My desire is to have a lab. However, I work a 9/80 schedule. I have a large dog run and patio area will this be enough to keep a lab happy while I am at work? I plan on daily hikes/walks and having my dog be a part of my family it's just the pesky "work thing".
As I understand it, the longest time that you would have to work would be 9 hours, plus commute.
If you are thinking about getting a puppy, you would probably have to hire a dog-walker or something of the like that would be able to let the puppy out 1-2 times throughout the days you will be gone for a long time.
Are you wanting to leave the dog in the dog run/patio area all day while you work?
I think you will find people here leave their dogs inside while they are gone. I would never risk Cinnamon being out in the Arizona heat all day. I have left her more than 9 hours and she is fine but that is as an adult dog a puppy cannot hold it that long. So maybe a rescue an adult dog that is a year or so old. Labs have a high activity level and so need a lot of excercise so the daily hike would be a must. A tired lab is a happy lab.
Karon and Cinnamon
Do you have kids that would be home before you to interact with the dog? Maybe consider adopting an older lab that is already trained and maybe not so active and wouldn't mind the down time during day. I just adopted a 6 year old female lab. She is wonderful. All she does all day is sleep unless we go outside and play fetch (which I do atleast 5x day) we also take 2 daily walks. She doesn't bark and she is housetrained and does not chew. I think it would be difficult to work full time and train an active young lab. They require a lot of exercise and discipline. Good luck either way!
Before my husband retired when we got a puppy he would take a couple of months off work. Puppies need to go potty frequently. But once our labs were older they would just sleep while we were at work. On rare occasions our last girl would be home 10 - 10 1/2 hours & never do a thing. But the first year or year & a half is tough. All of ours are crate trained & stayed in their crates until they were trustworthy to have run of the house. Even though our backyard is fenced in I would not let them out if we were not home. I always worried someone could steal them. Being friendly...they would go in anyone's car. It can be done but it does take planning.
I work 9 - 10 hours daily and leave them, but 98% of the time I go home during lunch time (I have a couple hours and live 4 miles away from the office) and they spend that time with me. I take them for a 45 min walk daily plus a 20 min fetch at night. They don´t seem to be affected, rather get annoyed if for any reason I don´t go during lunch time and pee inside (That´s Misha) even though they have full access to my uncovered fully enclosed garage. Only do it whenever for whatever reason I have to stay at the office during lunch.
A pup will certainly find ways to entertain himself and destroy everything around if being alone so long.
Weather is mild here in Mexico City, they have access to a room and their house is inside. They love getting wet in the rain anyway and don´t care to stay out (they´re labs- of course they WANT to get wet)
Maybe an adult or 2 dogs instead of one to keep each other company?
All the time I´m at home they are with me inside the house
I leave Ernie outside in a well fenced yard when I am not home as he still chews. ( We don't have the worry of someone stealing him.)
I don't think it it where they are so much as how long and bored and lonely they get. The other thing is if you are working long hours will you feel like playing and going on a long walk after work every day of the year.
Ernies previous owners left him on his own too long and he worked out how to get into all sorts of mischief. Some habits I have never been able to break.
An older dog is more likely to be ok with being left.
I don't understand what a 9/80 schedule is -- how many hours/day and how many days/week is that?
I don't think your schedule will work for a puppy because of their peeing & pooping needs.
With Bess, at 3 different homes I installed Doggy Doors so she could have access to the outside to pee and poop when I wasn't there. At the first one, I had a fenced backyard and worked at a hospital only 6 blocks away so I easily came home at noon. But at 2 of the 3 places, I had problems with Bess burrowing under fences and being a lost dog for a day or more.
I see two probable problems with what you propose even with adult Labs.
One is that most Labs are extremely social and like to be with their peeps. They don't tolerate being separated from them without often causing problems. An outdoor dog run isn't a good substitute for being with their people.
Another problem is your proposed exercise schedule.
Walking a Lab is fine for your exercise but it's usually not enough to sufficiently unwind a Lab's "rubber band motor" which gets re-wound every day. Typically, they need at least 40 minutes/day of offleash running, retrieving, swimming to be properly exercised.
With Bess, when I came home from the hospital in the evening, about 6:30 PM, I wanted to just sit down and relax with a glass of wine before fixing supper.
But Bess had other, more pressing plans.
As soon as I came in the door -- after she greeted me in a Lab's typical manner -- I'd sit down. At that time, Bess began grabbing everything she could carry in her mouth and dump it at my feet. The longer I dallied, the bigger the pile of toys, shoes, towels, magazines, umbrellas, etc., grew. Since Bess never put anything back, I quickly learned to take her out.
We had a pond very nearby so I'd take her there for 40 minutes of swimming retrieves 3 seasons of the year. (The 4th, winter, when the pond was frozen, she usually needed about an hour of offleash running retrieves on land.)
After Bess had her daily exercise, then I could safely have my glass of Chardonnay -- or two.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":