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New and have a question about transitioning puppy to stay home alone longer

November 17th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Hi Everyone,
I came across this forum a couple of months ago while doing some puppy research and have found it very useful. I have a question and I hope to get a bit of help :)

First to introduce myself. My husband and I live in Atlantic Canada and have a 5 month old puppy named Milly. She is a beagle/shepherd mix and is the sweetest little thing. She's about 25 pounds and we have an appointment to have her spayed in a couple of weeks.

We've had her to puppy socialization classes and a 5 week obedience class too. We're hoping to do a further obedience class after Christmas. Oh, and we take her to doggie daycare one day a week (usually the middle of the week). That's all we can really afford.

My husband and I both work in the daytime, 9-5ish. We have been crate training Milly which has been going pretty well except for a few accidents here and there in the afternoons. That seems to have stopped since we have been giving her a frozen stuffed Kong for the afternoon. I think she sleeps most of the morning and then is awake/bored in the afternoon, so the Kong keeps her occupied and she hasn't peed in the afternoon since.

We're aware that a puppy shouldn't be left alone for the whole day so we have been arranging our schedules so that one of us can go home at lunch to let her out for a pee and have a short (10-15 minute) walk.

However, it's getting harder and harder to keep up that schedule. Neither of us work close to home but we've been managing in the short term. We also know that as the weather gets bad there could be days that we can't get home at lunch.

We're thinking that once she hits the six month mark it might be ok to leave her for the day (most days anyway). We plan to stagger our work hours a bit so that one of us goes to work earlier than the other so that Milly won't have to be alone more than 7 hours.

I'm looking for some tips about how to transition her into this type of schedule. We're still using the crate, but would like to give her a little more freedom too (ie, let her stay in the living room instead of just the crate). But we don't know when it's safe to do this?

Thanks in advance, we really hate the thought of leaving her all day but also know that there are lots of people in the same situation who are managing.

******Moved to another dog traing subforum, sorry I just realized this question belongs elsewhere********