Dog for a single working person?
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Thread: Dog for a single working person?

  1. #1
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    Dog for a single working person?

    Hello all, my name is Andrew and I am interested in purchasing a dog this summer. Time away from home will be a big deal, so I have some questions about this. Over the summer I'd be able to spend a lot of time with the dog as I'll just be studying for the bar exam and I don't start my job until September. But once I start work, I will probably be away from home for 10-12 hours a day during the week.

    1) Are there breeds of dogs that do better on their own for many hours?
    2) Would purchasing two dogs to keep each other company alleviate the problem of me being away so much?

    Keep in mind that I'll be living by myself in a single-family suburban home with a medium sized yard and an in-ground pool. I also prefer larger breeds of dog. I really like Newfs, Huskies, Akitas, Labs, etc. and would not be interested in any toy or very small breeds.

    Thank you very much for any reply!

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    Senior Member lovemygreys's Avatar
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    You should definitely look into retired racing greyhounds. They bond really closely with their humans but tend to be independent when they need to be. Their track training generally means they are easy to crate (if you choose to crate when you aren't home), walk politely on a lead and are easy to handle. They aren't a barky breed and grooming requirements are minimal. They do shed, but not nearly as much as most other breeds do. They aren't a breed known for endurance, so they usually get along just fine with daily walks or short romps in the yard. A lot of the time, they'll prefer to snooze by your side or on the sofa...they are, after all, known as the 40 MPH couch potatos

    Multiple greyhounds are quite easy to have...mostly because they are such a wonderful breed, you'll want to surround yourself with them Also, because they are so low maintenance and have such moderate exercise requirements, it isn't overwhelming to take care of 2+ greys. (We have 13 retired racers )

    I had two greyhounds when I lived in an apartment, single and working full time.

    Good luck on your breed search! Greyhounds aren't for everyone, but they are a great match for a lot of people and I think that there are just a lot of misconceptions about them. Here's a great site: http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/ and there are some great greyhound forums out there for more information as well.

    Lemme know if you have any other questions about greyhounds!

  4. #3
    Senior Member skelaki's Avatar
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    Racing greyhounds would be an excellent choice. But, remember that you will probably have to house break the dog even though it will be an adult. Your best bet in any case is an adult dog. A shelter or rescue group would be good sources to check out. What you would want is one of the more independent breeds such as Greyhounds and Basenjis.

    Also, find a good pet sitter who can come in and take the dog out for a break every day if you're going to be working 10-12 hours a day. And get a crate and crate train the dog. Once you know the dog is settled in and won't chew on things you can, if you choose to, leave the crate door open. But the crate becomes the dog's den, his safe place both at home and if you travel with him.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg View Post
    1) Are there breeds of dogs that do better on their own for many hours?
    Yes. They're called cats.

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    Ok lets break it down this way.....

    24 hours/day
    ----------------
    12 hours working-commuting
    8 hours-sleeping
    2 hours- running errands, shopping, spending time with friends

    Leaves a whole 2 hours a day for your dog.......it dosnt sound liek you are ina position to house a dog. They need 2 hours of exercise at the least. The odds of your dog adopting serious mental or health issues is very large, some of the issues could be.....

    compulsive barking
    destructive behavior to itself or your things
    seperation anxiety
    under socialization
    exersice problems
    and much more
    Not to mention that dogs are pack animals......unlike cats who are loners. Studies show that dogs can become easily hamred mentally left alone for so long.
    For Every Pit Bull attack on a human you can give me, I can give you 20 human attacks on a Pit Bull!

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  7. #6
    Senior Member lovemygreys's Avatar
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    Ok lets break it down this way.....

    24 hours/day
    ----------------
    12 hours working-commuting
    8 hours-sleeping
    2 hours- running errands, shopping, spending time with friends

    Leaves a whole 2 hours a day for your dog.......it dosnt sound liek you are ina position to house a dog. They need 2 hours of exercise at the least.
    Completely disagree. When I was single and worked, I was gone for work 9-10 hours a day. 2 hours EVERY day for errands???? What the heck? I ran my errands during my lunch hour if I needed to get something done. I occasionally went out after work, but only once or twice a month probably. My friends either met at places I could bring my dogs or they came over to my apartment. I got dogs b/c I wanted them to be the majority of my life outside of work...and they were.

    My greyhounds would hate me if I made them exercise for 2 hours every day. They are a sprinting breed, not known for their endurance. A couple of walks and a romp in the yard is plenty of exercise for a greyhound. I had two when I lived in an apartment and they did quite nicely. Leash walks during the week and off-leash greyhound playgroup for an hour on the weekend.

