Adopting a Dog

MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
edited September 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm looking at potentially adopting a dog in the near future and would love some advice. A little about me as far as dog ownership is concerned:
  • 27, live by myself, have had a dog from birth till about 7 years ago
  • Live in a ~1000 sq. ft. apartment in downtown Seattle, pet friendly
  • Gone 9-11 (mostly 9ish) hours during the week, I'd bring the dog to daycare (I do work in a dog friendly office, but I question whether the dog would simply get bored there)
  • Live next door to a reasonably sized(for a city) park (not off leash), nearest off-leash park is ~10 minute walk
  • I hike on the weekends and really want a dog that would be a good hiking buddy

My main problem is what breeds of dog I should be looking for. I feel like the dogs that are suitable for an apartment in the city are not the same dogs that would be good for hiking/camping/outdoorsy stuff. Any suggestions re: breeds? In general I like medium-large dogs, since I'm a pretty big guy myself (6'3"). I'd like something that would be pretty comfortable in the water as well. Sadly, I sold my kayak moving across the country earlier this year, but I'd like to keep the option open for a kayak buddy if possible. I've have had (rather large, as in well beyond breed standard large) Shelties for most of my life, and love the breed. Aussies as well. Again, my problem is these things all seem to conflict quite a bit with living in a city/apartment. Realistically, I'll probably wind up with some sort of mix, because I'll be going to a shelter anyways, but it'd be nice to have some general ideas.

I'm also conflicted re: my work hours. Is it feasible to have a dog and not have anyone home during the day? Like I said, I'd be taking the dog to daycare, and occasionally to work, but I don't want to be a bad dog owner either, and wonder if that is a reasonable solution.

On a related note, anything I else I should be doing right now? Obviously down the road a bit further there is a ton to do, but this is very preliminary at this point. I'm currently looking in to local shelters/rescues as well starting to look at daycare options. I suppose I should start looking at vets too.

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Posts

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I've never known a single person who owned a dog and found it to be a good arrangement. You're feeling bad about the time you'll be at work. Now factor that against the concept that you can never, ever take any additional unplanned time away from home, since your pet relies on you for literally everything, down to permission to pee.

    I love dogs too, but it's a hell of a burden on your time.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    I really recommend against a single person owning a dog if they're going to be away at work every day.

    schussSkeith
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you really want a dog and can afford the day care, go for it, but really research the costs before you make the jump. Pet boarding is expensive as hell, and thats going to be on top of food, flea prevention and shots, regular vet visits, and all that. It might not be a great idea to get a pet knowing that 70% of the time it will need day care. It could be a really significant hole in your budget.

    I live in a super pet friendly town and everyones got dogs and can take them out with them. At least here, it seems pretty feasible to have a dog as a single person, but I went down the cat route till I have the time and the space for the kind of breed I want. I had a dog while I was in highschool and that was probably the the best time for me to take on the sort of around the clock attention dogs thrive under.

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    As Iruka said, if you CAN afford the daycare

    A greyhound might be a good fit. Worlds fastest couch potato. Despite their athletic reputation they are very good apartment dogs. And theres always a need for greyhound adoption.

    However, I would seriously consider a cat or other pet if you cannot do the daycare thing or have the dog with you at work

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    If you spend all of your time and money having someone else care for your dog and ferrying it around every day you go to work is it really your dog in anything other than cost? Having a dog in an apartment is kind of a pain in the ass. Pets may exist for the owners enjoyment, but they're still living creatures. Cat's don't give a shit and would sleep 18 hours a day whether you were home or not, dogs have a need for way more interaction.

    Edit: The breeds that would do well in an apartment are opposite the breeds you can take for long hikes.

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    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    You would need a small breed for an apartment, or a large breed for hiking. A large breed in an apartment is pretty rough on the dog (and your belongings as the more active breeds that would be good hiking companions will get bored with your total hours and wreck the house to keep entertained unless crated) and a small breed on a hike you'll be carrying after the first 10 minutes.

    Unless you have property with a yard, I'd advise against the kind of dog you would want for hiking. Especially with a 8-11 hour schedule.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    You would need a small breed for an apartment, or a large breed for hiking. A large breed in an apartment is pretty rough on the dog (and your belongings as the more active breeds that would be good hiking companions will get bored with your total hours and wreck the house to keep entertained unless crated) and a small breed on a hike you'll be carrying after the first 10 minutes.

    Unless you have property with a yard, I'd advise against the kind of dog you would want for hiking. Especially with a 8-11 hour schedule.

    huge generalization
    we used to take our firends corgi out snowshoeing with us in foot deep powder and it was fine. also dogs like the portuguese water dog are super hardy and will hike with you .

    conversely you can have a big dog in an apartment. our dog is 70lb ish and only really stays in one room. when she was younger she was super active outside but lazy as hell if we were inside.

    if you are going to walking the dog as much as you say when you are home you will be fine. it will be work but will manageable especially if you plan on taking the dog with you as much as you can.

    a house if just a place to sleep and most dogs don't really play inside

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    You would need a small breed for an apartment, or a large breed for hiking. A large breed in an apartment is pretty rough on the dog (and your belongings as the more active breeds that would be good hiking companions will get bored with your total hours and wreck the house to keep entertained unless crated) and a small breed on a hike you'll be carrying after the first 10 minutes.

