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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm just reading through some threads here regarding crate training. I've noticed that this topic has been beat to death but I still feel it necessary to make this post. So I figure that the average person works an 8 hour shift. figure 30-1hr for travel time. then they sleep like 11-6 or so. So that would ammount to 16-17 hours that a person is not able to be with their puppy. This seems to be about the schedule for most people. And since this is the majority, should it be said that this person shouldn't own a pup? Neighbors and sitters aren't always an option. I mean the pup is your responsibility, not your neighbor who you barely know. So any way, so between the work time and the sleep time, the pup will have about 7-8 hours of non crated time to eat, drink, exercise and play. I've seen a poster here call this abusive. I'd like to know people's thoughts on this.

And I know I'll probably regret this, but yes, this is my scenario to a "T". I work 8 hours a day 5 days a week. and sleep from 11-about 5:30. When I wake up I take the pup to relieve her self, then we take about a 30 min walk. Then she comes back home, eats a bit, drinks a bit, follows us around the house as we walk back and forth preparing for work. Then back to the crate because its time for me to go to work. I get home at like 4:30, and we play and bond for most of the evening. If I have any puppy friendly errands, she always comes along with me for those. and then go on a 30 min walk at about 8pm (really hot here before then). And I make it a point to let her stay out until about 11, and thats when she goes to bed.

I do feel bad for her because she is crated for 66% of the day so thats why I try my best to keep her active and to give her a lot of attention while I'm there. My goal of course is to eventually let her have free roam of the house but obviously that isn't a safe option at the time. And I don't want her using the restroom in a free room either.

Thoughts...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And again I kindly ask, please do not flame me. I'm just trying to be open and transparent with the situation at hand.
 

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For me, it's too much, but I've seen dogs locked in small pens only taken out once every FEW days that still appear happy, healthy, and well-adjusted (I'm NOT condoning that, just saying that dogs can be quite simple and resilient creatures).

Currently, my dogs are crated from 7:55am-4:35pm. I am lucky I only live 5 mins from work, BUT I will say that we chose the location of our home based on our decision to have dogs, so I can minimize crate time and be home for lunch. Often I go home for lunch hour or longer (sometimes I have training or other work I can do from a computer at home), especially if the weather is sunny and mild. DH changes from one job to the next between 3:00-3:30pm so the dogs are taken out at that time and often actually left out so when I get home at 4:35 I'll find them out (kinda depends on if he got them to poop when he was home). At night they are not crated, they sleep in our room on the floor or dog beds (their choosing).

I feel like this is an appropriate balance. They never make trouble at night. A few times I've been home during the day and I've noticed that the dog's are DEAD during the day, they sleep hard the entire time and do it in their crates even when I'm home (any time we are home, crates are propped open so the dogs can go in and use their beds if they want). So I feel like they get enough exercise and out time to be sleeping through the night uncrated and be crated during the day for 6 hrs or so. Seeing them use crates willingly during the day and often in the evening after eating or exercise, I feel that's a good indication they are not being tormented by the crates. I've never had to shove or even coax them into the crate. When I'm leaving for work they go in on their own and don't make a peep.

When I get my puppy in October I plan on coming home for lunch (I like to take an early lunch around 11am), seeing if I can hire my SIL to check in on the pup in the afternoon, and perhaps use a crate and ex-pen setup in the kitchen, or gate off the kitchen for the pup.
 

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Nerr when Rocky was a puppy his scenario was about the same. Dh and I both work ft, commute at least an hour a day each way. We were lucky that the boys would take him out and exercise him when they got home. Keep in mind this schedule will change as the pup gets older. At about 4 months Rocky was left out at night (in our room) but he wasnt crated. For the past 2 years he has been crated once. He has free reign of the house. It is not the perfect situation for a pup but it can work.

Rocky is now three and he survived his days in a crate. I dont think there is anything wrong with the schedule. of course it is ideal if you can have someone let the pup out during the day, but unfortunately, that isnt reality in some cases.
 

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I was lucky when Brady was crate training I could go home at lunch and let him out (still do)
Brady hasn't been in a crate in well over a year
you do what you have to the pup doesn't care as long as you take care of them and love them
 

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My puppies spend about 16 hours a day in a crate, maybe more. When very young, I would come home at lunch time and give them a potty break.

