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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,


I'd like to rescue a puppy or young dog however three days a week I work 12 hour shifts. There is a a laundry room in the house that would be perfect for a pen. I can put a crate in there (door open) food, water, and pee pads for the days I'm gone.

I know 12 hours is a long time but I've read many examples where owners have had to do the same thing for times when they know they'll be away for most of the day. At this point I have nobody I can ask to check on the dog.

Your thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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I work 12 hour shifts as well but I live 5 minutes from work so I can let my newly adopted 11 month old dog outside. I would personally go with an older puppy or young adult and have someone come at least once a day to let them out. 12 hours is a long time to expect a puppy or newly adopted dog to be alone, I also have another dog to help keep her company. I get up 20 minutes earlier to take the new one for a walk and do a little training to burn off some energy before I leave. It can be done, but it's not easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. What you suggest seems reasonable. I don't start work until 11AM so I would have time in the morning for a walk and some other things. I'l have to think on it some more. Maybe find a dog walker or something similar on craigslist.
 

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12 hours without a bathroom break is a long time. Most dogs can make it 8-9 hours, which is a regular work day, but asking them to hold it for 12 hours on a regular basis is a bit much. Making them hold it too long can increase the likelihood of bladder infections. Every once in a while isn't a huge deal, life happens, but 3 days a week isn't fair. And if you add in commute time, that 12 hours quickly becomes 13-14 hours.

There's ways to mitigate the issue, like the pee pads in a pen attached to the crate. Many people do that at first, but when the dog is an adult and can escape from the pen that might become an issue. Also, I can't even count the number of people who come on this forum complaining that they're having trouble pad training their dog...or pad training and outside potty training their dog at the same time. Pad training can be confusing because then the dogs mistake rugs and carpets for pads. You would also have to commit to cleaning up pee pads 3 days a week for the rest of the dog's life.

You could also do an outdoor kennel setup. If you live in town, though, then you run into issues like, is the dog barking all day while you're gone? What do you do in extreme temperatures? Can you secure the kennel so nobody tries to steal your dog?

So, I mean, it's not impossible, but you're going to have to think about how much time and hassle you want to commit to it in order to keep your dog comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All valid points. Maybe I should rethink getting a dog until I can solve some of the problems. A dog sitter for example.
 

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12 hours is a long time. Too long imo for it to be a regular thing. Look into hiring a dog walker, or see if you can take the dog to daycare on those days. If you don't start work until 11 a.m. though, everywhere will be closed by the time you're off work so the dog would have to spend the night. The dog walker option seems like your best one.

Is this work shift permanent? If your work situation is going to change in the foreseeable future you might just want to wait until then before getting a dog.
 

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I agree that the best solution would be to hire a dog walker or to go home during lunch if at all possible to let the dog out. On top of making sure the dog is well exercised before you leave, like at least a half hour walk and hopefully some training, etc. I would also leave a frozen kong, personally.

If you do hire a dog walker, I personally wouldn't look on craigslist. You want someone you can trust with your dog, not just a random person looking to make a buck. Not only are you trusting them with your dog, but with access to your home. Look for a business or person with reviews, references, and insurance. In my area, a 30 minute visit is about $15 and a potty break is $10, so this can get somewhat costly if you're doing it 3 times a week. There are also daycares in my area that will drop off dogs at home, you might see if there is one that would do this for you.
 

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You can have a dog and have 12 hour shifts. I have raised THREE dogs from 8 week old puppies and was out of the house 12-13 hours. I managed to get all of these dogs house broken very nicely AND trained AND titled and have great relationships with them. I worked Monday through Friday. To expect people to be home because they have a dog is unrealistic. Dogs are not cheap to own and someone has to make $$ for dog food, a roof, yard, equipment and vet care!! I live alone so it is up to me to get it all done.

