Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

General discussion on all labradoodle-related matters - anything not otherwise covered by specific forums on the site.
theandrewssister
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Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by theandrewssister » 21 Apr 2009, 14:55

Dear all

Here goes -- first of all, hello -- I'm new to the forum. We've been plotting to get a dog for ages, and are finally moving by the sea, so the time feels right. After a lot of looking, I have fallen in love with labradoodles. However, I've a couple of concerns and I wonder if you could help me out.

1) I originally looked at Labradoodles because my mother-in-law, who is a big and very welcome part of our lives, has asthma and allergies to dog hair. However, I've taken careful note of Mark's warning posting at the head of the forum. I have come to the conclusion that I just need to take my ma-in-law along to the breeders, let her hang out with the puppies and parents for a bit, and see what happens... I'm assuming that if she's OK with both then we're in with a fighting chance. Does that sound fair? Also, should I aim for a particular type of coat e.g. wool/fleece? Or even a particular breeder (I'm based in south London at teh mo but could go to most areas in the south or south-east)

2) I work all day. I have a 6 year old boy. My husband is home four days out of every eight and we have an au pair who may be going to college for 3 hours a day next year. So -- we've usually, but not always, got someone around the house, and worst case scenario would be that our dog would be left on his or her own for, say, three hours a day, four days a week. I know that I couldn't even consider some breeds of dog on that basis -- what about a labradoodle, do you think?

I hope to hear from you -- and apologies in advance if these are stupid questions. I did thumb through previous topics to see if they'd been covered but got a bit daunted after a whole by sheer numbers...

amber
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by amber » 21 Apr 2009, 15:27

Hi There :)
I don't think your questions are at all stupid!
Anyone considering a puppy needs to think long and hard.
Your questions here are very relevant too.

First of all though, in all honesty, i think it would be unfair on mum to have a dog. Labradoodles are not allergy friendly, sadly.
If your mum was to become ill with a cold, virus, then any furry animal can make matters much worse (ask the specialist)
All Labradoodles are individuals in terms of the coat, so you can't guarantee that your puppy will grow up with the same coat as the parent. I suffer from allergies, and my fleecey dogs have a very bad reaction on my skin.

The other problem, i think, is that a puppy needs to have you around. With you both having full time jobs it wouldn't be a fair situation on the puppy/dog, even though you have an au pair, she is still not around for 3 hours of the day. Is she experienced with puppies? Does she have other babies to look after?
It would be like having another baby in the house for her to bring up. Bringing up a puppy for the next 18 months is a full time job in itself, if the job is to be done properly; and you owe that to the puppy.
Sorry i couldn't be more possitive, but i just have to be honest with you.

Lindsey
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by Lindsey » 21 Apr 2009, 15:58

Hi there, I too think you are very sensible to ask these questions. Our dood, Meg, is now nearly a year. I teach part-time.but the days of the week vary. Meg could not be left as a puppy for longer than 1-2 hours. In spite of toys, radio, kongs full of peanut butter she would 'make her own entertainment' . This took the form of chewing chair legs, skirting boards,and most memorably the bottom two treads of the stairs twice!!! We had decided crate-training was not for us and she had free-range of both kitchen and living room which was fine when 'someone' was in. We now employ a student (above minimum-wage) to 'Meg-sit' when I work both for her company and my sanity. I really think dogs should not be left on their own, they are sociable creatures. Meg was a very nippy/mouthy puppy and scared some of my daughter's friends. It would be a lot for an au pair to deal with (assuming she liked dogs). I hope this helps, it's not meant to be negative but is the reality of what happened to us.

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peelm
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by peelm » 21 Apr 2009, 18:47

At risk of being shot down, :roll: you can train your dog to a routine. We got Fozz at 10 weeks and timed it so that there was someone at home for another 10 ish- I teach full time so we aimed for summer. My sister in law came in to him when he still needed 3 meals a day but he has been at home since. Sometimes Michael works from home, sometimes my older teenage boys are in , but he knows that he gets a good long walk in the morning then another as soon as I get in . He has access to our secure yard through a dog flap and has 4 cats around. He has never done any damage in the house- he has access to most of the house. He has been known to open the bread bin when peckish so we don't have one of those now!! In an ideal world I would love to not be working but you can do it with careful planning and training. For 3 hours at a time I can't see it being a major problem- even the RSPCA and other rescue places say 4 hours!! Ok iwill duck for cover now but we have a calm, balanced dog who knows his routine. We did put the time and research in, mind!!! :roll:
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Lindsey
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by Lindsey » 21 Apr 2009, 19:30

No shooting down. I think it's good and healthy to offer different points of view. I hope it helps 'andrewssister' to make a good decision.

amber
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by amber » 21 Apr 2009, 20:01

Absolutely no shooting down here either, but it still doesn't cover the problem of the lady's asthma. I'm sure we all wish them all the best of luck.

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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by Rhonk » 21 Apr 2009, 20:07

Hi - i'm no expert but in terms of allergies i think it depends how long your mum may be in contact with the dog. My best friend has serious allergies to dogs and cats and really bad asthma- i have both - but when she comes over i hoover to get rid of loose hair and she takes anti histamines which seem to last her a few hours. We all went away to a cottage for the weekend and Bonzo came and we found that she was ok if he was bathed as it seemed to get rid of loose hair and the anti histamines lasted lots longer. I completely agree that you can't ever guarantee the dog being anti allergy and should never get one based on that but that's my experience of someone with HUGE allergies.

