(Closed) How did you manage a puppy while working full time?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
6262 posts
Bee Keeper

In brief….Dogs are pack animals. They need company. Keeping one on it’s own all day (and then again alone  if you go out for the evening and while you’re asleep) is not good welfare 

it’s also virtually impossible to train a puppy left alone as they need to be occupied and put out every hour to learn to be house trained.

Theres good reasons why rescues don’t rehome puppies to people who work all day.  And why they get puppies handed in from people who have bought them thinking they can make it work. 

If you’re set on a dog then consider an older more established dog with low energy breeding and get a dog sitter to come in to walk your dog throughout the day or do doggy crèche. These options aren’t cheap though so bear that in mind to your monthly outgoings. 

Post # 3
6949 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

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els2016 :  Training my puppy was … interesting.  First of all I had a fenced yard he could be in all day.  He may have been a little lonely but he managed just fine.  He did find his way out and started eating things I wish he hadn’t, but once I got the fence fixed, that was problem solved. (some of his pukes though… oh my lord) We also took daily walks when I got home from work and after a few weeks, joined a couple of friends and their dogs – the older dog helped train mine to walk with the group.  Other dogs in the neighborhood trained him to climb fences and chase cows (I lived on a reservation at the time – pet rules were pretty lax) so you definitely have to watch who their influences are.

Indoors I kept an eye on him, so generally he was in the same room as I was at all times.  As soon as he started wandering, I put him out (and went with) and we didn’t come back unless he used the bathroom.  At night I had him leashed to my bed so again, the moment he moved, I was up and out with him until he was house trained.  Training for things like sit and lie down were easy. At this point my husband has trained him to hand gestures as well, though I used words only as a puppy.

After the neighbors trained him in fence jumping, keeping him home was harder.  He went to his buddy’s house daily.  I gave up and just started walking him there every morning instead (they were cool with it) so he had plenty of company and was doing so with permission instead of as a rogue dog.  When I moved, I had to make sure I had a pretty high, unscalable fence.  Now we have an electric one, which works like a charm.

Agree with poster above about dogs being pack animals.  If he is able, mine leaves to hang with others all day (people or pets).  I feel bad now that he’s behind wires as he can’t get away with that, though he gets the occasional visitor from the neighborhood.  We’ve got a big property now, so we slacked on walks, too and it’s obvious sometimes.  I’d never give my guy up, but if it’s possible to get him companionship, do so.  If it’s possible to walk him daily, do so.  If committing to play time and training isn’t your cup of tea, then pass for the time being.  

Make sure you research varieties so you don’t get something neurotic, unhealthy and weird.  Ours is the muttiest mutt the world has ever spawned but he’s got an amazing personality and is only unhealthy when he makes stupid choices (like attacking a porcupine or drinking stagnant water).  He’s basically chill with anything we do, be it leave him in the house for a couple of hours, sleeping until 10 because we are, or going on 14 hour drives to visit family. He’s a total ass about wild animals and has had some issues with skunks, squirrels, porcupines, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, etc.  Even caught a lizard once and I think he’d do a cat if he could catch one (except ours, which he knows is off limits).  So that’s one more thing to make sure you’re okay with – discovering your dog likes hunting several years after you get him!

Honestly if you’re on opposite shifts, it’s probably the best time of all for puppy training – always someone at home to deal.

Post # 4
9521 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Lots of socialization and training as puppies and doggie daycamp (where they play with other dogs) when they are old enough. Older dogs need homes, that would make it easier on you

Post # 5
739 posts
Busy bee

I want a puppy so much but I won’t get one while working full time, I would feel too bad! Maybe while I’m on maternity leave. 

Post # 6
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Contrary to first posters comments, I trained my puppy while working full time.  Here’s what I did until he was about five or six months:

Took first week off to be home with him.

Long walk in the morning before work.

Left for work at 7:30am.

Neighbour came in at 9:30am for pee break.

I came home at noon for walk and pee break.

Neighbour came back around 2pm for pee break.

I get home at 4. 

Fun training in the evening, formal training class once a week. 

I slowly phased out my Neighbour and eventually just did lunch time breaks.  It was costly because I gave my neighbour  $80 a week, but was worth it as he house trained quite quickly.  When he was home he slept in the crate with a Kong toy.

Now he is well-behaved enough to come to the office some days. Not every day though, he’s fine to stay home too. We also do doggy daycare one or two days a week – a good one is well worth it!  Weekends are very dog-friendly for us, he comes everywhere and we hike and run, etc.

Focus on lots of socializing and plan to have no life for awhile, but it can be done!  This was all from the 15th floor of our building too, it would be less annoying in a house with a yard, I’m sure. 

Post # 7
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Dog walker/doggy daycare helped us. 

Post # 8
1905 posts
Buzzing bee

We had a couple of friends who lived by and worked opposite hours to check on him for the first few weeks. Also, two words – crate training. He’s in it at night and while we’re gone during the day. After work we run him around as much as we can and play with him.

Post # 9
550 posts
Busy bee

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els2016 :  it’s funny you mentioned this because I made a post similar to this and I got so many rude replies back such as “you shouldn’t have a dog if you work full time” and etc as if people who work full time aren’t allowed to have pups. Any way, I would come home occassionally for lunch time or have a dog walker come. When I would come home I would take him on a pretty long walk instead of just taking him out to the grassy area. I wanted for him to get some exercise and energy out. Some days the pup will go to “doggie day camp” and I love this since he’s able to interact with other dogs and he’s exchausted by the time we get home. It took us roughly 4 months to fully potty train him (he was 6 months at that point). Many of my French bulldog friends were surprised it didn’t take longer since they are quite a stubborn breed. It’s definitely doable but I left so bad leaving him home and I still do!

Post # 13
15042 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We got a pup at 3 months and both worked full time first shift 9 hrs a day and he is fine.  We picked him up on a Friday morning and had all weekend with him.  Then went back to work Monday.  We crate trained, and for about 3 months we went home during lunch time to let him out.   When we go home, we’d keep a close eye on him and what not.  At 6 months, he was ok with holding it all day so we stopped going home mid day and continued to crate train for another 6 months or so until he was a year old.  After that he got free run of the house…. and he jsut sleeps all day on his bed.

Post # 14
384 posts
Helper bee

We have two dogs! Our first one is now 15 months and we adopted her at 8 or 9 weeks old. He was working nights at the time so there was always someone home with her. He didn’t get a new job until she was four months old. 

Then we got our second dog when he was 7 weeks and one of us would come home at lunch to let him out. We did get him on a Thursday and I took that Friday off and had Monday off as well, so I had four days with him! 

Both are crate trained and we plan on letting them have the run of the house when our younger dog is a year old as he’s currently 8 months old. When we get home we take them for a walk and we have a fenced yard for them to play in. We send them to doggy daycare once day a week and we go to the dog park every weekend so they get energy out. 

If you can, take some time off for the adjustment period. Our first pup was already crate trained but we had to crate train our second and we didn’t sleep through the night for two weeks! It’s an adjustment period but it’s 100% worth it and I don’t even think about it now. I DO believe two is better than one because then they have a partner to play with. And they compete for treats so they both know advanced commands!

Post # 15
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

We tried to adopt a puppy from a shelter here and they denied us cos they wanted someone home with the dog, we are in New Zealand. 

I don’t know anyone who has had a puppy who didnt have daycare or someone at home. Basically like a child.

Puppies are hard work!

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