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Raising a puppy in a flat and working shifts. Need advice


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I'd like to get a puppy and I'm doing a lot of research into how to raise them and what they need etc, but I'm a bit concerned as to whether it would be more difficult considering my circumstances.

I live in a first floor flat with balcony, by myself and work early morning shifts (leave at 3am, get home at 1pm) as a four on four off pattern.

I've been reading that puppies need not only a lot of attention to begin with, but a routine that they can get used to in order to make it easier when it comes to toilet training. Obviously due to leaving early in the morning on my work days I wouldn't be able to take it for a walk at the same time in the morning like I can on days off and as I don't have a garden it wouldn't be able to go outside when it needs to if I'm not there. I know I can have an indoor toilet to begin with, but if it's not going for regular walks will it struggle to learn to go to the toilet when outside?

Does this sound doable or is it going to be more difficult? I don't want to confuse the puppy and it not know when or where it can go to the toilet. And I don't want the puppy thinking it can only use an indoor toilet.
I'm afraid 10 hours a day is too long to leave a dog, particularly a puppy. Puppies need someone at home most of the time, and many dog organisations advise that ideally, a dog shouldn't be left for longer than 4 hours at a time.

Toilet training a puppy without a garden, when it's going to be left for several hours, would be well nigh impossible. And it would be difficult to phase out the indoor toilet once pup has learned to use it (as he'll be used to toileting indoors, if the toilet is no longer there he'll just choose another spot indoors).

I was going to suggest dog day care on the days you work, but that's not going to be an option as no one will want a dog dropped off with them in the middle of the night!

I don't suppose you have any family nearby who would be happy to care for pup when you're at work?

I'm afraid it may simply not be the right time in your life to have a dog. Many people who would love a dog end up waiting till they retire so they can supply what the dog needs.
Sorry but I don't think it would be fair on a puppy, or any other dog for that matter, for you to get one at the present time. Your situation just isn't right for a dog to live a happy life.
It's really hard, because I appreciate how much you want a dog and I also appreciate that without actually experiencing the struggle of raising a puppy it's hard for you to understand what it's really like, and therefore hard to know why it wouldn't work. It must be extremely tempting to risk it..... If only I could transport you forward in time and then back again! :) But I hope you decide not to get a puppy at this point in time, because I think the likeliest outcome is that you'll regret it later. Puppies often need to be taken out to the toilet in the middle of the night for the first few weeks, which you won't be able to do after 3am on the days you work. As for first floor flats in general, I know someone who has raised a very nice puppy in one, so I'm sure it's not impossible as long as your working situation changes, and as long as you're up for going downstairs in the middle of the night to take it to the toilet.

For info, my puppy peed, on average, 14 times a day for the first few weeks (I logged it!) Toilet training is tough even when you've got a garden.
If you could employ a dog walker to come in have you considered an older retired racing greyhound i have homechecked for people who worked full time but wanted a dog and had someone call in after 4/5 hrs to walk the dog ...
It wouldnt be fair to get a puppy they are very hard work and need someone around most of the day ...
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Can only echo what everyone else says - please please please do not get a puppy. I’m afraid your circumstances are completely unsuitable.

Have you thought about Borrow My Dog or volunteering for the Cinnamon Trust if you’re desperate for some dog time?
I've managed to do it loads of times, where there's a will,there's always a way of doing it. To this day I still work full time and have a dog.
A new puppy would require almost 24/7 attention and care at least for the first two months. Unless you have someone else to look after the puppy while you are out, it would be best not to get one in your current situation.
Unfortunately I have to agree re puppies in flats. My granddaughter discovered this when Dudley got a little older and her circumstances changed.
I have had him from 22 weeks.
She agrees he is better with having a garden and we are retired so he gets lots of walks and attention.
We work full time, and Miles is our second dog, so we've done it too, but never alone. Family members keep company when we are both out. Leaving puppy alone for hours would not be an option for us.

I certainly sympathize with the original poster, I had waited for a very long time before getting our first dog.

But one doesn't need to wait until retirement. Only until you can arrange for someone to look after the puppy while you are out (spouse, partner, children, parents, friends, neighbors, children/parents of friends and neighbors, dogie day care, dog sitter.... this can be plenty of choices, and some of them may actually be thrilled to do this).

Flat/balcony vs house/garden wouldn't be a big issue for me, with the right folks looking after him.

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