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House training and working full time

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  • House training and working full time

    After my previous thread about adding a second dog, I've decided to start the process I've been submitting applications to local shelters so I can be on file when the right dog comes along. I work full time and spend a lot of time at the barn, so I'd prefer a dog that's at least 1-2 years old rather than a puppy. However, being in the North East, we have a fairly unique situation in our shelters where we have a higher demand for adoptable animals than we usually have a supply of, so many shelters ship animals up from southern kill shelters. This means lots and lots of puppies and not so many young/adult dogs. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should at least consider a puppy.

    Last time I had a puppy I was in college, so I had lots of time to house train him and was rarely gone for long stretches of time. Now I'm gone for about 9 hours on week days. Is it inappropriate to expect a puppy to hold it for that long that often? There aren't any teenagers in my neighborhood who I could pay to let the dog out during the day. Do some people paper/pad train for scenarios like this and then fully house break to only potty outdoors when the dog is old enough to have that kind of muscle control? There MUST be people out there who house train puppies while working full time...I just don't know any!

    I'd still rather a young adult dog, but if you all tell me it's possible to properly house break a puppy while working full time...well, I won't be upset that my options expand to include roly poly, adorable puppies!
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    Well it's reasonable to expect a puppy to "hold it" for X hours where X ~ age in months + 1
    ie 2 month old puppies are often good for 2-3 hours - if crated; running about, they're likely to go more frequently.

    If you have no pet person or puppy daycare, then stay with that older dog; it's not fair to keep a pup crated or alone for the number of hours that you're away from the home + whatever night time arrangement you choose.

    Some people do make it work very well BUT many do not
    You can usually easily "litter" train puppies but this doesn't answer their social needs at all - depending on your current dog to entertain & train the new pup can go wrong so many ways.

    Do look around your area for puppy sitting options if you just can't stop yearning for those puppy antics (just remember to consider the Art of Destruction antics as well).

    Comment


    • #3
      You could set a puppy x-pen in the house somewhere, like a bathroom and keep newspapers in a designated spot, water and food bowls and a crate in another, for when you don't have time to watch the puppy.
      I do that with little puppies, even if I am here all day and take them with me every place.

      Just be fair to the puppy and spend all the time you possibly can with it until it is older and fully housebroken and somewhat trained, as it will then be a good dog, free to have a large area to stay safely when you have other to do.

      Many people like the idea of having a dog, but forget it is a serious commitment in time and energy and for many, a dog and it's care and keeping it entertained really don't fit in their busy lives.

      You may want to wait until you are sure you have time for a dog.
      If you do now, I bet designating a small room or putting up and x-pen will work for you.

      An adult dog would solve some of the problems, maybe keep looking?

      Comment


      • #4
        Is a dog walker in your budget?

        Do you have a fenced yard where a doggy door might be an option for an adult dog?

        I personally would NOT do puppy pads because it can create confusion. First, they don't really learn to get on a schedule. Next, they don't really learn to give you any cues. Lastly, they can start developing texture association and start urinating anywhere in the house with similar textures. Not true in all cases of course, but I've heard of a lot of cases where people have issues after paper or pad training their dogs.

        And I wouldn't go the doggy door route with a pup right off the bat for the same training issues as above.

        We had a doggy door for my adult dog when hubby really wanted a puppy. I took pup to work with me for the first two months so we could be on a good schedule and really enforce the potty training. (I did NOT WANT A PUPPY....and hubby thought it was no big deal to crate a pup for 9 hours a day...total BS IMHO)

        When I got my pup (now the older dog), I worked from home. So I could stay really on top of it. He only ever had 1 accident in the house as a pup and that was when my then fiance fell asleep on the couch while I was at the barn and didn't get the pup outside.

        I wouldn't expect a young pup to go more than about 3-4 hours. Even that is pushing it when they're really young IMHO.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

        Comment


        • #5
          My personal opinion is that I don't start house training a puppy by encouraging it to potty in the house, but that's just me. I know people who have used this with success.

          Consider a dog door to a secure enclosure.

          ETA: A dog door hasn't compromised my dogs' abilities to hold it, nor do they violate house training if I lock them inside.

          Paula
          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, if you don't have a dog door to a secure yard, if you don't have someone there to take the puppy out every day for as long as it takes, to confine the puppy with papers is one more option.

            Many people in apartments and with a job do that and don't have any trouble getting the later adult dog to know to go outside.

            My puppies the past many years, none of them has used papers or had an accident, but I was there practically all the time.

            Before that, we had one way too young puppy in a bad winter and we did take it to the papers in the bathroom rather than outside until it was older and that one puppy did fine once old enough, was housebroken quickly, just as any other dog.

            That may not be ideal, but in a less than ideal situation, papers can work for those times no one is there and there is no other way to handle puppy's needs.

