Canine Behavior/new dog



I have read your biography and promise to read and rate your response within three days.

Thank you for answering my question, which is:

I recently lost my dog of 16 (she passed away). I am thinking of getting another dog, but in a couple of weeks I am starting a new job which will entail some long days such as 10, 11 hours away from home. I will be available on the weekends though and would like a dog that can be active with me at those times, jogging, swimming, fetch. I don't need a huge dog but I lean more towards medium to larger dogs than very small ones. Can you recommend the type or breed of dog I should consider for my lifestyle? I live in a climate that is mild through the year, but it can dip into the 40s during winter. Any advice will be helpful. If possible I will even consider a rescue dog, if you can name some advantages to doing that v. getting a puppy from a breeder


Couch potato still needs walks 4x a day
Couch potato still nee  
Hi Glen,

Thank you for your question. I'm going to be very honest in my response, and I hope you appreciate my honesty and rate my response fairly after you receive it.

Dogs are social creatures. To have a dog spend 11 hours a day alone is a long time, not only from the social aspect, but because that's a long time for any dog to go without a walk and hold the contents of his bladder, as well as have no social contact. I think a puppy would be oout of the question right now, as puppies need to be houstrained, socialized, carefully supervised and monitored, and walked every two to four hours. A mature rescue dog might be housetrained, but will still need a walk part-way through the long hours you'll be working - will you be prepared to hire a reputable walker to take your dog out and provide her some activity for at least an hour five hours or so after you've left for the day? And, if the walker can't show up, would you have a back-up plan?

I think you're asking for two dogs: one, a dog who is relatively inactive and will be content to spend most of the day alone; and, second, another dog who is ready to get up and go with you on week-ends. I am not trying to be sassy here, but have you thought about borrowing a friend's dog on week-ends if you want canine companionship at those times? My honest response is that I don't feel your lifestyle right now (once you start the job with the long hours) can really accommodate a dog's needs.

There are two exceptions of which I can think:
1. Have you thought about adopting a cat? Cats don't need to be walked, can spend more hours alone than a dog, and also provide wonderful companionship; and,
2. Have you thought about a smaller breed that you can take to work with you, if you have the type of job which will allow it and which would be a good environment for a dog (say, for instance, a creative environment)? A pup couldn't do much better with socialization than a work environment where people would most likely stop by frequently to get daily doses of the dog.

If none of these are options for you, I would strongly suggest you put obtaining a dog on hold right now until you have more time to devote to a dog. Last option: you could volunteer for a shelter on week-ends. They would love to have a volunteer who would take the dogs jogging and play fetch with them, and since you'd be working with different dogs each time (most likely, as dog became adopted and new dogs came in), you could spread the wealth of your volunteering around, AND you'd be providing a great socialization service for the dogs and the new owners, such a win-win for everyone.

I hope you accept the well-intended spirit of the advice I'm giving. I've owned dogs all my life, and I know the attention and activity they need - even the "couch potatoes" need more than what you can offer right now. I hope you understand. :-)

Best regards,
Madeline Friedman, M.A.

Canine Behavior

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Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.


I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.


Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

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