Is it fair to get a dog if working almost full time?

(35 Posts)
Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 16:51:11

My husband really really wants a dog. I do too! And love looking on the rescue sites and Pets4Homes etc and imagining life with a dog. My husband has never lived a dog (even as a child). I grew up with many of them and whilst equally wanting, more realistic about things. I have reservations that are making me concerned.

I would like a small/medium dog, calm and good with children, able to handle my mum visiting a few times a week with her very placid (daft as a brush) dog.

Would you mind reading through our lifestyle/situation and telling me your honest opinion? And which breeds you think might suit us best:

We are a family of 3, me, my husband and 6 year old child. Out child is very sensible and calm around dogs. My mum has one and so she is not nervous of them. We live in a 3 bed semi with a medium to small sized garden. 6 ft fence and walls surrounding it. Live in a village in the countryside. Amazing walks all around us. We would walk it once a day.

Husband works full time, I work almost full time. We are both out of the house 5.5 hours a day on week days. Home all weekend. We only holiday in the UK. We can afford a dog and would get really decent pet insurance.

I think we would need a small/medium sized but robust dog. Husband wants something that doesn't look too girly!! He actually would love a bulldog. I love labs but think our garden is too small.

My big concern is that the dog will be unhappy being left alone while we’re at work. I could potentially reduce or condense my hours to 3 days.

What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
Dozer Thu 12-Mar-20 16:52:15

I strongly disapprove of this. Lots of people near me do it, mind you.

Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 16:53:48

Do you think working at all with a dog is not ok?

OP’s posts: |
wetotter Thu 12-Mar-20 16:55:37

5.5 hours is a very long time to leave a dog, and it's unthinkable for a puppy (and puppyhood lasts many months - arguably until the dog is 2, but perhaps a bit earlier with a small breed)

If you adopted an older rescue dog, and employed a dog sitter, then you could make this work OK.

ValedictoryMessage Thu 12-Mar-20 16:56:29

We have but my in laws have her during the day so she isn't left on her own. She's a puppy so I wouldn't be anyway till she was older. I'm not entirely sure of the long term solution though as she is a very clingy dog.

The idea was when she's older she'll do puppy day care a couple of afternoons a week, be with in laws sometimes, and my husband comes home every lunchtime. So walk before work, lunchtime company and walk after work. she is so clingy I'm not sure this is going to work. I hadn't realised the breed had a tendency to clinginess. I think in retrospect we should have got a settled older dog, from a breed that doesn't mind a bit of alone time and could cope with 2.5 on own in the morning and then in the afternoon.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 12-Mar-20 16:57:08

It is very unfair and I personally think cruel to leave a dog that long every day.

ValedictoryMessage Thu 12-Mar-20 16:57:37

Yeah, short answer, older dog with dog walker or dog sitter in the day to let it out.


Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 16:57:59

So which breeds like alone time?

OP’s posts: |
Jonb6 Thu 12-Mar-20 16:58:19

No not good at all.

Mumtothelittlefella Thu 12-Mar-20 16:58:54

We work with three dogs but very flexible hours (me) as we run our own business and we have a dog walker 3 times a week so they are only left on their own for three hours max. They get walked three times a day and lots of fuss and attention. We had multiple dogs so they have company but I wouldn’t recommend three!

My BIL recently rescued an older dog via the RSPCA and they both work full time but they dog is left for at least four hour stints a day during the week. I was surprised but maybe given the age and breed this was ok. They also have a dog walker five days a week.

Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 16:59:31

Ok. Seems I was right to be concerned.

OP’s posts: |
StarbucksSmarterSister Thu 12-Mar-20 16:59:55

You'd be leaving any breed alone for far too long. You either need doggy daycare or a dog walker

MoaningMinniee Thu 12-Mar-20 17:05:30

Pro walker and daycare provider here. You will need to use all your annual leave, both of you, to settle a pup, and get a really good reliable local walker or daycare setting involved well before you actually need it. You might do better to rehome a more mature dog. Five and a half hours is too long to leave it (RSPCA guidelines are four hours max).

Every dog is different, even within the same breed. You might be lucky and get one of the chilled out happy to sleep when not being walked ones, or you might get one of the anxious ones. You won't know until you've got her or him what sort it will turn out to be.

Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 17:13:22

Ok thanks everyone. Decision made.

OP’s posts: |
Honeyroar Thu 12-Mar-20 17:16:37

I think you’d need to look for doggy daycare or a walker to come in while you’re at work. I don’t really like dogs being left alone at all, two dogs left with each other for company is better, but perhaps not the easiest start to dog ownership. You might find two pair bonded dogs in a rescue that need renominates together.

BendyLikeBeckham Thu 12-Mar-20 17:17:59

retired greyhound would be ideal. 1 or 2 short walks a day, so long as they can access a garden for toilettong, they sleep the rest of the time and are used to their own company having been kenneled. Lovely with kids, gentle, and fold up small.

BendyLikeBeckham Thu 12-Mar-20 17:20:20

you may still need a middle of the day visitor to let them out or walk them, but may not need this once they are settled. They tend to be toilet trained and older dogs, either 1-2 years old if they were useless racers or 5 years old if retired. I'd go for the older ones.

BendyLikeBeckham Thu 12-Mar-20 17:20:49

I want one myself and have been researching!

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Thu 12-Mar-20 17:21:53

You can make it work, but it will take commitment. You'll need to walk the dog whatever the weather and ideally more than once a day (I encounter a lot of other dog walkers at 6.30a.m.) And TBH for a young dog you'd need a neighbour or a dog-walker to give it a run while you're out. 5.5 hours alone is too long as a routine thing for any dog under about two, IMO. My two get left that long and longer a couple of times a week, but they have each other, access to a kennel yard and get plenty of exercise. And they are both well out of puppyhood.

As for breeds, terriers are pretty independent and quite like their own company (and they're not 'girly' either). In your situation I'd be inclined to go for a middle-aged terrier, two walks a day with you and a dog walker in the middle of that long block of time.

adaline Thu 12-Mar-20 18:27:50

No, please don't do this. Just because lots of people do it, doesn't mean it's acceptable or fair on the dog.

Medievalist Thu 12-Mar-20 18:31:16

So which breeds like alone time?


MrsDrudge Thu 12-Mar-20 18:54:14

Not good to leave a dog at home for longer than a couple of hours IMO. I wouldn’t do it unless I could get doggy day care/dog walker for working days.

Knobblybobbly Thu 12-Mar-20 19:05:55

No need for concern guys, as I said up thread, we’re not doing it.

@Medievalist. Yes, seriously. I asked the question because a PP said she’d wished she’d got a breed which was happier left alone. I didn’t know this existed, hence my question.

Hopefully, one day I’ll have the luxury of not working 30hrs a week and then we’ll fulfil our dream of getting a dog.

Thanks for replies. Matter now closed.

OP’s posts: |
Dozer Fri 13-Mar-20 12:22:01

What about a cat grin

My Mum v much wanted a dog when I was a DC but this wasn’t possible due to both parents being in FT work. So we got 2 cats! Turned out v well, although some people are “dog people” only.

AnneJeanne Fri 13-Mar-20 12:24:51

Surely it’s doable with doggie daycare?

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