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Thread: Looks like a pup is in our near future.

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    Looks like a pup is in our near future.

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    DH and I decided to expand our family with a puppy after we get to Salt Lake City. We're doing everything we can to try and be prepared as best we can.

    One of my big concerns is our work schedules. For the first 4 months DH will be on nights and I will be on days, but there is a possibility of 1 maybe 2 days a week that they will sync up just a little and no one will be home for a few hours. We're looking into a dog walker and it's pretty reasonable prices.

    I guess my question is, how long is it ok for a puppy to be alone before needing to be let out? The humane society website suggests no more than 4-6 hours for a dog under 6 months, but I feel like 4 hours in a crate is really, really pushing the limit. I think 2-3 hours, with no one home is a lot, but manageable.

    Again, this wouldn't be a consistent thing, maybe 1-4 times a month would we run into this due to work schedules.

    Thoughts?
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    #2
    Don't quote me, but I think I remember the rule of thumb being 1 hour for every month of age. That tells you how long they could be expected to "hold it." So I think it depends on how old the puppy is when you leave it. 4-6 hours in a crate is nbd for a dog as long as they are old enough though. Both of my dogs LOVE their crates and spend time there even when they don't have to. We don't leave them often but we have left them up to 6-8 hours at a time a handful of times (as adults) and they were fine. Make sure the dog is properly exercised, has access to water, and potentially a safe chew toy, and you should be good to go. I feel like the big thing is to make sure your dog likes its crate and that there aren't any separation anxiety issues when you leave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    Don't quote me, but I think I remember the rule of thumb being 1 hour for every month of age. That tells you how long they could be expected to "hold it." So I think it depends on how old the puppy is when you leave it. 4-6 hours in a crate is nbd for a dog as long as they are old enough though. Both of my dogs LOVE their crates and spend time there even when they don't have to. We don't leave them often but we have left them up to 6-8 hours at a time a handful of times (as adults) and they were fine. Make sure the dog is properly exercised, has access to water, and potentially a safe chew toy, and you should be good to go. I feel like the big thing is to make sure your dog likes its crate and that there aren't any separation anxiety issues when you leave.
    That's good to know about the 1 hour rule.

    DH had a dog in late childhood and is pretty confident in crate training and I've been researching it for sometime now, just to get us both on the same page. She won't have to be crated with no one home for at least the first 2 weeks we have her, so hopefully we have plenty of time to make sure she's adjusted well to the crate and comfortable.
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    Maybe I'm cruel but I think it's kind of absurd to feel like you can't leave a dog in a crate for four hours at a time lol. Most people who have puppies also have jobs. When we got Finn I stayed home so it was no problem, but we both worked when we got Clementine. We were lucky because my husband was able to come home for breakfast and lunch and he has pretty early days anyway, but there were definitely times when she was left in her crate for four hours at a time and nothing bad ever happened. I'm pretty sure she slept the whole time anyway.

    Especially if you're getting a dog walker, the puppy will be totally fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Maybe I'm cruel but I think it's kind of absurd to feel like you can't leave a dog in a crate for four hours at a time lol. Most people who have puppies also have jobs. When we got Finn I stayed home so it was no problem, but we both worked when we got Clementine. We were lucky because my husband was able to come home for breakfast and lunch and he has pretty early days anyway, but there were definitely times when she was left in her crate for four hours at a time and nothing bad ever happened. I'm pretty sure she slept the whole time anyway.

    Especially if you're getting a dog walker, the puppy will be totally fine.
    I'm just trying to do the most comfortable thing I can for this dog. I've never had a puppy and I'm not really sure as to what is fair. I also don't want her whining for hours and hopefully a break from the crate will help that.
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    I ran into this with my dogs... They have a crate, but we also got them a 5x6x10 kennel if we knew we were going to be out for an extended time and felt like being in a crate for that amount of time would be a problem.

    Riley is now 9 months old and can hold it all day while we are at work from 7-2:30... But I still put him in his kennel and he doesn't mess it

    Sadie is 6 months old and regardless of where we put her accidents still happen
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Abbynormal View Post
    I'm just trying to do the most comfortable thing I can for this dog. I've never had a puppy and I'm not really sure as to what is fair. I also don't want her whining for hours and hopefully a break from the crate will help that.
    I didn't mean for that to come off like I was criticizing you or anything, I'm sorry if it did! You being worried about it shows you'll be a good dog mom. I just don't think you have anything to worry about.

    The puppy might cry for a bit while it's getting used to the crate but after that he'll be ok.
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    Zoe went to daycare from the time we got her till now. So as a puppy, she was never crated longer than 2 hours at a time, and that was mostly during the night while we were potty training. Even now at 2.5 years old the only time she does not go to daycare is if we are off work or if school is out (my FIL and SIL are school teachers and they keep her). Call me crazy but she has never had an accident in her crate, and potty training was a total breeze. Even when she was a puppy she might have had a total of 3 accidents in the house. Potty training was hard on me because I was the one to get up all night with her, but it was only for a few weeks. And even now she really doesn't get put in her crate all that often.
    But every dog is different. What worked for Zoe and us may not be the best or the necessary thing for your dog. I think by looking into all of these resources you are absolutely doing the right thing. A friend of mine had a dog walker come twice a day (she was gone 9 hours a day including her commute time) so her dogs didn't have to hold it longer than 3-4 hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I didn't mean for that to come off like I was criticizing you or anything, I'm sorry if it did! You being worried about it shows you'll be a good dog mom. I just don't think you have anything to worry about.

    The puppy might cry for a bit while it's getting used to the crate but after that he'll be ok.
    Ok I was like, "this chick is like all but obsessed with her dogs and I'm absurd???"

    I'm really only concerned for the first 6ish months we have her. After that, I'm sure she'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by LACY1020 View Post
    Zoe went to daycare from the time we got her till now. So as a puppy, she was never crated longer than 2 hours at a time, and that was mostly during the night while we were potty training. Even now at 2.5 years old the only time she does not go to daycare is if we are off work or if school is out (my FIL and SIL are school teachers and they keep her). Call me crazy but she has never had an accident in her crate, and potty training was a total breeze. Even when she was a puppy she might have had a total of 3 accidents in the house. Potty training was hard on me because I was the one to get up all night with her, but it was only for a few weeks. And even now she really doesn't get put in her crate all that often.
    But every dog is different. What worked for Zoe and us may not be the best or the necessary thing for your dog. I think by looking into all of these resources you are absolutely doing the right thing. A friend of mine had a dog walker come twice a day (she was gone 9 hours a day including her commute time) so her dogs didn't have to hold it longer than 3-4 hours.
    We looked into day care as well. I'd love to be able to that but the pick up and drop off hours won't work for us, I don't think.
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    #10
    Ahahhahaah I am completely obsessed but you gotta draw the line somewhere! Sometimes you just have to be gone longer than the hours per month old rule. Both of my dogs have definitely been crated for "too long" by those standards. They're very happy, well trained, and well cared for. Yours will be too.
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