Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this
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Thread: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

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    Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    i was wondering for those who work pretty far away and such, do you leave your dog at home for 8-10 hours then and when you come back you immediately take it for a walk to let it pee/poo?

    i have a pretty busy week and i can't make it home until 5:00 pm prolly and i start the day at 7:40 AM.

    i've done this before once, but i'm not sure if a week doing this would be a great idea or something, thoughts?

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    8-10 hours is a LONG time for a dog to be by itself on a continuous basis.

    My dog has been left for that time on maybe two or three occasions and that's it. Before I go, she is fed, watered, and given a decent walk.

    If you're going to be doing this for a week straight, I'd suggest getting up every single day earlier than usual and take your dog for a substantial walk.

    If it'l going to be this week and this week only, that's fine. If you were doing this all the time, well.. then I'd say it's time for a dog walker or dog daycare.
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by MissMutt View Post
    8-10 hours is a LONG time for a dog to be by itself on a continuous basis.

    My dog has been left for that time on maybe two or three occasions and that's it. Before I go, she is fed, watered, and given a decent walk.

    If you're going to be doing this for a week straight, I'd suggest getting up every single day earlier than usual and take your dog for a substantial walk.

    If it'l going to be this week and this week only, that's fine. If you were doing this all the time, well.. then I'd say it's time for a dog walker or dog daycare.
    yeah it's just for this week, probably would be a good idea to take them for a good walk and such.

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Yeah, if it's a one-time-thing you will be fine. Get up, take care of him nice and early, tire him out so he's not bored or lonely, and then come home to let him out again.
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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by MissMutt View Post
    8-10 hours is a LONG time for a dog to be by itself on a continuous basis.

    My dog has been left for that time on maybe two or three occasions and that's it. Before I go, she is fed, watered, and given a decent walk.

    If you're going to be doing this for a week straight, I'd suggest getting up every single day earlier than usual and take your dog for a substantial walk.

    If it'l going to be this week and this week only, that's fine. If you were doing this all the time, well.. then I'd say it's time for a dog walker or dog daycare.
    Let's be real. People work 8 hrs. a day, then there's the commute to and from work, which can make the time away as long as 10 hours. I'm fortunate in that I'm gone only 8.5 hrs., but if it were 9 hrs., my dogs would do just fine.

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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    This all depends on the dog.
    I have been in a situation with work to leave my dogs home alone much longer then 8-10 hours. My work schedule changed all the time. Sometimes I was gone for a 32 hour period min time out was 11hrs. I had 2 dogs at the time and they did just fine. I never came home to a mess or anything being tore up. They never dug or tried to escape the compound.
    They where set up on automatic kibble feeders and had a dog door. If I was going to be gone overnight I had a neighbor kid come by and walk the dogs.
    I would take them for a walk soon as I got home and I would usually keep them busy for the entire weekend. I did this for nearly 2 years.
    I'm home everyday now and they do seem to enjoy that much more.

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    Senior Member crzy_brunette77's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    My dog now is home alone for about 8 hrs a day. He's in his crate since he's still a puppy and where working on housetraining but he's fine with it. On weekends when we are home, he actually spends ridiculous amounts of time during the day sleeping in his crate because he's so used to doing that on weekdays! I think if people like myself and others can have dogs alone for 8 hrs a day regularly you should be fine for the week. Make sure you exercise lots beforehand (Sam gets a 2 hr play/walk session from 5am-7am before we leave) and that there fed and watered. It might also be a good idea for someone or yourself if you can to come by around lunch to let them out to use the bathroom. Hope it works out!

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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    This question gets asked a lot and before I got Atka, I was one of the askers.

    I asked my vets and anyone else if leaving a dog in a large crate from about 6:00-6:15AM to 4:30PM was too long M-F while I went to work. All but one person said it was not a problem. The person who ranted against the thing also ranted against crates at all and ranted against a dog not being with you all the time.

