UCB Parents Advice about Pets

Puppy Home Alone

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July 2002

I am fostering a puppy found under a vacant house one week ago. He is very friendy despite his first two months of life without people. He loves me and follows me everywhere. I am thinking about keeping him, but hesitate because I work full time. I am looking for advice on how to manage this situation -- and if anyone thinks it's a bad idea to leave a puppy alone all day. He is an australian shepard/chow mix if that matters. Laura


I am a firm believer in crate training. We adopted a 6 mo old puppy and started to crate train him right away. It really seemed to help with house training and he did not tear up the house while we were away for 10 or so hours a day. We let him go to the bathroom right before we left and as soon as we got home. You do have to give the puppy lots of attention when you get home, but puppies require lots of attention no matter what the situation. Good Luck Joelle
There's nothing wrong with leaving a puppy home alone when you go to work. But puppies are very hyper, and they're social creatures. So there are a number of things you can do to help get your puppy used to being home alone: Leave a radio or TV on. Make sure he has a toy or two, especially something he can chew on, like a rope bone. If at all possible, install a doggie door, so he can go out and take care of business while you're gone. One thing that really worked with my two dogs, especially the first, who was alone for 11 months before the second one joined our household, is we always give the dogs treats when we leave. That way, they almost look forward to our leaving. It's a happy thing when we leave. That said, there are people who will advocate keeping your dog in a crate while your gone, provided he's crate-trained, because it's a secure place. I never liked the thought of this, myself, because I liked knowing that my dog was able to get some exercise (even if it was merely barking at the mail carrier) and if you confine a puppy to a crate, you have to come home at regular intervals to let him relieve himself. You might confine your puppy to just one or two rooms at first, until you're sure that he's not going to chew up the household. Baby gates are great for this. Good luck. Puppies are a lot of fun and grow up to be wonderful companions. Gwynne
Hi there, This is doable, but you would need to crate the dog. No, it is not cruel, we did it for the first 3 - 4 months of our toy poodle life and it is routine for training. You will need to invest in a crate large enough with growth in mind, they grow fast! for him to move around in, poop in and with water bowl on front. Please call Sirous Dog Training, if you can't find number, call the Lucky Dog Pet Store in Berekeley. Not only do you need to get your dog into the evening puppy classes held at Live Oak park right away, they can help you with the crate idea's. I do think you may need someone to come and allow him out after about 4 hours he is still to young to be expected to go that long without pottying and company but after 6 months or so, he will be ok. A dog is a huge investment in love and basic training is only fair for all the love you will get in return. )no I am not affliated with Sirous(. And the crate theory harkens to being in a den. anon
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