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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have a 10-month-old male golden retriever. He is fully potty trained and has never chewed on anything in our home. We make it a priority to act as if us leaving and coming back is never a big deal, so he is independent. He usually stays in our kitchen with his bed, water and his toys. I've been going home every day for lunch and it's getting to a point where I'm no longer going to be able to. Is this a good age to leave him home alone while I'm at work if I work the regular 9-5? Should I exercise him more in the morning before I head out to work? Any advice and/or suggestions are welcomed!!!

Thanks so much!
 

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Hi! congratulations, sounds like you got a good one!

My understanding of the formula for how long they can be expected to hold it is:
their age in months + 1 = how many hours they can be expected to hold it.
So I think you should be all set for the workday.

I've used this formula to cut the lunch time potty breaks after 8 months for an 8 hr workday + 1/2 hr commutes with no problems.

Consider leaving only a bit of water so he doesn't drink a whole bowl and have to pee, but they're really smart at getting the routine down and mine seem to figure out not to drink a whole bowl of water during workdays ~AND~ to take care of all business before I leave the house, so maybe get him on a schedule where you feed him then he does #1 and #2 before you leave.

It sounds like you have no problems with safety or destruction but when mine were really little I would put them in a crate and graduate them to a room baby gated off and completely 100% puppy-proofed.
 

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Hi! congratulations, sounds like you got a good one!

My understanding of the formula for how long they can be expected to hold it is:
their age in months + 1 = how many hours they can be expected to hold it.
So I think you should be all set for the workday.

I've used this formula to cut the lunch time potty breaks after 8 months for an 8 hr workday + 1/2 hr commutes with no problems.

Consider leaving only a bit of water so he doesn't drink a whole bowl and have to pee, but they're really smart at getting the routine down and mine seem to figure out not to drink a whole bowl of water during workdays ~AND~ to take care of all business before I leave the house, so maybe get him on a schedule where you feed him then he does #1 and #2 before you leave.

It sounds like you have no problems with safety or destruction but when mine were really little I would put them in a crate and graduate them to a room baby gated off and completely 100% puppy-proofed.
He came home when he was just 9 weeks-old and we always left him in the kitchen with the crate door open. At that time however, I would go home for lunch and had a dog-walker come in around 2:00 PM. After that we took the crate out of the kitchen and just left him there with the gate. I slowly weaned him out of that with just me coming during lunch. I know it's time to wean him out of that too, but I am a crazy mother and just want him to be ok. Thanks for your advice!
 

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KCGold
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Exercising extra is always a good idea. I would not let a 10 month old have full access to the house. I would keep them in a confined area, room or gated off area where there are no dangers like electrical cords or anything like that. I know he has not done anything before now, but loneliness and boredom can cause some odd behaviors in some dogs. you may be fine, but being wrong on this one can kill the dog, so why not be extra safe. I do not let my dogs wonder until over 2 years.
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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The dog who did not chew things (towels, shoes, etc) and had over time graduated to the open concept, kitchen/living room. My lunchtime surprise at around 11mths. Good things it's about 14 yrs old.

It was back to the kitchen only for awhile although doggie jail was considered. Better safe than sorry. IMHO
 

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KCGold
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The dog who did not chew things (towels, shoes, etc) and had over time graduated to the open concept, kitchen/living room. My lunchtime surprise at around 11mths. Good things it's about 14 yrs old.

It was back to the kitchen only for awhile although doggie jail was considered. Better safe than sorry. IMHO
That is one pup that knows how to get his/her own couch! LOL....:wave:
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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In my (unfortunate) experience, just about every good dog has a "bad dog day" at somewhere between 8 and 14 months. And sometimes it can be a doozy.

