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Hi all,

We just got our 9 week old golden lab mix puppy! My husband and I both work outside the home. What should we do with her? When I crate her we got potty, then go in the crate with baby kong, treats, and a mix of puppy toys. She cried and screams for hours and doesnt calm down until I am outside her door. I do not let her out unless she is calm and we go straight to boring potty break.

Thanks,

Mandi
 

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She’s still a small baby and you should absolutely not leave her alone to cry in a crate for hours. She needs company and comfort. What you should do with her is to keep her company. It’s not until the puppy is much older and you’ve properly trained her to be alone that you can leave her. However I will say that being left alone for a workday everyday is too much even for many adult dogs and it might be necessary to get a sitter/walker. But for now she shouldn’t be left at all.
 

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She’s still a small baby and you should absolutely not leave her alone to cry in a crate for hours. She needs company and comfort. What you should do with her is to keep her company. It’s not until the puppy is much older and you’ve properly trained her to be alone that you can leave her. However I will say that being left alone for a workday everyday is too much even for many adult dogs and it might be necessary to get a sitter/walker. But for now she shouldn’t be left at all.
Thanks! We are going to do doggy day care but she hasn’t had any of her shots yet. We go Wednesday 😪 I’ll take her to work with me Thursday and Friday and see if we can enroll her for Monday!
 

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Thanks! We are going to do doggy day care but she hasn’t had any of her shots yet. We go Wednesday 😪 I’ll take her to work with me Thursday and Friday and see if we can enroll her for Monday!
What was your plan for puppyhood before getting her?
 

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What was your plan for puppyhood before getting her?
She’s here with us. She can go to doggy day care next week once she has shots and all. It’s just this week that is the one I’m struggling. I’m going to stay home tomorrow and take her to work Thursday and Friday. (My boss doesn’t like it but he’s on vacation)
 

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Just a reminder: What you will get on an Internet forum is opinions, and sometimes they will vary wildly from one-another. In general, there are no right or wrong answers - just opinions.

Opinions are not without value but, in the end, you'll be making a judgement call.

Here's my opinion: In a perfect world, no dog would ever be left alone. My wife and I are retired so we're home a lot. On those occasions when we're both away, the two dogs (sort of) keep each other company. In the real world, and in our world until fairly recently, people need to work and most of us work outside the home. Many (but not all) dogs can eventually be given the run of the house but nearly all must be confined in some way until they mature a bit. A young dog explores the world by chewing on it. A mature dog may still chew on inappropriate (and sometimes dangerous) items - especially if they are bored.

Typically "crate-training" doesn't just mean putting the dog in a crate and letting them cry and maybe get used to it. The trick is the try and make the crate a happier place - possibly by feeding the dog in the crate (with the door open) or providing safe toys.

I never used a crate with my first four dogs, though I noticed that some of them would stake out a "den-like" place in the house where they could go for some peace and quiet. My black lab, for example, rearranged a bunch of seasonal camping gear stored under some steps and made himself a nest. We never required it, but he slept there most nights for most of his life. Eventually, we decked it out with a heated mattress and (try not to laugh) some pictures on the walls.

When we got a young Plott hound (a breed that was probably never meant to live in a house) we brought her home in a crate from the shelter and then stashed the crate in the garage. When she showed a strong interest in destroying the house and everything in it, I got the crate out and determined to acclimate her to it. Luckily for me, she took to it right away. I also took her to doggy day care 3 times each week so she could burn off more energy than was possible with walks and fetch.

At some point, she made it clear that she no longer cared for the crate. She did this by repeatedly busting out of it in ways I would not have thought possible and showing up in my bedroom, and I made the gigantic leap of faith and retired the crate. She was with us for another ten years without incident.

My point is this: Without the crate, she (and I) would likely not have survived the first few years of hell-hound behavior. I am by no means an expert at "crate-training" since my dogs that have been crated had no issues with it. But I know you want to make it as pleasant as possible and never, ever use the crate as a punishment.
 

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When I was working and had puppies (my own and rescue fosters), I crated them beside my bed at night. I never had a puppy scream and get wild about the crate so long as I was right there like that (not to say some puppies wouldn't but mine never did), and I could hear them when they got restless, which meant they needed a trip outside. I slept in my clothes so I could carry them out the minute I heard them. That nighttime crating gave them a basis for not getting upset in a crate which carried over later when they needed to be in a crate during the day.

However, I never crated a puppy while I was at work. The night was enough crate time IMO. Later they learned to stay in a crate during the day as needed, and it was needed for my own since we went to shows and other competitions, but that didn't happen until they were older.

Anyway, for day time, I confined them in my laundry room, which had a tile floor and put papers over part of it. I guess no one could get enough papers nowadays, so they'd use puppy pads. I can't say it was a perfect solution - one rescue puppy chewed a hole in the drywall, and I know people who have toothmarks on woodwork. But we got through it.

My own puppy didn't chew anything she shouldn't have, and I was fortunate to have friends who worked different schedules and could stop by and take her out and play with her a bit. Those first couple of months of puppyhood are difficult for working people, but it doesn't last long, and you'll get through it. Daycare should help.
 
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