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Thread: Puppy and casual/ full time work

  1. #1

    Default Puppy and casual/ full time work

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here as I will be getting a Kelpie puppy next week. The puppy will be 8 weeks old. Anyways, I was just wondering how long I can leave the puppy alone each day? I won't be working full time (teaching near my house) until next year February so I'll have Oct - Jan free to spend time with the puppy and socialising him. However, I do tutor VCE students and since their final exam is coming up, I need to tutor approximately 2 days per week for 3 hours each time. This means that I won't be home for 4 hours (including travelling time) on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout October. My mum will be able to take him to the toilet during the time I'm away but I highly doubt she will be able to spend 4 hours with him. Is it alright if I leave him with a Kong or something safe to play with while I'm gone?

    The other concern I have is that I'll be doing full time work next year. I did not expect this when I bought the puppy from the breeder but I just received a job offer from a nearby school last week so I've decided to accept the ongoing position as teaching jobs are quite competitive right now unless I go to rural areas. I don't think it makes sense to turn down a job offer for next year because I'm getting a puppy now...I would consider this opportunity to be very rare. I know first year teaching is tough so I'll try my best to take care of the puppy and taking him to professional training sessions among all the marking, lesson planning etc

    I'm staying home so the puppy will be with my family too. My mum will be home for most of the days and my siblings will come home in the afternoon from school so I guess they can spend a bit of time with the Kelpie when I'm at work. However, I can't guarantee people will be home every day. So here's my daily schedule:

    6am - 7:30am: Exercise and play with dog. Go out for a long walk / free run and play fetch.
    8am: Feed dog and leave for work.
    Noon: Mum takes dog out on a walk.
    4:30pm - 5:30pm: Arrive home and take the dog out for another walk / free run and play session
    5:30pm - 6:30pm: Training and doing some mental stimulation work with the dog e.g. puzzles, hide seek
    7pm - 9pm: Complete school work (lesson planning, marking) with the dog next to me
    9pm: Sleep

    What are your thoughts about the above schedule? If you work full time, do you think the above schedule works?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by tange; 09-23-2015 at 07:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you've put plenty of thought into this and know what you're getting yourself into with a Kelpie! Definitely keep in mind how important mental stimulation is for Kelpies - exercise won't do it alone otherwise you'll end up with a super fit bored out of his brain Kelpie

    That schedule sounds pretty good to me though! Plenty of exercise, plenty of mental stimulation. It's okay for pup to spend time alone with toys like Kongs and such When I got my pup (Aussie Shepherd) He spent a lot of time alone during the day because I was at school. He adapted well and learnt to spend the day relaxing until i get home

  3. #3

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    Thank you! That's a relief seriously. I had a Kelpie before (taking care of someone else's dog) so I understand the importance of physical and mental exercise. I really hope that I can manage my workload as a first year teacher and take care of my dog but I fear that people at school won't understand why I need to go home on time and not stay back to work (I probably look like a lazy teacher). The principal or teacher might think I'm insane. I mean it is different from saying, "I need to go home to take care of my children so I can't stay back after school" than "sorry I need to go home to take care of my dog"! Lol

  4. #4
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    I think that puppy has it pretty good.

    Hopefully by the time he is about 20 weeks old or so (4.5 to 5 months) - the toilet training will be done. Vague rule of thumb for puppy is 5 minutes of exercise per month of age - so initially you won't need to do long walks - but the trouble with kelpies and other herding breeds is they only quit when you tell them they have to or they can't physically move any more. Which isn't so good for growing joint health.

    You could probably double that rule of thumb exercise time for a kelpie and get away with it. And make up the difference with trick training for body awareness and general fun stuff. Just to wear the brain out.

    If you give him a human child name - it might take the head teacher a while to realise you're going home early to a fur kid...

    You will know you have the balance right if your house stays intact. If you start losing sox, undies, shoes, couches - you might need to step up the brain training and exercise some.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    I think that puppy has it pretty good.

    Hopefully by the time he is about 20 weeks old or so (4.5 to 5 months) - the toilet training will be done. Vague rule of thumb for puppy is 5 minutes of exercise per month of age - so initially you won't need to do long walks - but the trouble with kelpies and other herding breeds is they only quit when you tell them they have to or they can't physically move any more. Which isn't so good for growing joint health.

    You could probably double that rule of thumb exercise time for a kelpie and get away with it. And make up the difference with trick training for body awareness and general fun stuff. Just to wear the brain out.

    If you give him a human child name - it might take the head teacher a while to realise you're going home early to a fur kid...

    You will know you have the balance right if your house stays intact. If you start losing sox, undies, shoes, couches - you might need to step up the brain training and exercise some.
    Haha there is no way anyone would believe I have a child at home. I'm 23 years old and but people keep on thinking I'm a highschool student because of my face and height. Canteen ladies on my placement refused to serve me in the teacher's line because they thought I was a kid pretending to be a teacher since there was no uniform policy.
    I really do think puppies are as much work as young kids.

