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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. I recently adopted Sadie, a German Shepherd mix, from my local animal shelter about two and half months ago. We always had animals while I was growing up, but this is my first pet as an adult!

She was about 3 months old when we adopted her (about 5 months old now). She was found abandoned in a field with sarcoptic mange and tapeworms and was scheduled to be euthanized. I treated the mange and the worms, and now everyone who meets her comments how beautiful she is! She's very shepherdy looking, but I think she may have a bit of collie in her.

She was crated from the day we got her, and has adapted well to the crate (we call it her "room") and our schedules. Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I both work full time and we are gone from 10 to 11 hours most weekdays. I know this is a long time to leave a puppy, but we have no choice. She has rarely had an accident in her crate - only when I have left water in there with her and when she had a bacterial overgrowth problem in her small intestine.

She is pretty much a perfect pup - playful, but pretty calm and laid back. She usually sleeps through the night - from about 10pm to 6am. I'm in the process of teaching her basic commands, and she seems to be a quick learner. She does mouth sometimes, but isn't a total landshark. Her main issue is that she acts like a goat when she is outside and I am constantly pulling unapproved items from her mouth, and as a result, she sometimes has tummy issues. Now she only tends to whine when she knows we are leaving the house - it's this horribly sad cry-howl, but she seems to stop after a few minutes. When I get home, she's usually calm and yawning, and being that her crate and toys aren't in total disarray, I'm guessing she sleeps most of the day. I also leave the radio on a classical station for her.

Even though things are going well, I can't help to stress A LOT about being away from her all day. We work too far away to come home at lunch, and having someone else come check on her isn't an option for security concerns (we really don't have anyone nearby we trust). I feel better having her crated in the house, where she is safe, versus leaving her outside in our fenced yard where she could get into something she shouldn't or if the weather got bad. But I still feel bad that she has to wait all day after we leave to do her business.

I take her for daily walks, and when we are home, she is with us or plays outside and is not in the crate (unless we are sleeping).

Has anyone else been in a similar situation, and if so, how did you and your pup handle it? She starts doggie daycare tomorrow, but will only be able to go a couple days a week.

Look forward to chatting with everyone here!
 

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Hi, and welcome to the board! If that is her in your avatar, you sure got a cutie! She looks so happy and content now, thank you for rescuing her!

At five months old, she should be able to handle the day in the crate, though I do understand the separation anxiety (from your part!). Sounds like she is handling the crating just fine. You can give her a kong with peanut butter or other goodies in it to keep her busy during the day, and to make her crate a good place to be in.

My dogs are adults now, so I don't worry about leaving them home during the day. Most of the time they can come with me to work and stay in the van because our weather is cool and mild here, but when they do stay home, it is for 10+ hours, and they are just fine.

A few years ago I had a pup that at around the same age as Sadie, would see me getting ready for work (putting my make-up on, etc, ) and on his own would get in his crate and wait for his kong! When I came home, he was always relaxed and mellow - just slept through the day, and came out of the crate stretching and yawning, no signs of stress (and we are talking a high-drive, high-energy working-line dog that passed a k9 eval when he was older). So just sharing this to show that your pup will be fine - it is harder on us I think.
Dogs, especially young dogs, need to sleep a lot. We have a member here that runs a Doggy Daycare, and she was saying that once they implemented Nap time in the day's routine, all the dogs' behaviour at the daycare improved.

Just make sure that he gets lots of play time and free, off-leash exercise when you are home, and she will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Castlemaid for helping to ease my worries! I have also felt bad that she has no company during the day - pooch or human, but I do always leave a couple kongs with peanut butter and pumpkin and treats in there for her - she usually goes in the crate as soon as she sees me preparing her treats! I also feed her meals in there to help her associate it with positivity, so I think she sees it as her "home", but yes, it probably is much harder on me than her when I leave!

And, yes, that is my Sadie in my avatar!


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When I was still single I adopted a GSD.
He stayed in his crate all day while I was working and I often had the same experience as Castlemaid.
Sometimes I would get ready to leave for work and couldn't find him, not realizing that he was already laying down in his kennel.
I too stressed from time to time about the full day in a crate but I never had any trouble with it.
 

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We have two dogs, one is 3 and our GSD is 8 months old. My husband and I work shifts meaning that often one of us is home all day but sometimes both of us are away all day, up to 9 hours. The 3 year old has the run of the house, but the GSD is crated. This is partly because I worry that she might chew (although she's very good) and partly because two big dogs romping in the house would demolish it in our absence! Even when we are home I often put the pup in her cage to force her to rest, she has soft blankets, chew toys and water in there, I also always feed her in the crate.

We have never had any problems with her being in there all day, the trade off is that I get up extra early to give them a good run before work, and when I get home I never expect to be able to sit down and have a cup of tea. Instead I get out with the dogs, whatever the weather and however tired I am..

It may not be ideal that our dogs are sometimes left, but as much as we adapt our lives to accommodate them, they also have to fit in around us, and they do...

I don't think you need to worry, your girl is safe, warm, loved, healthy and she has a life that she would not have had if you hadn't rescued her. you should feel proud that you have saved her life and that you are such a caring owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you aldrichg9 and Charlie for sharing your experiences! I really appreciate it and it's good to know I'm not the only one who has stressed over this and that other pups have also handled it just fine. She has been going to doggie playcare twice a week, so that has also helped ease my mind. She's so tuckered out afterward that I don't think she minds spending the next day catching up on her beauty rest until I get home after work to take her for her walk!
 

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When I was working very long hours, we found a high-quality doggie daycare really made a difference, even if it was just once or twice a week. You are already doing that, which is fabulous since she comes home worn out and sleeps the next day!

Hiring a dog walker to come mid-day for a nice long outing would also be another good option, if you can find someone you trust.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Magwart. I would love to have someone come to check on her during the day and play/walk her, but I just haven't found that person yet. Hopefully someday!
 
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