    For over 2 years that has been Atka's schedule. She is a 68 pound GSD. I walk her just over a mile in the morning and again for at least 2 miles at night (usually 3 or more). I also work training her to keep her mentally stimulated.

    Would I prefer her to be with me, and out at least every 4 hours? Yes. Of course. But here is the deal. I live in the country and work in the City and the commute is 40 miles one way. Someone has to make the $$ for the dog food, the mortgage, heat and electric and that is me. I live alone.

    FWIW my dog has been fine for all this time. Just like my advisors said she would be. No UTI's, No issues of any kind. Fact is, I let her out at night and she does a bunch of other stuff first b4 she goes and pees so it seems she is not desparate to get out.

    It is said that a dog left alone all day will spend most of that time sleeping and they do not concentrate much urine when asleep. Seems to be correct.

    All I know is that is my life with my dog and it works for both of us.

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by poodleholic View Post
    Let's be real. People work 8 hrs. a day, then there's the commute to and from work, which can make the time away as long as 10 hours. I'm fortunate in that I'm gone only 8.5 hrs., but if it were 9 hrs., my dogs would do just fine.
    *shrug* I am being real. That's my opinion. If I was going to be gone that long 5 days a week every single week, I most likely wouldn't have a dog or would at least make arrangements for a walk or daycare or something on some of the days. Right now I live with other people, so if I'm not home someone else usually is. My post was supposed to imply that it can be done, but is not optimal. Too many people do this, don't know what they're doing, and say "oh crap! I wonder why he just tore up my couch?" or "I wonder why he just ran around like a lunatic after he came out of his crate after being in there for 10 hours? I have no time for walking, I'm tired!" (not saying you, just talking about the general not-so-dog-savvy populace.)
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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by poodleholic View Post
    Let's be real. People work 8 hrs. a day, then there's the commute to and from work, which can make the time away as long as 10 hours. I'm fortunate in that I'm gone only 8.5 hrs., but if it were 9 hrs., my dogs would do just fine.
    And that's why most people in that situation complain about how destructive their dog is, and how it poops in the house, etc.
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    Senior Member deege39's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I think it's based on the dog, it's energy-level, how much it "needs" it's owner and so on...

    Donatello would be fine if I worked an 8-hour shift and he was crated during that time Mon.-Fri.; As much as he "needs" me, he never passes up alone time, this dog is a major couch-potato. Here the last few days I've crated him for four hours while I went shopping and did some errands; Not a peep from him...

    But I've been working with Donatello steadily to accept being crated long-periods of time, being crated frequently, and being without me during those times... If you just get a crate and stick'em in that crate for 8,9,10,12 hours without conditioning him or "training" him, then I'd almost promise you that you'd see negative behaviors.

    What I'm doing now with Donatello is in conjunction with what will come about in the future...

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    Senior Member Ludo the Monster's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I have a high energy dog that is crated for around 8 hours during the day (while I am at work including commute time) and then another six hours at night (bed time). Guess what? He does fine. Other dogs like him may not. He gets the exercise he needs and he is a lazy bum even when out of his crate (he lays there chewing on his bone all day if I let him).

    It all depends on the dog.

    And no he isn't crated because of destruction issues - he is crated because he is easily scared by loud noises outside when he is out of his crate. So, I choose to put him in a "safe" place. Every now and then I use the crate to block the kitchen doorway and open it up so he has the kitchen, backyard and the crate to go in and out of. Guess where I find him? Crate.
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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by MissMutt View Post
    *shrug* I am being real. That's my opinion. If I was going to be gone that long 5 days a week every single week, I most likely wouldn't have a dog or would at least make arrangements for a walk or daycare or something on some of the days. Right now I live with other people, so if I'm not home someone else usually is. My post was supposed to imply that it can be done, but is not optimal. Too many people do this, don't know what they're doing, and say "oh crap! I wonder why he just tore up my couch?" or "I wonder why he just ran around like a lunatic after he came out of his crate after being in there for 10 hours? I have no time for walking, I'm tired!" (not saying you, just talking about the general not-so-dog-savvy populace.)
    I don't necessarily agree. As someone else pointed out, people typically work 8 hours. Actually it's 9 hours if you factor in an hour for lunch. Then you add commute time and it can easily be 10 hours that the dog is home alone. This is typical for most people I would think. My dogs are either crated inside in inclement weather or loose in the backyard in good weather while I'm at work. They seem fine. They go in their crate w/their Kong, chew on it, pass out, then I come home. I see nothing wrong with this arrangement and they don't seem too either.

