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Discussion Starter #1
After staying home for 16 years, I'm planning to return to work. My husband took a major hit on income in 2015 and it's time for me to step up and start contributing financially to the household. I can't leave my dogs (GSD, 2) and (Siberian Husky, 13) free to roam in the house; so I'm wondering how long I can crate them.

Here's some background: We are unable to leave the dogs outside for four reasons: summers are brutally hot, the fence is too insecure, coyotes and we have a harassing neighbor (I wouldn't put it past him to try to poison our dogs). Things got so bad with psycho next door, that we retained an attorney to issue a cease and desist letter and threaten him with a restraining order; hence the reason for the personal protection dog.

Whenever I leave to run errands, the dogs stay in their crates, so they don't mind them (the classical music we play helps), but I'm wondering if you have any tips as to how I can acclimate them to staying in the crates for a longer period of time on a daily basis. For example, starting off by crating them two hours per day while I'm home, and increasing it by one hour as the week progresses...toys I can buy to entertain them...that sort of thing.

Thank You!!!
 

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Similar issue when we had a golden retriever to few years ago when I went back to work. We started with 4 hour in crate since we went to visit friends and did well. Next week went back to work. Dogs don't understand concept of time, they go in the cage then they get out so if they can hold their bladder and have music and toy, blanket, etc they feel comfortable with don't think you will have any issues.
 

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When I worked full-time, dogs where left indoors 9 hrs 5 days a week. Getting home on-time was #1 priority, but they were fine. Dynamo was crated for this in her young years because she was rambunctious and liked provoking her older buddy. We were dedicated to giving her mental & physical exercise daily with walks, frisbee, hiking, & training her up from basic obedience to rally & agility.
Your protection guy will need some similar work outs if you need to lock him up during the day. Dog sport is fun.
 

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Crating during the day for a full time job is totally ok to do. When Titan was crated 100% of the time while we worked, he was in there anywhere from 8-10 hours a day the occasional 12 hours if a mission dictated so (it wasn't very often). Titan free-roams now but if I had to crate again, I wouldn't worry about it.

Things to consider since they are used to you being home.. can they hold their bladder that long? Most will be able to but there are always ones that don't. When you crate them, are you comfortable leaving things with them, a blanket in the crate, a chew, etc. With Titan, I always left him a chew and bed/blanket. He isn't a destroyer and doesn't chew aggressively so I never worried about him. I had a girl that would DESTROY anything you left her with so she had nothing. Literally nothing.. just an empty crate, not even a pad.. once she was able to barely reach a corner of a pillow on my couch and worked enough to get the crate a little closer to grab it and pull half of it in there and destroy it all. *sigh* some can't be trusted, LOL.

Anyways.. just a few things to think about and consider. I thing it is no big deal to crate for a while as long as your dogs get adequate exercise and outlets when they are out :)
 

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Thank you for all the responses. I forgot to add that I take both dogs for a brisk, three mile walk every morning. I live in the hills of Pasadena, near the Rose Bowl, so they're pretty wiped out by the time we return home.

I've left them in their crates for long periods of time. It's rare that they'll have an accident (poo, never pee), but it does happen. I let the dogs out 3-4 times/day and it happens.

Luckily, soccer season has just ended for my 16 year-old, so he'll come home straight after school. Initially, the dogs will be crated from 9:30-2:30. Once football season starts in the fall, it'll be closer to 8 hours. In January, my (now) 15 year-old will have a car, so I think we can work this out okay for them.
 
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