My first one (Chelsea) destroyed every CD in the house, and consumed an entire bottle of Tums. The second one (Charlie) ate the bed, the coffee table, the dining room table, two dining room chairs and the rails on the deck. The third (Dave) ate not one, but two leather sofas. The fourth (Gibbs) somehow brought an entire small tree into the house through the doggy door. The fifth (Ziva) ate wall corners, wood trim in the kitchen, fence posts and my comforter. And oh, I almost forgot, the 6th one (Isabelle) had fun with mud and painted herself and the entire walls up to waist high, and floor, of the downstairs in it. (Somewhere, here, I posted a photo of it. Oh, here it is!)



Each one of these dogs were perfect every day before and after their "bad dog day." But every one of them had a bad dog day. So, I think the only way to be 100% certain is to keep them confined. For me, it's worth the risk and loss. When I get a puppy I realize I'm going to lose things. I look at it as an excuse to buy new furniture. :D

Oh, and then there was this day. The Great Toilet Paper Massacre I don't know who was the culprit who destroyed 32 rolls of toilet paper in the Great Toilet Paper Massacre. I don't know how to embed videos here, but click the link (it starts out of focus but clears up after a couple seconds).
 

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"In my (unfortunate) experience, just about every good dog has a "bad dog day" at somewhere between 8 and 14 months. And sometimes it can be a doozy." Ruh-roh! I just started letting 8-month-old Riley stay out of his crate downstairs (kitchen, den, dining room, office) while I'm at work on the days he does not go to daycare, although I do go home for lunch each of those days. May have to rethink that. :eek:
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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"In my (unfortunate) experience, just about every good dog has a "bad dog day" at somewhere between 8 and 14 months. And sometimes it can be a doozy." Ruh-roh! I just started letting 8-month-old Riley stay out of his crate downstairs (kitchen, den, dining room, office) while I'm at work on the days he does not go to daycare, although I do go home for lunch each of those days. May have to rethink that. :eek:
Lol! Well, you might get a surprise sometime. :D

Oh, I found that photo of 8-month old Isabelle's "bad doggy day," and edited my post above to show it. That took hours to clean, but it's a day I remember fondly, so not all such surprises are bad. :)
 

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Totally agree. Every dog has at least one bad dog day! Wakefield chose to eat the kitchen wall and door frame and a chair leg at 10 months. He was an angel before that and had earned the privilege of being out of his crate. But, it was a beautiful day for a sail and I probably stayed out too long...
 

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No it's not ok! "Bad doggie days" means your dog is taking out his boredom, loneliness and frustration on furniture etc. People who work full time should not have dogs unless they can go home and spend lunch getting the dogs out for a long, brisk walk, play etc. You need to get a dog sitter or take him/her to doggie day care. The first thing we ask our puppy buyers is "how many hours do you work a day and do you have a backyard".
 

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Many people with dogs work. We take precautions and keep our dogs safe while by at home. We give them exercise and socialize them daily. I am a teacher and am away from the home from 9-4 each day and or pups are thriving! Our baby girl is 10 months and had never had an accident during the day. We had a dog walker until she was 8 months and now she is doing great:). I would NOT trust ours in the least to have full run of the house at this point. She is either crated or gated with a few VERY safe toys and has access water during the day. BTW...she does not necessarily chew bad things because she is bored...she is a golden pup and will try to eat things she shouldn't while right in front of us!

Best of luck!
 

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There's a second chewing phase for many dogs in that 8-14 month window. I believe it's when the adult teeth set in the jaw. There's also a bit of a wild phase in there for many dogs that may or may not be related to teething or hormones or whatever. So a big regression is pretty common (and this thread has plenty of anecdotal evidence to back that up). I would be very conservative in giving any new privileges in that window. Once a dog is over 2, I'm much more comfortable increasing the privileges while I'm gone.
 

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People who work full time should not have dogs unless they can go home and spend lunch getting the dogs out for a long, brisk walk, play etc.
Look, I'm a pretty intense dog owner, but even I think this is overkill. An adult dog can absolutely be alone for a typical workday, provided that he is properly stimulated and exercised before and after. I have a couple of very intense dogs, and I know for a fact that they sleep more than 90% of the hours when I'm at work. I routinely come home to find the dogs with blanket wrinkles on their faces from being crashed out so hard.

