Need to leave dog alone more frequently - what's best for dog?(9 Posts)
I'm going to be living on my own with my dog in the near future. She's 3 years old, and very much a human-dog rather than a dog-dog. By that I mean that although we socialised her really well from a puppy and she's friendly with dogs, she prefers playing with and the company of humans.
I work at home so she's currently very rarely left on her own. I did separation training with her, and she's ok being left alone but she cries a bit and acts fairly despondent until I get home (I video her). This makes me feel crap about leaving her home alone as I know she doesn't like it. She likes my company and tends to stay in the same room I'm in most of the time.
She's pretty jealous of other dogs if they want my attention and she warns them off me.
If I leave her with family when I'm going on holiday or going out for more than 3-4 hours, she's huffy with me when I come back home - she refuses to look at me and won't stay in the same room as me. This usually lasts a day and then she forgives me.
At the moment if I go out she has my husband for company. She won't have that company once I'm living on my own though. And I'll need to go out to go shopping, socialising and so on.
With all that in mind, I want her to be as happy as possible when I go out. My options that I've thought of so far are:
1. Get a 2nd dog to keep her company.
2. Get a cat for company.
3. Put her with a dog minder.
There are pros and cons for each. I've never had a cat so I'd need to do a ton of research and obviously not guaranteed that they'd even like each other. Another dog may exacerbate the jealousy she shows now when other dogs want my attention. And using a dog minder would mean that I'd have to book her in for a full overnight stay if I'm going out in the evening, which seems excessive for a couple of hours, likely at least once or twice a week as well. I won't have family nearby as I'm moving away for a fresh start.
What would you do? Work on the separation unhappiness a bit more or somehow work on the jealousy and get a 2nd dog? Her happiness is really important to me so it's vital I get this right!
She’s only 3 so getting another dog could be an option, as she’d probably accept them fairly easily. I have multiple dogs and they all do get jealous of each other’s attention, but you have 2 hands!
For me the idea of a dog sitter would be best. For the evenings if it really is only two or three hours, leaving her would be fine. She will get used to it very quickly, and the more you leave her the happier she’ll be to just settle down and sleep till you get home.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think the cat idea is great. For every dog I know that loves cuddling up with their cat pal, there’s 10 more than either couldn’t care less, actively harass, or fight with their feline friend.
How about for evenings employing a local babysitter as a dog sitter? My dd would love this sort of work, she likes dogs better than kids!
Then you don't have to do overnight.
Thanks both. That's good to hear, if I leave her more frequently she'll get more used to it and get happier with it over time. I'll admit I'm guilty of avoiding going out because I know it makes her unhappy!
Good idea with the babysitter as well - I'll look into that.
My doggy daycare will take a dog for the evening without necessarily meaning overnight - once they took him from 3pm - 9pm on a Saturday for us, so it's worth looking around your local area for someone who can be flexible!
My dog is most definitely a people dog rather than doggy dog. When my hours at work changed I had to put her in daycare. For the first few times she went she wasnt overly keen but 12 months later she absolutely loves it.
She still prefers humans and doesnt really play with the dogs but she plays with the staff who are brilliant.
I would really recommend daycare.
Could you have a go at Borrow My Doggy? I haven't used it, but you may be able to find someone who is often around in the day but can't commit to a dog FT e.g. a SAHM with small kids who knows she'll return to work in a couple of years, shift worker or an active older person. I gather in some areas, especially big cities, there are more borrowers than dogs available!
Our eldest dog is definitely a people person too. She hated our second dog when he came (she was three he was one). She was so jealous. But they became best buddies. My dad lives next door and he hears them playing (through the wall) when we go out and leave them. They're so attached that I'd actually consider them both being PTS together when the time comes for one of them to go.
Don't write off another dog. Our eldest dog was, and still is, a people person. She hated our second dog when he came. But she soon came round to him (he is over confident and refused to take no for an answer, plus they are both labs that adore water, so that brought them closer). My dad lives next door and says he can hear them playing through the walls. I dread the thought of one of them going now (they're 11 and 9). I sometimes think I'd be better having both pts together, they're that close.
She's still aloof with other dogs.
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