Working Full Time and Raising a Puppy

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Detox, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Detox

    Detox New Member

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    My wife and I have been thinking very hard about getting a dog. We don't jump into anything without first doing as much research as possible.

    So.............

    We know we want a dog, we know are ready for the committment to add a new member to the family and gladly take on the added resposibility and financial committment as well.

    However.................

    My wife and I both work M-F, 8-4 jobs. My biggest concern is what do we do with the puppy while we are at work?

    I have looked into doggy daycare and it is very expensive. In my area it is around $40CAD per day (not including taxes). Considering the breeder will give us the puppy at 8 weeks, this can get really expensive.

    I don't really have the option of a full time family member living with is while we raise the puppy.

    My questions are:

    1. At what age can a puppy be left alone in the house (in a crate of course)? For how long? We can also dedicate a room to the puppy if need a crate is too small for the day.

    2. Would it be ok to have the puppy crated and have a dog walker come in at lunch everyday?

    We could probably swing Doggy Daycare for the first few weeks after we get the pup, but after 12 weeks it will get way to pricey. A dog walker is only about $15/hr.

    Because of the breed we are interested starting from a puppy is pretty much our only option.

    Your help and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Puppy hood although an important time is only a small part of the dogs life. We don't want to miss out on a new family member because someone can't be there 8-4 during the day for the first 8 months.

    Many thanks

    Detox
     
  2. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    Do you mind if I ask what breed it is you are interested in?
     
  3. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    Great question. (You beat me to it)
     
  4. Detox

    Detox New Member

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    A Leonberger of course. :D
     
  5. Red_ACD_for_me

    Red_ACD_for_me Ruled by a RED boy!

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    Why don't you go through a leon rescue group and adopt a young but older pup maybe 10 months or so? Unless you can come home mid-day to care for your pup and give them a potty break an older pup maybe your only option.
     
  6. fillyone

    fillyone But please, call me Barb

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    The rule of thumb (and remember, every pup is different) is one hour for each month old. So an 8 week old puppy is probably going to need to go out every two hours. I do think it's a bit longer for the larger breeds, I brought Dante home when he was 4 months old and within a week he was sleeping 8 hours at night :hail:

    You don't say if either of you are close enough to come home at lunch, or how far you are from work so how long you're actually gone from home each day.

    Could you get a walker to come in 2x a day for a half hour each time?

    Good luck!!
     
  7. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    I don't understand why you would think you have to start with a puppy. Leonbergers are generally known for their sweet temperament and kind nature towards everyone...............(unless I have my dogs confused)
    I mean if you have your reasons, I am not trying to judge you in anyway at all. But there are really great dogs in rescues that would suit your family too, and a good rescue will match you up.
    And fillyone's advice on age vs potty breaks sounds about right to me too :)
     
  8. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    I think that working full time with a puppy is not a good idea :( Less time for bonding, training etc. The best would be to take an older dog, or to take a puppy but before a vacation.
     
  9. Cheetah

    Cheetah Fluffy Corgi Addict

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    I work full time, and when I got Shippo, I just split my work day in half and came home for lunch for an hour or so. But I was close to my job, so that made it easier. >^^;<
     
  10. Detox

    Detox New Member

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    With all do respect I know of all my options to find adult dogs (rescue, pound etc) and will excercise that decision if/when it comes to that. The purpose of this thread was to discuss the feasability of raising a puppy while working full time.

    Leo Rescue in Canada is pretty rare, the few breeders in Canada have done a pretty good job of putting their pups in homes that will not result in giving them up.

    At the moment neither my wife nor I can make it home at lunch, but there is an abundance of dog walkers in our area. Usually they charge $15/hr, maybe they will come twice at a 1/2hr each time as well. Not sure. What dog walker could resist meeting a leo puppy twice a day. :)

    I know and understand that leaving a puppy home alone during the day while you are at work is not ideal. However, isn't it a little over protective to imply it's not an option?

    I can assure you that the puppy will get an insane amount of love in the evenings and on weekends. Also, our area is the 'doggy capital' of the city so socializing the dog will not be difficult at all.

    For those of you who raised your puppy from 8 weeks (which seems to be the average time a breeder gives them up) and we're able to come home only at lunch. How did it go? What was your experience?

