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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm getting a 9-week old female Springerdoodle puppy. I will be able to be home with her all day for two weeks, then I start working (I'm a teacher). A few details about our situation:

- I live in an apartment

- puppy has been eating twice a day, early morning and evening times

- Our puppy will not be able to have unsupervised access to an outdoor potty area, so we have a product called the Pet Loo in an x-penned area for her when we're NOT home

- Her penned area will have a crate, so we will be crate training her as well

- When I work, I will be gone by 6:30 AM and home by 4:30 PM. That is 10 hours.

- I'm ready to do all I can for her, which means training, bonding, exercise, walking, etc. within my non-working hours.

I'm not really able to afford a dog walker every single day. I could afford a walker perhaps twice a week, with a family member coming in for a 3rd day, which begs the question: should I train her to be without a dog-walker rather than get her used to having someone come in every now and then?

If you work all day and raised a puppy, how did you manage the puppy's house-training and time?! Would a pet cam like the Petcube be something to invest in?

Some people I've spoken with have advised some solutions:

- exercise her thoroughly in the morning
- do some obedience training in the morning
- leave a classical station playing
- stuffed, frozen Kong before you leave
- chew toys
- train her to be comfortable alone and in her crate (not confined to the crate during work time but in her playpen)
- 2 way pet camera to talk to her and monitor her

I'm just wondering what your take on this would be.

Please do not comment that I shouldn't have a puppy in the 1st place. Not looking for judgment like that here, just solutions by people who have done it or how you, if you were in my situation, would go about it. Thanks in advance!
 

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Well the Pet Loo will work but what about food; at 9 weeks they usually eat three times or more a day; Molly at 10 weeks was getting breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 

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I work full-time and just got a puppy a few months back, but I'm leaning heavily on my parents for help with dog care during the day (she hangs out at their house) and I use a dog daycare 2-3 times a week (looking at weaning down to two days instead of three, because I think my puppy is getting too tired with three daycare days in a row). Probably not helpful advice as daycare costs about the same as having a dog walker, and not everyone has semi-retired family members who love dogs!

However, my puppy is of an energetic breed who are notoriously destructive if not supervised. So I literally didn't entertain the ex-pen idea. I don't know about Springer-Poodle mixes at all, but there are definitely members here who have gone the ex-pen route! Sydneyrocky has a good point about feeding, although my puppy was having two meals a day by the time she left the breeder ("some of the puppies can't handle more than two mealtimes a day" was what she told me at 8-weeks, so I'm guessing they were overeating and regurgitating :p) so Prinna has eaten every 12 hours ever since I brought her home. Not every puppy will be amenable to that feeding schedule, of course.

Ten hours is a long workday, but is there any chance that you have a lunch break where you could stop home?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well the Pet Loo will work but what about food; at 9 weeks they usually eat three times or more a day; Molly at 10 weeks was getting breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Owner told me that the puppy is fed twice a day only, early morning and then around 5:00 pm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alisa♥;5163826 said:
Ten hours is a long workday, but is there any chance that you have a lunch break where you could stop home?
I wish I could! It would not be possible though because I work about 25 minutes away and can only take a break for 30 minutes :(
 

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I sure wish you could have somebody daily. No idea if 3 rather than 5x a week matters or not.

Mainly I wanted to suggest leaving your pup alone from the start for the 2 weeks you have before going back to work. Not for the full 10 hours but pop in and out many times a day. Do not stay glued to puppy's side constantly. If puppy screams bloody murder if you are gone 1 minute then leave for 30 seconds and come back in the house.
 

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Been there done that... they grew up normal didn't have a pet loo thingy,, just used a secured area, and news paper and cleaned up when i got home. They have the timed pet feeders now.. so that might be useful for a middle of the day meal.. Train when your home and your days off,, for crate and potty training...
 

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That will work out fine if it's used to only two meals a day. One before you leave and one when you get home. Puppy will be good then. You can have lots off learning and play time when you get home.
 

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I think 10 hours is simply too long for a 9 week old puppy to be crated on a daily basis. You can do your x-pen and potty pad setup, but understand that's likely going to set back potty training significantly because you'll be teaching the puppy that it's okay to eliminate indoors.

I definitely think puppies can be owned and properly raised by a person with a full time job (I've done it myself) but provisions need to be made in order to take care of the puppy's needs. Like driving home on lunch or not getting a puppy until you have the funds to hire a dog walker who can let the puppy out at midday if driving home at lunch isn't an option.
 

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I took my pup to work with me some days when I first got her (she was 10 weeks). I know a lot of places wouldn't be ok with that, so I was fortunate, but it's something that might not occur to someone as a legitimate possibility.

10 hours is definitely a long time for a young puppy to be alone, but I get that a person can only do what they can do. If I were you, I'd look into a trusted neighbor or friend that can pop in around lunch time and take the puppy out.
 

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Ten hours is a long time to be away, but it can be done. As Hiraeth pointed out though, potty training will likely take a lot longer than usual. You'll have to get up a lot earlier than normal to do exercise, training, cleanup etc. Definitely get her used to your not being there in the first two weeks before just leaving her home for the full day. Make sure your ex-pen is secure. Be prepared for her to take up nearly every minute of your spare time for the first while (you'll have no social life) and be prepared for lack of sleep. She'll be needing to go out to the bathroom during the night. At this age she will still be sleeping a lot during the day, but as she grows she will become more active and it will take more to tire her out (which will tire you out). You're taking on a lot with your schedule. It can be done, but you need to prepare yourself for what's ahead.

Definitely do a dogwalker/daycare twice a week once she's had all her shots and any extra help you can get looking after her while your gone will help.

We were raised both our dogs from puppies while we both worked full time (gone 8-9 hours a day on weekdays). They went to doggy daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays to break up the week. There were consequences though. Potty training did take longer (both were fully housebroken by about 10-11 months). We came home to dogs who were ready to RUN. There was a lot of pent up energy that needed to be released when we got home. Pepper was a bit destructive, as most puppies are, but I think she did it out of boredom. The dogs got on to our schedule so if we were late getting home they knew it and were not happy about it (more destructive, trying to escape, etc.). There was no option of us going out after work or in the evening because that would mean leaving them again, which just wasn't right.

Make sure she has puppy-safe bones/toys to chew on while you're gone. The stuffed Kong is a good idea, we always do that too.

I'm not sure if the interactive camera would be helpful or not. I think that might depend on the individual dog.
 

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Another thought that I had, it's a word of warning; I've cleaned those pet potties with the astroturf, and they are quite smelly and messy to clean. Maybe there are best practices when using and cleaning them that I don't know, or maybe it's just something to brace yourself for. My cousin got a puppy just before I did and their dog used that type of potty...after helping out at their house for two days, I knew it would not be something I'd ever use in my apartment. You might want to consider disposable potty pads instead of, or in addition to, the "Pet Loo."
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for the insight everyone! Thoroughly appreciated.

Took her home yesterday, and it's been an adventure to say the least! I've successfully been able to bring her to go #2 in her spot outside, but peeing....that's a different story. She has not peed outside once, and has only peed inside multiple times.

I've been watching her, caught her in the act, scooped her up and brought her outside to special spot but I'm always too late. Also, I've been bringing her out periodically, but she'll sit at the door to go back inside, and then pee inside! I'm writing down the times she has accidents so i can predict when she'll go next. I guess I'm going to just have to be diligent, patient, and consistent.

Couple questions now that I have her and all you experts :)

- She absolutely loves her crate and she just knows that's where she should go for sleeping. At night, I latched the crate and she didn't cry at all. Her breeder said she has been sleeping through the night from 8:30 PM to 6:30 AM. This morning, I greet her at 6:15 AM. She's awake and it seems she also peed in her crate. Should I keep the crate un-latched at night? The crate is enclosed by an x-penned area.

- Also, at night, should I be taking her out to pee every few hours or should I just let her sleep?

- Knowing that she has never peed outside and I've been too late to catch her, should I just take her out every hour on the hour during the day to relieve herself? Even if it means waking her up out of a nap?

- In the short time I've had her, she loves to nap. Is this hurting her chances of having good sleep in the evenings?

Thanks in advance everyone!
 

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at that age it's normal for them to sleep a lot.. it's a healthy growing thing.. Normally I take a pup out during the night, but they usually stirring in their crate next to my bed for me to notice to take them out. Maybe you will find the (time schedule) keeping your potty notes that you can decide when to take her out during the night It really is trying different schedules to find the right one for each individual pup.

My Brittney was so very smart and such a joy of a pup and adult.. . All interaction with my girl she picked up quickly..
 

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I'd be taking her out every 30 minutes, consistently.
Yup! Set a timer and stick to it. The first step, though, is having a successful pee break outside. It sounds like that isn't happening, and that she has even pottied in her crate. The idea behind crate training is that pups won't potty where they sleep, because their mom kept their sleeping area clean when they were with their litter. It is pretty critical that she isn't being held inside the crate for too long for her tiny bladder. Is the crate small enough that she can stand, turn around, and lie down, but not much else?

Although the breeder said she's sleeping for 10 hours straight, she isn't actually sleeping through the night if she's woken up and had an accident. Your goal is to take her out for a potty break before the accident happens. So yes, I would set a timer for a nighttime break and if she's already had an accident, set the timer for earlier. If she hadn't already had an accident, set the timer for 10 minutes later the next night.

Can you hear her at night from where she is? Is she trying to let you know she needs to go out, but you didn't wake up? My puppy's crate was in my room until very recently, so if she woke up and needed to go out, I could hear her. Ideally, you want to be ahead of the nighttime potty break (via alarm) but at least your puppy can let you know if she's about to have an accident.

If you open up the crate at night and allow her to use the indoor potty, she'll learn to use the indoor potty...but won't learn to go outside. It sounds like you'd like to train her to potty outside so that the indoor potty is just a crutch while she is too young to hold it during your workday. I don't want to alarm you, but you especially need to eliminate the possibility that she'll have to potty in her crate. The crate will not be a useful housetraining tool otherwise.

I read a book called "The Happy Puppy Handbook" which I think would really help you! It's available on Kindle so you'd have the info right away. There is also a site called "Ultimate Puppy" that you can check out; everything there is free and they do some kind of e-mail tip thing called Puppy Bytes (I tried to sign up but my puppy was too old :p) http://ultimatepuppy.com
 

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Our oldest dog is eleven; it took me 9 yrs to agree to getting another puppy. He was the hardest pup we've ever had to housebreak. Every 30 min would have been heaven! Almost two years ago we got a puppy; he was the easiest to housebreak. I went back to work full time a year ago so my puppy days are over. I know it can be done but not by me. I'm gone 7.5 hours and my husband, who would have been able to come home for potty breaks, changed jobs.

I think ten hours is too long. Can you find a friend or family member to help?
 
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