Working full time and having a dog?
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Thread: Working full time and having a dog?

  1. #1
    Uly
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    Working full time and having a dog?

    Hi Guys :-)

    My German Shepherd "Chief" Passed away at the age of 13 and a half back in March and I am now ready to get another dog. I have been off work for a few years due to Health problems. If I get better and go back to full time work...I haven't got a clue how I could have a dog and work 8 to 10 hours a day. When I did work, I had another family Member in my house to take care of a dog until I got home from work. I haven't got that option anymore as she has passed away.

    So how do people who have just a dog and themselves at home take care of a dog while there at work. I am mainly interested in a big dog like another German Shepherd. Little dogs are ok in the house, but what about big dogs?

    I am concerned about the dog being inside all day. Fresh air in the house. Storms and the dog going to the toilet. The dog getting to board and lonely ect.

    Any ideas or tips?

    Thanks

    Uly

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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    Many people work full time and have dogs. It does mean though you have to have a willingness to make the effort to fulfill their needs when you aren't at work so they get enough attention and exercise. Different dogs vary in their needs and I would say to possibility not get a high energy breed unless you know you can provide them enough physical and mental stimulation when you are home. Perhaps consider a adult dog that already has its personality established and you can pick a dog that is a bit more relaxed of a personality and trainable.

    It can be done. I know a lot of people who wake up earlier to walk their dog, go home for their lunch break to let their dog out and spend time with them and also walk/park/etc after work. Many people use dogwalkers too for the middle of the day as some dogs may need it or some dogs may need to be at daycare sometimes to let off energy. I spend a portion of my days off doing something special with the dogs. I know many people who leave puzzle toys and kongs when they leave for the dog to do something so they arent bored. Many dogs can be trained to go outside on their own or perhaps a puppy pad or a fake grass pad if you dont have a yard with a dog door.

    My concern to bring up with you is about your health issues....you may be getting better but if its something enough to stop you from working for years, is it something chronic and debilitating to your motor skills? I say to consider what your body can handle because nothing is worse than feeling terrible and having to push through a ton of responsibilities (your work, your home, your dog, etc) when all you want is to relax and try to feel better. Yes, dogs can be healers and make some of the pain of the day wash away, but sometimes too for certain health situations it may be bit too much to handle a job and a dog on top of your health. I have a lot of health problems too and on bad days, sometimes I can't really care for my dogs as normal. However, I have my significant other around to go walk with our dogs and feed them and we have a daycare center we bring them to and friends in the area should we ever need some extra help. I guess I'm saying, should your health issues come up, have a help plan of some sort.
    Last edited by The_Monstors; 08-18-2011 at 07:20 PM.

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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    We both had full time jobs & had several big dogs. When they're pups it takes a lot of effort but as they mature & learn the routine it's not so hard. If you were interested in getting an adult you might have an easier time. One thing I do recommend is if you get a pup or young dog while you're still off work make certain that the pup is taught that you will leave sometimes. I know that sounds ridiculous but I have an inlaw who was home taking care of someone who was bedfast. Her dogs got used to her being there 24/7 without ever leaving the house. Then one day she had to get out of the house so she called someone to sit with her sick family member & she went out. Her dogs were so freaked out because -while they knew the relief sitter - they had never seen their owner leave like that. My own girl, Tip, had some issues when I went to work. She was accustomed to having me full time except for an occassional trip to the store. So when I started leaving every day she didn't like it. She use to steal one of my shoes or my car keys & hide them. Nothing destructive, kind of endearing... 'hey Tip.... WHERE is my shoe?' She would of course stomp off & ignore me because I was leaving again. Finally she grudgingly got past it & on rare occassions i I was gone too often she would shred 1 kleenex.

    With my dog I caught her in the act of the 'shredding' & corrected her... end of shredding. It never took much with Tip. With some dogs this is far worse. So make sure that while you're home with the dog to stage plenty of outtings. My first outtings are 10-15 minutes with pupies & generally I've got a camera on them so I can "SURPRISE" & come home at the right time or I'm watching them through the magic of windows. Start short & grow them to the point that it's no big deal. "So, my owner's out & about...big deal". When I come home & the house is in one piece & there's no big deal we go out, we romp around on the farm, we walk until we're both tired & then it's treat time, dinner, couch time, cuddles for my dog.

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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    It's totally possible! I think the key is being organized and managing each situation to the best of your ability.

