Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Resident Dog artist
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone I am new here! :wave: My husband and I have been thinking of getting a golden retriever for months. I've always loved the breed. Back in September we had adopted a 9 month old English Springer Spaniel from the SPCA but had to give him away after two weeks because he got dangerously aggressive (we found out he had Springer Rage which is difficult to fix and we aren't qualified to deal with that extreme level of aggression). It was very difficult to let him go and I still miss him because apart from those displays of aggression he was the sweetest thing. I know Goldens have winning personalities and I can't wait till we can get one. There is one thing though which we need advice on--my husband is going to grad school and I work full-time so the dog will be alone 8 hours a day Mon-Fri. We DO have plans to take the dog on a long walk before work and after work though as well as the dog will be with us the rest of the day/night. We have a plan to possibly put up a kennel attached to a nice warm cozy room so the dog can go in a safe area while we are gone. (and be able to go outside some too). Any thoughts on this? What do you do who have jobs? We are planning to get an adult not a puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I can understand your concerns and commend you on weighing all of these factors BEFORE getting your golden. However, I believe a dog should be part of your life, not all of your life. Many, many owners have jobs and still work and have a happy golden at home. Yes, that is a long time to be alone but if other times you are able to give him/her attention, I see no issue with you getting one. Others may see it differently, but I believe you can still be good for a pup and they can be good for you.
 

·
Official Trout Bum
Joined
·
4,216 Posts
That seems like an awfully long time for a dog to be by himself. And if your 8 hr work day was anything like mine you'd also have to add in a lunch break and travel time to and from work which means that much more time by himself.

I too commend you for looking at the whole picture before going out and getting a dog. And I do believe there are ways around having to leave your dog by himself for so long unattended and I'm sure others here will offer you some sound suggestions. But I think the main point is to realize it's a major responsibility and commitment to work something out to make sure he's not left alone 8 plus hours a day five days a week.

Good luck with your decision and I'm sure if you want him badly enough you'll work something out which will be best for you and the dog.

Pete
 

·
Kye & Coops Mom
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
First I would like to Thank You for thinking of an adult golden. Yes our breed is loving and their families are top on their list. We are a working family. When pups were young we found a college student to come by and feed, play and train twice a day. When pups were older and she went back to school we honestly worked it out the best we could. We gated off the den with doggie door to an outside side yard. We have a long walk each morning, some ball throwing then dogs are left. When we get home it is outside play, training, feed and another walk at night, each has a night of class on different days. Most of our time right now, is not our own, but what the pups need to keep minds stimulated and brains with them. Each family works out what is best, but with an adult many of the puppy concerns will not be a problem.

It would be good at least until the dog is settled into his/her new home to have someone come and check on her mid day, let him/her out to play and possibly a walk (family-friends-doggie day care). I would not crate for the entire day (feel this is asking a lot) but check your home and yard for alternatives (gates, or section off an good safe area). Again, anything will work, but this will be your new child and a family member. Mine sleep in the den much of the day while we are gone. The routine is set and they do very well. At night and weekends we try to make up for the missed time while at work.

Dogs are forgiving, especially mature ones. If you are prepared to commit, anything is do'able. Good luck and you will adore our Breed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
Apollo & Knightley's mum!
Joined
·
279 Posts
Try hiring a dog walker a couple of days a week if possible, that breaks up the tedium and makes it a bit fairer on the dog.

From day one make sure that no serious separation anxiety develops, there are many web pages that can guide you in preventing and training out of separation anxiety. If the dog is relaxed and isn't frantic when you leave, and gets a walk before and after work, then it can be done.

Make sure you leave him/her with lots of mental stimulation, frozen stuffed kongs, bones, chew toys... anything interesting that will prevent boredom. Then lots of exercise too, dog parks, the whole bit. Don't say goodbye when you leave for work, and don't say hello when you get home until your dog is nice and calm. If you do all this and get the right dog, I am sure it would be ok.... but it is definitely a good thing that you are taking this so seriously.
 

·
Curator of the Coy Zoo
Joined
·
770 Posts
Honestly, I don't know how people are able to afford to take care of a dog and don't ever go to work. I know that some people work from home or only one person in the family works in other familes, but I find it unbelievable that the majority of golden owners have these life styles.

