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Crate Training While Working Full-Time

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Lucy

Goofy Redhead
 
 
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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Bella

How cute is- THAT??!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '07 12:54pm PST 
My Mom leaves at about 7 AM, and my Dad leaves about 9:30 AM, so I have lots of play time in the morning. Then a dog walker comes in and gives me a 15 minute potty break around 12 noon-1 PM. Mom says she's licensed and bonded, and I think that's a good thing. Then my "Grandpa" comes over in the afternoon around 4PM (Mom says he's a WWII retired war vet, and keeps himself young by doing "jobs" for all of the neighbors). Mom gets home at about 6:15 PM. I'm doing pretty well with the crate training, if I do say so myself! I don't mess in the crate, and I've pretty much stopped whining (I get treats when I go in!).

I think if I "held it" too long, I might get a bladder infection or something. Ouch!
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Bella

How cute is- THAT??!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '07 1:03pm PST 
My Mom leaves at about 7 AM, and my Dad leaves about 9:30 AM, so I have lots of play time in the morning. Then a dog walker comes in and gives me a 15 minute potty break around 12 noon-1 PM. Mom says she's licensed and bonded, and I think that's a good thing. Then my "Grandpa" comes over in the afternoon around 4PM (Mom says he's a WWII retired war vet, and keeps himself young by doing "jobs" for all of the neighbors). Mom gets home at about 6:15 PM. I'm doing pretty well with the crate training, if I do say so myself! I don't mess in the crate, and I've pretty much stopped whining (I get treats when I go in!).

I think if I "held it" too long, I might get a bladder infection or something. Ouch!
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Khola- CDX, CGC

R plus and- paitence what a- shocking idea
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '07 2:29pm PST 
congrats on your new puppy!!! A few things that may help:

first off, it seems that thus far you're working really hard and you're doing things correctly. Keep it up and try not to get frustrated! Second, if you find a pet sitter from a website, they should be bonded and ask for reccomendations from a vet and other clients. This should help ease your concern. Many people have walkers come in now a days, so there is more of a variety to pick from. Third, if you are SURE that its not going to happen and you will excede your max time, then pull the partition out of the crate and place something down that will soak up the urine if it happens. I wouldn't put down a potty pad though, that would encourage releaving himself. But, in giving the option to go in the back part of the crate, the dog can still lay in the clean dry front part that is always open. Its almost like unlocking the bathroom (for now).

Its hard sometimes when our lives can't do exactally what we need, but in "have to" situations, opening up the back of the crate and letting your dog releave himself a time or two shouldn't set you back much if you keep up what your'e doing and try to make it there in time as much as you can, or get someone into your house to assist you.
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Nukka

548533
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '07 4:05pm PST 
It is very very difficult and don't feel guilty or bad. I am on my second puppy and trying to not feel guilty with this one. Both my husband and myself work full time. I have a 2 1/2 yr old malamute and not a 4 month old. She was 3 months when we got her. Crate training has been the worst for us. Our first was a breeze because he was a puppy mill rescue and was raised in a crate. Our new member has never been in a crate and BOY CAN SHE SCREAM!!!!!! She had accidents in her crate everyday and got herself so upset. I tried this for a few days, going to work and coming home for lunch and she would still be screaming. My oldest no longer stays in a crate so that upset her. I would be gone from 8:00 and my husband leaves at 8:30 and I would be home by 12:00. What I have done now at 4 months is penned her in a small area with the older one. She still has a few accidents but they are getting less and less. It takes time for them to be able to hold their bladder. Try decreasing her water intake in the morning. I don't mean no water but don't let her fill up on it. She will never be able to hold it if she drinks tons right before you leave even if she goes right before you crate her. Patients is the main thing as it is a huge job to raise a puppy. Very rewarding in the long run though (sorry long, I babble too)big laugh
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Dora

Can I chew that?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 1:43pm PST 
We have had Dora for 2 months now, and we struggled with the same thing. I was lucky and worked from home for the first 2 weeks. Then my husband got permission to come in later and say later at his job, so Dora wouldn't be kenneled until about 9:30. Then we just look at our schedules each week and work out who can come home for lunch each day. It changes each week depending on meetings, etc. Sometimes it's really hard but we just keep plugging along and somehow we've been able to do it. I've considered hiring someone to let her out at lunch but that's expensive. Do you have a neighbor boy or girl who would like a summer job and could let Lucy out at lunch?
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Daisy- ♥

How can you say- no to this face?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '07 6:12pm PST 
If there's a doggie day care near you, that might be an option. They can work on her crate training while also helping with her socialization.

