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For those of you with Dogs...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
How many hours a day are you at work?

I would LOVE to get a dog but I also work full time and kind of feel it is unfair to be gone 9-10 hrs a day. I was just wondering if anyone else out there does this?
I have been back and forth on this for the last year and my schedule is not going to change.
But I also feel that if I can rescue a dog who would have a loving home I should be able to and he would be a lot happier than in a shelter.

Thanks for the input!
post #2 of 16
Many people work full time and have dogs, though I applaud you for questioning it as its not entirely fair.

You cannot leave a dog alone or crated for 9-10 hours a day on his/her own.
Its just not fair as dogs are pack animals and this would create nuisance/anxiety behaviours.
but....

Here are some options:

How about coming home at lunch and taking dog for a nice long walk/exercise?

Or doing this AND having someone drop by once or twice a day to play with dog, do some training, exercise, cuddles, etc...

Or many people also put their dogs in doggy daycare as an option.

If you make sure that someone is coming in (I think at least twice a day), then its workable. It doesn't have to be a friend either. You can hire bondable companies to come in and dogsit for an hour or so at a time.

Good luck!
post #3 of 16
When I got Dawg and Charlie I worked fulltime. I got them at different times. I actually got Charlie thinking Dawg would like the company, and because he gave me "the eyes". I don't know what they did all day, but now that I'm home they seem to sleep alot. I think they will be fine if I ever go back to work.
post #4 of 16
our shihtzu is crated while we are at worl longest time though has been about 8 hours usually its about 7.
post #5 of 16
Well we have a lab - she will be 4 yrs old in September. We got her thru rescue group when 14 months old (from abuse). DH does work at home, and I work outside - with commuting time about 10-12 hrs. But we've left her in the house all day if we have to go somewhere and she can't go.

She's fine with the cats.


If you are looking to adopt, check out Petfinder.com for the type of dog you are interested in adopting. The local shelters or foster homes have pictures/description, etc. They will tell you if the dog is cat friendly, kid friendly, etc. I'd take a trained adult dog over a puppy. You can skip the puppy housebreaking stages
post #6 of 16
IMO, some dog can cope being away from you during the work day if they have something to keep them occupied in a good way with chew toys, another pet friend, etc. and can move about and stretch (i.e. not crated for 10 hours) -- providing that you meet their emotional and physical needs during the time you're home. Some aren't going to able to cope.

You need to consider the dog's temperament, breed, energy level, age, and any past behavior issues to see if it'll be a good match for you. Some dogs are going to cope OK with long periods of rest/inactivity. Others are going to need to be on the go most of the day, have a job to do, or get hard exercise to be physically and mentally healthy. Obviously, you aren't going to want to adopt a Border Collie from working stock or Belgian Malinois if you only want a dog that needs a 30 minute walk and some time on your lap in the evening. There are several breed-specific rescues that can counsel you about how a particular breed would adapt to your situation. If you adopt from a shelter, take the potenial adoptee for 2 or 3 long walks (if the shelter will let you) and see for yourself how the dogbehaves. Is it still hyper after an hour long walk each time you go for a stroll?

If you can't adjust your schedule easily to raise a puppy, you might want to consider an adult or senior dog. Although you have senior dogs for less time before they pass away, they are so grateful to you and can be the best buddies. They usually need a lot less exercise, too. My elderly pit bull needs only needs about an hour of moderate exercise a day. He sleeps and lounges while we're at work and is fresh and ready for a walk when we get home. He gets a ton of affection and attention when we're home and gets to sleep on the bed with us at night. We don't have much of a social life during the weekday evenings, but that's OK. He's worth it.

The recommendations for a pet sitter / doggie day care are great and will take some of the worry off your mind. Make sure you're up for the cost of these services in addition to the cost of food, vet care, etc.

Good luck!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
IMO, some dog can cope being away from you during the work day if they have something to keep them occupied in a good way with chew toys, another pet friend, etc. and can move about and stretch (i.e. not crated for 10 hours) -- providing that you meet their emotional and physical needs during the time you're home. Some aren't going to able to cope.

