Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
New here....first post.
I am about to move from a townhouse with no yard to a house in the country on 9 wooded acres. I would like to get at lest 1 dog....probly 2. I have not taken care of a dog since I moved out of my parents house about 15 years ago. Mainly cuz I lived in apts, condos, and townhouses with no yard. I know i could have had a dog in those conditions, but i just decided to wait until I had some land for the dog/dogs to run in.
Moving on......I have always loved dogs and want them mainly for the companionship. But another big reason is cuz I will be moving to a secluded area with no neighbors. I have always had neighbors who would watch out for suspicious activity, but now I wont, so I need the dogs to protect my home.
I would like to get German Shepherds. It does not matter to me if purebred or not. I will most likely go the route of adopting from a reputable shelter.
The big issue that I have is that I work long hours. I can be gone for up to 12 hours daily.
That is one of the reasons I am contemplating 2 dogs.....so they can keep each other company.
Also, I was also thinking I should get them in the 9month to 1 year range. That way, they may not need as much attention as a very young pup.
I would want the dogs to eventually be able to roam around the house when I am not there. At least thru the kitchen, living room, hallways, and their own bedroom. The dogs cant really protect the home from potential intruders when they are locked in a crate right?
So....basically....my question is whether I am in the right train of thought here. I know dogs are a big responsibility and I just dont want to jump into this without covering the bases.
Please feel free to offer any suggestions.
Also, if there is any other info you need from me in order to help, let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,443 Posts
My opinion is no, you are not on the right train of thought here. I see several potential problems with your plan.
Here's my take on things...
so I need the dogs to protect my home.
Dogs make for good deterrents and good warning devices if they are barkers, but very few dogs will actually protect your home and quite honestly, you don't want them to try. A dog that will act on his own to protect your home is a major liability. the problems range from the dog biting someone he shouldn't such as a repairman, dog walker, friend, even medical personnel if you had a fire or called 911. Or if there is a break-in, a dog that runs away from the intruder may be just fine but a dog that tries to attack stands a chance of getting shot. Unless you are able to put in the massive amount of time for the training of a true guard dog, are able to continue the training upkeep, can properly secure your residence and can afford the liability insurance... then put all thoughts of a "guard dog" out of you mind and just get a dog that will bark if someone comes up the walk.

The big issue that I have is that I work long hours. I can be gone for up to 12 hours daily.
that is a lot of time to be gone. Even if you have a dog door to a securely fenced area for daytime potty breaks, how much time can you really spend with your dog? Dogs need attention, not just food and water and grass to pee on. Can you fit walks or jogs, training and play into your schedule? Even a well trained adult dog needs a couple hours of your time (walks, playtime, hanging out) daily.

That is one of the reasons I am contemplating 2 dogs.....so they can keep each other company.
While many dogs enjoy another dogs company, if you do not have time for one dog you most certainly do not have time for 2. 2 dogs are not quite twice the work, assuming they are both trained already and get along with each other, but they are for sure more work than one dog (along with twice the expense for food, vetting etc). You also run the risk of dogs that simply don't get along and then you are stuck either rehoming one or playing crate-and-rotate (dogs never around each other) for the life of the dogs. Personally, I never leave dogs alone together anyway for everyones safety, so it isn't like they are going to spend the day playing and socializing with each other.

Also, I was also thinking I should get them in the 9month to 1 year range. That way, they may not need as much attention as a very young pup.
Ha ha ha, sorry, I had to do it. 9 months to a year is a ton of work still! Maybe not needing as many bathroom breaks as a young puppy, but needing a ton of training and exercise and dealing with the "teenager attitude" All dogs need attention, young dogs need even more.

I would want the dogs to eventually be able to roam around the house when I am not there. At least thru the kitchen, living room, hallways, and their own bedroom. The dogs cant really protect the home from potential intruders when they are locked in a crate right?
See my comment about home protection and also about the safety of dogs loose together.

