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Discussion Starter #1
Hi :)

We have a 3 1/2 month old pup. BTW, by my avatar which is a pic of "Buddy", what breed do you think he might be? Maybe a spaniel?

1. He is itching all the time. We took him to a groomer and she said he does not have fleas. The vet told us to treat him for fleas anyway, which we have done twice now. We thought it was his harness or collar, but when we take those off, he still scratches (his whole body). Maybe an allergy to someting in his food? We use "Taste of the wild" which has chicken and all kinds of things in it. Any ideas how to pin point the cause of his itching? He does roll around in the leaves outside and the grass.

2. Buddy FINALLY slept through the night in his crate with the door closed. He only whined for about 5 minutes and then he quieted down. I put a ticking clock next to his crate and put his chewy stick in there. When the crate door is open, he pulls out his blanket. Now there are 2 blankets in the living room. I guess he likes them in there because that's where we are?

3. I will be starting a full time job soon. My housemate might be having surgery. I think it would be cruel to allow the pup to stay home all day crated. We do have a large kitchen floor with pet gates, but he screams inside there. I just want to be able to get ready for work without a pup getting in between my legs and doing all the morning prep it takes. As it is I will need to get up at 5:30am. He's too young to board because he has not had all his shots. I guess we can hire a dog sitter. I wonder how we can find someone trustworthy, not only with safeguarding our possessions, but also being kind to our puppy. Any ideas?

4. It seems like Buddy needs constant attention. I really had forgotten just how much time this takes. How do we get the pup to lie down while we do whateer we want to do around the house?

Thanks!
 

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First, you should probably enroll in a training class. This alone will solve most of your problems.

Get a kong, too, that you can stuff and freeze that your dog will be preoccupied with while you do other things.

Your dog will have all his shots soon enough. Until then, you may want to find an insured and bonded dog walker who can walk and feed and play with your pup during the day. Alternatively, maybe a neighbor, unemployed friend, teenager who wants a job and loves dogs can do it for you.

And finally, I will say it again, start a training class. Most will take puppies who have had their first 2 sets of shots.
 

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On the itching, I would get back with the vet. Feed a decent chow and as little else as possible, seldom if ever bathe the dog, and brush it daily with a soft bristled brush. You might add a teaspoon a day of liquid cooking oil to its food.

At that age, I doubt it has had time to develop allergies.

I don't like to see any dog left more than 4-5 hours. If you can't make it back, as mentioned, a neighbor or professional dog walker could. Also, by then it may be old enough to go to a doggy day care.
 

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On days that my boyfriend is in college all day and I'm at work (usually 9-10 hour shifts) we crate Porkchop who is just a little older than Buddy. Whoever has to get up first lets Porkchop out to go potty. Then when I'm getting ready for work I keep him in his crate, but when I'm eating or doing anything that will take a longer time in one place (ironing) I'll let him out of his crate. Then I put him in the crate while I'm at work. On my hour long lunchbreak I let him out (potty, play and short training exercises), then back in the crate until four or five hours later when I get home. When I get home I give him tons of attention.. playing, training, laying down together.. just whatever. I must admit, though, that I don't have much of a life outside of Porkchop. My schedule is based around him, but I feel like that was the choice I made when I picked him up six hours from where I live. I personally love it, but I wish other people realized how much of your time is taken up by a living animal before they purchase one. It's totally possible having a happy dog while you have a full time job. You just have to put in the effort. Luckily for Porkchop, there's only two days out of the week where James and I are gone until the evening. I'm sure Buddy will be fine as long as you or someone gives him some attention in the middle of the day.

I agree with training classes. They're really important for socialization alone. We take Porkchop everywhere we can to help with socialization for he was very shy when we got him.

I would think that Buddy just really likes that blanket and wants it when he's outside of his crate as well. Porkchop drags all kinds of things out/in his crate. Puppies are goofy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone for your replies. I have copied and pasted some of your suggestions. It is so true that we did not take into account just how much time and effort goes into raising a pup. Actually when they grow up, they still need exercise, discipline and attention.

I just called two places and Buddy is not old enough to be enrolled in "puppy kindergarten". He needs to be at least 4 months old. Two series of shots is all that is needed though, and actually $64 for 8 weeks (once a week) is not too bad and socialization is critical, especially with a pup that has separation anxiety.

My job starts on Nov 4. My housemate is going to first have a Cortisone shot and see if that helps alleviate his back pain. Maybe surgery can be put off if the shot does not work, but I would hate to see him suffer. Buddy has been cuddling up with him to console my housemate because he senses that he does not feel good.

There is always that option of a reputable dog sittter.

Thanks again!
 
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