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Raising a pup

 
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Kodi
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Joined: 05 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: 02/05/04, 3:18 pm    Post subject: Raising a pup Reply with quote

Hi everyone - Im new to this board and wondered if you good people can offer some advice. I have had my heart set on getting a GWP pup for some time now. My question is, I live alone and am away at work for approx 9 hours a day. I have had several dogs in the past, all of which were rescues and managed fine to be left while I was at work. Unfortunately my commute is too long to allow me to come home at lunch. I do have friends and neighbours nearby who could take a pup out for his/her business at lunch time but I dont want to impose on them on an ongoing basis.

If I was to get a pup I was thinking I could take several weeks of vacation time followed by several weeks of working half days so the pup could get adjusted to my time away. I have also heard that a dog can be left for 1 hour for every month which means it really wouldnt be right to leave him for a full work day until he is 9 months old. I currently have an elderly dog who loves everything and everybody so I think she would be nice company but she won't be around forever.

After work I am very active and always take my dog with me when visiting friends etc.

If any of you have some advice or can share some of your experiences having been in a similar situation I would love to hear from you. I am sure I am not the only single person who has thought about getting a pup.

Thanks all - Kodi
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KYSER
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: 02/05/04, 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kodi,
I dont think the answer is to take time off to let you dog get older before crating that long. He/she wont learn your routine if you are home for several weeks with him. I picked my pup on a friday, that gave him three days to get somewhat familiar with his new home and then it was daily routine as usual. I do have the luxuray of coming home at lunch so he is never crated over four hours. I have even gone to the trouble of driving 40 miles one way to let him out then return the 40 miles to the function.
I made a decision not to leave my pup crated over four hours without being let out. My decision was not made from a great knowledge of dogs but just what I thought was reasonable. My lab used to be left 8-10 hours with no problems but she was uncrated in the house. I dont know if I'll ever trust my wire alone out of his crate. Find a responsible teen to let him out for some pocket money.
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mike
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Joined: 04 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: 02/06/04, 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want a GWP that's great but I would suggest spending some time with one. I currently have a 7 month old that weights 65lbs and can kiss an adult on the mouth he never stops jumping strait up and is realy affectionate. I have had to puppy proof my house and move anything that would break if hit with a 60 lb pillow. I would seriously suggest spending time with one of these dogs before getting one.

My other suggestion would be a rescue... find a dog that is older which would be easier to potty train, you would be saving one of these dogs and would not have to feel bad about leaving it for a while. Our dog can go for 6 1/2 hrs but only has to hold it for about 5 while my wife is at school. Over the comming summer he will have to make it 12 hrs but this will be in an outside kennel a realy nice 8x8 I've been working on will have central heat and air by then. Good luck and hope you find a dog.
Michael
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Anne
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
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Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: 02/09/04, 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nine hours is a long time for a dog. Not to mention any errands, social engagements, activities etc. you have on top of that. (Perhaps a date now and again Wink

Your new puppy won't be able to hold it 9 hours until she is 8-10 months old. Secondly, that much time in isolation is likely to lead to undesirable behaviors such as destructive chewing and incessant barking. Remember, dogs are pack animals and isolation is hard on them. (Some do take it better than others). In the wild it is not unusual for a dog to go from birth to death without ever spending one minute alone.

If there is a doggie daycare center in your area and you can afford to bring the pup there that might be an alternative.

If you cannot, I would have to dissuade you from going with such an active breed at this time. I fear it would be a struggle rather than a joy for both of you. There may be a more aloof breed with minimal exercise requirements. However, with the lifestyle you describe it think it would be tough to have any dog. Even if you could do it do you really have the time and energy to train and socialize a dog once you get home? Remember, large breed puppies need about two hours of aerobic activity a day. Also this breed to quote Bernie “needs to be socialized up the wazoo”. Do you have time to take the dog anywhere and everywhere to expose it to the world? They should meet at least 100 people (for your average dog, I’d shoot for 500 with a Wire) by the time they are 12 weeks old. After that the socialization needs to be maintained or fear aggression can result. Trust me, look at all the posts about fear aggression on this board.

