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Please critique my dog plan(66 Posts)
We had a 9 week old shar pei this week and so far he seems to have settled in well.
I am not an experienced dog owner so would appreciate a critique (or not!) of my plans for him going forward.
I will be returning to work when he will be 15 weeks old. I have a large conservatory so plan to section off half of it which gives him full access to the garden and also the inside conservatory with crate/bed/blankets and dried food and water. He will be left at 8, after having had breakfast and a walk, someone will come in around 11.30/12, then I will return at 4.15.
I’d value honest opinions from experienced owners over whether this is ok; the conservatory has heating but with the door open it will be cold in the winter. Will he be warm enough with access to cosy bedding inside (I figure it’s like an outside kennel but sheltered from rain/wind etc)? Should I cover his crate to provide an insulated place if he gets cold?
You cannot leave a puppy all day like that - it's really wrong, I'm sorry
Honest opinion is that you should have asked for advice before getting the puppy. That really does not sound OK at all.
Surely you make a plan before getting a dog?
You can’t leave puppy that young alone for that long. You need to be there to housetrain it, make it feel secure, stop it barking, train it....it’s a ridiculous idea.
We worked from home in shifts for the first 2 months, used friends and family to be there if we couldn’t be.
Irrespective of the cruelty of leaving a pack animal alone for most of the day / week, have you not thought about dog theft? It’s rife at the moment and lot of dogs have been stolen from gardens.
Honestly OP - what part of you thinks this is acceptable?
Barking out of boredom
Barking at passers by
Chasing squirrels/birds/cats and barking
Destruction due to boredom
Loneliness, whining due to loneliness.
Horrible, wet rainy or snowy days and the rain/wind/snow blowing in your conservatory (and ruining it perhaps, eg floor distorting due to constantly getting wet; mould, mildew, etc from damp)
Dog paddling mud in and out all day long from about September-April May. (If you have more than a yard. The mess just from letting my dogs out for a wee is unreal! If they had unlimited access over winter my kitchen would be TRASHED)
Coldness, as mentioned. Especially on a wet or snowy day. Dog gets soaked at 9am in the garden and then has to sit on a cold, wet bed in the middle of winter until 4pm?
Assuming you live alone... What if you want to go out for the evening? Drinks with work colleague, get some shopping in, visit family etc? Will dog have to also spend all evening alone, possibly in the conservatory?
... just a few reasons why I personally wouldn't do this.
My first thought is this set up is ok for a mature well-trained dog who is happy being left and used to this routine & who will guard the house.
It won't suit a tiny puppy at all, he won't be house trained, he will be lonely, he will be stressed & confused.
A conservatory could easily become too hot as well, and how will you keep him safe and the house secure? What if he barks all day long in the garden?
Can you use daycare?
I'm going to assume you are asking about a friends plan because no-one would think this is a good idea unless they were completely irresponsible and clueless.
If you can find a secure set-up indoors, and the lunchtime visit can last from 11-1, that would be marginally better.
But still leaving a tiny puppy on his own for three hours twice a day four days a week is dreadful for the puppy.
I leave my dog in the conservatory (he has taken this room as his own and sits there happily even Wien we are in) and garden while we are at work. I speak to my neighbours and ask if he is making noise. My garden is secure so no one can steal him and if they did I think he'd do them over anyway.
Plenty of people leave dogs during the working day. If they get used to it early on then there is no issue.
My biggest worry is that on a warm day he will get locked in the conservatory and die but I know it's not possible.
Realistic options: try to find decent dog daycare that will take a puppy. Or return him to the breeder - although I'm dubious about whether the breeder is a responsible one if they were ok with this plan (or didn't even ask) so maybe not.
There are a lot of dog thefts happening near me at the minute and they are occurring in properties that leave their dogs outside all day. Secondly, you say that it will get cold in the winter but will it also get hot in the summer? Dogs can get heat stroke from lying in conservatories. Dogs with heat stroke need to be treated really quickly for it to not end fatally.
When someone is coming in, how long are they coming in for and what will they be doing (just checking up on him or taking him a walk)?
We worked full time at the office with ours (still do but we’re both at home). We have a dog walker who comes in and gives her a run with a few other dogs, she’s usually out for about an hour. When she was young and couldn’t be out that long, we got the dog walker twice a day - one time a play in the garden and the second time a walk with another dog. Then lots of interaction with her when we were at home and different interaction, not just walking. We play with our dog, walk her, do scentwork, obedience - different things to stimulate her, get her using her brain. You might want a doggy camera to check that he’s not starting to become destructive when you’re out (a sign of separation anxiety), that would be a sign that he needs more visits and/or more stimulation.
How long will the person be in at lunch?
For a 15 week old I think it’s a bit much. Is there a puppy daycare nearby you could drop him off at?
Just remember this is when the training get set, so it’s important to get it right. I wouldn’t want my my dog to get cold and wet and then not have anyone look in on him for 4 hours. Also, I only speak from experience of small dogs who are incredibly hard to housetrain and you need to manage their temperature and I don’t know your breed!
And this is why rescues are predicting a huge influx of untrained, unsocialised puppies by the end of September.
No, it's not OK. Now what are you going to do?
Is this every single work day? OP, dogs are pack animals, the reason so many get issues like separation anxiety is because they are left alone, something that wouldn't happen if they were with other dogs. You cannot leave your dog for this long, every day of it's life. You will end up with an anxious, bored, lonely dog. You cannot just leave the back door open for him - yes, as you said, it will be utterly shit for him in autumm/winter.
Just echoing others, why on earth did you not do your research before getting a puppy?!
It’s a shit way to treat a puppy.
I bloody despair.
No sorry not ok.
Look for day care as it’s just too many hours.
Do you have any other options? This seems so unfair on the puppy. Could you send the puppy to an all day doggy day care centre?
That's really cruel. I personally don't think any dog should be left that long on a regular basis but definitely not a 15 week old puppy! Our conservatory can get incredibly warm, dog loves it in there but on hot days it's way too much for him.
You need a new plan or to return the puppy. Did you do any research before getting this dog?
Just spotted it's a shar pei too which are very sensitive to hot weather. You really need to come up with something else.