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Discussion Starter #1
We have been thinking of getting a Golden Retriever for months now. We live less than a minutes walk from the beach and have an active lifestyle. The only problem is that we work full time and do not want to leave a puppy alone. Our friend/neighbour (she loves dogs and has one adorable chocolate lab) has offered to look after the dog in the day while we are at work except on 2 days when my husband would be home and one day that we take the dog to a good daycare close to us. I want to know if it would be okay? Will the dog like our friend more than us and want to stay there? And is it okay if the golden is still a puppy? We want to house and crate train him but do not know if it is possible if half of the day he is with someone else. We would prefer to take on an adult dog if that changes anything. If this does not work out we will not get a dog at all. We are responsible and do not want to cause a dog any stress or anxiety.
 

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I would take off 2-3 weeks to be around the puppy all the time at first to bond and work on potty training. After he/she is settled in and you have to return to work, just have your friend stop by a few times a day to let the pup out and play a bit. An 8w old puppy will need lots of bathroom breaks but by the time he/she is a few months old they can be spaced more. When a dog can be left Alone for a full day of work (~8hrs) varies, but I waited till mine was around 8-10mo.

A puppy doesn’t need to be around people 24/7. It’s not cruel to leave him/her in a crate for alone time. Remember, Puppies basically sleep 18-20hrs a day so use that to your advantage with crate training/learning to be alone.
 

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Oh okay thank you! I should get about 2 weeks. If the pup is older is it a good idea to let him stay 2 days of the week with our neighbour to play with Miley (her lab) once daycare and one full working day alone? Or is it just better that she comes around and take him for walks instead of staying at her house for a few hours every day?
 

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It really depends a lot on your comfort level and your dog's. I have never done daycare - I prefer my dog to be on my home, in her crate, where I know she is safe. I have always had a dog walker who comes in (twice a day when my dog is a baby puppy, once a day when older) while I'm at work. I know my dog likes her down time at home, but that is what she is used to. Quiet hours where she can sleep on my bed or couch. If she had gone to daycare from a young age, if that were a good fit for her personality, she would probably love that time, too. I think all of your options sound good. I also like to take 2-4 weeks off when I get a new puppy, to train and get to know and get to know her. But they grow and mature quickly. And exposing them to other people is great. My philosophy has always been that the more people who love my dog, the better. I know Shala loves her dog walker and her dog is one of Shala's best friends. And I know she loves my close friend who takes her to look after her when I need to go away for longer times, whose dog is Shala's very best friend in the world. That makes me happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for replying! So do you think I would be able to look after a Golden this way? For the rest of his or her life? I do not want to cause any anxiety or stress in a dog.
 

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Totally. My last dog had a daily dogwalker when I was at work for the full 12 years of her life. My current dog has had a walker for the 7 years of her life, and will for her entire life. It is WAY better (I believe) than leaving them alone for 10-12 hours a day (which is what mine would be, as I work a 10 hour a day).

(I will just add that on my days off, I spend a LOT of time with my dog, and on work days, I take her out for a run/walk/play for an hour before I go to work. I think that is what you were planning, but just to clarify that it's NOT okay just to rely on the other people care for everything).
 

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oh yes definitely! We are very active and love watersports so Golden will definitely get enough exercise from us! Thank you so much! This has made me feel a whole lot better!
 

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FWIW my first dog spent a LOT of her time from puppy-hood on with my landlord, who would take her for walks in the woods with her own dogs and often keep her in the pen she had for her dogs. My dog LOVED her and I felt terrible when we had to move to another state, but it didn't keep her from bonding with me and I was happy she got to do fun stuff with someone I trusted while I was at work all day. As long as you trust this neighbor, and as long as your puppy is alone often enough to learn that it's OK to be alone sometimes, I think you should count your blessing that this is an option for you!
 
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