You need to consider the dog's temperament, breed, energy level, age, and any past behavior issues to see if it'll be a good match for you. Some dogs are going to cope OK with long periods of rest/inactivity. Others are going to need to be on the go most of the day, have a job to do, or get hard exercise to be physically and mentally healthy. Obviously, you aren't going to want to adopt a Border Collie from working stock or Belgian Malinois if you only want a dog that needs a 30 minute walk and some time on your lap in the evening. There are several breed-specific rescues that can counsel you about how a particular breed would adapt to your situation. If you adopt from a shelter, take the potenial adoptee for 2 or 3 long walks (if the shelter will let you) and see for yourself how the dogbehaves. Is it still hyper after an hour long walk each time you go for a stroll?

If you can't adjust your schedule easily to raise a puppy, you might want to consider an adult or senior dog. Although you have senior dogs for less time before they pass away, they are so grateful to you and can be the best buddies. They usually need a lot less exercise, too. My elderly pit bull needs only needs about an hour of moderate exercise a day. He sleeps and lounges while we're at work and is fresh and ready for a walk when we get home. He gets a ton of affection and attention when we're home and gets to sleep on the bed with us at night. We don't have much of a social life during the weekday evenings, but that's OK. He's worth it.

The recommendations for a pet sitter / doggie day care are great and will take some of the worry off your mind. Make sure you're up for the cost of these services in addition to the cost of food, vet care, etc.

Good luck!
I am definately going to adopt from a shelter or rescue. I know a puppy is NOT a good idea for me since I am not around all day. I am seriously considering a senior or older adult dog. There is a shelter in my area that tests a dogs personality and activity level and they try to match the dogs to the right owners.

I will not crate the dog during the day but I would confine him to a room while I am away.

My biggest concern is my cats though. You do not always know the temperment and if they will like cats. I fostered (or attempted to foster) a pitbull who was a real sweetie with humans but she literally tried to eat my cat!! I told her they had to take find her another foster the next morning and have been leary to adopt since.

I am still debating and will consider pet sitting and all other related costs. I view having an animal as a privelage and blessing andf do not take it lightly so this will not be an impulse decision for me.

I appreciate all the input so far and the suggestions are great.
post #8 of 16
In general, there are many breeds that are ok with cats and some breeds that are not. While there are exceptions, I found from other owners/message boards, etc. that the following you use caution with cats:

1. Weimeraners

2. Jack Russal Terriers (experiences from a JRT message board on warnings to lock up the JRT when not supervised around cats - this goes for JRT's raised from pups that can snap and kill a cat).

3. Any dogs used in illegal fighting (pitbulls and crosses) - they are trained on killing cats.

Some the other small terrier breeds might hurt the cats - after all, they were bred for killing rats and other small game.

Now some of the better dogs are big ones; labs, GSD, most herding breeds, poodles, etc.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Now some of the better dogs are big ones; labs, GSD, most herding breeds, poodles, etc.

I would stay away from leaving a working breed dog (like GSD's, labs, herding breeds) at home for 9-10 hours.

You will definitely have some chaos and an unhappy dog to clean up after when you get home.
That is, unless you get someone to come in and exercise them hard for at least 45 mins to an hour. These breeds will not be happy with a 20 min. walk during the day.
post #10 of 16
When i was working full time I had a Chihuahua and just hated leaving her alone all day. So... I got a pekingese to keep her company and it was the best thing I did. They loved each other so much. They both got along fine with the cats...actually my pekingese nursed my motherless kittens!! I did try to come home for lunch to take them out but couldn't always manage it and they did fine. Rarely any mess but on those days I couldn't get home they were ready to go the minute I walked in the door. Both of those girls are gone now and I have another chihuahua and a maltese and they also do great with the cats.
post #11 of 16
I agree that using caution when adopting dogs with strong prey drives, such as the true terriers and bully breeds. Unless you're willing to keep the animals seperated when you can't supervise them or - worst case scenario - keep them permanently separated, you're better off with a lower drive, lower energy dog. A good book to check out for breed descriptions is Michelle Welton's "Your Purebred Puppy." She gives excellent insight into many common breeds with regard to energy levels, reaction to other pets, grooming requirements, etc.

http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/yppbook/index.html

On pit bulls:

A pit bull's lack of tolerance for cats is usually the result of 1) not being socialized with cats at a young age and/or 2) having a very strong prey drive (desire to chase and capture prey). I don't doubt that you'll find pit bulls owned by complete idiots that set dogs on cats and encourage animal aggression.

