1. WELCOME

    To join the conversation, please register. It only takes a minute!

Advise needed is it best for my dog to be rehomed

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by Haykey, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Haykey

    Haykey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    I have a gorgeous 16 month old black lab
    When I bought him I didn’t work
    Since having him I have become a single mother and now work
    I pay for a dog walker 2 hours a day to take him out but for the rest of the day he is on his own until 4 pm
    I love him dearly and feel that it’s no life for an intelligent active dog
    A friend of a friend has a farm and has offered to take on my dog where he will live with another lab and will be out and about all day and at weekends will be going on shoots
    He will also be living with the family in there home
    My friends tell me not to re home him and it’s mean as he is part of the family
    I’m so torn I love him but my gut is telling me he will be happier there
    Would be great full for peoples advise
    I have never owned a working dog breed before
     
  2. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    1,543
    Location:
    UK
    Hi @Haykey . So sorry to hear of your problems caused by your change of circumstances. Making a decision on whether you should re-home your lovely boy is one of the hardest decisions you will have to make. Yes he is part of your family and you love him dearly, but you also need to consider his quality of life. It's great that you have a dog walker to exercise him during the day, but how long is he by himself between walks and your return home at 4pm? Woukd it be possible to arrange for someone to pop in to break up the day a bit more - there are various groups that link dog owners with people who can't have a dog but woukd live the opportunity to spend some time with a dog.
     
  3. Haykey

    Haykey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Hi thank you for your reply
    I leave the house at 7.30 am he has company / walk at 10 until 12 he goes for a swim or plays catch and I’m home by 4 the latest
    I just can’t make my mind up what is best for him I’m always worrying about him being left at home he is so intelligent and full of life
    Is it cruel? Would he be happier living on a farm where he is out all day
    It’s just so hard
     
  4. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,392
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry that you have to face a decision like this. Lots of families work full time and have to leave their dogs and use daycare and dog walkers during the week. If your dog has someone coming for two hours to break up his day like you describe then my personal opinion is he’s likely ok with that routine unless you are seeing signs that he is not. If so, could you consider taking him to the farm one or two days a week to break up the alone time? I would worry though if you are busy/out a lot on evenings and weekends as well and unable to train/play/walk and stimulate in other ways to compensate for the alone time. It sounds like you care a lot based on the fact that you are paying for a dog walker and considering what’s best for him. It’s a very difficult decision, good luck.
     
  5. MF

    MF Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    2,547
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Before deciding about the farm, how is the other lab treated there? What training methods do they use?

    I would hate to be in your situation, although I, too, have often thought the home life for my boy is not stimulating enough, unlike a working dog. My boy gets two decent walks a day, and someone home with him all day. As he’s got older, he is “lazier”. Until about 3 yo he needed lots of outings - I worked from home then and took him out a lot. But things change, dogs age, and they seem to become less demanding.

    The farm life sounds wonderful (if the dogs are treated well) - I feel for you in this dilemma.

    A thought: can he go to work with you?
     
  6. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,953
    Location:
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    What a hard decision and I feel for you. I've had a couple times in my life where I thought re-homing was better for my dog. Both very different than your circumstances, but I still remember how horrible it all felt. In both cases, though, I felt like ultimately I did the right thing and don't regret my decisions at all. I hope you get to that point and feel good about whatever you decide.

    First of all, I wouldn't feel guilty about his life as it is right now. You've had a change in circumstances but you took action to make sure he is taken out two hours a day while you can't be home with him. And he has you and your children in what is probably a pretty active home life in the morning, evenings and weekends. Maybe it wasn't what you had originally planned for him before your situation changed, but dogs adapt to all sorts of lifestyles. Does he seem unhappy, nervous, destructive, anxious? Or does he just seem like a normal active 16 month old puppy who would have lots of energy anyway?

    Second, ask yourself if your current situation is likely to change. Maybe you'll get a new job or your current job could become partly work from home, or as @MF says, you might be able to bring him to work with you. Or if you don't like your current dog-walking set up, there may be a future possibility of doggie daycare or that he spend the day with a neighbour or relative who would enjoy his company. I'm not saying you need to do any of this - you've already made sure he gets a great walk every day - but just to think of all the ways your life might change either unexpectedly or because you can tweak the situation to where you feel better about it. Re-homing him may be a permanent solution to a temporary situation.

