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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Havanese Alone Time

Hi, my wife and I have been researching dogs for when we (hopefully someday) get one. We both really like Havanese.

One issue with this breed is alone time. We both work seven hours a day. Is it possible for a Havanese to be left alone for this amount of time five days a week? Do any of you guys have a similar schedule and make it work? Any info/opinion is appreciated.

Let me also say that taking the dog to a doggie day care would not be a possibility, as we probably would not be able to afford that.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:38 PM
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I have worked full time away from home and many people do. Not everyone can be home or work from home. However, I always had more than one dog, so they kept each other company. It's also hard to be away all day in the beginning if you get a puppy. An older dog might be a better option. Also, if you know anyone in the neighborhood that you trust, you might have someone come in to walk the dog in the middle of the day.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, pjewel. It would certainly be an "only dog".

I am just doing research at the moment, but I would not want to get a dog if I couldn't give it a good quality of life. If being away from it for seven hours a day is too much, then I simply wouldn't get that type of dog, or wouldn't get a dog at all.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:38 AM
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i know lots of hav owners who don't leave their dogs for extended periods of time and others who do. i leave mine at a max of 5 hours (this is by my choice however) but i work for myself and am either at home or at the office which is 10 minutes away so it's very easy for me to go home for lunch, etc.

i also have a friend who is a teacher and leaves her hav. for 8-9 hours. a friend of mine has a Bichon and she works 12 hour shifts, she has had a dog walker since day one who comes and walks her dog and also returns for a few potty breaks. i think the key is to be realistic with your "life schedule" and figure out solutions for your dog before you get one. have you considered 2 havanese? i wish we would have gotten 2 from the get go. it's always nice having a buddy while your owners are away for the day.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 08:49 AM
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I work full time. I also have the luxury of working 10 minutes from home, so I can pop home at lunch time, but when things get busy, that can't always happen, so they are alone a little over 9 hours. If things are going badly at work, it's been more hours than that, though not often.

I do have two, now, but I only had one for a long time. He did fine - I can see that he's happier with a buddy, but I had no major issues.

There are two problems with dogs home for extended periods.
One is asking a dog to hold its bladder for so long, but, that's actually easy for this breed, as many people use an indoor dog potty.
The second is harder: making sure you are meeting the emotional/psychological needs of the dog. To be honest, I think you can be home all day and still not do this! Dogs, even small ones, need exercise, socialization, time with their people, training, general attention. If you are committed to doing this in your non-work hours, it can work, with the right dog. A nice walk before work, breakfast frozen into a bone to keep them occupied for a little while after you leave, another nice walk when you get home, a little bit of practice training and going to obedience class once a week (helps with manners AND bonding!), and lots of snuggle time.

In a lot of ways, it can become a series of small compromises. Drive an extra 20 minutes to go to the dog-friendly beach instead. Go out to eat Saturday night instead of Friday when you've all ready been gone all day. Maybe you can work into your budget to do doggy day care once a week, so they can have some social time. Maybe after a basic manners class, you find yourself interested in a sport like Rally or Agility - even if you never compete, the classes are fun and are great for you and the dog.

I think never leaving a dog alone actually cases problems (there will be times that this is unavoidable, and then it's a big deal), but they are companion dogs. If you need to shoot for quality over quantity, it can work.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:02 AM
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I second everything Kat says.

It helps to have a buddy for your dog. I have a very social, playful cat. They are actually best friends and totally keep each other occupied.

If you can come home at lunch, it's ideal, but make sure you give your pup lots of attention when you are home. The hardest part is when they are puppies and they just can't hold their bladder that long. You really can't leave them crated for more than 3-4 hrs. At 1 yr, my pup has no problems holding his bladder. Even if I'm home all day, sometimes he goes 10 hrs without signalling that he wants go outside (esp if it's really cold).

I work full time, but manage to do doggie daycare once a week, dogpark after work 1 day a week, then for at least 1-2 hrs on weekend days. We've had a lot of fun doing agility classes (even though I've got no intention of competing). And there's daily long walks, training and games as well. I think my pup is quite happy. But your non-work life really should be focused on the dog.

I do doggie daycare on the days I know it's going to be 12+ hrs (ie work and then evening booked). My pup is so tired from playing all day, he barely moves from the couch post-daycare. A couple times when my evening got shortened and I came home early, I couldn't get him to fetch or play games even with him favorite treats. Most folks around me with small dogs and full time jobs spring for daycare once a week and plenty of dogpark time. It's a worthwhile expense.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:14 AM
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I am home with my 2 Havanese but my daughter has 1 Havanese that is 4 years old and she and her husband have worked outside the home since the dog was a puppy with no problems. However, I am trying to persuade her to get another just for the company they provide each other.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rzj386 View Post
Thanks, pjewel. It would certainly be an "only dog".

I am just doing research at the moment, but I would not want to get a dog if I couldn't give it a good quality of life. If being away from it for seven hours a day is too much, then I simply wouldn't get that type of dog, or wouldn't get a dog at all.
If you can't have more than one dog, can't do doggy day care or can't have a dog walker come in to spend time with the dog in the middle of the day (which also can be expensive) I don't think a Hav is the right animal for you. I actually think it would be unfair for any dog.

Have you considered a cat? Cats sleep about 20 hours a day, and can be very good company for a working couple in the evenings. The whole time my husband and I worked full time we had first one cat and eventually two. They were great pets! We still have one cat along with our Hav.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Krandall - I get what you are saying.

What does everyone think about a Havanese alone with a cat for seven hours a day? I have had dogs and cats that have gotten along great in the past.

FYI - I'm not on the verge of getting a pet. This decision would not even come for another year or so. Just doing preliminary research after spending some time with a friend's Coton de Tulear (which seem like a slightly more expensive version of a Havanese).
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rzj386 View Post
Krandall - I get what you are saying.

What does everyone think about a Havanese alone with a cat for seven hours a day? I have had dogs and cats that have gotten along great in the past.

FYI - I'm not on the verge of getting a pet. This decision would not even come for another year or so. Just doing preliminary research after spending some time with a friend's Coton de Tulear (which seem like a slightly more expensive version of a Havanese).
There are several people on the board who have cats who are great friends with their Havs. If you can get the right cat, that might be a great idea. That said, cats are not all alike... Our cat HATES our dog and won't give him the time of day... Just a swat on the nose. I don't think she's very good company for him!


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