Hi, I am thinking of getting a lab, I have found a couple that are 5-6 months old but I am concerned about them. I live alone and am generally gone for most of the day (8-10 hours average). Will that be too cruel to dogs that young even if I give them more than "crate" space, something like half a kitchen or so to stay in during the day? If not will that hamper their house training? I have no intention of making it an outside dog. Should I consider getting an older one that may already be house broken even though I would dearly miss that nurturing, seeing them grow up, and getting to know each other from a young age part of raising a dog?
That's an awfully long time to be alone during the day. Can you hire a dog walker? They're pretty cheap.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
A Labrador Retriever is very energetic dog, but they also can stay in youre home when you at work or doing some serious shopping. But, 8-10 hours away is a verry long period if you should ask me
And yes, being alone is also a 'thing' they need to learn, so dont expect miracles from a youngster under the year of age
Maybe you should reconsidering of taking a dog in youre house/family ?
I was planning on getting a Doggie Door so he/she would at least have access to go outside whenever it felt like it. I think I can train it to do that in the first 3 weeks I have him/her since I will be on vacation
Its not clear to me from the first post if you are thinking about 2 dogs (5-6 month old puppies) at once or one.
If 2 - that is a challenge even if you are a stay at home person. Forget about 2 if you're going to be away for 8-10 hours a day.
If one - you'd need to get a dog walker or somehow relieve the boredom for this dog. They do sleep a lot during the day, but not that much.
An older dog - like 3 or older - would be a much better idea for you I think. Much more likely to be able to deal with the absence. . House trained, probably with some other commands learned as well. Plenty of fun years left.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
the doggy door MIGHT work but do not count on that as a solution. even some older dogs need to be crated for their safety (and your peace of mind). Some dogs bark too much when they are outside (even during the day this is a bad thing). Some find ways to escape (this is very common). Some dig up and mess up the yard or just get into trouble inside the house.
A doggy door MIGHT help.
Personally I think 8-9 hrs is fine for a dog 8 months and more BUT it means you will have to spend at least an hour exercise them to make up for all that time alone (on top of the training and other stuff).
A dog really is a lifestlyle when you are single and work. It means waking up 45 minutes earlier to exercise the dog before work (and feed) I have to pass up on after-work outings even though I live 10 mins from work because after 8-9 hours alone my dog deserves some of my time. Luckily because I live close I can go exercise him for an hour and meet up with people abit later. But if you do not live real close to work that may be very very hard. For me this is fine 98% of the time, it is worth it. But for otheres this is just too much of a sacrifice (and that is ok! it is definately not for everyone!)
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Most people that get dogs work full time and it's fine. I got Miles when he was 8 weeks old. We are gone 8:00 am until 5:30 pm. For the first 6 months, I had a dog walker come 2X per day. She lived close and was really cheap. Then, at 6 months, I dropped her visits to one mid-day potty break. At about the age of 1, I had her stop coming. Miles was always crated when unsupervised until he was 2. He was perfectly fine with this arrangement.
Having said that, it was fine but for those 2 years when he had to be crated when unsupervised, we rarely went anywhere after work. It just seemed unfair to make him be crated all day, then again in the evening when we went out. So, dinner dates for us for 2 years had to be on Saturday or Sunday night.
I introduced the crate by feeding him in it, and he always got a frozen kong when he went in the crate so he learned to associate the crate with good things early. Now, it is set up and open and he goes in it daily.
I will say, I would not buy (rescuing is another story) a 5 -6 month old puppy that isn't already trained to potty outside. You can expect a little retraining because of a different environment, but a puppy that old should be trained already.
Ann & Miles
MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
"Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1
Here's my 2 cents: I have always had two dogs, except for the months after Coco died. When we were ready for another dog I wanted an older dog because we still had our (then) 12 year old. Then I worried that we would get a puppy and when our 12 year old passed on the dog would be alone, so we got 2 puppies (great logic!) Two puppies are sometimes 4 times the work, but they entertain each other for hours at a time. If we both have long days, they are not alone. Certainly having multiple dogs is not a substitute for having their humans around, but it does keep them from being alone. The puppies are not crated when we are not home. We have restricted them to most of the downstairs and did our best to puppy proof the house. So far the dogs have been fine (a few throw rugs have been lost...). We have no problem with separation anxiety, no barking when we're gone (unless it's at another dog...) They have a doggy door and we have come home to a muddy mess (pool + dirt hill) but we have tile downstairs so it wasn't a concern. (They did not have access to the yard until they were good swimmers and could always get out of the pool, now they are part fish). As for getting an older dog - We got Riley when he was 5 months old. We had very little trouble house training him. He was still very much a puppy. Dogs are pack animals, if you are the only other member of the pack it's not fair to leave them alone too long. It may sound crazy to get two and it is more than twice the work, but for us it's perfect.
My lab boys: Krom (lab mix) 13 years old
Riley - ivory lab born 12-27-08
Boomer - white lab, born 4-3-09