31st May 2012, 08:25 PM
So the petsitter would definitely be a good idea?
31st May 2012, 09:22 PM
Originally Posted by Tiffany103
Yeah I think.
Personally, I wouldn't get a young puppy if I wasn't able to bring it to work with me or be home with it. Not giving a puppy proper socialization, can really effect a dog for life. I used to work with rescue beagles its was the REAL problem behind most of the ones I fostered. Yes, I brought foster dogs to work with me too, sometimes 3 of them. I'm sure a lot of people on CT can and have worked fulltime and raised a great cavalier puppy too. But you have to work out it really hard.
You may want to consider getting an older cavalier or even 2 older rescue cavaliers. I see them all the time and placing them is sometimes hard because they come as a pair. You could take a week off work to spend with the dogs at first then you could have a dog walker come in half way thur the day and that should work.
31st May 2012, 11:03 PM
Not sure of your age or home situation from your posts and maybe much of this doesn't apply. But generally to take a responsible approach: I think that you need to think through, very honestly, whether now is a good time to get a dog, both for you, and for the dog. You are in a very challenging ownership situation if you live alone, rent (?), work all day and are too far away to come home midday, every day. There are ways to approach this but they are generally costly and mean you really would need to give a major commitment out of all the rest of your free time to your dog -- which can quickly grow tiresome and frustrating for active people with lots of friends who like to get out and socialise.
Personally I wouldn't advise rescue dogs -- they tend to need more time than the average adult rehomed by a good breeder and many will have housetraining issues, and also need a person there because of the situations they come from. Most rescue would not home a dog to the working and home situation you are currently in as it would be hard on the dog and would take a lot of trust that that home could make the necessary sacrifices to provide an adequate home life. Most responsible breeders would not place a puppy to such a situation either and that is likely to be a challenge as well. A six month old would still need housetraining and can be quite destructive.
I'd be asking myself: is it a good quality of life for a dog to spend every day with someone else? Do you want someone in your home, alone, every single day? Have you considered the cost (which would I think, be prohibitive unless you are paid more than I earn! )? How would you vet the person (how experienced with dogs? Training qualifications? Training approach?)? The reality is that there's no way you could housetrain a dog yourself if out every day for an 8 hour job (plus commute). The petsitter would have to be both a trainer and a housetrainer as you won't be there for all the bonding time and training and socialising that is essential for a young dog or for an adult. (what is the petsitter going to do all day? They'd need to be doing dog activities. If you just mean someone to stop in to walk the dog -- that's still a pretty long, lonely day for a dog and you are likely to have house accidents and where will the dog be all day that is safe and humane (eg not a crate all day)? Will you dogproof the house? What f the dog barks, as often happens, out of boredom and frustration? And neighbours complain?). Even if you don't opt for a puppy, you will need to spend time housetraining a young dog or an adult. A rescue dog may not be reliable for months, if ever (I have one that will never be fully housetrained because of her previous life as a kenneled breeding dog).
Then the other consideration is: how will you portion out your time after work and weekends? As is, your dog would only get a few hours in the evenings with you -- so maybe 4-5 hours a day max. How active is your social life with friends/family/partner? Are you going to be able to make a commitment to your dog every night after work and then full weekends or will it be left alone or with a petsitter frequently then as well? Are you willing to give up spontaneous activities with friends that might take more than a couple of hours? Rearrange what you do to be dog-inclusive? What happens if your dog is ill and a petsitter doesn't really want to manage that illness?
Will you be renting or do you have your own home? Finding rentals that will take dogs is a serious challenge over the decade+ a dog will live. If renting, what happens if you have to move out of one place and can't find a suitable new place within your moving timeframe?
For a lot of people, these are questions never thought about in advance of getting a dog. One of the main reasons dogs end up in pounds and rescue is owners who work all day find they end up with a destructive, barking problem dog as they are social and need interaction and activity during the day; or their landlord decides they cannot keep a dog or they can't find a place that will take a dog. "The dog deserves someone who can give her more time," was probably the number one reason people handed over their cavaliers to me when I did rescue. But it would have been easy for folks to realise this if people took the time to honestly assess their life situation before going and getting a dog (often with the idea that the dog is a lot more passive, clean, quiet and undemanding than any living dog actually is! ). A dog is extremely interactive, and really is not the right choice unless people can give that time. It is very demanding and does mean significant changes to one's lifestyle. I had two cats for years before I decided to change my work schedule, reduce work travel and work primarily from home -- and get a dog as I could give a dog (now, dogs!) my time.
I would not get a petsitter -- you will end up with a bored, poorly socialised dog. I'd ony get a dog in your situation 1) if you have a great doggie daycare with qualified trained staff where the dog could go each or most days and 2) if you can make that major commitment for the rest of your time to focus on giving your dog the time and interaction you are unable to give it during the majority of its waking hours.
I do think many people don't realise how much time and effort a dog takes; nor the compromises -- hair everywhere; occasional poop/pee/vomit on things we like; occasional damage to items that we once had loved and valued; having to say 'no, I can't' to something you used to do with friends, because of the dog; cutting activities short because you have to get home to the dog, etc. For those reasons I think it is a real challenge to have a dog as a singleton for anyone under 30-35, even before other considerations come in.
Don't get me wrong -- for some, none of this matters (or people are willing to make the tradeoff), and they adjust their life around the needs of a dog. And they get back incredible rewards. But often realistically, even for those who would really love to have a dog and could do some or all of this, it makes more sense to wait to a time in life where fitting a dog in becomes a lot easier and the dog and the person get a better quality of life. Lots of factors to weigh up and see what fits where for you at the moment!
In memory: Lucy
31st May 2012, 11:43 PM
I'm actually not planning to get a Cav - or a pet of any kind, for that matter - for several years. This is all purely hypothetical, I'm trying to cover all my bases for if/when I do eventually get one. Right now I'm just graduating from high school. Not a good time to get a dog. I don't know what kind of hours I'll have when I get a permanent job sometime down the line, but I'm trying to see what I could do if, for example, I end up with a 9-5 or something. You know, you've got the money to support a dog, but not necessarily the opportunity to be home all day? Obviously if I was unemployed, I'd have all kinds of time to spend keeping an eye on the puppy, but I wouldn't have the money, so it wouldn't matter.
As far as social life, I would have zero problem with dedicating weekends/days off/mornings/evenings to the puppy. Pets are always my first priority, and I deal with plenty of mess and work with my two cats, so that's a nonissue. The only part that would be new to me is the training, walking and socialization for the puppy.
Thanks for the post, Karlin!