Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?
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Thread: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

  1. #1
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    DefaultPuppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    Live alone with Sabi, a 6-month old lab (mix? not sure). Actually today is his 6-month birthday! I got him from a girl who gave him up because she had a baby, a fulltime job, and school. Fortunately she already had him housebroken. So despite a few mistakes here and there he's been great in that way. She did a great job with him on the hard part!

    So in the past 2 months (and 20 lbs, 38 in all!) I've learnt so much. Including the fact that I should have thought things through better. When I got him I was working fulltime only. I can come home to let him out at lunch. But now that schools is back in session I'm out of the house at least 10-12 hours a day. Despite that I still try to walk him at least twice a day. Usually it's more like 3-4 walks a day. Never had a pet, and I didn't know what I was getting into getting this little guy. Due to my inexperience I think I maybe should have started out with an older dog, but it's too late for that.

    He's crated a lot. When I'm away at work/meetings/school, out or whatever. And when I'm asleep. So all in all he's probably crated 18 hours a day. Lately I started taking him to doggie daycare, and he loves it there. I loved it especially since he gets to sleep in a big area with all his buds. Had to basically leave him there for the past 2 weeks between work and my grandma's passing away. I think if I kept him I would take him there a day or two out of the week.

    Part of me wants to keep him as we've established a good routine now. I think I'm getting a handle on him some, and I need to take him to obedience training. I may try to get him outside in the backyard, but I've read the negative comments about that on this board. Otherwise I have a small basement maybe he can be in when I'm away.

    But on the other hand, being crated for so long when I'm gone doesn't feel right for me. Even if I got him to doggy daycare, and let him around the basement and backyard on different days I don't know how that would go. He needs a lot of play and attention. I do think that I've probably influenced him in bad ways because he's been alone so much.

    I have an opportunity to give him away to a family who has had labs for 35 years. I've known these people for a long time, and they're nice. They have property with acreage, and more importanly for me experience and desire for a new dog. Their lab of 15 years just passed away, and they were off to the pound trying to get a new baby.

    So my question is, what do people think? I've never had a pet, but seems like a lab -- and especially a puppy -- really needs more socialization than he's getting. I can't really tell if he's happy or not. Here is a chance for him to move on to probably a better situation.

    I've talked to a lot of people that are pet owners, including one that has 2 labs. But I thought maybe people here would be able to shed some light on things as well. Any help is greatly appreciated -- this issue is tearing me up.

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  3. #2
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    Honestly, only you know what is best for your dog. I have a feeling that as you have posted this you have already made your decision? if you think he will have a better life with another family then you know what you have to do. The family sound fantastic. Acerage = doggy heaven!

    I agree that 18 hours a day is far too long to be crated. Labs are such a social breed. They don't cope well with being left alone for long hours. The only way I think you could make your situation work would be to take the pup to daycare 5 days a week while you are at school. This way, he will get the contact with people and other dogs he needs. Alternatively, dog proofing a room of your house (so he isn't locked up for that amount of time) and having a dog walker come in once or twice a day might also work.

    Dogs are a lifelong commitment. You have to ask your self whether you have the time and energy to devote to him for the next 12+ years.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    It sounds like in your heart you have already made a decision. If you're not going to be able to make the time commitment to the pup and experienced, committed people that you trust are willing to adopt him then I think he should be rehomed.

    Good luck with your decision.

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  6. #4
    modgirlreporter Guest

    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    I think maybe the other folks are right and the dog would be happier with that family. I do have a suggestion, if you really want a pet that will fit into your schedule, I suggest a cat. Cats don't mind being left alone for long periods and don't need to be crated or confined -- they sleep a lot and don't require walks and even kittens don't need play with you nearly as much as a dog does. A kitten can amuse him or her self with toys while you're gone. Just an idea.

  7. #5
    MyLabsMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    As the others mentioned, I think you know already in your heart, what's best for the pup. Credit to you though - you obviously took the time to think things thru and had his best interest at heart. Providing daycare and walks were great solutions. I too, think 18 hours crated is too much. I don't think, in the end, you'll get a well balanced dog.

    Sounds like he'll have a wonderful life. I also think the cat idea is great for you. My husband and I did that when we first got married, because we travelled too much on the weekends. We adopted a little brother and sister together (I think two together is great for them) and kept them as indoor cats only. We enjoyed them so much!!!
    Brenda from Connecticut

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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    I think I need to clarify the 18 hours of crate time. If I'm gone 10 hours of the day, he's NOT left alone for the whole time. I come home a few times during those 10 hours to walk him, feed him, piss him, etc. He's alone for about 4 or 5 hours at a time at most. I generally hang out in the morning, take a walk and all that. Then go to work. Come back home for lunch, let him out again. The 18 hours of crated time includes sleeping time, so not sure if that time counts? I've been letting him sleep in my room lately, and he seems fine with that. Also he does great out in the house on his own, short of chewing on papers and stuff here and there.

