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Old 01-22-2013, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A new pup & working full time?

So as I ponder the days of getting a dobe someday, I come across more questions. Both my husband & I work full time jobs. On occasion I get to work from home like one day a week for about every other week on average. I live about a half hour from work & when we get a house, it will most likely also be around 30-40 minutes from work as well. I figure many people work full time jobs, yet I wonder how they manage a puppy. I know what may be options, but really I don't know. The last time I had a puppy I was 8 years old, and she spent the first 2 years of her life, her & her mom in an outdoor pen (the size equivalent to having a small/medium fenced in yard, and a doggy door to go in the garage that had a heated dog house, food, etc.) She became an indoor dog not long after that - after my constant pleas of course & my brother claimed his dog back (my dog's mom) when he moved out into a house of his own.

Now I can think of some ideas of doing this, correct me if I am wrong, contribute as well if you like.

1. I could get a puppy, and since I don't really have a strict schedule at work - as long as I put in my 8 hours - I can drive home, let the puppy out during my lunch, eat at home & give a chance for pup to play for a bit, & then go back to work. Disadvantage being it would be a lot of gas & time driving back and forth, but I don't know, this should only be till they are old enough to hold it on their own? which is fine by me.

2. I could get an older pup/younger dog that would already be through the potty training stage & be able to hold it until either of us get home.

3. I could set up a cage/pen in the garage with puppy potty pads for them to go on as long as this is takes place during the milder months, or if I have some sort of heated garage/area. Of course I would have to make sure the area is safe & not able to be destroyed, so hmmm....

Any ideas, or how have you all done it? I would really like to learn!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A very trusted dog walker could help.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was lucky, my wife and I were living with my in-laws waiting for the possession date on our house when we got our min-pin puppy. My mother-in-law is a stay at home mom, so she really helped out with the pup.

It would be a lot of work to raise a pup with both working full time jobs, but if you're willing to drive home at lunch time, I think it would be possible. I would say careful and immediate crate training would be needed to make it successful though!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would go with option number 1 or 2. 30 minutes trip to get home and let the dog out, break for lunch etc, is really not THAT bad.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you do go with a pen area for a pup... This is what I built in my semi-finished basement for my dogs when we are at work. It is 10' x 10' , and full of toys, chews, dog beds and of course they get a special treat when they go in for the day. They love it in there.


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Old 01-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My fiancee and I work alternating schedules a lot, but certain days fall where we are both gone for the full day. Those days we would always have a friend or relative come over during the day to let the puppy out and play a bit. With the new puppy I think we may need to hire a dog walker at times as he is working a lot more right now. (luckily only for a few months since I work 1/2 days in the summer).

I think going home at lunch will be good if you can spend a little time playing and tiring the puppy out. You might also want to consider doggy daycare to help socialize your pup and tire him out. I found that when Rowan was little he got into a routine where he was more calm/tired during the day and would nap (since he was used to us being gone sometimes) but then would be crazy in the evening, so just be ready to do LOTS of play and exercise when you get home!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I did a combination of 1 and 3. I stayed home the first 2 weeks I got him, then took every wednesday off for the following month and came home every day for lunch for several months.
During all this time the pup was in an x-pen with a crate in the living room (with a tarp underneath) as even with coming home mid-day, you can expect a young pup to have accidents... but my boy had very few.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I work full time and have an 8 month old puppy. I get up at 4:45 am so I have time to be with the pup. I take the dogs (doberman 4 yrs old and new pup 8 months old) to the field around 6 to 6:15 even if it is basiscally dark and let them run/play/fetch and I work a little obedience with puppy. I feel my dogs MUST get out for 20 minutes to 30 minutes before I go work because they need it because I'm gone. My pup had a pet walker/sitter until he was almost 6 months old who came at lunch because I couldn't. I leave at 7:25 and get home at 5:40, husband gets home around 5:15 and leaves at 7:45 in the morning. I give my puppy something to chew and I freeze a bone with peanut butter and yogurt and give that to him daily. Now that he is alone all day. He stays in a large privacy fenced area with a dog door into the temperature controlled pool/bird room. In there he has a coolaroo bed, water and more toys. About and hour or longer after I feed I them to the park, for a long walk or in the summer the doberman swims in the evening and the puppy runs around. I go to class one night a week with the puppy, probably soon to be 2 nights a week and every Saturday. I train for 5-10 minutes whenever I can certainly at least twice a day. I am tired, it is a big commitment.

When my doberman was young I was able to come home and hike with him at lunch, feed him, play with him and I could take him to work for half day so it was very different. All my dogs up until my newest pup have had me home a lot more. This is the first pup where I couldn't be home and I hate it. However he is thriving.

If you can come home at lunch do so, the pup will need to eat three times a day at first and need you around. I took 2 week vacation and my husband took a week and we staggered them so we could be home the first 3 weeks and then my nieces came and stayed for a week so we had the first month covered. Then I hired the pet sitter. So yes it can be done but it isn't easy. Luckily pups grow fast and the first year is a blur so it's not that long before your puppy is house worthy. Mine is inside when I'm home (we have a dog door) but he is out in the dog area with the dog door into the pool room when I am not because he is not ready for house freedom. My doberman and my aussie are left in the house with the dog door for their comfort.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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we did #1 - i ran home every day for lunch until he was 6 months old.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the ideas everyone! I gotta save this topic now so I can go back to it. I never even thought of hiring a dog walker. Doggy day care I wasn't so sure how the pricing would be, I know day care for kids can be kinda costly.

