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Working Cavalier Moms


New member
Hello All,
We have wanted an indoor dog for a long time, we researched breeds and decided on a Cavalier (a Japanese Chin was the runner up). I'm also on a breeder's waiting list. My delima is this, we work full time, leaving the house at 6am and returning by 4pm. We can come home for lunch and luckily my husband and I work for the same company so if one of us can't go home for lunch the other can. It's a 12 min drive home one way and we have a full hour so it would allow for a good 30 min at home during lunch to tend to the puppy. However, can I say with 100% certainty that we will be able to come home everyday for lunch for the rest of our careers? No, I can't. Inevitably there will come a time with my husband is out of town for work and I can't avoid a working lunch meeting. This causes me anxiety as I'm sure it would a puppy as well. The breeder we have chosen is awesome and she of course won't let us have the puppy till 10-12 weeks. I was thinking I could ask her to make it 12 weeks (do you think a breeder would be okay with that? I'm sure not many parents to-be ask the breeder to hold on to their puppy till 12 weeks so she might think it's odd or decide to sell to someone else on the list ready at 10 weeks, she does know my work schedule and we have discussed it, she said it would be difficult but with me coming home for work it could work, I'm just thinking a puppy's bladder size could benefit with an extra 2 weeks with her plus 1 more week with me before being home alone, what do you think?) and then I do plan on taking a week off work, which would make our puppy 13 weeks before he/she would need to be home alone while we are at work. My plan was to spend that week crate training and doggie door training (the breeder would have already started this process as well) but also continuing to train the puppy to be okay when left alone. There are lots of good training instructions for this online and in the books I've read. Still though, eventually this 13 week puppy will be left home alone all day in the event we can't come home for lunch.

I will have a doggie door and the 3.5 foot x 3.5 foot back door tiled entry way area would be gated off as the puppy's area, giving her access to doggie door and room for her bed and toys and feeding bowls ect. My yard is fairly small, we have a large covered patio (3 ceiling fans to give you an idea of size), otherwise it's fully grassed and fully fenced all the way down to the ground and about 8 feet high. My thought is that I could leave the doggie door unlocked while we are at work and the puppy could just help herself to use the bathroom outside and come back inside to her bed/play area. I'm really torn on this though, what if something happened to her. What if she dug a hole under the fence? On the other hand, most people install a doggie door so they themselves will not have to supervise potty time, they aren't even aware of when the dog is outside. You could be knee deep in folding laundry and your dog could slip out the doggie door and start digging and you wouldn't be the wiser if he escaped. I do have cameras both inside and outside which I can monitor from my phone.

The alternative is to lock the doggie door when I'm not home and leave a pee pad in her area so that if I can't make it home and she has to go then she can go on the pee pad. I don't like this idea though because I want my dog to be trained to go outside and only outside for potty. I think by introducing pee pads it's telling her it's okay to go in the house sometimes and it's unlikely I can teach her when that sometime is.

Maybe I'm over thinking this. To the working cavalier families out there, how did you get through the first year and a half or so of puppy house training?

Also, those of you who let the puppy sleep in your bed with you right away, weren't you afraid the puppy would wet your bed? just get up and pee on the foot of the bed and then climb back on your pillow with you? My thought was to let the puppy sleep in a crate in our room. Doggie door will be locked at night to keep out any nocturnal critters so I'll be waking up for night time potty breaks anyway.