I would like to get German Shepherds. It does not matter to me if purebred or not. I will most likely go the route of adopting from a reputable shelter.
Adopting is good and there are many good dogs available. But what is it about a GSD that you are interested in? They are very people oriented dogs, they won't do well left alone for long days. They are also dogs that need plenty of training and exercise.

If you think you can devote basically ALL your free time in the evenings and weekends to a dog, then ONE adult shelter rescue of moderate energy might work. You'd need a securely fenced area with a dog door if you're going to be gone 12 hours daily and IMO securely fenced means 6 ft privacy fence with a lock on it. But I would say you need to think very carefully about your schedule and what you are looking for in a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I agree with Shell. 12 hours is a long time to be gone and dogs need human interaction. It's particularly important for GSDs. They tend to get very neurotic without a lot of human interaction. If you're only gone 12 hours once a week, that would be okay, maybe twice a week, but 5 times a week? Think about the schedule there. Say 7am - 7pm, then you need to eat, clean, do laundry, mow the lawn, etc, etc, etc (owning a home is so much more work than a condo or apartment. you wouldn't think so, but it is), then you have to go to bed and get some sleep to do it again tomorrow, so when is the dog walking, training, playing, etc. happening?

As to the guarding, look, every day another person comes on the board and says "I want a dog to protect me/my property". If that's what you want, get an alarm system. Shell is right, any dog that actually would protect you/your property is a huge liability that will end with you being sued and the dog being put to sleep. Actual protection dogs are heavily trained and very expensive, as in between $50,000 and $500,000. That's because it is very, very difficult to get a dog to understand that biting is okay in this situation, but not that one.

Dogs keeping each other company: maybe. Possibly. You can't just stick any two dogs together and expect a deep and abiding love, any more than you can do that with people. They might hate each other. Or maybe they like each other and then one day get into a fight over a toy and then you come home to one dead dog, or two dead dogs. If it's necessary, I'll link you to some pretty horrifying stories about that. A lot of people on this board won't leave multiple dogs alone together.

As to adopting, I think you're on the right track there, but 9 months to a year, no. That's actually one of the most time intensive periods in a dog's life. They're teenagers at that age. Most dogs are chewing machines at that age, as well. You'll want a dog over 2. Most dogs are matured into adults by 2 and are more reliable left alone, though not all dogs. Keep that in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
I do feel safer with our large family dog around, I sincerely doubt she would actually protect our property unless one of us was in direct physical danger but her bark and appearance has been enough to see of a couple of would-be intruders. My understanding of GSDs is that they will need a minimum of an hour hard physical exercise a day which will be very hard for you after a long 12 hour day. Two alone I think can be fine but I would want to supervise them together for a long while before I would trust them alone together. Additionally young dogs are likely to have too much energy to be alone for so long, you're house might not be broken into but you might find an intruder would have left less damage than two strong young dogs looking for a "job" (tearing up your furniture, finding ALL the food, marking in the house). What about an older bonded pair (6-8)? They will be safe together, enjoy each others company and not need the exercise of two young dogs (although they will still require walks/runs). Their bark and (imagined) bite will be just as scary as a younger dog with less risk to your home. I'm not an expert, just some thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok thnx....good info.
As to the guard dog thing. I probly should have just said watchdog. i dont want the dog to do anything other than bark. More of a detterent to a potential robber than an actual guarddog. more so for a burglar to say "wait....there is a big dog barking in there.....lets go somewhere else". Sorry for the confusion.
Also, thnx for clarifying the 2 dogs scenario. Makes sense. I will stick with 1.
Plus i will look for a dog that is already 2 or older.

About my work scedule.....i need to clarify a few things. i never said i work 12 hours 5 days a week or that i only have evenings and weekends free. although im sure many people do have that type of schedule and own dogs....so how do they do it?
My schedule is highly variable.....here is an example. This is my schedule this week.
Today....1235P-1130P
tues....off
Wed and thu....530a-230p
Fri...330p-215a
Sat...off
Sun...615a-415p

So as u can see its varied.....not 12 hours a day....everyday.

