Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I've done a lot of researching and asking around about my situation and keep getting mixed answers, so I'm trying another approach of asking on a forum and describing my situation thoroughly and getting all my questions out before getting overwhelmed by answers and forgetting my follow up questions.

And before reading on, just know this will almost be another one of those "I'm working full time, can I own a dog???" type of question. Thanks for your help!

So I will be starting full-time work in mid September, working on weekdays from 9am-8pm (including commuting time). I will be living in an apartment with one other person and won't have a yard, but the units are pretty large, around 1200 sqft. Prior to starting work, I will have about 2 months of free time, during which I was planning on getting a puppy and training it until I started working at which point it would hopefully be okay staying at home for long periods of time.

My roommate will be gone longer than I will for his work and wouldn't be able to help out that much either. I also do have the option of bringing my dog into work, but am going to have to find a way around public transit not allowing dogs onto the trains/subways (I won't have a car).

Some other relevant information: This will be my first time ever owning a dog. My family never owned one while I was growing up and the reason why I really want to do this now rather than later is because I will have this 2 month break to train a dog that I probably won't be able to get any time else. I am also 22 and working my first full time job in September. Some things I am considering is readjusting to the working life and getting settled down with my work and such, although I think I would be able to handle that and a dog if I were to get one. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm not planning on getting a car. I will also be making quite a bit of money and will definitely be able to provide for a dog in a monetary sense.

My questions are:
1.) Is this doable? As in, assuming I can train my puppy right, is it okay to leave my dog at home for those long periods of time given that I would be give my dog a walk in the morning and right when I got back?

2.) Does getting a dog also necessarily mean essentially giving up being able to hang out with friends? No late nights or going to a friends place after work and coming back a couple hours later? Although for that, I could probably ask my roommate to help out.

3.) One thing I'm considering is that if I don't get a dog now and wait, could I ever realistically get a puppy considering I wouldn't get this 2 months of free time to train a puppy?

4.) If this does seem very doable, what type of breed should I look into? I'm not that active of a guy, so I understand dogs like Border Collies are out of the question, but I am planning on spending 30 min - an hour every morning to walk my dog and an hour after getting back as well, so I don't need a super lazy breed. I really like the idea of a smart and playful dog that is good with strangers, but easy to train.

5.) Are there any other considerations that I haven't mentioned yet, but should think about?

Thanks so much for your guys help. I've been going crazy over this for the past few weeks, trying to get people's advice and just wanted to know your guys' opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
9am-8pm is a very long time to leave a 4 month old or so puppy alone. The rule of thumb is that a pup can hold it for about as many hours as it is months old, it's going to make potty training very problematic. You'll also be heading toward adolescence, which is generally the highest energy period of the dog's life, and that's a very long time - IMO inhumanely long - to leave a young dog crated on a daily basis (and if you don't leave it crated, you're looking at property destruction). With that schedule I would absolutely not get a puppy.

OTOH 9am-8pm on workdays isn't particularly bad for a mellow independent adult dog that can be loose in the house, as long as it's getting plenty of attention and exercise other times, and doesn't suffer separation anxiety. Especially if you're making enough dosh that you can hire a dog walker to stop by midday.

Honestly, though, I think you should think about a cat or a reptile or something. Or at least wait until you're more established in your adult routine and have a solid schedule worked out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
If public transportation does not allow dogs & you will not have a car, make sure your dog budget includes $ for a cab or other transportation to get the dog to & from the vet. Healthy puppies require multiple visits & sick puppies need even more.

If you get a dog, you will need to come home after work & let him out, feed him, & spend some time with him. If you want to hang out at a friend's place, you can do that once in a while but you are going to need to spend an hour or two at home exercising & giving the dog a bathroom break & feeding him first. If you skip coming home when you will already be gone for 11 hours a day....even if you spent 3 hours at a friends (including the extra travel time...less than dinner & a movie)...that means the dog would need to go 14 hours without food or a bathroom break. Could you go that long? You should plan on coming home & letting the dog out & then going back out before running errands like going to the grocery store as well.

Are you willing to hire a dog walker? If you leave a 4 month old for 11 hours a day without a break, you are likely going to have accidents. Doggy daycare is another option but not all of them are open as late as you would need & not all dogs are good daycare dogs (even of the same breed).

Do you know your roommate already? Some are not very dog responsible - ie don't worry about leashes, etc. Some say they will help with a dog but when the dog actually arrives, they don't actually help. Or they only do it if the weather is nice. Or they feel like it. Or always have something come up. So, I would not plan on your roommate being able to help with anything with the dog, even on an occasional basis. If it turns out that they are willing & able, then great.

