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Old 04-04-2014, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do you do when at work?

Ok, so I'll be getting a pup in a few months, and I'm curious what you do when you're at work. I work for an ambulance service, and there's a chance if I talk to my boss, could keep the pup "kenneled" in the ambulance bay (during chores and ambulance calls), and play outside as much as possible, but if that doesn't pan out...I'm curious what I should do.

I don't want to miss out on the bonding period. I'm gone 12 hours a day for 3 days per week, and hubby is gone M-F 7-4 for his job. I don't want to leave the pup at home in an outdoor kennel (first off, I don't want her stolen, and second, the bonding period again).

Is there anything saying I can't leave her with a friend during those work days? My breeder is the friend, and they're set up for dogs - outdoor kennel with littermates, indoor kennel when weather is bad, and for feeding/etc.

What have you done in the past, and what would you recommend? (Ideally, I'd like to win the lottery and quit my job and play with a puppy all day, but I don't that that's going to happen). :/
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your time schedules really don't sound like a huge deal as long as you make sure you commit the time each day to bonding and socializing your pup.

I worked an 8-5 type schedule almost every day of the week when I got my pup. When I was gone, he was either with someone I trusted (a friend who ran a daycamp) or he was in a sturdy ex-pen with appropriate toys (lots of chews and stuffed toys) and I usually had a dog walker that I paid maybe 10-15 per day to stop by on her route, take him for a short walk and clean out the pen if needed. Now that he's older, he is just crated when I'm gone.

The reason this works for me is because he has exercise and training sessions before and after work. Before work, even if I have to be up at 5am, he goes on a mile walk, then we have a training session mixed with a game of fetch or tug. When I get back, we usually have a longer walk (2-4 miles) and then a game of off-leash fetch in the park (after he got his recall down), and a training session interspersed with games of tug.

On days when I'm off, I measure out his food for the day and put it in a plastic baggie and he works for his food throughout the day in small sessions. Along with his regular exercise, this seems to keep him very level and low-key.

The biggest thing is just making sure he gets at least the minimum of what he needs even on days when you are busy. On 10-12 hour shifts, I may have been exhausted, but I still zombie walked him through his mile walks and did some short training sessions. Even just recapping things he knows is good practice.

If you can take him in the ambulance bay with you, I would just make sure to watch his body language very closely and make sure it's not too much stimulus for him. I'm not sure how busy/hectic an ambulance bay is, but if it's too loud or has too much going on, it could stress a young puppy who feels he can't get away from it. Only bring it up as a concern because you don't want him to have any bad associations with the crate. If you can take him and he seems fine, then you have more time with your pup. Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We aren't too busy, but we're very rural, so my biggest concern (after my boss giving the 'ok') would be the length of crate time. We live in a mountain valley, and cover about 1300 square miles, so our transport times are approximately an hour, plus about 40 mins back to base. Average turn-around time (leaving base to returning to base) can be 2 to 3 hours.

We check our rigs once daily, so that's the only time we have our lights on in the bay, and I don't usually test my siren until I'm outside, so no worries about that.

So kenneling (or crating if at work) the pup during the day (or leaving with a good friend) wouldn't hurt the bonding period? They won't see the friend as 'their' human? I'm afraid to leave my pup at home (even in an outdoor kennel with a full grown GSD nearby) because I KNOW my stepkids will want to play with the puppy because "she'll never know we did it."

I have plans for this pup. She's going to be either Schutzhund (if I can find a club that will take a new member) or "just" protection (my breeder trains her own dogs in protection, and let me tell you...she does it right. They 'greet' me at the door with a largely fanged smile until family tells them it's ok...never aggressive...just alert). So...I know the kids would end up messing up training.

Case in point - husband's dog is supposed to be a police K9. He was injured as a year-old pup so that plan was out. Daddy still trained him as such (just no bite work and excessive exercise). Then one day, Daddy was at work and the kids couldn't find a tennis ball or toy to play fetch so they used a rock. K9 now has a nasty obsession with rocks that have worn down his teeth.

I don't want my pup to have bad habits that I can't undo. I'm very OCD. -.-
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Indie (and1 other dog and 3 cats) are home all day from 7:30 to 3:30 (except for summer break for the kids). The other dog is very old - she has run of the house. Indie stayed in her crate (the biggest I could find) until her ears started to stick up through the top. That's when she got her kennel in the basement.

