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I'm not single, but when it comes to dog care I might as well be, because my boyfriend is pretty indifferent to our dog and doesn't help with any aspect of her care (which is fine, I decided to get her). Anyway, I've had her through two full years of undergraduate college and I have to say it really hasn't been that difficult. Maybe that's because I'm not extremely social, and when I do go out it's no more than a few hours normally, and I do a lot of my studying at home. I definitely know other college students who are NOT good dog owners, but honestly, I don't think they will be much better later in life either. It just takes responsibility and dedication to your dog, which isn't hard if you like your dog a lot like I do.

I also got Sydney at 2 years old (she was my parents' dog, then they lost their home and she had no where else to go) and since I've had her she's always been calm and well-behaved in the house. She mostly just lounges around when I'm not engaging her. She also doesn't have any extreme exercise requirements, so if I don't have time for a walk she has a boring day, as opposed to having a total meltdown or being completely wild. BUT she does have one behavior problem which would make it almost impossible to keep her in an apartment complex-- she does a LOT of alert barking at people passing by our house. So if you're living in a complex I would specifically search out breeds that aren't prone to that. It's never a guarantee, but for instance, I wouldn't recommend a beagle.

I think I would recommend a dog under 20 pounds, just because they are cheaper to feed for a broke college student, and the most likely size of dog to be allowed in apartments (at least in the US). If you're just looking for a nice companion pet, I would check out your local shelter or rescues. Tell them you want an adult dog who is small, mellow and low-energy. I'm sure you'll be able to find a nice mutt who meets those requirements. I also think the CKCS might be a nice fit, but I would personally be concerned about health problems in the breed.
 

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Things to consider -
The dog's size fully grown and breed - apartments may have weight and breed restrictions you may need to consider in the future. If you get a smaller dog that is not commonly restricted you may be less likely to run into problems in the future.
Coat - The care a coat requires is not always obvious - my Siberian (not suggesting them just using them as an example) has a ton of hair, sheds like crazy, has a double coat, etc but a good daily brushing and the occasional bath and she is set. No coat to trim or keep in a certain cut.
Exercise requirements vary greatly by breed and even individuals within a breed.
Time Demands - I work full time 12 hours at a time at night while full time at a university. Adults are easier than puppies do deal with. Way easier. They get a long walk twice a day and pretty much sleep all day. They have a few toys they mess with and otherwise sleep, nap, stretch and sleep some more (and I have a husky - it is a long walk)

Breeds that come to mind -
Miniature American Shepherds
Retired Greyhounds

I would look for dogs that are meant more for companionship than a job.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
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.


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!
very wise to think of the negatives, something i think i generally don't focus on in enough detail. i think i'd have to lock up my notes just in-case he decides to chew them all up one day :-O i think i'll write up a list of cons and pros and weigh it all out and be really sensible and rational about this

and good idea getting a high energy dog to ensure you get some exercise too! i would do that too but i'm worried a high energy dog won't get enough playtime with me as an owner because of my craaazy timetable

ahhhh i really want a dog.

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.
wow props to you for making it work with a border collie!

I'm not single, but when it comes to dog care I might as well be, because my boyfriend is pretty indifferent to our dog and doesn't help with any aspect of her care (which is fine, I decided to get her). Anyway, I've had her through two full years of undergraduate college and I have to say it really hasn't been that difficult. Maybe that's because I'm not extremely social, and when I do go out it's no more than a few hours normally, and I do a lot of my studying at home. I definitely know other college students who are NOT good dog owners, but honestly, I don't think they will be much better later in life either. It just takes responsibility and dedication to your dog, which isn't hard if you like your dog a lot like I do.

I also got Sydney at 2 years old (she was my parents' dog, then they lost their home and she had no where else to go) and since I've had her she's always been calm and well-behaved in the house. She mostly just lounges around when I'm not engaging her. She also doesn't have any extreme exercise requirements, so if I don't have time for a walk she has a boring day, as opposed to having a total meltdown or being completely wild. BUT she does have one behavior problem which would make it almost impossible to keep her in an apartment complex-- she does a LOT of alert barking at people passing by our house. So if you're living in a complex I would specifically search out breeds that aren't prone to that. It's never a guarantee, but for instance, I wouldn't recommend a beagle.

