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I have a 4yr. old male Papillon and am looking to get a new puppy for a playmate. I live in a very large apartment. I am looking at a 4 month old male Lab/Golden Retriever who is already crate trained. I'm a student at a University and will be gone for about only 5hrs. a day, but there are two days a week where I will be gone about 8-9hrs. I also have a roommate who will be home occasionally when I'm not, and I will be home (besides maybe a couple errands) all day on Saturdays and Sunday.

I'm worried about the puppy a little, as I know it's not always best to leave them home alone for too long. I can't really afford any of the doggy daycares around here. I was hoping for some advice or some reassurance that the puppy will be okay being alone for a maximum of probably only 5hrs. a day.
 

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5 hours is probably OK for a 4 month old pup, but 9 hours is too long.

Have you considered adopting a slightly older dog, perhaps a smaller breed?
An older dog would be OK for your long days.
Plus an older dog may actually be a better playmate for your small adult.
I would be concerned that a large breed rambunctious puppy could be overwhelming for your mature small breed dog, and that actually they might not be real "playmates".

Remember, a puppy is a whole different animal from a 1 yr old dog. A 4 month old puppy is about like a pre-school aged child, so think of the needs of such a little person, the low attention span, the lack of self control and so forth.

There are usually a lot of young adult dogs in need of a home and they are so much easier to care for, and in addition are ever so grateful to have a home!
Just a thought anyway.

If you are set on a puppy, then I have some books to rec for you that you might really like too!
 

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Thanks so much! Sorry it took so long to thank you. I forgot my password :(
I have, however, decided on a 1 1/2yr. old Maltese! :)
 

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9 hours is not necessarily too long for a 4 month old pup, as long as it has the right environment.

Our pup Samantha has been home 9 to 10 hours a day since she was 10 weeks old. She is a very happy and well-adjusted dog :)

The key to leaving dogs alone this long is to set them up with a puppy-apartment instead of a standard crate. For Sam, we set her up in a half-kitchen area, gated with baby-gates. She had her crate (left open), food/water, play area, and potty area with potty pads. She is now 6.5 months old, able to use potty pads when alone, able to ask to go outside when we're here, and is a very social pup with lots of personality :D

At around 4 months old we started giving her more and more freedom (extending the gate to the full kitchen, then the hall, then one bedroom, then two bedrooms, and then the living area), and now at 6.5 months she has the whole apartment when we're gone and she's a very good girl.

I did see you chose an older dog and congratulations on your choice! But I just wanted to throw this information out there because I have a bit of a prickly side of me when people start saying "You can't leave the puppy home for that long." No, you can leave it home for that long, you just have to have the right set-up and be willing to put in the time before and after work to ensure the dog is properly trained and socialized.
 

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Congratulations on your new dog! I think you made the best choice for both reasons. Ginger was a high energy puppy and Susu was a low energy dog and it did make things harder. Took a lot of time and for a good month Susu just looked at us like 'when is she going home already!!' I think he considered her the 'houseguest' that was really overstaying her welcome!! hahahaa..

But in the end they are great friends - of course we were home most of the time to keep the puppy busy so he was not being pestered and to be sure he still get lots of his one on one time that he was used to. Then by the time we were both working full time they were all good together. Susu cannot manage being alone so we got him a dog when hubby needed to work outside the home instead of from home. :)
 
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