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Hello all,

Finally I can buy dogs after years of apartment dwelling!!! I am purchasing two pups at about the same time, one White German Shepherd and one smaller Goldendoodle. They will be ready for pick up in mid-May.

I have a 2 acre fenced in yard but work 8 hrs a day. My plan is to give them free reign of the 2 acre lot during the day with a timed food/water dispenser and they will join me inside the house during the evenings, weekends and overnight. How can I manage their house training? Can they be outside during the day while housetraining, then crate them in the evenings until they learn that the inside of the house is off-limits for bathroom breaks? anything else I need to consider?

I want to housetrain them correctly without leaving them crated all day and needing to pay someone to come by and let them out while I am at work. Will letting them roam during the day but crated when inside teach them only to do their business outside?

Any guidance would be helpful...
 

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Two large breed pups at the same time is probably a mistake. If the aggravation generated by 1 puppy = X, then 2 puppies = X². And that had better be a helluva fence to contain two strong, smart, and mischievous pups. Stockade fencing won't do it. Vinyl fencing won't do it. And cyclone fencing will contain them only until one of them figures out how to climb--and one of them will.
 

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I can't imagine having two puppies and a full-time job. I raised two large-breed puppies together, but I don't work outside the home and could devote constant attention to them and their potty training.

House training takes an all day, all night schedule, so I'm not sure how it will work for you. I really don't know how a dog would respond to part-time potty training. It's asking a lot of them. It sounds to me like you're going about it in the right way, I'm just not sure of the results or how much longer it might take for them to get the idea.

My main concern is the danger they might be in in the yard unsupervised. I don't know where you live, but both breeds are prime targets for theft. Aside from that, I would worry sick about leaving 2 babies in the yard all day. You never know what kind of danger they might come across.

I wish you good luck, and I'm sorry I have no more advice.
 

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I wish I could say this in a nicer, more tactful way, but... you are setting yourself up for disaster. I wish I could say that the puppies would play with each other outside all day, eat and drink when food and water were dispensed and then at night, come in and cuddle with you on the couch without making any messes. Here is what's much more likely to happen... The puppies will play with each other and be bored within a couple of hours. They will dig or bark to amuse themselves; these self-reinforcing behaviour will eventually become habits without you around to correct or redirect them. They will destroy the food dispenser and eat its entire contents, or eat pieces of the food dispenser. They will bond with each other more than with you, which will lead to issues later. They will likely be under-socialised, which will lead to even greater issues. Oh, and one (or both) will escape (either by digging under, climbing or chewing through the fence).

I'm honestly not criticising you or intentionally being a bitch, but I HIGHLY recommend you put off getting one of the pups for at least a year. Raising a puppy is tough. Raising a puppy with a full-time job is tougher. Raising two puppies with a full-time job is absolutely harrowing.

Regarding housetraining: puppies do not magically learn that the house is off-limits by spending the better part of their days outside. Puppies need to relieve themselves every two hours or so... during the evenings, and during the night, they will pee in the house if you do not take them out. I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that with the current set-up, housetraining will take MUCH longer than it has to, and you are likely going to have a host of other problems on your hands as well.

Honestly, this is doable, but I would not even attempt it without crates.
 

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My own dogs and my foster dogs are never left outside unsupervised. Besides theft and escape they could easily be poisoned, stolen, wander off and get hit by a car. Not to mention predators like coyotes, hawks, raccoons, and skunks...oh my!

I almost lost one dog when the neighber placed rat bait to get rid of skunks that had been plaguing the neighborhood. He stuck it inside loaves of old bread which I assume the birds carried onto my property. Luckily I saw the dog running around with something strange and took it from them...and found the poison inside. Could have been a disaster.

And as others have mentioned, socialization and housebreaking will take eons longer with two dogs left outside all day. There is a thread in here about working and raising puppies, from just a few weeks ago. It got quite a lot of attention. It's not impossible to raise ONE puppy while working full time. But I think you are asking for problems if you try to raise two pups while working full time.

In my younger days I thought that getting a playmate for my "bored to death and becoming destructive" aussie shepherd would solve all of my problems. And I thought that leaving them the run of the property all day would get them lots of exercise...plenty of room for two dogs. I came home almost every day to one dog sitting on the porch (outside the yard) and the aussie wandering the neighborhood because it escaped where the other dog dug out. It usually took about two hours of searching to find my dog. And the neighbors were none too happy.

In my case the aussie was at least a year old and well housebroken. We acquired the second dog when she was a year old so she was also housebroken. So potty training was never an issue. But those dogs were WAY more bonded to each other than to any human in the house. It was pack mentality all the way.

IMO, get one puppy and crate train it properly. Then when the first dog is totally trained (1-3 years), potty and obedience, if you still want a second dog...go for it.
 

