If you can only crate a puppy for 2-4 hours, how do people work?

Hello--All the puppy training articles I have read advise not leaving a puppy crated for more than 2-4 hours. How do people manage this and hold down a job? And do they get up in the middle of the night to let the puppy go outside? I am getting depressed because I really want a puppy, but this would not be possible. My husband and I have somewhat different schedules, so the puppy would only be alone 7 hours at a time during the day. We work too far away to come home and let it out during the day. Are puppies just for retirees, then? I don't see how this schedule is feasible. I would rather paper train it, but my husband is adamantly opposed to that. THANKS for any advice/guidance.

Asked by Member 293066 on Dec 17th 2009 Tagged cratetraining, duration in Crate Training
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Best Answer

Hailey May

Well Hailey is crate trained and she stays in the cage up to 6-7 hours over night. I don't let her out at night UNLESS she wants too. Hailey was VERY easy to train, i believe you can leave a dog in a cage up to 8 hours MAX! So i don't see tthe big deal, if you have extra time and energy to train him/her at night to be a well behaved dog & if you have the money then i say go for it. And IF you can take care of him/her and exercise him/her. To run off some energy, so it'll want to please you in training. I think it'd depend on the breed as well. Get a small or medium.. shouldn't be to hard. & with the right training.. & a breed thats known to want to please... Good luck!
Remember its your choice!

Hailey May answered on Dec 17th.

Other Answers



It's tough work having a puppy. I don't work and it was like a full time job to raise Jack. And he was the easiest puppy I've ever encountered!

It's a lot of work and commitment. Most people try to take at least a week off work to welcome the new pup home and they use that time to establish a schedule with the dog. Puppies are very needy; they cling to you and need you there a lot since they are going through a HUGE separation from their mother and litter-mates. It's a tough time for them and so it's important that they not be left alone too much. Behavioral issues can result, but really just basic loneliness can set in.

People sometimes arrange to come home for lunch to walk and feed the puppy (pups eat 3x a day to start) or they enlist the help of a more flexible-scheduled friend or neighbor.

Yes, getting up at night is part of it, too.

I'm with your hubby, paper training sets a dog up to fail.

Ultimately, you have to weigh your desires with what is right for the puppy.

Jack answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Lola Penelope

Puppies have a hard time holding the bladder. that is why it says no longer than 4 hours. What my friends did is have another friend that worked close by stop on her lunch to let the puppy out to potty and play for a few minutes. Also people can hire a dog walker or a well known neighbor to do it. When a puppy starts getting his schedule of feeding and pottying, s/he can be left for longer amount of time in the crate. If the puppy learns to go in his crate, it will be harder to brake. Lola was able to hold her potty at 4 &1/2 months all night with out waking up... sometimes that was 9 hours of not waking up. It will depend on age, size and breed (small dogs small bladders) I think. I think only the first 2 months (if you get one at 8 weeks) is when you can't expect them to hold their potty longer that 2-4 hours.

Lola Penelope answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Why not look for a young dog (6-9 mos) from a RESCUE? They are more likely to be house trained AND a breed you can choose than dogs from a shelter. You just may be able to get a 6-9 month old pup with all of the attributes of a "puppy" with all of the early training already done. Pick a couple of breeds, read up on them and then check out their breed clubs and rescues. Another plus is the dog will already be neutered!

Member 901737 answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


I am not opposed to using some sort of a pen in the home where the puppy has a large enough area to have a pee/poop area and a play/sleep area away from it. There are lots of exercise pens available out there... they can be set up with a crate (door off), some food & water, some toys and some newspapers at one end. As long as the pup is only allowed to pee/poop in the pen and is "normally" housebroken while the owners are home it doesn't seem to result in too much confusion. I have done this with several Winter puppies over the years... they turned out great and were totally housebroken just as quickly as other pups which were with me 24/7. I would recommend a pen, and not one room of the house... to me, the area needs to be somewhere that the pup is not in when the owners are home with it, which is why a room would not work. For a small breed puppy a child's playpen will even work. I would still suggest crating the dog at night, even if you have to let it out during the night.

Member 641257 answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Phillip J. Fry

Honestly, puppys aren't for everyone. Many people who have never had a dog become overwhelmed with the responcibility of a puppy because they have no control of their bladder or excitement. Puppys are a lot of work.

I feel like some people want a puppy because they want a "cute little puppy" (keep in mind they are only like that for less then a year) and some people want a puppy because they don't want an "old" dog. But dogs that are 1-3 years old are still playfull and young, willing to learn and please, and have 10+ years of life expected.

These are my thoughts. I do know of the cons of getting a dog that's a year old or more. but I feel like with your schedule, like you said, it doesn't sound like you have enough time to dedicate unless you were to get a sitter, because that's just about the only other way around it, a pet sitter, doggy daycare, a neighbor... somebody needs to let the dog relieve himself. He will be tough to potty train if he is allowed to potty in his kennel

Phillip J. Fry answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You could hire a dog walker and let the pup out for a good 1/2 hour each day. Or have a reliable friend drop by each day to let the pup out.
But, puppies aren't all they're cracked up to be. You'll have to spend lots of time with the pup teaching it house manners and getting up in the middle of the night letting him out to go potty, getting up early to get him out first thing, etc.
You'll need to spend time each day doing some kind of training, so if you get home from a long day and a long drive and you don't have the energy to take the pup for a walk and do some training, you'll have an untrained dog all that much longer.
Think about getting a rescue that's a bit older. That will still mean that you'll need to spend time bonding with it, but leaving a puppy alone for 7 hours a day isn't fair at all.
I adopted Mikey from a rescue and luckily he was already partially potty trained and I could leave him alone longer than if he were a puppy.
Puppies need their people. They're babies.

Mikey answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I don't think it wise to leave a puppy alone for more than a few hours. My neighbor has a puppy (about 4 months old) and he leaves it alone for 7-8 hours at a time and he's in a crate. IT DRIVES ME INSANE!!!!!! The poor pup wants out so bad I can hear him all day from next door!!!! It is unfair to a puppy to be left home all day. I, personally, prefer dogs from shelters. Then you are actually helping a dog who needs someone or they could be put down, if there long enough. My dog is 4 Years old and was rescued a few months ago. There are set backs, mine has a fear of other dogs and so lunges for them, but you can find out the history of how an animal is from the shelter (i knew what i was getting into)! Also, shelter dogs, to me, are more willing to please their owner since you are RESCUING them, and they seem to know it. Plus you don't have to worry about a spay or neuter bill later on (most of the time)!!!!! Good luck.

Member 899913 answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


We have routinely left even 7 week old puppies 4-5 hours at a time in the day time and usually they are making it through the night in a few weeks. As others have mentioned, using a neighbor or professional dog walker is a good idea. I also like th esuggestion of starting with an older rescue.

I don't like to see even older dogs left 7 hours. However, with one of them, you can leave it at doggy day care.

Papers, pads, X-Pens only confuse the dog making housebreaking even harder.

Aster answered on 12/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer