Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rhode Island
Submit Photo: 1
Photo Submissions 3 Times in 3 Posts
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.
~Kat, Clover, CDX RN NA NAJ, & AKC/UKC Ch. William
People in the dog show world know me as Karen, but the rest of the world knows me & I will introduce myself as Kat... I've been showing dogs longer than I've had the nickname, and the nickname is not new!