I think I would recommend a dog under 20 pounds, just because they are cheaper to feed for a broke college student, and the most likely size of dog to be allowed in apartments (at least in the US). If you're just looking for a nice companion pet, I would check out your local shelter or rescues. Tell them you want an adult dog who is small, mellow and low-energy. I'm sure you'll be able to find a nice mutt who meets those requirements. I also think the CKCS might be a nice fit, but I would personally be concerned about health problems in the breed.
yeah i'd love to have a ckcs but i can't find anybody that's giving theirs up lol... they're just so loveable that every ckcs owner in england apparently can't bear the thought of giving them away. don't blame them :D

it's really annoying that i love big dogs. big slobbery dogs too.

but yeah kudos on raising your pup alone through uni.... i'm like you in that i don't really go out much if i'm completely honest with myself and i loathe studying at the library - it's all about studying at home!

Things to consider -
The dog's size fully grown and breed - apartments may have weight and breed restrictions you may need to consider in the future. If you get a smaller dog that is not commonly restricted you may be less likely to run into problems in the future.
Coat - The care a coat requires is not always obvious - my Siberian (not suggesting them just using them as an example) has a ton of hair, sheds like crazy, has a double coat, etc but a good daily brushing and the occasional bath and she is set. No coat to trim or keep in a certain cut.
Exercise requirements vary greatly by breed and even individuals within a breed.
Time Demands - I work full time 12 hours at a time at night while full time at a university. Adults are easier than puppies do deal with. Way easier. They get a long walk twice a day and pretty much sleep all day. They have a few toys they mess with and otherwise sleep, nap, stretch and sleep some more (and I have a husky - it is a long walk)

Breeds that come to mind -
Miniature American Shepherds
Retired Greyhounds

I would look for dogs that are meant more for companionship than a job.

wow you work full time (sometimes 12 hours at a time) AND go to uni?!
i'm in awe.
you've given me hope lol... you have a husky and manage to make it all work
do you have any breed suggestions by any chance? size isn't an issue, i don't think my landlord minds. i kind of asked if i could possibly bring my dog (had the cav king charles in mind at the time) and he was a bit reluctant but said we can discuss it later, so it's not looking completely hopeless. i don't think he'd mind size wise.
 

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I work an 8 hour day and I am still raising a puppy. I get up, we go for a walk, we come home, he gets breakfast. We have a second outing before I go bit its much shorter than the first. He is crated while I am at work. I come home mid day, we go on a potty walk and we do some clicker training, or just playing. After work, he is with us all evening. :) Dont get me wrong, puppies are a pia sometimes, but it is totally doable. I do agree that an adult would be easier though, for many reasons...holding potty longer, you know the size, it might already be fixed, its maybe past the crazy play you into the ground puppy stage (I did say maybe).
 

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I recommend an adult Golden or Lab, because they can adapt to sleeping 18 hours a day. If you can be consistent with your plan: Walk, School, Walk, food, study, walk, sleep... then you can do it. You'll have to accept a few mistakes and accidents in the beginning, and you may want to schedule some dog play time for the weekend, as well as a 10 min. training/play study break about every hour or two.
 

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very wise to think of the negatives, something i think i generally don't focus on in enough detail. i think i'd have to lock up my notes just in-case he decides to chew them all up one day :-O i think i'll write up a list of cons and pros and weigh it all out and be really sensible and rational about this

and good idea getting a high energy dog to ensure you get some exercise too! i would do that too but i'm worried a high energy dog won't get enough playtime with me as an owner because of my craaazy timetable

ahhhh i really want a dog.



wow props to you for making it work with a border collie!



yeah i'd love to have a ckcs but i can't find anybody that's giving theirs up lol... they're just so loveable that every ckcs owner in england apparently can't bear the thought of giving them away. don't blame them :D

it's really annoying that i love big dogs. big slobbery dogs too.

