Home » Blog » Training » What Do You Do With Your Puppy When You Work Full Time?

What Do You Do With Your Puppy When You Work Full Time?

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Some of our most popular blog posts are about how to potty train your puppy and how to crate train your puppy so it’s no wonder we receive a plethora (my wife Allison’s favorite word) of questions on these two subjects.

Sure Colby, but what do those two subjects have to do with today’s question: What do you do with your puppy when you work full time?

Well Ma’am, let me tell you…0ver the many years writing on the subject of puppy pee and poop I’ve received hundreds of questions about potty accidents in the crate and the majority of these questions ended something like this:

…my puppy can hold it for 8-10 hours at night. I work a full time job and I leave my puppy in the crate for only about 6-8 hours a day and every time I come home my puppy has pee’d and pooped in his crate. What am I doing wrong?” –CD

We're lucky to work from home. What do you do you with your puppy when you work full time.
We’re lucky to work from home. What do you do you with your puppy when you work full time.

TIP OF THE DAY: If your puppy has an accident in the crate, on the carpet, or anywhere in the house make sure you use an enzymatic cleaner like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator. If you don’t completely remove the odor your puppy will be tempted to potty in the same spot again and again…

Okay, let me give you a quick answer to the above question: You should never leave your puppy in the crate all day!

When we first bring home our 8-week-old puppies we do not crate them for more than 1-2 hours during the day.

Okay, folks to answer our original question we need to first hop into the WABAC Machine (yep, that was a Rocky and Bullwinkle reference. Have I dated myself?)…

Before I Had Puppies

Rewind back to the ’90s.  I graduated college, I started working in corporate America, and I had very little time for anything outside of the monotony of eat, sleep, work…rinse, wash, repeat…

Back then I had no intentions of getting a puppy. Maybe a goldfish, but a puppy!? I had no time and a puppy was definitely out of the question!

7+ years after joining the Rat Race I called it quits and went back to school.

During this time I attended classes, but I also spent a large portion of my days studying, reading, and writing at home.

No longer spending 8-10 hour days in a cubicle underneath the strobe of a fluorescent light I decided it was time to raise and train a puppy of my own

…Enter our rescue pup, Linus!

Okay, so I chose not to raise a puppy while working full time so what’s a person to do if they are at work all day?

What Do You Do With Your Puppy When You Work Full Time?

Working full time with a puppy? What to do?
Working full time with a puppy? What to do?

I think it’s difficult, but not impossible to get a puppy while working full time.

Would I do it?

You can see my answer in the section above.

That does not mean you can’t do it.

If you are interested in getting a puppy while working a full-time job then here are my suggestions for you:

Get Help From:

  1. Family Members – My parents, brother, sister, parents-in-law have all helped as puppy sitters.
  2. Friends – Michael, Kristen, Jason, and Nicola have all been lifelines for me and my puppies.
  3. Neighbors – We recently moved and I haven’t yet employed the neighbors as puppy sitters, but it’s coming soon 🙂
  4. Pet Sitters – When we got married a couple of months ago we employed our first paid puppy sitter.
  5. Doggy Daycare – We haven’t tried doggy daycare, but we see many dogs enjoying their day at Wags and Wiggles doggy daycare.

I’d recommend bringing on one or more of the above people to help you, but your puppy should also get used to spending some time alone during the day.

I’d make it a goal to try and not crate your puppy for more than 1-2 hours twice a day.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We highly recommend crate training (but don’t overuse your crate) and if you’re wondering we recommend and use the MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate w/ Divider with all of our puppies.

Even if you do not work full time I highly recommend getting others to help you when raising a puppy.

I often hear in the guide and service dog community: “It takes a village to raise a puppy.”

By the way, you won’t need help from friends and family forever.

Although I’m sure your puppy will always enjoy the company of people over being left alone most people cannot spend time with their pups 24×7.

Our dog Linus adjusted to being left alone for longer periods of time somewhere around 6-9 months of age. At that age, he was potty trained and we no longer crated him during the day.

We actually put a little webcam on him and as you might have guessed he spent 95% (and 85% of statistics are wrong) of his time sleeping on the couch.

QUICK TIP: Guess what? There are several fancy pants new dog cameras on the market now. If you’re interested in monitoring your dog’s activities while you’re away then you might want to check out the Furbo Dog Camera.

Become A Guide Dog Puppy Raiser!

I found a loophole (at least for me) to raising a puppy while working a full-time job.

About 2 years after raising and training Linus I became interested in getting another puppy.

I was working full-time again and I wasn’t quite ready for the challenge of raising a puppy while working a full-time job.

In April 2006 I started researching different guide dog organizations from Guide Dogs of America to Canine Companions for Independence.