    Thanks for the information. I will not exercise him too much before he is fully grown - 10/15 min per session when he is 8 weeks old and then gradually add time based on each month.

  6. #6
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    You might still look old enough to have "baby sitting duty"?

    I used to have that too young to do - anything problem. Until I was about forty. The only way round it is to remember something that 13 year olds couldn't possibly remember. Eg anything from the 90s.

  7. #7

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    You have a really good attitude and expectancy of a new puppy - You're right about their workload in comparison to a child. At 8-12 weeks they are more work than a newborn! (luckily it doesn't last long though as they grow physically and mentally so quickly)

    I would recommend crate training your new addition - this will help with toilet training (and training the other people in your home) as I've experienced it recently - you can perfectly train your puppy and someone else will un-do all of your hard work. We recently crate trained our cross breed pup and she took to it amazingly! It's great for proper down time and safe napping (where your eyes don't need to be constantly watching)

    Good luck with your new addition next week :-)
    Asha - 22/05/15 Wolfhound cross a Dogue De Bordeaux X American Bulldog.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schnecke View Post
    You have a really good attitude and expectancy of a new puppy - You're right about their workload in comparison to a child. At 8-12 weeks they are more work than a newborn! (luckily it doesn't last long though as they grow physically and mentally so quickly)

    I would recommend crate training your new addition - this will help with toilet training (and training the other people in your home) as I've experienced it recently - you can perfectly train your puppy and someone else will un-do all of your hard work. We recently crate trained our cross breed pup and she took to it amazingly! It's great for proper down time and safe napping (where your eyes don't need to be constantly watching)

    Good luck with your new addition next week :-)
    Thank you! Yes we will crate train him but the breeder already crate trained the dog (I'm getting him from Sydney so the breeder recommended us to pay extra for crate and boarding training so that he won't get anxious on the plane). I bought the training booklet from the breeder and I have forced my family members to finish reading it , making sure that everyone is on the same page and there's no slacking off haha

    I'll also try to gradually ease the puppy into being alone for longer periods of time before I start working next year so he won't have separation anxiety.

  9. #9
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    Now that sounds like a grand place for a pup to land! Perfect home. If i were a breeder, id sell you a pup
    Crates make the BEST dens for dogs. Im a serial GSD owner, and know the importance of the den to this breed. A crate saved my garden from being dug out a den. Daily. We eventually stopped filling it in. and let the dog have his hole/den. Then: Got the crate, he prefers the crate to his dug out den these days.
    And coz he loves it, the bitch we have, steals it occasionally, and refuses to get out.

    Of course you can work full time AND be a great home for a dog. Despite what certain melbourne shelters have advised me.
    well done on the pup.

    Ive seen some gorgeous padded material crates. But in my home, that would NOT last. Metal is the way to go, with a comfy blankey area is worth considering before you purchase.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Now that sounds like a grand place for a pup to land! Perfect home. If i were a breeder, id sell you a pup
    Crates make the BEST dens for dogs. Im a serial GSD owner, and know the importance of the den to this breed. A crate saved my garden from being dug out a den. Daily. We eventually stopped filling it in. and let the dog have his hole/den. Then: Got the crate, he prefers the crate to his dug out den these days.
    And coz he loves it, the bitch we have, steals it occasionally, and refuses to get out.

    Of course you can work full time AND be a great home for a dog. Despite what certain melbourne shelters have advised me.
    well done on the pup.

    Ive seen some gorgeous padded material crates. But in my home, that would NOT last. Metal is the way to go, with a comfy blankey area is worth considering before you purchase.
    Yeah I didn't know about crate training and the importance of it before owning a dog =D I'm buying the crate from the breeder so that he is already comfortable with the same crate. I also bought a kennel / dog house as well in case he prefers to go in there when he gets bigger
    Haha we don't have grass or soil in our garden because my family decided to change everything to concrete so I don't think my dog can dig a hole in the concrete, which also means I'll be using a dog toilet with fake grass lol

    We were initially going to get a GSD and we were conflicted about choosing between a GDS and a Kelpie. We ended up deciding on a Kelpie because (comparatively speaking) GSD tend to have more health issues or genetic conditions than kelpies. I know it is important to get a dog from a good breeder to avoid those health issues, but I think it's more likely to have a healthier kelpie than GSD if they both came from a good breeder. Cost wise, my kelpie ended up being around $1300 and I got him from a reputable breeder while a GSD from the same quality breeder was most likely going to cost me $2000+ Another problem is with the shedding. Both dogs shed but we could tolerate the amount of shedding from Kelpies based on our previous dog. I did some research and from what I've heard, GSD shed huge amounts 24/7 particularly during certain seasons. I don't think my mum would be able to tolerate that because she is a neat freak who hates too much dog hair.

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