Question for dog owners?

Moving to a new place with DW at the end of the month. Hopefully the last before we build/buy our own house. This place is a small house with a garden. We’ve always said we’d get a dog when we have our own house, but since this place is a house rather than an apartment we said we might ask our new landlords if we can keep a dog.

So bearing in mind all this is dependent on the permission of our landlords:

Both wife and I work full time. I am out of the house 7:00-5:30 most weekdays, though I get a half day once a week. DW works Tue and Wed 8-8 and is 8-2 Thurs and Fri. We are both off weekends. I know I would be the type of person to give a lot of attention to a dog when I am at home, I’m generally very active and would have no issue bringing a dog out for walks etc. I’ve been researching online and there seems to be a debate about how long dogs should be left alone for on a regular basis. At the moment, I’m obviously not in work due to coronavirus, but as of September, I’ll be back. (High-School teacher)

So my question is, do the dog owners here think that it’s OK to have a dog with our schedule? Essentially 2 full days and 2 half days a week with nobody home (though DW could come on lunch during long days.)

Your schedule is fine. Dogs sleep a lot!

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Can you hire a dog walker? We’re in a similar situation, but we have someone come every day at noon and walk the dog.

Depends on the breed.

Some dogs require a lot of stimulation; e.g., border collies. This breed is highly intelligent and does not do well when left alone with no challenges or learning opportunities. One of my friends trained her border collie to respond to hand commands!

Other dogs are happy to sleep in a kennel most of the day, and quite happy to lie around with their people who are spending their entire evening on the sofa watching TV every evening.

Do a lot of research. If you ask a breeder of a breed that you are interested in, they will be honest with you (hopefully) and tell you whether the dog will do well being left alone, or whether it will act out.

If you’re getting a shelter pet, I think that the shelter caregivers will be able to tell you whether the dog you’re interested in will do well left alone or not, at least I hope so. It’s so sad when a dog doesn’t work out and has to find another home.

There are dog day care centers. There’s at least one in my city, right down the street from the hospital where I work. I’m not sure if it’s open during COVID-19, but any other time, it’s up and running. Keeps your dog active and happy all day!

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Make sure the type of dog you are adopting is okay with being alone all day. Some breeds can’t handle it. Even among the breeds that can handle it, there are individual dogs who become upset or destructive when they are left alone all day.

I would also recommend that if possible, you adopt an adult dog with a proven personality that can cope with alone time.

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Having a dog is like having a perpetual 3 year old at home.

The dog is not going to be happy with the schedule you have.

Consider a more independent animal like a cat.

You mean “worse.” A “worse” animal. :wink:

But anyway, yeah, some breeds are going to be more prone to separation anxiety than others. But most people who own dogs work outside the home. It’s not a dealbreaker, but as I said you may need a dogwalker.

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I get your point. I’m not a cat fan either. But, cats do better when the two-leggeds don’t have the time to spend to meet the emotional and social needs of dog…I feel the same way about day care for children, when after 8 weeks they are dropped off and picked up at the end of the day…but in the case of childcare, and least infants and toddlers are getting social interaction.

That was my thought. It’s very rare to have a job where you can spend most of every day with the dog. I’d look at breeds that are a bit more independent maybe.

I’ll be off now until September so my thoughts were I’d really spend a lot of time an attention in the coming weeks training and making sure the dog is used to it’s new environment.

Just being honest here, I don’t mind cats, but I’ve no interest in owning a cat. They’re fine but dogs just offer so much in the way of companionship and I’d be more a dog person.

I would just like to say, if you don’t love cats, don’t get one. Don’t choose them because they’re “a more independent animal” or any of that. Cats like attention just like every other living creature does. It’s the type of attention they like that varies from dogs and also varies greatly between cats.

If you want a dog, you can likely find a dog who is okay with you being out during the day. Dogs aren’t a monolith and some of them will indeed just sack out and wait for you to return. They will definitely want your attention when you are home though. I have friends who work long hours and have dogs who stay home alone, but they compensate by spending huge amounts of their off time with the dog, and doing a lot of leisure time activities that involve the dog, such as hiking, taking dog along when they go to shops or out to eat, etc.

Cats KNOW who doesn’t like them, and they take great delight in latching onto that person–running to greet them by rubbing all over them (and shedding massive amounts of fur!), hacking up wet hairballs on the sofa where they know their non-fan is likely to sit, standing right where the non-fan stands in the kitchen (especially when the non-fan is holding a big bowl of something spillable), running in front of the non-fan as they are attempting to carry laundry down the stairs, grabbing the sandwich out of the non-fan’s hand if they are sitting on a sofa, waiting outside of the tub while their non-fan is taking a shower and staring at them while they’re drying off, jumping onto their non-fan’s chest when they’re in bed or even better, getting really close (like 1/2 inch) from their non-fan’s face while they are sleeping and stealing the breath of their non-fan.

Heh heh heh!

I love cats. If I didn’t have a husband, I would be the crazy cat lady.


It’s breed and training and dog specific. Many dogs are incredibly more sustainable than a 3 year old. There are no service three year olds or police 3 year olds.

I don’t dislike them. I’m just not crazy about them. I wouldn’t get one myself. I just love the ability of dogs to be trained to help humans, or for human enjoyment.

What type of dog? I always advise to adopt an adult dog as your first dog. Get to know the rescue org and ask them to match you with a dog who is house trained, etc.

There are high energy dogs who will destroy your entire house if left alone for an hour, and low energy dogs who will sleep all day.

Dogs ARE pack animals, they do not thrive alone. Sometimes it is a better idea to have two dogs so they keep each other company.

My little rescue mini-doxie came to us at age 8. She is house trained and is energetic for about an hour per day, she curls up on my bed when I leave for work at 8 and is still in the same spot when I get home at 5.

Still researching. Was speaking to a vet and they said the ability of the dog to cope with being alone depends somewhat on their training and how much time you spend with them when you’re around.

I’d be looking at something like a collie cross or another medium sized dog.

I was looking at this alright. But I’m not sure the dogs currently available in my area would be suitable for us.

Bear in mind as well that in Ireland teachers get a lot of holiday time during the year so that would be time spent with doggo.
Also a number of family members offered to help when I said I was thinking about getting a dog.

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Collies are working dogs and that is in their DNA. They do not do well when left alone, they are high energy.

Another bit of advice, “purebred” dogs often have genetic conditions (here in the US at least) that mutts do not have. Cost in the US of owning a dog is about $500 per year + food, grooming.

It depends on the breed, how old the dog is and maybe a little bit of the personality.

I did ask the vet about this and they said that it’s not necessarily the case that collie’s will do badly alone.

I am specifically looking at a cross-breed or a mongrel. Purebreds are expensive and as you say, suffer from genetic issues. The day-to-day “cost” isn’t an issue really. I’ve kind of done the maths and decided that that would be ok.

I’m not set on any particular type yet. I’ll continue to research and see what happens I guess. My new landlord might not want a dog in his property…

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Never ever leave a beagle without supervision. Just sayin’…

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