My goal was to serve my community, raise, and train a puppy while working my full-time job.

My Solution: Guide Dog Puppy Raising!

Raising a guide dog puppy came with the benefit of access (for the puppy) to public places including my work office (that was the big one), restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, etc. basically most places the general public is allowed.

I got my first guide dog puppy and with approval from my manager and the CEO of the company I worked for I was able to take Stetson to work with me every day.

And so my journey as a guide dog puppy raiser began…

What You Shouldn’t Do With Your Puppy When Working Full Time

Do not crate your puppy all day while you are at work!

Let me repeat.


A crate is a great tool for managing your puppy however overuse can lead to behavior problems, not the least of which could be pee/poop accidents in the crate.

A puppy is not easy work.

You need a considerable amount of time, dedication, patience, persistence, and a few other adjectives to make sure your puppy becomes a well-balanced dog.

Don’t take it lightly.

If you work a full-time job and you are at the office all day make sure you think things through and employ the help of friends and family before bringing home a puppy.

Without a proper support group, your puppy may end up with behavior problems that will drive you nuts.

Does raising a puppy sound like too much work now?

After reading my post do you think you don’t have the time, support network, or patience to raise a puppy?  If so, then a better solution for you might be to adopt an older dog.

Lindsay over at ThatMutt.com wrote about adopting her dog Ace:

…I had specifically chosen to adopt a laid-back, potty-trained dog because I knew I would be gone a lot. I knew I needed a calm dog, that a puppy wasn’t right for me.”

Take a look at the full blog post: Yes, it’s OK to adopt a dog if you work full time.

Do you guys have a puppy and work an 8-hour day?

What do you do with your puppy when you work full time?

Tell us about your situation in the comment section below.

QUICK UPDATE: We’ve been using webcams since our very first puppy Linus over 14 years ago. Today, there are several great dog cams that allow you to monitor, video chat, play, or even send a treat to your dog while you’re away from home. We were lucky enough to demo these two dog cams:

These dog cams can be expensive, but often worth it for peace of mind.

What do you do with your puppy when you work full time? We asked this question before we got Linus. It’s difficult to work full time with a puppy. However, we have a few solutions for those who have to go to work all day, but still have a puppy. #puppyandworking #puppyandwork #puppyandworkingfulltime #workingandpuppytraining #workfulltimewithapuppy
What do you do with your puppy when you work full time?

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

Similar Posts


  1. If you’re going to be gone from home all day and you don’t have friends or family nearby then I’d recommend either having a pet sitter come by the house to help take care of your puppy or check local doggy daycares to see if they can help you with your puppy. I would not recommend leaving your puppy home alone 8 hours a day every day. Your puppy will most likely become bored and destructive while your away and could develop other behavioral problems.

  2. Hi! My boyfriend and I are getting a golden retriever puppy in the next few months. We are moving to a brand new state where we know no one and will both be working 8 hour days. Oh and we will be living in a 3rd floor apartment… I think it is a terrible idea but my boyfriend is very insistent on still getting the puppy and “making it work.” What can we do? Are we doomed?? Thanks in advance!

  3. Talk to your boss and ask to work remotely, if possible, for a week or two. That should be plenty of time to consistently get your puppy into a routine.

  4. My partner and i have a chihuahua puppy thats a couple of months old now whos crate trained but consistently messes in the house. She will do her business outside and we use positive reinforcement as much as possible but we both work full-time so we cant leave her put of the crate as much as we’d like bc we have our other dog in the crate with her(our puppy has separation anxiety, and our other dog being with her is the only way she’ll quietly stay in the crate) is there any way for us to have a better time training her? We dont have many friends or family in the area and we live in a neighborhood thats kinda dodgy so we cant have neighbors help us

  5. Every puppy is different. Our current Golden Retriever seems to like everyone. However, every dog is different so you won’t really know how your puppy will react until after you put the pup in the situation. Also, even though our Golden loves everyone she does seem to have a preference for the person she hangs out with the most…me 🙂

  6. Hello. We are thinking about getting a Golden Retriever puppy but everyone in our household works 7 hours a day. We have already got a plan for when the dog is older we can leave him at a neighbour/friend twice a week (she offered and has the sweetest chocolate Lab) , once a week we have someone coming in and once a week he goes to doggy daycare. But as a puppy we are unsure of what to do. Can our friend look after him during the day if he is that young? We want to crate train him. And will the puppy get attached to her and not want to live with us?

