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Hey everyone. New to the site. I am thinking of adopting a german shepherd . This will be my first dog, but not my first pet as I had two cats previously for 14 and 19 years respectively. How do these dogs do being alone for 9-10 hrs while I am at work? I would like to give it the full run of the house while I am working and not crate it up if possible. I do own a condo so I do not have a back yard.

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Maybe you should start with an older dog to get used to the idea of dog ownership. Better for the small space too. And I definitely don't recommend leaving it for 9-10 hours in a whole house by itself. That would be a bad idea. Good luck and welcome to this forum!
 

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I would not do a GSD, or any other dog that size, in a condo alone all day. I had a friend who did it with a dog of about the same size as a GSD but of calmer temperament than a typical GSD. Long story but she finally rehomed the dog when she came home one day to find her mattress torn to pieces in the living room. What would you do if you were locked in all day?
 

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My first gsd was home for long hours but we did get him when he was 2 years old and quiet in the house they adjust to your schedule but you would have to get the right dog that can adjust behaves in the home. A older dog is a good suggestion. Ten hours is a long time. If someone can come in to take the dog out midday that can work and you take the dog out and spend time when you get home.
 

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Hey everyone. New to the site. I am thinking of adopting a german shepherd . This will be my first dog, but not my first pet as I had two cats previously for 14 and 19 years respectively. How do these dogs do being alone for 9-10 hrs while I am at work? I would like to give it the full run of the house while I am working and not crate it up if possible. I do own a condo so I do not have a back yard.

Thank you
I currently have my boy inside when I am at work, but I sacrifice time to walk him and exercise EVERYDAY and on the weekends we go hiking all weekend long it depends on how committed you are to your dog, I am 100% committed to him making sure he has the best food, home and exercise and he is a dream to work with. But for your first dog I would suggest an adult dog 5 years and up if you really want a shepherd/working dog breed there are so many that deserve homes and would help you better understand what to expect from a GSD, rescue is always a great idea
 

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It also depends on the dog- My first rescue GSD was very quiet, laid back 2yr. old- but not the norm for temperament.
My friend got a young springer spaniel and that little thing about destroyed his apartment one day while he was at work.
Not the best idea for most GSD's.
 

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I would start with crating. Dogs in my house are not loose until they prove they are trustworthy.

Listen...people work. They often are gone 9-10 hours daily. Somehow dogs have survived decades through the industrial revolution in the house while we work. I get tired of the attitude that only people who can be home with their dogs should have dogs. How long do you sleep? 9 hours? What are your dogs doing those 9 hours? - they are sleeping.

If you feel you can give your dog quality time and quality exercise in your free time, and you can afford to properly care for your dog, go for it.

I would stack the deck in your favor and try to go thru a rescue that fosters in homes. That will give you a better idea of the temperament and personality of the dog. :)
 

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let’s put it this way... i’ve rescued 4 GSD of various temperaments, energy, and needs. i never recommend anyone leave their dog for 9-10 hours... however, all 4 of my dogs have adjusted to this at some point or another. some more readily than others. like Jax said... people work!

i don’t rely on it (or the possibility of it) when thinking of getting a new dog, nor do i start off with that being the routine in the first (approx) 6 months. i also have alternate plans in place for periods when this isn’t able to be accomplished. for instance when Keystone was on prednisone and needed to relieve more regularly... or when the weather was bad and they were getting less exercise.

some things to consider would be the dogs age, exercise routine, feeding schedule, environment (access to windows, outside noise and foot traffic, etc, since it can have an effect on a dogs ability to remain settled.)

then of course.... no rescue that i’ve worked with will knowingly place a dog in a home knowing it will be left alone for that period of time.

at the time i introduced Keystone (7 months) to my household, i had much less flexibility in my routine than past dogs. even tho he was allowed to come to work with me - there were several months before i felt comfortable taking him. his routine was a 30 minute walk + training in the morning, a small breakfast in a kong in his crate, a potty break late morning by a family member which was gradually increased in 1 hr increments until he could hold it all day, 10 minutes of flirt pole + 10 minutes of obedience with food rewards and a 1-2 mile hike everyday after work, then dinner. weekends were dedicated to his training as well.

that was roughly our first year when he didn’t accompany me to work. he’s now 6 and adjust to any routine whether its staying home all day, being out all day, yard access, no yard access, eating once a day or twice, 10 minute walk or 10 mile hike. my dogs fit into my life....they don’t run it.
 