That being said, we have two rescue goldens and we both work regular jobs. My husband's job & family obligations have taken him out of state for the last couple of years so we commute to one or the other homes each weekend (lots of road trips for me and the pups!). Plus, my job occassionally requires travel and or longer days and I keep both dogs at the house with me. Are we able to give them a great quality of life? Yup! We have a pet sitter that comes every day around noon or so and who can adjust the visit to adapt for me leaving early or if I have to work late, she returns for a second visit. She's also available for visits in an emergency, if needed. Additionally, she's pet & house sat when there was a death in the family on the other coast. Having her as a resource is invaluable!

Since we have the two, we don't leave kongs or other food type treats out for them. We don't feel comfortable leaving them with rawhides (we don't give them to them), high value treats like raw marrow bones or treats like that when we aren't home to suprvise them. They pretty much sleep the entire time we are gone. We also walk them twice a day - before I leave in the morning and after dinner to ensure they are exercised and they get their business done. When they were younger, we did crate each of them and the younger one is still crated half the day.

So, in my opinion you can easily have a golden and still work regular jobs. In fact, what would be better for a golden that needs a home? A family that loves him and gives him his forever home and works 8 hours everyday or staying in a shelter or foster home?

Of course, that's my opinion and I've been on this forum long enough to know there are very strong feelings about having goldens and leaving them all day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
I think an adult dog and a dog walker are excellent ideas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
where the tails wag
Joined
·
13,384 Posts
I work. And commute. And train & show my dogs. And hike & bike with my dogs.

You can do it :) There are many of us who do. Good luck :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
When we brought Maggie into our home at 8 weeks old as a puppy, it was a huge commitment! I'm a nurse working full time and I worked many, many nights, so that I could be home with Maggie, during the day. I made MANY sacrifices and do not regret the sleep deprivation I had to experience. Now at 2 years of age, life is so much the better. You will find a way to make it all work. We didn't have a dog walker or relative, or have the means for doggy day care. Setting up a schedule with a structured approach for Maggie works for us. Helps her feel safe and know that she can count on us to meet her expectations. She still has separation anxiety on occassion, however I am hopeful that with age, this too will remedy itself. Every day when I come home, she is sitting in the chair looking out for me through the window. It's as if her internal clock knows what time it is. Just wish I could call her throughout the day.
 

·
Dakota Katie River's Mom
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
I teach school, so am gone all day. I'm lucky now to have two sons around to put dogs in and out during the day, but there were years when I didn't. Living very rural made finding someone I could afford to come do dogs in the middle of the day didn't work out. If I could, I'd stay home with my dogs and be the happiest person in the world, can't wait for retirement! I'm sure there are many many people here on the forum who have to work and leave their dogs. I think you are smart in looking for an adult and not a puppy. If you can get someone to come put the dog out and give it some play time while you are working, that would be ideal and a goal for you. I agree with what sdain31y said, I'd rather see a Golden in a home with someone who loves him and cares for him but has to work than to be sitting in a shelter somewhere or tied up in someone's backyard only getting the attention of being fed once a day. And sadly there are too many Goldens like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,075 Posts
It is definitely doable.

I applaud you for thinking this out ahead of time. Going for an adult dog is definitely a good plan. One who is already housetrained, preferably.

I would suggest you take a week or two off from work when your dog first comes home, to give you time to get to know each other and help him get settled and comfortable in his new home. You can also work on leaving him for periods of time so he is used to being in your house alone. That will lessen any chances of separation anxiety when you do go back to work. I would also hire a dogwalker. I am in the club that feels 8 hours alone is too long to leave a dog home alone. It's actually longer if you tack on your commute time. Would you want to have no access to a bathroom for 8-9 hours?

Someone to come in halfway through your day gives your dog a chance to relieve itself, and some extra exercise, which will increase the liklihood of him sleeping the rest of the day while you're not home. Google your city and dogwalkers - you'll probably find a few options.

Good luck! This is definitely something you can do!
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
Beware of Nestle Purina
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
An adult would fit right into your lifestyle especially a rescue.

Good luck in your search.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
Dr. Rainheart
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
I agree it is possible to do, but it sounds like a puppy is not the way to go. A rescue adult dog would be great! With a puppy, you would have to find a dog walker to come let him out a few times a day in that 8 hour period (at least twice) and interact with him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,611 Posts
Working is a necessity and if those of us who work full time did not have dogs there would be a LOT more homeless dogs.
Kudos to you for researching before you get a dog. Getting a dog that is not a puppy is a great idea. I have 2 over 2 years of age and, frankly, all they do all day is sleep. I now work at home a few days a week and that means I may be at home but I am unavailable to my dogs during my working hours. This has given me the opportunity to see that when I am not able to interact with them my dogs just sleep.
Having said that, every dog is different and you may need to adjust your schedule at times or find a pet sitter that can come in mid day. It would be a good idea to plan on getting your dog when you can take some time off work so that you and the dog can get settled with each other before you are gone for the day. That will make the transition easier.
I am sorry you had to give up your springer. That must have been a real heartbreaker.
Best of luck in your Golden search.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frenzied Fox