Do you need to travel for work? Do you have a plan for what to do with the dog when you travel?

I am also concerned that you have not actually started working this job yet. While you are planning on working somewhat fixed hours, many jobs...especially as the new person....you don't always get to leave on time. Certain projects may have a deadline or customers have to be serviced if they come in by a certain time or documentation needs to be completed even if the shift is "done". If you are using public transportation to get to work & miss a connection, your commute will be even longer.

I agree with parus that a puppy is not a good idea right now. If you are willing to consider a dog walker, I might consider an adult dog; however, I would still consider waiting until you had been working for a couple months & know your schedule/frequency of needing to stay late.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
9am-8pm is a very long time to leave a 4 month old or so puppy alone. The rule of thumb is that a pup can hold it for about as many hours as it is months old, it's going to make potty training very problematic. You'll also be heading toward adolescence, which is generally the highest energy period of the dog's life, and that's a very long time - IMO inhumanely long - to leave a young dog crated on a daily basis (and if you don't leave it crated, you're looking at property destruction). With that schedule I would absolutely not get a puppy.

OTOH 9am-8pm on workdays isn't particularly bad for a mellow independent adult dog that can be loose in the house, as long as it's getting plenty of attention and exercise other times, and doesn't suffer separation anxiety. Especially if you're making enough dosh that you can hire a dog walker to stop by midday.

Honestly, though, I think you should think about a cat or a reptile or something. Or at least wait until you're more established in your adult routine and have a solid schedule worked out.
Agree with all of this. I don't think a puppy would be a good choice, but the right adult dog might be able to work with that schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
1) Yes, it is doable to have a dog and work full time. 11 hour days are really long though, and most people are only gone about 9 hours. I would at least plan to get a dog walker to stop in midday, even for an adult dog. IMO that's just too long to leave a dog home alone every single day, and definitely too long for a <6 month old puppy.

2) Yes, getting a dog means no late nights with friends, and it means coming directly home from work every single day. I go out with friends once or twice a week, but I have to rush home first, walk the dog for a full hour, and make sure he's set before I go out. Even then I'm only gone for maybe 3 hours - I'm not out all night. That's just part of having a dog. Their needs come first and you have to want the dog enough to make it a lifestyle. It is much easier if you have a roommate or spouse or something to share some of the load, but it sounds like you don't know if your roommate would be interested in that and I wouldn't impose on someone who didn't want a dog in the first place.

3) You can certainly get a puppy later on when you're more settled. I was only home 1-2 full days with my pup before going back to work, though I did have to make arrangements for him to be alone only 3 or so hours at a time at first because that's as long as he could hold it. But you really don't need months of time off to train a puppy. Training is a lifelong thing anyway.

4) Your requirements for a dog aren't very specific, and I think you could find what you are looking for easily at a rescue. You could also find an adult who is already potty trained, which would be much easier considering your schedule. If you are set on getting a purebred puppy, we will need more information. How much grooming are you willing to do? Are you willing to take training classes? Are you willing to walk every single day, rain, shine, and snow, or do you want a dog who can live with a few days at home every week?

5) Personally I would wait. Get settled in your new job, make friends, enjoy being young with no ties. Then in a year or two, get a dog when you know you're ready. You'll be able to work something out for the initial couple months of potty training when the time comes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
I would NOT recommend this to many people, but I'll throw it out there to you since you probably don't have the time available that a dog needs, yet I think you have the desire to take on a challenge, and claim to have the resources, and being so young I'm sure you'll appreciate the "cool" factor.

Get a coatimundi or a lemur..... Yes I'm serious...... Super fun, the price of a good pure-breed, lots of fun and also a lot of work, but a nice large enclosure will keep them safe while you're at work, and you can take them out after work for a nice walk, although they'll likely just sit on your shoulder most of the time!

Cons: Diapers when out, permits probably required for your location, and it's like having a toddler for life.

Give it a thought! Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,435 Posts
Hi everyone,

I've done a lot of researching and asking around about my situation and keep getting mixed answers, so I'm trying another approach of asking on a forum and describing my situation thoroughly and getting all my questions out before getting overwhelmed by answers and forgetting my follow up questions.

And before reading on, just know this will almost be another one of those "I'm working full time, can I own a dog???" type of question. Thanks for your help!

So I will be starting full-time work in mid September, working on weekdays from 9am-8pm (including commuting time). I will be living in an apartment with one other person and won't have a yard, but the units are pretty large, around 1200 sqft. Prior to starting work, I will have about 2 months of free time, during which I was planning on getting a puppy and training it until I started working at which point it would hopefully be okay staying at home for long periods of time.

