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Old 05-06-2014, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crate Graduation

So I had a question about when your puppy might "graduate" from being in his crate while you're away.
Since we've brought our puppy Pike home I have adjusted my entire life to tend to him and his needs as a puppy and it has been extremely successful. I managed to drive back and forth to campus almost every day just to let him out of his crate as needed and play as needed. The longest stretch he was ever without me was about 6ish hours and that was Tuesdays where I actually arranged for my manager from work to watch him all day for me. Soooo I can confidently say that I've done well molding my life around this wonderful pup! BUT (dundundun)
after this summer my next semester (september) is not going to be so forgiving. Most days I will be gone 8 to 5 with no break enough to drive all the way home like I have been. By that time Pike will be about 37 weeks/ 8 to 9 months...if I did my math right. (OHMYGAWD ): growing so fast...)

I have some objection to leaving him crated that entire time.... That seems like forever to me for him to be crammed in his crate. Don't get me wrong I love it; it's been a wonderful tool for training but I'm not sure I want to leave him all day with nothing to do but sleep. I've contemplated splitting a daycare package between me and my boyfriend for him but that is very expensive and I don't really have the expendable cash- I use that mostly to get really good food and cover vet expenses. There is only one around that will be open early enough for me to drop off... but I also used to work there and am not the biggest fan of them... har.

Anyway a couple other things;
No, my boyfriend cannot come home to check on him, he works 7 to 6 every day except weekends which is no help, haha.

I don't know anyone willing to come over regularly and my manager is really out of the question; she's done so much for me raising him I don't want to ask.

Im mostly concerned about him potting in the house- how in the world do you teach them not to when you're not there?
I left him uncrated today in our room (puppy proof) like a test run for about 4 hours (and because my manager was unavailable but I could leave class early) and there was a small dry piddle on the floor. I understand he's still young but I just wanted to see is all.
He doesn't potty in the house when I'm around that's for sure and knows to say "Hey let me out!" so how does it transfer to "oh probably don't pee when she's gone either..."?

I feel REALLY bad leaving him cooped up... so if that is the only answer maybe change my view?


Thanks guys! (:
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just make sure to give my dogs a good walk before crating them and they get to go go go when I get back. I'd rather crate my dogs than risk them getting into something. Even the dogs I trusted the most I still crated. It's really just for my peace of mind. Whenever I can, I'll take them to day care or pay for a walker to come over and take them out for a walk, but with their morning walk/training and their after work and evening walks/training/games they seem happy. So I never really worried too much about it.

I would say if you want to work on having him stay at home without the crate, build from very short times to longer periods. Your test run where you found a puddle was too long. The goal would be leaving him for an amount of time that you are 99% certain he will behave appropriately and rewarding with something like a walk or a game when you get back. If you do happen to push it too far, you're too late to punish, so you need to go back to where he was successful and work more on that.

Of course, this is all theoretical as it's not really something I'd do, but it's what I would do if I wanted to work on having my dogs out of their crate while I wasn't there.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How about an ex pen attached to the crate?

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