I forgot to also mention, my job has a vacation buy program. I am not sure what the limit is, but I have coworkers who buy 2 or 3 extra weeks (in addition to our normal 2 weeks & 3-4 personal days we get). You have to put in for it at the end of each year for the following year & it comes out of your weekly pay check. I can also do that option too when the time comes.

I thought about having a doggy door for so long, but I wondered how that would work say, if you are gone & it has rained or snowed out & your dog goes out & comes back in with muddy feet & dirties the house. Also how it would work if you are trying to be energy efficient, that obviously would leak in the outdoor air I would think? Also what if burglars use it to breach your house?

To Odin's_Master, your pen is amazing!! That is an awesome idea! That pen is around the size we had when I had said we originally had my previous dog & her mom out in the garage. When they came inside the garage from their outside pen, it was a pen around this size that had their food dishes & dog house in it for them. Wasn't as high up as yours tho.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I also forgot to ask. About what age are they generally able to hold it on their own for a work day? I'm sure it varies for each dog. I was thinking it would probably be between 6 months to a year?
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My boy came crate trained at 7 weeks. Luckily for the first month, I was able to bring him to work and get him outside, while getting him used to being in a crate for more than just the night. At 3 months, ears cropped and posted, I would start to leave him home while I worked my full 10-11 hour shift. My boyfriend conveiniently works part time across the street and came on his break or after work to let puppy out and play with him mid day. This has continued since. On my days off my entire day is generally dedicated to him as I try to make up what time we have lost. I only work a full day 3 days out of the week, so it isn't too bad.

It is the realistic world, and you need to do what works best for you to put "kibble" on the table, right?
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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We did a combo and it really helped!

-left for work at 8:40am
-took dog out on lunch 12:15-12:45 (I have hour lunches)
-hired a dog walker (came around 3-4pm)
-home at 6:20pm

I also took her to day camp once a week (Fridays) so I could have an evening to relax and she had a day of playing/socializing.

Hope that helps!
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know doggy daycare can get quite expensive if you did it every day, but if you have a good one nearby you might want to just think about doing that maybe once or twice a week. Just to help socialize and tire him out. Trust me when I say you will want at least one evening a week when you can come home and do things YOU need to do (like grocery shopping, running errands, laundry, cleaning, etc) and don't want to feel guilty crating the pup for a little bit because he has been alone all day.

As for how long till they can hold it, I think that varies depending on the dog. We got lucky with Rowan. He could hold it through the night from day one, and never went more than say 4 hours alone until he was about 6 months. He never had one accident in his crate other than once, which ended up being a stomach bug. I would think somewhere from 6-8 months they should be able to make it all day, but will still need LOTS of exercise...much more than before!
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I started taking my "lunches" to come home gradually later and later in his fifth month, and by the time he was 6 months he could be crated/penned all day with no issues. But I think it is a very individual thing..
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think you'll be fine getting a puppy so long as you're committed. I worked full-time and was a full-time college student when Fiona was a puppy. And I split from my husband shortly after bringing her home so I didn't have anyone else to rely on for help.

I would play with her for about 20-30 minutes in the morning, use my lunch hour to come home and let her out (I live close enough to do that), and we had puppy training 1-2 nights a week. On days/evenings I had class, I would taker her to daycare so she could play all day and was ready to eat and sleep when I picked her up so I could take her home, set her up with what she needed, and then I went to class for a few hours. I pretty much spent all my free time entertaining and exercising the puppy and doing homework. No social life for me. LOL My priorities just didn't involve much besides the occasional dinner with a friend or having a friend over to watch a movie. So I was able to dedicate a LOT of time to puppy.

It was hard. I was exhausted All. The. Time. But it was totally worth it to have the dog she's grown into. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Daycare in my area is pretty reasonably priced. It's $12 for a 1/2 day or $20 for the entire day (and they'll feed the pup lunch if you bring food and instruct them on it). And two dogs can go for $30 all day, so that was helpful when I got Tali. I was able to budget it so they could go a 2-3 days each week while I was in school but I know people who thought I was crazy for spending $60-$90 a week on doggy daycare. It really helped me out though while I was finishing my degree.

Oh, also, you mentioned the pee pad thing. I wouldn't do that for 2 reasons. I've known pups who forever have a hard time understanding the pee pad is okay to pee on while you're not there to supervise but the floor is not. Second reason is personal experience, Fiona tried to eat one right in front of me after her spay (she was shaky from the drugs so I tried making it easy on her to pee by putting down a pad rather than making her walk all the way outside into the rainy cold, she immediately started ripping it up) so I can only imagine how much fun she'd have had if I left her with one and went to work for a few hours. It was just something to annihilate as far as she was concerned.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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1 & 2. If you come home to let him out on lunch just pack a lunch you can eat during the car ride back to work the night before I'd avoid puppy pads unless totally necessary so option 3 is out. Think about it, you're only going to be doing it for a couple months before the puppy can go the day without going outside so you will get through it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I vote for get an older dog and still run by at lunch.

An adult dog can hold it all day if need be but, just personally, I don't like asking her too. I dropped by the house at lunch pretty much every day until my son was born - now I go by the daycare at lunch and my husband lets the dog out between his classes.

Admittedly, I am fortunate enough to only be 10min from work, which makes it so much easier.
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