    Finally, if you really think the farm situation is better for him, have you visited the farm and the people yet? I really hate when people tell me "go with your gut" because when I have a truly big decision to make, my 'gut' goes away and is just filled with panic. However, in this case, I think if you went and saw the farm and the people and their dogs, you're immediately going to get a "Oh heck no" feeling if it's not right. If you go and everything seems ideal, then you have another set of decisions to make, but the first one is simply "Would I even consider leaving my dog here?".

    If you do get a good feeling from the farm, then the next step might be a trial over a weekend. See how you feel about your dog being away and how the people talk about him when you pick him up. How is he acting with them and their dogs after a couple days? Also get a feel from them if this decision is "all or nothing". Maybe after the short trial, they'd consider a 'trial for a month' arrangement. Maybe they wouldn't, but try not to think of it as re-home or not re-home...or even that if you decide to re-home that this farm is your only option. Even if you decide that re-homing is best, this farm may not be the option you choose, and that's ok too.

    As usual, I've written a novel, sorry! But big decisions are kind of a theme for me now, so I really get your anxiety over this. For what it's worth, just by reading your brief couple of posts, I get the impression that you don't really want to re-home him. I have a feeling if you took him out to the farm just to have a meeting with the people, you'd come away thinking "No way" and running away as fast as you can. But if you didn't and you decided it was a good fit for everyone, that's good too. Right now I think you just need more information - both about the farm and how you feel about the whole thing - before making any final decisions. Baby steps are ok - and sending you good thoughts on whatever you decide. :)
     
    MF likes this.
  7. Granca

    Granca Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,740
    Just to say that I feel for you too. It sounds as if you’ve put a good regime in place for your dog - and it’s worth considering that your friends see him as ‘part of the family’.

    My circumstances changed, too, when my elder dog was two and the younger one eight months. I sometimes feel that the younger one (now four) in particular could do with more activity and stimulation in her life. However, during the recent snowy period, when the dogs and I were confined to the house and had to rely on games, the dogs slept most of the day, just nudging me every so often when they wanted another game. I had felt really guilty that I wasn’t taking them for walks, but they didn’t seem particularly bothered about the change of routine (and loved playing in the snow in the garden!) - and the younger dog seemed to relish extra time on her favourite sofa, even though I wasn’t in the same room!

    You don’t say what age your children are, but it’s worth considering their involvement too and how potentially losing another member of the family would affect them, even if they’re not able to do much to help. It’s so difficult when all the decision-making now rests with you.

    @Emily_BabbelHund has given you lots of food for thought. Take your time and let us know how you get on.
     
  8. Atemas

    Atemas Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    North Cambs
    My puppy is 15 months and I am at home most of the time. She is a working dog breed. She gets a very long walk first thing and then snoozes pretty much the rest of the day. She gets another 50 minute walk anytime between 12.30 and 2.30 so more snoozing. Her most wakeful bit is from 4.00 - 7.00 pm. If you are managing a walk first thing and your dog walker does two hours, then the chances are he may well be sleeping when you are out.

    I was working full time when we got our first Lab and whilst DH was home a lot, there were days when she would be home alone. Whilst I remember worrying about her on those alone days, it hasn’t done her any harm and she got plenty of attention at all other times.

    What I am trying to say is, rehoming your dog may not necessarily be the best thing for him or for you.
     
  9. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    9,631
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    My circumstances changed when Harley was 1 year old, I changed my job so went from 18 hours per week to 35 hours per week. I have a dog walker who takes her out for 1.5 hours a day which breaks up her day. I also am able to fit work around her, I.e. Monday’s I work 11am-7pm. Dog walker comes in at 1pm and has her until 2.30-3pm, my OH is home by 5.30-6pm. We do lots with her in the evenings and weekends and any time off I have is spent with her.
    It sounds to me that your boy is very much part of the family. What impact would it have on your children? What about you? Is he destructive when you are out at work? It is worth weighing up how much time you can give him in the evenings and weekends. Either way, I think it shows how caring you are by asking for advice and looking for the best option for your boy.
     
