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Leaving a Dog alone....How long is too long?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Leaving a Dog alone....How long is too long?

    This is the question that tends to get people a little heated. I work, like most adults, and I have to leave my dog alone. Currently its in his bed but we have plans for an indoor/outdoor dog run or kennel. The issue is that I work at a hospital and most full time positions are 12 hour shifts (I'm working 5 days 8 hours now). He will have access to the fenced in back yard, climate controlled shelter, food and water. Am I horrible to think that he would be fine 3 days a week 12 hours at a time?

  2. #2
    Do you live alone? If so, and I don't mean this to offend you or anything, but why did you get a dog when your job requires so much time?

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    It depends on the dog. Smaller dogs have smaller bladders, and they might not be able to hold it for as long as a big dog could. My dog is about 80 pounds, and he is good for about 9 hours alone, and a couple of times he has been alone for 12-13 hours without having any accidents, but in those cases, he had to go pretty badly by the time I got home.

    Until you get the dog run set up, could you hire a dog walker to take him out once a day, or maybe get a friend or family member to stop by in the middle of the day to take him out? I've hired my friends kids, nieces, and nephews to take my dog out when I was working a lot of overtime. They think it's great fun to be able to come over and take the dog out, and they don't cost as much as a professional dog-walker.

  4. #4
    I would never leave a dog alone for that long of a time consistently. They get bored and lonely and it is not much of a life. At least get another dog to play with, but honestly, I would consider a cat instead.

  5. #5
    My friend owns a dog and whenever they are going to be away from the home for awhile, I go over and spend time with their dog. It's not good to leave dogs alone all day everyday. They just lay there and don't get their exercise or sense of well-being. And in some cases when the owner does get home they still dont make time for the dog.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessid1227 View Post
    This is the question that tends to get people a little heated. I work, like most adults, and I have to leave my dog alone. Currently its in his bed but we have plans for an indoor/outdoor dog run or kennel. The issue is that I work at a hospital and most full time positions are 12 hour shifts (I'm working 5 days 8 hours now). He will have access to the fenced in back yard, climate controlled shelter, food and water. Am I horrible to think that he would be fine 3 days a week 12 hours at a time?
    When I was working, I could leave my dog alone, with free-run of the house for up to a 10 hour shift. However, the dog was paper trained along being yard trained. So, I could leave newspapers down in my basement laundry room, and if he needed to, he had a place to go. What do you mean by he's in his bed? If he's confined to a kennel, then that's another story, I would not agree with that situation at all. You're not horrible, but if it were me, I'd have a neighbor check in with the dog, let him out, give him a treat and some lovin', just MHO.

  7. #7
    Fortunately we are able to provide access to the indoors and outside through dog doors so in the event we are unable to be home it is possible for them to get out as needed and to get some general exercise. Not everyone has that option though. When we lived elsewhere we did not go past 4 hours at a time alone.

  8. #8
    Well this dog seems to me to have a very nice home. You obviously care a lot about its welfare which is more than can be said for a lot of pet owners. Climate controlled shelter!!!!!! It sounds better than where I live!

  9. #9
    I have a 7 year old German Shepperd and from my experience the most I can leave her is 10 hours. If you have a crate they most likely will not go the washroom on themselves. If you don't put them in a crate they are more likely to go the bathroom somewhere in the house. An option for you is to get pee pads and train your dog on how to use them so there aren't accidents in the house. I don't like to leave her for more than 8 hours but when you work sometimes you have to. Crates work, get one that is way too big for them so they have some space, pee pads or doggsitter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Florida
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    My dogs have gone (not a lot!) 12 hours. One does stay in a big crate (she chews up everything) the other 2 have free range. The one who is free does not potty in the house at all the other i have trained to go in the shower (travel a lot with her, so want her to use it if she needs to in a hotel) I have bleach next to it so when i get home i pick up or washed down and spray with bleach. all i did to get her to do that is, when i took her outside i told her to "go potty" when she did she got a treat (she had to learn that so she wont go in the ring) once she understands what it means and goes when i tell her to, I out put her in the shower and tell her to go. She was 4 months when she learned that. I love it, when it rains and the dogs wont go out in the "acid" rain falling down she will in there (now she has the cat going in there) But I would say no more then 12 hours and i would not even make it once a week for that. if i think i will be more then 12 or if i can get family to let them out.

    -Bekki
    Alice, Darby, Freckles & Mugen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    South Wales, UK
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    I agree with several87 - if you work such long hours why did you get a dog? A dog will not cope being left for that long, regularly - they are social animals that require attention, training and exercise. My current foster has been handed in at 5months old because his owner worked 8/9 hours a day (plus travel time) 5 days a week and couldn't cope. The puppy was barking while she was out causing her neighbours to complain, becoming destructive and house training was going no where. He's been with me 4 days now, and is nearly perfectly house trained already and is not destroying anything or barking.

  12. #12
    I think here in Sweden the law says you can't leave them alone for more than 4-5 hours, but i'm not sure. Anyway, my personal opinion is that they shouldn't be left alone for more than an hour or two. If you can't bring your dog with you wherever you're going, and you can't find anyone to take care of it while you're away - well then maybe you shouldn't have a dog.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Idaho
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    40
    My 2 boys are alone 5 to 6 hours a day...tops. The big one used to have separation anxiety but got over it. They do well but any longer than that and I get concerned.

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