Balto is one year old now. He still gets crated when I'm at work because he likes to peel the paper off the drywall. He's old enough that I don't come home at lunch anymore unless one of the dogs is looking ill. He's also good at night and most nights gets free reign of the house. Sadly, he sometimes wakes me for a 2 am potty break. So, if I'm really tired, he's in the crate for the night.
 

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I had a similar sitution when Molly was a puppy. DH and I both worked FT. I was able to come home at lunch to let Molly out when we were potty training her but when she got older and could hold her bladder I stopped coming home from lunch (commuted half an hour each way and it was a temporary deal with my boss after we got Molly). The days I couldn't make it, my brother-in-law would stop by. All attention was on Molly after we got home from work until she had to go back into the crate for bed time. She was only in her crate at bed time until she was 7 months old. Then she was allowed to sleep in our room in her own doggie bed. She is still crated during the day while we are at work and has no problems being in there. I'm hoping that we can start giving her free roam of the house when we are at work.

If I could be a stay at home dog mom, I would totally do it
 

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My scenario is almost just like yours. I do come home for lunch as well. I also feel quilty sometimes but I try to remember that Bella is only 1 now. I tried to give her some free time out of the crate while we were away. Starting with half hour intervals. Things were going well until she became a teen (at least this is what I think) and then she started to destoy things that she never cared for before. Both remotes are a mess now and I have gone through 3 hair brushes. She opens drawers now too. So i cant allow her to get hurt or eat my couch while I'm not home. At night, I would love to let her out and dh and I are brainstorming the best way to do this. She has a major issue with wanting to be on the bed. So its often a major ordeal to even to get settled in for bed and dont even think of private spouse time! Wont happen. So, like i said, we're trying to figure out something that works for us. I may start with 15 minutes at a time to see how it goes. I want her to eventually be crate free unless she chooses to go in it. So after all that, I dont think your a bad puppy parent. You'd feel worse if you came home to a poisoned or hurt puppy. Thats how i feel about it...
 

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I currently put mine in the run from about 8-3 and then maybe a bit later on followed by the crate for bed time. She's far too active to be left out at night yet, but hopefully i'll get there soon. she'll definitly be kenneled whilst i'm not there as she can cause major damage to garden and herself.
 

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Hi, Nerrej-

I used to think that that was way too much crate time for a dog, and that people that have to use a crate that much shouldn't have one. I have since changed my mind, since I've seen that situation work really well. My mom is gone about 9-10 hours a day, and her dog was crated at night (up until recently). Her dog is extremely happy, and well-loved. She sleeps in the crate, and isn't stressed or upset.

Personally, I am lucky enough to stay home with my kids (including my dog
I just recently started leaving my dog uncrated (he just turned one) when we are gone. We use our kitchen as his "crate" now, with a baby gate in the doorway. I keep all the tempting stuff (food, trash, etc) out of reach, and he does fine now. Could you maybe try to have a room gated off (maybe not now, but as she gets older), that can be "puppy-proofed", so she has a little more room to move around when you're gone? My dog also earned his freedom at night. He sleeps in my room, by choice, but has the whole house available to him at night. I taught him to sleep in my room and not bother anything by tethering him to my bedside stand at night for several weeks. He learned that nighttime is "sleep and don't mess with stuff" time.
maybe you'd feel less guilt if she was uncrated at night? I know I did.


Good luck - as long as your puppy is happy, you're doing fine.
 

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Jackson, 5 months, is sometimes crated that long..maybe once or twice a week....depends on how many days DH works out of the house....and he is crated at night...love him to death, but he can't be trusted by himself...he is a very happy, well-adjusted dog...for a 5 month old.
 

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I personally think that 16 hours is too long. It is good that you walk her 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night. I have always had a pet sitter (my Mom) who I pay very well and she takes my 2 dogs for a walk during my working hours. This is only for 2 days a week that DH and I work the same hours, otherwise one of us is home. Meb is 3 and Shay is 1. When Shay was a puppy mom would stop down for 3 potty breaks a day. As he got older she only did 2, now she only stops once a day. I have only crated my dogs in case of an injury. Meb recently sprained is leg and was "down for a week and a half". Yes I did crate him just to keep the 2 knuckleheads from playing and him injuring his leg worse, but I also let him out of the crate at least every 2 hours to stretch and go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe I go too far the other way but I think my dogs deserve the best.
 