    Unless you have property with a yard, I'd advise against the kind of dog you would want for hiking. Especially with a 8-11 hour schedule.

    huge generalization
    we used to take our firends corgi out snowshoeing with us in foot deep powder and it was fine. also dogs like the portuguese water dog are super hardy and will hike with you .

    conversely you can have a big dog in an apartment. our dog is 70lb ish and only really stays in one room. when she was younger she was super active outside but lazy as hell if we were inside.

    if you are going to walking the dog as much as you say when you are home you will be fine. it will be work but will manageable especially if you plan on taking the dog with you as much as you can.

    a house if just a place to sleep and most dogs don't really play inside

    Leaving a dog alone for 9 hours is not really ok

    I do agree that dogs can be completely great in apartments, but you should definitely not leave your dog alone that much.

    NightDragonEncschuss
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    You like big dogs?
    You need a dog that is relatively lazy?

    Great Danes are amazing for this. I have one in my apartment, am away a similar amount of time (granted my wife stays home about half the week, but she's too busy with the kids to really take him out so he stays indoors until I get home) and he's perfectly happy. They are a bit on the pricey side (both in terms of initial cost and vet fees) but exercise is actually bad for them. It's advised that they should be maxed out at a 10-15minute walk per day (I generally do a bit more because mine has been slightly on the full of energy side of things.)

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  • Beef AvengerBeef Avenger Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I live by myself in a city apartment with an energetic breed (Border Collie) and it works out fine. He always gets a lot of outside time (generally walks and playing fetch in the park) before and after work, then he's on his own during the day while I'm at work, during which time he's pretty passive and mostly naps. Apartment space doesn't matter so much if they're getting their exercise elsewhere.

    It's doable, especially if you go the doggy daycare/bring it to work route. It does put a hard limit on how long you can be away from home and you have to be committed to getting the dog outside for lots of outside time every day.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Nine hours is okay. It's best if you can get doggie day care or someone to come walk them half way through if you live in an apartment.

    Just make sure you exercise them when you get home, and get a breed better suited for apartment living (I'd avoid a border collie, even though beef avenger is doing okay).

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Yeah... I work with someone who has an apartment and a border collie. He takes hour long lunches every day and walks it before and after work. It has still ripped up the floor in the entire kitchen and half the living room and loses his mind when it goes outside because there's just too much energy there. He expected to own a house after he got the dog, but things came up. It literally needs 6 hours a day of hard play time, and even that isn't really enough.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Great Danes are amazing for this. I have one in my apartment, am away a similar amount of time (granted my wife stays home about half the week, but she's too busy with the kids to really take him out so he stays indoors until I get home) and he's perfectly happy. They are a bit on the pricey side (both in terms of initial cost and vet fees) but exercise is actually bad for them. It's advised that they should be maxed out at a 10-15minute walk per day (I generally do a bit more because mine has been slightly on the full of energy side of things.)

    He wants a dog that will laze around on weekdays and go on long hikes with him at weekends. Sounds like if 15 minutes is the max a Great Dane should do, a 5 hour hike would kill it entirely.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    I'm gonna be the dissenter here and say leaving a dog alone for nine hours is okay. Dogs sleep when their masters aren't home. It is kind of what they do. If you balance that with vigorous walks and attention when you are home, then don't feel bad. Boarding isn't as expensive as you might think these days because there are a lot more facilities that house lots of dogs and even give you updates and reports and have free deals or repeat deals. You could also visit the dog on your lunchbreak. The important part is having your dog trained well enough that you can do that.

    The fact that you are taking it to doggy daycare at your work during the day should be more than enough.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Some dogs snooze happily in the day. Some flip out like psychos and yap every moment they are alone, causing the neighbours to have a very frosty relationship with you.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    Okay yeah so obviously figure out which camp your dog will be in and work with them during weekends using a crate or whatever.

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Great Danes are amazing for this. I have one in my apartment, am away a similar amount of time (granted my wife stays home about half the week, but she's too busy with the kids to really take him out so he stays indoors until I get home) and he's perfectly happy. They are a bit on the pricey side (both in terms of initial cost and vet fees) but exercise is actually bad for them. It's advised that they should be maxed out at a 10-15minute walk per day (I generally do a bit more because mine has been slightly on the full of energy side of things.)

    He wants a dog that will laze around on weekdays and go on long hikes with him at weekends. Sounds like if 15 minutes is the max a Great Dane should do, a 5 hour hike would kill it entirely.

    I missed the hiking part - that said I do take mine for 4-5hour walks once in a while. Certainly not every weekend and I'm sure it'd be frowned upon by the Great Dane community but I never force him to carry on.