    So, be organized enough to make sure you don't leave anything dangerous out, or anything the dog can destroy. Nothing. That, for lots of us, is a work in progress, because, occasionally someone will leave shoes out, or forget to shut the bathroom door. But, we know it's our fault if the shoe or tissues get shredded, because it was our job to keep that stuff away.

    Managing situations, so be a good planner. If you have to work late, plan for a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative to come let the dog out, and play with them a bit. Plan on coming home at lunch (if possible) even though it might be inconvenient, so you can let your dog out, or plan for someone else to do it. Plan on getting up earlier to walk your dog and spend some extra time with them. Just manage your life, so you make sure everything fits.

    Think things through, not just the decision to get a dog, but, each day, each week, think through what you need to do to make your life and your dog's life work for that day/week. Plan ahead.

    I'm sorry about your other dog, by the way. Good luck with your decision!

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    Senior Member Wag_More's Avatar
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    I work full time and have a dog .. a young, high energy dog, lol. The key to it for me was making sure the dog had somewhere to be a dog while I was away - namely, a space dedicated to the dog so that she isn't kenneled. I work 10 hour days, but she's got a nice big room to play in, all her toys, bed, food and water, etc. She's perfectly fine as long as shes got space to move around and things to occupy her. We live in an area that is safe to have a dog door for her to go outside and pee - decide whether that is an option for you.

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    Senior Member Sendiulino's Avatar
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uly View Post
    So how do people who have just a dog and themselves at home take care of a dog while there at work. I am mainly interested in a big dog like another German Shepherd. Little dogs are ok in the house, but what about big dogs?
    Welcome to the forums

    My husband and I work 8 hours a day, plus travel time, which means our puppy (see signature for puppy) is home alone for around 9 hours a day.

    We manage this by setting up a puppy-pen. Rather than crate-train the dog, we give her a "puppy apartment" to live in while we're gone. It consists of using baby-gates to keep her in the kitchen, giving her a bed, food/water, and puppy-pads for when she has to go to the bathroom.

    We started at 10 weeks when we got her. She's now 20 weeks old and doing great! She's already transitioning to outside-potty, only going once during the day when we're away on the puppy pads and almost always ringing a bell on the back door while we're home to be let out for potty. She is happy and well-adjusted She gets walks once to twice a day (sometimes in the morning, sometimes not if she seems like she'd rather play indoors or if it's raining, but she always gets at least a trip to the backyard), and TONS of attention, play, and training when we're home in the evening.

    She also gets to sleep in our bed at night, so she isn't alone over-night.

    Sometimes we leave the windows open (screens are in place) during the day for air-flow in the warmer days, but we live in a low-crime area so this doesn't concern us at all. We live in an older structure though and the airflow is pretty good, it is far from air-tight in our apartment

    While Samantha is a smaller dog and always will be, I would do the exact same thing we're doing now with a larger dog as well. But I admit we have a good sized kitchen so that's probably why I wouldn't hesitate.
    Samantha | Miniature Eskie | DOB: 3/28/2011
    Jasper | Eskie x Papillon | DOB: 6/29/2010


  8. #7
    Uly
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    Thanks for your replies guys...All good advice there :-)

    Exercising the dog is not a problem with my health as long as the dog is willing to chase a Ball, Stick and play Tug o war. I will also buy a Treadmill for extra exercise and will bring the dog over to my sisters house once a week where he can play with her kids and dog. I will also be doing a lot of training with it too in the back yard.

    I live in a higher crime area and having a dog door is not an option. So if I ever return to work the dog will have to stay in the house all day. I can leave windows open as I have screens but I am worried about storms in summer and rain coming inside. I don't have anyone else to help me out so I don't know what to do about the dog going to the toilet while I'm at work. The dog will have the whole house to it's self till I get back from work.

    I not going to be going back to work within the next 6 months...probably not in the next few years unless some miracle happens. So I could be worring for nothing but if I do get better in the near future I need to know what I'm going to do.

    There is a nice 9 Month old male German Shepherd at the rescue center wanting adoption. I'm not sure if I should try to adopt him or wait and see how my health and money situation goes?

    Uly

    CHIEF July 5th 1997 - March 29th 2011

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    Senior Member Sendiulino's Avatar
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    If you aren't sure, I always say wait Best to know you are stable in all aspects of life to as much a degree as you feel comfortable. That being said, I sometimes point out the opposite.. sometimes we try to plan for the "perfect moment" for things in life, but perfect moments don't actually exist. However, we can plan to a good degree still, and if you don't feel comfortable that your situation right now is the best to bring in a puppy, there's no harm in waiting until you feel that comfort level. Gut instinct counts for a lot in my opinion.