Im sure something can be done.....people dont just quit their jobs cuz they get a dog.

Give me some suggestions.

Btw i have an invisible fence already installed that gives a dog access to almost 2 acres.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,443 Posts
First, don't trust an invisible fence when you are not home. For one, it does not keep anyone or any animal from coming IN to your yard. A person can steal or harm your dog, a loose dog can come into your yard and hurt or get hurt by your's etc. It also doesn't stop a lot of bigger or more prey-driven/tough dogs from leaving. Many dogs will run right through the shock after a rabbit, deer or such and then won't want to return to the yard since they don't want to feel the shock again. Edit to add: the power can also go out at the house or the batteries run out in the collar and leave the fence completely useless even if the dog would listen to the shock. I've seen several dogs outside their fences or lost dog signs up from invisible fences...
The invisible fence is useful for supervised off-leash time once you have trained recall and trained the dog to the boundaries of the fenceline.

A typical larger sized adult dog in good health can stay home alone (inside) for about 9 hours daily without problems. A handful of times I have been late getting home from work and my dog has been okay at 10 hours but it isn't good for his health to ask him to wait 10-12 hours on a regular basis.

If you can have someone come by your house on your longer days OR you have a doggie door to a REAL fenced yard, then the occasional (1-2 days per week) long day isn't a big deal.
Your varied schedule might be a little confusing for the dog, they are very much creatures of habit and tend to need to eat and poop at somewhere about the same time frame each day. You'll want to try to make as much of a routine as possible, even if it means getting up early for a walk and outside break and then going back to sleep before working a late shift.

For the big dog deterrent- I suggest a big black lab. A friendly one aged about 1.5 to 3 years old. Tons available in shelters and sadly, black dogs have a really hard time getting adopted but for some reason are more intimidating to many people. If a stranger walks up to your house and gets greeted by a 90 lbs dog looking out the window eye-to-eye with him, the majority of people will chose a different target. I can't tell you how many people (not criminals, just salesmen types and such) I have seen backing slowly away from my house when they get stared down and a couple of deep loud barks directed at them. Same with when I open the door for the cable guy or whatever, I have a hand of the dog's collar and he's at my side and they are very much giving a little space to the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
#1.....and this is just me.....I have seen dogs go through an invisible fence if on they are on a chase of something rabbit, squirrel, deer....and it doesn't stop anything from coming into the area....The only thing I trust is a 6' chain link fence.... If you are outside with the dog, then maybe it will work because you are there, not because the invisible fence worked.

I live on 21 acres of both pasture and wood land....I own 2 poodles (miniature and toy) and 2 schnauzers, and I would never trust an invisiable fence...we have coyotes, deer, small rodents, raccoons, opossum, etc, that roam outside of our fenced (1/2 acre) in yard. Some squirrels, and rabbits, gophers, squeeze into the back yard, and my dogs tear into a dead run and usually catch them, but the only thing that will stop them is the fence.

Do you really want to trust an invisible fence ? Especially if you are gone?

Also, some of your work is pretty long hours....can you have someone, or yourself come home to give the dog a break ? I don't know what part of the country you live in, but to keep a dog outside while you are gone is chancy....

I would, if I were you, either think about using a chain link fence for a large part of your yard, and attaching it to you garage? Put a doggy door on the garage and then fence off an area inside your garage for them to go. I had an outside cat, and she was not allowed in the house. We had a chainlink fence, and put a 'cat' door on our garage and an inside large crate attached to the inside of the garage and attached to the cat door, with a heat lamp above her inside crate in the winter and she did fine. Our garage is insulated. This way she could go out into a safe fenced in yard, and yet at night, or bad weather, come in the garage into a nice warm crate where she was fed and had water.....