  10. SilverFalcon

    SilverFalcon Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    861
    Judging from your schedule, I wouldn't think it necessary to rehome him. It sounds like you're taking care of his well-being by employing a dog walker to break up his day, and he isn't being left unduly long. I'm not sure if it has been mentioned, but you could have some frozen kongs prepared for him. Leave him with one when you go to work, and ask your dog walker to leave him with another when she/he leaves.

    This may be a case of you feeling a lot of emotional strain because of your change in circumstances, and worrying when everything is fine :hug:
     
  11. Rosie

    Rosie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,756
    Location:
    South Wales
    It's a really tough decision - and all credit to you for thinking so hard about it.
    You've had some great advice above. The only thing that I would add is that dog's are very, very adaptable - they really will fit in with your routine as long as they have enough love, attention and stimulation overall. I don't think a dog needs to be out all day in order to be happy (certainly my boy enjoys snoozing most of the day away - although admittedly he has company because I'm at home).
    Just a few more questions:
    When you do get home, are you / your family able to spend lots of quality time with him, playing and interacting? If so, I would think that that will give him the stimulation he needs and deserves. It would be different if he was shut away even when you are home.

    Does he have anything to occupy him while he is "home alone"? For example, a kong with some of his daily meal allowance in it, frozen so it is a really good puzzle and challenge for him? Does he have the run of the house, or is he confined to a small space?

    And as Emily_BabbelHund asks, is he showing signs of distress / anxiety / destructiveness? If not....I think you're probably OK.
     
  12. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    12,222
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    It sounds to me like you are doing a great job for your dog under the unexpected stressful time you now find yourself in, which I can fully sympathise with. I know lots of owners that don't do half as much as you so don't feel bad. I just wondered if maybe your ex-partner could take on a little of the responsibility for your dog to take the pressure off? afterall he is a family dog so he could do his bit. I have a lovely friend that found himself in this position, he and his ex-partner have worked out the care of their beloved dog so that he is well cared for and remained with my friend. I hope you manage to work this out for your dog and family. xxx
     
    leejane and Emily_BabbelHund like this.
  13. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    1,543
    Location:
    UK
    It sounds as if his day is broken up by the dog walker and he doesn't spend too long by himself until your return. My only suggestion would be to perhaps a couple of short fun training sessions with him during the late afternoon/early evening to add some mental stimulation. A training session could be while you are waiting for the kettle to boil for a coffee/tea - it really doesn't have to be long.

    I wish I could answer your question as to whether he would happier on the friend of a friend's farm, unfortunately only you can do that with some soul searching :( , but what ever decision you reach try to base it upon the pros and cons of him staying with you or going to the farm and try to leave the emotions aside. Re-homing of a pet is incredibly hard and the decision needs to be based upon the best interests of your boy. Please keep in touch and let us know what you decide.
     
  14. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon & Mt Hood Oregon
    I think if your dog seems happy and not destructive, the current arrangement should work. Lots of dogs spend some hours alone everyday with no problem. You might consider doggie daycare occasionally also for a change of pace.
     
  15. Haykey

    Haykey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Hi everyone that replied to me it really helped
    And to be honest I thought I was going to have people say I shouldn’t of got him in the first place
    All your words of advise really helped
    I have decided to keep him and I think I need to just relax and stop over thinking
    As he is loved and cared for and is clearly happy
     
    WoodWoman, Atemas, Rosie and 13 others like this.
  16. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    9,631
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I’m glad that we were able to help you come to a decision. It is hard having a dog, but with dedication and love things can be worked out. Please do stick around and let us know how you are getting on.
     
  17. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,953
    Location:
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    That's really wonderful news! :)
     
  18. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    5,163
    Location:
    Isle of Man
    I feel your relief in coming to a decision. I feel sure you're going to have a wonderful future, you've given this so much thought.
     
    SwampDonkey and Emily_BabbelHund like this.
  19. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    1,543
    Location:
    UK
    So pleased to hear your decision @Haykey . Don't forget to keep in touch with the forum now, as we will all want to know how you get on :)
     
  20. Rosie

    Rosie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,756
    Location:
    South Wales

Share This Page