Post # 1
Hello dog lovers!
DH and I have both grown up with dogs as pets and we both love them and want one so we’re looking into different breeds/rescue organizations etc…
What I’d like to know from the Hive is your advice on two people who work full time raising a puppy. I already feel guilty getting a puppy when I’m gone all day and DH can only get home at lunchtime a few days a week. Is it still do-able? Has anyone else faced the same situation with a ‘latch key’ puppy who’s home on his/her own during the day? Have you taken time off after getting a puppy to help him/her get settled? Or have you hired someone to walk the dog during the day or let him/her outside during the day?
I know we would take excellent care of a puppy – lots of love, care, walks, medical needs etc… – and we have space for one, I just wonder how it works when the two ‘parents’ work full time… Thanks a lot for your help!
Post # 3
Dogs do fine being on thier own during the day; they learn the schedule. They’ll just sleep while you’re away. When I only had 1 dog, I’d take her to “doggie day camp” once a week while I was at work to give her some extra exercise and socialization.
I would advise 2 things: first is crate-training; and second is I wouldn’t get a very young puppy, an 8 week old puppy won’t be able to “hold it” through the workday, a 4-5 month old puppy probably will.
And one more thing: obedience class!
Post # 4
I agree completely with abbyful I have three dogs (started with just one, then she really wanted a friend, and then I figured having three couldn’t be much harder then having 2 so we got one more, haha).
Crate training is HUGE, not only does it help with potty training it also protects your house (puppies LOVE to explore and chew) and protects the puppy (because who knows what they’ll end up chewing!) Do NOT feel bad for keeping the puppy in a crate all day, it will eventually become their “den” as long as you never force the puppy in (one bad experience and they may never want to go in the crate again). Instead when you get them for like 10 minutes a day throw treats in the crate and say “go to your crate!” and they’ll jump right in to get the treat. Just make the crate a happy place for them and they won’t mind spending the day in there.
If you are determined to get a super young pup there are ways to help potty train them if they have to be left all day. I know some people that actually went out and bought sod (like a square of grass) and put that in front of the crate with an exercise pen around it. So then when puppy needed to go, it could still have the experience of going on grass and wouldn’t develop bad habits. If you don’t want to be that extreme you could always use puppy pads, but you DO NOT want your puppy to end up going in the crate, thats a very bad habbit to develop.
One more tidbit of advice, don’t waste your money on buying the bigger basics (crate, bed, bowls) at a pet store, they are SO expensive. I got an extra large crate on amazon.com for less then what it would have cost to buy an extra SMALL crate at petco! Oh, and feed high quality food (“by products” are just gross and corn is just a filler that is basically sugar for dogs, so try to avoid those)
And here are my babies, the black and white one is Gabby, she’s a two year old American Bulldog, the darker brown one with the black/white on his face is Dudley, he’s a boxer/lab mix and he’ll be 1 in August, and the little tan and white guy is Tyson, he’s 4 1/2 months old and he’s a treeing walker coonhound mix.
Post # 5
I think if you are looking to rescue you should look at a dog thats a little bit older if possible. I agree that an 8 week old puppy will have a hard time holding it that long and that will just make housetraining that much harder.
I think if your husband can come home a few days a week at lunch, maybe you take the puppy to doggie day care the other few days? Or see if you can find a dog walker those days.
If it were me, I would try to take a week or so off and then hire a dog walker. I think if you have someone that can consistently take the puppy out every 2 hours when they are young it will help with potty training so much. After a month or so, just a mid day walk should be fine.
Post # 6
It totally depends on the dog. Most dogs do fine on their own, but some get distructive if left alone for too long. We had a dog that was extremely distructive. Although he was only a puppy, he has actually been returned twice to the shelter due to behoiral issues. My FII took him and was determined to keep him. The cure for him was another dog. So, I think it really does dependon the dog, and getting him training will also help, although some behviors are definitely embedded (for example, or dog will never stop wanting that squirrel in the yard)!
Post # 7
I think you will do fine!
We both work full time and all it means is a lot of extra effort on your part. Someone has to go home in the middle of the day for a long while until s/he is properly potty trained!
The way I always look at it is the pup has 3 options:
1. Stay in a shelter
2. Go to a unloving family
3. Go to a loving family that has to work but besides that they will get all the love in the world!
Post # 8
Thank you so much everyone – it seems more do-able when I get to read real life accounts!
DH would like to get a purebred Glen of Imaal Terrier (his parents have one and we discovered them years ago – fabulous dog) and I would like to get a rescue dog. I’m not sure exactly how to convince him because our pro/con lists for both are pretty even…despite my best ‘debate team’ attempts…
Here’s the In Law’s pup when they got her a couple years ago…
Post # 9
Don’t worry. You’ll do fine. FI and I both have full-time job and we’ve a Yorkie at home. Before we brought Sandy home, I did a lot of research and reading about different breeds of dogs. A Yorkies is exactly what we’re looking for.
My office and apartment are within walking distance. I went home for lunch everyday to see if everything was ok with our ‘new baby’.
Potty training is very important if you live in an apartment like us and don’t have time to take the dog out for potty. Sandy’s potty trained by our breeder so it was easy to train him to potty on the pee pad when he came home with us.
If you are getting a puppy from a breeder, I’ll suggest you get them when they’re at least 12 weeks old. Training a puppy can be frustrating but remember they’re just like little babies 🙂 I’ve learned to be patient, thanks to Sandy.
Make sure your house is puppy proof. This page is very useful – http://www.petplace.com/dogs/how-to-puppy-proof-your-home-2/page1.aspx
Please adopt if you could. There are many dogs in the shelters waiting for love and adoption. FI and I were unable to adopt any here because we’re foreigners living in this country. We can’t even register our dog here which is ridiculous.
