I am thinking of getting an American Eskimo dog (most likely toy size). I live in an apartment (in Stuyvesant Town, New York City, New York, U.S.A.).

In the usual weekday, all 4 people in the family go to work or to school. The earliest leaves at 6:45 a.m. (or, will, next school year), and the latest leaves at 7:50 a.m. The earliest comes back around 3:00 to 3:40, with the latest coming back later than 7:30 p.m.

This means that the dog would most likely be alone for 7 hours a day, and would only be walked twice a day [at 6:30 am and 6:30 p.m.] for half an hour at a time (the hour a day part seems ok for this breed by what I've read). Is this ok for an American Eskimo? If not, why not, and if not, is there any easy way for me to make this better without letting an outside person become attached to the dog?

I read somewhere that if a dog (no matter what breed) is used to a schedule like this from puppyhood, then it will do fine. Is this true?

Edit: If I leave my dog in dog daycare or training for 8 hours, how attached will the dog become to the people there?

  • Bob, I removed the last paragraph of your question. That should be a separate question, I beleive it is already addressed in our existing question What should I do to know that my dog will be safe if I go on vacation if not please ask a new question indicating what is missing from in the existing. Jul 2, 2018 at 12:11
  • All right here is the other question: Leaving an American Eskimo dog at home with another person while on vacation
    – bob
    Jul 2, 2018 at 18:37
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    So reading from both of your questions, you and the other family members are not at home most of the time due to work/school and otherwise on longer vacations where you cant take the dog with you. Since dogs are pack animals, are you really sure you're the right person/family for a dog? Even if you would consider to take in two dogs instead, to provide some pack structure while you're not around and put in all your effort to compensate your absent when you're home, IMHO I highly doubt you can provide what it takes to own a dog. Jul 3, 2018 at 8:35
  • That's not really true. We are at home most of the time. But like most normal families, people work and go to school, and during the summer, we travel. That said, we are not nomads :)
    – bob
    Jul 3, 2018 at 15:17
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    I really hope my comment didn't come across to condescending, both questions together just made the impression of: "I don't have time but I want a dog". In the end your situation is not very different from many other dog owners, so probably a two dog solution would be a way to go. However the american eskimo dog is prone to separation anxiety: dogtime.com/dog-breeds/american-eskimo-dog#/slide/1 It's probably advisable to pick a different dog bread who has traits that supports your lifestyle. barkingroyalty.com/dogs-tolerate-being-alone Jul 3, 2018 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Many dogs adapt well to two meals and two walks a day, especially in an active family environment.

  • Mix in family outings where the dog joins your family. Consider longer walks, hikes, day trips, overnight camping, trips to the dog park. Weekend activities that include everybody will support stronger bonds.
  • Amp up some of the walks with jogging/running.
  • Spend time training the dog to behave, based on your families needs, on a regular basis. Training should include healthy dog/human games. Fetch and frisbee activities help satisfy the dogs exercise needs. Some games, like "Tug of War", may be too agressive for younger children.
  • Teach your children to care for the dog and help them understand the dog's commands. It's important that they learn how to control the dog if you are not there. And it's equally important that the dog knows to obey those commands, even if the children are giving those commands. Naturally, you need to gauge this with age appropriate expectations.
  • I have no doubts that you would provide proper Veteranarian care.

How do you picture your families life with a dog?
What decision make sense for you?

Note: I understand that Toy, Miniature, and Standard sized breeds have different needs. Please adjust my suggestions according the size, energy levels, and needs of your (future) dog.

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