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Could I get a dog?

(23 Posts)
Ski37 Wed 22-Feb-17 20:56:58

Posting for opinions of experienced dog owners to ensure I make a sensible decision.
I have wanted a dog for as long as I can remember but it is only now that I feel I am potentially in a position to get one . I have previously been in rented accommodation but now own my own house, have been there for 6 months and feel that the time may be right. My concern is that I am at work 7am-6.30pm 3 days/ 2.5 days alternate weeks with occasional commitments that mean I may need to go in to work during the night ( on average 3 times every 2 months) - sorry if that all seems a bit complicated!
I have recently found a doggy day care that looks after the dogs of many people from my place of work and they also do obedience training/ agility during the day for a small extra cost. There is also a lady very close by ( same street) that does dog walking.
I'm am aware of the implications and long term commitment of taking on a dog. I can afford the daycare/ dog walking costs and long term vet bills.
I have always been in love with labradors and have been considering a puppy- I have family who would stay and help train for however long necessary but I know this is a massive commitment. I've also been looking at rescue centres and would me more than happy with the right rescue dog.

I think what I'm asking is would it be completely selfish for me to get a dog now with my work commitments or is it reasonable?
Sorry for the long post!

emmaluggs Wed 22-Feb-17 21:03:43

Sounds like you have thought it through with the options of the doggy day care and dog walkers, these would be necessary for your long days, I'd say go for it! You've put a lot more thought into it than a lot of people do.

TattyCat Wed 22-Feb-17 22:54:54

Sounds possible. The only thing I would say is be very careful getting a puppy when you need to rely on family to help you out. If they let you down, you're potentially quite stuck in a difficult situation. At least if you adopt a rescue (even a young one), they should, in theory, be toilet trained etc and doggy day care/walkers are therefore an option - not so for a puppy, really.

BagelGoesWalking Wed 22-Feb-17 23:10:20

You sound extremely aware of what owning a dog entails. It's meant as a great compliment because so many people don't!

However, a puppy would be really, really hard even with all your plans in place. Day care wouldn't be appropriate for the first month until vaccinations are all done. Pup really needs such intensive input for the first year and I'm not sure it would be possible with so many other people sharing the care. It would be very confusing and training wouldn't be consistent.

What about a young dog, a year or 18 months old? Many, many in rescue, lots of smaller rescues have their dogs in foster homes so basic house training and other training has been done. Also, issues like separation anxiety wouldn't be present or at least you'd be told about them and be able to make informed choices. A retired, young greyhound would be a great choice!

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Feb-17 23:15:10

I would not get a puppy unless you can take several weeks leave. I say this as I sit in the dark kitchen waiting for pup to nod off so I can go up to bed! It's takes time to bond and toilet train and get them used to being left and teach lead walking and deal with the chewing/mouthing.
You seem to have a handle on how you could cover the working days. I can't see why a slightly older dog wouldn't work. But do allow settling in time.
Sneaky (ok blatant!) plug for black retriever x rescue!

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Feb-17 23:15:37

And greyhounds are LOVELY!!!!

BiteyShark Thu 23-Feb-17 05:59:23

Yes you can have a dog using day care and dog walkers which is what I do when I am in the office. However, if you really want a puppy you are going to need to settle them in over a few weeks (I took 1 month at home before going back into the office). Also check whether there is a lower age limit as one day care near me was 4 months of age which would have been an issue had I not found somewhere else.

Also with puppies unless you plan to let them pee in puppy pads in the night you are going to need someone to look after them during your odd night time work to let them out every few hours for a pee.

Ski37 Sun 26-Feb-17 20:27:07

Thanks for the replies and advice. It's helped me realise that now is probably not the best time for me to get a puppy but I will definitely look further into getting a rescue dog. I'm glad that it doesn't seem completely unreasonable - as long as I find the right dog to suit my lifestlye ( and there has to be one out there surely !)

Ski37 Sun 26-Feb-17 20:47:27

Also thanks for the tip about greyhounds, I do have a bit of a soft spot for them - they are a decent size and I've always preferred the larger dog breeds - and the ones I've met have always been so gentle! I'm going to start looking at rescue centres but I'm not going to rush into a decision just because I want one now!

Ski37 Sat 30-Sep-17 23:49:01

warning- resurrecting an old thread
As you know from the first post I was thinking about getting a dog for the first time. Thank you for the advice from the people who posted on this thread.
I soon realised that getting a puppy wasn't going to be practical for me and that even with the plans outlined above I wouldn't be able to give the time and attention necessary to training and socialising that a puppy would require. I enquired at a variety of rescue centres regarding an older dog and the result was the same.
I was obviously very disappointed but realised that these decisions are made for a very good reason........So after further research I made a compromise and adopted a cat!!! I still had to go through the same home checks etc but as cats are more independent I was deemed suitable!
It's probably the best decision I've made. Elvis is the first 'proper' pet I've owned ( I'm not counting fish and mice as a child) and until I got him I don't think I fully understood the responsibility of being an animal owner- I absolutely love him ( and I like to think he loves me too) - but whilst I was prepared for the financial costs of owning a pet it is definitely more expensive than I thought and even the most self reliant of animals need a huge amount of time/ love / affection/ training- luckily I've been able to give my rescue cat all of this - on his terms obviously ( he is a cat after all πŸ˜‰)
It has definitely made me re-think my decision to get a dog at the moment- I will still have one, one day , but only when the time is definitely right.
I guess the reason I updated this post was to say thank you for the advice/ warnings! I am grateful that it was highlighted how demanding puppy training can be/ how long it can take and how much time they demand! ( Elvis needy cat I'm looking at you now πŸ˜‰ 😍😍)

MillicentFawcett Sun 01-Oct-17 00:08:43

That's such a lovely happy ending!

