I'm new here as well... I work fulltime - 12 hour shifts... I just got a 3 months old mini poodle, and my biggest worry was boredom and toileting... I have arranged for a neighbour to come in twice a day, when I'm on those long shifts... I only have 2 of those per week - well, actually I have 4, but the other 2 are night shifts...
I have had many dogs over the years, and all have adapted to my work schedule.. If dogs don't have a job they can sleep for 18-20 hours a day, but then they need some exercise in between... I love mental exercises for dogs (as well as people)
It's sounds like you'd be best off to get an adult Poodle. One you know can get along with kids and one that is already content with being alone. Our standard is left for the longest from 7:30am until 4:30 PM. BUt this is not all the time, my husband and I try to stagger our days to minimize the time. WE do however walk, or RUN him for about 45 minutes before we leave him for the day. We also run him after work. I don't mean, open the back door and let him entertain himself. I mean, from the time i get home, til the time we go to bed I am entertaining my dog. He is young, smart and full of energy. Understand that when he is left home alone all day he is pent up and needs to let it out when we get home. I wish I had a better understanding of the impact of this before we got the Poodle.
On "hypoallergenic" My husband is deathly allergic to dogs but, with medication, fairs ok with our Poodle. HOWEVER, please keep in mind, the dog will bring in other allergens on his poodle suit (i.e., pollen, ragweed etc). There is no getting around this. He will also bring in other, non allergy friendly dog hairs/saliva etc from playing with other dogs at daycare, the dog park etc. My husband is not allergy free because we got a Poodle. He chooses to deal with it, because he loves Ralph and has always wanted a dog. If you have a child that has allergies though, you should consider these things more seriously.
on Poodle vs. kids: Ralph hates kids. They move too fast, they are unpredictable and he's unsure of them. THis is after lots and lots of exposure to them. He's taller than a toddler and enjoys staring them in the face (which scares children). THere are just some Poodles, who, I can not see getting along well with children. Ralph's skittish and hyper. He's not the kind of dog who'd tolerate a kid pulling his tail, I can tell you that.
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I mean, from the time i get home, til the time we go to bed I am entertaining my dog.
So true, LOL. The dog takes up so much of our attention after work. It's not a bad thing, but it did mean consciously giving up "spare downtime activities" like TV for play / training. Only now after a year and a half is our dog beginning to calm down enough that my spouse can play on the xbox a little now and then, and I can practice my guitar some without keeping one eye on the dog. And even then, we stop and play with the dog some when he gets restless.
Again, it's not a bad thing; the time bonding with the pup has been great for my spouse and me, but it is a lifestyle change that people who have never had a dog before (like us) might not realize will happen.
No dog is hypoallergenic, although poodles are less allergenic than other breeds. I have owned poodles for 30 years, gotten allergy shots, it helped, I am now on the allergy drops everyday. That said, since they don't shed, and its the dander and saliva that usually causes the allergic reaction, poodles are less so.
I have an almost 5 year old mini, work full time and he is home 8 to 10 hours weekdays and is fine, he gets long walk before and after and lots on weekends. He is not crated, however and does fine. With a pup its too long, for sure.
Just a warning, 7-8 months is the adolescent stage and they are a bit squirrly then! Maybe a bit older might be safer that way. But I think 2 dogs is a good idea. I got two standard poodle pups at the same time and while one would have been easier, it's been a lot of fun to train, exercise and get to know 2 dogs, and they also love each other and play together a lot every day. It really depends on the individual dog as to how they'd behave...there are laid back poodles and if you get an adult (or two), you'll know exactly what to expect because they will have grown out of the silly stages.
I dont think its that they get bored being alone that long, but that they get lonely. Dogs are social creatures and poodles especially dont like to be alone. My poodle follows me everywhere. Even if he is asleep, if I get up from the computer to go to the kitchen, he will follow my in there and go back to sleep at (or on) my feet.
That many hours alone every day would break a poodle's heart. Maybe if you got two they could keep each other company?
__________________ "I cant talk now, I have to get home and groom my poodle."
nbsn - I know you said you're not a cat person, but even cats can make great companions to dogs (and would cost less, if that's a concern). If you wanted to go that route just make sure you get a cat breed that gets along well with/enjoys the company of other animals. I wish we could get a cat to keep Wade company, actually. Allergies!
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Thank you all for your insightful comments.
I am not a cat kind of person. I think we are motivated enough to take good care of the dog, including spending time before and after we leave work.
As suggested earlier, perhaps we can hope to find an adult trained dog which is ok being alone as one option.
I haven`t really looked into cost /expenses as yet but would having 2 dogs 8-9 month range, which are potty trained be an impractical solution - so that they can keep each other company ?
Yes, in your situation, two dogs are better than one. Dogs are pack animals. They are not meant to live alone. Two will keep each other company while you are at work. I, too, have to work. The difference is my mother lives with s and she is home all the time and loves the dogs. Poodles are more people oriented than other breeds. Some breeds do better when left alone than a poodle does, but it is certainly possible to make this work. You would have to realize that much of your home time will be spent caring for dogs.
Cats are a much easier pet for someone gone all day.
PS Miniature poodles are more active than a standard poodle. People think they'd be easier, but many are like energizer bunnies. Highly entertaining and fun, but busy bees.