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    Senior Member Leroy&Lucy'sMom's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    If your dog is not destructive I suggest keeping the TV or radio on. If you have a safe, fenced in yard, and trust your dog is not an escape artist/chewer, then consider putting a dog door in. Also, there are cool gadgets that can drop/dispense a filled kong for your dog to enjoy while you are away to help with the boredom. Also, some posters have mentioned the dog walker or have a friend/family stop by.

    And yes, go for a short walk with your dog right when you get home if you can...

    I agree that well behaved dogs with no behavioral issues can be alone for 8-10 hours a day. Good luck!

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    =MissMutt;607866]*shrug* I am being real. That's my opinion. If I was going to be gone that long 5 days a week every single week, I most likely wouldn't have a dog or would at least make arrangements for a walk or daycare or something on some of the days. Right now I live with other people, so if I'm not home someone else usually is. My post was supposed to imply that it can be done, but is not optimal.
    Ok, but most people have to work to support themselves, and that usually means an 8.5-hr. work day, plus the travel time to and from work. That's reality for most of us. How nice for you that you apparently don't. To suggest that people should not have dogs if they work full time, and can't or don't spend the majority of the day with their dogs is unrealistic, at best. Certainly, you have the right to your opinion, but your opinion is just that, an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Optimal? Do you think it's better for a dog to remain in a shelter than go to a home where the owner works? Of course not.

    Too many people do this, don't know what they're doing, and say "oh crap! I wonder why he just tore up my couch?" or "I wonder why he just ran around like a lunatic after he came out of his crate after being in there for 10 hours? I have no time for walking, I'm tired!" (not saying you, just talking about the general not-so-dog-savvy populace.)
    Again, most people have to work to support themselves, so the reality is that dogs are going to be left home alone for periods of time. Everyone is a new dog/puppy owner at some point, just as those of us who choose to have children are new parents with no experience. We learn, we make adjustments, and tweak things to make it all work the best we can. I've worked all my adult life, and have had dogs all my life. None of them ever destroyed my home or personal belongings because I worked. A lot of them ran around like lunatics happy to see me whether I stepped out to get the mail and came back in, or came home after work, crated or not crated.

    Quote Originally Posted by jesirose View Post
    And that's why most people in that situation complain about how destructive their dog is, and how it poops in the house, etc.

    This is really an entirely separate issue from leaving a dog home for 8-10 hours because they work. Pooping in the house and destructive behavior are training issues.
    Last edited by poodleholic; 08-18-2009 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I have nothing to add.. Poodleholic hit the nail on the head.

    I have excellant references from my vets and other dog owners. My animals tend to stay with me until they die from the infirmities of old age. I provide them with excellant care all the way 'round (best food I can get, regular vet care etc.). To do that I gotta go to work.

    Here is my suggestion to those who think this is awful....
    Send me enough money to support me, the house & Mortgage, the pets etc. and add me to your health coverage and sign over your pension and I will be more than happy to stay home with my dog. In fact, I would be so happy that you could send me enough money so I could have a couple more dogs......

    Oh? You don't think that would work? Really???? Oh I see.. you can't afford it and of course my dog would be better off in a shelter, right?

    I didn't go to college to get an Mrs. degree. I went so I could get a job that would allow me to support myself and make a decent living and pay for my animals. For awhile that decent living was a result of animals (full time farmer) but circumstances change and now I have one of those office gigs.. ya know.. the ol' 9 to 5 routine (well, 7 to 3:30 for me). My animals and I have adjusted. *sigh*

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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I must admit I'm very fortunate. My schedule is crap in human perspective, as I work a load of hours, but split in various turns a day, which leaves me 2-3 hours in between to take care of my dogs.