Everyone should be able to have a pet even if they work, but you have to think of an animal's needs and safety....and how the dog will be taken care of while you are gone....

I hope this helps you out....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I just want to add, that a GSD will laugh at an invisible fence.
I work with a guy whose GSDs figured out that the pain lasted just a moment, but freedom is forever the first day. $6,000 for an invisible fence and then he had to spend about that again to have a regular fence put in.

OP: if you're not gone 12 hours 5 days a week, then it's probably fine. GSDs are great watchdogs, which is different from a guard dog. I personally like alarm barking, too, and some breeds are more prone to it than others, so if you like alarm barking, a GSD is a good pick.

Adult GSDs and GSD mixes are easy to find in rescue and at shelters. My local shelter always has at least one purebred GSD and at least three mixes. Last month, 5 purebred GSDs went through that shelter. It's not that GSDs are bad dogs, but GSD puppies are cute and fluffy and then they turn into a large dog that needs tons of exercise and is intelligent enough to make a lot of trouble if it's not properly trained and exercised. So I'd go to petfinder.com and see what's available in your area.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
I've seen GSDs go through ELECTRIC fences without flinching.
and I will say this about a GSD, their bark alone, be it friendly or not, will turn off a most small time thieves and trespassers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thnx for the responses.
You are all right....I have to ponder it over. As u can tell, I am not an impulse buyer. Thats the reason Ive gone all these years without a dog.
Also, I really dont know much about invisible fences to be honest. I did not install it. The previous owner did. I am surprised they are so ineffective though. I go on long runs and run by many dogs who seem like they want to tear my throat out but the invisible fence stops them. Good to know that they are not that great....I would only use it when dog is supervised now that I know.
As far as dog being able to go out, I could do 2 things.
1) doggy door for sliding glass door that leads out onto deck, then build a fenced off area off of deck.
2) doggy door on door for inside door to garage, then another that leads outside to fenced off area. I would also have to build a "walkway" from one door to next as I have some things in my garage that I would be afraid for the dog to get into.....heavy duty tools and such.....which could possibly hurt the dog.

I would feel bad for the dog to be alone for long periods though.

Ill think it over....Thnx again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Not all dogs will ignore an invisible fence. GSDs are just really . . . determined. There's a reason they get used as police dogs.

For the 12 hour days, there are some things you can do. You can leave the dog with stuffed, frozen kong. (You can find recipes online.) That will take up some time. You can leave the TV on for noise. They even sell DVDs especially for keeping dogs company. You can also exercise and train really hard the day before and that morning so the dog is physically and mentally tired while you're gone. You could also pay for a dog walker to come by and take him out for half an hour. Once or twice a week, that might not be so expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,443 Posts
As far as dog being able to go out, I could do 2 things.
1) doggy door for sliding glass door that leads out onto deck, then build a fenced off area off of deck.
2) doggy door on door for inside door to garage, then another that leads outside to fenced off area. I would also have to build a "walkway" from one door to next as I have some things in my garage that I would be afraid for the dog to get into.....heavy duty tools and such.....which could possibly hurt the dog.
#1 is the simplest and safest IMO. I don't let my dog in the garage alone at all (obviously he comes into the garage with me to get into the car). too many dangerous items. the first plan is also easier to train- one door=one exit to the outside.

You could do a nice "courtyard" type area with privacy fencing, maybe 24 feet in depth (3 panels of privacy fence) and have it run the length of your house. Would make a secure area for your dog and a nice private area for a small above ground pool or hot tub if you or a future homeowner desired. Or someone else might want to use it for a childrens play yard and keep the remainder outdoor space for their dogs etc.

I don't think once per week a 12 hour day will even get noticed by the dog IF the dog has plenty of exercise regularly and access to the outside while you are gone. Sometimes I come home after 9 hours and take the dog out to pee and after that he just lays down to sunbathe, completely unconcerned that I'm now home :)
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top