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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello people

I'm a 19 year old male from Germany. I'm single, living alone in a medium sized apartement located in a suburban neigboorhood of a small town. My flat has no garden, but a balkony. That's not that bad, because I live right where ''nature'' starts...meaning, I have lots of fields and a forest right in front of my door where a dog could have a great time being walked.

I'm working about 8 hours per day (Mon-Fri) in a place, 15mins away from my home, where I cant bring a dog.

Still, I would really love become a dog owner. I have a big desire to take care of one (grew up with dogs also). For sure, I would walk him for about an hour each day and spent most of my off-work time with him. Also i'd really make sure he is trained and educated properly (I studied Cesar Millans techniques for quite a decent amount of time and also would make sure I learn everything I could before finally adopting a dog). I guess I'd have to install a small place in the flat for him to take care of his toilet needs when I'm not home. Also he'd get enough toys to play with and would have access to food when alone.


But would it make sense to get a dog if he'd be alone for 8 to sometimes even 10 hours per day (5 times per week)? I have no one who's trustworthy enough to let take care of my dog during the time I'm at work. Friends and family all have similar schedules.
I might give the dog to a day care 2 times per week, which would cost me about 100€ a month (much for me, considering I'm currently earning about 1000€).


Let me know what you think guys.

Thanks!
 

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Welcome!

Well, firstly I would advise you to spend time researching positive training techniques. Dominance theory has been thoroughly disproven by behavioral science and the techniques taught by Caesar Milan are both dangerous and ineffective. It sure makes for great, sensationalist TV, but not so great for real life (wouldn't want to get serious parenting advice from Honey Boo Boo, now, would you? :p ). So, you've got some reading to do, the stickies on here are an excellent place to start :D

After you've done your research and had the "ohgoshwoops" moment I think almost every member including myself on this site has had about dominance theory, I see no reason you could not get an adult dog. 8-10 hours is too long for a puppy, but just fine for an adult. Look into crate training and stop home at lunch to walk your dog on the 10 hours days (sounds like you're close enough) and you should be fine! I'd choose a lower-energy breed if you only have an hour a day to walk your dog.

Best of luck!
 

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Welcome to Dog Forum!

I wholeheartedly agree with cbakerb about re-researching training strategies. There is an entire section of the forum with fabulous resources: Training and Behavior Stickies

Your schedule isn't super unreasonable for an adult dog. What would cause you to be away 10 hours? Is it possible to provide a mid-day break for your dog? Since you're so close, it would seemingly be possible for you to run home during your lunch hour for a quick potty break and walk. You could also explore hiring a dog walker for mid-day breaks. That may be less expensive and better overall that daycare.

Provided your time with him is meaningful (in that you offer appropriate physical and mental stimulation), there shouldn't be a problem with having a dog given your situation.
 

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Is there any chance you can hire a dog-walker or someone who could break up that long spell while you are at work? A dog-walker who turns a 10 hour stretch into two 5 hour stretches is a much better choice than having doggie day care on just SOME days.

Additionally, you should be considering adult dogs not pups
 

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Hi Palatino,

Welcome to the Dog Forum! It's always great to see prospective dog owners asking questions and doing research before they bring home a new dog. :)

As you are doing your research, I very much hope that you change your focus to positive reinforcement training. A great example of a positive reinforcement trainer is Emily Larlham. Here's her website:

https://dogmantics.com/

She has tons of free youtube videos under her nickname "kikopup."

You're not going to find a single regular member here who is a fan of Cesar Milan. As already mentioned, Cesar is a charismatic television personality whose techniques are not at all scientific and can cause harm to your dog and your relationship with him or her. Please read this article.

De-Bunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory - Whole Dog Journal Article

Also, I agree with everyone else that you should look at adult dogs, not puppies. Puppies are cute, but your schedule is not appropriate for a young dog. It's terrific that you're asking about this now.

Good luck on your search! And, I want to add that the more time you spend on this site reading and asking questions, the better prepared you will be to bring home your own canine friend. :)
 

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The topic of Mr. CM has been covered, and yes there are better training methods, so I'll cover the staying at home part.

I agree that your schedule suits a young adult or older dog, just because potty training would be a disaster with your schedule.

I don't agree that 8-10 hours is too long for a dog to be at home, my own dog is home for 8 hours a day; although I do split that up with coming home on my lunch hour, though some days she has to stay at home for 7.5 hours (when I don't get to leave because of meetings).