    Cheers,

    Detox
     
  11. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    This isn't fair to the dog, is it? That's like telling a child that, "It's OK, I won't have time to see you today but someone else will." Do you want your dog to look forward to seeing you or do you want her to look forward to seeing the dog walker?

    You're putting your interests too far ahead of the puppy's. Ask yourself this: What is best for the dog? You're justifying leaving the dog in a crate for 8 hours/day with two 30 minute breaks so you can enjoy its company when you come home. You're forgetting that you get to go out, work, interact with people, and keep yourself occupied. Your dog will essentially have to sit in a cage and wait for you all day.

    Dogs aren't cell phones: "evenings and weekends." They're lifetime companions and should be treated as such.

    We both work full time and have insane schedules. We adopted Herschel at 8 weeks last summer when things were a little bit more relaxed. We wouldn't go to work until 10 a.m., then we would come home every couple of hours for the first week. As he got older, we would take him to the park from 8:30 until 10 and play with him until he was too tired to move, take him home, and gate him into the kitchen from 10 until 1. We would come home for an hour or an hour and a half for lunch and wear him out again, then crate him until 5.

    As he got older and completely potty trained, we started stretching the hours. On some days, he would be alone from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. in the morning, then from 3:30 until 6 in the evening. That is pretty close to 8 hours. He was allowed free roam of the living room and he was fine for the most part, but he did rip up some carpet and chew up one wall. That's fine--its our fault for allowing him to do it.

    It didn't take us long to figure out that we were putting our schedules in front of Herschel's needs. It isn't fair. He loves us so much and we were making him secondary to work, of all things.

    Now, at 10 months, we have the happiest dog in the world. On Mondays and Wednesdays, one (or both) of us stays home with him until 10 or 11 and takes him to the park for some serious games of fetch, followed by long walks, and then more fetch. Then, he is left alone until 5. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he goes to Doggy Daycare from 8:30 to 2, then he is home from 2:30 until 7:30. On Friday, he is at Daycare from 7:30 until 2, and at home from 2:30 until 5:30.

    Our Doggy Daycare works like this: A professional agility trainer (Mach2 and Mach1, has shown at Westminster, etc.) supervises the dogs constantly. She is never out of the room. Thus, the dogs are allowed to play all day. They have private rooms for the dogs if they get tired and want to take a nap. (We trust them--she is also our obedience and agility trainer) When Herschel comes home in the afternoon, he happily runs to his crate to take a nap.

    Now that we've figured out a way to keep Herschel's mind busy, he is so much happier. He listens to commands when they are given once, he doesn't touch anything that isn't "his", and he is overall a happier dog.

    If you or your partner can't come home for lunch and daycare isn't an option, you might want to consider holding off until your schedule is more accommodating.
     
  12. Detox

    Detox New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I thin :rolleyes:

    First of all dogs are NOT children. Please don't make the comparison.

    Second, I care very much for the well being of the dog (that is why I sought out a message forum to get input from other dog lovers). So please don't compare my getting a dog to me getting a cell phone (eg. the evenings and weekends comment).

    The reality is that most dog owners only get to spend evenings and
    weekends with their pet, and these pets are very happy.

    If you read my first post Doggy Daycare is an option, I am just not sure for how many months I would be able to carry that price tag (considering 5-days a week). If having the puppy in a crate during the day is what bothers you I can dedicate a room in the house for the puppy, but from what I have read they are better in a crate for their own safety.

    Your comment about "Do you want your dog to look forward to seeing you or do you want her to look forward to seeing the dog walker?" Is ludicrous. I want the puppy to be happy period.

    To be honest I kind of expected to be flamed "Puppy home alone, oh no!" :yikes: But the truth is we absolutely love animals, grew up with animals and undestand fully understand the committments. If we were only had our own interests in mind we would have brought home a new puppy already without asking questions first.

    Many people on these forums have dogs that they raised from puppies. And I am sure not all of them quit their jobs, or were able to come home every two hours (we all would if we could). More than anything else I was hoping to hear how those people coped with raising a puppy.

    Cheers,

    Detox
     
  13. J's crew

    J's crew New Member

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    I think if you or your spouse can take some time off when the puppy first comes home that would be ideal. After that, having someone walk the pup a couple times per day is a good idea.

