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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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How long is it ok to leave a dog home alone?

We went to the pound today to visit and...well fell in love with a beautiful 7 yo brown lab named Coco. She was unspayed and had had at least 1 litter. Other than that they say she is quite healthy. The lady at the shelter suspected she was in a puppy mill. She was very sweet and quiet, and just wanted tons of attention. We went out to the yard with her and she was all over us.

We have 2 cats and work during the day. We leave the house at 7am and don't get home until 6 pm. we have neighbours that may be able to let her out occasionally, but for the most part, she would be stuck inside with 2 cats during the day.

I've been advised to keep her confined to the kitchen or all tile area for the first while at least until she adapts.

I would love to adopt her, but the one issue we have is her being home alone. For the first week I could take my holidays, but I could only take 1 week. I'm thinking of asking if we could have her for the week as a trial, and make sure they cats can handle a new member of the family.

Any advice from you veteran dog owners?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 02:44 AM
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I think any dog can adjust to the owners work hours...however you have to be responsible and know that that dog will need play and exercise when you get home. I work from 8am until 6pm some days...and I leave the house at 7am and get home at 7pm. My dog is alone but when I get home it's all about the animals on those days. She's a lazy dog too...not energetic like a lab. So I'd sit down and really think about whether you can handle the responsibility of getting home and taking that dog for an hour walk plus play and cuddle times throughout the rest of the night. She would need to have lots of things to occupy her during the day too...stuffed kongs etc. so she doesn't get bored! But she will have energy!!!!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 08:40 AM
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That wouldn't be too long for an adult dog. Like Carmen said, the dog will adjust. However, I don't think it would be fair to bring the dog straight home into that environment. It would need several days to adjust to you and your home before it was left alone.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 09:26 AM
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I think it depends on the dog. I'm not an expert at all but i know that my dog is 5 years old and is full of energy and runs for an hour or two every day but then she can be by herself happily all day! We left her in the kitchen and utility room with her bed when we first got her, but she was fine, no mess or anything and now we let her have the run of the downstairs! It works really well we don't have any worries about leaving her now, and hey, you get a great welcome when you get back!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 11:07 AM
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If you have at the very least a weekend, and ideally a week or so for her to get used to your family, then it may be a good idea, but be on the lookout for bad habits that may not work with your household, (i.e. spraying, chasing cats, tearing carpet, etc.) And make sure that you have carefully supervised the dog with the cats and are sure that they all get along before you leave them unsupervised together. And also expect accidents at first, they may not happen, but be prepared for them anyway. If you cannot spend the time in the beginning, then it's not fair to her.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I had planned to take a weeks holidays the first week we brought her home, but I only get the one week. At her age (7 yo) I'm not to worried about the paper training stuff.

We also have a few kids in the neighbourhood we could get to walk her after school to earn a few bucks.

I know a dog is a big adjustment, but I think we can hadle it at this point.

She is such a sweet girl and I want to save her from the shelter. As I said the shelter suspects she was in a puppy mill, and she deserves a happy rest of her life.

We are going back on Thuirsday and might adopt her then if we can make a decision (that is if I can get Hubby to agree, and I'm almost there).
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 11:39 PM
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If you suspect this girl is a puppy mill survivor, you really need to know what that means because the puppy mill dogs are NOT like any "normal" dog, no matter what the breed. That type of environment affects them deeply and taking on one of these dogs is nothing that should be considered lightly. It is extremely time consuming, requires an enormous amount of patience and unconditional love, and even then can be quite emotionally draining... but if you can invest that in them, the rewards cannot even be measured by words.

I have two puppy mill survivors and I know the amount of time and patience that goes into it just to get them to the point where you can touch them. The momma chi in my signature was in the mills for over 5 yrs. I've had her 9 months now and she is just now starting to sit beside me on the couch. I still cannot pick her up or put a harness on her to go outside (even for a fun time) without cornering her first.

Please read the following articles before you make a final decision.

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Adopting The Puppy Mill Survivor
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