It is definitely a problem if the dog doesn't get any exercise or stimulation for the rest of the evening, but if you get home from work and consistently take your dogs on some kind of outing that exercises the body and mind, they will be very happy.

It must be nice not to have to work, but most of us have full time jobs. Dog walkers and daycare are great options, but if you make the time and effort to give your dog opportunities to engage in activities and "jobs," they will typically just sleep when you leave them alone.
 

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I have had bad experiences with bored dogs by allowing them too much freedom too early, so I would advise keeping her/him in a large crate when you aren't at home.

We lost a dachshund puppy when he decided to chew into Christmas lights. I found him electrocuted under the tree.

My first Golden was confined to the kitchen much as you are doing when she was 1 1/2 years old. We thought we had survived the chewing stage, only to come home and find she had eaten the trim off the door we went out of that morning, as well as chewed up the bottom of about 2 feet of cabinets.

A friend of mine had an adult Pit, and she had him with her one day - we had to run into the store, we were only gone 10 minutes, it was nice and cool outside, and the windows were cracked. We came back to find the car seats destroyed, foam everywhere. He must have started on it the second we walked away - I wish I had a picture of him looking at us through the window with foam hanging from his mouth. He had never chewed on anything other than chew toys.

You just never know, I'd rather be safe than sorry. It sounds like your Golden is really good, but so were the dogs mentioned above.

My Aussie is 10 months old, she makes it just fine in her crate while we are working. We work full time, a half hour away from home, and coming home at lunch is not possible. She gets a good walk morning and evening.
 

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We thought we had an angel puppy, he was so perfectly behaved at five months that we started letting him have free reign of the house. We loved having him greet us at the door and pop up on the couch to look out the window when we left. WELL, at around 7.5 months, right on cue, we started coming home to destruction. Nibbles on the corners of pillows, chewed electrical cords (THANKFULLY always unplugged), etc... sometimes when he was only alone for ten minutes while taking a shower!! Back in the crate and pen he went. We have his crate attached to an xpen with a lid so he has a little extra space to lounge around when we are gone. Not sure how to decide when we will trust him enough to try again, but for now, he seems to be okay with his current setup. I do miss having him greet me at the door though :wave:
 

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Bear was given the run of the house (most of the house) after around 7 months old. He got run of the kitchen, dining room, and living room. The only areas we blocked him off from was the hallway and bedrooms, so that our cats had a "haven" that they can go in case Bear bothers them during the day. He has NEVER had a bad day in the house.

He is routinely left alone anywhere from 4-9 hours (though most of the time it's 4-6 hours, and rarely 8-9 hours). He is usually exercised (very limited - meaning a 10 minute play session or running around the backyard for a few minutes) in the morning and exercised at night (usually fetch @ night, or a short 20 min walk, or 30 mins of rough housing and a game of hide-n-seek).

He has a toy box with a plethora of appropriate and safe chew-toys. He knows how to dig around the box to get to the toy he wants. And we routinely check toys for rips/wear/tears to ensure they remain SAFE toys while he is unsupervised. He is fine with this arrangement, and he sleeps most of the time. How do I know? Cause if I'm home on a typical work-day, he spends the entire day sleeping. He saves up all his energy for after-work time. He knows the routine and as soon as he does his final potty break before I leave, he is laying on his bed or on the couch and falling asleep while I'm getting ready to go.

The only pre-caution I take now that he is 2.5 years old, is I put a sheet on top of the comforter before I leave in case he has muddy paws that I missed and decides to take a dog nap on the bed. That's it. I have yet to come home to any destruction or damage.

With that in mind, maybe we missed his one chance? While he was given free reign of the house from 7 months, at 12 months he had bilateral TPLOs and was on crate rest for 8 weeks. So from 12-14 months he was crated. But 14 months and on, full reign of the house again.

TL;DR - I think you'll be fine to leave him home alone for 8 hours. Some extra exercise in the morning may be beneficial. If he proves to become untrustworthy, you can try confining him again.
 
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