My roommate will be gone longer than I will for his work and wouldn't be able to help out that much either. I also do have the option of bringing my dog into work, but am going to have to find a way around public transit not allowing dogs onto the trains/subways (I won't have a car).

Some other relevant information: This will be my first time ever owning a dog. My family never owned one while I was growing up and the reason why I really want to do this now rather than later is because I will have this 2 month break to train a dog that I probably won't be able to get any time else. I am also 22 and working my first full time job in September. Some things I am considering is readjusting to the working life and getting settled down with my work and such, although I think I would be able to handle that and a dog if I were to get one. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm not planning on getting a car. I will also be making quite a bit of money and will definitely be able to provide for a dog in a monetary sense.

My questions are:
1.) Is this doable? As in, assuming I can train my puppy right, is it okay to leave my dog at home for those long periods of time given that I would be give my dog a walk in the morning and right when I got back?

That is a long day even for an adult dog. Aside from bodily needs, it severely limits exercise and training time. The chances are HIGH that you will be very tired when you get home each night and an hour+ long walk (for a say, 6 month old puppy and older) will seem like a lot to deal with on top of your own dinner and shower and chores etc. You also will have limited daylight very quickly in the fall with those hours.

2.) Does getting a dog also necessarily mean essentially giving up being able to hang out with friends? No late nights or going to a friends place after work and coming back a couple hours later? Although for that, I could probably ask my roommate to help out.
It WILL limit it a lot. You will have to plan ahead and pick and choose what events or parties to go to. Don't count on your roommate to help. Any help from a roommate is a bonus but shouldn't be relied on in your planning stages. On days when you want to go out, you'd need to hire a dog walker maybe even 2 times because of your already long days. Trips away for a weekend mean find dog friendly activities or boarding a dog and too much/frequent boarding is mentally tough on a dog.

3.) One thing I'm considering is that if I don't get a dog now and wait, could I ever realistically get a puppy considering I wouldn't get this 2 months of free time to train a puppy?
you can certainly get a puppy or adult dog later on. After you have worked awhile, it would probably be easy to take a couple vacation days and make a long weekend out of picking up puppy and getting him settled and then hire a dog walker for the first month or two in the case of a young pup. An adult dog though is a great choice for a young adult getting a first dog as you don't need to have midday potty breaks, you don't need to worry about keeping the dog inside until vaccines are complete, you can jump right to walks and trips and the fun stuff.

4.) If this does seem very doable, what type of breed should I look into? I'm not that active of a guy, so I understand dogs like Border Collies are out of the question, but I am planning on spending 30 min - an hour every morning to walk my dog and an hour after getting back as well, so I don't need a super lazy breed. I really like the idea of a smart and playful dog that is good with strangers, but easy to train.

5.) Are there any other considerations that I haven't mentioned yet, but should think about?
A big thing is that you aren't actually working that schedule and at that company yet. It happens ALL the time that people start new jobs and it turns out to be longer hours, more stress and/or more travel than they were promised. Getting your foot in the door in a professional setting can mean taking on extra tasks or just generally being extra alert and on top of things, not exhausted because a puppy barked all night

Thanks so much for your guys help. I've been going crazy over this for the past few weeks, trying to get people's advice and just wanted to know your guys' opinions.
My comments in bold. Personally, I think you should wait and I think that you would likely enjoy getting your dog and getting to know your dog and bond with him a lot more in a year or two once you have a a solid idea of how your schedule will work and the demands of your job.

One idea is that during your two months of free time, you could volunteer at your local humane society or even do some fostering (as long as you commit to NOT "foster failing" and keeping a dog...) which would let you get to know more dog breeds and types and learn more about training them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
Umm I don’t know. I don’t think I’d do it in your situation. For sure not with a puppy. An adult? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm maaaaybe. But probably even not.

I’m very familiar with never having owned a dog before even in the family, and wanting one myself for my whole life. I got one the second I could reasonably provide a good life for one, and even then I was questioning the whole time if my schedule isn’t too busy for a dog. I work full time with a 6 minute commute to work, home for lunch for an hour, and I have the ability to work from home basically whenever I want. I practically never go out with friends, I’m a hermit like that, and I will only travel when forced to. And I have a cat whom the dog is friends with, for company.

And even still - it begins to break your heart every time you leave your dog alone unnecessarily. Leaving them alone for the entire day, and basically the entire night, with only an hour in the morning and 2-3 at night of interaction? I personally don’t think that’s very fair. Sure you can have a dog walker, but they’re not you.