Oops4 Sun 01-Oct-17 00:11:46

What a lovely update 😊 Cats are amazing. We rescued a brother and sister pair as kittens and oh my we're try hard work! Best preparation for having children πŸ˜‚ Unfortunately we lost the adventurous boy to a car accident but 11 years, two kids and two terriers on we still have our very lovely lady and she doesn't seem a day over two so hopefully many more years to go.

You sound like a very lovely and responsible pet owner and I really hope that one day you find your ideal dog. Our pups have definitely been more work than the kittens but actually far less destructive!

If you do start to think about a dog again I'd definitely recommend looking at all option for doggyday care in you area. We need a dog walker once a week and use a lady that has basically converted an old farm into a dog paradise. Our wee guy goes twice a day on my long work day and including the time for pick up etc he is actually out the house for most of the days. Sometimes if she is not busy she just keeps him between "play sessions" so he really is out all day with a whole pack of other dogs having a whale of a time. Heaven for a dog loving terrier that isn't allowed off leads on walks. She is so flexible so if there are other short notice days we need she can take him and she does boarding so when we are away on holiday or need him taken care of overnight we have no concerns about leaving him. He practically skips off with her. He gets very huffy indeed when she comes to pick up the neighbours dog and not him (although she has been known to see him whining at the gate and just take him for an extra play πŸ˜‚). This makes a huge difference to us (and our dog) and could really help when you do consider getting a dog.

I've added a picture of our No 1 baby showing our Terrier just how little she think last of him as cats really are brilliant 😊

Oops4 Sun 01-Oct-17 00:21:06

Apologies for the typos πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

Ski37 Sun 01-Oct-17 00:55:15

The other thing my first post highlighted- and this still me makes me feel quite sad........I'm still not deemed suitable to adopt a rescue dog, or older dog ,despite having day care/ dog walking in place ... .. I'm not arguing with that and I don't blame them- rehoming centres have their rules and they are there for a reason and they want to make sure their dogs go to a safe home.
What DOES upset me is the fact that nothing is stopping me, or anyone else, 'buying' a puppy somewhere else .......

Ski37 Sun 01-Oct-17 01:44:46

Oops4 thankyou for your lovely reply!
Love the picture of your dog.... is he a border terrier?

Ski37 Sun 01-Oct-17 01:51:34

MilllicentFawcett- thankyou for your reply .

mylaptopismylapdog Sun 01-Oct-17 02:03:50

You sound as if you will be a great dog owner someday and your cat is very lucky to have you, Elvis is a great name.
I second Oops4 comments on good daycare, my dog was a very lively labradoodle pup and going to a similar daycare on a farm is the best thing I did for both of us, he had a brilliant time and learned to get on with other dogs and people, couldn't have had better care.

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Sun 01-Oct-17 02:19:59

Op that's actually a brilliant update. So pleased for you. It's also nice to see that when rescues said no, you didn't just go 'well I want a dog now' and get the closest puppy for sale on a free-ads site (which would have come from a puppy farm, their dealer or clueless backyard breeder).

I think rescues are concerned about how dogs will adapt to dog walker and/or doggy daycare and also how reliable that service will be. After all a lot of dogs end up in rescue because owners couldn't or wouldn't get suitable and reliable care in place whilst they were out of the house, at work, all day - thus leading to issues.

It is a sad fact that when good breeders and rescues say no to people who aren't as caring as you, about the animal involved, they go and support puppy farms instead (the only way to get a puppy/dog without questions on suitability).

Oops4 Sun 01-Oct-17 02:27:18

He is indeed, a very cheeky wee border. Reputable rescues are actually very difficult to rescue from, and rightly so. Second time round we ideally wanted to rescue an older dog but with two kids, a dog and a cat we were told by many centres that the only dog they would rehome to us would be a puppy.

CMOTDibbler Sun 01-Oct-17 10:41:17

Not all rescues would turn you down btw - one of my fosters (9 months old) went to a lady who works 3 long days a week and the dog goes to day care in a small environment on those days. Smaller rescues are more likely to be able to make case by case decisions, especially where their dogs are in foster rather than kennels, than larger ones. We certainly rehome to people with cats/children/jobs as it's appropriate for that dog and the circumstances of that family

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Mon 02-Oct-17 12:35:42

I'm surprised you got turned down for a rescue dog. I live alone and work 5 days a week (though have weeks off now and then) and my dog has a dogwalker halfway through the day. The rescues I approached knew this and were all keen for me to adopt a dog. I may have had a slight advantage over you because I had had dogs before (my previous one had just died, aged 13). I tried RSPCA & Battersea. Don't know about the attitude of other rescues but I think Dogs Trust seem to want you to have a garden readily accessible from your flat, if you live in a flat.

Ski37 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:27:21

CMOTDibbler and mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork thank you for your replies. I enquired about dogs from the local RSPCA and also other smaller local rehoming centres. Maybe the fact I'd never had a dog before was a factor or maybe they didn't have any dogs that would be suitable for me at the time? The garden probably wasn't an issue as I live in a house with a good size secure garden. Either way It's good to hear I may be considered suitable in the future when the time is right.
In the meantime I'm going to lavish my attention on my (very large) needy cat - I met A boarder terrier in the street today and he was smaller than Elvis!

Ski37 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:47:42

*border terrier!

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