    If you do go for the adoption of the GSD pup, make sure to talk at length with the shelter/foster agency and ensure you know why the pup is in foster care (what happened in the dog's past, and was it traumatic / how does it affect the dog now?) and what kinds of special attention the pup might need, so that you are as prepared as possible to bring the pup home, not just in meeting the physical needs, but the mental / psychological needs as well which are often overlooked.
    Samantha | Miniature Eskie | DOB: 3/28/2011
    Jasper | Eskie x Papillon | DOB: 6/29/2010


  10. #9
    Uly
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    My life has never been stable lol It's either extreme highs or Lows. I'm probably going to do what I always do and sit on the fence and analyze the prospect of getting a dog forever and never end up making a decision to get a dog at all :-(

    Being a dog guy and not having a dog is hard to deal with. I want to do the right thing for the dog and myself. I could easily die in the next 5 years or get completely better....it's really hard to see where my life is going an to make the right decision. If I get a dog and then die in 5 years time then I have had 5 happy years with a dog. If I get better I face a hard time trying to look after a dog that's home alone all day (which I don't like) while I work. I could also stay at my current health level for the rest of my life and not get better or worse?

    Yeah I've been thinking about a number of questions I might ask the shelter about the dogs past and why he is in the shelter. I am capable of handling all the dogs mental and Psychological needs. If for some reason I'm not, I will seekout someone who is. Any dog I a choose from a shelter will be a dog for life with me. There are no circumstances that would ever make me return the dog if I'm not happy with it. I am willing to work with the dog to keep it balanced and happy :-)

    Uly

    CHIEF July 5th 1997 - March 29th 2011

  11. #10
    Senior Member shellbeme's Avatar
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    I agree it is doable, though a bit tiering with a pup! So you are a dog person without a dog? That, is depressing. Is your dog your thing? You know what I mean, the thing that puts a highlight in your day, makes you smile, the thing you look forward to most? (Or being in this case). My dog is the highlight to my day if it means that much to you, the next things to ask are.... Do I have a plan for my pooch if I die? I only mention this because you mentioned some uncertainty there. Is there someone who can help you out, who will love your dog as much as you do? Are you willing and able to make changes, handle changes if things get bumpy? If its yes then I think you should go for it so long as you can provide. It could very well improve your health even more.
    good luck with whatever you decide.

  12. #11
    Uly
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    Re: Working full time and having a dog?

    Do I have a plan for my pooch if I die? I only mention this because you mentioned some uncertainty there. Is there someone who can help you out, who will love your dog as much as you do? Are you willing and able to make changes, handle changes if things get bumpy?
    Yes My sister has already agreed to take Care of Any Dog I might get and my 4 Birds (cockatiels) or any other animals I might get before I kick the bucket. She has a house with a big back yard, 2 kids and a Husband in a good stable job. Any animals living with my sister will be well loved and cared for :-)

    Yes Dogs are my thing :-) I treat my dogs as if they are my little brothers or sisters :-) I have had 4 dogs in my life....A blue healer (cattle dog), Black Lab and 2 German Shepherds.

    When my Boy Chief got degenerative myelopathy and couldn't use his back legs anymore I put my top Mattress next to his bed and slept next to him for 2 months so I could be close to him to turn him over and take him outside. Spent $1000's on Medical and natural medicines. I constantly researched ways to help him. People on Dog and human health forums couldn't believe the lengths I went to, to try to help a "DOG" as they said. I even got an animal communicator to try to help Chief. She was incredibly accurate and learnt so much more about my boy Chief.Then when it was the right time and I knew Chief was going too much down hill. I took him to the vet to put him to sleep.

    I will go to extradonary lengths for a dog because they are worth it :-)

    It could very well improve your health even more.
    I have noticed I am not handling things as well since Chief Passed away and my health has declined since then. Yesterday I was really happy and upbeat at the prospect of having another dog. Now today just worried I wont make a decision at all :-(

    There is another option. The shelter is asking for people to become foster parents for dogs until they find an adoption home for them. I like the idea of this as if things go pear shaped in my life I could tell the shelter I can't look after the dogs anymore. What I don't like is that I will become very attached to the dogs and won't want to give them up. Being a Doggie foster parent is a wonderful thing to do and part of my mission to help Dogs and animals. My dream is to, if I was healthy to have my own shelter for Dogs or to Work for the guide Dogs. Hopefully someday it will come true.

    Uly

    CHIEF July 5th 1997 - March 29th 2011

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