She has a 5 ft x 5 ft x 6 ft tall kennel in the basement. She has a blankets, kong, nylabone, and her own flat panel tv to keep her company. I'm sure the cats get her attention when they pass by her kennel on the way to their litter boxes. I got the kennel at a big box h/w store. They sell them by the panel so I can easily extend it to 5 ft x 10 ft if I wanted but it seems her current set up is more than adequate.

She very quickly adjusted to being home all day - fortunately for her there are 4 other animals wandering the house to break up the day.

I, too, often do the zombie walks. It doesn't matter how late I get home, the girls get their walk. Sometimes it's 6 pm, sometimes it's 10 pm. We are in school baseball season now, so there are many nights I don't get home until 8. My younger son does come home at 3:30 still, but he cannot handle her outside on a rope/leash. He's a pretty passive kid and she will just run all over him. On those days, I make sure the garage is empty and he takes her out there to play safely. That way, if she really has to potty, she can do it in the garage. No big deal.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That doesn't sound too bad, but I can't leave pup in the house. Bullet has learned that when he's inside, the trash can, no matter how empty, is his plate (he's fed adequately, just a bad habit he's learned from others). No basement, either.

So for me, it's either take pup to work and play outside as much as possible between chores, leave with the breeder during work days (I think that would be too much a hassle on my breeder), or spend big bucks to build a proper kennel for her. We have one, but it's only 1 big panel by 1 small panel, so I'd want it a little bigger.

Hopefully, I can work something out before I get the pup so I don't have to stress. I'd rather stress now before I have a pup to consider, then to try and figure what the heck I'm going to do now that I have a wiggly, toothy, nibbling, gnawing pup.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burdock87 View Post
That doesn't sound too bad, but I can't leave pup in the house. Bullet has learned that when he's inside, the trash can, no matter how empty, is his plate (he's fed adequately, just a bad habit he's learned from others). No basement, either.

So for me, it's either take pup to work and play outside as much as possible between chores, leave with the breeder during work days (I think that would be too much a hassle on my breeder), or spend big bucks to build a proper kennel for her. We have one, but it's only 1 big panel by 1 small panel, so I'd want it a little bigger.

Hopefully, I can work something out before I get the pup so I don't have to stress. I'd rather stress now before I have a pup to consider, then to try and figure what the heck I'm going to do now that I have a wiggly, toothy, nibbling, gnawing pup.
Or crate inside? Any chance one of you guys can come home during lunch to let him out of the crate?

I got Titan at 8 wks and we started right off the bat with this. Crate during work with me coming home at lunch to let him out and play for a minute.

Also, the breeder's place doesn't sound bad at all! Heck I wish I had that option even now! But the bondign shouldn't be an issue as long as you make the effort and time to be with him when you are home!
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We're both about 20 minutes from home, and hubby is very busy (most times too busy to eat lunch with me, let alone being able to go home) so I don't think we'd be able to get home and un-crate a pup. I'm hoping I can keep her here at work with me and avoid having to figure what to do, though I will need to build an outdoor kennel at some point.

I just don't want to miss critical periods of pup's life by being at work. I know my boss won't let me keep an ambulance at home. haha
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A couple of ideas:

If you have a yard, put up a sturdy fence and once the pup is big enough, let it outside during the day with some toys (weather permitting). And/or, fence off the basement, or a different designated, puppy-proofed area of the house and let it roam around in there.

Buy a couple of those "intellectually stimulating" food dispensing toys (Kongs, puzzles, what-have-you), to keep them from being bored during the day.

I also work about 20 mins. from home. Start packing a lunch, eat it in the car, and use your lunch hour to come home and play with the pup (40 mins. there and back + 20 mins. or more of play time, if you can come in earlier/stay later at work and your boss is ok with it.)

If you have a friend/relative, that can stop by mid-afternoon and play with the pup, do so. If not, it might be worth looking into one of those pet walking services, if you have them in your area.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I work for an ambulance service, and we don't get 'normal' lunch hours where I could go home. Hubby tries to, but he's an officer, and is frequently swamped with things on the OTHER end of the county. (stupid work interfering with puppy! haha)

If I can't bring my pup to work, maybe my mother in law will let me keep my pup in her front yard. That might work... she's got a fenced front yard and a porch so pup will be out of the sun/weather if she wants to be.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I leave my puppy in a crate while I am at work. I have never come home at lunch to let my puppy out. However, my mom or brother (often both) would come home and let her out to go potty and eat. She is still bonded to me, and she considers me "her person". She loves my mom and my brother, but not the way that she loves me.
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