My wife and I really want to get a lab puppy. I want to train it for pheasant hunting and we both want it for a pet. We live in town, but we have a decent size backyard that is next to an open field and a park nearby with some woodland to romp.
The problem is we both work during the day and are unable to make it home on our lunchbreaks. That means the lab would be home alone for 8-9 hours a day.
We have 12'x5' kennel outside, and we are also not against having the dog in the house.
Is our 8-9 hour absence too much for the dog? I have had a lab before and know the high energy. I know people do this, but I just don't know how. Do we leave it in the kennel outside while we are at work? If so, how do we keep it from barking all day long? Do we leave it in a crate in the house?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
Labs, as I am sure you know, are very sociable dogs and don't tend to do well outdoors. They are FAR happier inside the house with the family. Personally, I think 8-9 hours is too long to leave a pet dog in a kennel outdoors for. Leaving a dog for a few hours in a secure kennel is ok IMO, but not for 8-9 hours. I'm not sure how a breeder or rescue shelter would feel about this arrangement. I know the rescue I volunteer for would NOT adopt a dog out to someone who intends to leave the dog kenneled outside all day.
A much safer option is a crate inside the house. Of course, then you still have the issue of a dog being locked away for 8-9 hours. Although some people do this successfully each working day, others, like me, don't believe it is fair to lock an animal up for this amount of time on a daily basis. If you did this you would have to have someone come in and break up the time with a walk or long play session -- hiring a dog walker or pet sitter. Also, bear in mind that an 8 week old puppy can only hold it for an hour or two at the most -- no way can they last an 8-9 hour stretch without pottying. You would have to have someone come in every few hours to let the pup...unless you have some very nice family/friends/neighbours, you might struggle to get anyone to do this.
If I was in your situation I would think about an adult dog. If you are looking for a hunting dog, have you tried contacting some working breeders? sometimes working breeders sell partly trained adult dogs for hunting. Most likely, these dogs would be used to being kenneled outdoors. So while a putting a pup outdoors for 8-9 hours a day might not be such a good idea, an adult dog that has already been kenneled should adapt just fine.
You can get a puppy but you would have to make arrangements for the puppy to be let out for potty breaks every couple of hours at first. We were lucky that my SU could take some time of from work when we got Molly. 8-9 hours is way too long to let a puppy go without a potty break. We also hired a pet sitter to come & let Molly out when he went back to work.
Personally, I would not leave a puppy outside in a kennel that long.
If you can't make arrangements to let the puppy out I would look into getting an older lab. There are days when we both are at work 8 hours & the girls do fine. But Molly is old enough & behaved enough to have run of the house. Abby still must be crated when we are at work. Good luck.
I was in the same situation when I got Jasper and I agree with Trickster that 8 to 9 hours outside on their own is not good.
I had a special crate made for Jasper inside the house so that he had plenty of room to move around and a friend let him out every week at midday for me, Even this isn't ideal as he was still on his own for four hours ( enough time to wreck the kitchen by moving the crate around as well ) but it worked for me and him.
If you make arrangements for someone to let the pup out several times a day (and not in a kennel outside), and have the energy and time to put into getting a lab, then I say go for it. If not, don't waste your time.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Just make sure SO is on board as well just in case they have to care for it a majority of time. Lots of nice dogs in the rescue network.
A guy at work was telling me how his dad's lab was hyper so he gave it back. The same co worker had went on how he and his kids wanted a rabbit so they bought one of those indoor pet rabbits. 3 months later his wife is a humane society trying to drop it off. HS said they don't take rabbits but wife said either way she is leaving it.
Personally I have given up my social life, spending wknds at cottage and traveling for my two labbies.
Just remember they become part of the family not just a fixture.