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Deciding on getting a Cairn


timacx

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I would really like a dog, but I'm worried about my work hours.

The details:

I work at the local hospital (about 4 miles away) in a sleep lab. The shift is 7:15pm until 7:30-8am. I work three nights a week (Wed-Fri) and my other four nights are at home with no other daily obligations. I live close enough to come home every night for about half an hour. Should something come up, my coworker lives in my apartment complex and her daughter would have no problem letting him out. It is an apartment, but it's very dog friendly. I live on the ground floor and have a grassy area about the size of a football field next to my building. I have one neighbor next to me and she has dog, so I'm not terribly worried about her getting upset.

I've read on nursing forums about other nurses that have dogs and have no problems, but they rarely specify the breed of the dog.

Before adopting a puppy, I would like some advice. I would love a dog (grew up with them), but I don't want to adopt a dog and have it suffer because of my work schedule. I'm willing to go the extra mile to make sure that while I'm gone, he will be less agitated or worried.

Any feedback would be appreciated!

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With proper containment and regular attention, a Cairn puppy ought to be able to handle some extended absences--matter of fact, I know they can. I raised a couple of Cairns while I was working and six to eight hours of being away did not, I believe, hurt them. If you have someone who will let the pup out to relieve itself or a regular basis you should have no problem but with this work situation, a 3/12's shift, I can see where housebreaking your dog might be more difficult.

That said, with the amount of time you have at home after your work you should be able to make real headway training and enjoying your Cairn.

Cairns are smart, it doesn't take them long to figure out and adjust to a human's routine--they are pretty flexible little dogs.

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Bless you for going about this in such a thoughtful way. Honest self-assessment and some planning will serve you and your future companion well, whether or not it turns out to be a Cairn.

My primary concern with your situation would be whether you have a fenced area, or a keen appreciation of what never-off-lead means. Obviously many people in cities have dogs without a fenced area and are fully capable of internalizing (and enforcing) that an outdoor Cairn is either on a leash or in a fenced area, period. To a first approximation, a loose Cairn is a dead Cairn.

When we have a new puppy, I do take lunchtimes to bolt home and let him/her/them out until they are older. Puppies take a lot of time and attention. In your shoes I'd be open to the possibility of an older "junior" dog (6-12 months) as well as a puppy. If a puppy, I'd want the breeder keep the pup until at least 12 and preferably 16 weeks. That extra month buys maybe an extra hour of bladder capacity, and considerable pack socialization with the pup's mother and/or littermates.

Cairns are very social and need to be part of the family. I'd be less concerned with a person's time-out-of-house than with whether the dog is truly part of the rest of their day. For us, being working dog owners means that we simply don't do social things on worknights that don't include the dogs, or make provision for their entertainment. I think we owe it to them, but we also benefit because you really, really don't want a bored Cairn devising Cairnish schemes to entertain themselves. :P

Two of the local Cairnfolk I know are nurses, so I can report that they give a :thumbsup: to life with Cairns.

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CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 

 

 

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Welcome to Cairn Talk! You're putting a lot of thought and planning into this, which is wonderful. I agree completely with both Idaho Cairns and Bradl. Cairns are smart and will adjust to your schedule, especially when you already have a backup plan for allowing your dog potty breaks and/or a little playtime to break the monotony. I don't foresee a huge problem with your schedule primarily because you're working nights, which is sleepy-time anyway.

The "never-off-lead" rule is very important and should be conveyed to anyone who will be looking after your pup. Cairns will bolt off to chase darned near anything and, although some have excellent recall, most will go after the prey and become deaf to your commands. For off-leash playtime a dog park is an excellent option.

We adopted Buffy, our Cairn, from a shelter when she was approximately 1 year old. Although we didn't get to enjoy the adorable tiny puppy stage of her life we also got to skip past the puppy chewing stage, puppy housetraining stage and puppy nipping-at-everything stage. A junior dog would probably be a great choice in your situation.

Best of luck to you and please check back to let us know of your decision! :thumbsup:

P.S. Bradl - What's your mathematical formula for Cairn bladder capacity in hours? :P

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P.S. Bradl - What's your mathematical formula for Cairn bladder capacity in hours? :P

Tpup can hold it = (TI'll be gone) - 5 minutes :w00t::

Nah, I just figure about an hour per month, for the first nine months. (They can actually go all night - or most of it - even when they are six weeks, but for no good reason I treat night-time expectations as different than daytime expectations.)

CAIRNTALK: Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 

 

 

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My husband and I work, and I am able to come home at lunch to let our Cairn, Murphy, out for a quick romp in our fenced-in backyard. We adopted him from a rescue organization when he was two years old. He was essentially housebroken when we got him, which was a huge plus for a working couple. He is a wonderful, charming little clown who has brought so much joy into our lives. However, he once scared the daylights out of me when he bolted out of the front door when I answered the doorbell. I have since trained him not to bolt when the door is open, however, I would reiterate that it is extremely important for whoever watches your pup when you are away to truly understand s/he cannot be off leash when outdoors, even for quick potty breaks. In my humble opinion, a cairn off leash around cars is a tragedy waiting to happen.

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When Charlie was a pup, I worked in an office about 6 miles from home. I always came home at lunch and took him out and had a little "Cairn Time". As he got a little older, I didn't come home every day, but tried to make it home several times a week at lunch. My daughter got home from school most days around 3:30 so he didn't have too much alone time. He potty trained fine--had to work with him, but caught on pretty quickly. I never did the puppy pads or anything--just took him outside very frequently and highly praised him when he went out. Now I work from home mosst of the time so we spend lots of time together--him on the back of the couch watching me on my laptop! I love it!! I do travel some, so he is fine to be left alone during the day while my daughter works when I'm not home too.

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I think it can be done, but I would consider getting an older puppy or an adult dog. It will be easier on BOTH of you! I have been raising a Cairn puppy for the past 5 weeks and she is like an infant, and I'm not working now either. She's 12 weeks old now, and I feel guilty leaving her for more than 3.5 hours.

It's ultimately up to you!

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Thanks for all of the responses!

The cairn that I'm looking to adopt is already 9 months old. He already does well on a leash and is being crate trained.

I'm going this weekend with my girlfriend to see how well she likes him. She has mild dog allergies, as do I.

We don't have a fenced in area, however, I've become fond of going on walks so he will get plenty of time out on a leash.

As long as the girlfriend is OK, I think I may be adopting him soon.

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Fido looks like a great little guy. What a sweet face! :wub: Please please please tell us how it goes when you meet him this weekend!

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Oh, he is a handsome laddie buck--better jump right square of that little gem! He is cute as a button. Bet he'll make a great dog for you.

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Allergies and Cairns: DH has dog allergies but has no problems with our two Cairns. And they sleep with us! Several friends with allergies also have no problems around our dogs. Good luck!

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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Best Wishes to the three of you! He is really cute! As you can tell, everyone here really enjoys pictures! With those adorable faces and expressions who wouldn't!

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Yes, Fido does look wonderful - do tell us about him after you meet him. Charlie is a cute dog and this little character Kshep is a sweetie. I worried to if I would have enough time for Demps - but you know if you are committed, it all seems to work out. Please let us know if you decide to get your little cairn and make sure you provide us with pictures of you new family member.

Elsie, Max, Meeko & Lori

 

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