Before that, all of my family's dogs were home alone for 8-10 hours a day and they were well loved and in great condition. So long as a dog gets enough mental and physical stimulation every day before and after work, being alone for 8 hours is fine. I think it's a heck of a lot better to be in a home were you are taken care of and loved, but alone for those hours during the work week, versus being penned up in a shelter waiting for your d-day.

I think people who say it's a requirement to only allow a dog to be alone at home for a few hours have good reasons, and I prefer to come home to break up Tessa's day, but sometimes it's just not a reality and I make sure to make up for it once I get home with a nice LONG walk/run and games of fetch. Basically I sacrifice coming home and relaxing after a rough day at work for getting Tessa's energy out. I don't see her wellbeing being harmed at all.
 

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It could work with an adult, NOT A PUPPY, puppies are like infants. My mum could take hers to work with her and yet she struggled to give him the time he needed. They are super needy.

Be careful of the adult dog you choose, make sure he/she isn't suffering from separation anxiety. Maybe organise it so that you have a week or two of work when they first arrive and get them used to you coming and going.

Be prepared financially that you might need to invest in a walker or daycare occasionally.

AND leaving an adult for that time is ok BUT it will mean that you have to spend the majority of your time out of work with the dog. You can't go to work for 9hrs and then go out to dinner for 2 hrs. Leaving the dog alone for 11.
 

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8-10 hours a day is totally fine for an adult dog! Mine stays in my room that long with no problems and is totally fine. You just have to make sure that, with that much time away from you, you spend most if not all your off-time with the dog. You can still have a social life, but a lot of it revolves around the dog.

If you're dedicated enough, it can work very well! But like everyone has said, adult, not puppy! 8-10 for a healthy, happy adult should also be fine to leave him in all day, if you take him out to potty before you leave and as soon as you return.

If you do so, I'd take a week or so off of work to help the dog adjust and get used to you and your house before you set a schedule of 8-10 hours alone.

A lower-energy dog would be best for this kind of alone time. It CAN work with a higher-energy one, but it takes a ton of dedication and time, and basically, if you aren't working at your job, you're actively working with the high-energy dog. Look for something low to medium energy, do lots of stuff with the dog when you're home, take hikes on weekends, etc.
 

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Imo your schedule is fine as long as you provide the exercise and mental stimulation the dog needs before and after work. Really most dog owners work full days without the ability to go home midday and many do not hire/have anyone who will let the dog out. All of my dogs (past and present) have always been fine during a full workday. Really my crew sleeps all day when home alone. A great many dogs do to.

I agree that a low to medium energy (depending on your current exercise routine) adult would likely be the wisest choice. Though I and plenty of people have also raised puppies with a full workday. Does make potty training more difficult, though can be done.
 

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So many adult dogs do perfectly fine on that type of schedule! My girlfriend and I go to school full time so our adult rescue dog is occasionally alone from 8:30-5:30 on days our schedules line up that way. We got her in May of this year and she's had no trouble transitioning to that schedule. I don't think you'll have an issue unless the dog has separation anxiety problems.

Also, as others have mentioned, please reconsider everything you've learned from Cesar. He doesn't teach anything worthwhile. Look into positive reinforcement, you'll be glad you did!
 

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I work full time and live alone. I come home for lunch most days unless there's a catastrophe or lunch meeting (then I go home early). My 3 dogs are fine. One I recently adopted and he's between 7-11 months and an extremely high energy cattle dog mix. The other two are 5 1/2 and 10 1/2 years old toy dogs so are calmer. But my young guy is fine provided he gets a good hour or two of exercise every day after work. It does mean I have no life outside of work and taking care of Hank at this point but I don't expect it to be forever.
 

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Just to add my 2 cents...

Given your work schedule and the unknowns of adopting a dog, adult or puppy, it might be wise to take the plunge when you have some vacation time coming to you.

I hear that in Europe vacation time is quite generous. If you can take a month off work to get to know your new companion, ease them into a schedule where they will be left alone for a few hours while you work (and come home during lunch or get a sitter or whatever), then you have a much higher chance of a successful relationship.

While I agree with @Gossamerrolo that dogs are happier when their whole family is home and everyone is together, I do understand there are factors such as work and life which do prevent this.

I think that you should ensure you have the "right" dog to suit your schedule and lifestyle. Some dogs have personalities that are high maintenance, and others that are laid back. They are as individual in temperament and behavior as humans are (that is, we can only predict to a certain degree of certainty -- and even then!)