            Just as there are some puppies that may have trouble transitioning to outside, there are some that, with a dog door and no one there will still just go inside, they don't quite have the idea yet.

            I still think it is best to wait to get puppies when we can handle them for a few weeks in a way that makes their initial training go smoothly.
            Too bad that is not always possible, as in the OP's case.

            Comment


            • #7
              No, puppies can't hold it that long. Unless you are getting one of those tiny dogs that you actually want to pee on piddle pads or that fake grass, then you are encouraging the puppy to pee in the house. Housebreaking will be harder when you want to establish a schedule. You know how pet store dogs are notoriously hard to housebreak? Same thing. They are left too long.
              I know of two people that have their dogs peeing and pooping on special grass, in the house, like they are cats. That's just "yuck" to me, but whatever.
              I would recommend waiting to get a puppy or go with the older dog. Plus, puppies are so much more work - gotta watch them every second. A quiet puppy is a puppy that is off chewing up your best shoes.
              You are what you dare.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have to agree with Bluey; I've always timed my adoptions to give me a week or so of time home to get even an adult animal acclimated. For me it was a matter of adding two vacation days to a long weekend, for example, or a few vacation days around a weekend. Still, puppies take hands on, physical work/time whether it's you or some kid or walker you hire to break up his day. Those people are available and you can probably get away with an hour a day in the middle of the day for 5 days a week at about $10/hr.

                Yup, that's about $50 a week for a few weeks at first! Puppies ain't cheap in time or money.

                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                Comment


                • #9
                  We had people come to our dog classes with several problems, one housebreaking , from puppies of all ages to adult dogs.

                  With the smaller dogs, that would reliably be confined by an x-pen, the standard remedy, that worked fine for practically all, was the papers all over and keep putting a piece with the scent in one spot, then a smaller and smaller area and finally on one end only.

                  Once the puppy/dog had learned it was to use one spot, then the little piece of paper went outside on potty breaks and in no time the dogs had caught on and no more papers were needed in the house.

                  That was for those, like the OP, that could not spend the days it takes up front to live with that dog/puppy and keep taking it out many times a day, until it is confirmed in only potty outside and can wait until taken out and learn to indicate when it needs to go out.

                  It is just one more technique to housebreak, not without it's problems also if not done properly, as any housebreaking can be and not ideal, as living with the dog/puppy for those first days 24/7 or as close to that as is possible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you already have a relationship with a rescue that is pulling dogs from the south, why not specifically ask them to pull an older dog for you on their next run?

                    Alternatively, one of my friends volunteers at the Manhattan animal shelter, where perfectly fine dogs are on the kill list every day. If you would like, email me your contact info and I will put you two in touch.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You know, dog walkers can be expensive. I pay a neighborhood kid $5 to let me dogs out for me. They are usually happy to get the cash and happy to play with the dogs as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mg View Post
                        After my previous thread about adding a second dog, I've decided to start the process I've been submitting applications to local shelters so I can be on file when the right dog comes along. I work full time and spend a lot of time at the barn, so I'd prefer a dog that's at least 1-2 years old rather than a puppy. However, being in the North East, we have a fairly unique situation in our shelters where we have a higher demand for adoptable animals than we usually have a supply of, so many shelters ship animals up from southern kill shelters. This means lots and lots of puppies and not so many young/adult dogs. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should at least consider a puppy.

                        Last time I had a puppy I was in college, so I had lots of time to house train him and was rarely gone for long stretches of time. Now I'm gone for about 9 hours on week days. Is it inappropriate to expect a puppy to hold it for that long that often? There aren't any teenagers in my neighborhood who I could pay to let the dog out during the day. Do some people paper/pad train for scenarios like this and then fully house break to only potty outdoors when the dog is old enough to have that kind of muscle control? There MUST be people out there who house train puppies while working full time...I just don't know any!

                        I'd still rather a young adult dog, but if you all tell me it's possible to properly house break a puppy while working full time...well, I won't be upset that my options expand to include roly poly, adorable puppies!
                        You cannot understand how to do anything with a dog (or any living being really) according to a preadjusted statistical scenario such as such and such an age plus minus whatever to give you the hourly "set time" that poochie will need to relieve itself. You are setting the puppy up for failure unless you get a really, really special, "born trained" type. Get an older puppy as in at least a year, and hopefully one that is already housetrained. Search also on Craigslist for someone who needs to rehome one that is already trained otherwise you might very well have big behavioral problems in the future. I imagine almost anything is possible in terms of using those training pads but really you are making a potential huge problem for yourself and the younger pup unless you can find someone who will come in and walk the pup for you using the same cues and pretty much on time each and every time. That is what works best for all imho.


