5th September 2013, 02:31 PM
Urgent advice: Cavaliers left home for how long?
So, we're supposed to pick up our puppy (8 weeks) in two days. I've been searching the Internet but can't seem to find a situation that quite matches mine. By the way, he's 3/4 cavalier, 1/4 cocker spaniel (male).
I work at a church and my paid hours are only 15/week although I do a bit more than that. The church has agreed that for the first three months I can work from home more so my schedule would be, off Monday and Tuesday, go to work Wednesday for about four hours (with 1/2 hr- 1.25 hr commute each way), off Thursday, work Friday night (around 6-10), off Saturday and work Sunday night (7-9 plus 20 min commute each way). In addition there would often be meetings Monday night but my husband would be home for those.
I'm already arranging friends that could stop in half way through on Wednesdays for the first three months as I've heard puppies can be left for their amount of months plus 1. After three months (he'll be five months old) could I stop having this person come in every week?
I've read such mixed messages on here and on other sites. Is this okay or not? We would be keeping him in the kitchen with two baby gates on top of each other so that our two cats can't jump it and get to him. We'd have toys and an open crate in their if he wanted to rest. Obviously food and water. And since he's paper trained by the breeder we would probably leave paper in a corner just in case he needed it.
6th September 2013, 04:23 PM
When I first got Lady I took 3 weeks off to be with her, then came home at lunch until she was about 6 months old. I used to crate them but leaving them alone all day I didn't feel this was the best option. Lady now gets the kitchen with a bed and some toys, and Gracie gets run of the apartment. I am gone 5 days a week for about 7-8 hours. I walk them every morning and every evening. Personally, I think this situation is fine but I do not feel comfortable leaving them for more than 9 hours. I don't like to go out on work nights since they're home alone all day I like to spend as much time with them as possible when I'm not working.
I used to use the puppy pads but by the time they are around 5-6 months they can go the day without needing to pee. The only time they've ever had an accident is if they've been sick. If I had to work longer hours or had a long commute, I would hire someone to walk them in the day time but I think my current situation works just fine.
Read the section on preparing for your puppy, there is really good advice on how to set up a pen-area for your puppy so they can't get into anything. Like I said, I use my kitchen and have a baby gate so she can't get out. Also, doggy daycare is a good option too if you can afford it and if there is a good one in your area.
Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
"Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz
7th September 2013, 06:57 AM
Well, I only leave my dogs in their crates when I leave them. When I was a child we had a dog eat a while Halloween bucket full of candy from the top of the fridge (it was a small breed dog too). Also I have heard of puppies eating kitchen cabinets, just saying.
I think you have it covered. Personally, and this is just me I would want to get away from the paper potting as quickly as possible. I just think training a dog to potty on paper or those pads then switching to outside is just an extra step that is not necessary. I have read some dog training/ how to housebreak articles that specifically recommend this method however in my experience I just do not understand it. Why add another step won't that make the whole process longer???? I think leaving a 2 month old puppy 2 and a half hours is alright. You can increase the time as he gets older, you will know when the timing is right.
"If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
7th September 2013, 10:35 AM
I personally do not feel that ANY age of dog should be left more than 5 hours without the opportunity to toilet.
Also Cavaliers are people dogs and want to be with you, so I would not recommend anyone working full time to take one on.
They may cope OK (with a companion) but you do have to think about the future, an older dog is not going to be able to hold itself for 7-8 hours, Cavaliers are also prone to many different health conditions which require regular management, so you do need to be prepared to be flexible with arrangements.
Please download the free Ian Dunbar puppy guides, he suggests a very good set up for managing puppies http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
7th September 2013, 11:18 AM
I think your work schedule and hours will work around a puppy especially as you have plans to have someone come in on your longer day. I also agree with Nicki that I wish people who do work all day for a full workday would consider whether this gives much quality of life to a dog left alone day in and day out. There are, even with a full work day, ways to address this however -- I'd always advocate the dog either going to doggy daycare or a friend or whatever for a couple of the days each week so that they are not doing 5 days of 7 alone for 7-8 hours.
