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StayGoldPiper
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Hi all! I haven't been on the forum much, but my Piper is 10 months old now and she makes us so happy! I work M-F and my daughter is super busy in the evenings and with her dad every other weekend. So, after work during the week, I am always with Piper and we take walks, play and go for rides to cart the kid around to her activities. She is still crated during the day but can do a few hours in the spare room (where her crate is) if I have to run an errand she can't come with on the weekend. Still working up to total freedom (not looking for crating advice). Here is my question....I get asked to go to dinner with friends and I feel an extreme amount of guilt for leaving her home alone. Almost that I can't even go out on a Friday night because she has been kenneled or alone all day. Now, I would walk her before and after but if I do go, and it has only happened 1-2 times, I rush to get home.

I don't have the luxury of a spouse or partner to buffer the time away and my daughter is with her dad most weekends. Is my sweet Piper ok? Will I get over the guilt? Is it normal to feel like this?
 

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Hi all! I haven't been on the forum much, but my Piper is 10 months old now and she makes us so happy! I work M-F and my daughter is super busy in the evenings and with her dad every other weekend. So, after work during the week, I am always with Piper and we take walks, play and go for rides to cart the kid around to her activities. She is still crated during the day but can do a few hours in the spare room (where her crate is) if I have to run an errand she can't come with on the weekend. Still working up to total freedom (not looking for crating advice). Here is my question....I get asked to go to dinner with friends and I feel an extreme amount of guilt for leaving her home alone. Almost that I can't even go out on a Friday night because she has been kenneled or alone all day. Now, I would walk her before and after but if I do go, and it has only happened 1-2 times, I rush to get home.

I don't have the luxury of a spouse or partner to buffer the time away and my daughter is with her dad most weekends. Is my sweet Piper ok? Will I get over the guilt? Is it normal to feel like this?
I think its normal! Most dogs handle a 9-5 schedule well, especially if they get time with family during the weekend. I wouldn't feel too bad about going out to dinner, but the guilt is definitely tough! If you have doggy daycare in your area, that might help alleviate some of the guilt :)
 

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Maria and I both work full time. We keep amber crated during those days but if we are home she's out with us. We don't go out much on work nights but sometimes something will come up that you have no choice. One thing we do when possible is if we do have something going on after work is that one of us stays home during the day with her. I know that won't always work for everybody. If we do need to go out after work without her for a couple of hours we leave her out of the crate. The guilt thing is only natural.
 

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Kate
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Even without the dogs, Fri night I just want to be HOME in my grubbies, makeup off, barefoot, etc. :D

I guess looking at it the other way, use your dog as a wildcard to head home early when you go out with friends.

Or talk your friends into going out to eat Sat or Sun night. ;)
 

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Our Brody is now 14 months old. When he was around the age of your Piper, we began with short periods of leaving him alone at home without being kenneled. We gave Brody more freedom in the house once we felt confident he had earned a bit more freedom by not causing any damage. We started giving him more freedom slowly, and it worked. He would simply sleep and lay around until we got home. Before giving him more freedom, we made sure the area he was allowed to roam was dog-proofed. You may want to start slowly with a quick trip to the grocery store and then increase the time to an hour or so to see how Piper does. We have a dog gate that confines Brody to the downstairs area of our house. We close all the doors to the lower level of our home for additional confinement, but less than being kenneled. Brody has access to his toys and occasionally we'll leave him a beef shank bone he can chew on to keep him busy.

That said, Golden's need plenty of exercise to wear off all the pent up energy they get when being contained, even in a section of the house for any length of time. When we go out for dinner for a few hours, we can't come home and go directly to bed without giving Brody attention and playtime. IMHO, providing more freedom in the home requires a bit of trial and error. I think it's all about knowing Piper's temperament and slowly giving her more freedom. As you become more confident in what she will and won't do, you can provide her more freedom which will help you with the guilt you feel for keeping her kenneled or alone so much. I hope this helps! :)
 

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Rukie is only alone 3 days a week and I always feel a little guilty if I leave him, even on weekends. I think the guilt is part of being loved so much by them.
 

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One thing you could do is get a dog walker to take her out halfway through your workday. That way, she gets out with you in the morning, gets an outing in the afternoon, and so on the odd nights that you do want to go out. she hasn't been cooped up inside ALL day. You can either go for a quick drink after work and get home to her, or go home in between, take her out, spend a little time, then go for dinner. It's not like it's an everyday thing. Once in a while is really okay. You just make up for it the next day. :)
 

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I think we all have to decide what we feel is reasonable. In our house, we have a general rule of the dogs are not left alone for more than a total of 10 hours a day, as well as not for more than 7 hours consequentially. So, yes, for us that means we do not both go out on a weeknight, even if they've been exercised and have had a visit from a mid-day dog walker. On the rare occasions when we have a weekday commitment that requires BOTH of us to go somewhere after work we try to have someone work from home or send the dogs to daycare for the day or talk a friend into sitting with them until we get home. Some people might consider that overkill, but it helps to keep MY guilt at reasonable levels...
 

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I am retired, so most times I am at home. When I go out for a few hrs daily, I have to pen my 9.5 month old until I return. She stays in a huge Great Dane HD wire crate that I bought for her on Craigslist. (Not the fold up weak ones)
I also feel guilty leaving her, but I have two others that keep her company.
 

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It's totally normal. Goldens are social and love their humans so much, it's natural to feel the same way towards them. I pointed out a newspaper article in the past that talked about how vets were looking for a particular breed for a study and one of the reasons that they chose Golden Retrievers was because their owners were found to be so "besotted" with them that they would go through all of the work of follow up appointments and careful monitoring. They're just the best pups ever so we love them like family.

To get around the guilt of working full time we bring Luna to daycare three days a week and only go out on nights when she's been in daycare all day so she's exhausted and ready to go in her crate and sleep anyway. Maybe you could check into doggie daycare in your area for the occasional Friday night when you want to go out?
 
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