    Maybe I should ask this: if I COULD get him to where he could hang out in say the basement while I'm gone, and do daycare a few days a week -- how bad of a life is that for the dog? I'd be home at least once during the day to take care of him. I definitely enjoy walking out with him, and it gets me out of the computer's glow. Anyways all in all -- what constitutes a good life for a pup? From what I hear a lot of people don't give their dogs nearly enough time, and for a while I've been thinking that I'm one of them

    Also I hear you all on the cat suggestion, but unfortunately I'm insanely allergic to them. I think I'm slightly allergic to Sabi too, but not too bad.

  9. #7
    Buckyball's Avatar
    Buckyball is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    Ok here's my schedule with Buck.

    Wake up time 5:30-6am...he gets let out to do his business then fed. 6:30am - 7:20am he is wandering around with us in the house. Then he is crated...7:20am-approx. 3:30-4pm. Sometimes I drop by during lunch to let him stretch and such. I used to come everyday during lunch till he was about 6.5 months old. He is now 9 months.

    I come home by 4pm and then I play with him do some training then I walk him for an hour. 6pm he gets fed. Basically he is out and about from 4pm-10pm. Once in a while I have to crate him for 30mins - 1 hour during the 4pm-10pm time span.

    On mondays he goes to training class with me. We leave around 7pm and get home around 9:30pm. I have recently started sending him to doggie daycare once a week.

    On the weekends he is only crated during bed time and maybe for 3-4 hours at some point during the day so we can get some chores done. I think he gets plenty of attention and he is definitely a well adjusted dog. He gets along with people and other dogs. When I go out of town on weekends (I usually go places where I can bring him along) he comes with me.

    I work full time as well. I will also be starting some classes next month. I will have to go to them twice a week at night for about a month. I intend to send Buck to doggie daycare twice a week then. That way he will have plenty of exercise and fun during the day to care about the fact that I will be gone for 3-4 hours during the evening.

    Like I said before I think he gets plenty of love and attention and exercise from me. I definitely don't like him being crated as much as he is right now but this is what is best for him and me. In a couple years when he is older and has earned the right to have free roam of the house he shall get it. I have two crates for him right now. One is a crate fit for a 120lb dog (he stays in there during the day) and at night he prefers sleeping in his "smaller" crate (for a dog upto 70lbs).

    Does your schedule sound some what like mine? If so, I personally don't think your pup has a bad life. I think you are being a good owner.

    Now if you are finding it overwhelming to take care of him then perhaps you should rehome him....
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    I agree with Buckyball....I think you are doing fine by your puppy. Of course he misses you and you miss him; of course you both would like to have endless hours together, but the time you do spend together is quality time isn't it? What makes him happiest is when you walk him, when you let him sit near (or on ) your feet, when you throw the frizbee....the rest of the time he is probably sleeping anyway.

    I think doggie daycare twice a week and maybe an obedience class together one night a week, weekends that include lots of time together and what you are doing now is fine. But it really comes down to what YOU know in your heart....good luck as you decide what's right for both of you.

  11. #9
    Trickster's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    Maybe I should ask this: if I COULD get him to where he could hang out in say the basement while I'm gone, and do daycare a few days a week -- how bad of a life is that for the dog?*
    This would be a much better arrangement. If your dog didn't have to spend 18 hours in his crate every day, his life sounds pretty good. He doesn't necessarily need tons of room to move --just a small spare, dog proof room is adequate.

    Anyways all in all -- what constitutes a good life for a pup?* From what I hear a lot of people don't give their dogs nearly enough time, and for a while I've been thinking that I'm one of them
    There is no rule book dictating what a good life should or should not be. Being left alone is not an issue. Every dog has to be left alone according to their owners schedule. The reality is that most people work or go to school or whatever. QUALITY time spent together is the issue. Dogs need exercise, contact with other people, play/interaction with other dogs as often as possible, training, routine and as much love and affection as you can give. It is when they don't get these that they become unhappy.

  12. #10
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    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Puppy owner dilemna - should he stay or should he go?

    Here's my schedule...

    Wake at 5 - let him out to potty...play a bit...eat and in his crate so I can shower and get dressed.

    at 6 or so take him out and play with him, take him out to potty by 6:30 then off to school. (I teacher HS)

    A friend comes by and lets him out at 9 then noon

    I am home between 1:30 and 2:30, feed him, play with him potty. eturn to school until 5:30 or 6

    After 6 I play with him, we work on some training, I'll finish up preparing for the next day's classes etc.

    On the weekends, esp Sat we spend most of the day together. I'll crate him then to run a few errands and do some chores and go workout.

    All in all Tal is probably crated maybe 6 - 7 hours total per day (excluding sleeping at night). My schedule allows me to do this. Also remember that Tal is only 9 weeks old (today! YAY!) and as he gets older and more trustworthy I hope to allow him free roam of the house. Good luck!

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