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Discussion Starter #1
Firstly, hello :wave: i'm new here!!

Ok so my thoughts are all over the place right now so I will try not to ramble and get straight to the point...

I want a dog, but I'm at university and I'm a medical student.

At home, we have a cav king charles so I'm not exactly a first time dog owner but we raised our king charles together as a family, whereas getting a dog at uni = on my own.

I don't want a puppy. Definitely have enough sense in me to not attempt to raise a puppy during term time on my own. I'm looking into getting a dog that's 2+ years and already house trained.

I live 2 hours away from home so getting help from family isn't an option. I live in a studio flat on my own and my friends at uni are all just as busy as I am with studies so I don't expect any help. So yeah, really on my own here!

Now the things I'm concerned about, the factors that are stopping me from jumping straight into it and getting a dog TODAY: the year I'm about to start means I will be out of the house 8am to 5/6pm as I'm on rotations/etc. Is that too long to leave a dog on its own? I'm hoping getting an older dog means it wouldn't be as nervous/restless/etc being left on its own for longer periods of time.... but I'm not sure if that's true? I would take the dog out for a walk before I leave in the morning and when I get back. I was thinking about maybe getting a mastiff as I'm told they need minimal exercise and are quite laid back, can anybody clarify or rebut this?

Also I'm quite a workaholic when it comes to my studies, I like to do my best. This is ok if the dog I have is laid back and doesn't mind just chilling inside with some company after exercise, so that I can sit with and do my studies without being distracted every 2 mins!! Am I being too hopeful?

I'm also wondering - are there any single dog owners with full time jobs out there?
 

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You could rescue an older dog who is more content to lounge around and only needs a couple walks each day. There's a plenty of them out there. I do think you could make it work if you pick the right dog.

My GF and I are both engineers and work full time (full time for us means 45-50 hours a week..good old salary jobs) and we have a 2 year old sheltie and a 4 month old rough collie. Our dogs get to go to daycare twice a week and I come home for lunch the other three days to spend a half hour with them. These are young, high energy dogs. If we can make this work, I have faith you could make something work out. Especially if you are open to age and breed.
 

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I don't think the 8-5PM would be much of an issue in an adult dog, but if you truly want a dog you should focus on finding the right breed/mix to suit some of your lifestyle (laid back, not overly-hyper active, etc).

Do you have a chance to come home during the day at some point to check-in? Either way, early morning walks are good if you are going to be gone a good portion of the day.

As long as you put your attention to the dog during the evenings and weekends, I would say your schedule sounds a lot like mine, in terms of hours gone during the day.
 

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A good rescue shelter in your area should had no trouble finding an older dog who would be happy with a nice morning walk before you left and another nice walk when you returned then mostly just chilling the rest of the evening. Of course some breaks from your studying for doggie training would be nice too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
brilliant! these replies are very encouraging and give me hope - i was kind of bracing myself for angry mobs of people telling me i'm awful and irresponsible for even contemplating it.

i'm definitely looking into breeds that are compatible with my lifestyle. so far i've got greyhounds, mastiffs, and... that's it. maybe dogue de bordeaux?
 

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A retired greyhound would be a good choice for you and there are a lot in need of rescuing. They tend to be very laid back dogs that enjoy a few walks every day. I don't have a lot of experience with mastiffs so I can't comment much on that. Guessing they won't be as common in rescues though.
 

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are you in england? just curious.


as for the dog...nein on the DDB. thats a LOT of stubborn, bullheaded potential issues for a first time owner(which yes, you are that)

what else do you want in a dog besides it being chill?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
are you in england? just curious.


as for the dog...nein on the DDB. thats a LOT of stubborn, bullheaded potential issues for a first time owner(which yes, you are that)

what else do you want in a dog besides it being chill?
yes, england..
erm i like all dogs to be honest.... i suppose i've always had a softer spot for gentle and strong dogs that like human company (don't all dogs though?). thing is, if i'm out 8am-5pm most days and even when i get home have studies to tend to, not to mention the manic period that is the exam period.. perhaps a dog that isn't too needy would suit.

either that or i just have to postpone it for yet another year, when i then also decide it's a bad idea.
i swear this career choice will never let me own my own dog :(
 

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thing is, if i'm out 8am-5pm most days and even when i get home have studies to tend to, not to mention the manic period that is the exam period.. perhaps a dog that isn't too needy would suit.

either that or i just have to postpone it for yet another year, when i then also decide it's a bad idea.
i swear this career choice will never let me own my own dog :(
When I was at school, two of my roommates adopted a rescue dog that was pretty chill and low-energy. Most of us were gone during the day so he was fine just napping or gnawing on some chew toys; the dog wasn't nearly exercised enough either (a walk = 5-10 min to let him do this business outside), so it's definitely possible to find a dog that won't require as much attention (although spending quality time with your pooch def should be a part of your day!).

