Hello everyone - some advice for a full time worker

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AlexT's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Firstly - hello everyone as this is my first post on here!

To give you a little info on myself, I am from the UK and am currently 24. I am lucky in that I have a job that pays me very well and is only 10 minutes away from where I live. I have always grown up with dogs in the family and have loved larger breeds ever since our first dog Becky who was a black standard Poodle. After Becky my parents wanted a smaller breed and ended up with a King Charles Spaniel who was a fantastic little dog that we even had a litter with and kept one of the pups!

Needless to say these last few years I haven't had a dog and have always wanted to get one again and have always adored Dobermans - I'm not the type of person to buy something without researching it like mad first and to be honest the more I read about Dobermans the more I want one!

As mentioned I am lucky to have a decent job and work full time - my only concern is I absolutely do not want any potential dog I get to be unhappy. I do work hard but at the same time - it is only from working hard that I believe I can now afford to give a Doberman or any dog the care and attention they deserve!

I have read various accounts of people who work full time and keep Dobermans as well as other breeds - so I know it can be done, but really just wanted some advice. I do not intend on getting a dog for at least another 6 months at which point I would plan everything then book 2 weeks off work and my girlfriend will book a further 2 weeks off afterwards so the pup has a good 4 weeks of full time attention while potty training etc.

To give you an idea on my house and working schedule - I work typically from 9-5.30-6, 5 days a week, very occasionally 6. However, I live with my partner, my father and my nephew (20yrs old) has just moved in. Essentially - there is rarely a period longer than 3-4 hours without someone at home because we all work different patterns and my dad is actually a semi retired photographer but based from home even if he does occasionally work.

My plan if I were to get a doberman is to get up at 7 every morning and walk the dog for an hour or so. Luckily right behind my garden are acres of land to walk the dog on and as I only work 10mins from home I can give the dog a good hours walk first thing and still be at work on time. I have then looked into getting a dog walker to come in during the day for an hour - even though the dog a lot of the time would have someone in the house it is my responsibility and I don't want to 'rely' on other people even though I could. My mum for example regularly nips to my sisters during the day to walk her dog and would happily do this for me too. In the evenings I'd be back and again can give the dog a good 60-90 minute walk.

 

Do you think this would keep the dog happy? I have also looked into obedience classes and can take the dog every week to these. One of the main attractions to a Doberman for me are really spending quality time with it in terms of obedience training etc as well as going for walks. Not only would the dog love walks, I really believe getting out would help keep me as a person happier and help me wind down after a days work. Again, because I know Dobermans are a real member of the family this is an attraction because I don't want a lazy dog who is happy to just sit down and mind their own business! I think I'd get real satisfaction out of having a well trained loyal dog and am more than prepared to put in the time, effort and money to achieve this.

 

As an animal lover at heart - my absolute concern once all this is said is the happiness of the dog. Do you think in my circumstances the dog would be a happy one? Although there are rarely long periods of people not being here I know this dog is my concern and i want to ensure I provide as best as I can!

 

Any feedback and help is appreciated! What a long first post!

Rasles1's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Hello AlexT.

I too am a new member (only my 2nd. post) and, like you I'm a full time employee looking to purchase and raise a Dobe. After reading your post I thought... this is a concern no matter what type of dog you have. So I felt qualified to respond. My wife and I have successfully raised boxers (another high energy and needy breed) for two decades now while being employed fulltime. Like you, there is always someone home with the dogs but pretty much just to let them outside to potty and stretch their legs. I didn't have the time to walk them in the morning like you do but, we always had a nice size fenced in yard so they could have their morning stretch. Afterwork we would take the dogs for long walks, then our 3 children would play with them til they were worn out. Then the next day we do it all over again.

 

The end result was happy, healthy dogs. So yes, it can be done. Good Luck!

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

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Hello and Welcome!  IMO, the pup will have enough people around him to take care of him during the day but he'll either need to be crate trained for the time that nobody's there, or designate a "safe" room for him.  He'll get destructive, all puppies do.  One thing tho, everybody who is with him must be on the same page as far as schedules for potty times etc.  And, everybody has to use the same words for commands. For example, I still can't get my husband to use the right words.  Off means off, down means lay down.  Fancy's on the bed, he wants her off and tells her down, so she plops down into a laydown (like she was told!) and he wonders why she doesn't listen to him.  ugh.  Another thing, Dobermans as I'm sure you have read, bond very closely with their owners.  They don't know who bought them, who has the papers.... so he may bond more to your dad for instance.  Be sure that you are the one to take him to training classes and you spend special time with him.  Fancy adores everyone in my family, but since I'm the one that is with her and did the training, she's undeniably "my" dog.

kittykatb's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-17

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Hi,  I work full time too.