  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    Sounds like there's quite the mix of opinions here. I do want to clarify one thing since there seems to be a lot of talk about a dog being home alone all day:
    The dog would absolutely not be staying in the apartment alone while I go to work every day. It would be a mix of daycare, bringing the dog to work, and working from home. I already worked out the budget and daycare shouldn't be a problem. Short version is if I can't find something I am happy with in that regard (i.e. not sitting around at home being bored), I won't be getting a dog.

    Still deciding whether or not to move forward with this, all the discussion so far has been very helpful. Greyhound sounds like an interesting choice on breed. I may have to look into that.

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  • McFodderMcFodder 'SploringRegistered User regular
    A greyhound was actually what I came in to suggest, glad someone beat me to it.

    They aren't naturally strong swimmers (but generally happy to wear a flotation device) and would need to work up to long distance hikes as they are much more a sprinter than an endurance breed.

    Our girl is home by herself about 8 hours a day and pretty much just sleeps the whole time - we take her for a 20-30 minute walk before work, sometimes another one after but she's just as happy to snuggle up on the couch. Generally if you let a local greyhound adoption agency know what you're looking for they are happy to keep an eye out for one with the right temperament - the first greyhound we were looking at had been fostered with another dog and young family and enjoyed that company so we were told he wouldn't suit our situation and we were happy to wait for one who would.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    i wouldn't get a greyhound for hiking. yes they are fast and lazy but i wouldn't call them hardy.

    plus if they see something in the woods they are probably gone

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    My opinion wasn't based around it being bad for the dog. Dogs can definitely do 8-9 hours solo as long as they're getting plenty to do outside those hours.

    I'd just really recommend you think hard about how often you do anything spontaneously in your life. Dogs and spontaneity don't get along well. I have two good friends who were relieved when they finally gave their dogs to their parents due to things like: being unable to take off for an unplanned snowboarding trip when it snows, being able to go straight to rock climbing after work, being able to go to happy hours they hadn't planned on, etc.

    What is this I don't even.
  • DeadfallDeadfall I don't think you realize just how rich he is. In fact, I should put on a monocle.Registered User regular
    Yeah I have a bit ol' Husky/Lab/Pit mix and he just sleeps all day for like 9 hours. He doesn't like strangers or running around really, and he loves his walk when I get home. And then he usually sleeps for another few hours until bedtime. So yeah, you just have to find the right dog for you. A shelter should let you interact and/or play with a few dogs there to see which one works for you. The one I went to even had a temperament card; "My name is Woofles, I like to play a lot and need lots of attention!" We chose one that said he needed his space, and it works out perfectly.

    But if it's a concern, like maybe he needs an afternoon walk or play session, check out some local vets to see if they have a dog walking service. At mine, a few of the vet techs offer a service where they'll come to your place and walk and feed and play with them.

    But to echo a few others, a lazy apartment dog would be a huge difference from a weekend hiking dog. I tried that with mine and he wanted to rest beneath every shady tree and kept wanting to go home. Even when we used to take him to dog parks he'd just stroll on back to the car.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    My opinion wasn't based around it being bad for the dog. Dogs can definitely do 8-9 hours solo as long as they're getting plenty to do outside those hours.

    I'd just really recommend you think hard about how often you do anything spontaneously in your life. Dogs and spontaneity don't get along well. I have two good friends who were relieved when they finally gave their dogs to their parents due to things like: being unable to take off for an unplanned snowboarding trip when it snows, being able to go straight to rock climbing after work, being able to go to happy hours they hadn't planned on, etc.

    yeah I can agree with this

    if you're a boring homebody like me who likes a schedule, dogs are great

    if you're someone who likes to get up and leave town for a week.. dogs are not so great

    spontaneity is okay if the dog is included, though, like hiking or kayaking or something (some dogs looooooooooove kayaking)

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    i wouldn't get a greyhound for hiking. yes they are fast and lazy but i wouldn't call them hardy.

    plus if they see something in the woods they are probably gone

    You literally can never take them off the leash.

    If you go greyhound adoption, make sure the adopting agency finds you the type of greyhound that has already been exposed to being alone not around other dogs. When they are racing they are constantly around other dogs.

    I adopted one for a short period of time, but her separation anxiety was so bad I had to return her, it just wasn't a good fit.

    bowen
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    i wouldn't get a greyhound for hiking. yes they are fast and lazy but i wouldn't call them hardy.

    plus if they see something in the woods they are probably gone

    You literally can never take them off the leash.

    If you go greyhound adoption, make sure the adopting agency finds you the type of greyhound that has already been exposed to being alone not around other dogs. When they are racing they are constantly around other dogs.

    I adopted one for a short period of time, but her separation anxiety was so bad I had to return her, it just wasn't a good fit.

    yea and maybe that is a personal bias i have against greyhounds. I will always want a dog I can train to be off leash in the woods. (or really anywhere)

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  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Borzois can be good in apartments, and are a large breed (almost as tall as a Great Dane). Not sure how they are with water though.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
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