but yeah kudos on raising your pup alone through uni.... i'm like you in that i don't really go out much if i'm completely honest with myself and i loathe studying at the library - it's all about studying at home!




wow you work full time (sometimes 12 hours at a time) AND go to uni?!
i'm in awe.
you've given me hope lol... you have a husky and manage to make it all work
do you have any breed suggestions by any chance? size isn't an issue, i don't think my landlord minds. i kind of asked if i could possibly bring my dog (had the cav king charles in mind at the time) and he was a bit reluctant but said we can discuss it later, so it's not looking completely hopeless. i don't think he'd mind size wise.
Thanks. I'm not breed wise just because I'm not sure if in general the breeds you can get are the same or if they vary greatly. I hate to suggest one and you not be able to get it. Also with the breed and size it may not be a problem now but it might in the future if you ever have to move. Hmm...I still lean towards a retired greyhound or a Mini American Shepherd. The Mini American's size is very manageable (Mine weighs in at 25-26 pounds) however there to no specific size in the standard so make sure you either see the parents, know the grandparents size or get one already grown. She is smart as a whip. Very, very biddable - I taught her to shake by just rewarding her with a few pets each time she got it right. No treats involved. Grooming wise - coats vary some but in general the only grooming she requires is the occasional bath, I give her (or have done) a sanitary trim so she doesn't track anything in, otherwise just a nail trim and occasionally a trim on the "fringe" type fur by her ears and on the back of her legs. I like that fringed look and the kinda "fox face" she has from her fur so I don't trim it. I just brush it through daily since it mats pretty easy (they look just as good with it trimmed off but I like it). I just don't know if those dogs are available over there. Maybe.
I also lean very heavily towards getting an adult because they can go longer between bathroom breaks without being miserable, with puppies their growth plates haven't closed so depending on the breed they still have energy but you can't exercise them outside as easily without damaging the plates, you have to go through the baby and teenage phrases, you already know the personality, size, coat, temperment you are getting with an adult.
I have no doubt you could do a puppy however with a first dog solo in "uni" it may be easier to have an adult. It's all up to you.
 

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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.
I didn't mean to rant, its just thinking about when I was doing university WOW! Crazy hours! I was another one doing night shifts, usually just 8 at a time, but I often did over 40 hours a week with a bizarre work and class schedule. I hardly had a social life, but I would have totally tortured a dog if I'd had one (I actually tortured myself a little). I know right now, with my minimal work hours that I feel like Caeda isn't getting enough of our time, though admittedly, she needs more being a puppy.

The big question isn't whether you can handle it, its whether the dog can. It does sound like you're being really smart with this. You've got some great advice. I personally agree with an adult lab, if you do decide on a dog, a cat would be an even better option that would fit so many changes in lifestyle. I had a cat (and still do) a couple years ago when my workweeks varied between 30 and 90 hours. The only time I really had to worry was for out of town work, and I easily found someone to feed her. Honestly, considering the thought you are putting into this, I think whatever your decision is, it will be right. :)
 

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I TOTALLY know what you're feeling because that's how I felt the entire time I was in uni :D But only I never had the guts to actually DO IT.. I waited until I graduated and then I got a dog, lol. But I honestly think it's doable for you. An adult dog should be fine with the amount of time you'll be gone etc.

Definitely go with a lower energy breed since you'd rather have the dog chill with you while you're studying etc. Some breeds that I can think of are Shih Tzus, Greyhounds, and well.... mutts, lol. If you go down to the SPCA or a rescue, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find an adult dog that suits your needs.

One good thing about small dogs... they can't get up to high places to steal your homework and rip it up, lol. Some days I'm REALLY glad that Cadence isn't any bigger because then he would be jumping on countertops etc. and stealing stuff... just like how he's constantly stealing the stuff that I forget to put out of his reach.
 