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I crate dogs when I am at work...for a few years I worked for a company whose offices were in a big old mansion and I took three dogs to work every day. They slept pretty much most of the day, Kelsey would go out to lunch and sit in the boss' convertible Mercedes and guard it (there is a photo of this on my website LOL). My boss liked dogs, and even gave me his SUV and a gas card to go pick up a dog 600 miles away so all my dogs could make the trip as I only had a sports car at the time. After he passed away, I still worked for and ran the company - and ended up working from home for a couple of years....the dogs slept all day anyway! Of course, they prefer my bed to a crate, and if idiots in my neighborhood did not let dogs (and cats) roam, I would not need to crate the group that gets along....

There is nothing wrong with crating - it is safer overall IMO for a young dog - and easier on the house!

Even after being in a crate during the day, these guys will lie around and sleep in the evening too! And there is always someone sleeping in the open crate in the living room.

Lee
 

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Thank you for bringing this up! We, too, work all day and must crate our pup. Before he was housebroken, I came home at lunch and worked extra in the evening to make up for it (Thank you to my understanding boss!) - while DH came home at 4:00 and let him out. I have read the posts where people say not to leave a pup in a crate for more than a few hours at a time - but that is just not possible for most of us.

Now that Luther is old enough to hold himself through the day, I no longer come home at lunchtime and felt horribly guilty about it. One Saturday, I was doing some quiet work in the office and crated Luther through the day to see what he did. To my surprise, he just slept and seemed perfectly fine with it! He never protests going or being in his crate and while I know he would be very happy if we were home all day - this is OK. Have to admit, however, I will feel much better about it when he is old enough to be free in the house when we're away. That will come...

Martie
 

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I am lucky enough that my pup can come to work with me (extra socialization for him since I work in the tourism industry at a trail ride facility). So, he is only crated at night (usually from 11 pm-6 am) and two or three nights a week from 7-11 pm when I am working where I can't bring him. He is let out to relieve himself and exercise before he goes back to bed.

Personally, I do not see 16 hours as too over the top. My dogs love their crates as it is their personal space. My border collie used to be crated for about that long when I was between college and work. He was a very happy dog so I never found it to be too stressful for him.
 

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I have always been in the same situation. Ava has the run of the house at night now (she is 2) and she is learning to be uncrated during the day. But as a puppy, she spent a lot of time in the crate. Ava is a very happy girl, and does not seem like she has suffered at all.
 

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I have been very lucky with my pups, I worked for a vet and while they were young they came to work with me.... I did crate during the night, till all the potty training was done. Now all 4 of my dogs sleep in my room. I have worked my schedule at work so that I can be home most of the day with them.....
 

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It would be nice treat to your gsd to have a dog walker visit during the day at least twice a week. Its not highly expensive, yet it can add up but I think its worth it. Gives the dog a break and an opportunity to stretch out etc... Don't know how much it cost where you are but its $20 each visit in my area. That includes a 30 min walk and the rest of the time in your home eating/drinking. Or you can be specific and request a certain time table.
 

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You can:

Call your local COA (council on aging) and speak to someone to get the number for the senior center. Oftentimes many dog-experienced, healthy, fit power-walking Grandmas and Grandpas have time to walk your puppy, throw the ball, let her breathe and run and explore.

Or: Call the vet's-- they likely know dog-loving, experienced teens with tons of energy for walks, ball playing, etc. to pop in at 2:30 and give that pup some freedom and relief.

Or, call the feed store. (they know teens, too)

Or the groomers. (might also know teens or elderly with time and experience)

Or the high school and speak with guidance counselors who place teens in mini-jobs in the community.

ALL of these options can be low cost and available to someone who works, who's puppy craves freedom of movement to be healthy in mind, body, spirit.
 

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Three month old Ginger is only crated at night 11-6. We are lucky enough for her to be able to stay out almost all day because of our work schedule. One of us are usually always home. We look at the time frames as when your asleep at night your not spending time with your dogs at all. So we would count whether the dog is crated or not as time not spent at night and add the time while your awake during day they are crated for total non contact. If you sleep 8 hours and your dog is crated 9 hours while your at work then that is 17 hours your "disconnected" from your dog whether or not your crating your dog at night. If you have kids you would be spending the same time with them on the schedule. So who should say someone shouldnt have a Shepherd because they are in the crate 16 hours a day? Are they saying we shouldnt have kids also? Theres no diffrence...our dogs are like our kids.
Like I said at first, we dont have the crate time like others because someone is usually almost home, but I dont agree when someone says people shouldnt have a shepherd if its crated 17 hours a day, did they not work full time when they were raising their kids?
 
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