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I've been blessed to have two wonderful GSDs in my life, one at a time. My second passed in December 2018 at the age of 13.

We're (family is 2 adults, 10yo girl) considering getting another puppy. A cousin did extensive agility work with his (non-GSD) dog and my daughter is interested in getting involved in that. We also live close to a huge national forest with a river where I've taken my dogs frequently for recreation, and we have a good-sized, fenced-in yard.

With previous puppies, I've had someone at home full-time. Not so any more - both my wife and I work. This leaves a stretch where a puppy will be home...and I'm curious how others have solved this logistics issue. You can assume an early morning run in the park or backyard, and similar at 5pm as well as weekends. But 8am to 4pm weekdays, there's no one home. I'll crate him or her but am operating on the assumption that 4 hours is the max time in a crate without a break. We'd look to get the puppy in late May/early June when my wife is home from school until Labor Day to get him off to a good start, but once school starts she's working.

Solutions I've thought of:

  • in-home dog walker stopping by 5 days a week (expensive!)
  • doggy day care (also expensive)
  • canvassing friends/local relatives to see who I can bribe to let him out for mid-day backyard play
...other ideas? My adult GSDs were fine with just a lunch-time break back when my wife could do that (they were old enough they weren't crated any more), but a puppy is a different matter. Just curious if I'm overlooking something obvious because I'm sure others have this logistical hurdle.

Haven't been on this forum in years - glad to see it's still around!
 

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That's pretty much all of the options unless you set up an outdoor kennel.
 

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Reading your post, my reaction is... Don't fix what ain't broken. What you have is pretttty great there
 

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I can see why you're looking into getting a new pup- 10 is a nice age for your daughter to enjoy the experience. After our (only) dog died last March we planned to get a pup in early summer since I knew my college-aged daughter would be home. After she went back to school we have a neighbor letting our GSD out. Only difference is that our GSD is only in her crate for about 5 hours with a mid-point break. Currently, she's the only one happy about COVID-19 since my daughter was forced to leave school early and my son is home too!
 

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I give some thought to adopting a mature Sheppard from a rescue...may be a better fit for you. These dogs are really intelligent and would appreciate a forever home like you have described. Forrest, river a large fenced in backyard...sounds like doggie heaven.
 
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