Desperate for a Dog

Due to popular demand, here is the section to discuss everything to do with our pets. Please remember though to post any queries regarding pet livestock in the livestock section as you are more likely to get the right response there!
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bonniethomas06
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Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205014 bonniethomas06
Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:00 am

Just a query for all dog owners out there...

We are desperate for a dog at the moment, since our cat died our home is all empty and sad. The thing is, we both work full time, and are out of the house from 8-6.30 every day. (I am working on gettting a 4 day a week job).

How long is it reasonable to leave a dog on it's own for during the day? We would love a puppy (ideally a Parsons Jack Russell).

I should say (before there is an outcry!) that we are lucky to live next to a riding school - our landlady (the owner) has a jack russell who spends its days running around the many fields, sitting/sunbathing on the yard or sleeping in the stables while she is out there, and she has offered to have our dog during the day. My mother is also close by, and could take it for a loo break/walk or sit with it for anything up to an hour, but not every day. There is also a dogwalking service nearby, who we could pay £5 to walk it for half an hour, on the days my mum couldn't help.

The thing is I don't really want a little pup running around with the jack russell just yet - I want it to learn that it's home is with us and that we are it's owners. I am also not sure it is 100% safe for a young puppy - an older dog (say 8 months to a year) would be fine.

I would be really grateful for any experiences you have had. Should also add that we would walk it before we left and take it for a walk as soon as we got home.

Bonnie
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

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http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

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kit-e-kate
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205019 kit-e-kate
Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:24 am

Why not rehome a dog? You're bound to find one at your local rescue place that fits your needs exactly. (It may not be a jack russell though, but i'll bet you find a totally irresistible pup nevertheless!) Happy dog hunt! :icon_smile:

Kaida
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205032 Kaida
Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:19 pm

I hope I'm allowed to post a link. If not, I apologise.

Try http://www.dogsblog.com/category/jack-russell-terrier/. There're so many dogs in rescue at the moment due to the recession, and Jack Russels can be a real handful so end up in rescue more than some other breeds. 10.5 hours alone a day is far too long IMO without something like doggy daycare or something, even broken up with one half hour walk in the middle.

The only way I would consider a dog in your situation (let alone a very active one like the JRT) would be a long walk in the morning (get up an hour early), then your Mom coming in at perhaps 12 noon for an hour play, then a dog walker at 4pm for a half hour walk. When you get home at 6.30, you'd need to pay loads of attention to the dog, playing games, doing training to stimulate his mind, cuddling him. Then at maybe 8 or 9pm he'd need a final walk.

You can't really have a puppy while working 10.5 hour days. Typical 8 week old pup needs 4 meals a day, spread out evenly, and will be going out for a wee every couple of hours maximum. A house trained, calmer, older dog might be a possibility, though. Would you consider something like a retired racing greyhound? They're not known as 40mph couch potatoes for nothing! Attention morning, a walk mid-way through the day and an evening stroll and they'd probably be okay. They're used to being alone much of the day, too.

I'd worry that the kind offer of your next door neighbour at the yard might fall through for one reason or another, then you're stuck with your Mom coming round every day and costs of the dog walker, for the life of the dog. For instance, my gorgeous cocker bitch, if I'd made a similar plan, would have scuppered it since she got attacked at 6 months old by a pair of large dogs intent on making her lunch. Since then she's nervous of other dogs, so wouldn't be happy with running round fields etc with the owner's dog. You can't predict that sort of thing happening, unfortunately.

I'm sorry to be so negative. I hope I haven't come across too harshly.

prison break fan
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205034 prison break fan
Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:39 pm

Hi, can't offer much advice! on anything really!! but would just like to say that our last dog was a parsons JR and was the loveliest little thing you could wish for. We now have a 6yr old rescue cross breed who has every problem imaginable, but we love her. We have just started her at a doggy day care centre one day a week and it is really helping her with her fear of other dogs. It costs £15 a day so is a bit of a luxury, but hey ho! it's only money! pbf.

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bonniethomas06
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205126 bonniethomas06
Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:45 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for your honesty - I really don't want a dog if it is going to be miserable. I am looking for jobs closer to home so that I can pop back at lunch and also have a shorter working day, or even semi-part time.

Although I would like a PJR I don't really mind what we have so long as it is small enough to pick up - greyhounds are lovely but I want a dog I can pick up and cuddle!
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

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http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

Kaida
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205150 Kaida
Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:42 pm

It's great that you're putting the dog first. A lot of people don't, and the fact you are indicates you'll be a great owner.

Cuddly isn't what springs to mind when you say PJR tbh. You'd want more a toy breed for that I reckon. You have a PM.

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MuddyWitch
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205161 MuddyWitch
Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:01 pm

A slight off topic comment: Greyhounds that are ex racers are definatly NOT used to being left alone. They are nearly always kenneled in pairs (a dog & a bitch), rarely know quiet as radios are played twenty-four hours a day and are part of a frenetic racing kennels. We don't rehome them to people who are both out at work as they need company...yes; even when they are asleep! :iconbiggrin:

Not having a go, just putting the record straight.