I think your basic idea sounds OK and the Ian Dunbar set-up is very good to explore. Do be aware that housetraining gets more difficult and takes longer when young puppies are left alone and don't have someone there to reinforce going outside so you'll have to revise expectations on this and manage the issue over time. The Dunbar set-up does to some degree help address this as best as can be done.
In memory: Lucy
9th September 2013, 05:21 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses! We brought milo home two days ago and he's doing wonderfully with that. He hasn't made any accidents in his crate, only used his paper one time, and goes outside without a problem! The only problem we are having is with severe separation anxiety. I can't even go to the other side of the baby gate without him flipping out. We're working on it and using every trick we hear about. There has been a little progress (he settles down occasionally after about 10-15 mins of losing his mind some times) but the longest we've let him cry it out has been about 30-40 minutes of straight barking and howling. He just loves us way too much (best problem to have).
22nd January 2014, 09:43 PM
I waited until I retired from full time work to get a dog. Cavaliers are not dogs to leave on their own. They are 'people' dogs.
No dog enjoys being left alone with nothing to do but chew a few toys. How would you like to be left in a room all day with no tv, books, computer etc? Bit like being in solitary confinement really.
I have a 14 week Cav puppy who is ok to leave when asleep but I wouldn't go out and leave her more than a few minutes until she's older and then I would restrict it to 2-3 hours at the most. If it was longer I would assess how she copes with shorter spells of being alone.
You need to watch a tv programme called The Secret Life of Dogs where they filmed around 30 dogs left home alone. Only 4-5 were happy and didn't suffer separation anxiety. They were all tested for the release of stress hormones and even the ones that didn't whine, bark, toilet, destroy things, produced the same amount of stress hormone as those which exhibited extreme behaviour. Dogs don't like being on their own - they like their owner's company (they are pack animals, not solitary beings.) Leaving a dog for 8-9 hours is just not acceptable.
For times you have to leave a dog alone for a while, you need to work on it by only leaving for a moment, then a bit longer, then a few minutes. Don't say anything - especially "Be good, I'm just going out" etc and don't make a fuss when you return. Check out Victoria Stillwell's internet site with advice on leaving dogs alone. She is superb at positive-reward training.
22nd January 2014, 11:56 PM
Sounds like a very workable plan and the potty training progress is amazing. When Bosco was young, I had my husband home with him for about 2 months, and then someone come in to walk him mid-day (I work and am gone about 7 hours each day) after that. He was in an xpen and I did leave potty pads for him. Training definitely takes longer this way!
I have three well-adjusted dogs. I find that even on the days that I am home, they sleep alot. They are walked for 30 minutes each morning, and at 3pm when my kids get home from school. I let them all out in the yard with me when I come home for some addl exercise. They are walked again at 8pm, and sometimes at 10 pm. It's a routine that they are used to, and they get alot of attention from myself, hubby, and 3 kids. I believe quality time is very important, and routine is too. We are all home on weekends, and Bosco often comes with me as I run my weekend errands. Working and owning a dog are definitely do-able.
Just one thought on the separation anxiety. I know that Ceasar Milan always said to make departures and greetings, very calm/no fuss occassions. When you are ready to leave, just act like leaving is a normal routine - no big fuss or worry. Same thing upon coming home, don't make a big deal out of your return (this is hard, as dogs are always thrilled to see you whether you are gone 5 minutes or 5 hours) I can honestly say, that I don't have an issue with barking/crying when I leave.
Lots of luck with your new baby! I think you are off to a wonderful start.
23rd January 2014, 12:21 AM
A responsible breeder would not allow any puppy to go to a home where it was going to be left for hours. Any thing over 4 is not acceptable to my mind. I have dogs because I love them and want to spend time with them. They thrive on human companionship and I would not deprive of that. Nanette
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