What others have said about not knowing how your new job will be is right. A new job is exhausting. It looks like you have a tough commute as well, so you will likely want to come home and drop on the couch and not move.

I wouldn’t, not yet. If you got an adult, you could probably make it work, but what kind of life would that be for a dog? They want to be with you always. Would you be happy with yourself providing that kind of life?

And also as others have said, you don’t need two months of free time to have a new dog adjust to you. I got my adult dog on a saturday, worked from home monday, tuesday and wednesday, and went right back to work on thursday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,384 Posts
for an honest answer I would say NO your not in the right time in your life to have a dog. especially if you have time to hang out with your friends and would choose them over your dog when you are gone the majority of the time (except time for sleeping which is not quality time for a dog),, you honestly don't have the time to devote or commit to a dog .. I would wait until your life is in a different place...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I agree, you're just not in a place for a dog right now. If you need dogs in your life, which I totally get, volunteer at a shelter. Spend some time walking, petting and training dogs. You'll get your dog fix, the dogs will get much needed exercise and attention and nobody gets hurt.

To give you an idea of why I say this, here's my daily schedule:

5.25am Wake up. Pee, throw on clothes I left out, maybe remember to take my meds, run out the door with the whining dog who really needs to pee, too. Note: Is it raining? Is it 25F? Am I tired, sore and stiff? Doesn't matter, dog needs a walk!

6.15(ish) Get home, feed dog. Wake up husband, pack husband's lunch, remember I forgot my meds, wake up husband again, wait, did I take my meds?, eat breakfast. Why is the dog barking at me? Did I feed him? Husband, WAKE UP! Wait, did I eat?

7.30-8.00 Clean house. How did Kabota even get dog hair there?

8.00-8.15 Walk dog, just a quick pee break before I leave.

8.30-9.15 Ride Metro to work. Unless there's a downed train (or a smoking track or a "signal problem"), in which case who knows when I get in.

9.30 Start work.

6.00pm Run to the Metro. Run to the train. Hope it doesn't break down.

6.35(ish) Run up the escalators, impatiently wait for elevator, run down the hall, there's my dog! He needs to pee! He really needs to pee! Throw on walking clothes. I'm thirsty and hungry, but that doesn't matter.

6.45-7.45(ish) Walk the dog. Is it cold? Is it windy? Is it rainy? Is it all three? Doesn't matter, dog needs a walk.

7.45-10.00 Juggle playing with dog, petting dog, brushing dog with cleaning up after dinner, putting away laundry and oh, yeah, I'm married.

10.30 On a good day, I'm trying to sleep at this point.

Repeat x5

Is that really the life you're prepared to lead right now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
Yep, precisely what Amaryllis said, although my schedule is more relaxed a bit.

8am - get up, put on some kind of clothes, wake up boyfriend, go walk the dog cause peeing!
8:20 - feed the dog, feed the cat, wake up boyfriend
8:30 - pack lunch, wake up boyfriend, break up a dog-cat overly active playing, attempt to remember to take something for breakfast too
8:45 - rearrange the couches, pile stuff on them so dog doesn’t scratch through them, make sure boyfriend has gotten up and moved his car so I can leave
9:00 - start work, eat breakfast while working
12:00 - go home, prepare treats, do a short training session.
12:10 - walk the dog
12:45 - get home, do another short training session, leave to work
1:00 - get to work, warm up lunch, eat while working
5:00 - come home from work, walk the dog until boyfriend gets home from work
6:00 - alternate between training the dog, breaking up cat-dog play, petting the dog, planning next day’s training sessions, occupying the dog with a chew, prepping stuffed food toys for next day, feeding the dog, refilling water for everyone, and also hopefully eating myself too.
12:00 - make boyfriend walk the dog for a final pee break cause I’m done by then, and sleep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your honest answers. I really appreciate them! Yeah I never included about my commute time when I first thought about owning a dog until I wrote this post. The 11 hours is definitely way too long when I can't go back during lunch like it seems a lot of dog owners do. I think fostering a dog during my two months is a great idea. It will definitely give me a greater sense of what it means to own a dog and can learn a ton from it too, so I'll definitely start looking into that.

