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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

This is my first time posting and I have never owned a dog. We are considering buying a Shorkie puppy. I have a family of four with two children under the age of 12. We have 2 floors in our house and a semi-finished basement.

We are strongly considering restricting the dog for his entire life with us to just the first floor and basement. The reason is that we want to have some space for ourselves which is upstairs. We feel it's healthy to have the option of time away from the dog, and we want to have the option of occasionally reading or working upstairs if needed. I understand that sounds selfish and perhaps it is. However, we are very compassionate people and will really love this dog tons, but just feel the need to have some boundaries and time for ourselves. My wife is a teacher and generally has a reasonable amount of time to further take care of a dog than someone who say perhaps works 8 plus hours straight a day.

Make no mistake, we will be spending most of our time on the first floor and basement and this dog will be loved, well cared for, and exercised both inside and outside the house. In no way do we want to be cruel to this dog and we also don't want to hurt the dog emotionally or make him feel anxious.

Is there any reason we couldn't limit the dog to those bottom two floors?

I have read where folks stress not letting new dogs have free rein of a house too soon, particularly puppies. I have also read a lot about the positive side of at least having a crate for a dog particularly at night.

Thought I would ask some of you dog owners before we bought the puppy since I know nothing about the topic.

Thanks in advance for any advice. JG4321
 

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We had an oversize black lab for ten years. He spent most of his waking indoor time in a finished basement family room, as did we. He staked out a spot under the basement stairs where he slept, so I furnished that area with his food and water dishes, a heated bed and (I kid you not) family pictures on the walls.

I had a picture framing business at the time and he went to work with me most days and was restricted to the workshop area. After some easy training, he could not be persuaded to go into the showroom unless he had a leash on. Anyone who wanted to could go back and visit him in the workshop doorway. Almost everyone did.

He got a minimum of six miles of walking or hiking each day and off-leash time at a 17-acre dog park.

I guarantee he did not suffer one bit.

He was a house trained adult when we got him. Puppies are a whole different matter. They need to be supervised closely or crated during house training and will need to be taken outside a few times each night until they can comfortably sleep through the night. They also tend to get very lonesome when they're first separated from their mother and siblings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks RonE for posting and your quick response. I also appreciate you passing on all that information. This sets my mind at ease a lot. I think we are going to move forward with the dog. Thanks again!

JG4321.
 

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Glad to help but did you read my last paragrah?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just realized I didn't see the last paragraph because of my monitor setup. I just re read it now. My wife and I are discussing this closely and we are also going to be talking with the current owner/breeder to get a better handle on things.

Thanks again for your help! - JG4321
 

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For the setup you're considering, you might consider an adult dog. The lab I mentioned was about four when we got him and, for ten years, was the best dog I've ever had or will ever have.
 
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a few thoughts in no particular order

When you say kids under 12, are you talking like 8+ yrs old or one/both under say 6ish? Big difference in maturity and physical coordination for dealing with small young puppy. While it can be done, I would not personally suggest a puppy under 1 year of age for a family with a child under around 6-7 years of age.

Its ok to restrict an area of a house for humans only as long as that does not in turn result in the dog spending a lot of time without the humans. You might find a compromise area by allowing the dog upstairs only to sleep and only to sleep in a crate or on a dog bed. Just being near their humans does often bring a good sense of comfort to companion breed dogs in particular.

Puppies will need middle of the night pee breaks and its a heck of a lot easier to hear them stirring and wake up to take them out before they pee in a crate if you are in the same room as them while sleeping. I have a single story house but I think it would add quite some annoyance and time in the house training process if the puppy were out of immediate ear shot. My preference is a crate inside my room for house training very young puppies and a crate in the living room (but remember single level here) for older puppies whom I was fostering.

My own dog and past dog have run of the house except for a guest bedroom to keep it a bit cleaner and a bit less allergens for people mildly allergic to dogs (no fur on bedding for example)

I wouldn't look at the suggestions of someone breeding and selling Shorkies as something to be confident in that advice.
 