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I would start with crating. Dogs in my house are not loose until they prove they are trustworthy.

Listen...people work. They often are gone 9-10 hours daily. Somehow dogs have survived decades through the industrial revolution in the house while we work. I get tired of the attitude that only people who can be home with their dogs should have dogs. How long do you sleep? 9 hours? What are your dogs doing those 9 hours? - they are sleeping.

If you feel you can give your dog quality time and quality exercise in your free time, and you can afford to properly care for your dog, go for it.

I would stack the deck in your favor and try to go thru a rescue that fosters in homes. That will give you a better idea of the temperament and personality of the dog. :)
I agree! My ONLY dispute with people getting a Shepherd or Bully or Lab or whatever for their first dog is not knowing what to expect in terms of care and exercise. A lot people get one as a puppy or even an adult but especially as a puppy and think they're cute and cuddly yet don't understand that they are NOT a teddy bear and they ARE predators and animals and take so much work and care physically that they end up in pounds for no good reason, because ONE they are getting destructive because of lack of exercise and/or the owner is now scared or fed up for not being able to care for the dog. TWO is scared of their own dog and unable to deal with temperament issues like dog aggression or human aggression which can happen. Other than that i agree go for it!
 

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Honestly I think you are looking at the wrong breed considering your situation. GSDs need a lot of attention and exercise. Maybe an older quiet lap dog that would be better suited for a condo with no yard.
 

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I feel I am in a similar situation to what you're describing; I adopted a 3-year old GSD in August, me being a single person with a full-time job. Granted my job is somewhat flexible and I can work from home sometimes, and/or take her to work with me, so I try not to crate Willow more than 8 hours per day and hopefully not have to do that more than a couple times per week.

Our routine now seems to be working; I feed her, hang out for an hour, we do a quick 20-minute walk so she can go to the bathroom and get a little bit of exercise (she won't poop in the yard in the mornings unless I leave her out there for a long time). I go to work, leaving a Kong full of tasty food. I come back in the early-mid afternoon, we go for another, longer walk where I try to make sure she gets some good running in to really tire her out. Feed her dinner around 5, maybe do a training session and/or some playtime in the house, and she's usually pretty relaxed by about 7:00pm and will nap for tor the rest of the evening. One more potty break before bed, either a VERY quick walk or I just stick her outside for a while (she has problems peeing outside on command). On the weekends we'll maybe do one longer walk/run. I'm hoping when summer comes around we'll do a lot of hiking and backpacking in the mountains but now we're restricted to town stuff/parks most of the time, and playing fetch in the yard.

So....it can be done. I really am striving to tire her out real good at least once per day and it seems to satisfy her. She isn't destructive, though I don't leave her loose in the house when I'm gone because she'll get into the garbage (I think more out of curiosity/smells than anything). But I wouldn't expect her to be fine left alone all the time or with minimal exercise/brainwork.
 

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I should also add that it was hard. Took a long time for me to adjust to having her. Granted Willow and I went through a lot in a short period of time (full heat cycle, spay, then 5 days of horrible diarrhea in the first 1.5 months of having her). But we're four months in now and I feel like it's only recently begin to feel normal, manageable. I still struggle sometimes. It's a big lifestyle change.
 