This is our little Sandy when he was only 3 months old.
Post # 10
The hubs and I got a puppy 2 weeks before the wedding. While I wouldn’t recommend that timing, I can tell you we’ve never been happier. We both work full time. We are exhausted, but it’s working out fine! He is about 4 months old now (we’ve had him for 8 weeks) and still needs some help during the day which we get from my younger sister who is able to come take him out in the afternoon. If she wasn’t available we would hire a dog walker. He is simply too young to be physically able to hold it all day right now and we don’t want to force him to soil his crate as it is very detrimental to his training. At first we never left him more than 3 hours. Then we pushed it to 4, and now he can go up to 5 without any accidents. Once he’s about 6-7 months old he should have no problem making it through the day.
Here’s my best advice.
1) Get him at a time when you have a few days or a week off to help him get acclimated.We had a long weekend and it worked out fine, but it would’ve been nice to have a week to work with him.
2) Crate training is your friend!! Put him in the crate for naps – not just when you leave the house – so he doesn’t associate it with you leaving. Make it his special happy place where he gets special treats and toys that are only in the crate. You want it to be his home so when he’s in there he feels super safe.There are lots of great resources regarding crate training on the internet. This one helped me a lot… http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/
3) Walk walk walk. It will definitely mean getting up earlier, but make sure you walk the puppy a lot to tire her out before you put her in the crate and after you take her out. This will keep her happier and less anxious when you are away as pent up energy can be expressed as anxiety or frustration. A tired puppy is a happy puppy!
Good luck – you will do fine. 🙂
Post # 11
I think it’s totally doable! When I got my puppy, I took half days for about a week, just to make sure he was eating enough and everything, but after that, he was ok at home. If it’s a small breed, which it sounds like a terrier won’t be too large, and you get a young puppy, I highly recommend an exercise pen for long periods of time. This way you can put its bed in there, food, water, toys, and somewhere to potty (someone suggested a sod of grass which is a great idea, or they sell fake grass units for this kind of thing). A young puppy won’t be able to hold it all day, but it will definitely be good if hubby goes home for lunch to let it out. It might be hard to find that specific breed from a shelter, especially a puppy, but try googling rescue organizations, or e-mail around to different breeders. It’s not bad to get from a breeder, as long as they are reputable. Good luck on your search. Also, you might want to consider adding another dog down the road, if you’re gone for long hours, they love the company and can keep each other entertained throughout the day 🙂
Post # 12
We leave our two beagles alone during the day – for about 8 hours. As long as we give them lots of exercise and attention at night – they are fine. If we plan on going out in the evening – we’ll have someone come by either during the day or at night to walk them.
We also both took a couple of days off work after getting the first puppy to help her get settled in!
Post # 13
My fiance and I both work about 8.5 hour days. He is gone from about 8am to 5:45pm and I am gone from 9am to 5:30 pm. We get up 1/2 hour early every weekday to take him for a short walk. He is free in the house all day and my fiance’s dad comes and lets him out after lunch for a bit. My future inlaws also take him for one afternoon during the week. When we first got him as a puppy we kept him in his crate during the day while he was being potty trained/trained not to touch anything in the house. I came home myself at lunch to do the house training thing. He NEVER had an accident in his crate and I had him house trained in a week. After that he stayed in a crate for a couple months until we knew he wouldn’t destroy the house. Now him and the kitty run the house freely for about 8 hours a day.
Post # 14
I was sharing a lot of your tips with DH last night – I already feel better educated! We’re going to see a couple puppies today after work so we’ll see how it goes… I’m such a softie I can imagine going home with one tonight but I’m going to try and be rational about it too…yeah right…
If there are other tips out there keep ’em comin’!
Post # 15
Did you find Glen puppies already? Or visiting puppies at a shelter?
I’m sure you know, but remember to never buy from a petstore (puppymill puppies) and backyard breeders aren’t desireable either.
Here’s a few things I look for in a breeder:
1. Health testing (more than a “vet checkup”, the parents should be screened for genetic health problems they could pass on to their offspring. OFA/CERF, PennHip, BAER, etc. Which tests are done depends on the breed.)
2. Registration with a reputable registry. In the USA, this would be AKC, UKC, or a reputable breed-specific registry. AKC has a list: http://www.akc.org/reg/open_registration.cfm (ConCK, APR, APRI, etc are not reputable registries.)
3. Shows in conformation. Even when I’m not looking for a show dog, I prefer the breeder to be involved in conformation because it gives them a 3rd party evaluation of their dogs. Even the best breeders can have “kennel blindness”. And the breeder should be breeding for quality, not quantity.
4. Pets should be sold on a spay/neuter contract. And the breeder should have a contract that if the dog is no longer wanted, it must be returned to the breeder or the breeder must approve of where it is placed if it is going to go to a family remember. A good breeder should be willing to take responsibility for all dogs they breed.
For more info, I wrote a longer post to this affect on a Facebook group a while back: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/topic.php?uid=18677260425&topic=11960 (you’ll have to copy/paste the link, it’s not letting me link the whole thing)
Post # 16
@abbyful – thank you so much for that info. I went to FB and printed your post so DH can read it later today. I was looking up dogs for sale earlier this week and saw a post with two male Glen of Imaal terriers and DH called yesterday so we’re going to see them. I’m not exactly sure what to expect but we’ll go anyway and see. According to the listing they’re registered with the IKC but I don’t know if the owner has shown dogs in the past. Here’s the ad: http://www.donedeal.ie/for-sale/dogs/1421455
Is it a bad thing that both parents are on site? Any other issues I should address when we meet them tonight? I appreciate your help!