My set up was a wire crate with a movable divider attached to a large fenced area in my basement. By large.. I have had anything from 4'X6' to 5'X10 ' with the latter being a regular dog kennel with 6 foot high panels (same sort you can use outdoors). The smaller size you can buy as panels that are 5 feet tall.. but you can also get chain link fence gates and put those together with regular chain link fence connectors and use chains with double snaps for a "gate" to get in and out,.

I put a rabbit pan in the kennel and put regular pine shavings in that. Puppies (and dogs) quickly learn that is the potty area and it is VERY easy to clean up.

Because this was a basement set up and not the "house proper" I still house broke these dogs to not go to the bathroom in the house. Of all three dogs two NEVER had an accident in the upstairs of the house (yes I was vigilant and I did use a crate upstairs). One made one mistake (pee) and was rushed out (no harsh words.. just got him out quickly and he finished outside).. and he never offered to do that again.

Of course, when you do get home the FIRST order of business is to get the dog out. As they get used to the set up and the arrangement there will be days they do not go at all in the rabbit pan. You also need to think about when and how much you feed. One of these dogs was fed 1X a day.. but I eventually changed it to 2X a day. The morning meal 1/3 and the evening meal is 2/3 of the total for the day.

As long as the dog is a priority when you get home (out, 15 minutes training session, walk and so forth) it is NOT a problem.
 

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That was it as long as the dog was a priority after work. For me it meant getting off of duty, getting home, not getting out of my uniform, just opening the back door for the dogs to jump in the vehicle and going to an open area for them to run around play some ball for an hour, then getting back home and feeding and then sleeping, getting up earlier to take them for a walk around the block then getting ready for work. Day off was spending the day out on a trail... and everyone was just fine with the schedule.
 

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I’d suggest budgeting for a dog walker. You can use WAG or ROVER. We currently also use our human child babysitter since she doesn’t mind.
 

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Your main issue is that it will be extremely unlikely for a rescue to adopt a dog to you if you have 12 hour shifts.
Actually, anyone who WORKS and leaves a dog alone for any time at all can have a hard time rescuing. I bought my dog and have ever since from a responsible breeder.

I could never figure out how I was supposed to live alone, stay home with the dog and still pay the mortgage. Fenced yard, large indoor kennel, great vet references, good training resources and so forth. One resource said "OK but you need to do Doggie Day Care 3X a week." That was going to be something like $4000 a year. NOT happening.

So, I bought my dog. The thing is when you go to a rescue you STILL buy the dog but you have less ownership rights.
 

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Actually, anyone who WORKS and leaves a dog alone for any time at all can have a hard time rescuing. I bought my dog and have ever since from a responsible breeder.

I could never figure out how I was supposed to live alone, stay home with the dog and still pay the mortgage. Fenced yard, large indoor kennel, great vet references, good training resources and so forth. One resource said "OK but you need to do Doggie Day Care 3X a week." That was going to be something like $4000 a year. NOT happening.

So, I bought my dog. The thing is when you go to a rescue you STILL buy the dog but you have less ownership rights.
Depends a lot on the rescue, I think. Or who in the rescue you're talking to. My dog's foster wasn't phased in the least when I said the dog would be alone for 8.5 hours while we worked, but one of the "coordinators" or something seemed to think that a dog being alone while owners worked was blasphemy and stated that was the main reason the dog was given up in the first place. Luckily she wasn't in charge of applications, I guess....everyone else I spoke with seemed grounded in reality, haha.

I will agree that stating the dog is going to be alone 12 hours 3x a week will likely not fly with most rescues, though, without a plan like a dog walker, a spouse/roommate who works "regular" 8 hour shifts and can let the dog out to potty, or a kennel setup that allows the dog a place to relieve itself.
 

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Actually, anyone who WORKS and leaves a dog alone for any time at all can have a hard time rescuing. I bought my dog and have ever since from a responsible breeder.

