Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…
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Thread: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

  1. #1

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    Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Hey everyone, for the past 3 or 4 years I’ve really been wanting a dog. But I’m having trouble deciding if one would fit into my lifestyle. I’m currently working 4-10 hour days, meaning I’m away from home for about 11 ˝ - 12 hours Monday to Thursday. Friday to Sunday I’m off. I’m pretty active and usually walk/ run for an hour to 1 ˝ hours during work days, and on my weekends I have a lot of free time. I own my own home which sits on about a Ľ acre fenced lot. I live alone with no children. The dog would be indoors while I am at work.

    I’ve considered Viszlas, Dobermans, Weimaraners, Boxers, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. From what I’ve read, I don’t know if any of these dogs would do very well on their own for that period of time. (I’ll likely have someone come over to let the dog out midday to use the washroom/ get a quick run in the yard) I am pretty stuck on the types of dog I want; medium to large, short hair, no shedding, fairly energetic.

    I’ve been around dogs, so I’m aware of the time and life commitment I need to make. I’ve been involved with raising a puppy before. I’m just not sure what to do. I’ve been getting a lot of conflicting information from owners/ breeders.

    Is there some other breed I’ve overlooked?
    Is dog ownership even realistic for me?

    Please feel free to comment and ask me any other questions I’ve overlooked.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Perhaps a retired greyhound or whippet might suit your needs. They need a reliable daily workout but are pretty mellow inthe house otherwise. They are short haired and medium to large.

    On the other hand, dogs are companion animals for the most part. If you aren't there 4 out of 7 days to provide that companionship you might end up creating some problems.
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    Senior Member Erick Aguilar's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Of course you could have a dog, everybody can, except you must make a huge commitment(got that right?) if you are bringing one with your lifestyle, the ups is, that you are an active person,and you have a fenced yard!
    It's a start.

    If you have vacations this season, you should get your dog in that period, this way you can be commited to your pup enough to let it be alone in your house by the time you go back to work.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Jr. Dog Expert's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    If you are away from home 11.5 - 12 hours I would really REALLY suggest that you get an older dog that is already potty trained. This way you don't have to worry to much about accidents in the house. Having someone come over is great and all but your pooch would still need socialization, so if at all possible try getting a companion for the pooch that way it doesn't suffer from sepration anxiety or start behaviors that might become a nuisance.

    The vacationing idea someone suggested is a great idea, this way you are able to bond with your dog for the time that he/she is new to the house, after all many dogs become nervous, depressed, or anxious when moving into a new house.

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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    I think a dog is possible. I agree with getting an older dog rather than a puppy and also having someone come and walk it. A lot of people I know who works a schedule like that have their dogs do "doggy play group" for an hour or so during the day.

    2+ on the suggestion of a retired greyhound. They tend to be pretty mellow in the house. A smooth coat collie might also fit your bill. Collies are to the low key end of the herding group. I would think they'd require less exercise than the Vizla or Weimeraner.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    short hair, no shedding,
    I'd like to clarify that short hair does NOT mean no shedding.

    All those breeds you mentioned do shed.

  9. #7
    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    I think it is very do-able if you get the right dog. Also, have you thought about a kennel for the dog? Not sure how the house looks, but is it possible to put in a kennel where the dog can have access from either the house or the garage, if you have a garage? That way the dog wouldn't be so couped up all day, and would be able to go potty whenever he needs. I would also make sure the kennel has a top as well, and maybe partially covered to give some shade, and a dog house. And lots of water. If it's the house, I may not have a pool in the kennel, but if it's the garage, you could have an outside pool for the dog as well.


    Shelter dogs aren't broken, they've simply experienced more life then others. Don't pity them...HELP them!

  10. #8
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    sorry I am going to be the party pooper.

    I want to ask anyone here how it would be for them to be locked in a crate or cage or room with no access to a bathroom for 11.5 to 12 hours??

    My dogs which are alone at times during the day when we have worked all days are not able to hold it 12 hours. not to mention that it leads to uti and other issues.

    I would say no ..... you can not expect a dog to hold it every day four days a week for 12 hours at a time..... that is unreasonable.

    Now are there ways around it..... yes.... a petsitter for one ..... I have several puppy people who have petsitters come in during the day to walk and exercise their dogs.... a neighbors kid who is trustworthy and can come and let the dog out at around 2 or 3pm after school.....

    a doggy daycare is another option.....

    or a wee little dog that you can train to a litter box or pads..... but to ask a dog to hold it for 11.5 to 12 hours really is unreasonable and not in the best interest of the dog.