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

Kaida
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205197 Kaida
Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:10 am

But they're not used to 24-7 human company? The OP could rehome a dog and a bitch, and play a radio while she's gone. I admit I don't know that much about greyhounds - toy breeds and gundogs are my forté, with a smattering of giant breeds and working dogs - but I've always been told they were one of the best breeds for people who work (perhaps not fulltime, but OP said she was looking at part-time work), even by people who own them.

I will bow down to your knowledge on the subject, of course, as as I said, I don't know greyhounds. I was just going on what I've been told many times.

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MuddyWitch
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205200 MuddyWitch
Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:19 am

The thing is,cats are solitary, self-contained creatures who will be quite content in their own company. Dogs, on the other hand, are pack animals and require company. This is why cats are more popular than dogs in our high pressure 24-7 world.

I can only speak from experience, I do home checks for the RGT (Retired Greyhound Trust) in my neck-of-the-woods and we only rehome ex-racers to a home where some-one will be home most of the time. They are retired at 4-5 years old, with around ten years or more of healthy life ahead, so they need a 'pack'. Their life, up to the point of rehoming, has consisted of noise, bustle and lots of visual stimulation, with all the comings & goings of racing kennels that can often have over 200 dogs at any given time.

For the retiring dog, moving into a home, with all it's new sights, noises, textures and smells is a 'culture shock'. They need love and support to adjust. (They also need to be house-trained, but this rarely takes more than a few days.) To you & I (& a dog who's always been in human houses) a washing machine, for example, is just background noise, but to a retiring greyhound it's a noisy monster.

Greyhounds do make wonderfull pets, as they are very affectionate, loving dogs, but they aren't for every dog owner. It's true they don't require as much exercise as, say, a collie (who'll need 10-12 miles a day!) but they do need to have their environment monitored more. We bred them to have no sub-cutaneous fat layer or under-coat, so they reqire coats in cold weather. We bred them to have very little oil in their hair so they aren't as able to stay dry as most dogs, requiring rain coats. We bred them to have huge lungs and tiny bladders, so they need to 'go out' more often to 'empty'. All reasons why they need some-one there most of the time.

They have been bred for three thousand years, and trained for their whole life to chase small moving things. So they need six foot fence around the garden and to be on lead when ever they are walked. I've just taken my two for their morning walk & had to really hang on to Dana as she spotted a squirrel. So just letting them off lead on the local park is an absolute NO NO. They don't know the difference between the 'rabbit' and some-one's terrier.

Both of my 'hounds are sprawled out on the floor, but if I were to go into the garden they'd follow me. If I were to go to the shops (as I will in bit) they'll sit by the door 'till I come back. They are quite clingy dogs. If I'm going anywhere for any length of time, (to my daughter's in London for example) either I take them with me, or I have a 'dog sitter' (usually my other daughter, lol).

I have puppy walked Golden Retrievers and Labradors for the Guide Dogs, and Alsations & Doberman for the Prison Service as well as working in rehoming kennels since my teens and therefore have experience of many breeds of dog (as well as dozens of mongrels), and have never found a dog that was happy if left alone. The only way you can have a happy dog is if it is in a pack.

For people who are out at work, it seems to me, a cat is a much better choice. (& I don't like cats! They dig up my veg patch too often for my liking, leaving their effluent for my poor husband to clear up, as I'm very allergic to them)

Once OP has found a part-time job, nearer home she could then rethink the situation once she knows how long she'll be out, but for now taking on a dog would be unfair. Especially if she wants a puppy, as s/he'll need constant attention to house-train & socialise him/her.

A dog is a ten to fifteen year full-time commitment. Some-thing very few of us are lucky enough to be able to make. I'm spoilt as I work from home & am about to retire to a small holding. Then hubby's promised me a rescue Irish Wolfhound as a house warming (filling!!!) gift.

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

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bonniethomas06
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #205290 bonniethomas06
Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:27 am

Hi Guys,

Thank you all for taking the time to reply with some great advice. I have started the ball rolling already and applied for several part time jobs nearer to home. Not sure OH is completely happy with this, but will be when we have a slick farming operation, gorgeous pooch, clean house and hot (home grown) dinner on the table!

Have come to the conclusion that we are never going to change our lifestyle unless we free up some time to gain experience of farming on a smallholding scale (first) so if this plunge also allows us to own a well balanced, happy dog, even better.

Thanks again.
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

My blog...

http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

Uller
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Re: Desperate for a Dog

Post: #206392 Uller
Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:19 pm

I got my dog from the RSPCA when we were living in Australia. We both worked full time and had quite a long commute, so would be out of the house for hours every day. We didn't think this would be suitable for offering a home, but the RSPCA seemed happy - they pointed out that she would get far more company when we were around than she did with them. When she was very young (we got her at 14 weeks), my OH went home at lunchtime to let her out etc, but as soon as she was old enough to stay outside/in the kennel, she was on her own. She loved having us around in the evenings and weekends, but seemed to get used to the routine on public holidays - if we were home on a weekday she would ignore us until the evening!

We've never had any problems with her - my understanding is that bored/lonely dogs can get a bit destructive or noisy, but no such issues. I often felt guilty early on, but honestly don't think she has suffered for it - maybe because it was all she has known?

We've had her for 12 years now and, in her 'golden' years I think she is happy that OH works from home!
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