    Anyways, 9 hours is still the normal. Most people have to work, we're not fortunate enough to have inherited large sums of money from a long forgotten wealthy grandparent. Pity, if that'd happen, I'd go adopt 10 dogs, and give a couple of millions to the shelter.

    I don't believe these people shouldn't have dogs.

    BTW, I use a crate too. I've tried to keep it confined in areas where he can't get in trouble, but eventually he ends up figuring ways to escape the corridor, and ends up chewing on everything he finds.
    It's not about him destroying things. I couldn't care less. I can replace bed clothes, and those horrible old chairs my mother-in-law gifted us with.

    But the last time before returning to crating was when he spent the whole night throwing up splinters from something wooden he had eaten (still don't know what).
    Fortunately he was fine, and there was no internal damage, just a very irritated stomach.
    But I just can't risk it any more.

    Before any of you complains, he has TONS of toys. I've bought him the whole Kong collection of squeaky tennis like toys, because he loves them, specially the bone.
    He has a kong rubber ball, but he figured out how to pull the food out of it in 5 minutes after giving it to him.
    He has a squeaky hedgehog.
    And he has a normal tennis ball I found next to a tennis court (I find loads of these, but the pom rips them open). I cleaned it up before giving it to him, even although it smelled of new, and looked very clean. Must have had fallen off short before I found it.

    It's not like he doesn't have anything to play with.

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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    I have nothing to add.. Poodleholic hit the nail on the head.

    I have excellant references from my vets and other dog owners. My animals tend to stay with me until they die from the infirmities of old age. I provide them with excellant care all the way 'round (best food I can get, regular vet care etc.). To do that I gotta go to work.

    Here is my suggestion to those who think this is awful....
    Send me enough money to support me, the house & Mortgage, the pets etc. and add me to your health coverage and sign over your pension and I will be more than happy to stay home with my dog. In fact, I would be so happy that you could send me enough money so I could have a couple more dogs......

    Oh? You don't think that would work? Really???? Oh I see.. you can't afford it and of course my dog would be better off in a shelter, right?

    I didn't go to college to get an Mrs. degree. I went so I could get a job that would allow me to support myself and make a decent living and pay for my animals. For awhile that decent living was a result of animals (full time farmer) but circumstances change and now I have one of those office gigs.. ya know.. the ol' 9 to 5 routine (well, 7 to 3:30 for me). My animals and I have adjusted. *sigh*

    This so bares repeating

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    Senior Member Foyerhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I am a stay at home mom, but I definitely do NOT think people who work shouldn't have dogs.

    But, in defense of Miss Mutt, I see her point. I would tell anyone who cannot come home for lunch every day, afford to pay a dog walker, or afford daycare to definitely NOT get a puppy. Puppies need to go out more frequently.

    I always suggest an older dog, or saving up for a mid day dog walker for at least the first few months of the puppy's time with you.

    I also suggest that unless you absolutely will dedicate all your free waking time to running the dog that someone gone 9 hours each day should not get an active, demanding dog (such as a field bred Golden, or a Border Collie) and should stick to lazy bones dogs, like a Greyhound, or a senior dog.

    If your dog IS your priority, like he probably is for most people here who join a forum just to brag on and learn about our pets, then you can find a way to make almost any situation work.
    Ask me about Greyhound adoption!


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    Senior Member Ludo the Monster's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving dog home for 8-10 hours cuz of work/school, thoughts on this

    I agree that a puppy is a bad idea for being left alone for 10 hours simply because their little bladders often cannot take that. When Ludo was a puppy I was blessed (cursed?) to be unemployed and able to stay with him. But once he was about 8months old, he was staying home alone while I was gone for the day. We worked up to that long alone and he, luckily, never suffered from any real seperation issues. He just chills in his crate and chews on one of his many bones (he cannot have soft toys - he shreds them )
    Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.
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