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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm finding myself in need of advice. My husband and I planned a year in advanced for getting a puppy. We decided to get a puppy near the beginning of the summer so that I could stay home and be with our pup until I have to go back to work (I'm a school teacher.) We got her at 7 weeks (I know that was still young) and I will begin work in two weeks when she is 13.5 weeks. I've been extending the time I have been away from Ellie (my pup) so that she can get used to being alone but now I'm getting a bit more worried. She has been doing pretty well but I leave home for work at 6:15 and come back hopefully around 3:30 or earlier. My husband and I are planning on getting a dog walker to come out in the middle of the day to relieve her and play with her. I'm thinking we may have to leave out wee wee pads because she is a bit young.

I know many people may be tempted to say you shouldn't have gotten a puppy, she's too young to leave but I'm already in this situation. We don't have anyone who can really come out and check on her so that's why we're planning on getting a dog walker but I'm just asking for advice from anyone with experience similar to this. How have y'all done it? Any hope?

Thanks!!
 

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Hello. You sign off with "Any hope?". I am asking myself what you are hoping for?! It's hard on a 3 month pup to be alone for more than 9 hours every day. Will she be in a crate all that time? Will she be walked before you leave for work at 5am? How long will the dog walker be with her? How are you potty training her so far? She is going to get confused if you suddenly introduce pads. Sorry to be harsh. I hope that some gentler members here on this forum chip in with some useful suggestions for you. I feel bad for your Pup.
 

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Mercy Miracle (M&M)
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I think getting a dog walker is the right thing to do. If you've been taking her outside to potty, there is not need for wee wee pads. Put her in a small area or in her crate so she wont soil her area. At 13.5 weeks, you would need the dog walker to come at least twice to let her out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess what I meant was any hope she'll be okay. She will be in her area which consists of the dining room and front of the house which has all been puppy proofed. I believe you are mistaken to say that I am leaving at 5am because I said in the post that I leave at 6:15 am for work. My husband and I are planning on exercising her. The dog walker with be with her for 30 minutes. She has been pretty good with potty training. I understand the brutal nature of the post but that isn't really helpful for the situation, problem solving or advice is probably a bit better than pointing out issues that I am already aware of.
 

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I guess what I meant was any hope she'll be okay. She will be in her area which consists of the dining room and front of the house which has all been puppy proofed. I believe you are mistaken to say that I am leaving at 5am because I said in the post that I leave at 6:15 am for work. My husband and I are planning on exercising her. The dog walker with be with her for 30 minutes. She has been pretty good with potty training. I understand the brutal nature of the post but that isn't really helpful for the situation, problem solving or advice is probably a bit better than pointing out issues that I am already aware of.
Sorry, yes I was harsh please forgive me. But you say you have been planning this Puppy for a long time so I am surprised that you had not already thought through and researched these basic issues. And I mentioned a 5am walk because I was wondering if you would have time to walk her before you left to go to work. Even a short walk would be a good thing in my opinion. I am sure you will get lots of good ideas here to help things run smoothly. Good luck.
 

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How far do you or your husband work from home? Is it possible one of you can come back and walk her during lunch break?
Will she be crated that entire time? At 13.5 weeks old, she should be able to hold her pee for a decent amount of time.
Can you get a neighbor to check in on her or is a dog walker your only hope?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How far do you or your husband work from home? Is it possible one of you can come back and walk her during lunch break?
Will she be crated that entire time? At 13.5 weeks old, she should be able to hold her pee for a decent amount of time.
Can you get a neighbor to check in on her or is a dog walker your only hope?
MY husband works like 60 miles away so that wouldn't work, I work close but our lunch is only 30 minutes so I would not be able to get to her and back to work in time. For the first two weeks of work , I may be able to get a neighbor kid to check in on her but after that, I would be relying on the dog walker.

She is crate trained but I don't want to leave her in the crate the whole time, so she will be left in the part of the house with her crate that is gated off so she has her crate if she wants to sleep there but she also has her sleeping pad, toys, and water.
 

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When pups have more space they can be more active which in turn will stimulate them to need to go more often. Crate training usually works because a pup has a very limited space and they do not like to soil the area that they sleep. Giving a pup a larger area gives the pup the opportunity to define what is sleeping space and what can be used for elimination.

Generally speaking a pup can hold it for 1 hour per month of age. If you can start out by hiring someone to come in twice while you are gone if the pup has been being crate trained you should be fine. (when using the crate)

At this young age the person hired shouldn't necessarily be walking the pup but giving them time to eliminate, eat and play. The pup needs some interaction and stimulation during the day.
 

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What about doggie daycare or a family member or friend.M

Edit daycare isn't an option until fully vacinated.
 

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I would a agree she should probably be in her crate. Otherwise you will probably have a mess. We didn't use a crate. We gated the kitchen. But because my mom and I are both home all day Chloe was not left alone often. At the times we needed to leave we used a pee pad. We only used them at those times and and night for a few weeks. But I don't think that is a option for a pup at alone all day.
 

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Banker came to us at Thanksgiving in 2010. I arranged to have a college student come over twice during the day to let him out and play for a few minutes. When he was 4 months old, we cut back to once a day.

Fortunately, we live near a community college and I knew a few people going to class there. They were glad to have a break and earn some extra money.

Boz is 13 weeks old. I have to start back on the 10th of August. My daughter is going to come let him out mid-morning, before she goes to work. My d-i-l is going to take a late lunch and let him out mid-afternoon. We are working with having him stay in the dog room with the other dogs, instead of the crate. It's 8' x 16', lots of windows, tile floor and not much in there that he can harm or get into. So far, so good.
 

