raising a puppy by myself - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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raising a puppy by myself

I'm just thinking out loud right now but looking for opinions as well.
Growing up we always had dogs in the house. They had the run of the place and slept where ever they wanted and that's the way my dog will have it. The problem is I live alone and really want a dog of my own.
I know what it takes to teach a new dog the rules of the house but I'm gone about 14 hours a day. It's not going to be easy but my plans are to take a two week vacation when I bring the dog home to break him in and spend as much time training as I can. After that for time spent alone is to put in a doggie door with a build enclosure on the back porch with a potty mat in it. That way he'll be able to go outside to do his thing and when I'm home I'll let him out in the yard (which will be fenced in). This way he'll be safe and not be able to escape or worse. The other option is to place the mat in a downstairs walk in shower and enforce outdoor use when I'm home. Has anyone done something like this and if so how did it work? What are our thoughts on raising a puppy alone like this?
I've already had one breeder tell me that she wouldn't sell me a puppy because of my situation. I'm I asking to much, being unreasonable or can this be done all while raising a well behaved dog?

All opinions are welcome and I do want to hear them.
Thanks
Jim
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 01:32 PM
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I'm sorry but I don't think it sounds like a good set up for a puppy. If you're gone 14 hours a day (former shift worker here, I get it!) and then factor in time for you to sleep... That is at least 20 hours, yes? I think socialization and proper training would be close to impossible, and not really fair to a puppy.

Have you consider adopting an older adult dog ? That seems like it would be viable...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 03:13 PM
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A GSD puppy needs lot of time with you. Until my puppy was 7 months old, he did not go more than 4 hours without seeing me. (I drove home at lunch and literally spent 7 minutes letting him out to potty before driving back to work.) GSD have behavior issues when left alone too much--think destructive.

Maybe a really stable older dog would be a good match to your circumstances?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 04:10 PM
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not ideal for an adult dog either but you'd be a lot more successful with an adult or bonded pair which many rescues have from time to time. some dogs need to learn how to use a doggie door too, then making the connection to use it for relieving needs - none of that is automatic.

also have a plan in case your dog digs or barks or any other unacceptable behavior that you can't control while away that could affect their safety or sanity of your neighbors. access to the entire house is also not advisable initially.

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Last edited by Fodder; 11-14-2015 at 04:13 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 05:17 PM
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Hey Jim.

Can understand wanting a puppy but this is not a great situation. You are talking about a lonely existence for a social animal. Not right. Why not get involved with a shelter or rescue and just spend time with dogs in need when you can. That will feel good but won't stress a dog out needlessly.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 05:30 PM
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I agree with the others - this would be a sad life for a puppy. My daughter who is in PhD program wants a dog very much but put on her own brakes saying it would not be fair to a dog because she knows how much time we spent with them when she was growing up.

You know, she was never a cat person but wound up with Momo the cat and it works out really well. She have even taught the cat some tricks. It works out very well for her.

Nancy



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 05:31 PM
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Cat is a great idea!!!

Karin
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the input. For years I've been thinking about a dog of my own and for the reasons above I have yet to get one. There is a big part of me that knows the amount of alone time would be rough but also thought that I could provide a good quality life. I would always watch my parents dogs while they were out of town without any real issues but you just never know how a young dog would handle it.
As for the cat idea I've done that in the past. I'm not a really big cat person and was quilted in to owning a stray from an apartment complex I lived in. That being said I was totally crushed when I had to put her down after 15 years of ownership. I was very lucky with her being a very well behaved cat. Where as most of the cats I've came across have been very destructive. I'm not completely against the idea but not really sold on having another cat either.
One other thing I'm going to look into is maybe some kind of doggie daycare. Unless it is just to cost prohibitive.
Again thanks for the info.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 01:54 AM
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daily doggie day care will be pretty expensive ($20-$60 a day which is typically 8hrs), it'd be tough to find a facility who's business hours could accommodate your 14hr days....the time you'd spend leaving work early to pick up or drop off could be used by just going home mid day and spending time with him/her.

all of that said, many dogs don't do well in daycare type environments - a lot of GSD do not.

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Last edited by Fodder; 11-15-2015 at 01:59 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 02:15 AM
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I would look for a bonded pair in rescue.

I also would nix the cat idea. Cats were thought to be solitary because they hunted alone, but when left to their own devices, cats actually live in large colonies sharing kitten rearing. Now if you want to go to a shelter and get a bonded pair of cats or pick two cats....
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