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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi! I'm new on here and I am really needing some good advice...

I am looking to adopt a dog from our local animal shelter, but I'm beginning to become worried about training him. He's a 2 year old stray that hasn't had any kind of training at all (house-breaking or obedience), but he seems to be very responsive to direction. I am just worried because he isn't house broken and I'm worried about leaving him in the work week. I'm a teacher and I leave for work usually around 7am and cannot be back before 4pm. I only get 25 minutes for lunch and I have to eat with my students so I can't come home to let him out. I was hoping to crate train, but everything I have read online says I need to let him every 4 hours... I really don't want to abuse him or anything and I'm terrified about mistreating him but he fits every well with my future husband and my energy level (we love to hike and we're very active in evenings, but we both work full time and we work out of town) and we really bonded with him at the shelter the past few days to see if he would be a match for us. Is there another method for house breaking that we could do? Please help! The shelter won't hold him for us so we're hoping to get him Monday. I'm just afraid to wait because I'm not sure if this shelter is a high-kill shelter or not... Its in conjunction with animal control so I feel like it is... So I really don't want to wait and I know me and my future husband would love him so much, but I am still worried about leaving him through out the day.

PS: Since I'm living on a teacher salary I can't afford a sitter and there's no doggie daycares around nearby (I couldn't afford it even if I wanted to...). I also don't have any family members nearby and I don't know my neighbors yet because I just recently moved and I think they work as much as I do, but I'm not sure.
 

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Do you have a fenced yard can you put in a doggie door? If he hasnt had much training he would probably feel comfortable using that... Or a doggy proofed room like the bathroom/ spare room/garage with some pee pads in the corner....
I some dogs that have been crate trained and love their crate (its their den, but they were trained to associate it as such) probably would be fine for 9 hours in a crate (he is an adult dog)..... But with one thats never been in a crate that does sound longish but def better than being put to sleep! (BTW I work 12 hour hospital shifts and some of my coworkers have to leave their dogs at home for that amount of time and they do pee pads, none of us me included crate train- but you do need to have a safe room for him to stay in until you can gauge how he is in your home environment...)....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do not have a fenced in yard. I live in an apartment, which I was concerned about that at first, but I've spoke to several people at the shelter and pet stores and I'm very active (long distance running, walking, hiking, etc), so they said that as long as we give him enough exercise, being in an apartment shouldn't be a problem.

Though I may take Monday off, that way I can gauge how he is the apartment. I can make the bathroom be the safe room, which has very little stuff to chew on. I think we may still pursue getting a crate, but I'm just fearful leaving him that long because he may associate it with being punished or abandoned with me leaving.

Thanks!!! :)
 

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My dogs do fine with 9-10 hours without a break, and I think most adult dogs can do the same. But if he's not potty-trained, that might be difficult with that schedule. It depends on whether he's the kind of dog who won't potty in what he considers to be his "den" or not. Some dogs have had their instincts skewed by bring forced to potty in their own area.
 

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Yeh, I believe the shelter does a fairly decent job with cleaning the kennels they're in, but he does piddle a little when he's a nervous or excited. When we last went to the shelter this morning, he had urine in the kennel with him. So I'm afraid he's gotten used to sitting in his mess, but hopefully he'll see his crate as his den so he won't go in there.

Also, does anyone have opinions about crate size? He's a medium sized dog, but I wasn't sure if I should get a really large crate or just one that he can lay down and turn around in.
 

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I really think the bathroom is a better option-- espec if hes used to lying in his own mess he will just be soiled in his crate for 9 hours... Crate is really if you are worried he will destroy your house remember that-- even when I come home for a dinner brk my dog is routinely home alone for 8-9 hrs a day.... and guess what she sleeps (chews her bone looks out the window and goes to the back door to smell the sights-- we are 3 floors up--) and she is fine loose in an 1900 square ft condo all day; just think thru why you want to crate .... (If dog is not destructive, why crate? Or just get one and leave the door open, you wouldnt want to be confine for 9 hours why would your dog?!!)....
 

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Yeh, I believe the shelter does a fairly decent job with cleaning the kennels they're in, but he does piddle a little when he's a nervous or excited. When we last went to the shelter this morning, he had urine in the kennel with him. So I'm afraid he's gotten used to sitting in his mess, but hopefully he'll see his crate as his den so he won't go in there.

Also, does anyone have opinions about crate size? He's a medium sized dog, but I wasn't sure if I should get a really large crate or just one that he can lay down and turn around in.
If you plan to use it in conjunction with house training, the crate should be just big enough for him to stand up and turn around in comfortably. Dogs don't like to go where they sleep, so this will help him with learning to not go inside. If it's too big, he can pee/poop at one side then go to the other side to get away from it.
 

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I would expect a healthy adult dog to catch on fairly quickly to house training. I'm gone 9 hours on weekdays and haven't had any huge issue crate training or house training adult dogs or older puppies. Out of 7 dogs that came straight from a shelter, all 5 dogs over 1 year old had less than 1-2 accidents in the house. One was a 5 month old puppy and had a few accidents over the first 2 weeks but was down to about 1 accident in 2 weeks when she got adopted out. A 1 year old dog had a lot of accidents her first 2 weeks but once it "clicked" in her mind, she was good to go. The current foster was never in a shelter (found at worksite) and he is about 5 months and hasn't had a single accident.

I use a large crate for medium sized dogs, I think its 36 x 42, and yes, it does give a little space for them to get away from their waste if they have an accident. But I WANT that. I don't want a dog that pees at 10 am to be sitting in his waste until 4:30 pm. Not healthy. This hasn't slowed house training down, I find them just being near their pee/poop is incentive enough to learn to hold it.
 

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Ranger was kenneled at the SPCA for 6 months before I got him and does fine with the 8-9 hours that he sometimes has to deal with before a potty break. He hasn't been crated before (that we knew of, he was an unaltered stray when he was found), but he settled into the crating pretty easily and we've never had an accident.

I make sure he is tired before he goes in his crate though, which means that if I work at 9 (My shifts can change) that I am up at 6 so I can get everything done and give him a huge run before work. It's a lot easier on 1-9 shift days as we hit the dog park for 90 minutes that morning.
 

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We live in a 2nd floor condo with a balcony, that is unsafe for the dog on his own (the slats are too wide and he could easily fit between them if he got excited and fall). We crate train as well and when my boyfriend has to work outside the home all day, we hire a dogwalker, who comes in for about 20 minutes 1/2 way through the day, takes our dog out for a walk and potty break, plays with him for a few minutes, and the recrates him until I get home about 3:30pm.

She has a key to our place, and we'll text her the night before we need her (it's a sporadic schedule). It's worked out so far, and then when I get home, I'll take Kobi over to the dog park for a good run and socialization time.
 

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You don't say what size your dog is. A small one you can get a pen for and leave them with their food, water and puppy pads. A bigger dog is a little harder but you can baby gate them into one room if they are not a chewer.
 

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Are there any dog walkers in the area that can stop by and give her a walk and chance to do her bizness during the day? That might help break the day up, too...
 
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