(First post!) My husband and I are thinking about getting a dog, specifically a miniature dachshund since I grew up with them and know the breed fairly well. We are not planning on having kids, so ideally we'd really like to start from puppy-age and have that experience (though no worries, I do totally realize a puppy is not a human child). I've been reading various threads, books, Internet articles, etc. about raising a puppy, and the information is overwhelming, as I'm sure you all know. I'm trying to cover all my bases and really ensure that our set-up is appropriate for a puppy. My concerns are:
1.) We don't have a fenced yard. We live in a townhouse with a small front and side yard, and I know for a fact that other dogs do their business in our yard. The proof is in the piles.
There are either loose dogs in the neighborhood, or owners who do not clean up after their dogs. So I don't have an outside place for a puppy to potty train until after his/her shots are fully completed. Right? Is this a deal-breaker? We are willing to paper/pee-pad train, but I've never done that with a doxie, who I know are sometimes a little more of a challenge to housebreak.
2.) I know dogs thrive on routine. I will be the one who is with the dog the most, and my 9-5 job schedule is static, though it varies day-to-day. Three days a week I work from home, and two days a week I go into an office (8 hours or even less, and I can come home at lunch). Weekends we are typically home or doing activities in which a dog could be included. Is this too erratic for a dog? I mean, I know he doesn't know if it's a Tuesday or a Saturday, but we just don't have the same routine everyday.
3.) Our townhouse layout is a little weird, and I think the only area that would work well for a confinement area would be a small bathroom on the main level which we would puppy-proof, of course (for crate + pee pad, etc.). Will this work? And then I'm thinking of either using the tethered method or a dog playpen while I'm working, which is usually in our office or in the living room. We do also have a fairly small galley kitchen which would be a bit more centralized, but I think a crate in there would be awkward. Plus, I am remembering my family doxie having a fondness for chewing wood (no one in my family really knew much about dog training back then), and while I will try my absolute best to teach good chewing habits, I know things happen. I'd rather replace one bathroom cabinet than a row of kitchen cabinets! But is the kitchen generally better for any reason?
So those are my concerns, but I also think we'd be really good dog-parents. We are happily married 30-somethings, no kids. We do both work but we have flexible jobs. My work at home will easily allow me to take potty-training breaks and playtime breaks. We do travel up to 2-3 times a year but have an awesome in-home pet-sitting service that we'd use. We have a great vet lined up. We both love dogs and grew up with dogs. And as sort of a bonus, we both have psychology degrees and understand the power of positive reinforcement.
Any thoughts? Please feel free to be totally honest! If there's more info I can provide, let me know. And THANK YOU in advance! I am a classic over-thinker/planner/researcher, so it's possible that I'm just reading too much into what I'm reading, but since I'm dealing with another living being here, I want to be absolutely sure we are a good fit.