Many people ponder the merits of owning a Doodle with a full-time job. Some would even say it’s the chief objection keeping them from adding a Doodle to their tribe.
As doodle breeders, we always recommend thinking through all aspects of the Doodle adoption process before acting (for those who have filled out an application, you know our screening process is quite thorough!) so let’s take a look to see whether Doodles can mesh with full-time laborers.
In general, dogs are incredibly social animals to begin with and are hardwired with a pack mentality. Doodles in particular tend to be on the more social end of the spectrum when comparing dog breeds as the poodle is a highly intelligent, sensitive, intuitive and people-oriented dog.
In your Doodle’s ideal world, he or she would be with you 24/7 and come with you wherever you go (you can read about how to deal with any doodle separation anxiety here). However, the majority of Americans do work full time so this is usually an unrealistic scenario (shhh…don’t tell that to the doodles!).
Despite this reality, Doodles can still make great pets for full-time employees. Let’s examine some considerations to structure your day and your dog’s routine to enable members of the work force to still enjoy the incredible experience of having a four-legged companion.
Establish a secure, safe place for your dog to rest while you are working full-time
One of the most effective tactics is appropriate crate training. When utilized correctly, the crate actually feels like a safe, cozy place to your dog and will help keep him calm and at rest when he must be left alone. (Please note that early introduction to crate training is critical!)
Being fed in their crate, having special “crate only” toys such as special chew toys and peanut-butter filled kongs help our pups develop a positive association with their crate. We give our pups an excellent head start, but as the owner, it is up to you to continue structured crate time even if your pup objects at first.
Starting with the crate at a young age and continuing consistent crate time as the pup grows older is a huge key to helping your pup feel secure even when he is alone. Most young pups need to be kenneled when left alone so that they do not ruin your house by chewing inappropriate objects such as table legs, shoes, etc., but also to keep them safe from chewing things that could hurt them such as electrical cords.
Once they have grown past the chewing phase and have settled into the routine of the house, some Doodles are able to transition out of the crate and remain at rest in the house while their owners are away at work. But keeping your pup crated for the first year of his life is often the best way to keep him safe while you are gone.
Full-time workers should create an appropriate amount of exercise time for their new doodle
One question you should always ask before buying a puppy is about their exercise needs.
A tired pup will be much more willing to relax and nap when alone than a pup who has pent up energy. Doodles are moderately active dogs and need daily exercise – especially when they are young. Poodles (as well as many of the other breeds that make up the most popular doodle breeds: Golden Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs, etc.) are very athletic.
They were bred for hunting and water retrieval tasks… so being active is in their DNA! This doesn’t mean they won’t snuggle up with you for a good Netflix session, but they are often more apt to be a in a state of rest and relaxation when their exercise needs are being appropriately met.
Taking your pup for a brisk morning walk and/or fetch time out in the yard before leaving for work may make a world of difference in helping him feel more relaxed while you are away. Also keep in mind that you may be exhausted after a long day at work, but if your dog has been resting and waiting for you all day, he/she will be ready to go!
Be prepared for a long play session or another walk when you get home from work before your young dog is ready for Netflix! There are many other ways to exercise your Doodle from jogging to swimming/water activities to agility and frisbee games. Feel free to get creative (catching peanut butter flavored bubbles is another favorite pastime for the parent dogs in our program!) to keep your Doodle’s physical as well as mental stimulations needs met.
If you work full-time and want a doodle, ensure that they will get proper time to be active.
Consider your doodle puppy's socialization options!
Depending on your employment schedule, it may be important to utilize a dog walker or doggy day care if exercising your Doodle does not fit into your schedule.
If you find you work extra-long days or simply don’t have the time or energy to consistently exercise your pup before or after work, you may consider a helping hand. Many of our doodle owners have a dog walker come mid-day to walk their pup and/or take their doodle for a day of play at a doggy day care (Think summer camp for dogs!). This way, you and your Doodle may be more on the same page — both tired after a long day (of work or play!) and ready to snuggle the night away.
Also, if you work full time, you may want to think of extra bonding activities for you and your doodle. Your dog will likely adapt fairly easily to your work routine, but he/she will definitely benefit from accompanying you on other dog-friendly outings. Check out local dog parks, dog-friendly bars, stores, etc. in your city so that you can incorporate your pooch into your non-working life as much as possible to ensure that his social needs are being met.
Owning a doodle and working full-time is doable, but it takes effort
In conclusion, it’s not always ideal or easy to work full-time and own a young doodle, but with a little understanding and effort, it certainly can be done in a way that keeps both owner and pup living life to their fullest!
As breeders, we really believe in the power of canine companionship and we’re here to help you experience it to the max! Let us know about your experience by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenna and the JLDD Team