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The title says it all. I'll try to be succinct and give only pertinent details.

I will be graduating college soon and taking a job in a new city.


PROBLEM: The job requires 5-15% travel. This travel can include several weekend trips throughout the year, as well as the possibility of being gone for up to 10 days once or twice per year.

SOLUTION: Establish a relationship with a committed, trustworthy babysitter through DogVacay for a wonderful home-away-from-home.


PROBLEM: I am single and will be living by myself. Therefore, I will be the only one caring for and socializing these dogs.

SOLUTION: However, I won't be going clubbing, won't be going on non-work weekend trips (that I can't bring the dogs along with me), and will generally be at home when I'm not at work. I will spend lots of time with the dogs when I'm home.


PROBLEM: I will be working 7:30am-5pm most days.

SOLUTION: I will live within 15 minutes of my work location. I will come home every day at lunch to walk the dogs for ~30 minutes and feed them. Additionally, I will walk the dogs in the morning and/or evening, dependent upon their needs.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
I plan to get a goldendoodle pup and a sheepadoodle pup. I know there are lots of mixed feelings on doodle "hybrids", but let's just focus on the fact that they will be medium (standard), ~70 lb., medium-to-high energy, social dogs. I want to get two so that they can keep each other company since I *will* be away for some of the day, and also I think that they will help each other learn the commands and cues I teach them.

I really enjoy walks, jogs, hikes, and other outdoor activities. I want to do mostly activities which the dogs will be welcome to join.

I am aware of grooming needs for these breeds, but would appreciate input on crate training methods for my specific situation. I am also aware that obedience classes are a near-must, and have read that it's better to take each dog separately so that they don't distract each other. I would also appreciate any input on that.

I have already spent several dozens of hours researching breeds, breeders, training, and general needs. I am a very thorough, dedicated, and hard-working individual. I'd like to know your opinion of whether my situation will be suitable for raising two puppies into happy, healthy, well-mannered adults.

Thanks for your time and thoughts.
 

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Have you researched littermate syndrome? It can occur even with unrelated dogs raised together and can be very detrimental to the mental and emotional health of your dogs.

Apologies if you have, I just feel it would be irresponsible not to mention it since you didn't specifically say you had.
 

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yeah... littermate syndrome is a huge worry here.

Am also going to add in to make sure the parents are health tested, especially considering the activities you want to do with them. At a min, all parents should be OFA hips and elbows, CERF eyes, and cardiac.
 

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You might be able to make it work. As someone who used to travel for work 20% of the time, I can say that a puppy isn't a good idea though, because they really need constant care and training for quite a few months. Missing a lot of that formidable time for socialization and training is really really going to set your dog back. Also, dogs of all ages crave consistency and while there are some dogs who can go from place to place, with and without an owner, and be fine, there are some that find that lifestyle extremely hard. I would look into having someone stay in your home with the dog while you're away. I consider my dog well socialized and well adjusted and while he did fine for a few days in a kennel, he had noticeably lost weight (despite eating his normal amount of food) and was stressed. It's not something I would want to do on a regular basis.

Second, absolutely don't get two. Littermate syndrome is 100% a real thing, and having two pups who are home alone together so much, or in daycare, you're going to have a really hard time bonding with either of them, training either of them, or being able to separate them for any reason. Littermate syndrome isn't just a worst case scenario either - it will happen, to some extent or another, every single time. Maybe you won't get the worst case littermate syndrome, but nothing you can do will prevent it from occurring on some level and impacting the dog's personalities. Trust me, they will not turn out well in this situation. Two puppies of the same age don't turn out well in the best of situations (like with experienced guide dog puppy raisers). Also trust me that they will not help each other learn anything you want them to learn - they will help each other learn all of the bad things you don't want them to do. I've owned littermates and would never do it again, even though they generally turned into good dogs.

Basically, if you really want a dog, I think you should get an adult (or older puppy) who doesn't need hours of attention for the first few months. If you are dead set on getting a puppy, really try to limit your travel until the pup is at least 6 months old so you can be there to house break and train the pup consistently. And definitely do not get two puppies at the same time.
 

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I'm single, I work full time, I have my adult dog and I foster 1 additional adult dog or older puppy at a time.

You couldn't pay me enough to take on two puppies at the same time. The massive massive amount of time needed to train them well would drive me insane. 2 highly active puppies? Oh heck no.
One puppy MAY be doable, but really? Even that is going to be exhausting with a full schedule.

