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Old 02-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 3,303

Originally Posted by Detox View Post
At the moment neither my wife nor I can make it home at lunch, but there is an abundance of dog walkers in our area.
This isn't fair to the dog, is it? That's like telling a child that, "It's OK, I won't have time to see you today but someone else will." Do you want your dog to look forward to seeing you or do you want her to look forward to seeing the dog walker?

Originally Posted by Detox View Post
I know and understand that leaving a puppy home alone during the day while you are at work is not ideal. However, isn't it a little over protective to imply it's not an option?
You're putting your interests too far ahead of the puppy's. Ask yourself this: What is best for the dog? You're justifying leaving the dog in a crate for 8 hours/day with two 30 minute breaks so you can enjoy its company when you come home. You're forgetting that you get to go out, work, interact with people, and keep yourself occupied. Your dog will essentially have to sit in a cage and wait for you all day.

Originally Posted by Detox View Post
I can assure you that the puppy will get an insane amount of love in the evenings and on weekends. Also, our area is the 'doggy capital' of the city so socializing the dog will not be difficult at all.
Dogs aren't cell phones: "evenings and weekends." They're lifetime companions and should be treated as such.

Originally Posted by Detox View Post
For those of you who raised your puppy from 8 weeks (which seems to be the average time a breeder gives them up) and we're able to come home only at lunch. How did it go? What was your experience?
We both work full time and have insane schedules. We adopted Herschel at 8 weeks last summer when things were a little bit more relaxed. We wouldn't go to work until 10 a.m., then we would come home every couple of hours for the first week. As he got older, we would take him to the park from 8:30 until 10 and play with him until he was too tired to move, take him home, and gate him into the kitchen from 10 until 1. We would come home for an hour or an hour and a half for lunch and wear him out again, then crate him until 5.

As he got older and completely potty trained, we started stretching the hours. On some days, he would be alone from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. in the morning, then from 3:30 until 6 in the evening. That is pretty close to 8 hours. He was allowed free roam of the living room and he was fine for the most part, but he did rip up some carpet and chew up one wall. That's fine--its our fault for allowing him to do it.

It didn't take us long to figure out that we were putting our schedules in front of Herschel's needs. It isn't fair. He loves us so much and we were making him secondary to work, of all things.

Now, at 10 months, we have the happiest dog in the world. On Mondays and Wednesdays, one (or both) of us stays home with him until 10 or 11 and takes him to the park for some serious games of fetch, followed by long walks, and then more fetch. Then, he is left alone until 5. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he goes to Doggy Daycare from 8:30 to 2, then he is home from 2:30 until 7:30. On Friday, he is at Daycare from 7:30 until 2, and at home from 2:30 until 5:30.

Our Doggy Daycare works like this: A professional agility trainer (Mach2 and Mach1, has shown at Westminster, etc.) supervises the dogs constantly. She is never out of the room. Thus, the dogs are allowed to play all day. They have private rooms for the dogs if they get tired and want to take a nap. (We trust them--she is also our obedience and agility trainer) When Herschel comes home in the afternoon, he happily runs to his crate to take a nap.

Now that we've figured out a way to keep Herschel's mind busy, he is so much happier. He listens to commands when they are given once, he doesn't touch anything that isn't "his", and he is overall a happier dog.

If you or your partner can't come home for lunch and daycare isn't an option, you might want to consider holding off until your schedule is more accommodating.
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