                        Alternatively, take up meupatdoes to work with a rescue who has a foster network and who has had said doggie in a house situation such as yours already. There are so many dogs in need and in danger, they certainly can be shipped.
                        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you prefer a dog that's 1 -2 years old and already house trained, I think you should hold out for that. One that will work for you will surely come along.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We had the same situation...also in New England, with a short supply of homeless dogs. After looking for quite a while for a young adult dog who would fit into our household, we ended up with a puppy shipped in from Ohio. The biggest problem was our elderly ACD mix...she was willing to accept a puppy into the house, but we did not meet any adult dogs she approved of.

                            Anyway, we do both work full-time. Here's what we did with 12 week old puppy:

                            I planned carefully so that I could take two weeks off from work when puppy first came home. I devoted those two weeks to full-time house training...taking her out many, many times a day, around the clock, treating/praising, etc... We made tons of progress, she was pretty darned clear on the fact that going outside was the coolest thing ever and she DID want to do it. She's part BC and smart and eager to learn and please, so that helped.

                            But, at 14 weeks then, she could not be expected to hold it for more than 3 hours or so, no matter how well she was taking to the training. I didn't want back sliding since she'd HAVE to go inside somewhere over the course of a work day and she was pretty well sold on "we ALWAYS go outside".

                            I can work from home one day a week, so I had four days to deal with. I took her to my mother's house, for continued house training and socialization one day a week and to a "day training school" near my office the other three days. This wasn't a "doggie daycare", it was fully day "school" for a limited number of puppies. It was not cheap, but they continued working on house training, installed some basic obedience and worked on socializing her to different dogs and people. Well worth the investment. She continued there until about 9 months old when she could be reasonably expected to be OK in the house for a workday. I still hired (and still use for her at 21 months), a mid-day dog walker, as she's still young and needs some exercise between when I leave for work and when I get home (also about 9 hours).

                            This approach was not cheap and required careful planning (both time off for me and budgeting for the help). I'd say if you can't swing some kind of arrangement, I'd reconsider getting a puppy as it will be quite a while before a very young puppy will be good for a 9 hour day in the house.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              unless you can hire someone to take the pup out mid-day for several months I would suggest you not consider a puppy. But if you can get a walker, you can certainly successfully raise a puppy.

                              Even with a mid-day break, a young puppy can't hold it for half a day, so you're back to potty pad training; and even with a mid-day break it's really cruel to expect a young puppy to basically spend all day in a crate. Not just mentally cruel- being confined so tightly for such long periods of time during the critical growing periods can adversely affect the pup's body development. For example, puppies that are kept tightly confined most of the time have much higher rates of hip dysplasia than pups that are allowed to move around at will.

                              But it can be done- you need to confine the puppy in a puppy-proofed space that is big enough for the puppy to romp a bit at one end, and put potty pads at the other end in case the pup has to go. Note you don't encourage the pup to use the potty pads- you only provide them. You want to encourage the pup to go outside, and to try to hold it until let outside. Pups naturally look for absorbent surfaces to pee on, so if the puppy space has a non-absorbent floor the pup will pee on the pads if necessary.

                              I've done this successfully- as the pup gets a bit older, you find the pup just stops using the pads and waits to be taken out at noon and then later and then you can stop putting the pads out.

                              I've never had access to a dog flap setup for puppy raising, but that would probably be ideal, as long as the areas on both sides of the door could be puppy-proofed. You don't want the pup running around the full yard unsupervised practicing bad habits like digging and barking any more than you want the pup running around the full house practicing things like furniture-chewing and rug-peeing.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My old working student takes puppies, one at a time, for folks and keeps them during the day with her and house/obedience trains them. Because she runs a private farm with a bunch of dogs, it is fantastic. Maybe you can find someone like her?
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                ---
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I know rescues all the time pull shelter dogs and relay them across the country to new homes. There are transports going all the time (Google it...you can get yourself on the email lists pretty easily if you find a dog and need to have it transported).

                                  That said, if you find an adult something you like in the Indianapolis area, I'm happy to go look at it/pull it/put it on a plane/whatever for you.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk often has adults

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      When we got our puppy this summer, both by husband and I worked from 8 - 5, maybe later.

                                      When we first brought the puppy home, she was 9 weeks and I was able to stay home for a week and work from the house, so we could get a start on the house training. After that, my husband and I would stagger our lunches, so the puppy got out twice during the day. Once she hit about 4 - 5 months, we went to letting her out once a day. She's 7 months now and can go from 8 - 5, but we always try to still get her out if we can. She is crated when we're not home.

                                      I was nervous about house training with a full time job, but the way we were able to make it work was great. Absolutely zero issues.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Both of our dogs (large-ish lab mixes) were about 4 months old when we adopted them (years apart), DH and I both are away from home for a little over 9 hours/day, and our dogs both did fairly well. We used an enormous crate (great date sized), so just in case they did have accidents, they had a little extra room. I honestly can't remember either dog having more than a handful of accidents in the crate before they were both reliably house-trained.
                                        *friend of bar.ka

                                        "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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