    I disagree with the poster that says "sure you can, everyone can have a dog" I think that it is great that you are getting this information and thinking it through..... but I dont think that considering the amount of time you are away from home that having a dog is possible or shall I say fair to the dog..... unless you are willing to make some kind of alternative arrangements for the dog during the day.....

    I would also go for a low energy dog.... a retired greyhound might be a great match.... because right now I have a girl in season who has been spending alot of time in her crate..... because we have of course intact boys here.... and I let her out of the crate last night and watched her ping like a pinball around my yard.... she was out of control with excess energy.....

    so if you are going to use a doggy daycare that might not be an issue..... if you are going to have a petsitter it will be an issue.... Weims, Vizslas, pointers.... several of those sporting dogs that you mentioned are high energy dogs and will not do well sitting in a crate for that long an amount of time even if you have a petsitter......

    I would make sure to look at lower key breeds.... remember that short hair doesn't mean no shedding..... short hair means short hairs shed all over your house.... I personally find long hair easier to clean up after..... it just rolls into tumbleweeds and you vacuum it up.... short hair actually weaves itself into the fibers of your furniture and your clothes and jackets....

    short hair still sheds.....

  11. #9

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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Quote Originally Posted by Erick Aguilar View Post
    Of course you could have a dog, everybody can, except you must make a huge commitment(got that right?) if you are bringing one with your lifestyle, the ups is, that you are an active person,and you have a fenced yard!
    It's a start.

    If you have vacations this season, you should get your dog in that period, this way you can be commited to your pup enough to let it be alone in your house by the time you go back to work.
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll try to respond to everyone in this post.

    briteday, A retired greyhound almost seems like an ideal dog for me. I'm not sure why I've never looked at one, I guess I had always assumed that they would need far more exercise every day.

    Erick & Jr. Dog, I do plan on taking a few weeks off after I get a dog/ puppy. That's something I decided when I first started researching.

    Ron e, I know that short hair does not mean they won't shed. I've already ruled out a few dogs with short hair that do shed. From what I've read, most of these dogs are very light shedders. The short hair is more of a visual preference for me, nothing more.

    Lonewolfblue, I do have a garage and there is probably enough room to fit a kennel beside it, however the developer has quite a few restrictions on fencing in the area. It all has to be 4-5' high chain link. I'm not sure I'd want the dog that open and exposed when I'm not there.

    Shalva, I agree that the dog shouldn't be locked up in a crate or room for 12 hours. I would have someone come over and let the dog out to use the bathroom, and ideally the dog would have access to the whole house (once trust is earned). I don't think crating the dog for 5-6 hours, then letting it out to use the bathroom, and then crating it for another 5-6 hours until i get home is how I want the dog to live.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Quote Originally Posted by d189379 View Post
    Lonewolfblue, I do have a garage and there is probably enough room to fit a kennel beside it, however the developer has quite a few restrictions on fencing in the area. It all has to be 4-5' high chain link. I'm not sure I'd want the dog that open and exposed when I'm not there.
    The kennel would need to have a top on it. Once I get the rest of what I need, the kennel I have will have a chain link panel for the top as well. My Betty would definitely climb out if I had her in it now. Currently they are kenneled inside, as Betty is quite the redecorator, lol. But I'm also only 5 minutes from work and come home for lunch to let them out for potty, play ball, etc, for about 40-45 minutes, then it's back to work for about 3-4 more hours.


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  13. #11
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    I think dog ownership is not out of the question. The potty schedule is fine if you are getting an older dog, and if you really stick with the 1.5-hr jog on work days then I don't think exercise will be a problem.

    My only qualm is that 12 hours x four days a week is a long time to be away from an animal that thrives on companionship. It is doable -- I work almost that amount, and I'm sure several other DF members are not all that far off -- but you do need to be committed to spending time with the dog at night time or on weekends for its lifetime.
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  14. #12
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Would like your opinion on whether a dog could suit my lifestyle…

    Everybody is right, sounds confusing. I also think owning a dog is do-able. You have not mentioned your basement. A kennel run could be setup in basement or in garage depending on room and garage could get warm/cold etc. An outside 4.5 ft high kennel run with roof outside with a top is ok but would be a pain in the butt to clean. Now as far as your work schedule there are dogs out there that would be as happy as a bedbug in a motel to have an owner that would take care of them even with the longer stays away alone. Is it perfect? No, very few things in life are. The fact that you are here asking for opinions shows that you are responsible and will be a good dog owner. My opinion only. Good Luck with whatever you decide.
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