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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My family is considering getting a dog. I've wanted a GSD for over 10 years now. Problem is most people in my family work full time and I am a university student. We are totally committed to exercising the dog, obedience school and providing much attention before and after work/school and on weekends. My only concern is that the dog will get bored and start digging/barking if we leave him/her for just over 8 hours. I don't want to put a lovely dog through that. I was thinking about getting an older dog as a puppy would not cope very well with this arrangement. I do get 6 weeks off over winter though.

Does anyone here work full time like this and own a GSD? Love for some advice
 

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I do and my older (4 yr) dog seems happy as a clam so far (fingers crossed.) I walk/train her 3x per day and make sure she is never alone for more than five hours. It can be done if you all have different schedules. I would look for an older rescue with a laid back temperament. ImageUploadedByPG Free1367288975.579212.jpg
Here is a picture of my dog, who is clearly becoming neurotic and destructive from me working all day. :D




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We work full time and have a 2 year old. Full time is usually 8 hours a day and if you sleep 8 hours a day then you still have 8 hours. Plenty of time
 

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I work 8-5 M-F, sometimes Saturday too, and I have a 5 month old pup. I walk her for an hour in the am and wear her out with fetch or the flirt pole, run home to feed her at lunch, and then at least an hour hike with fetch or flirt pole at night. I used an x-pen up till about 18 weeks, and now I have her gated in the kitchen with doggy door access to the secure back yard. We go to class on Sundays and on Wed night.

But, I think what helps a lot is my taking her to doggy day care one or two afternoons a week. It costs me $15 for half a day (ack, but it alleviates guilt so it's worth it!) and she comes home exhausted. I started taking her there because she showed fear aggression twice, and luckily this place is fantastic - the owners are certified pet dog trainers and teach one of our classes, and the dogs are supervised constantly. They even have webcams. Anyway, she seems to be a happy girl, and she is now very confident with other dogs.

It seems like if you can have a set schedule, and the dog doesn't have to be alone for more than 4 or 5 hours, they will be just fine. When I brought her home, I had about a week and a half vacay to slowly get her accustomed to the schedule, and believe me, I would suffer extreme guilt if I thought she was miserable, but I really think even GSD's are able to be owned by working people and be happy.

If you do get a puppy, it'd be a good idea to talk to your breeder about what your schedule will be so he or she can help match you with a more calm, confident pup that will handle alone time well. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers :)
Any dog me and my family get will be alone for at least 8 hours a day for maybe 3 days a week as my university schedule and my dad actually going to work is changeable. But I think we will cope ok. A mature older dog I think will be perfect and we have a good rescue service here in New Zealand and a great town to live and walk around.
Mum just likes it when I do loads of research.
Any more advice would be extremely welcome


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Welcome to the Forum!

My husband and I worked 24 hrs on, 48 off, 24 on, 72 off. During our 24 hour shifts, our puppy would have someone, usually my MIL or SIL come over and let him out to do the potty thing, drink a bit of water, then play until he was sapped and fell asleep. They'd come over every 3 or 4 hours. Once he was holding it consistently, the time moved up a bit until he was able to make it a full eight hours. At that point, he got a great walk, lots of play, a yummy lunch, and back in his kennel until just before bed. He'd get walked, played with, a good drink of water, and he was fine until we came home in the morning. Some days, when our normal puppy sitters couldn't make it, our bosses let us bring him in to work.

It's totally possible to do it, even with a puppy, as long as you follow the rules: A tired puppy is a happy puppy so make sure the pup gets a lot of play time and is ready to fall asleep when you put him in for the day. Expect a few more accidents, especially at the beginning in the kennel, but he'll get to the point where he's completely eliminating and able to hold it for the full 8 hours.
 

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My husband and I work full time, we have 2 big, young dogs, they are alone maybe 3 or 4 days of the week between 5 and 9 hours depending on shifts. During the Summer we leave the door open and they get the run of the house and the garden. We only have one house within earshot and often check with the neighbours that the dogs are not being a nuisance. Apparently they only bark if there's a good reason..
When it's wet or cold they get left indoors and we have no problems with them soiling or destroying anything.
BUT the flip side of this is that no matter how tired we are when we get home from work, the dogs get a good run, some training, a walk etc. I also get up very early depending on my shifts and see to the dogs, again, no matter how tired I am, how much I'd rather stay in bed or how foul the weather is I get up and walk them!
 

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Suggestion:
I have a dog house I built attached to the side of the house. Have one 2-way door on the front of the dog house and a second 2-way door on the side of the dog house so he can go into our house and roam/guard. (yes I have a back yard area enclosed so he cannot run).

When you work strange hours and different shifts, this allows your GS to have full access, yet he can go out when needed day or night. All my dogs have loved it !
 
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