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Questions - please answer??? Opinions appreciated

June 11th, 2009, 12:58 PM
Wanted to ask a question that has been on my mind about the future with soon going to be 12 week old pup.

At what age approximately would she be able to stay alone at home if I do the slow increase in time and would she be able to stay outside the crate at any point without destroying. I mean could she be trained not to do certain things and are they capable of being good without supervision at any time in their life.

How many hours maximum has anyone kept their 6-7 month in the crate - the largest size?

My parents are currently living with us and are there to help us through her initial puppy months for peeing etc. When she is around 6-7 months old they will not be staying with us for a while. At that point the morning eat/ play/ execise/ poop will be from 5:30 to 7:15am and then she would have to be alone till 5:30pm. After that she gets play and walk time and spends the evening outside the crate with us.

She has access to our main level and is not allowed upstairs. The main level is open concept with living, family, powder room and kitchen. Would she be able to be alone at tha point. We are hoping to do the transition earlier so that we have some time on hand.

She will also be doing puppy socialization and training soon.

I know there are many questions. I thank you all in advance.:thumbs up

June 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM
IME every dog is a little different in terms of when they are reasonably reliably housetrained. Our GSD was pretty much bombproof by 6 months, only the odd accident. At that age she was in a "playroom" - i.e. a laudryroom with her bed, toys, etc, blocked with a baby gate - during the work day. We were totally unsuccessful keeping our newest addition in the same playroom (escape artist) so she was kept in large crate during the workday, a max of 6.5 hours. She was not reliably housetrained until closer to 11 months (only very recently). In our house, no accidents = free roam of the house during the day. We've put the crate away. In your case, 7:15-5:30 is a pretty long stretch. That's too long to be in a crate IMO. You'll need a small area that you can block off to allow her a bit more freedom to move. Also, at 6-7 months, you can't expect the pup to "hold it" for THAT long (it would be a stretch even for our adult dogs), so you'll need to provide a potty break or space, but a 6 mo GSD makes BIG POOPS so in the house is probably not a great idea.

Some suggestions: can you and your partner stagger your workdays? In our house, I leave home about 1.5 hours later than my partner and she gets home about 2 hours earlier than me. That cuts over 3 hours of "alone time" for the dogs. Could you make arrangements with a neighbour (adult or child) who gets home earlier to take the dog out for a quick pee? Can you arrange for a pet-sitter to come mid-day for a potty break?

As for not destroying things, again, it will differ with the dog. Young pups will want to chew almost anything and everything. Crates or small enclosures are the safest places to keep them out of trouble when they're not supervised. Even things you'd never think as "chewable" are at risk: electric cables, bottles of asprin left on the coffee table, newspapers, clothing...keep EVERYTHING out of reach or keep pup crated. In our house, Gracie was a year old when we got her and she's never been a destructive chewer :angel:, Jaida chewed everything until about 7 months (she had a particular interest in things with metal), and Heidi is still, at 1 year, a destructor extraordinaire, and we have to be very vigillant not to leave ANYTHING within reach when we leave the house (floor, tables, etc.) or else it will get chewed.


June 11th, 2009, 07:22 PM
I agree with BendyFoot - most GS are well housebroken by that age. Try her outside the crate while you are home and see how long she can hold and also check to see if she is a chewer. Most pups have learned to chew only their own toys by that age if you are consistant with the training. Getting someone to let her out after lunch would be helpful also. Some days might be too long for her and one mess could man starting the training over again. A neighbour or friend that you trust implicitily? Any way one of you can take her to work with you?