"doodles" are a dime a dozen in many rescues and shelters because people get them because they are "cute" and then realize they are highly active and IMO often kinda nutso. Like hyper and reactive and such.

I suggest looking for ONE young adult dog of the size and energy level that interests you. Most adult dogs are comfortable being alone for a typical work day, they sleep all day basically, and you can use a sitter or boarding facility for the occasional work trip.
 

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I have two dogs, single, work full time and will be getting a puppy next year. I don't have to travel though for work, which is awesome. And I get every other weekend as a 3 day weekend and frequent vacation days. I can come home over lunch for a 20 min play session. I also kind of... have my hobbies centered around dogs and dog training. I would NEVER take on two puppies with my schedule. Too much work and not enough time. I'm already fretting about high energy puppy and work as it is but two is way more work than 1.

If you want two dogs, I'd get one older dog first then maybe add a puppy down the road.
 

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I am a very thorough, dedicated, and hard-working individual.
Same here, and raising a single puppy with part-time work and full-time undergraduate classes was extremely challenging. I even had family support. I couldn't imagine two puppies with that schedule. Hoooly cow.

I cannot express to you how much work a puppy is. No one can. No matter how much you read about it, you won't be prepared. I think you could manage one pup with your schedule, if you were absolutely determined. But think about it. Really.

You're moving to a new place, getting a new job. A pup will suck your free time and be yet another major stressor in your life. Puppies aren't instant companions. They take a year, years, to mature. I would strongly recommend considering an young adult dog once you settle down in your new home, one that's potty-trained, well-socialized, and is chill with being left alone when you're at work. Then, maybe down the road after you've bonded with your adult, add a pup.

Please hold a -doodle breeder to the same standards you would a purebred breeder. Few here are "against" doodles, per say, but it is much harder to find a responsible doodle breeder compared to, say, a pure poodle breeder. There are, unfortunately, many breeders out there looking to make a buck over anything else. Others mean well but do harm in their breeding. At the very least, make sure you're buying from a breeder that health tests their breeding stock for issues common in the breed/mix, i.e.

Rescued said:
Am also going to add in to make sure the parents are health tested, especially considering the activities you want to do with them. At a min, all parents should be OFA hips and elbows, CERF eyes, and cardiac.
Best of luck to you, OP.
 

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Like most said already, getting two puppies might be too much. You can read and read about raising puppies from all different sources, but for your first pup, it will never be enough. I am not a dog expert like most of the members on this site. However after raising one high-energy puppy (an English Springer), living with my parents, and having a part-time job at the same time; I will sum it up as very arduous. It can be done, and it does get better. Though two puppies would probably not be the best thing to do. Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You guys have all given very valuable advice. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to give your input.

I had never heard of littermate syndrome. I coincidentally considered such a thing occurring between two pups, but I didn't know it had a name nor that it was common.

It sounds like I definitely should not get two pups, based on everybody's feedback. That's too bad, but I appreciate you all saving me a world of headache. My original internal battle was between adopting a dog from a shelter and risking getting a dog with health problems (both of my parents' pound puppies developed moderate-to-severe health problems), or contributing to overpopulation (and Darwinism, I suppose) by buying a healthy dog from a breeder. I was only able to find one doodle rescue in the Midwest (The Doodle Collective), and they don't adopt out to first-time owners. I haven't looked at any local shelters for doodles because 1) I'm not yet ready for the dog, and 2) I didn't imagine that there would be any in a shelter because of their general high cost and popularity.

I would still certainly appreciate any further input, but is the general consensus that 1) I should absolutely get an adult rather than a puppy, and 2) if I want a doodle, I can probably find one in a shelter?
 

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An adult will be infinitely easier to manage than a puppy. We got a puppy, and I'm not single, plus my friend helped out a lot, and it still brought me to tears on a regular basis. He's great now, but I don't know how I would have handled a puppy alone. An adult dog should also be able to go jogging with you from the get-go. If you got a puppy, you'd have to wait a few years for its body to finish maturing. I think you could find an adult poodle mix in a shelter easily enough. They may not call them the fancy "oodle" names, but they're out there! You could also visit shelters/rescues and tell them what you're looking for in terms of energy and personality, and see what they match you with.
 

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In my opinion, you should absolutely get an adult rather than a puppy. I would also recommend you seriously consider adopting, rather than buying, a doodle.