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Yikes...Part of me is scared by the responses but the other part wonders whether you're overexaggerating the complexity here.

We always had dogs in my family when I was growing up. Additionally, my folks had no problem raising two pups together. They were very successful with it and the dogs were totally fine.

Assuming the configuration is doable, should I forget about letting them roam and crate them all day inside until housebroken?
 

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It's not impossible to have a dog! Lots of people get a puppy when they work full time. I think everyone is just warning you against having 2 puppies at the same time. Don't give up on your dream of having your own dog. It is possible!!

Lots of great advice here... just get one of the pups that you had planned on getting. Start from there :)
 

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I you could take a week's vacation, that would be the ideal time to bring a puppy into your life and get the basics of housetraining and crate training down.

I waited 16 years to have dogs before I had what I considered the proper home and lifestyle to raise them in. One puppy is doable, but not something I'd attempt with a full time job, unless I could get some time off for the initial training.
 

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As far as housebreaking is concerned:

I wouldn't feel comfortable letting the dogs roam in the backyard all day long. Too many opportunities to get into trouble, not to metion they could be stolen right out of your yard. Maybe if you have a 6'+ privacy fence, but even then...

Puppies cannot hold it for eight hours in a crate, so crating them while you are at work will be a no-go unless you can have someone stop by every two-three hours to let them out to go potty.

Your best bet would be to have a dog door leading outside to a roofed kennel (and by roof, it can just be chainlink covering the top, or anything to prevent climbing out or people getting in). That way they can go outside to go to the bathroom while you are gone, and yet are still secure. You can have an exercise pen or large crate set up on the inside of your house right in front of the dog door, so they can come inside to get out of the elements, but can't wreck havoc on your home.

Also, my dogs are inside/outside dogs. I never had any problems housebreaking them although they spent a majority of their time outside. As long as when they are in the house you stick to a very consistant schedule and take them out as needed, it shouldn't make a huge difference. My to mature senior dogs, who had been outside dogs the first ten years of their lives, were a breeze to housebreak. They were used to going outside and had a good "kennel" instinct with the fact that they didn't want to use the bathroom in their living space. They never had any accidents.
 

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A week is far too short to get the fundamentals down...

ATX, trust me, there is no exaggeration here. Raising two puppies IS possible. Raising a puppy while you work full-time IS possible. It's a) raising two puppies b) while you work full-time c) without the use of crates and with very little supervision that is going to make things very, very difficult for you.

I stand by what I said in my previous post... get one puppy first, then hold off on the other one until the first dog is properly trained. It's highly possible to raise a puppy while you work full-time. Even without using a crate, if you are absolutely disinclined towards them. We have plenty of members here who have raised a puppy while working outside of the home, with great success. But with two large-breed puppies, in your scenario... I wouldn't even know where to begin giving you advice.
 

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A week with 2 weekends is 9 days. My puppies were housetrained in 12. If a week is too short to get the fundamentals down, then how is the poster going to train one puppy without any time off at all?
 

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I agree.. one puppy.. and then add a second dog later (if you still want to).

Two years ago I got my current dog. I had dogs b4 but I was a FT farmer and was home with them most of the time. Now I no longer have the farm (unfortunately) and I work FT monday - friday AND I have an 45 minute commute (one way).

I researched a lot b4 getting my dog and am glad I did. One of the things that made my life much easier is I got an older puppy. Atka was almost 6 months old when I got her. This made it possible for me to house break her using a crate (and a neighbor for awhile to let her out once during the day). By the time she was 9 months old she was crated days and she still is.

I have thought since then about getting dog #2 but common sense concerning costs and time has so far prevailed and I continue to be a one dog house.

I would LOVE to be able to be comfortable leaving Atka out in her yard while I am at work but there have been a lot of dog thefts here of her breed. To that end I have a kennel and a fenced yard but she is crated when I am at work all day.

I suggest you get one puppy and since they are still making puppies you can get puppy number 2 six months later if you have the courage.
 

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Yikes...Part of me is scared by the responses but the other part wonders whether you're overexaggerating the complexity here.

We always had dogs in my family when I was growing up. Additionally, my folks had no problem raising two pups together. They were very successful with it and the dogs were totally fine.
So is your mom and dad going to help this time too?
 

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Yikes...Part of me is scared by the responses but the other part wonders whether you're overexaggerating the complexity here.
I don't think the complexity is overexaggerated at all. A puppy is a complete blank slate. They have no clue whatsoever what behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren't. If you're not around to correct the unacceptable (but self-rewarding) behaviors and reward the acceptable behaviors you're going to have problems.