I have a dog walker come in twice a day during the week and we have walks when i get home.  During the weekends we go for long walks in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays and on Sundays we go to obedience classes - this is an absolute must.  Bella is sitting her silver certificate test this Saturday so the routine will vary.

Happydance is 100% correct - if you aren't consistent then you confuse the dog and frustrate yourself!

Something i've learned since getting a doberman is I no longer have a social life.  I rush home every night cause the dogs have been home (albeit walked) all day and I want to spend time with them, and during the weekend i don't want to leave them cause they're left all week!!!!  The weird thing is I love spending time with them so it isn't a problem for me, but something you need to consider.

Good luck with your new pup and I look forward to seeing the photos!

Kat

AlexT's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Many thanks for the replies so far!

Crate training is definitely something I'm going to do - are there any good websites with info on this, and will any of the classes I attend help with advice on training at home also?

I fully understand the importance of consistency and when the time comes there will be a family "conference" where I will explain exactly these rules and how we all have to adhere to them! My dad absolutely adores dogs so I know he'll enjoy having one - but he's no experience training them before so I'm going to have to ensure he is well aware and we all use the same commands etc. it'll definitely be me who trains and walks him - sometimes my partner will be on the walks for us too. 

With regards to social life this isn't a concern for me - I'm only 24 but because of my job (sometimes my days off are in the week rather than the weekends) I've not been someone who goes out on weekends etc since my college days! I'll maybe go out for a beer or a night out once a month with my mates but that's about it - which I think is perfectly acceptable. The rest of the time I'm happy to be in work and devoting the rest of my time to my companion!

I think what Rasles has said is right - a lot of my concerns are valid concerns regardless of breed. I just want to ensure the characteristics of the doberman can adapt to our routine.

Even though there are people around plenty of the time - I want to ideally have a routine where I only rely on myself (much more reliable!!) although I appreciate everyone can and will play a part in the upbringing of the pup. If there is a day in years to come when it's just me and my partner I want the dog to be happy, which to be fair I think it would be since this wouldn't be for a good few years down the line and it would be well established in its routine etc. 

tess's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-28

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You you are in for a treat. Dobes are the best. By the sound of your post, it sounds like you will be fine. Just remember we refer to Dobes as velcro dogs because they bond so close with their owners. The walking and obedience classes will ensure you of a happy dog. Keep us posted and post pics.  

 

 

Tess and Axel

Sam
Sam's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-26

Dobes are companion dogs, they do not like to be left at home for long periods of time, I wouldn't recommend anyone that works full time to get a dobe.  It snot the amount of time you exercise their bodies that count its exercise of their minds.

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Every dobie I have known has belonged to a full-time worker, and were left to their own devices for 8 hours every day.  They were all happy, healthy, well behaved dogs none the less.  I'm not saying it wouldn't doubtless be better for the dog(s), that they wouldn't be happier to have someone there all the time (though if you read the original post here, someone will be there almost all of the time, just not their 'main' person...), but I think it does a disservice to the intelligence, ingenuity, and adaptability of these amazing dogs to act as if they are incapable of dealing with being alone for a few hours every day, so long as their needs are provided for (food, water, shelter, toys, etc.)

Of course, that's assuming they are in a fenced back yard.  I don't think it would hold true if they were crated or put on a tie for the working hours. Nor does it hold true if we are talking about a dog who is used to having you there 24/7 for months or years; they would not be able to deal well with being left for 8 hours.

I think there's occasionally a tendency to confuse 'ideal' with 'necessary', or likewise 'not ideal' with 'neglect' or 'abuse'.  

AlexT's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Many thanks for the comments so far guys - I'm going to keep researching and fingers crossed will plan around getting a pup around summer time!

Sam - I completely understand your point - hence me making this topic because the happiness and welfare of the dog is paramount for me. That said, if I didn't work I really don't think I'd be able to afford to own and provide for any dog, let alone a Dobie. Sure there are some lucky people in this world who have partners who work while they're at home, or who are lucky to have enough money in the bank to be able to afford not to work - but these people are very few and far between!

Tannaidhe - I am glad you have experience of people working full time and having Dobies. Although I will never rely on any of the other people in the house to walk my dog (I think it would be irresponsible to get a dog relying on others), they are certainly going to be there to let it out, or keep it entertained for periods. Certainly i can't see it being left alone for more than a few hours worst case, and not forgetting I'd be paying a dog walker to come in every day.

I do have a fenced back yard - not a massive yard but still where I'll be letting the dog out to potty train it etc.

When I do get the dog - I'm probably going to go for a bitch. I presume this is sensible?