I would also risk being shot down i also think that being left alone can be built into a routine. I am also a teacher and we got Bonzo at the start of the summer holidays so i was around but after the holidays we got him into the routine of being left alone (crated) every morning. My OH works from home so he doesn't need to be alone but we felt it was important that he was used to some alone-time. We always walk him first thing but he tends to sleep all morning anyway. OH gets him at lunch time has a short play in the garden and then Bonzo dozes most of the afternoon - he tends to be active when we are active. Having said that i know from reading posts on here that other dogs don't settle as well so i think we are really lucky having him.

I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you - it's so important to think really hard about the goods and bads of things. Good luck!

theandrewssister
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by theandrewssister » 21 Apr 2009, 20:27

Mmmmm -- food for thought here. I want to thank you all very much for posting on this one -- I really appreciate it.

I must admit I had previously looked at the online advice from e.g. the Dog's Trust and got the message that up to 4 hours would be OK if you put in the time to train them to get used to it first -- but obviously, a lot depends on the dog. I should emphasise that 3 hours is my worst case scenario and may well not happen. I know a few dog owners and I must say I wouldn't previously have considered any of them to be cruel -- their dogs seem very well-adjusted -- and none of them is home all day. I certainly wouldn't want the puppy to be alone at all for at least the first three months and I think we could manage that with no problems

I should clarify that my au pair is a dog lover who has always had dogs of her own and who is thrilled at the idea of us getting one. Our au pair is part of the family; it wouldn't be like leaving the dog with some random teenager. After all, I do trust them with my son for a couple of hours each day...

Re: the asthma, my mother-in-law doesn't live with us - we just want her to be able to stay over regularly. We have a very sheddy cat and she is fine with that if she takes Piriton -- we just didn't want to up the ante and make the house even more furlined than it already is... She loves the idea of us getting a dog she can tolerate and is really keen to do the try-out process with puppy, mother and father. But I do appreciate you can't guarantee how a doodle puppy's coat will develop.

It's all very difficult and I need to do some more hard thinking -- despite all the above qualifiers, it may well be that I do decide that it wouldn't be fair (on either my mother-in-law or the dog), in which case I'll can the idea (one factor in all this is monstrous and sustained pressure from my son and husband to get a dog, but I can resist this if I think it right -- I've already resisted it for four years...). Anyway, once again, a HUGE thank you for your thoughtful and helpful replies -- I'd be very glad to hear from anyone else who has a view.

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MrsAdmin
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by MrsAdmin » 21 Apr 2009, 20:41

Why not look into Poodles? They are more guaranteeable coats from puppy to adult and are far more allergy friendly than Doodles. They also come in a variety of sizes.

If you look up Poodles in Need you will find their rescue centre and I suggest that you have a chat with the lady who runs it and is the Poodle expert.

Good luck and well done for looking before you leap. :P I wish others would do the same, then there would be no need for Doodle Rescue :cry:
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Jane
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by Jane » 21 Apr 2009, 20:51

Only in my experience i will share........

My husband has always asthma very severe as a child but now uses an inhaler to control it. Also he suffered from allergies to dog hair and saliva all his life and my 3 yr old also. However the doodle call came and we started looking. It was a massive decision so we did spend alot of time with puppies and they were both fine. Marli hardly sheds any fur at all and i do groom her regulary. My 3 year old never leaves her alsone, they sit play and lie together and she has not as much as had a blemish. If she does spend time with other dogs however her eyes can go jelly like within a few minutes. So in my opinion go and spend some time with different doodles, Marli is an f2 by the way and see. Also i am a full time child minder so am home most of the time, but will return to work some days and where i appreciate that some people can do this the majority have to work and the dogs are left at home, so i would really not beat yourself up about this and agree that as long as the pup is trained from an early age and has plenty of time spent surely that would be ok, otherwise there would be a lot less dogs in the home with families x Good luck x 8)

theandrewssister
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by theandrewssister » 21 Apr 2009, 21:49

Hi Mrs Admin -- thank you so much for replying. I did look into poodles for that very reason, but it seems they are a breed that really doesn't like being left alone, so I thought it wouldn't be right. I've also looked into other dogs that don't shed, e.g. Schnauzers and Airedales -- but it seems they're particularly difficult to train -. I suppose there's always something :?

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PennyAli
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by PennyAli » 22 Apr 2009, 07:20

If shedding and Allergies are an issue an Australian Labradoodle would be a safer bet than a UK Labradoodle, they have been bred for over 20 years and are not just a mix of Labrador and Poodle but they are a developing breed with one of its goals on the breed standard to be non shedding, they are also calmer than UK doodles, please give me a call if you would like to learn more about the differences between English and Australian Labradoodles

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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by linny » 22 Apr 2009, 09:47

Can't comment on the Asthma side I'm afraid but leaving at home I can :)
I think it's perfectly acceptable to leave your dog for three or four hours.
I normally take my dogs with me but there times when I simply can't.
Hospital appointments , school commitments, the weekly shop all mean that dogs are not welcome so you need to train your dog to enable him/her to stay happily on it's own
. My boys and girls (including Ambrose :shock: ) know if I say the word "Work".... they can't come with me and they all take to their beds and sleep!
They can safely be left for three or four hours without there being a disaster

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Parker
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by Parker » 22 Apr 2009, 10:57

I'm afraid I've no useful advice - just wanted to say hi and welcome and to congratulate you on really doing your homework before getting your puppy/rescue dood.

I'm also being nosey and wondering to whereabouts near the sea you are going to be moving :D
Jo and Parker x
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theandrewssister
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Re: Newbie questions -- chancing it on asthma, and home alone

Post by theandrewssister » 22 Apr 2009, 11:07

Thank you! I'm moving to Saltdean -- a little village bounded by the Downs on three sides and the sea on the fourth, about three miles east of Brighton. I am so excited!! I live just north of Croydon at the moment, in a very run-down and crime-ridden area, so it will be a massive change for the better. Just thinking of all those lovely long walks on the Downs! :D

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