Assuming the configuration is doable, should I forget about letting them roam and crate them all day inside until housebroken?
I personally have no problems with dogs wandering the yard during the day. I keep both of my dogs outside all day with no problems. Neither of them are pups though. Crating them all day is a bad idea as pups can't hold it for 8-9 hours, will be forced to eliminate in their crates and this will cause even more housebreaking problems as the crate is no longer a place for them to hold it.

The problem you'll run into with housebreaking is you're not around to reward the proper behavior (peeing outside). That's the basic core of housebreaking - the dog learns that eliminating outside is rewarding. Instead you'll have dogs who are sometimes rewarded for eliminating outside and sometimes not. Very confusing for a dog.

Think of it this way. If I touch a door frame and someone gives me chocolate I'm inclined to touch the door frame again. If I touch it again and nothing happens, then touch it again and nothing happens and again nothing. I give up touching the door frame. Then a week from now I touch it again and there's candy in my hand. Now I'm very confused. Is touching the door frame a behavior I'm supposed to repeat?
 

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You're getting a lot of great advice, and they are definitely not overexaggerations. It may seem unlikely, but raising two puppies simultaneously with a full time job WILL be even TOUGHER than everyone is making it sound.
 

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I agree with blackrose, if you are ready to pick up your two pups. You may spend a little more money and time, but that's how it should be if you want to be a responsible dog owner. I would suggest that you have a friend or family member come over to visit or play with your pups while you are at work. They should spend as much time as possible or at the least, an hour, with them.
Your puppies will get the idea that it is okay to do their business, wherever and whenever, hopefully they would prefer doing it outdoors since that is where they do it for the better part of the day. When you are ready to bring them in the house at night, be ready to take them out to go potty outside. I would also reccomend setting up an area in your bedroom with a crate or two crates, within a gated area large enough for you to walk in and around in. Lay down some paper training pads, and hopefully they will use it. If not, no big deal, just clean it up. This way, if you are a deep sleeper or you cannot get up to take them out at night, they are safe in this gated area and have a place to sleep in, granted that they take to their crates right away.
You can use child proof gates, just tie them together to form the area.
 

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My two bits:

- build an outdoor kennel. Can be very simple. At times you will want to kennel them for their own safety, your sanity etc. Whether or not they need to be in the kennel when you are away from home or not depends on your yard, security, hazards, etc. Not complicated, just use common sense. If you are in a rural area beware of coyotes when they are young.

- housebreaking - just follow the regular crate training type routines. The fact they are outside for 8 hours is fine. They are allowed to pee whenever they want when they are outside. Thats the whole point. Non issue. Lest we forget dogs descend from wolves who tend to spend all their time outside. Outside is OK. Dogs like outside (unless everyone else is inside).

- taking the first week off - that I agree with. Bond with the pups.

- remember: exercise ! especially as they grow. You can have 200 acres, doesn't mean they aren't spending all day sleeping on the porch.

I think many of the above responses are overly hysterical. But it is critical that you develop the right relationship with the dogs. Pack leader and all that. Lots of discipline, don't just be their playmate / friend. Seriously, from day 1, esp with 2 large breed dogs. Read Cesear Milan's books. Look at the NILF threads. Think about your relationship with the dogs. Get that right and everything will fall into place. Get it wrong and you can be home 24/7 with a chihuhua and still mess it all up.

Good luck, should be a great adventure.
 

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I would also mention that the pups really ought to be separated for at least half the day whne you're gone (out of sight and sound of each other) and you need to be taking EACH of them, individually, to obedience classes. Getting them bonded with you and able to be independent of each other is critical.
 

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Basically, you're setting yourself up to be a new single parent of newborn twins!!! Thinking accordingly will help you prevent all kinds of bad things from happening: expensive property damage, taking the dogs to the pound due to behaviors that you can no longer want to take/solve.

Also, as an aside, have these dogs come from the kind of breeders that have certified health checks? You could be in for some costly vet services if they have to have surgery or their temperment requires a dog behaviorist.

Read about creating a happy crate environment. You can't leave a newborn baby alone and expect it not to pee on stuff, and you can't leave a puppy alone for a second either.

You also can't leave a 2 year old child alone in the backyard for 8-9 hours, same goes with a little puppy. They will dig, chew and get in all kinds of trouble just like a toddler would. 2 of em? OMG. :eek:

Hire a f/t dogsitter to be with the puppies during the day, M-F and work with potty training and general training.

Find a doggy daycare that will work with young puppies and housetraining while they're there M-F.

Find a friend (s) or dogsitter (s) who will watch them during the day at their house, M-F, and work with potty training and general training.

Personally, I think the dogs your parents had might have had different circumstances that the one you're envisioning. Dogs deserve great training and attention early on. It helps prevent them from being given to the pound. So many people decide, at pups age 8 months or so, that the dog is unmanageable (actually due to lack of abilty/foresight on owner's part).
 
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