Doggy dilemma- feeling broody. Long post but didn't want to drip feed.(21 Posts)
I'm a massive dog lover. I grew up with dogs. I fucking love dogs.
Me and DH bought our house earlier this year and for the first time in my life I feel settled- bought our house, permanent job on a 'track', happy with our relationship etc. Because of all of this I've started to get broody for a dog and think that the time might be right for us to get one.
But every time I think 'Yay let's go to the dog's home' there are niggling things in the back of my mind and I hear my mother going 'A dog ties you down, it's a massive commitment'.
I'm interested in what other MNers 'pre-conditions' would be for getting a dog?
Can I give you some information and things that are going round my head just for background;
- We don't have a 'garden' but a small concrete yard out back; it'd be big enough for a staffy sized dog. We have a good park about 2 minute walk and a moor about 5 minutes away.
- I have experience of puppy raising but not rescuing a dog and I know there will be all sorts of extra demands and problems with this. But I'd like to rescue a dog. I know you can rescue puppies of course but they do get snapped up.
- I have irregular work patterns. At the moment I work at home permanently but in a couple of months I'll be out of the house 7am-6pm, 3-4 days per week. DH works out of the home permenantly.
- When we go on holiday I don't have friends or family to leave a dog with but there's a brilliant kennels just around the corner from me.
- I don't have a car
is this even relevant
Although there are some things screaming 'Nooooo don't get one yet', if I let things like working patterns stop me getting a dog then surely I'm not going to be able to have one until I retire in about a million years. Plus, surely a dog which is left for a few days a week is still better off in a loving home than locked up in an RSPCA home? Plus, a colleague the other day was when I said that I wasn't sure about getting one now- he didn't see anything stopping me. Plus, the house we've bought needs some work which we'll be doing next year so for about six months
whilst the house is a state we've got the perfect opportunity to get a dog settled and any accidents are easily remedied (i.e. it's not on new carpets etc).
So sorry this is a MASSIVE post but just after MNers thoughts.
It's really really not fair to leave a dog for 11 hours...if you could get a dog walked to break those days up it might work, but not just leaving it.
tabulah Sorry for my naivety but how does that work? Does the walker have keys to your house and comes and picks DDog up a couple of times a day?
Also, how much does it cost?
Tabulah Oooh, I've found a service in my local area. £7 for a 25 minute walk. I don't think that's too bad.
Yes they have keys and come and pick up your dog and take it out for an hour's walk. The price will depend a bit on where you are and whether they just walk your dog or a whole load together (I wouldn't recommend the second option) here it's about £9 for the hour - with travelling not included as part of the time, or charged for.
tabulah Thanks for that- there are a few service in my area. One charges £10 for 50 minutes and another is £8 for 45 minutes.
That's really good to know!
You also get things like doggy daycare and home boarders where you drop them off for the day...again I'd avoid anything where it's large groups of dogs, too much scope for things going wrong, but it's a good option so they're not alone all day.
How long do you think it is okay to leave a dog for, BTW? As I said, I do work at home quite a bit but there are times when I'll be out all day at work.
I guess every dog is different so there's no 'right amount'
You shouldn't leave a dog alone for more than 4 hours a day
About 4ish hours really, if I need to leave the dog longer than that I get someone to come and let him out to the toilet at least.
Just to warn you, some rescues will give you a flat no because you work, others will take into account any plans you have to accommodate the dog (like a walker).
The other stuff you've mentioned aren't really issues, gardens are handy, but not essential, kennels are perfectly fine for holidays - though you might find whatever care you use while your working also offers holiday care in their home, it's quite common and then the dog is with a familiar person.
If the work on your house includes building work though - I'd maybe wait till after that as it can be quite unsettling for a dog.
Personally I find older rescues much less work than puppies anyway, yes they'll need some training (even if they're already trained just because it's a new home) but puppies need everything training and rescues are usually past things like mouthing and don't need to pee every 20 minutes, lol.
Thanks for this- you're all awesome.
God, would a Centre really say a flat no just because I work?!
Yes, the local walkers also do boarding.
I was thinking that about the work on the house. Yes, there will be some building work.
Absolutely agree with you re. older dog or puppy. DH has never had a puppy so is, understandably, quite keen on one. I have had puppies, however, am I know how much bloody work it can be!
Read aboyt different breads. Some require good routine others tolerate changes better. My JRT doesn't need much of a routine.
Yes some rescues will not rehome dogs where there's not someone in all day...sadly there's no shortage of rescue centres and some are perfectly fine with people being out as long as adequate provision is made for the dogs' care.
So when you're at the point of actually looking for a dog, just be honest about your lifestyle and don't take it personally if their rules mean it's a no.
tabulah Wow I had no idea. Oh yes, I'd definitely be completely honest because I want the best for whatever dog I end up with
antimatter Thanks. I used to have a Yorkshire Terrier who loved routine- the whole house's temporal organisation was based on the pooch!
The big plus of an adult rescue dog is that breed is kind of irrelevant - as in, it's a dog that already has a character, so if it's a dog that isn't typical of breed traits, they'll already know that... Or if it is too.
But, you don't need to put quite as much thought into breeds because you're not having to pick a breed that you think suits and then hoping it grows up with those traits, it's a dog that's been assessed and you only have to work out if that dog is right or not.
tabulah Yes I see what you mean. Makes complete sense!
sorry but you are getting a dog for purely selfish reasons. dogs are very sociable creatures and love human company. you can't leave a dog for 11 hours on its own with just an hour or so walk in between.
the only acceptable compromise for me would be a creche where you drop him off on your way to work. failing that wait until you can be at home.
you should not be getting a dog
I'm afraid I have to agree with the PP, getting a dog when you work 10-11 hours a day 4 days a week really wouldn't be fair at all. I don't know of any rescue or responsible breeder who would rehome or sell a dog/puppy into that situation. Even with a one hour walk at lunchtime the dog would be alone for 5+ hours in the morning and same again in the afternoon; the longest you should leave any adult dog in one go is 4 hours, and puppies much less than this. Dogs need human company and stimulation and to leave them alone for extended periods on a regular basis really is cruel. I'm a vet and unfortunately have seen innumerable dogs coming in with behavioural issues caused by being left alone too much - and also frequently get asked for help in rehoming them.
I think your only realistic/fair option on the days you work would be an all-day doggy daycare/crèche arrangement, but this can be very expensive and you would need to vet them carefully. If you want doggy contact though you could maybe volunteer to walk dogs at your local rescue.
In your situation I would recommend a older dog one that is past the puppy stage and toilet trained about 1 year plus maybe as puppys really can't be left that long alone as they need to go out regularly while toilet training.
My fathers two dogs are left home alone for up to 8 hours Monday to Friday but always get a walk before he goes to work then someone walks them and stays with for an hour midday then a walk as soon as he gets home plus the have the run of a secure garden during the day and this works for them.
So as long as you can get a dog walker or doggy day care and maybe provide some toys like a kong to keep them occupied it should not be a problem.
Some breeds will cope with it better than others.
I think a daycare option would be better than just an hours walk (25 minutes is far too short with the length of time left either side). But retired greyhounds are supposed to be good with being left alone as they're used to being kenneled. They sleep a lot too so unlikely to be bored when left. Might be worth looking into greyhound rescue.
What about arranging for them to be walled for an hour, twice on the days you're out of the house 10+ hours? I'm a dog walker & have a '4 hour rule' which means I make sure the dogs I look after don't have to wait more than 4 hours without a walk or visit. You've also got to think about those days when you've had a rubbish day, worked 10+ hours and get home in the dark with rain pouring - you've got to take your dog out. Can you commit to that?
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