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Dogs and 12 hour shifts


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  • Dogs and 12 hour shifts

    I'm planning on getting my own place in the next couple months. I'd really like to get a dog when I move in. My problem is that I work 12 hour shifts at my dept (5p-5a) and obviously that's a very long time for a dog to be alone. I have a 25 minute drive to and from work so I'd literally be gone almost 14 hours a day when its said and done.

    The long hours allow me to have more days off luckily but I'd still feel guilty leaving an animal alone that long. Hopefully I can find a dog walker or something to come over on nights I work. That's probably the only way it would work.

    Does anyone live alone and have dogs while working a similar shift?

    Just kinda looking to see what other people do so I can get some ideas. Thanks!

  • #2
    I work 12 hour shifts, have 3 outside dogs but I'm married. I would think there would be a problem if you just had one dog. Two for your situation would work.


    • #3
      Dogs and a horse, I get attacked when I get home, The horse meets me at the gate and the dogs act like I have been gone a month. I have a dog door so they can go outside when they need to, and with three of them I'm pretty sure they have some fun when I am not home.
      I have a neighbor that tries to keep an eye out for me witch also helps..

      If it can get outside or someone you can count on can help out I would not do it until you are on a better schedule.


      • #4
        Don't get a dog. Unless someone else is there, those 14 hours are going to be filled with stress. Stress = behavior problems, which will be blamed on the dog, not you. Then you will dump it at a shelter.

        Wait for 8s. Don't be one of THEM. Be responsible. Cats do better at being alone.
        Now go home and get your shine box!


        • #5
          I am going to kind of agree with CCCSD.

          Dogs are pack animals...............they miss you when you are gone............they are GREAT when you come home and have someone to greet you etc...but being alone is terrible on them
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


          • #6
            Two cats and two dogs. They are left to themselves for no longer than seven hours. All four go nuts when I get home. Unfortunately, no pet doors as we have bobcat and mountain lion in our residence area and cannot risk them outside unsupervised.

            I'd recommend at least two animals if one is going to be a dog as they are (as Iowa stated) pack animals and do not do well alone for long periods. Definitely do not start with two puppies if your not around a lot. If you have no access to allow them outside for potty breaks I will guarantee 'messes' unless they're house trained and have a spot (maybe garage?) to go.

            Animal companionship is great so maybe like CC said...start with cats?
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            • #7
              I have two dogs that get left alone at most 9 hours but usually 8 or less. I'm also a dog volunteer at an animal shelter. If you're set on getting a dog get at least two but keep in mind not all dogs will get along well enough to be alone together. Mine are really attached and still get into fights on occasion. Your best bet might be to adopt two dogs that are already bonded. You'd also be doing them a favor as they're unlikely to get adopted together.

              12 hours is a long time for them to hold it in but there are a lot of options to get around that and make sure there are plenty of things to keep them busy. Having a night shift helps too because they'll sleep most of that time anyway.
              Last edited by zaedmi; 04-11-2015, 04:27 PM.


              • #8
                I have a similar issue with 10 hours days and living alone, but fortunately I am able to come home for a lunch hour which really makes all the difference.
                I don't like having a dog living outdoors, too many thing can go wrong, everything from escape to kids throwing rocks, to the deluge of being attacked by mosquitos, gnats, flies, ticks, extremes of weather etc., so mine live indoors and always have.
                With a young puppy you really need what most of us dog folks use for housebreaking- one of those plastic airline kennels, they have a secure place to call theirs, and they associate being fed and comfortable in there like a den.
                They will wander in and nap when the door is open, when you are away the door is closed and they have their water and toy.
                Once a puppy is old enough they are housebroken and past chewing things up, they can be loose in the house, or at least one room when you are at work.
                Your big problem is the 12 hour shift plus travel time, a puppy is not going to work well with that, but possibly an easy going mellow adult dog could.

                A dog door might work there to a fenced yard as a compromise against what I said earlier about the kids, flies, weather etc., but that's provided you don't live in a high crime area where burglars would crawl in thru the pet door.
                You might be able to find such a dog thru one of the dog breed rescue groups, they and their foster homes would also know their breed well and have evaluated the dog enough to know if a particular dog one of their volunteers has will work for you.
                Most giant breed dogs (Mastiff, St Bernard, Gt Pry etc) would probably come under the idea of easy going, mellow, not destructive, and likely to snooze most of the time, a high energy dog like a Labrador or Dalmatian might like trying to dig out a favorite toy under the sofa by digging THROUGH the sofa to get at it.

                As other said earlier- two dogs together is better for them too.

                12 hours is a long time, if there was a way to break that in half for a "potty break" as I do by coming home at lunch time, then it could work too. You are 25 minutes drive away so going home for lunch isn't really viable

                A pet sitter or pet walker who can feed, let the dog out around the halfway point of your shift is a possibility too, but that means giving them access to your house of course, you would need to make sure they are ethical, honest, bonded, insured, whatever as I'm sure you know.
                Last edited by Sculptor; 04-11-2015, 05:43 PM.


                • #9
                  You are not ready for a dog. It's a matter of your hours. It's going to cause problems. You need to wait until there is a second person in the home. Two dogs won't do it either.
                  Now go home and get your shine box!


                  • #10
                    This is what you could come home to if you leave a dog alone too many hours



                    • #11
                      Two puppies are more fun, besides, they keep each other all tired out as well as excersized!


                      • #12
                        Look at it this way: you are a 2.5 year old, locked up for 12 -14 hours, EACH day with no social interaction with a parent, siblings don't count. How would YOU feel?
                        Now go home and get your shine box!


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the input everyone. My original thought was to find someone who could come over on nights I work and play with the dog(s) half way into the shift for 30-40 minutes. Sounds like that's not the best option either seeing as they will still be left alone for 6-7 hours after that. Guess I will have to wait until I go somewhere with 8 hour shifts or a woman comes into the picture
                          I'm an animal lover so there's no way I live with myself knowing my dogs are being tortured stuck inside for 14 hours.


                          • #14
                            Perhaps what might work better for you.....

                            "Hello, my name is Rags.......Hello, my name is Rags...."
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                              Don't get a dog. Unless someone else is there, those 14 hours are going to be filled with stress. Stress = behavior problems, which will be blamed on the dog, not you. Then you will dump it at a shelter.

                              Wait for 8s. Don't be one of THEM. Be responsible. Cats do better at being alone.
                              I've made arrests where 12-14 hours can turn into 16-17 hours or more. Not fair to any dog.
                              “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” - Robert F. Kennedy.


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