If you went to a breeder of doodles that does health testing/genetic screening of their stock, you would increase your chances of having a healthy dog. But it may be tricky to find a quality doodle breeder. You can most certainly find doodles in shelters and rescues! Your chance of getting a healthy dog from there is about the same as getting a healthy dog from a breeder that doesn't health test, which is equal to or slightly better than your chance of getting a healthy dog from a pet store/puppy mill.

I was only able to find one doodle rescue in the Midwest (The Doodle Collective), and they don't adopt out to first-time owners.
I hate when rescues do this. Everyone was a first-time owner at some point. Sigh.

Check out petfinder.com and petharbor.com. Shelters and rescues post adoptable dogs to those sites. I also occasionally see older pup/young adult doodles posted on Craigslist for rehome. Just make sure you're not paying an excessive rehoming fee or rewarding a bad breeder selling dogs through Craigslist. Usually homeless doodles (and dogs in general) are a situation of pup grows up, loses some of its cute, and puppy misbehavior and energy becomes less cute at 50+ lbs.
 

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I would still certainly appreciate any further input, but is the general consensus that 1) I should absolutely get an adult rather than a puppy, and 2) if I want a doodle, I can probably find one in a shelter?
An adult has many, many advantages to a puppy for a single working owner. Especially compared to a puppy from a breeder that is likely not breeding for health and temperament (as is the case for many doodle breeders). While an adult may have minor bad habits like pulling on a leash or jumping up, many are house trained and generally fine left alone (in a large crate or dog-safe room) for a work day. You can jump right in to running or hiking or playing fetch with an adult without worrying about damaging growing joints. An adult is fully vaccinated and can go to parks, boarding kennels, out in public without much stress of parvo or distemper.

You may not find a "doodle" per se in a shelter near you BUT I can basically guarantee that you can find a young adult or adult dog (1-4 years about) in a shelter with all the general traits of a typical doodle. Remember, a doodle is more a type than a breed and isn't going to "breed true" compared to a puppy from established breed that is from a careful breeder. So if you get a doodle pup, it is easily as much or more of a toss-up on both health and temperament than a shelter rescue. At least for an adult shelter dog, you have a fairly good idea of size and temperament.

If this
let's just focus on the fact that they will be medium (standard), ~70 lb., medium-to-high energy, social dogs.
is what you want, this can be found all over shelters in the Midwest. Lab mixes, golden mixes, shepherd mixes, etc.
 

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I've added a puppy and an adult. The adult was much much easier than the pup. That said, I think puppy raising is ridiculously fun! My pup was a hard puppy though and has only really settled into an off switch this last year and a half (she's 4.5). Her first year was spent letting her run off leash at parks for 2+ hours, she screamed for weeks in her crate (I was in an apartment and gave up on crate trianing), she chewed EVERYTHING (glasses, books, cables, pulled up carpet, etc), she smeared poop ON MY WALLS, she needed let out every couple hours, I had to tie her to me or she would run off and potty, etc.

What about a standard poodle? (Or mini) I got my adult papillon from a breeder as a retired breeding dog. Sometimes breeders have dogs like that up for sale and it's a good compromise. They would be a lot easier to find from a purebred/show breeder though I think.
 

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I don't have much to add to what everyone else has said, but I wanted to tell you that it's refreshing to see someone truly taking the advice of the knowledgeable folks here to heart. :)

If your priority is finding a medium-sized, friendly, moderately energetic dog, that would be fairly easy to find in a shelter. Probably easier than finding a doodle breeder who meets the general criteria of a responsible breeder. If your reason for wanting a doodle is that they don't shed, be aware that many do. And those that don't will need just as much grooming as a poodle. (I'm just speculating here because I frequently see people who want a sociable, non-shedding, medium-sized dog that doesn't have the poodle stigma.)

In addition to looking at non-breed specific shelters and rescues in your area, you might also check with poodle, lab, and golden rescues. I know that one of the poodle rescues near occasionally has doodles and other, non-poodle breeds.

I have a standard poodle and I can tell you that she is absolutely amazing. An older spoo would be a good option for you.
 

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One other thing I thought of is to get settled in your job first. My first job out of college was supposed to be 15% travel and it was often 70%. I could never have had a dog with that type of schedule. I could barely have gerbils and they could be left alone for days at a time. So settle in and see how the job goes before you jump into a dog.
 

