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Old 11-16-2012, 08:16 AM
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Unhappy Surely there MUST be people here who raised a puppy WHEN...

...they had to work full time and were NOT able to escape work in the middle of the day to come home for the pup!

(And please... no hate from those who believe people who work away from home 5 days a week shouldn't be allowed to have a Golden. People every where do it, and those that do it well have wonderful, happy dogs. I always felt it unfair when people would say you shouldn't have a dog if you work. If that's the case, then working people shouldn't have children either, right? I'm not here to start a war. I just don't want this to turn into a debate about whether working people should have puppies or not either.)

Please hear me out. No, I do NOT plan on leaving the pup crated for 8-9 hours a day while my boyfriend and I are at work Monday through Friday. Our dilemma is that we both live approximately 25-30 minutes away from our jobs. It would not be practical to run home in the middle of the day long-term for the dog, unfortunately. While we both DO have awesome bosses, we would only be allowed a schedule like that for a couple weeks TOPS. I realize many people will turn around and say perhaps you should get an older dog, but while I have rescued three dogs in the past and they were all wonderful, I am ready to raise a puppy, and I've always adored Goldens. They are my dream breed, and I am finally in a position financially to care for one (the love and desire and commitment are already there).

So this is the plan so far: the pup comes home 12/15, at which time they will be about 9 weeks old. Between the two of us staggering our vacation days, we will have someone at home on vacation all the way through January 1st. It's after the New Year that the situation becomes sticky.

Our neighbors are constantly away (retired and like to travel), the other set works during the day like us, and the other neighbors close to us are very suspicious people, so asking them would be out of the question. My mother has a bad back and would not be able to handle the puppy once it grew over 20 pounds. None of my other family members would be able to help, and all of my boyfriend's family lives in Colorado (we live in NY).

The way I see it, our options are this: a dog sitter, kennel OR setting up a pee area in the house WHICH I AM ABSOLUTELY AGAINST (but I list it because I am starting to feel cornered).

I'm torn. If I could just not work and be home with the pup until it's a fully grown well-adjusted adult, I would, but unfortunately the world doesn't work that way. I am very nervous about hiring a dog sitter, because chances of it being someone we actually know, or a friend actually knows, are very slim. I am apprehensive about having a total stranger (even if they are licensed/insured) have total access to my pup and my house completely unsupervised, but if it comes down to it, that's what we'll do, and you'd be ****** sure we'll research our options exhaustively.

On the other side of the coin, I've read even in training books (How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With comes to mind) that if you're not going to be able to come home after 3-4 hours that you should set the dog up in a small room that is easy to clean (i.e. bathroom, laundry room, mud room) with their crate, plenty of toys and a pee area. I cringe at this idea because I know letting the dog eliminate in the house creates a nightmare when it comes to housebreaking.

I am getting so depressed over this. I know it sounds dramatic, but I truly am worried. Even if we did find a dog sitter we liked, people can be so unreliable (life seldom goes the way we plan). I am VERY interested in hearing from others who were in a situation like mine with a pup and were NOT able to come home every day simply because work didn't allow for it. What did you end up doing, and did you end up with any issues housebreaking?

Sorry for the book. Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:27 AM
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I would pick a dog walker over a pee area in the house. Make sure they are bonded and insured. You can set up an internet camera if you are that worried.

We know many people using one particular dog walking company in the area. Their reputation is perfect and as far as I know have never not shown up or done anything questionable with the dogs. You have some time to check companies out.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:29 AM
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You are a horrible person and should not be allowed to have a puppy... Just kidding. Don't stress. While we are able to come home at lunch, Tayla has had her biting issues during our first 8 months with her and she spent more time that she should have crated and I stressed over it every day. It didn't change anything and just made the situation worse. Do the best you can. A co-worker just got a puppy (not a golden) and can't make it home for lunch. They keep the puppy in the bathroom with pee pads. You could keep the puppy in a crate and hire a pet sitter to come in in the middle of the day. There are lots of options you have and I'm sure there are people who have gone through it and can give better suggestions. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:32 AM
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When my husband and I both worked and got a puppy, we hired a dog walker to come in once or twice a day. She was licensed and bonded. We interviewed her first, checked references, etc. It worked just fine.