    I find it absurd that people think that you cannot have a full time job and get a puppy. Can you imagine how many more puppies in shelters there would be that would need to be euthanized due to not having a home??? Thousands.

    Just be prepared to spend all your free time with the pup. Good luck. :)
     
  14. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    If my posts sounded like I was saying you can't have a puppy and work full time, that definitely wasn't the intention. It is harder on the puppy & you (and in some cases your home)

    Besides just a room or crate, (I prefer crate) if you get the pup in warmer months an outdoor kennel run for the day is also an option. Complete with house & water dish :) depending on your living situation & area of course. I work 2 hours a day, and Orson is 9 months now, but back when he was very small he stayed in his crate if the weather was bad, and out in the kennel when it was nice (he came to us in July, but I don't work in the summer)

    One concern that you may have already thought of, if you have a dog walker attend the pup twice a day............is this going to be someone you trust to enter your home without you there? Just a thought.
     
  15. girlbuffalo1

    girlbuffalo1 New Member

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    I think

    I think you can definitely do the puppy thing and the working full time thing. I didn't get Wrigley from a breeder however I would think that with a great breeder you could discuss at which age the puppy would go home with you (especially if you have already chosen and purchase or put a down payment on your pup). I would wait until the pup was a bit older than 8 weeks if they are not going to be able to have a lot of attention and potty breaks. Wrigley was 10 weeks and could definitely hold it 3-4 hours at a time in the crate during the day (and he was 4lbs).

    My husband and I were lucky enough that I go to work at 8am and he is generally done at noon--and in the off case he was not he would call me and I would come home at noon.

    Also the pup being with the breeder for another couple weeks will not hurt it's development as it will have that time with the other dogs in the household and or any puppies left.

    While I think it would be ideal for you to be able to come home at lunch or have something arranged like this I would think that a dog walker should be sufficient for a potty and exercise break mid-day. Also when you first bring the pup home I would want to have a long weekend or a few half days to help introduce them to your home before leaving right away.

    So I think it totally can be done without harm to the pup if you do it right!
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I have had dogs for many years. I've never gotten a puppy when I worked full time, in all but one case....onlywhen I was a stay at home mom. The worst case scenario was with my Doberman pup. I worked about 3 or 4 days a week for 4-5 each day. Even then, I felt quilty and pity for my big, high energy, pup locked up alone for those hours. So, I'm not much help to you because you obviously don't want to hear that. But thought I'd share anyhow.
     
  17. Detox

    Detox New Member

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    Most defintely I am worried about trusting a dog walker with access to my home and my pup. Like anything, I guess you need to do your homework, check references get a referal etc.

    I like the idea of negoitiating a couple more weeks with the breeder. Our breeder has been so great it probably would not be an issue at all if we needed an extra couple of weeks.

    I also plan to take some time off work when we first get the puppy, probably a week. I want to make the transition as smooth as possible.

    And yes, everytime I leave the house I will probably have bigger separation anxiety than the pup. But that is something we will both have to work get over.
     
  18. fillyone

    fillyone But please, call me Barb

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    Good Lord remind me not to tell some folks here when I get my second pup since unless I win the lottery in between I too will be working full time. To say that someone that works full time shouldn't get a pup is ridiculous!

    I took a week off when I brought Dante home and will probably do 2 weeks when I bring the next one home since he will be closer to the 8 week age. I though, get a butt-load of time off each year.

    I will say that working full time does mean that I give up time (happily I might add) that others that work part time or stay home don't have to do. I get up extra early so Dante and I have play/training before I go. We have training/play time again when I get home; somewhere on here I posted our typical weekday schedule.

    A young puppy and a fulltime working home can be done with the right commitment and assistance.
    :)
     
  19. Cheza

    Cheza New Member

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    I got Cheza at 10 weeks. I have 3 months off work at the moment so it was really perfect timing. HOWEVER, when I and my husband have to both go back to working full time, she will be crated throughout the day. I agree-- saying you can't have a dog while working full time is ridiculous.
     
  20. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I think crating a dog all day long, more than about 4 hours is not right. It's boring, lonely, unstimulating, frustrating and the dog can't move much. I know I wouldn't like to be in a box for that long. More than about 4 hours at a stretch is just not good for a dog.
     

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