Some of our neighbors are med school students since we live right next to my school's hospital and med school. I see some of them walking huskies in their scrubs and all at different times during the day. Since huskies are pretty high-energy dogs, and they made it work, I think you def have the chance to make it work as well! Just think of it as an exercise to manage your time better, haha. Also, the effort that goes into raising a dog can be analogous to raising a child, so if med students can have a family, then there's hope for you to have a pooch too! :)

P.S. I will be applying to med schools soon as well and I just got a puppy. This little will stay with me, so do pass on the knowledge if you figure out a good routine please!
 

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was just wondering if you were British because of the way you said "uni". referring to college as "uni" is not something ive ever heard an american do lol.

what i mean is more like...Do you want to spend time grooming a dog? how much time? ....things like that...coat type...size..etc...and actually knowing that you're in england helps to throw out suggestions because there will be some dogs that are available here in america that arent in england and vice versa...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
When I was at school, two of my roommates adopted a rescue dog that was pretty chill and low-energy. Most of us were gone during the day so he was fine just napping or gnawing on some chew toys; the dog wasn't nearly exercised enough either (a walk = 5-10 min to let him do this business outside), so it's definitely possible to find a dog that won't require as much attention (although spending quality time with your pooch def should be a part of your day!).

Some of our neighbors are med school students since we live right next to my school's hospital and med school. I see some of them walking huskies in their scrubs and all at different times during the day. Since huskies are pretty high-energy dogs, and they made it work, I think you def have the chance to make it work as well! Just think of it as an exercise to manage your time better, haha. Also, the effort that goes into raising a dog can be analogous to raising a child, so if med students can have a family, then there's hope for you to have a pooch too! :)

P.S. I will be applying to med schools soon as well and I just got a puppy. This little will stay with me, so do pass on the knowledge if you figure out a good routine please!
oo what breed did your roommates get, dyou know?

and you're right - there are people with babies at med school and families.. i know a girl in the year below me who had a baby 2 months ago and is a single mother!

what puppy did you get? :D
if i go through with it, i will be sure to pass on my routine to you and others!!

was just wondering if you were British because of the way you said "uni". referring to college as "uni" is not something ive ever heard an american do lol.

what i mean is more like...Do you want to spend time grooming a dog? how much time? ....things like that...coat type...size..etc...and actually knowing that you're in england helps to throw out suggestions because there will be some dogs that are available here in america that arent in england and vice versa...
oh lol i didn't realise this was an american forum, i should have known, the replies were too optimistic to be british :D

i'm not really into grooming to be honest.. i enjoy washing and brushing our king charles and whatnot, don't get me wrong, but i'd happily give up that aspect of dog care if it meant i could have a dog breed that worked with my lifestyle. i suppose that means i'd be better off with a short coat dog, but i live in a studio flat so hoovering up the hairs won't be a major pain as i hoover most days anyway

i've always been a big dog type of girl at heart but if you tell me the best breed to suit my lifestyle turns out to be a small dog, i will gladly consider it :D
 

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oh lol i didn't realise this was an american forum, i should have known, the replies were too optimistic to be british :D
HA! :D its cool, its largely american but we do get those from other places.

i'm not really into grooming to be honest.. i enjoy washing and brushing our king charles and whatnot, don't get me wrong, but i'd happily give up that aspect of dog care if it meant i could have a dog breed that worked with my lifestyle. i suppose that means i'd be better off with a short coat dog, but i live in a studio flat so hoovering up the hairs won't be a major pain as i hoover most days anyway

i've always been a big dog type of girl at heart but if you tell me the best breed to suit my lifestyle turns out to be a small dog, i will gladly consider it :D
see, its stuff like that thats its important to think about...

another important thing to think about in regardsto size..big dogs are more expensive. the bigger the dog, the more it needs to eat. medical bills will be higher...stuff like that too...something else worth considering...
 

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oo what breed did your roommates get, dyou know?
He was a mystery mutt they adopted at the local SPCA shelter. But the guess was a mixture of lab, hound, chow, or something like that. But they also volunteer at the SPCA once a week, so they have walked the dog many times before deciding to adopt him. I think the best thing to do is to interact with the dogs first and see what their energy levels are like, since not every single dog will fit into the stereotype of their breed.

what puppy did you get? :D
I got a husky/shepherd mix puppy! I've had him for 4 weeks now, and he just turned 14 weeks! But if everything goes according to plan with jobs and such, he should be around 2 by the time I start med school, so maybe his puppy energy will have died down a little, haha.

