I have been thinking about getting a dog (a medium or large breed - most likely large), as I have always wanted one, and my daughter wants one. I live in north-central Florida, where we have hot summers, warm springs and autumns, and cold to warm winters, in case anyone is wondering what the outside conditions would be. The issue lies in that I work 12-hour graveyard-shifts on a rotating schedule, and my daughter is with her mother on days I work.
I work from 7pm to 7am. If we look at my work-schedule on a bi-weekly basis, the first week I work Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The second week, I work Wednesday and Tuesday, and I am off the rest of the days that week - Mind you, I would be getting off at 7am on my first "off-day", and then probably sleeping until about 2pm.
My idea is that my dog would be both an outside and inside dog, but while I am at work, she will live outside, and while I am home, she can come inside. It would be about 12.5 hours by the time I leave the house to go to work and the time I come back, so that's far too long to let her stay inside having to hold in her movements while also seriously increasing the risk of an accident caused by an inability to hold in said movements or from her simply getting bored and tearing up the place.
While she is outside, she would have about half an acre of fenced in yard to frolic in. I would obviously build her some type of kennel with access to plenty of water, and food for the night. The house is located in a rural area.
On days that I am off and home at night, though, I would like her to be able to sleep inside.
So, my questions are:
Is it too long of a period of time to be leaving her alone and outside?
Is this schedule too crazy for her to understand that she can only come inside and/or sleep inside while I'm home, and the opposite while I am away? (This is the main question I am seeking an answer for.)
What kinds of affects would this have on a dog if my daughter and I take the time to love her while I am home?