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I recommend an adult Golden or Lab, because they can adapt to sleeping 18 hours a day. If you can be consistent with your plan: Walk, School, Walk, food, study, walk, sleep... then you can do it. You'll have to accept a few mistakes and accidents in the beginning, and you may want to schedule some dog play time for the weekend, as well as a 10 min. training/play study break about every hour or two.
I did a double take when I saw this post because both breeds are high energy dogs (esp. the working lines). But the more I thought about it I'm seeing where you're coming from. Labs/Goldens are very biddable, very adaptable and friendly, very loyal. My dog is a lab mix and although he can go on FOREVER he's also very forgiving if he has a very light day. Soro isn't even usually on a schedule because I have a bad habit of sleeping whenever, waking up whenever, deciding to go out whenever...
Yeah, adaptable is a good word to use here.

Note: they eat everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I work an 8 hour day and I am still raising a puppy. I get up, we go for a walk, we come home, he gets breakfast. We have a second outing before I go bit its much shorter than the first. He is crated while I am at work. I come home mid day, we go on a potty walk and we do some clicker training, or just playing. After work, he is with us all evening. :) Dont get me wrong, puppies are a pia sometimes, but it is totally doable. I do agree that an adult would be easier though, for many reasons...holding potty longer, you know the size, it might already be fixed, its maybe past the crazy play you into the ground puppy stage (I did say maybe).
props to you for raising a puppy whilst working an 8 hour day! I know it's not impossible, but I know me - I'll start resenting the poor pup if I feel I'm not studying enough, when really it wouldn't be the puppy's fault ofc. If my work ended after doing rotations 8-5pm, I would probably be slightly relieved, but it doesn't end there :( I then have to go home, relax and eat for an hour or so and then carry on studying until I'm too sleepy to carry on for the day. bad times. that's mainly why I want an adult and chilled dog - one that'll be ok being left alone all day and walked about 2 hours a day + my company :D

hanksimon said:
really?? a golden or lab? awesome, i love those breeds! i always thought they were very energetic though and destructive if left alone too long? esp labs?
i would be happy to schedule play time for the weekend and 10 mins every hour for training and play! they could be my study breaks :D
i'm just very surprised at hearing these breeds could work with my lifestyle........

charis said:
yeah i'm definitely going with an adult if i do go through with this. thanks for the breed recommendations :) i'll look into the american shepherd as that's been recommended before to me! i've looked into greyhounds and they're a definite possibility, if the shelters allow me to adopt that is... i'm a little skeptical as to whether any rescue shelters will allow a 22 year old single student living in a flat on her own to adopt a dog but hey, lol

greater swiss said:
oops lol i think you misunderstood me - i didn't mean you were having a rant, i meant the little rant i had a few posts ago about my long hours :D
your words instill confidence in me :D i used to overthink everything in life years ago until one day i just thought meh, life's too short, and now i just DO...... except where it concerns a dog. haha. i don't think i'll ever stop overthinking the dog thing. but you've also suggested a lab!? i'm really surprised at this!! as i said up there, i always thought labs were very high energy and needed constant company and stimulation??

lucidity said:
lol very true, our cavalier king charles would wet himself with excitement if he was suddenly able to reach the worktops and desks and pretty much anything with anything on it. if i do end up going with a big dog, i'll have to hide my notes away or something and never leave anything out basically :-o

so out of interest, since getting a dog after you graduated, looking back could you have coped with a dog at uni/college or are you glad you waited?

canyx said:
another lab recommendation!
seriously. you guys are making me veer towards a lab now. something i always thought i would have to wait until i settled down with a family for (IF that even happens, what with my career choice lol).

thanks for all your replies guys!! i really do appreciate them. and assuming the dogs in your display pics are your own, you all have lovely looking dogs :D
 

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As said before if you find a good rescue group and explain what you are looking for and your schedule I'm sure they'd be able to reccomend an older chill dog. An older lab is definetly a possible option, the young ones can be crazy and some never really grow out of it but many do settle with age. But that's the point of going to a rescue and talking with them about what YOU are looking for. A good rescue group gets to know the dogs and have a decent judge of their presonality.
 