Anyway, good luck to you and hope things work out!! :)
 

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Wow, brave to consider getting a dog while in university! I couldn't have done it, and I only went as far as my BA. I'm not saying it is a bad idea at all, I don't blame you for wanting a dog at all, and I'm glad to hear you're looking into the proper temperament and age. Have you considered how it could go later down the line if you are working/schooling for longer or more sporadic hours? Are you sure you won't have to get a job to supplement your cash flow (I only ask because I worked through all of university), then there are the financial commitments that come with a dog. Oh, and the concern of a social life.
You seem to be really level headed about this, but I wouldn't do it, but that is just me, and my university years were pretty tumultuous, (personally and professionally). Having a dog would have made things incredibly difficult (on me and a dog!). I personally would get a cat if I wanted a pet while in university, but if you are sure you have all of the bases covered and can handle a dog with your workload, I say go for it and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What will you do when you start working, shifts and long hours......
yeah this is something i've had to think about since... forever.

but it's just really irritating because although my studies and career matter a LOT to me, i am a human with human desires and have interests outside my medical career - i've loved dogs since i can remember and having a dog has always been in my plans. i seriously consider getting one at least once a week lol and thus far have always found reason to not go ahead with it, but i'm sick of not committing myself to anything at all just in-case it's incompatible with my degree/studies!

i don't know, perhaps i'm having a moment of craziness, but surely there are med students out there (or other busy students) that have made it work, as well as doctors.

i figure since i'll be living on my own this year, i won't be wasting time doing nothing with housemates, so i could use my spare time with my dog :) but i don't want the dog to suffer because of my studies, so yeah hence this thread really. blah, stupid medicine and my pessimistic turn of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Wow, brave to consider getting a dog while in university! I couldn't have done it, and I only went as far as my BA. I'm not saying it is a bad idea at all, I don't blame you for wanting a dog at all, and I'm glad to hear you're looking into the proper temperament and age. Have you considered how it could go later down the line if you are working/schooling for longer or more sporadic hours? Are you sure you won't have to get a job to supplement your cash flow (I only ask because I worked through all of university), then there are the financial commitments that come with a dog. Oh, and the concern of a social life.
You seem to be really level headed about this, but I wouldn't do it, but that is just me, and my university years were pretty tumultuous, (personally and professionally). Having a dog would have made things incredibly difficult (on me and a dog!). I personally would get a cat if I wanted a pet while in university, but if you are sure you have all of the bases covered and can handle a dog with your workload, I say go for it and good luck!
see reply above (well.. it's more of a rant) with regards to my stupid hours lol
money wise i think it will be ok - i've got savings from previous jobs stashed away.

as for a social life, i think it would be fine. i usually chill at friends' houses or they come over, so the dog can be involved in all of that. none of my friends dislike dogs. plus they could come along for walks and playtime at the local park :) as for nights out, not bothered about those at all. i go on nights out about twice a year and don't even drink so no time lost on me recovering from any hangovers or anything like that (wheeeeyyyy don't i sound interesting!?)

but you are right, this is definitely something i need to spend a lot more time thinking about. i don't think i will ever be 100% sure to be honest, not now during my degree and not in future as an actual doctor... i just have a pretty imagination. i just think about having a nice routine of getting up, walking the dog/feeding/etc, going in to uni, coming home, walking dog/feeding, eating something myself, studying for the rest of the evening with the dog just sitting there chilling and not running around being hyper (haha) and then maybe one last short walk before going to bed.

not sure where going to the gym fits in with that but.. err... let's not think about that right now.

Get a cat instead...

yeah i suppose that's an option, but i don't really want a pet just for the sake of having a pet. i like cats, don't get me wrong, but i absolutely love dogs.
 

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but you are right, this is definitely something i need to spend a lot more time thinking about. i don't think i will ever be 100% sure to be honest, not now during my degree and not in future as an actual doctor.
It's good you're taking a lot of time to consider all the details! But I think there is never a perfect time to get a dog, since it's such a big commitment that you'll always have to give up certain things in your life in order to accommodate your dog. Of course, there are times when it is a lot a lot a lot a lot better to get a dog as opposed to other times. But if you did sufficient research and know ALL the responsibilities and hardships that come with owning a dog and you are still 100% sure you want to take the plunge, then I think it will work as long as you are committed. Your mental images have been the positives, maybe try thinking about the worst case scenarios of owning a dog: what if it has separation anxiety? what if develops a health problem that requires constant attention and large amounts of vet bills? what if it decided to chew up your apartment one day? If things like this truly don't deter you, then if there's a will there's a way, right? haha.

not sure where going to the gym fits in with that but.. err... let's not think about that right now.
Actually, I got a high-energy dog because I wanted a dog that can motivate me to run! Doing marathons and ultra marathons is a life goal of mine, so if my dog needs exercise anyway and has the energy for it, it's a very good reason to get out there and go on a nice long run with the pooch!
 

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I'm single and in grad school, which is probably a lot like medical school but with more flexible hours. I have a high-energy dog (border collie mix) and it works. She gets a walk before I leave in the morning, and some kind of fun activity in the evening (hike, agility, disc, or at a minimum, a walk). Other than that, she's pretty happy sleeping, although she's always up for more fun if I have the time.

I think you're right to go for a dog that is 2+ years old and already housetrained. Mine was 7mo and housetrained, but it was the complete lack of manners that made life difficult at the beginning. Expect an adjustment period where you regularly ask yourself "what have I done?" It will pass relatively quickly.
 
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