Want a puppy, but live alone/working days

  1. Hey guys.

    So I'm in my first year as an RN, BSN in a town five hours from home. I'm living alone for the first time ever in a good sized apartment (~800 sqft). I'm really wanting to find an Australian shepherd puppy, but I'm not sure what to do during the days when I'm at work for 12 hours. My bedroom connects to my bathroom so I've thought about providing her/him plenty of food/water and a place to potty in the bathroom with lots of toys for entertainment while I'm at work. There are no doggy day cares near my apartment that cater to the nursing schedule. Everyone opens after I leave for work and close before I'd be able to pick them up. Also living alone makes me nervous having someone have a copy of my housekeep and come in my home during the day.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for what I could do? I don't want t get the puppy/dog until I have a pretty solid plan, because I know making them stay in a kennel holding their potty needs all day would be very cruel.
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    About aubsn

    Joined: Aug '17; Posts: 40; Likes: 15
    from US

    23 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Even with a place for pottying, it would be really neglectful, borderline cruel, to leave a young puppy alone for 12+ hours a day (even with "lots of toys"). Dogs are social, pack animals. Have you thought about an adult dog that would be better able to tolerate being alone all day? Or waiting until you're in a different situation to get a dog? If you really want a pet, cats are much lower maintenance and much better at staying by themselves.

    Also, entirely apart from relieving itself, an active dog like an Australian shepherd needs long periods of exercise every day, including the days you're working. Are you going to be able to work that into your schedule? Do you want to work that into your schedule?

    Best wishes.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    1. A puppy is not a good idea when you work 12s.
    2. An Australian Shepherd is not a good idea when you work 12s and live in an 800 sq ft apartment without any outdoor space for said pup to roam.

    Consider adopting an adult rescue if you wish for canine company. It would do both of you good and be a better fit for your life at this juncture in time.
  5. by   not.done.yet
    You could also consider doggie daycare, but that is probably pretty expensive....
  6. by   Mavrick
    Quote from not.done.yet
    1. A puppy is not a good idea when you work 12s.
    2. An Australian Shepherd is not a good idea when you work 12s and live in an 800 sq ft apartment without any outdoor space for said pup to roam.

    Consider adopting an adult rescue if you wish for canine company. It would do both of you good and be a better fit for your life at this juncture in time.
    This person has NO concept of caring for an animal.
  7. by   Mavrick
    Quote from not.done.yet
    1. A puppy is not a good idea when you work 12s.
    2. An Australian Shepherd is not a good idea when you work 12s and live in an 800 sq ft apartment without any outdoor space for said pup to roam.

    Consider adopting an adult rescue if you wish for canine company. It would do both of you good and be a better fit for your life at this juncture in time.
    Superior advice from this poster for you to get a mature dog. A cat is a much better choice for spending time alone in a small apartment.
    Last edit by Mavrick on Dec 27, '17 : Reason: Clarify who has the better concept of caring for a dog.
  8. by   Leedeedee
    I have a local woman who picks up my dog in the morning, looks after her in her own home, and drops her off early evening while I'm working. You don't have to have a local official doggy daycare to have that sort of arrangement, though you would have to trust them with your key, unless you could drop off and pick up yourself. Look out for advertisements or advertise yourself. Expect it to be fairly expensive though.

    An older rescue dog would be much easier as they're far less likely to eat your furniture and leave presents around your apartment whilst alone.
  9. by   jodispamodi
    I worked nights when my current dog was a puppy, and I worked about an hour away from where I lived. I made arrangements with a local boarding kennel(not doggie daycare) to keep her there on the nights I worked as she initially had separation anxiety, then gradually I trained her out of separation anxiety and she stayed at home when I was at work 3 8hr shifts). Adult dogs can hold their bladder for longer periods of time, when I'm home we go for long walks usually 4 to 6miles, then I take her out every 4 hours to pee, I consider the time I'm at work as "bedtime" because during my sleeptime I wouldn't be getting up in the middle of the night to take her out anyway. My vet said there is no problem with this. My dog is trained to pee and poop on command so when where not on a walk, its super easy to take her out, no walking around looking for the perfect spot.
    Also some pet sitters may take the dog into there own home to care for it, rather than coming to your home (I don't do this for my own personal reasons), On occasion, travel assignments, long commutes, I have made arrangements with boarding kennels to keep my dog there and they have been more than willing to let us in early, or let me pick her up late (My dog doesnt go to daycare as she is reactive), and its been affordable, plus my dog almost always get extra attention from the staff. (she is reactive to dogs but loves people)
    I think having a puppy is doable you just have to think outside the box as far as arrangements go, as an adult it gets easier but you still have to plan accordingly, for long shifts, overtime, etc. Good luck
  10. by   jodispamodi
    just to add... "toys for entertainment won't work with a puppy or likely adult dog, usually the dog needs someone to stimulate him to play with the toys, intelligent breeds, working breeds, herding breeds etc tend to get bored when home alone, when they get bored they do things to alleviate the boredom, those things include: excessive barking, destructive chewing (never the things you WANT them to chew,but things like shoes, furniture, rugs, walls, jewelry, electric cords), also scratching doors and floors, developing self soothing behaviors such as scratching bloody holes in themselves, excessive licking, excessive peeing or pooping, attempting to escape the apt...
    Remember that in order to leave a dog home alone that dog needs to be trained to be home alone, and that can take months... I don't advocate leaving a dog in a crate, all my dogs have always had free roam of my house but they've been trained for it.
    As far as getting a rescue dog, thats wonderful but don't have the assumption that you can get one one and just leave it home, alot of rescue dogs have separation anxiety and other behaviors that need work, its very similar to getting a puppy in that you need to figure out what they can tolerate and what they can't.
    Thats just mho from the top of my head, I also worked in humane LE for a long time and this is coming from my experience.
    I hope your able to get your dog, but just remember there is a HUGE amount of work that goes into it, and some of the destructive behaviors I mentioned above if they happen can result in massive vet bills and/or very problematic relations with your neighbors and landlord.
  11. by   KBurns775
    We use a local daycare, but have also used house sitting services from Rover.com.

    Our daycare is around $300 per month and we drop off 5 days a week. Rover is more expensive sometimes, but we mostly use it for date nights when the daycare option is closed.

    Just be sure you're able to give the pup a great life with a great pack of support! Our dog is super attached to family and people, so he doesn't fair well on his own. We learned that the hard way and we weren't initially prepared for the added expense.

    That being said, having a dog has been a wonderful change for us and I'm glad we were able to make it work! Best of luck with your decision!
  12. by   glowbug
    This is slightly off topic but.....how is it possible that you can afford an 800 sq ft apartment as a new grad alone? I have been looking for a new place to stay, but every place is running over $1000 a month for a just a studio under 500 sq ft, where I live.
  13. by   Irish_Mist
    Do not get an Australian Shepherd if you don't have the time or means to exercise this dog. They are working breeds and they need plenty of space and activities to be happy. Unless you can find some sort of caregiver that will take care of this dog in your absences, this is a recipe for disaster.
  14. by   canoehead
    In the OPs situation I would get a pair of litter mate kittens, and train them to a harness and leash. Two kittens get into less trouble than one alone.

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