    The odds of your dog adopting serious mental or health issues is very large, some of the issues could be.....

    compulsive barking
    destructive behavior to itself or your things
    seperation anxiety
    under socialization
    exersice problems
    and much more
    Not to mention that dogs are pack animals......unlike cats who are loners. Studies show that dogs can become easily hamred mentally left alone for so long.
    Greyhounds do wonderfully in homes where the humans work. They are a pretty independent breed (not entirely un-catlike in a lot of ways). Not many breeds out there can handle an owner being gone for long periods of time w/o turning into a mental nutcase, but a greyhound seems to have no problems dealing with it.

    Would I want to leave my greys alone every single day for 12 hours...no...that's certainly not ideal. But if the owner is gone, on average, 10 hours a day a greyhound can do quite well with that routine. I probably wouldn't place a 3 year old or younger in that home b/c they are more active as puppies/juveniles...but a 4+ year old dog....heck, they'll SLEEP 15 hours a day easily. Of course, I'd probably get two greyhounds off the bat so they can keep each other company. Greyhounds love greyhound companionship as much as human companionship...if they have both, they'll be happy hounds.

    eta: I would also probably consider a dog walker for days you will be gone longer than 10 hours. 12 hours is a long time to expect a dog to hold it, if you know what I mean. Some greyhound owners have successfully managed this with a doggy door for when they aren't home, but I'm not a huge fan of dog doors.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Honestly, in the summer, Esther was alone for 11-12 hours at a time. She'd spend her days in a 12x18 ft kennel run that was built around two huge spruce trees. She had shade. She had a cover over half the run in case it rained. She had a large wading pool and a doghouse. She seemed to like it.



    The neighbor kid that mows the lawn would let her out (the yard is large and fenced-in, but not Plott-proof. She can go over the 4' fence without much effort.) He'd throw the ball for her and visit for a while and then she'd go back in on her own.

    I asked a neighbor to keep and eye on her and she reports that Esther spends half the time in the pool and half sleeping in the shade. The only time she barked was when ALL the neighborhood dogs would call out every couple of hours. She said it sounded like some kind of roll call.

    She'd prefer to be out in the winter, too, but it's below zero and I have people around now, so she's rarely alone.

    Some dogs will adapt and some will freak out.
    Last edited by RonE; 02-15-2007 at 08:02 PM.

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    Thanks for the replies. I will take everything into consideration. I will look into retired greyhounds, and I will also consider that maybe owning a dog is not the right thing to do until I settle down a little.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Wimble Woof's Avatar
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    Honestly, it can be done, but its just going to be a bit hard is all... I am away from home 11 hours of the day when im working and the dogs are doing great, I just dont have a whole lot of a social life... I get home from work, change, and head out with the dogs for some heavy duty play time. I tire them out and then its all snuggle time.
    Dont be discouraged, just be very careful on the choice you make. I dont know a whole lot about Greyhounds, but by the sounds of things it sounds like a good match for you!


    "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes."
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  11. #10
    Senior Member CrzyBritNAmerica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PitBullLover08 View Post
    Ok lets break it down this way.....

    24 hours/day
    ----------------
    12 hours working-commuting
    8 hours-sleeping
    2 hours- running errands, shopping, spending time with friends

    Leaves a whole 2 hours a day for your dog.......it dosnt sound liek you are ina position to house a dog. They need 2 hours of exercise at the least. The odds of your dog adopting serious mental or health issues is very large, some of the issues could be.....

    compulsive barking
    destructive behavior to itself or your things
    seperation anxiety
    under socialization
    exersice problems
    and much more
    Not to mention that dogs are pack animals......unlike cats who are loners. Studies show that dogs can become easily hamred mentally left alone for so long.
    I do also have to disagree. I'm sure there are some dogs (especially puppies) that would not do well in a working person's life, but I work full time (40 hours a week/ 8 hours a day) and I'm actually a college student too, but I take online classes and this semester I am taking off. Bridgette (my dog) is a very high energy dog (dalmation/pit mix) but she has none of these issues. I take her out before work for a short walk and to go to the bathroom. After work we go to the dog park for 30 minutes to an hour and she gets walks most evenings. I do occaisionally go out in the evenings, but I also try to go places where dogs are allowed or people come over to visit me. Yeah of course it takes work to be a single working person and own a dog, but as long as you are getting a dog for the right reasons and you plan to MAKE time for your dog to give it proper excercise and socialization then I don't think there is any problem with it at all.




    And as to what typ of dog...there are so many older dogs in shelters that often get put down because people tend to look for puppies to young adults. In our shelter here we've had older (age 8-12) retrievers and all kinds that often don't get picked by families looking for dogs. An older dog would be a great companion and also wouldn't need as much excercise as a younger one. But also I agree in that a retired greyhound would be a perfect fit if you decide to get one! Good luck and let us know what happens...