With Daisy, her breeder had left her in her crate for too long and she lost the "clean den" instinct. She just turned 2 and we're just NOW able to leave her for about 6-7 hours at a time that can can reliably "hold it'. We do leave potty pad in with her and she's pretty good about going on it now - but that just started a few months ago.

We had to take away all water while she's crated and only let her have a little bit in the mornings. Most days my husband can come home at lunch and she gets a litte water then, too. She gets most of her water in the evenings and usually makes it through the night without having to wake us up.

Daisy is really a worst-case scenario and it's been difficult, but not impossible. Day care wasn't an option for us because they're in the opposite direction from work, but I wish we'd done it anyway...I think we would have had better results.

Hang in there...
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Jack, CGC

It's hot out- here, can we go- inside?
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 5, '07 10:49am PST 
Jack is 5 months now and we've had him since 8 weeks. We also did the crate - lunch break - crate routine for about the first month. Jack HATED his first crate (plastic airline type) and would scream and bark the whole time we were gone, until he passed out from exhaustion and would sleep. He also would have accidents in that crate on a daily basis, even though it was small and he would have to lay in the urine, which of course meant daily baths after work. At our wits end, we decided to try our other dog crate, a larger soft sided canvas type. To our surprise he was much happier and stopped having accidents almost immediately. I think he preferred the "den-like" feel of the dark canvas crate to the more open plastic one.

Also, it really helped both our puppies to remove all bedding & towels from the crate. If the bedding absorbs the urine then they don't have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of being wet, and they're more likely to pee in the crate and not try to hold it.

At about 14 weeks old, we started the switch over to confining Jack to the laundry room with a baby gate, rather than the crate. We tried it for an hour, then 2, etc. until we were sure he would not have accidents, and within a few days we found that he was trustworthy in there for the full 4 1/2 hours while were at work in the morning and again in the afternoon . He has never had an accident in there and not once barked, cried or whined to get out. He is a MUCH happier camper than in any crate, but still has his special area to retreat to when he wants and we have a safe (and fairly indestructable) area to confine him when necessary.
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Ziggy Marley

Mommy's Boy
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 6:49am PST 
I dont think your irrasponsible as you have to earn a living. I havent read the whole thread and I am sorry if I repeat what is said.
I do think that your pushing the limits a litle far for his bladder. I go by the rule of thumb that a pup can hold it one hour for every month of age they are. 2 months= 2 hours. And you said that you and your husband are able to come home during lunchbreaks to let him out. How long are your lunch breaks? How much time can you spare?

I have a few Ideas that may help.
Its known that puppys will hold thier bladder longer if they are sleeping, playing ect. Then need to go potty after.
Do you have time to take him for a nice long walk in the morning. Not nessasarly long to you but long to the puppy- they get tired kinda quick. Right after he elimates in your yard then walk him so that he can get out remainder and dont confuse where hes housebroken too, then you can walk him then crate him and "hopefully" he will nap until you get home. When he can elimanate again, have drink, got for another short walk then nap until next elimanation.

Perhaps you could get a doggy daycare for a few months until he can hold it for longer.

You may be able to litter train for the times that you are gone. (if your interested in this pmail me)



wisheshug You sure are a little cutie!!
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Tierce

Nothing in life- is free!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '07 10:16pm PST 
Bravewolf pays a friend to visit and take me outside if she's going to be gone for longer than around 4 hours. It is an expense, but it's worth it to know that I've been walked and haven't been forced to soil my ex-pen. When Bravewolf and Mischa are away my crate is put in my ex-pen so I have a place to sleep and a place to play. So far this system has worked.
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