I hate to be so blunt but I work every day with families and individuals who have heartbreaking problems due to the lack of attention and stimulation their dogs get. It usually comes down to the person making tremendous career/life sacrifices for the dog or the dog developing all kinds of behavior problems and potentially having to be re-homed or worse… I would really encourage you to be honest with yourself about the quality of life you can give a dog and the quality of life the dog can give you. It is tough from an emotional standpoint, I know, but the day will probably come when you can give a dog a great life. Think of now as your planning phase.
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Bizmark
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Joined: 17 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: 02/10/04, 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kodi--

I have to take a different approach and disagree (somewhat) with what has been written. If you really want a GWP pup you just need to invest the time necessary in having one.

I currently have a 7month old male GWP and am in a similar situation you are in. I work 8-9 hours a day and do not have anyone to let the dog out during the day. When I first got Bizmark(9weeks), I drove home (20 Min) at lunch every day and walked him(20 Min) and drove back(another 20 min) thus taking my whole lunch hour. after a couple of months of this, he was able to make it the whole day until I got home (around 5 months old)

This worked for me for several reasons. Before I leave for work I take him on a hour walk and another hour walk as soon as I get home. When he was 12 weeks old I also enrolled him ina pupy socialization class and I spend a lot of time playing with him every night. The result is I now have a 7 month old, 55lbs, lap dog who is affeciate, does not chew destructively and has never barked in the 5 months I have had him. He stays in his crate for 8-9 hours and is excited about our walk when I walk in the door.

Do not be disuaded by your circumstances, getting Bizmark was one of the best decisions I have made and he is a loyal companion and future hunting partner. we go to the dog park every weekend and I take him everywhere I go.

Hope this helps.
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Anne
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Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: 02/10/04, 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bizmark (and Kodi)-

To be clear, being single and working full time, and having a dog can certainly be done and done very well. It does take tremendous commitment, however. It sounds like you have enough experience with dogs to know what you're getting into.

If you are truly willing to make your dog your top priority outside of work (which it sounds like you are), and are able to really integrate the dog into the rest of your life you certainly could give a dog a very nice life (which it sounds like you have done for others).

There are a lot of resources for busy people with dogs. You could get a dog walker or bring your dog to a doggy daycare center. Your dog can come with you on more errands than you would think. I bring my dog to Home Depot, Best Buy, most any store that does not sell food. I go to coffee shops that allow dogs. Depending on where you live some cities are much more dog friendly than others and that can make a big difference.

If you truly understand what your dog needs to have a good quality of life (and understand the impacts to you and the dog if they do not) and feel you can devote the time, energy and money needed, go for it! There are a lot of dogs that need good homes. Work with a reputable breeder or rescue group and let them help you find the dog that is the best fit for your situation.

Best of luck to you!
Keep us posted!
Anne
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Illona
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 02/11/04, 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Anne on this one. A GWP pup is a LOT of work. My last dog was an active terrier/beardie cross, but even HE didn't prepare me for this GWP girl of mine. We got her out of rescue at approx. 7 months old, and even though I work out of my home and am with her pretty much 24/7, she was a handful. Her exercise needs are huge, and she needs to be off-leash. (She's now 2 yrs old.) I've had to revamp my schedule and my thinking, my training, and even dietary approaches because of her high-energy and need for mental stimulation.

If you can find a doggie daycare that can take your pup on a daily basis while you're at work, fine. But otherwise, I'd HIGHLY advise you to check out some of the rescues available on petfinder.com. There are lots there. I'm not sure where you are located, but there is a HUGELY handsome lad right now in Catlett, VA. A 4-yr-old boy, settled and already house-trained, loves women, and just a little gunshy. I'm all the way up in Canada, and if I had the room for a 2nd I'd be making the drive to VA tomorrow!

Please consider looking into a rescue.

Illona
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