    Bridgette, my best friend - may you forever rest in peace across the rainbow bridge - we will be together again!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Cassie Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    Honestly, in the summer, Esther was alone for 11-12 hours at a time. She'd spend her days in a 12x18 ft kennel run that was built around two huge spruce trees. She had shade. She had a cover over half the run in case it rained. She had a large wading pool and a doghouse. She seemed to like it.



    The neighbor kid that mows the lawn would let her out (the yard is large and fenced-in, but not Plott-proof. She can go over the 4' fence without much effort.) He'd throw the ball for her and visit for a while and then she'd go back in on her own.

    I asked a neighbor to keep and eye on her and she reports that Esther spends half the time in the pool and half sleeping in the shade. The only time she barked was when ALL the neighborhood dogs would call out every couple of hours. She said it sounded like some kind of roll call.

    She'd prefer to be out in the winter, too, but it's below zero and I have people around now, so she's rarely alone.

    Some dogs will adapt and some will freak out.
    You left your dog outside ALL DAY!? Man, I couldn't imagine having to live outside all day. Even more, I couldn't imagine forcing my dogs to be outside all day. Especially in the summer or winter.
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  13. #12
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    You're joking, right?

    This is a Plott hound, and a pampered one at that. Most of her relatives never see the inside of the house.

    This house is a half-mile from Lake Michigan. Summers are mild and winters are brutal, so she is forced to spend a lot of her time indoors in the winter. There is no spring and no fall here.

    The only reason she agrees to come inside at night in the summer is because I enjoy her company and she, presumably, enjoys mine. We both spend every minute we can outdoors - summer or winter.

    Today it's a balmy ten degrees and the winds have died down a bit, so we're about ready to head out for a long hike and some ball-chasing.

    If I wanted a full-time indoor dog, I would have gotten a cat.

    But you were probably joking, so I'm sorry I got so defensive.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Wimble Woof's Avatar
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    I have to say Ron... that that is an amazing pen!!! Complete with Kiddie pool and all... My dogs stay out all day too when im gone ( not in the winter, but summer months for sure) Same basic setup as yours, just not nearly as nice.
    They actually love being outside all day ( in the summer)... when we go camping with them they sleep outside for entire weekends at a time and survive! Not to mention they love it!!!
    Isee no problems leaving your dog out when the weather is suitable, it just bothers me when people get a dog and leave it outside as a lawn ornament or something and never do anything with them.
    By the sounds of things from your previous posts, I know that isnt what you're all about!!!!


    "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes."
    Dr. Tom Lonsdale

  15. #14
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    In the spring, I'm planning some improvements.

    Right now, the ground cover is mostly spruce needles. Cushy, but not so good when the dog is in and out of the pool. I'm looking at about 5" of pea gravel, but I'm open to suggestions. There will be a timber deck around the pool.

    Also looking at a corrugated roof to replace the tarp that covers half the kennel. Running water would be a plus for drinking and also to fill the pool. Some low-voltage lights might be nice, though she's rarely in there when it's dark.

    When I'm done, I plan to move in with her and sublet the house.

    I keep the gate propped open when I'm home. If I'm throwing the ball for her, and it's warm, she'll periodically jump into the wading pool to cool off. Luckily, she's a drip-dry dog with a short coat.

    My lab took about three days to dry out.

    Here's the way I see it. My dog's first choice is to be wherever I am. When I'm not at work, she usually is. If she can't be with me, she'd rather be outside, so - weather permitting - she is. Last summer was an exceptional situation. The two of us were alone there for a few weeks at a time while I worked on the house and did a long daily commute to my real job. Most of the time, there are other family members around and another dog that she likes.

    Very rarely is she alone for more than a few hours. (The two dogs are outside right now playing and tearing around. It's downright toasty at about 20 degrees.)

    If anybody is actually trying to follow this, I need to tell you that we currently occupy two houses about 50 miles apart and we spend time in both. The one in Appleton will be up for sale before long. The one in Two Rivers (the one with the huge yard, the fancy kennel and the big nearby lake) is the house I grew up in and have been fixing up since my dad passed away and my mom moved to Missouri.

    I hope that clears things up.
    Last edited by RonE; 02-17-2007 at 11:59 AM.

  16. #15
    Senior Member CrzyBritNAmerica's Avatar
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    That's an amazing set up! That's exactly what I want when we can afford to move and have land. I hope that person was joking too...there's a big difference between making your dog stay outside in your yard with a little shade and nothing to do and having a (I'd say) luxury kennel to play in. But also the person who couldn't believe that you kept your Plott outside has a collie mix and a bichon/poodle mix which I probably wouldn't want outside much either. LoL. Anyway I am very jealous of your set up...Bridgette is inside when we're out, but I'd love to change that when we move...she LOVES being outside too!

    Bridgette, my best friend - may you forever rest in peace across the rainbow bridge - we will be together again!

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