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My husband and I work full time (9 hours away from the house) and have since we got Bailey when he was 8 weeks old. He is now 6 months. At first, I was coming home at lunch to let him out. He never had one accident and we didn't do the twice a day thing like others are suggesting. I would agree with the others that he should be in his crate at all times so he doesn't start having accidents.

I did this until he was 4 months. Since then we've had him in daycare twice a week and the other 3 days he's crated. I know some people might not agree with doing that but I have a ton of co-workers that have done the same thing and have had success. We've never had any issues with our puppy being alone that long of a time. He gets a long walk in the morning and then at least one, if not two more in the evening plus a ton of play time. He's a very happy pup and really well behaved!

Don't be discourged at all...you and your puppy will be fine. It just takes time to find a routine that works for you :)
 

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Riley
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She'll be fine. She's a puppy, not a china doll. 30 minutes sounds like plenty of time in the middle of two four hour or so periods. As long as she gets attention when you get home, she will live. I worked 8 hours (3-11) 3 days a week during college. I just had roommates let Z out to pee and feed her around 7ish. She was fine. If I'd worked 5 days a week, she would've been fine then too. :)
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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She will be fine :)

I would suggest just a crate since she will be more apt to have accidents in a larger space. Chew toys and water. A dog walker for a few weeks.

Honestly, dogs do not need a human 24/7 and spend a lot of time sleeping when left to their own devices.

My youngest dog is 6 months old now and I did need a dog walker come in around noon due to the intense winter we had; I think he may have had 2 accidents in the 6 weeks I had a dog walker coming in, both times because he drank a lot of water. He loves his crate and loves life. He is trained at least once a day and has a lot of play time; with me and my other dogs.

I work full time and commute :) relax, we all deserve to have dogs and as mentioned, they really do sleep a lot naturally.

ETA: Sometimes I think those of us who work away from our homes might actually have an easier time of training many behaviors; including house training :) Our pups get enough sleep & alone time and are usually quite willing to hang and/or be trained by us when we are available.
 

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You can definitely do this! Millions of people have dogs and full time jobs. Don't feel guilty.

I stayed home with my puppy until she was 12 weeks old. You're already 1.5 weeks ahead! :)

I would definitely crate. The crate means your puppy will be safe. She will not destroy anything - and she will not consume anything that could be harmful to her. She will also probably not pee in her crate. My pup was still in a quite small crate at that point - big enough to walk in, turn around, lie down. That helps them NOT go in the crate. I grew my crates as she grew, eventually up to a 42 inch, which was like a luxury home. :)

Dogwalker - for sure!! Your pup should definitely get a good outing before you or your husband leave for the day. A tired dog is a good dog. Then, see if your walker can come twice a day for the first couple of weeks. That is likely all you will need. I worked a 10 hour day. I had my pup out for about an hour before I went to work, then my walker came for a quick out, then for a longer outing (about 45 minutes), all at equal intervals. Then I got home. She was FINE. Never had an accident in her crate. We tried going to once a day with the walker in the third week, and she was fine.

Forget pee pads. That will only lead to confusion. Crate. Don't feel guilty about crating. It keeps your pup safe. If you want to be crazy like me, get a puppy cam and aim it at her crate. Then you can check her from your phone all day! :)
 

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Yes, your puppy will be fine.

Bear came home at 9 weeks and two days later he was left in a crate with an ex-pen attached, a plethora of safe chew toys, and some water; all for 6 hours between when I left for work and my husband came home. No dog walker. No daycare.

He piddled by the door a couple times but that was to be expected given the circumstances. And he was housebroken just fine. No lingering trauma from being home alone so long.

In fact there have been days where he's been home alone a whole 8-9 hours. No dog walker. No potty break. And he is just fine. Granted that was when he was older but it's not the end of the world.

Having a dog walker come and relieve him around mid-day for 30 mins is a fantastic idea and kudos for planning ahead.

Your puppy is going to do great! Load you phone with photos before your first day back cause you'll miss the dickens out of him. :)
 

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So happy to finally people commenting that you can lead a normal work life, and have a puppy without scarring them for life! Sure its great if you can give them all the time and attention in the world. But, I hate that so many people have been telling others that you shouldn't have a puppy, or you are mean/cruel if have a full-time job and want to raise a puppy. I truly believe its about quality time over quantity. Thanks everyone who replied with positive feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are all so wonderful. Thank you so much for your advice and for sharing your own situations as well. It really helped to hear than many of you have done this and your pups are still happy and healthy pups! You really have no idea how much I appreciate your input. Ellie (my pup) thanks you as well!! (I would post a picture but I have no idea how to do that.)

Update: I just went back to work yesterday and for this week and next week we have our neighbors son coming to play with her, feed her, and give her a potty break 3 times a day (sometimes he even takes her back home too.) After next week, we hired a dog walker to come twice a day for 45 minutes so that her day is broken up where my husband and I leave at 6:15, the dog walker comes at 9:00 and 12:00 then I am hopefully back home by 3:30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, your puppy will be fine.

Bear came home at 9 weeks and two days later he was left in a crate with an ex-pen attached, a plethora of safe chew toys, and some water; all for 6 hours between when I left for work and my husband came home. No dog walker. No daycare.

He piddled by the door a couple times but that was to be expected given the circumstances. And he was housebroken just fine. No lingering trauma from being home alone so long.

In fact there have been days where he's been home alone a whole 8-9 hours. No dog walker. No potty break. And he is just fine. Granted that was when he was older but it's not the end of the world.

Having a dog walker come and relieve him around mid-day for 30 mins is a fantastic idea and kudos for planning ahead.

Your puppy is going to do great! Load you phone with photos before your first day back cause you'll miss the dickens out of him. :)
So TRUE!! I definitely missed her so much during the day yesterday!
 
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