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Hi,

I don't do a whole lot of posting of this forum, mostly just reading as I don't currently have a GSD. I'm still doing my research and waiting until the time is right but I'm leaning towards a working line GS, specifically DDR lines. That's a ways off anyway.

My question is to those of you that work full time ... what's your schedule like? How do you keep up with a working line GSD and work full time? I'm assuming it is possible, your free time would just have to be very much geared towards dog activities. I'd love some insight and experience into this.

Right now I'm starting vet school so the reality is, that I'll have a full time job after school (hopefully). I'm waiting to get a second dog (if something doesn't find it's way into my house sooner) until after school because I'd really like it to be a GSD. I just get a little concerned when I read post after post about how overwhelming these dogs are. I own a soon to be 2 year old yellow lab right now. Although I know they aren't shepherds, he certainly needs his fair share of exercise, training, and socialization. I realize having a GS would be different (which is what I want) but I've managed my Lab's training and exercise through college and jobs without any problems so I'm assuming it can be done with a full time job. Thoughts??
 

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I have not found GSDs to be overwhelming. I read about how many hours a day of exercise and training some people do, and *I'M* overwhelmed, but that has not been my experience. Halo is my first working line shepherd, but I've had GSDs for 25 years, my first was Sneaker back in 1986. Having a good off switch and being able to chill around the house is very important to me, and I've found that all of my dogs have been able to adapt to the lifestyle that I can provide them. Some days they get a lot of exercise, other days they get nothing beyond chasing each other around the house. Neither of them are bouncing off the walls. I'm sure they would love it if I didn't have to work for a living and I could take them to the park every day so they can chase balls and go swimming in the bay, but that's just not a reality. I don't walk them together, so even on days when I do a leash walk after work, it's only one of them.

I always take the first week off work to stay home with a new puppy, and after that I've been able to take a long lunch break for a few weeks so I can come home and spend time with them. I train at home during this time as well as take them out for short socialization excursions once they've had a couple rounds of shots. With Halo I was working 3 hours in the morning and afternoon with a 3 hour break. It's about a 45 minute round trip, so I had plenty of time to work on basic OB stuff using her lunch kibble or to drive her to a nearby strip mall. I sign up for a puppy class as soon as possible, and continue with evening or weekend classes after that. I'm fortunate enough to work Mon-Thurs, so I do have a 3 day weekend, which gives me more time to spend with my dogs.

I crate my dogs at night, so I don't want to crate them all day when I'm at work. We have a chain link enclosure in the garage with their beds and that's where we feed them. There's a dog door to an outside run for potties.
 

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dogs do need exercise and mental stimulation-but i haven't found it to be overwhelming. GSDs are great because they DO have an off switch...and they are more able to use this off switch if they are on a routine. if you are going to school and working then your dogs will be very much on a routine. i work 12 hours a day 7 days a week and goto school twice a week and take my dog to HIS training twice a week and i am okay with it :)
 

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I have found that if you can bring your dog to work with you, it increases the bond and decreases the amount of time you have to separately devote to your dog. They get socialized, they learn housebreaking, they get to "pick up" on things just being with you... I have been lucky enough as a groomer to be able to bring my dogs to work every day--and now that I work from home, I don't even have to leave the house for all that good stuff. :) We go to training once or twice a week. Not terribly overwhelming.
 

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I have found that if you can bring your dog to work with you, it increases the bond and decreases the amount of time you have to separately devote to your dog. They get socialized, they learn housebreaking, they get to "pick up" on things just being with you... I have been lucky enough as a groomer to be able to bring my dogs to work every day--and now that I work from home, I don't even have to leave the house for all that good stuff. :) We go to training once or twice a week. Not terribly overwhelming.
i bring my dogs to work too. **spoiled**. he was house trained in 2.5 weeks. i don't need to leash him when i take him out to potty (he's 8 months now) and he's greatly socialized because a lot of people come in and out every day and i have an open dog policy where people can bring their dogs in as long as they're nice. so far so good :)
 

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We take Draco for a long walk in the morning before work, and one in the evening after getting home from work. My husband works close to home and comes home for lunch to take Draco out, play fetch and hang with him for a bit. We crate him during the day, but at night he sleeps free in our bedroom (with the door closed). We also do training exercises after dinner and take him to classes once a week. I don't think it's overwhelming. And, I agree with Cassidy's Mom - Draco sometimes doesn't get as much exercise (like when I was drop down sick and my husband was out of town - no way he was getting 2 walks when I could hardly get out of bed) but he's not bouncing off the walls.. If it's a daily thing where he's not getting exercise, then I'm sure that's a different story, but you sound like a responsible dog owner who's gearing up for giving your future GSD good exercise and training, so I doubt you'd have a problem! :)
 

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I work from home but was not able to spend a lot of time with her during the day When she was a puppy she would spend time in her crate when I could not supervise her. It was really no different than if I came home for lunch. I did not walk in the morning as I'm not really a morning person. Walk at night, training whenever I thought about it play time at lunch. It was enough for her.

I too expected puppyhood to be overwhelming. It was not. I did enrole in training immediately and did tons of planned socializing in the first year. Great outings with my dog.

Exercise is not so scheduled now. Walks are 2.5 km almost daily in the evening. Some days more if my daughter or son takes her. Now I'm biking with her about 3-5 km depending on our mood. Sometimes it's just playing find it or fetch with her toys in my small backyard. Never has she been wild in the house, except when a certain hyper visitor would come over. So I must have found the right balance.