If you go with an adult dog who has been fostered, you can get a much clearer idea of what that dog's personality will be like. The foster home should be able to give you a detailed account of the dog's day to day life. I would suggest adopting from a rescue that fosters rather than kennels so you have this information before adopting.

And take come vacation time to get to know him/her and see if their lifestyle meshes with your own.

Or, take a 6 month vacation and raise a puppy from about 4 or 5 months old and ease him/her into a schedule that suits your own.
 

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Layla's best buddy, who we walk with every morning, is a cocker/springer mix who was adopted by a working couple when he was 11 weeks old. His "mom" was home with him for a few weeks, and then they began crating and working - and she came home mid-day to get him out for a potty break.

They live in a condo with a balcony, no backyard.

He gets hours of exercise every day in various parks, lots of socialization, he's a lovely and well-adjusted dog, he's housetrained and he can be alone without SA.

It sounds like their first few months with him was tough (isn't always with a new pup?) but he's turned into a lovely and happy dog.

I'm not sure I'd want to try that, and if I did, I'd be prepared to hire someone to come and take the pup for a potty etc. But talking to him about it made me realize that it can be done, and that the dog will be fine if it's properly planned.
 

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I agree with ScaredyScarlett on the point about taking some time off to help the dog get settled. We did that with Rollie - DBF is a teacher, and we adopted Rollie at the beginning of August, so he had a few weeks to get settled (and work on his house training) before being alone for 6-8 hours a day. It doesn't have to be weeks, but I think giving it a few days (even over a weekend) to help you and your new dog get acclimated to each other is a great idea.

I also agree that you should look for an adult dog - we have a 14-week-old Corgi mix on a trial basis right now, and I'd forgotten how stressful it is! An adult dog who's on the low energy side will likely be a better fit for your schedule.

If people who worked full time couldn't have dogs due to the hours, there would be a lot more homeless dogs out there! You just have to prioritize the dog during the hours you are home - and make arrangements when you can't be there. For example, if DBF and I both have after-work obligations, I'll take him to day care or ask my mom to pick him up to cut down on the crate time. It makes having a social life a little more complicated, but honestly, I would trade going out to a bar with friends for snuggling under a blanket with Rollie any day.

Best of luck!
 

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I live alone and I work 8-5 every day, so I'm gone from 0730 to 1730 every day Monday-Friday.

I rescued a 15 month old black Lab some years ago. He's almost 4 now and has never had an issue staying at home for 10 hours.
 

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Palatino, one thing to consider if you adopt or buy, whether a puppy or an adult is that you'll find it much easier if your dog does not have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety (SA) is incredibly common, and it's probably one of the leading reasons that dogs end up in shelters.

Separation anxiety is definitely something that can be worked on and improved, but it can be very, very hard (especially when you're working full-time already, and when your dog isn't socially that fantastic and not a great candidate for daycare). It's much easier to prevent it.

So my advice to the OP would be, that if you're going to adopt an adult dog, be as careful as you can be about selecting a dog that does not have SA, that is okay with being crated, and that is generally not a highly anxious dog (learn how to identify signs), and that's social with other dogs.

Don't trust that the rescue is being totally honest, or that they actually know much about the dog - try to use a rescue that has a good reputation (do you have any friends who rescued and had a great experience?). There are probably threads here about how to spot a good rescue and what red flags to watch for.

Once you have a dog that is not anxious, can be crated/kennelled for at least short times, and is well-socialized, you have find it is MUCH easier to leave the dog alone without worrying about anxiety, emotional trauma and destructiveness. And being well-socialized will give you and your dog far more options when it comes to daycare and dogwalking.

Also, if you adopt a dog that's a highly stigmatized breed, you may run into challenges with daycare and dogwalking.

Once you have the dog, don't just take time off and then suddenly go back to work full time. Work on desensitizing the dog to being alone. Leave for a few minutes and return. Then try an hour. And so on. And always keep leavings and returns low-key. Not cold or mean, just very low-key.

Again, there are probably threads here about how to prevent and manage separation anxiety. Definitely a worthwhile endeavour!
 

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I'm basically in your same camp. I got a westie for companionship but i'll be working long days pretty soon. The puppy stage was pretty awful especially for the first 4 months my dog would get into anything it shouldn't. A puppy cannot be left alone so you might want to think about getting an older dog unless you can have some watch over it while you're gone. I'm thinking about getting a cat for companionship because puppy craves attention still.
 
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