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
[FONT=&quot]I work full time and have two dogs. I find that once you and the dog are on a schedule life is just peachy! To give you an idea of our schedule: the dogs and I go for an hour walk in the morning and then a quick play in the backyard. When I am getting ready for work, the two are tired and ready for a nap. They get some breakfast and I am off to work. The moment I come home from work the dogs go out into the backyard. After dinner we go around the block for an evening walk.

Both dogs have access to the entire house during day. I have recorded their actions to see what they do and they sleep and lounge around for most of the day. I leave a few rope toys and empty kongs out for them to play with. We have had no bathroom issues, destruction issues or separation anxiety.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Goldens are a very special breed. Good Luck on your decision and let us know what you decide![/FONT]
 

·
Resident Dog artist
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
THANK YOU all for your input! Please keep suggestions coming--I'm wracking my brain--gonna make this work somehow! I will try to get up a photo sometime of the physical plan. The dog will be home alone 8 hours total as my husband gets home from school about 3:15 and we leave 7:40. We have plans for a kennel so the dog can get bathroom time. (doggie door into the small room which will be insulated safe and NICE in our garage attachment) I'd hire one of the school-kids to take care of our dog in the afternoon (he has a good knack with them) but he'll be gone the same hours as my husband. We have plans to put out challenging toys--kongs stuffed with peanut butter or something, someone else told me they tie together dog toys and their golden likes the challenge of taking them apart--think that sounds fun, and was wondering if a Buster Cube would be fun too. I definately agree with playtime/walks before and after work! Any more suggestions. Again, I'll try to get up a photo of the areas soon. Any suggestions where to adopt an adult golden in Upstate NY? I'm willing to travel a few hours (just my husband isn't quite as willing to travel quite as far as I am :p)
 

·
shadow friend
Joined
·
3,886 Posts
I think you're really smart to be thinking adult. I have 2 so they keep each other company when I am not home. My job now I'm away from 6 to 9 hours (including driving time) 5 days a week. 99% of the time they do well but there is the occasional I got bored so I ate something or a very rare accident. I feed and water them on a schedule so they aren't needing to go really badly when I am not home. Maybe you should think about a golden rescue but also keep your eye on craigslist ads - a number of people have found goldens to unofficially rescue through that site as well.

Jax's mom (not sure that's her exact user name) lives in NY and works with dogs that need rescue. I suggest you check out the rescue cases section of the forum and post there as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,071 Posts
I would suggest that IF you get a dog.... get an older dog..... We adopted lola at 11 months- she was crate trained and use to being by herself for hours at a time. I work 3 days a week- so Lola spends about 8 hours a day three days a week home alone- not in a crate- just loose in the house. She is such a good girl- never has had an accident! I do think 8 hours a day 5 days a week sounds like a lot of alone time for a dog.... maybe wait until school is over or something and get a dog at a later date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Both my husband and I work full-time jobs and we have a roughly 5 month old golden puppy (exact age unknown since he was rescued.) We have a fenced off area within our backyard that he stays in on nice weather days. There's enough grass for pottying and playing, and a concrete pad where his dog house, water, and food sits. He LOVES the outdoors and even when we're home, he would rather be outside and we have to coax him inside with a treat. Unfortunately we don't have a way to have an inside-outside option because we have 2 indoor cats that would love to escape. There is a doggy daycare place in out neighborhood that also does in-home services, so they come every day at lunch to play and walk with him (regardless of weather). On rainy days, he will stay inside his crate for half the day and the dog service will come to our house to pick him up and take him to doggy daycare (or vice versa - I can drop him off there and they will take him home.) He definitely can't handle a full day of daycare at this age.. after 4-5 hours he is EXHAUSTED and will sleep for a solid 2 hrs at least. We give him plenty of love, play, and walks in the morning before work and all evening after work. We hate having to leave him during the day so long, but what can you do? So many people have dogs/pets that have jobs so I don't ever think having a full-time job is a reason not to get a pet. You just have to figure out what system works best for your dog. Having him on a schedule is helpful as well.

Good luck with your decision! Goldens are great dogs :)
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top