Thanks so much for your guys' answers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
My opinion is that you could take the dog to work for a few months in the beginning. Perhaps you could car pool with a dog-friendly coworker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,435 Posts
My opinion is that you could take the dog to work for a few months in the beginning. Perhaps you could car pool with a dog-friendly coworker?
I'd suggest that for someone just starting out in a company, bringing a puppy along may not be a good career choice. Even in a dog-friendly office, a puppy is a distraction and could be an issue of what to do with the puppy during business meetings etc. Many companies have a 3-6 month probationary period where you really want to be on top of your game. If the OP is still working for a dog-friendly company after year or so and is a bit more established in a routine and their work, an adult dog would still likely be a lot more practical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
I'd suggest that for someone just starting out in a company, bringing a puppy along may not be a good career choice. Even in a dog-friendly office, a puppy is a distraction and could be an issue of what to do with the puppy during business meetings etc. Many companies have a 3-6 month probationary period where you really want to be on top of your game. If the OP is still working for a dog-friendly company after year or so and is a bit more established in a routine and their work, an adult dog would still likely be a lot more practical.
Very good point. I would love to be able to take my dogs to work, but it is probably not a good idea in this case for a new employee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,401 Posts
Consider a 2 - 5 yo adult Lab. Plan to walk the dog 30 min. in the morning and 30 min. in the evening, and 15 min. before bed. Also, set aside 15 min. to clean up newspaper in the playpen where the dog will poop/pee indoors, while you are gone. Things go much easier, if you feed once in the morning and once when you get home from work. Training for 30 min. every evening would be good, also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Forgive me if this comes as harsh and rude, but I can't find a soft way of saying: It is doable, but he may end up as an unhappy dog that is being caged most of his life.

Please imagine: After 2 months your puppy may still not be fully house trained, and you won't be there anymore to keep on his house breaking. He won't magically go from being with you 24/7 to staying happy all alone for 11 or more hours a day either.
You go back to work, the puppy may get separation anxiety, barking and whining, also pee and poop all over his beautiful ex pen and his lovely toys, maybe roll in his own feces, or one day figure out how to get out of the pen and chew on furniture, floors and your items. You come home from work, it's 8pm and you are exhausted, or maybe even later if you went out with friends before returning home. So you are hungry and tired, it's already late, and the puppy has ruined your carpet, he needs a bath, and your neighbor comes complaining over the barking.
Now honestly, how motivated will you be to spend at least 2 hours on walking the puppy, feed the puppy, giving him a bath if needed, playing with him and training him and also cleaning the ex pen before you eventually can wind up, eat something and go to bed cause by this time it will be close to midnight. Also, how likely are you to enjoy this and not to see it as a chore and a burden?
Then one day a "friendly" soul comes up with a great advice of crating the puppy (which is a nicer name for caging), and your life becomes a bit easier, but the dog will spend about 20 hours a day in his cage, including night time. Plus the socializing is an ongoing process that does not get finished - he needs to see people and things during day time, not only at nights and weekends. Then if behavior problems from excessive crating and under socializing hit in his adolescence, you won't be able to spend the time needed to bring him back into mental balance. This is the worse case scenario, and hopefully I am wrong all the way.

If you like cats, 2 young cats would be perfect for your life style. About one year old, boy and girl, short hair, preferably two cats that are already best buddies, there are many of them in shelters. You can free feed them with low calories kibble, just change their water every morning, clean the litter box and make sure they have plenty toys out when you are not there. They will have each other to play with, a good dinner whenever you get home in the evening, they can be brought to the vet by buss, trick or any collective transportation in carriers, they will still be happy to see you and curling up around you when you wind up watching tv and brushing them and everybody is happy. Play time will be more enjoyable as well after a long day at work, because it's a kinda lightweight compared to exercising a dog - cats don't need to be walked, and if you have the finances you can "catify" your home in a tasteful way, implementing a "steal this look" arrangements in your home that will provide plenty of fun and exercise for the cats whether you are around or not.

Please don't take it bad, I have been living with cats for over 14 years and living with my dog for barely 5 months, and from my experience the difference in needs for active care, exercise, protection, training and time together with you is huge like Black Canyon. There is no way I could take proper care of my puppy's needs if working out of the home for 11 hours a day, not mentioning a social life without careful planning ahead. We are in similar situations - I too live alone and work about 11 hours a day, but I work from home and without set schedule, so some of the work I can do at night, and also take a break when it is time for dog TLC.
I took a month off from work when I got Tina, and it was still not enough, I was crying heavily the first 2 months after going back to work, because it was soooo hard trying to take care of the puppy, my job, home and myself at the same time, and to balance this all by myself and with no help or support. Keeping taking care of the cats was actually the easiest part. If I was working outside the home, the dog would be neglected no matter how much I would try, because you can't predict unexpected events and if you are alone and already so much away from him, a couple more hours away will make a night/day difference in the dog's life, and give you guilt trips to the moon.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top