Post # 1
My fiance and I have been talking about getting a dog for years but never did due to the fact that we’re gone for 10 hours a day. We didn’t feel that it was fair to the animal and I still dont however we received an offer that I’m finding hard to refuse.
FH has a friend who does alot of business on barter. One of the people he works with breeds purebred pitbulls. FH helps this friend out IMMENSELY so the friend has offered us a black purebred pitbull puppy for free. The pup is currently 2 months old. We have friends with pits and they are very sweet dogs. It’s all in how their trained. The stigma doesnt scare us. This friend has a pit of his own and has offered to train our “baby” for a few months since he has the experience.
So now were trying to decide whether or not to take the puppy. I feel like its a great opportunity but I worry about the logistics.
We work abut 45 minutes away from home and are gone for 10 hours a day 5 days a week. We would either have to hire a dog walker to come by once a day or spring for doggie day care (which will be tough since we’re saving for our wedding). We live in a condo and the community is pet friendly (lots of other dogs around).
We can financially support the dog with no problem and will give him/her a very loving home.
What would you do in our situation?
Post # 3
We don’t have a dog for exactly the same reasons as you. It’s just not fair to let a dog be by itself that long. If you can afford doggie daycare or a dog walker… maybe. But if there’s any doubt in your mind that you can’t, you’re going to end up with a depressed little (BIG!) dog.
Post # 4
I think you should do it. I have mixed feelings on crate training dogs for extended periods of time–however, a lot of vets see nothing wrong with it. A coworker of mine has a pitbull and he puts his in the crate every day from 7 am-5 pm, the dog just sleeps during that time. He said every morning the dog goes out to play ball and a walk. He wears off some energy and then he goes in the crate for his nap. Dogs can get on a schedule after a few weeks. A large part of why he crates his dog is for the dog’s safety, so none of his neighbors “blame” the dog for something he didn’t do b/c there is such a stigma against pitbulls (and rotweilers/german shepherds/chow chows). I grew up with german shepherds and we would crate them at night for sleep. We trained them to “go in their house” at night just by saying that. Dogs do not want to mess in their kennel b/c it’s their “home.” I even sometimes crate my cats for “time out” to calm them down and they genuinely enjoy their time in their crates–I leave them open and available 24/7 for them to nap in.
Something I do think is important is to help train the dog. Good training will not only make a better dog but also a safer one (to release the stigma for those who are ignorant about large breed dogs). Make sure you take your pup on lots of walks and play with him/her. It’s so important that they get exercise and attention. My coworker plays a game where the dog is supposed to search for his orange ball. He’ll hide the ball and the dog will search for it for hours. He says it really helps the dog keep his mind going. I never tried that with our german shepherds but it’s an idea for you.
EDIT: SPAY/NEUTER IMMEDIATELY. Look into vets that do pediatric sterilization.
Post # 5
I’m in the same boat as you. Well, not the free dog part, but the logistics part. Fiance and I have careers that give us odd hours so taking care of a dog would be very hard. He works from 11 a.m. to nearly 10 p.m. and I work 4 p.m. to 1 a.m, so it would be rough on us and the pupster. Also a 1-bedroom isn’t big enough for the 2 of us, all our stuff, the cat and a new pup. But Boyfriend or Best Friend did get me the right amount to get a dog for my birthday. We just have to get bigger place and a better handle on our careers (looking to move to a warm climate. Taking a dog out in 6 inches of snow does NOT sound fun.)
But I LOOOOOVE pitbulls. My dog back home with my parents is park pit and is the sweetest, brightest dog I’ve been around. I miss her everyday and wish I could have brought her with me, but she needs a yard and 800 tennis balls … things which my apartment couldn’t give her.
Post # 6
well i’m against breeding in general and puppies – especially active breed puppies – need a LOT of care. if you’re not prepared to give the puppy the exercise and mental stimulation it needs in this stage, you’re not really doing him any favors. it really does take more than love and just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s a good decision. you say that you can support a dog and give it a loving home, so if you want a dog, you should look into getting a dog that’s +2 years or a different breed (though i love pits and other active breeds!). but still – this dog’s going to have to hold it’s bladder and be alone for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. ultimately, that’s not the best situation for a dog, so i’d wait until my situation changed. i have a border collie and would run home at lunch to take her out between school and work and then take her immediately for a walk/to the dog park afterward in college. now, i feel bad that because i work half an hour away she doesn’t get to go out during lunch. she’s adjusted, but then again she’s 6 now and doesn’t require as much exercise as before. she gets let out 2 hours before i get home, so that’s only like 6 hours of holding it – 10 is kinda pushing the bladder and boredom limits. i’m watching tv while writing this so i’m probably blathering at this point so i’m just gonna stop lol.
edit: since crating was mentioned, i’m going to throw it out there that i don’t do it and i’ve never done it. every single person i know that crates their dogs has neurotic ones that spaz inside and outside of their cages so whether it’s fair or not, i’ve drawn that connection. my dog and my brother’s dogs have free range of the houses and rarely had a problem. my cat roams free too, and i’m guessing they just sleep all day, that or the cat terrorizes the dog.
