Adopted a dog and seeking advice on leaving him home during the work day

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Adopted a dog and seeking advice on leaving him home during the work day

This is a discussion on Adopted a dog and seeking advice on leaving him home during the work day within the New Additions forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, everyone! I'm new to this forum and just joined today. Basically, I'm seeking some advice on where to keep my new dog during the ...

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Old 08-17-2016, 02:27 PM
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Adopted a dog and seeking advice on leaving him home during the work day

Hello, everyone! I'm new to this forum and just joined today.

Basically, I'm seeking some advice on where to keep my new dog during the day.

Today was the first day that my fiance and I left him mostly by himself at home. He is only 7 months so the adoption counselor at the shelter told us not to leave him alone for more than 6 hours. Because of that, I had a friend who lives across the street come over at noon and stay with him for about an hour. (I woke up at 6am and spent two hours with him, playing and hanging out and walking him, until I left at 8am. My friend came over at 12pm and stayed until 1. I'll be home at 4:30pm.) He was crated today. I haven't gotten home yet, but I firmly believe that that was the wrong choice. I think. I'm not sure! Ultimately, I do not want to crate him during the day. I would really like to get to the point where he freely roams the apartment during the day. But, I'm not sure what my options are while he is still 'wild' and young and free and all that (Love him to death! But he was a stray before the shelter and has had absolutely no training/housebreaking/etc. And he's a chewer; teething, I think.)

We spent some (a lot) of time with him yesterday and the crate, placing treats inside and praising him, until he was willing to go in himself. (I wish I could have spent more days with him doing this and I believe that we rushed putting him into the crate today. I threw a Kong toy that I froze peanut butter and treats in and he went in to the crate happily.) This morning, was heart-wrenching. The second we got outside into the hall of my apartment building, he was barking and wailing. Based on what I've read, I didn't want to praise him for whining (:c) and waited far down the hallway of my apartment building until he seemed to have stopped (about 5-10 minutes). My fiance had to stop me from running back in there! My friend who walked him this afternoon said he was the same way when he left, too. :/

Anyways, my fiance and I's schedules both change next week and we will be fine with keeping him company ourselves and not depending on our friend, but we still need a long-term issue to handle the 3- or 4-hour stretches of time that he will be alone until he is trained enough/old enough to handle free roaming. Does anyone have any advice? I considered either baby-gating off the kitchen (he may be able to jump on the counters, but I'm unsure) or maybe putting him in the bathroom, sans-shreddable stuff (but he also has an issue in which he rips up beds/bedding unless it's in the crate)? Then we would be able to work more on the crate training without traumatizing him.

Or am I overreacting? He could also just be adjusting to his new home. We've only had him two days. It's just absolutely heart-wrenching to hear him cry/bark when we leave. :'c And I also don't want my neighbors to complain or anything (or be frightened and call help because it honestly sounds like my dog is suffering when he barks like that...because he probably is. :ccccc), but that may be an irrational fear because it is a pretty dog-friendly community. I'm concerned he may be barking more during the day, as opposed just during 'transition' periods but I have no proof of this.

To add another layer to this, the shelter neutered him two weeks ago, so he is still healing and wearing a cone to stop him from biting his incision. So he's just totally frustrated and anxious. :'/ Taking him to the vet on Friday to discuss options.

Just looking for a little bit of help! Had puppies previously, but didn't realize how long ago that was until I brought home this dog.


Overwhelmed New Puppy Parent
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:57 PM
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Keeping him in the crate is best. What if he chews a wire? Or gets caught on something? Or stuck somewhere? Or eats something he shouldnt? or has tons of accidents? or chews something?

They do eventually stop whining, and if you approach the superintendent and explain that you just rescued this dog and he's still adjusting to his crate (and say you're working on it) so he may bark and whine, maybe they'll be more accepting of it and you won't have to worry as much.

You can let him out of the crate when you're gone when you trust him enough and when he's done basic training.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:42 AM
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Agree with PP, it's gut wrenching during the settling-in period but crating really is the safest option for everyone while he settles. On the weekends also make sure to do *some* crating while you're home so that crating doesn't ALWAYS mean being alone. Continue to always leave yummy frozen kongs and the like with him while he's crated.

Also try not to crate him and then immediately leave the house. In the AM continue to play and engage him but make sure to put him in the crate 15-20 minutes before you leave so that he has some time in there while you're still around.

It's not the crate that he's wailing about, it's being alone -- that's the important thing to remember. You do need to make sure that he doesn't start to only equate crate = being alone because then he will balk at crating. He just needs to learn the new routine and eventually he'll realize after a week or so that you come home, he's not alone forever, and he'll settle into the schedule.

