Single working person and puppy

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trenielk's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-23

As I've read through these forums and others I see so much information that makes me think a single working person can't raise a puppy.  I currently also have a cat so I am leery of bringing any dog into the house as an adult.

Is it absolutely cruel to try to raise a puppy if the most I can come home is once a day?  What about if a lunch time visit can't be done and the puppy will stay in his crate for 8 hours some days?

I have been studying this for awhile and am getting very worried about not being able to raise and train my own dog.

Thanks for your input.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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It's only my personal opinion, but I think puppies( and dogs) need full time love, attention and care. You might be asking for behavioral problems at best.. and a miserable dog to boot. Not really fair..
Kitties seem to do okay without their people around all the time, but dogs require a pack and you are the pack leader..
think about it.
Read some more
and ask those important questions..

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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Hi Trenielk.
Well i am in a similar situation. I work a 32 hour week shift pattern but if you include travelling then I'm out of the house for 8 1/2 hours a day. Have a forces boyfriend and have just waved him goodbye again for 3 months :'(
I wanted to say that I think it can be done but you do need to spend a huge amount of time and input with your dog in your spare time. It might have been easier for me as i didn't get Q until 12 weeks old and i also took a week off to get him house trained etc.
On a morning shift, Q and I go out for a run at 05.30 then a good beach yomp in the afternoon when i come home. Afternoon shifts we have a couple of hours beachtime and training every morning so he is well rested by the time I go off to work.
I'm lucky that i only do night shift twice every two months and when this happens Q goes to the kennels which he adores as they have ' playtime' with other dogs :D
Q spends his time in the kitchen with the crate blocking his exit. I used to have a childproof gate but he learnt that he could knock it down with his strength. Lots of Kongs and toys used to keep him amused and we also joined obedience classes pretty early so that i knew how best to train him.
i waited a year after my old gurl died so i had a lot of time to think about the situation and read up heaps. I have to admit though i was still unprepared with a lot of things but this site has been a wonderful opportunity to improve my learning and our skills. Still got some way to go...Q is not quite ready for his Good Citizen Award but we are getting there. I also feel i can now introduce another dog into the household and we may be getting a new puppy very soon.
Good luck with what you decide.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

I have owned more than a dozen Dobies in the past 28 years, and during most of that time I was in the same situation as you are. Now, the first pup I got (Windy, my Avatar) was 4 months old and partially house broken when I got her. However, my second pup, Hans, a red male was only 8 weeks old when he came to live with Windy and I.

Now, also most of that time I had multiple Dobes, so they did have each other's company. It is important to keep in mind that the puppy needs a way to relieve themselves during the day in a way that keeps them clean and also is easy for you to clean up. If you crate the puppy, the crate needs to be large enough so they can stay clean and dry. Many like to isolate a pup in either the kitchen or bathroom which typically have a hard finish floor that is easy to clean.

Toys and soft comfortable bedding provides the rest of their needs along with adequate water. Toys that have goodies inside like the Kongs with the open center will keep them busy for a while. With the exception of the time frame when I had a large pen outside with shelter and several adults, most of my dogs have been in the house and crated in recent years. For the first decade of having the dogs, they would be confined in areas of the house easy to clean, but facing a cleaning chore when I got home did not last long as the pup matured.

You might want to see if you can work with a rescue group to find a very young dog. You may be surprised at the ease of introducing a rescue dog into a home with other animals. The rescue dog has been evaluated and they more than the dog that has always had a good home, is very grateful and not that likely to create problems. You may even be able to find one that has been fostered in a home with a cat.

Perhaps, some here that have rescue dogs can join in on this.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Richard, as usual you are right on!!  Rescue dogs are so unique in that they seem to know they've been saved. If you can get some information re: their background: i.e. health problems, age, etc. it would take some of the stress of having a new dog away from you.. Sofia is a total mystery to us, as she just "showed up" one day. All we knew for sure is that she had recently littered and was one of the sweetest, most loving creature we had ever met.Good luck with your decision, and thank you for joining the forum.. For each question someone asks, I am always getting some great answers!!

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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:D I forgot about the poos and wees. On my first day that i went back to work. I completely laid newspaper over the floor. Spent a day worrying and left work early to get back home.
Nothing on the floor just a very happy pup...same for the next couple of days so i gradually removed most of the newspaper apart from a sheet at the door...which generally got eaten :P
As said before though  Q was a bit older when i got him.