Post # 7
Unless you are going to get the dog day care then i wouldn’t get the dog. It is too sad to leave them for that long… especially when it is a puppy and needs attention and training.
Post # 8
@elliestan: I said for the dog’s safety, my coworker crates his dog during the day. He doesn’t want a lawsuit from his neighbor’s blaming his dog for something it didn’t do. That’s a common issue with people ignorant about large breed dogs. We crated our dogs at night so they weren’t up all night roaming the house; but they had free reign during the day.
Post # 9
We actually take our dogs to doggie daycare…it’s called Grandma’s house. My parents watch our two dogs while we are at work which we are so thankful for. We also take the dogs with us as much as we can. They are rarely home alone and when they are it’s only for a few hours.
Would it be an option for family member or someone to watch or let out the dogs while your at work? Even having someone let the dog out once during that time frame would be a huge benefit for your pup.
Post # 10
@beekiss2: i wasn’t judging you or talking about your situation, if that was your impression, i was telling her my experience with people who crated, and they didn’t do it for the dog’s safety they did it to keep it confined and out of the way. and yeah, the dogs “messed” their crates as well. i always felt bad for them. i have a lot of ignorant (in a different way) neighbors that let their dogs roam the streets and i usually end up with a random pit, boxer, rottie, retriever, puppy, whatever in my yard or on my porch every few days – i’ve even had a neighbor dog hit by a car right in front of my house (it got up, stunned, and tried to run away but i sent my border collie to corral it back over so i could check it for injuries) and i gave my neighbor an asschewing for that. my dog’s a night house roamer too but i just close my door and keep her nails trimmed to minimize the click-clack on the wood floors. it’s usually the cat that gets impatient in the mornings and then they team up to form a duo of 0630 saturday wakeup alarm of annoying doom. i imagine crating at night is totally different than during the day because they know you’re home and whatnot. i personally wouldn’t do it during the day (which is what we were talking about for OP’s situation) because the house is like a cage already for the dog – literally and mentally. i totally get why your coworker had to though, ignorant anti-pit neighbors are always looking to blame the breed for something, it just isn’t a situation i would bring a dog into – 10 hrs a day of the dog being crated alone in a condo, walked by someone else, etc… if she justs wants something to cuddle and love then sure go ahead, but it doesn’t seem like a particularly fulfilling situation for the dog imho and i’d wait until i was in a better situation to give the dog the personal attention, training, exercise (and then) love that it deserves.
Post # 11
@SandDollar: That is exactly what I was going to suggest! My boss actually lets us drop our baby off with her husband (who works from home) and their two dogs during the days when I my class/work schedule won’t let me be home with her. If the community is really friendly you may be able to find someone who would be willing to watch the puppy for less than what it would cost for Doggie daycare. But all things considered CATEMARAE, I would wait on the puppy – maybe til the next litter and see what life is like then.
Post # 12
i love my puppy but she is a TON of work and there are days I miss the ease of having just cats… I definitely dont feel like she gets the attention she needs!!! As I type this shes going nuts on the couch!! we have a whole house and it still feels too small… and on top of being gone a large portion of the day, you have to think about traveling, large dogs are not easy to travel with… Whatever you decide good luck!
Post # 13
We crate trained our dog and leave him at home during the day in his crate, and he’s fine! He has never once messed his bed – if that happens, there is trauma with the dog. We just worked him up very slowly to being there all day (we used to work 2 blocks from home so would go home during lunch to let him out). The thing about the crate is that it should NEVER be used as punishment. It should be a place of comfort for your dog. Our dog will go hang out in his crate when we’re home, just because he likes it in there so much.
Pit bulls can be very sweet. I say go for it, but only if you realize how much work a puppy is. Take some days off – maybe a week – to get the puppy situated and comfortable, and to potty train it. Dogs can make a surprisingly huge – and hopefully, mostly positive! – impact on your life. Go for it!
Post # 14
I don’t think that you’d have TIME to train your sweet pup properly if you’re away from the home for 10 hours. I have a dog. I eat lunch at my desk every day so I can go home over my lunch hour to let her out. I don’t travel much because that requires finding a sitter. It’s a big responsibility. I’m not saying you don’t have the best intentions, but your reason for not getting a puppy in the past hasn’t changed just because this particular puppy is free.
Post # 15
I would wait on the puppy. Dogs require a lot of work and since you aren’t going to be home most of the day, it’s going to be more expensive than usual for walkers or pet sitters. Also, puppies are very active and they will need people playing with them and that time to bond with you.
Post # 16
While I am pro-crate training, you should know puppies have small bladders and are generally not physically capable of holding it for more than 4 hours.