay for a walker!

advicemuchneeded Wed 18-Dec-13 09:44:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Artandco Wed 18-Dec-13 09:38:55

Maybe a spaniel of some type

Artandco Wed 18-Dec-13 09:37:04

I think you could if you had a dog wallet. Most dog walkers around here collect dog around 11ish and take them back around 1 ish so nearly 2 hrs out. You can get extra walks if you will be longer. The same people may do dog daycare or dog house sitting whilst you are away so they are use to same people

I would say a medium size dog would work well.

kitsmummy Wed 18-Dec-13 09:19:57

If you have plenty of spare money then this could definitely work for you. A rescue greyhound would be good (they are known for snoozing all day) and a dog walker 3 times a week, or doggy daycare 3 times a week.

A 1 hour dog walk would probably be around £10 per day and daycare probably around £20 per day.

AllThreeWays Wed 18-Dec-13 00:56:00

Yes that is why we have two, but have only just picked up the second one, and first dog has still been happy.
Just offering a positive perspective to working and owning dogs.
Am a little confused as to why you asked now, as you are arguing your own point :-)

NomenOmen Wed 18-Dec-13 00:47:10

Will check out local doggy daycare, MMMM. Thanks.

NomenOmen Wed 18-Dec-13 00:44:42

I'm glad your dogs are fine, AllThreeWays. smile I'm just not used to the idea of having a dog like that (both DH and I had SAHMs when we were growing up). Do yours keep each other company, do you think? Not sure we could have 2 dogs.

(Sorry for slow reply - on phone).

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Wed 18-Dec-13 00:41:02

Friend works 4 days per week and takes her dog to the doggy day care nursery. He really loves it. They also go away a lot. In total 3 weeks spread over the year (1 x 2 weeks + 1 week) in kennels is not an awful long time.

My girl came from a rescue centre and she was the most lovely placid girl. Sadly she is no longer with us. We are now looking at the K9 Angel website.

NomenOmen Wed 18-Dec-13 00:29:43

Commiserations, MostlyCake.

No, sadly, no family near us, and I couldn't impose on friends (plus, I don't think I know any SAHPs near me!)

AllThreeWays Wed 18-Dec-13 00:26:46

sorry excuse the typos

AllThreeWays Wed 18-Dec-13 00:25:50

We have two dogs and work those hours five days a week. They vet a morning and evening walk, and are in the house when we are home. I see no problem with it, the breeders got then had no problem, my vet has no problem.
If they are well exercised and have a good sized back garden, hey are fine. mine sleep most of the time I am gone.

Sunflower49 Wed 18-Dec-13 00:22:12

My friend has a dog and takes her to her Mum's every day before work and collects her at night-is there anyone available who likes dogs who would do that for you ?

MostlyCake Wed 18-Dec-13 00:19:37

I have almost exactly the same argument with myself periodically....I know that it wouldn't be fair and I think you do too.... it's also unlikely a rescue place would give you a dog unless your circumstances changed.

I second volunteering at a rescue place. Not quite the same but might give you enough of a fix!

NomenOmen Wed 18-Dec-13 00:18:21

Thank you for your posts, everyone. Much appreciated. thanks

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