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any chefs/cooks with hectic schedules that own a dog?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm really curious if any chefs or cooks out there that own one. We all know the crazy schedule and long hours that come with working in kitchen, but how do you guys do it? I'm seriously considering owning a dog, I work in a restaurant and probably there about 11 hours a day. I know it's not fair to own one and leave them cooped up inside for so long, but I've thought of getting a dog walker. (I know someone who does this). But obviously it can get expensive.

So I have a few questions:

-how do you make sure your dog is getting enough exercise
-the time that you're at work, what happens to your dog
-any advice about barking, peeing, etc that happens while you're at work

I guess most of my concern is making sure it gets enough time outside. Plus getting a new dog (i plan to adopt) I'll need to take a few days off to make sure it gets settled in, right? I have so many questions. But I plan to do all the necessary homework to make sure I'm giving my future dog a good and loving home.

Any advice, words of wisdom, or links for info is appreciated!
post #2 of 8
Don't get a dog - get a cat! Dogs are pack animals. Keeping them cooped up in isolation for 11 hours a day is just too long, and you're asking for all kinds of behavioral problems. How much exercise (both physical and mental) do you think you'll be able to give the dog after an 11 hour day yourself? Sorry if I'm coming across harshly - don't mean to. :) Welcoming a dog into your household is a huge commitment, especially if you're going to adopt a shelter dog, who is coming to you with preprogrammed 'issues' already.

If you're wanting an animal for companionship, but have to be gone that much of the day, do consider a cat. They're much more independent and can live quite happily during the day without you, as long as you provide toys, climbers, etc for them to keep active and stimulated.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your input. I have considered getting a cat, but you know, it's not the same as a dog. I want a running companion and a dog that will keep me company so I can take just about anywhere. Some women want babies, I want a dog knowing the life changing experience and commitment on my part. I guess I'll just wait for a different time in my life where my schedule isn't so hectic.
post #4 of 8
Hi there,

I have three dogs. I work about the same hours (amount) as you do. I also am married so that really helps take the pressure off. My wife is a lawyer so she's no stranger to long hours and sudden emergencies that interrupt walking/pooping schedules. It can be a hustle to keep the guys feed and exercised but it is do-able.

Things to think about:

Do you have access to a yard? Its no substitute for a good walk or run but really helpful for taking the edge off bladders.

Breed of dog. While all dogs need activity the amount and intensity can vary dramatically between breeds. The age of the dog is also a factor here too. I applaud your idea of a rescue animal (all of my guys were). I would contact the head of local rescue agencies and explain your situation. Rescue groups often have a better understanding of their "clients" than a shelter would. They may know a small breed dog of middle age that could fit your situation perfectly.

When you ask about house training that makes me think puppy and that might be a place you don't want to go at this time. That requires a heck of a lot of time and lateral thinking. Every dog is different and learns in different ways (like waiters). It not only needs patience but lots of time with the pup to observe its behavior.

Anyway, think about it. Let us know how it plays out.

--Al
post #5 of 8
WARNING: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T GET A PUPPY!

Sorry about the screaming.

My 11 year old son got a puppy. I was against it, but my wife broke down and got one. Needless to say, they (puppies) are a lot of work.

Animal shelter dogs are a mixed bag, many of them are abuse cases,or around here, grow-op guard dogs. They can be re-trained, but it takes a lot of effort. Oh, and time. Oh, and patience....

If you live in an apartment or condo tower, don't do it. If you have a back yard you're much better off.

Trott off to the library and get books on various breeds and their characteristics, some breeds are much quieter than others.
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post #6 of 8
Brilliant!

the funny thing is, I am going to get more mileage out of this applying it to waiters then I am to dogs.:rolleyes:
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 8
I don't own a dog, but, do own three small children....the barking isn't too much trouble, peeing and etc is getting better....Just joking......I think it would be an injustice to the dog...leaving it penned, caged, or inside, especially if its a larger breed. Remember....working dogs have to work to be happy....good luck...perhaps try a smaller less active breed.
post #8 of 8
While I agree with the sediment behind the statement, you are somewhat wrong in your assumption about big dogs. Oftentimes big dogs make the best small house/apartment dogs. The very large breeds are often quite content to just lie around for most of the day and often require less exercise than small or medium breeds. Sporting dogs would have issues with this kind of lifestyle as they were bred to be on the go constantly.

But on to the original post. As much as I can sympathize with you, you may want to consider holding off for awhile, at least until you have a roommate, partner or spouse that can help with taking care of the dog. One of the big reasons is, what about a social life? You work 11 hours a day. That's a long time for a dog without bathroom breaks, though they can be trained to hold it that long, but you have to go home after work every night. No time for a beer at the bar, or for going out after work. I think eventually you would look at this dog as more of a chore and "ball and chain" than as a companion. Best to wait until you have someone to help you with the dog.
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