If I worked outside my home I would have hired someone to come in to let her out for potty breaks.
 

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Thanks for all your responses. It sounds do-able so long as it's made a priority. Right now on my weekends I like to go hiking at the local parks and work on training and socialization. My lab still thinks children are way too exciting so we do training near play grounds and on the greenways. He even got pet by 2 kids today and was great! (That's huge for him!!). During the week I'd say I'm in a pretty good routine with my dog. He surely doesn't hesitate to let me know if he thinks he needs more one-on-one time. Usually he'll get another walk, game of fetch, or OB training. Thanks again for all your responses!
 

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...also, when needed, having a dog walker handy takes stress of off you and the pup if you have to have some long/busy days at work. Helps keep the potty training on track for the youngsters too.
 

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Mine is working line. We stayed home the first few weeks. Plus as a small pup he got tired after 20 minutes a the park. Starting at about 5 months old he started going to daycare while I am at work and plays for 8 hours and then requires about 1.5 hours of interaction/play with me after that when we get home which is good because we need our time together. Weekends require outings. It is not always exercise, it can also be mental stimulation. If he is somewhere new and is watching alot of people, it wears him out as fast as physical exercise.
 

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I have 3 and work full time... Sometimes 12 hrs or more. I've found working GSDs to be better than any of the other breeds I've owned
 

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OMG, you guys have NO idea what a burden you have lifted from my shoulders! Scarlett is neither a working line or an anything line...she's our youngest child. :) I work longish, unpredictable hours sometimes and sometimes I have an easy, short week. My *goal* is to get 2-3 miles a day with Scarlett when my schedule permits, and 1.5-2 on my longer days. Sometimes it's at night, sometimes early in the morning.

I was feeling like I must be letting my buddy down by not doing more exercise with her. BUT, now that she is 4, she has settled into our routine and looks forward to her walks whenever we go and for however long we can walk.

I will say she adapted REALLY fast and easily to our kind of crazy schedules. It takes each of us to make sure she is exercised, but when weather or schedule prohibits a good, long, stretch-her-legs jaunt, she is content to hang out with us and play toss-the-squirrell in the living room for as long as we can stand it (by *it* I mean the slobbery, STINKY stuffed squirrell.)

We do our best to exercise her 7 days a week. I look forward to our walks and jaunts. I probably miss them more than she does!
 

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I am gone from my house 13 hours a day, 4 days a week. My dogs are locked in horse stalls during the day with their breakfast, toys and chews. In the morning they do my horse chores with me prior to being locked up, than again they run and play while I bring in the horses and do evening chores, this is plenty of exercise for them, even my high, high , high energy terriers are fine with this routine, they wrestle in the evening as I unwind and watch TV, but they are quite content, on weekends we do more, like training and trail riding. I only have ever had German Showlines and they are perfect for me, I wouldn't even want a dog that required more exercise than my horses, I love the dogs and life I have. :)
 

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I am single with 2 GSDs and 3 cats and I work full time.

My 2.5 year old male GSD is American Pet lines/West German Showlines.

My 12 week old female GSD is Czech/West German Working lines.

Monday-Friday
4:30am- Wake up, let the dogs out, feed them and throw a stick or watch them play outside.
5:40am- Drop my puppy off at my ex boyfriend's house where he babysits her.
6:00am- I start work.
2:30pm- I get off work and go pick up my puppy.
2:30pm-10:00pm- I spend time with both dogs and 3 cats, I feed them, I walk them, I work on training and I play with them.

Saturday & Sunday- Both days belong to the animals. We go to the beach, we go for walks, we work on training, we play and we socialize.
 

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What about puppy daycare for the working parent? I live right down the road from a daycare, I have experience with this place and I trust them. I don't think I would want to keep a mature GSD in dog daycare but what about for like the first 6 months or so?
 

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What about puppy daycare for the working parent? I live right down the road from a daycare, I have experience with this place and I trust them. I don't think I would want to keep a mature GSD in dog daycare but what about for like the first 6 months or so?
I have a 15 month old in daycare and he plays all day with labs, full grown GSDs, dobbies, bloodhounds etc. He LOVES it there and considers it his second home. He has no problem being there at his age and has been attending during weekdays since he was 4 months old. They consider him a VIP!
 

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I am gone from my house 13 hours a day, 4 days a week. My dogs are locked in horse stalls during the day with their breakfast, toys and chews. In the morning they do my horse chores with me prior to being locked up, than again they run and play while I bring in the horses and do evening chores, this is plenty of exercise for them, even my high, high , high energy terriers are fine with this routine, they wrestle in the evening as I unwind and watch TV, but they are quite content, on weekends we do more, like training and trail riding. I only have ever had German Showlines and they are perfect for me, I wouldn't even want a dog that required more exercise than my horses, I love the dogs and life I have. :)
that sounds like the life!!! i wish i had a barn :(
 

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I have 3 dogs but only the young gsd mix needs lots of exercise. I have an old dog with bad elbows and a small dog. In the summer I take my dog for a run after work. Winters here it's a bit harder to do things after work.

It helps to have help. I am married my husband and I work different shifts so someone is always home. I don't work full time but my husband does. This works great for us.

I know a lady that brings her dogs to doggy day care. You can get a dog walker too. There are ways.
 
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