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I'm not a big fan of crates either, for more than 3 hours or so...I would hate not being able to walk around (yes, sorry, I know I'm projecting!) But 9-10 hrs just seems like a long stretch to be in a crate. I might search for a way to give LIMITED run of the house (a dogproofed room?) or a secure outdoor kennel. And also I'd try to give my dog a 20-30min walk /potty break about 5 hours in (midway through) even if it meant paying for the service.

You'll have to invest a good chunk of your nonwork time exercising/training your dog! GSDs are big dogs requiring outdoor exercise, not little dogs who can be happy puttering around in house and yard...that means, even when it's cold, when it's windy, when it's hot...I always loved nature and the outdoors, but I was never outside as much as I am now!

If you adopt an adult dog, make sure he/she has been left alone for a workday before? If I had to work outside the home, separation anxiety would have been a dealkiller for me! It takes a lot of training to make them OK with being left, some dogs are actually never OK and need drugs or doggy daycare ($$) , and also I would hate worrying about my dog and knowing they were anxious, while I'm at work!

That said, I love my dog and he is the best. :love:
 

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Good points, @GSDchoice ! I was lucky in that Willow was both crate trained and didn't have separation anxiety. She loves her crate and even though I do crate her for work days, she goes in willingly.... excitedly, even, to get her Kong. And I feel like being in the crate is calming for her, she might actually get more worried about me being gone if she had the run of the house to pace in. But every dog is different.

When I first got her, i set aside a week or so to work on leaving her for longer and longer periods of time but make sure she'd be ok.

I am planning on either setting aside my back room for her, or leaving her outside once I get my fence repaired (and when the weather improves...). I do hate the thought of leaving her in a crate for that long but for many, many dogs, it works and they're fine.
 

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If OP is dead set on adopting a GSD, I advise to look into Doggy Day Care near you. not all GSD's are good candidates for that if they're not good with other dogs or people.
If that's not feasible, find a dog walker who can come midday each day and walk your GSD. Dog must not be aggressive with strangers coming int your home.
Personally I think those are the only 2 options that are fair to a large dog.
I'm curious what the OP is thinking, with all the recent responses.
 

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My wife and I adopted a very active working line GSD at age 1.5.
We both work. During some of her lifetime, we had a high school age child who would came home earlier than we did.
She had the highest prey drive, work drive and play drive of any dog we ever owned. But it more than worked out for us. She was the best dog we ever had.

Our work schedules were staggered, i.e., I'd leave a little later than my wife, she'd get home earlier than me. When we got home, our girl wanted hands-on attention. If it wasn't actively raining, you were going for a walk, the longer the better, period. She truly lived in the house, with complete run of the place other than the basement. We never even owned a crate during her lifetime. . We are not overly house proud, but we do have stuff we don't want chewed up. She was not a destructive chewer. If anything, she was tougher on the backyard grass than the house.

As the poster said above, what do they do for 9-10 hours, or in our case, maybe 7-8 hours? They probably sleep a lot of the time. It also helped that she understood one of her jobs was to keep the backyard, its summertime tomato plants and winter time bird feeders free from squirrels. She would watch through the back window for squirrels constantly while we were home with her.

All that said, you have to be honest with yourself about how much time you will spend with them when you are not at work. Our girl got a walk just about every day, unless it was raining, or really icy sidewalks. Where did she sleep? At least part of the night, with us. She'd usually jump down after a while. When we went on vacations, or for family visits, she almost always went with us.

Fair disclosure: over 30 years, my wife and I have had dogs who would get into stuff and chew things up if left out. But the biggest offenders were a Newfoundland and a Golden. So I would not necessarily decline to adopt a GSD on the assumption they would tear the house apart. But I would ask a lot of questions of the previous owner. If there is a well-worn crate in an immaculate house, or it looks like the current owner keeps the dog confined to a certain area, you might ask why.
 

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I would agree the condo is not the best for a GSD. GSD's really should have some open grass to run around, play, do their business on or its going to be difficult for both of you.
 
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