|Barked: Fri Jun 1, '07 12:22pm PST |
|Seeking some advice on how to continue crate training to the fullest advantage...(sorry if a little long, I ramble!)
The first week we brought Lucy home (at 8 weeks old) I took a vacation from work so that we could get the training started. I took Lucy outside religiously, praised her for going potty, etc. and during that week, we only had one accident in the house (my fault, of course, not hers).
This past week, I returned to work. Both my husband and I work full-time. We spend time with her in the morning, eating, pooping, playing, etc. and I always make sure she eliminates before putting her in the crate. Now with Lucy being just over two months old, I know the rule of thumb is that she should be able to hold her bladder for 3 hours (and our vet said up to 4 hours).
Ideally, my husband and I would like to stagger our lunch schedules, so that I can come home in the late morning, and he can come home mid-afternoon to let her out, but of course, our jobs won't always allow this. This week, for example, my hubby had to travel out of town for 3 afternoons in a row, and the only time I could come home to relieve Lucy was around lunchtime. So we have been pushing that 4 hour limit. The first couple of days we did great - no accidents! But the last couple of days, she has pee'd in her crate during each chunk of time.
We have the crate partitioned, and I put an old towel (usually fresh from the dryer, the warmth comforts her) and a chew toy or two in with her. Our neighbors aren't home during the day to help out, and while I would consider hiring a dog-sitter, the idea of having a stranger come into our house makes us a little uneasy. I know we are pushing the limits of her bladder control, because she is just a baby!
So I guess my question is: what do you do? How do you balance a work schedule and raising a puppy (which is a full-time job in and of itself)? Are we being irresponsible puppy parents by pushing her time limits in the crate? Will eliminating in her crate make house training progress more slowly?
Edited by author Fri Jun 1, '07 1:56pm PST
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