Another option would be for you to place an ad in your local paper advertising for a dog walker. You'd have to interview, check references, etc. It's always going to be nerve-wracking at first, but once you get past the first couple weeks of someone new, you settle into it. I've done this for child care....we have someone come into our home to care for our kids. And let me tell you....I get completely worked up for months every time we've had to find someone (we've had two in 8 years, and I'll have to find someone new to work part-time starting next fall).

But we've been very happy with the people we've found. You just have to put in the time and effort to phone screen, and then interview people. I'd also suggest finding someone before you even bring puppy home, then have them start coming once a day while you and/or boyfriend are still home so you can be there the first few times to supervise the interaction and go over everything with them.

I would imagine coming in to walk a dog once or twice a day would be an ideal job for a retiree, or a college student looking for some extra cash.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesooim View Post
Our dilemma is that we both live approximately 25-30 minutes away from our jobs. It would not be practical to run home in the middle of the day long-term for the dog, unfortunately.
You have to separate practical and convenient from what is necessary.

I foster and when I have a new golden in the house who is new to crate training and has never had to hold his/her bladder, I do make the 20min drive both ways to come home for lunch to let the dog out. Yes, it's wear & tear on the car, costs money for gas & doesn't feel like much of a lunch break--but in my opinion it's what's best for a dog that didn't ask to come live with me.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:00 AM
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Both my boyfriend and I work - so we got a dog walker. We did a lot of research - a meet and greet - and it's through a service in case our dog walker wasn't available. This was when Shadow was 9 weeks old. She comes twice a day - he loves her. She leaves us little notes detailing each walk. She feeds him for us. We feel very safe with her taking care of him. When we're not home - he's in the crate.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:07 AM
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Our breeder won't sell a young puppy to anyone who works full-time, unless they have a dog walker/sitter. She also has a comprehensive list of people she can refer you to, in many areas, that previous puppy buyers have used. If you are planning to take the puppy to classes, I know our trainer has a list of people that dog/walk sit that she knows personally, usually from training classes. Doggie daycare is not my favourite option, but a lot of people use it when there pups are older. Maybe someone will chime in from your area with some recommendations.
Congratulations on your new puppy.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheetsSM View Post
You have to separate practical and convenient from what is necessary.

I foster and when I have a new golden in the house who is new to crate training and has never had to hold his/her bladder, I do make the 20min drive both ways to come home for lunch to let the dog out. Yes, it's wear & tear on the car, costs money for gas & doesn't feel like much of a lunch break--but in my opinion it's what's best for a dog that didn't ask to come live with me.
I didn't mean PRACTICAL as in inconvenient. I meant NOT ALLOWED for as long as I know it will take as per our employers (guess I should have just said that in the first place so no one would misunderstand). If I had the freedom to take off in the middle of the day I don't care how much gas or wear and tear on the car it would be. The reality is, I'm at the mercy of my employer.

A couple weeks of taking 2 hours off in the middle of the day will be acceptable to them after our initial 2 week vacation with the puppy. 6-8 months of doing it however, will not be allowed if we hope to keep our jobs. I didn't intend to make it sound like the dog was a big hassle, because it's not. However, I DO need to stay employed if I hope to be able to properly care for the dog. Thanks all for the input so far.

Last edited by leesooim; 11-16-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:21 AM
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new pup to be. You didn't say (or I missed) are you getting a boy or a girl?
You sure have come to the right place for information on caring for and training your new little family member. You will find tons of opinions on how best to care for your pup. You may have to try a couple of different things till you find what works best for you. That is what is so great about this forum. So many different methods to choose from. What I will say about that is, if you are trying one method, and it isn't working, try something else. Don't do the same thing over and over and expect different results. That is why I love this forum, if something doesn't work for me, I can always come on here and find another way.

I can tell you what has worked best for me as far as housebreaking and leaving a young pup alone.

I don't usually like the idea of putting a young pup in a room alone when unsupervised. There is too much for them to destroy. I actually tried it with an adult rescue and it didn't work for me. I put her in the bathroom while I had to go out for a couple of hours and when I got home, she had tried to chew through the bathroom door. I had to replace the door and door frame. It was totally my fault. She was new and I shouldn't have left her alone in the bathroom. Lesson learned. That being said, I know that she was older but a puppy can do some damage to walls and baseboards as well. Especially if left alone and bored.
I recently got a puppy and although I am retired and stay at home most of the time, there are times that I have to leave for extended periods. My solution was an x pen attached to a crated. That way if she has to relieve herself, she can without having to lay in it. She has a play area, a sleep area, and a pee area. I don't like using pee pads because I have seen them chew them up and I worry about the chemicals used to make them. I use newspaper. My girl always used the newspaper. As she got older and was able to hold it longer, I removed the newspaper and she just waited till I let her outside.
Housebreaking is possible even if she starts out with a potty area in the house, it just may take a little longer.
I have a couple of suggestions for housebreaking that may make it a little easier.
1 - Don't allow the pup access to carpeted areas. This feels too much like grass to them and they can squat and pee before you can blink your eye. Once the scent is in that carpet, well all I can say is good luck trying to get the scent completely removed and if they can smell it, they will likely go there again. If you only have carpeted areas, you can cover a 4x8 sheet of plywood with a piece of vinyl linoleum and set your x pen/crate on that.
2 - While you are at home with the pup the first couple of weeks, take the pup out every half hour. Set your timer so that you don't forget. When you take the pup out, give them a command that you want to use for going potty. We say, "go pee" I know some who say, "get busy". As soon as the pup goes, tell them how good they are and give a treat. If they have an accident in the house and you don't see it. Just clean it up and don't say anything. They may look at you like, "hey, where's my treat" but if you ignore they will soon catch on that the treat and attention only comes by going potty outside. If the pup is peeing in the house even while taking it out every 30 minutes then you will have to start taking it out every 20 minutes. Every pup is different. What works for one may not work for another. You will have to learn your pups elimination schedule. It took me a couple of days to learn mine. She would poop outside in the morning and I would bring her in and she would poop again. After a couple of days, I just left her outside until after the second poop and she stopped pooping in her playpen.
3 - When you are taking the pup outside, say the word, "outside" and pick the pup up and carry them to the spot where you want them to go. Then give them the command to "go". Pups are constantly learning and they are learning a new language so use every opportunity to teach them what different words mean. By saying outside and teaching them what it means, when you catch them eliminating in the house, you can pick them up and say, "outside" so that eventually they will put 2 + 2 together and get it.
I know that you are going to be home for the first couple of weeks and you might want to try to resist the urge to play with the pup all the time. The pup should be allowed to learn to play by it self and self sooth in it's playpen. I am not saying don't play with them, but you will be going back to work and the pup will be alone. You might need to start to acclimate them to that ahead of time. This will be a tough time for a young pup. So many changes all at once. From mom to your house, played with all the time, to being left alone for hours on end. (it will seem like that if it has access to you 24/7) IMO, if you don't want to have problems, like separation anxiety, later on, then get her used to being left alone for short periods as soon as you get her.

Last, but not least, DON'T feel guilty about leaving your pup alone. Lots of people do it very successfully. It does not do irreparable damage to the pup. Just make sure that your pups needs are being met. Training, exercise and socialization are as important as food, water, and vaccinations.

Good luck and I can't wait to see pictures.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:41 AM
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Goldhaven, thanks for your input. Lucky for us, the entire house is hardwood floors lol. I completely see what you're saying about using paper in the beginning, but I think I will save that as a last, desperate resort (i.e. the dog sitter falls through).

The pups were born 10/17, and we actually met the dams and their babies about 1 week after that. We told the breeder gender didn't matter, but as there was only 1 male left, I have a strong feeling we'll end up with a female lol. We have a puppy play date tomorrow actually, as the pups are 4 weeks old and moving around now, so I can't wait to see them! I've decided to trust the breeder to help me find the puppy that will suit our needs best. I've also been reading like crazy to update/refresh my puppy raising skills, and so far have read through The Art of Raising a Puppy, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend and How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With (these 3 were recommended by the breeder, but still looking into more literature).

Once the pup comes home I will definitely post a photo, and maybe I can sneak a few in tomorrow during the visit

Luckily this is not my first puppy or dog in general. My last two dogs were rescues (both mutts), and absolutely loveable babies. This is my first puppy in about 10 years, so I'm a little nervous, but excited more than anything. I've always had the good luck until now to be extremely close to work (within 5 minutes), so in the past I could get home for a midday break. Unfortunately these days I am not so close, so sneaking out at lunch isn't an option and, as I noted above, our employers won't let us leave in the middle of the day for longer than 2, 3 weeks tops anyway!

I am definitely leaning toward a dog sitter and have already started the search, but I was curious to hear about other people's experiences with sitters or other solutions, and of course am grateful for everyone's opinions and advice.
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