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I second the idea that for people who are thinking about how to get away from a dog even before they have one, an adult is the better choice, for both dog and humans. Keeping an adult dog from certain areas of a house works for many of us. I have to keep two females who don't get along in separate areas, which of course means each one is banned from the other's areas.

However, I can't imagine raising a puppy without it being in my bedroom. I see people posting here about nighttime difficulties with puppies and have trouble understanding because it's never been a problem for me. Breed differences? I wonder. My puppies are in a crate by my bed where I can send a reassuring, sleepy word toward them if necessary. I sleep in my clothes until they can make it through the night so that I hear them when they start the need-to-go-out-fuss and only have to get up, slide into shoes and carry them outside when they get restless. And my bedroom is on the second floor of the house.

I treated rescue fosters the same way because I never knew how well housebroken they were, and they need reassurance too after being bounced around from one place to another.
 

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I know lots of people (mostly cat owners) Who do not allow their dogs into certian rooms or levels of their house. I do the same, to give my cats a safe place away from the animals. The dog that bothers the cats is not allowed in my room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for the excellent and useful advice. We seem to be very much interested in the Shorkie puppy. I agree the breeder may not be the best person to ask for certain types of advice.

My children are old enough and mature enough that a puppy won't be an issue. My wife and I talked about it and both agree that since we are getting a puppy we will most likely have to have the little guy in a crate by our bed or at least somewhere close to us while he is very young and transitioning to our house. We at least need to offer some support and closeness for the dog it sounds like. That seems to be smart and decent thing to do, particularly with the need for bathroom breaks early on in their life.

We both agreed that once things settle down and depending on how things work out it's perfectly fine to make some rooms off limits to the dog. As to the question of if we will completely restrict the second floor to the dog once he gets older we may have to review that again but are both thinking if we really want to do that it will be perfectly fine once the dog is older and adjusted and doesn't feel lonely or emotionally unattached.

Definitely a new adventure for us!! - JG4321
 

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Dogs are pack animals. They need to be with their people. In my opinion, it’s really not fair to separate them from the family in that way.
I understand you need to get things done, but you can use a crate, baby gate or exercise pen for that.
Puppies do need to be restricted to small areas until they are housebroken, but after that, they should be allowed to freely roam with their people.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much at this point. I know so many people who are like, "I'm not going to let the dog do X" or "I'm not going to let the dog in X rooms" and that all goes out the window once they get attached to the dog. Just keep the crated puppy near you at night so you can more easily housetrain, and see what happens after that.
 

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The dog will be fine if it can't go upstairs. Plenty of people do that. However, as others have mentioned, it can be annoying for potty training, and the puppy will likely make some pitiful noises if it is crated downstairs away from people, especially at first. Be prepared for that, and prepare your children for that. A puppy cry can be quite upsetting!

More concerning to me is the "Shorkie" puppy, especially for a first time dog owner. Is the breeder you have selected reputable? Most (but not all...just so many it's concerning) "designer dog" breeders are not very ethical or reputable. They are often very good at convincing first time puppy buyers that they're ethical when they're popping out litter after litter of dogs with questionable health and temperament. Check out this article for some quick tips.

Also, we enjoy helping buyers vet breeders if you provide the name or website. :) I love when first time dog owners end up with a great dog that is perfect for their family from a great breeder.
 

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We put a gate up at the top of the stairs but there is a landing there and we put a second dog bed up there. We use a extendable wooden gate to keep her out of the rest of the upstairs area. She likes to sleep or nap up there because it's dark up there and she likes going up there for some quiet time.
I wish we could let her roam around up there and sleep with us but she sheds too much. We can't even let her on the couch. I know she'd love to cozy up with us in bed or on the couch but the shedding is too much. She's really good about not going where she's not supposed to.
 
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