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At the daycare I work at, we have two "labradoodles" who are house mates. They are not litter mates, but they are close in age and are also from the same breeder. They definitely have litter mate syndrome to the MAX. I can't have them both in the yard at the same time because the older one has literally taken to being so rough with the younger one that I worry for his safety. When they're separated, both (especially the older one) is extremely stressed and anxious the entire day... it's awful. I'm glad you're leaning to only focusing on one puppy, but I thought I'd give you some first hand insight. It's really difficult to see and manage... and I don't even own these dogs.

Working full time and being single it's definitely doable to care and raise one puppy. It'll just take A LOT of work and patience. And there's a ton of us here who are willing and able to give all the advice you want!

Oh, and when/if you bring your dog or puppy home... pictures are basically required.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I hate when rescues do this. Everyone was a first-time owner at some point. Sigh.
Exactly how I feel.

If this
"let's just focus on the fact that they will be medium (standard), ~70 lb., medium-to-high energy, social dogs."
is what you want, this can be found all over shelters in the Midwest. Lab mixes, golden mixes, shepherd mixes, etc.
That is essentially what I want, but also with very low-to-no shedding. I figured that if I were going to be dishing out a chunk of change for a dog, I'd get the kind whose appearance I like the most--goldendoodle. But if I'm adopting. . well, the point of adopting is to find a good match and give a dog a better home, not to be judgmental. But still, low-to-no shedding is important for me.

What about a standard poodle?
I've considered it, but haven't researched it much. I'll definitely keep it open as an option.

I don't have much to add to what everyone else has said, but I wanted to tell you that it's refreshing to see someone truly taking the advice of the knowledgeable folks here to heart. :)
:)

In addition to looking at non-breed specific shelters and rescues in your area, you might also check with poodle, lab, and golden rescues. I know that one of the poodle rescues near occasionally has doodles and other, non-poodle breeds.
Good advice. I've checked for such rescues and didn't have much luck the first time around, but that doesn't mean nothing will turn up.

At the daycare I work at, we have two "labradoodles" who are house mates. They are not litter mates, but they are close in age and are also from the same breeder. They definitely have litter mate syndrome to the MAX. I can't have them both in the yard at the same time because the older one has literally taken to being so rough with the younger one that I worry for his safety. When they're separated, both (especially the older one) is extremely stressed and anxious the entire day... it's awful. I'm glad you're leaning to only focusing on one puppy, but I thought I'd give you some first hand insight. It's really difficult to see and manage... and I don't even own these dogs.

Working full time and being single it's definitely doable to care and raise one puppy. It'll just take A LOT of work and patience. And there's a ton of us here who are willing and able to give all the advice you want!

Oh, and when/if you bring your dog or puppy home... pictures are basically required.
Definitely appreciate the input, rain check on advice, and requirement notification. :)


Thanks again, all! You're a wonderful bunch.
 

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One other thing I thought of is to get settled in your job first. My first job out of college was supposed to be 15% travel and it was often 70%. I could never have had a dog with that type of schedule. I could barely have gerbils and they could be left alone for days at a time. So settle in and see how the job goes before you jump into a dog.
Really good point here!!
That first full-time job out of college can be a lot more than expected, even without considering travel, but the potential travel requirements could be a big deal.

Also, if you will be a renter, be aware that many rentals have weight limits so make sure you have an apartment or house lined up that allows any size dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Really good point here!!
That first full-time job out of college can be a lot more than expected, even without considering travel, but the potential travel requirements could be a big deal.

Also, if you will be a renter, be aware that many rentals have weight limits so make sure you have an apartment or house lined up that allows any size dog.
I'm actually already working part-time for the company that I'll be working for full-time when I graduate, so I do know that there will be some travel required--it's just the nature of the work--but I also know that it will be minimal. So thank goodness for that.

I'm searching for a rental house that allows larger dogs, and I'd be ecstatic if I could find one with a fenced in back yard. But it certainly is important to make sure I find such a place, so thanks for pointing that out.


And just in case anyone's interested / so that I'm not overly ambiguous, I'll be doing software development for a system integrator in Nashville, TN. If anyone has any tips on parks around that area drop a line!
 

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If you search petfinder using the parameters of nashville, adult, and poodle, you get some of these gems!

Labradoodles
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/27778605/
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/26770726/
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/27633296/
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/27729627/

A shepherd-doodle?
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/25637188/

If you branch out and search labs...
THIS ONE HAS THE BEST EARS EVER! It's like the flying nun dog!
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24957619/

And how could you not want to wake up to this face every morning?
http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/27687470/

So many dogs to choose from!! I love window shopping for pets :p
 
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