If you have the resources you could also look into doggy daycare or a dog walker that does group walks so that he's getting that puppy energy out. That will make it more likely for him to snooze the majority of the time you're away.

You can get through this don't worry! Stay strong!! You can definitely transition him to free access but do it slowly and manage it -- it's easier to have a non-destructive dog if they never even learn how fun destruction is Puppy energy is what compels most of them to be destructive so keep him tired and contained until he mellows out and learns the house rules of what is pup-approved and what is not. It takes more work in the beginning but it makes for a much easier life down the line!!
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:34 AM
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Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate it.

The unanimous confirmation that leaving him in the crate, especially as he's so young/untrained, is the right decision is especially helpful as I was unsure that it was the right choice and ready to give up on it. He was very good yesterday! He made absolutely no noise when I got home, even when I opened the front door and walked into the room. It looked as though he was able to hold it as he hadn't peed at all in the crate and didn't seem upset.

Today was a lot worse, though. He was barking for about 20 straight minutes after we left the apt and seemed to have calmed down by the time we left the building, but I'm not sure. Hoping! I think that this can be attributed to one of two things or a combination of both: (a) either my very awesome and sweet friend went back after he had crated my puppy post-walk yesterday when the dog started crying or (b) we forgot to put his cone back on after our walk this morning and had to do it right before we left today, causing him a lot of anxiety (it's always very difficult to get it on him and he gets clearly anxious and very nippy, but I also really don't want him to break open his incision while we're away until the vet OKs him going cone-less).
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:28 AM
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Just stick with it. He'll get better, there is a lot going on for him and it'll take a bit to get used to it, but he'll get there! You're doing good on not going back in when he's whining, be consistent with that, it will help things move along quicker. 1 thing I found helped a lot with my pup was leaving the radio on when I was gone. I'd turn it after we got back from our morning walk, something with a mix of music and talk.

I would also suggest getting some cookies or something for your neighbors and have a chat with them all, let them know that the pup is new and just adjusting and you are working really hard on getting the pup to be comfortable when you're not home but that it will take a little bit of time. I always find that when you preempt stuff like this your neighbours take it better. I do the same thing when having people over for a party or anything else that might cause noise.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:51 AM
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That's really good advice; I'll probably end up doing that. He was super, super loud this morning and hopefully that will help offset any annoyance caused by him. I also would like to give them my phone number (hopefully a good idea?) in case he is being particularly loud one day or if they hear anything god-awful so they can contact me.
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Old 09-16-2016, 04:49 PM
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Did you mention the type of dog you've got?? I may have missed it. They have play yards that you could use in your home to keep him in a specific area, so he can't jump on counters but is a larger area than the crate. Do you have dog walkers in your area that could come while you're home to take him for a long walk? Or you could check out doggie day care centers.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:29 AM
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When I had my dog as a puppy, I went through the exact same situation. Wailing and crying when we left her in the crate, and this went on for a couple of weeks. One thing that I wish I had done more of when we were crate training her was making sure she was in a calm state before we left her in the crate. One way of doing this is making sure that they're relaxed inside the crate, and when you leave, to not even look at the dog (don't say things like BYE!! SEE YOU LATER!!) and have their attention until you leave. It was heartbreaking for me too when we left, but she eventually got used to it and she is confident to be by herself at home now.

We leave our dog for hours when we are at work, and she really is totally fine by herself and roams around after years of training. At first, she was crated and after we felt comfortable, we had her outside of her crate for a couple of hours to test it, and now we feel confident to leave her by herself while we are at work. It takes alot of patience, but you can do it!
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:22 AM
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How big is he? Is he house trained?

You could also gate off a bathroom and dog-proof it
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:29 AM
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I purchased a medium pet fence that wraps around similar to this one:

I made a modification by adding gardening plastic mesh on top because my baby is a jumper. (I used the zip ties to secure it al around- just cut off the excess ends.)

You can find this square net laced plastic mesh from Lowe's or Home Depot. I highly suggest you find one that is the same thickness with the square slots and not anything thinner because the fur babies can get their nails stuck or they might even chew through it easily.

I would make sure to put lots of bedding, toys, a dish of water and training pads. I also put him near the TV and had a playlist of cartoons running. He would be fine for at least 4 hours. (I didn't want him to be alone for anything longer but, he seemed fine even after 4 hours.)

You can go the extra mile and get the PetChatz cam so your pet can see you and you can see him. I found this comforting and definitely helpful.

Here's a good link to compare your options:
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crates, puppy

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