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Clearly some Labs are destructive, some are goofy, and some are as sly as a border collie. But I think the majority are socialized and well adjusted... and if well-exercised, very laid back after 3 - 5 yo. Mine is 11 yo and acts like he's 3 yo, but that's why I like puppies, so I can train them. But, you can find lots of healthy, well-adjusted Lab rescues ... you just have to clearly define what you need and make sure that you hold out for it...
 

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lol very true, our cavalier king charles would wet himself with excitement if he was suddenly able to reach the worktops and desks and pretty much anything with anything on it. if i do end up going with a big dog, i'll have to hide my notes away or something and never leave anything out basically :-o

so out of interest, since getting a dog after you graduated, looking back could you have coped with a dog at uni/college or are you glad you waited?
Lol, on a really random note, my next dog will most probably be a Cavalier :D They are such lovable dogs!

Hmm... honestly, I feel like I had a LOT more free time when I was in uni. Now that I'm working I barely have time for anything anymore (I work from 8.30 to 6+ everyday and the commute to and from work is about 45mins to 1 hour). So definitely yeah, I would've been ok with a dog in college. I actually got Cadence while I was job hunting after I graduated, so I had LOTS of time to raise a puppy. I was home everyday with him pretty much the first 2 months, so it was easy.

I definitely won't recommend a puppy, but an adult dog should do just fine for your situation! :) Good luck with the dog hunt and do post pictures if and when you decide to adopt one!
 

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So Im interested to know whether you got a dog or not. I have applied for Medical school for entry in sept 2012 and I really really really want a dog. I will be living in an apartment and I know I can afford one. I am only worried about the time commitment, much like you. I have been toying with the idea for a year and a bit and as I am on a gap year now I figure this is as good a time as any as I can give it 100% of my attention for the next 7 months at least. After that I will have class but I dont drink or go clubbing. As for my social life, I would rather have people over for dinner than go out. The In may/june, my boyfriend will be moving into a house (rather than the halls he is in now) so I could have the dog there when I go visit him and when he is around, he would help me take care of the dog. He doesnt really want me to get a dog though as he thinks it will take up all of my time so I wont have time for him.
I spend almost all of my free time looking at dogs available for sale in the area and I go to the local shelter every once in a while. I really want a dog and there will never be an opportune time especially as I am going to be a doctor.
So, did you end up getting one?
 

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You know, I'm not actually against this. I really feel you on the need for a routine with a dog. That's a mental and physical health issue for me in that, with a dog depending on me, I'll get up and walk no matter how I feel (and today is quite epic for my joints), but without a dog, I just can't work myself up to it. Plus, like me, you're not a big party person, so a dog to keep you company is a need I understand as well.

So . . . since you're not approaching this as HUSKEEEEE!!!!! NEED PRETTEEEE DAWG!!!, I'd support an older shelter dog. (Do they do rescues in the UK? I have no idea.) You want a dog that is calm and generally happy and would do well on a couple of walks a day and a little training and play time at night. Kabota (my rescue) without his constant need for human presence, in other words. Maybe even contact a breeder, sometimes they sell older dogs, and a reputable breeder would know their dog inside and out.

Good luck!
 

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So Im interested to know whether you got a dog or not. I have applied for Medical school for entry in sept 2012 and I really really really want a dog. I will be living in an apartment and I know I can afford one. I am only worried about the time commitment, much like you. I have been toying with the idea for a year and a bit and as I am on a gap year now I figure this is as good a time as any as I can give it 100% of my attention for the next 7 months at least. After that I will have class but I dont drink or go clubbing. As for my social life, I would rather have people over for dinner than go out. The In may/june, my boyfriend will be moving into a house (rather than the halls he is in now) so I could have the dog there when I go visit him and when he is around, he would help me take care of the dog. He doesnt really want me to get a dog though as he thinks it will take up all of my time so I wont have time for him.
I spend almost all of my free time looking at dogs available for sale in the area and I go to the local shelter every once in a while. I really want a dog and there will never be an opportune time especially as I am going to be a doctor.
So, did you end up getting one?
lol epic bump

but I'm a first year, single, ph.d student so I may be able to give some insight.