  7. It’s probably a good idea to try and find someone to help you with your dog. Kenneling your dog for 8 hours can lead to behavior problems. If you want to leave her home alone in the house you’ll have to work on her potty training. Take a look at this post: how to potty train a puppy. Again, you’ll probably want to get some help with your puppy during the day even though dogs can hold their bladder all night it’s not practical to think they can also hold it all day when they are more active.

  8. Thank you so much for the advice that getting a dog while working full time will be hard so make sure you have friends, family, and a plan to support you. About a week ago, I was talking to my sister, and she mentioned that she is going to get a pitbull puppy. She works a lot, so I will have to talk to her about your tips and maybe help her look into great dog daycare centers that could help.

  9. Hello,
    I have a 2 year old Shar Pei Mix and don’t know what to do with her while I’m at work for 8hrs. I don’t want to leave her in the kennel for 8hrs because she will poop/or pee. She has done about 6ish hours without having an accident in her kennel but never 8hrs. If I leave her in the house even if only gone for an hour she will poop/pee in the house if she has to go (no form of holding it in outside the kennel). How do I correct this? I want to be able to leave her in the house for 8hrs while I’m at work so she doesn’t need to be in a kennel all day. Would a pee mat be a bad idea? For those that think she can’t hold her bladder for 8hrs I know she can as she can easily sleep for over 10hrs without needing to go out.
    Daycare is not an option for us as I don’t get off work early enough to be able to pick her up

  10. Getting a puppy is so exciting but at the same time so draining… If you are searching for professional help for training your new puppy, make sure to check out the guys over at Orange County Dog Trainers!

  11. Hey,
    I am looking at getting a staffy pup during the holidays after term 3. I’m 15 and have school from 8:30am-3:30pm and my mum and dad both work from those hours as well. My mum would be able to take the puppy to work with her while im at school, but i am looking at crate training the puppy. Would the puppy need to be in the crate while at work with my mum or would it just be able to wonder around (My mum works in a small office in a shed doing paperwork for a farm buisness and only she is in the office 99% of the time)

    I was just wondering what would be the best option to pick, I would also be crate training the puppy during the school holiday when i get the puppy

  12. You might want to consider getting someone to help from 8:30 to 5:30. Thats a long stretch to be home alone even for an older dog. My black Lab Stetson couldn’t hold his bladder for that length of time even when he was 3 years old. Also, you run the risk of other behavior problems like separation anxiety, destructive behavior, chewing, barking, etc.

  13. hi I’m looking to buy a Labrador puppy but I work shifts and every 3 weeks there will be nobody in the house from 8:30 to 5:30 would using training pads be ok. there would somebody in the house the rest of the time or would it be confusing for the puppy

  14. Every puppy is going to be different. Some will require more attention while others will require less. In my experience I think it can be reasonable to have a puppy and work a full time job as long as you can get help during the times when you have to work for long stretches. I think your strategy of having a friend and dog walker help you with your puppy is reasonable although you may have to make some adjustment to your schedules depending on how your dog does when left home alone. Good luck with your new puppy!

  15. I’m thinking of getting a pug puppy but work 8am-5pm 3 times a week and 8am-4pm the 2 other days. I’m too far away to pop in at lunch with the exception of 1 day but would look in to a dog walker 1 day a week and a friend popping in another day a week. Would this be feesable to do so? This would be my first time owning a puppy since I was younger and had family dogs.

  16. Do you have a neighbor that might be able to help you out? When I got my first puppy I took time off of work to make sure he got used to his new environment. I know that taking time off from work is not possible for everyone. My second puppy was a guide dog in training and I verified with work to make sure it would be okay to bring him in with me everyday. Are you in contact with his breeder or litter mates? Maybe they could help you with puppy sitting. Have you looked into hiring a pet sitter or dog walker? Unfortunately it’s tough without help and there aren’t too many available options. Hopefully one of the options mentioned here or in the article are a possibility. Good luck with your puppy.

  17. We have a 4 and a half month old puppy who sleeps in his crate through the night just fine (since night #2 of having him!). So we consider ourselves lucky there. However, if we leave him for just 5 minutes during the day- crated or uncrated- he howls and cries so loudly it’s traumatic! He just gets lonely I guess? He was not socialized properly in his first 8 weeks so he is a bit shy and not a candidate at the moment for the overwhelming doggy daycare. But he is working on the shyness and improving! We have no family or friends nearby that are able to help us during the work week and can’t take our boy to work. Any recommendations on what to do?

  18. Have the puppy sleep in a crate next to your spouse so they can hear the puppy if it wakes up and let it out

  19. Most of our puppies will sleep through the night after being home for about a week. However, most of our puppies usually need to go out at least once or twice a night during their first few days at home. Every puppy is different, you could get lucky and have your puppy sleeping through the night from day 1 or you could get a puppy like my Stetson who we had trouble with for about a month before he’d sleep quietly at night. You should try to have a backup plan just in case. Good luck with your new puppy!