In the last few years, some lowlife urban dogfighters have been using cats and smaller dog as "bait," but this has been going on for a relatively short period of time in the breed's long history. Traditionally, pit bulls were NOT "trained" to fight. The dogs were conditioned to develop their aerobic endurance and strength, but not baited nor taught fighting skills like a human boxer is trained in footwork and punching combinations. A pit bull bred true to type has a natural (genetic) desire to respond to challenges from other dogs and large stock animals (cattle and pigs).

Thankfully, the majority of pit bulls and pit bull mixes in the US have never been subjected to the cruelty of dog fighting or baiting. However, this doesn't make them automatically safe with cats (or other dogs).
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy View Post
Many people work full time and have dogs, though I applaud you for questioning it as its not entirely fair.

You cannot leave a dog alone or crated for 9-10 hours a day on his/her own.
Its just not fair as dogs are pack animals and this would create nuisance/anxiety behaviours.
but....

Here are some options:

How about coming home at lunch and taking dog for a nice long walk/exercise?

Or doing this AND having someone drop by once or twice a day to play with dog, do some training, exercise, cuddles, etc...

Or many people also put their dogs in doggy daycare as an option.

If you make sure that someone is coming in (I think at least twice a day), then its workable. It doesn't have to be a friend either. You can hire bondable companies to come in and dogsit for an hour or so at a time.

Good luck!

These are also the recommendations on my Boxer forum - and BTW, we are wholehearted enjoying our adult adoptee (a Boxer )
post #13 of 16
We have two dogs, an English Bulldog (Gonzo) and a jack-rat terrior/lab mix (Gertrude). We have to crate both during the day. We used to leave Gertrude out but she is a destructive dog. She was putting holes in the walls, and chewing up the wall framing, started chewing up the couch, and would use the basement as a bathroom, even though my husband would come home for lunch. Gonzo has a spraying issue when he's left alone. So as much as i hate doing it we have crates for them and they go in them when we leave. but i think the cats like it cause then they have run of the house
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post



3. Any dogs used in illegal fighting (pitbulls and crosses) - they are trained on killing cats.
.
actually, they are NOT "trained" on killing cats..they just have a high prey drive because they are terriers (pit bull terriers)...ANY terrier and ANY dog can have a high prey drive. my hound, Buster is good with my cats, only because him and Miagi grew up together. all of my dogs my hound, my rottie mix, my mom's corgi mix, and my black lab are all good with my cats.

I am only gone 5 hours a day, so I have time to pay attention to all my pets. (6) If you aren't going to be home all day, you may not want to adopt a puppy. I would adopt an older dog. What about a golden retriever? just make sure you have time for the dog and your other animals as well.
post #15 of 16
There's been some great advice given here.
I just wanted to say that as a dog walker I see lots of different dogs living happily with cats. Some obviously get along better than others.
I see a lot of crated dogs too. For the most part, they seem happy and well cared for. There are a couple that are overweight and need more exercise though. Most people seem to graduate from a crate to leaving specific areas closed off for the dogs, and personally I think this is a better solution, if you can make it work.
Hiring a dog walker or using doggie day care are becoming really common solutions for dog owners who have to work all day, and it's great to see. If you're in a larger urban area, I'm sure you'll have lots of options available - in my small city we have several different dog walking companies as well as a few daycares. Even if you can only afford it a couple times a week, it'll make a big difference to the dog's day.
post #16 of 16
I work from home ( NOt out of my house) ... I limit my time to 4-6 hours per trip ... I also agree with the older dog and Not a pit or mix of pit cause adults just arent cat friendly unless brought up that way... I have a high prey drive terrier( yorkie) who is excellent with cats ..

Temperment and exercise needs would be my main concern... Most toy breeds are good on both...
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