I think its possible as long as you put your dog as a priority. I walk my dog twice EVERYDAY, unless its EXTREMELY cold with unbearable wind. Plenty of people in my program have dogs, but most of them are not single with dogs.

That said, I feel I give my dog more than enough exercise and stimulation. Beside the walks, we do a lot of training with clicker. Luke is pretty low maintenance and isn't a super high energy dog but I don't ever skip a day where he doesn't do anything. There has only been 1 day this winter so far where he didn't get his 2 walks. So yea, I think as long as your dog is a priority, it can happen.

But I'm not in med school so I don't HAVE to be at work 8 hours a day. Also I'm not going to be a doctor. I know a doctor is a LOT busier than an academic (especially post tenure :p ). I live close to home and Luke is never left alone for more than 6 hours. I live in a college town so there are plenty of places to walk, and plenty of parks. I think anyone who is conscious enough to come to a forum before making the decision should do just fine. Though, I think plenty of people with perfect lifestyles for a dog will neglect their dog and plenty of people with busy lives can find ways to provide for their dog.

I would definitely adopt an older dog, NOT A PUPPY. 1 year at least. and really do your research on the rescue to make sure they are responsible and are helpful with placing their dogs. I would want the rescue to let me know if they think a dog doesn't fit my lifestyle.

oh and I fostered 3 dogs before adopting my current dog, so I ALWAYS recommend new first time owners, especially busy people, to foster first and see if it fits into their lifestyle before adopting.
 

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You know, I'm not actually against this. I really feel you on the need for a routine with a dog. That's a mental and physical health issue for me in that, with a dog depending on me, I'll get up and walk no matter how I feel (and today is quite epic for my joints), but without a dog, I just can't work myself up to it. Plus, like me, you're not a big party person, so a dog to keep you company is a need I understand as well.

So . . . since you're not approaching this as HUSKEEEEE!!!!! NEED PRETTEEEE DAWG!!!, I'd support an older shelter dog. (Do they do rescues in the UK? I have no idea.) You want a dog that is calm and generally happy and would do well on a couple of walks a day and a little training and play time at night. Kabota (my rescue) without his constant need for human presence, in other words. Maybe even contact a breeder, sometimes they sell older dogs, and a reputable breeder would know their dog inside and out.

Good luck!
I have had two dogs before; one of which was a Bernese mountain dog mix who passed away last year. He was strong but friendly and was very docile after about an hour os exercise daily. I have found a local breeder with Bernese mountain dog puppies available right away but I am not sure if I was just very lucky last time getting such an incredible dog or whether it was part of the breeds' temperament.
Also, can anyone quote an approximate price (in GBP preferably) for annual insurance and vet bill costs for a large dog?
 

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It can be done, I have 2 high energy ACDs & I work from 5am-4:30pm with a break from 12-2pm for lunch (we take lunchtime playtime then) then when I get off we have another play session (if it's cool & they are frisky) then a walk around the half mile race track behind our house. It can be done.

When you go to adopt just be straight fwd & up front about what you are looking for, there are lots of great dogs out there looking for homes like you :). My next dog is going to be an older dog, I'm over the puppy thing for a while :/.

www.petfinder.com is a good place to start.
 

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You've gotten some good advice here.

My suggestion would be--see if you can find a rescue and foster for them. That way, you get your "dog fix"--you can see if this will truly work for you before committing to 10-12 years and you can test out a dog and if you truly fall in love and decide dog ownership is right for you now, you can adopt that dog.

Personally, with your schedule and upcoming commitments, I don't know that *I would commit to my own dog. I believe dogs are forever and part of the family and I wouldn't want to leave it alone for that long, every day. BUT, with the right dog, it could work--especially if you make the most of the time you do have with him/her. Otherwise, volunteering at your Local SPCA may be another option to get doggy love in as well, without the time commitment. :) Good luck, whatever you decide.
 
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