I could never figure out how I was supposed to live alone, stay home with the dog and still pay the mortgage. Fenced yard, large indoor kennel, great vet references, good training resources and so forth. One resource said "OK but you need to do Doggie Day Care 3X a week." That was going to be something like $4000 a year. NOT happening.

So, I bought my dog. The thing is when you go to a rescue you STILL buy the dog but you have less ownership rights.
I just saw a post on Facebook and people were basically saying that anyone working 8 hours a day should not have a dog, and that some breeders won't let people get a puppy if they leave their dog 8 hours a day either.

So it's really not just rescues. My friend managed to get a puppy from a rescue even though she works 8 hours a day though... so there are more realistic rescues out there.

But 12 hours is another matter entirely... although I see no reason why it wouldn't be ok if you have a plan in place (neighbor, dog walker). I'm just not sure how much rescues put faith in people for following through.
 

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when I first contacted my breeder and I was active military she told me upfront she was not comfortable selling to military as they dump their pets when getting new assignments. I understood and asked if I could still come and talk about a the breed and see her dogs as I was going to be a first time owner in the breed and buying a registered dog. I listened for hours never expecting a thing beyond that. But I eventually purchased a puppy and all my dogs came from her. It should be individual person beyond the general statistics.
 

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So, I bought my dog. The thing is when you go to a rescue you STILL buy the dog but you have less ownership rights.
My first choice was to adopt from an animal shelter. Unfortunately, in my area, if you're not looking for a chihuahua or pitt bull mix, young pups are far and few between. So, I turned my search to local rescue agencies. What an eye-opening experience that was! Most wanted $450 or more for pups of unknown parentage. One agency ignored my application, another did not return phone or email inquiries, a third operated out of a filthy old house that was overrun by critters. There was one agency that did show promise. Every time I looked at their website, they had very young pups from one to three litters available for adoption. But the more I looked into that place, the more it seemed like a for-profit business than an real rescue agency.

In the end, I bought my pup from a so-called "backyard" breeder.
 

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My first choice was to adopt from an animal shelter. Unfortunately, in my area, if you're not looking for a chihuahua or pitt bull mix, young pups are far and few between. So, I turned my search to local rescue agencies. What an eye-opening experience that was! Most wanted $450 or more for pups of unknown parentage. One agency ignored my application, another did not return phone or email inquiries, a third operated out of a filthy old house that was overrun by critters. There was one agency that did show promise. Every time I looked at their website, they had very young pups from one to three litters available for adoption. But the more I looked into that place, the more it seemed like a for-profit business than an real rescue agency.

In the end, I bought my pup from a so-called "backyard" breeder.
That's very true though. I paid $350 for my mutt (I got $50 back with proof of spaying)... that's one reply I got out of 4 inquiries for different pups. That being said, they really don't make much of a profit even at $400 for an adoption, usually - you pay for vet expenses, vaccines, neutering, and to cover expenses from more expensive cases (pregnant dogs, injured dogs, sick dogs). Really, so far I haven't seen any shady, but I typically only check Petfinder. There are shady ones though, of course, but that's typically the ones that ask for more than $450.

Even then though - most backyard breeders here ask for WAY more than $500. I ended up getting my third dog from a not so great breeder too - a 1yo that had been returned by the adopters at 6 months. I paid $500 for him, but I only did that because at least the parents had health testing done - they typically ask for $1500 for their puppies. Honestly... I could not have found a pup with tested parents for the same price in rescue. He has an amazing temperament and I'll never feel guilty for my choice - but he's also definitely not well bred standard-wise. I don't care that much about that though, honestly, I mean most of my pets have been mutts. I just wanted a young adult and didn't want to wait years for a well bred one (I have the same experience with reputable breeders than rescues - I contacted dozens and never found a puppy).
 

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I would not recommend getting a dog if you work 12 hour shifts. Dogs are social animals and need company. It is recommended an adult dog should be walked every 6-8 hours and young and old dogs even more frequently.
 
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