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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into getting a puppy. I have done quite a bit of research and there's one thing I'm not sure about. The question I have is about the potty training. My partner and I work full time and we have a schedule that is going to make it difficult in the evenings. I can come home for lunches, play with and walk the dog, but in the evenings its going to be between 4 and 5 hours without a person.

A lot of the reading I've been doing about puppies says they need to be out every 2 to 3 hours. I was thinking about putting a potty pad in the puppies space so that while we weren't there he/she would have somewhere to go. Will this be okay? or is there something better I can be doing?

I have had dogs before but they were all a little older. So I'm trying to get as much information before I get the puppy. Any help you all can give me is muchly appreciated.
 

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If you both work full-time I'd highly recommend a grown dog who won't mind just hanging out for long periods of time. If you really want a puppy though they do sell potty pads and they also sell "potties" and litter for small breeds (basically it's a cat box but marketed for dogs). Potty pads would get expensive quick. There's old-fashioned newspaper on the floor or line a wide shallow cardboard box with it that the puppy is able to get in and out of easily. Course the puppy may turn that into a big messy toy.
 

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I found nothing wrong with puppy pads, some people refuse to use them at all because it does teach them going in the house is ok, so breaking the habit into 100% outdoor pottying can be pretty tough. you have to be very diligent, especially for younger pups ... if you can get a pup say over 14 weeks you should be ok to leave them for that period ... but it all depends on the dog. Once the pup is older have you considered crate training? this is very helpful we found with house breaking.
 

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your both work all day AND are gone in the evening? how much time are you at home (or did I misunderstand the post)?

the rule of thumb is they can hold it in 1 hour per month of age (give or take). You would definately need to get home at lunch to let them out and again right when you get home (assuming about 4 hours between outings).

If you use potty pads or paper it will mean training the dog twice often, train them to go on the thing, then train them to STOP going in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We work all day and can't get home for the 4 or 5 hours after the lunch hour. After that we're usually in the house, sorry if that was confusing.
 

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We work all day and can't get home for the 4 or 5 hours after the lunch hour. After that we're usually in the house, sorry if that was confusing.
You can set up an expen with toys/bed/water/etc on one side and a potty pad on the other. :)

If you aren't dead set on a young puppy though, a 5-6 month old puppy will have a much easier time holding it for that amount of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've actually been thinking about a slightly older puppy.

Once the pup is older have you considered crate training?
I have thought about crate training, but they only time I've actually seen it in use I think it was being done incorrectly. The dogs were incredibly hyper and unruly. There were multiple things that added to the problem including lack of exercise, but they were in their crates so much it kind of put me off.

I guess I'm not entirely sure what crate training is all about, since I've only really seen it used correctly on Youtube =P.
 

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The crate is supposed to be a dog's "safe place" their den. A well trained dog should love their crate (more or less at least). It is a safe place to for them chill during the day when you are not home, as most dogs will get destructive and could injure themselves (and damage your stuff!). It helps during house training as dogs do not like to soil where they sleep. With a very young pup you want the crate just big enough for them to stand up and turn around (to not be able to pee there and sleep on the other side) but this means you need to get them out of hte crate to relieve themselves. Once they are properly house trained you can give them more room in the crate (as much room as you are willing to accomodate for a crate). Then eventually you can test them loose in the house when you are gone to see if they will behave.

If you are open to slightly older dogs there are many 5-6 month old pups in rescues and shelters. They should easily be able to hold it in for 4-5 hours and fit into your schedule. Alternatively, you could hire a dog walker for the first month or so with the puppy during training (say you take an early lunch for one break, then the dog walker comes by in the afternoon so pee the puppy). This would only be for a short time, until the puppy has a bigger bladder.

Crate games is a great tool to show proper crate training. I generally start with feeding in the crate and putting high value toys or treats for the dog to find (so crate = good). then start with short sessions. Proper exercise before putting them in helps as well. I crate train all fosters no matter the age. http://www.clickerdogs.com/crate_games.php
 
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