  20. I am bringing home a 10 week old puppy in about a month. I work at night, from 11pm to 7am. While my significant other and two children are home at night, they are sleeping and will not be able to let her out overnight. I will be keeping her as busy and active as possible during the day and taking her out before I leave at 1020 but am worried about her holding it until the kids get up at 630. We will be napping together during the day. lol

  21. This is encouraging for my husband and I! We are picking up our 4 month old puppy this weekend and I work 10-3 mon-fri and will be crating her.

  22. I am thinking about getting a puppy. She is 8 weeks old. I live with my older brother and he said what will we do while we’re at work/school? I am thinking of bringing him for a puppy play day during the time that we are away, but also thinking of brining her to a farm doggy daycare. The problem is, I don’t want to put extra pressure on my friends for the play date, but also don’t want for the puppy to become to attached to the people taking care of him during the day? What should I do?

  23. Great content. I think crate training is one of the biggest challenges when owning a puppy. Even bigger challenge is crate training an older or senior dog. But the biggest challenge of all is crate training while working full time However in my opinion it can be DONE.

  24. I’m in law school and I have a 4 month old puppy. I’ve had him for about a month and I crate him when I go to class from 10-4 everyday for the last month. Has no behavioral issues and loves me just as much (if not more) as I love him.

  25. Won’t the puppy get confused on who it’s (master) is I don’t like that term. But is it okay to take the pup to my parents everyday while I am at work

  26. I just purchased a 8 week old pug puppy. I never had a puppy before. My roommate will be watching her during the week except 2 days, and I work 9:30-6:30. Will it be ok for me to leave her in a play pen and check back at lunch then put her back? Once again this is only 2 times a week she would be alone

  27. I have a 4 month old puppy and I work three days a week. I did have a neighbour puppy sit for me, but they exercise her too much to try to wear her out so they can handle her, so until she’s a bit older I’ve started leaving her home alone.
    She has my large bathroom to herself, with a crate and potty box. I leave her with about a millon (ok 12) stuffed kongs and other puzzle toys and 2 water dishes.
    When I’m home we spend a lot of time together in the bathroom playing, training and doing her puzzle toys together so she doesn’t just associate it with being alone. It also gives us a chance to get rewards for using her puppy potty. I also practice leaving her by herself for nap time while I’m home so she can still hear me.
    On days when I leave her alone I get up at least an hour earlier so I can take her for a short walk and play with her and do some training so she’s a bit worn out by the time I leave for work.
    When I get home I go into the bathroom and have her settle before getting attention and then play with her there before letting her out.
    It takes a lot of work to leave her alone, both in training and preparing toys to keep her busy during the day, but it is possible. She does much better on her own than my last dog. He was 4 years old when I got him, and at the time it never occurred to me that I needed to teach him how to be alone. He ended up with separation anxiety, but luckily one of my neighbours was usually home so he didn’t often have to be alone.

  28. Hello!!!

    My husband and I just rescued a puppy a little over a week ago, according to your blog we’ve already made a number of mistakes. She is a 13 week old (11/11/17) and we believe she is a dachshund terrier mix.

    We let her sleep with us in bed. This was working out okay but I think its creating dependency issues. We will start to crate her at night today and move her crate to the bedroom (it is in the living room right now). We both work full time, but I’ve somehow managed to make it home during my lunch break to feed, walk, and play a little (about 30 mins total). We do crate her during the hours we are not home. What is the longest period of time that it is okay to leave her in her crate? We also just bought a video camera to monitor her while we are not home. She cries so much that sometimes she has so much anxiety she spits up her food.

    We feel awful and would love some of your advise.

    Thank you again,

  29. When I take my puppy to work I setup a small play area with a bed, toy, and tie down. Every puppy is different, but most of my puppies would sleep most of the day. My schedule usually looked something like this: 2 hours of work, 15 minutes of walking/relieving my puppy, back at my desk and give the puppy something to chew on/play with and usually they’d fall back to sleep after about another 15 minutes of play at my desk. I hope that helps. Good luck with your new puppy!

  30. I’m looking at getting a Weimaraner puppy and due to them not being able to be left alone much I have arranged being able to take him/her to work with me. Just looking for some advice on how to puppy train whilst at work?

  31. Crate training is the best thing you can do for your dog. I have heard horror stories of what dogs get into in an empty house. It can be so dangerous for the dog. It also makes it so much less stressful on the dog if you take him somewhere. He always has his safe place. My dog loves his crate. Goes into it even when are not home.

  32. I disagree. I got my puppy at 8 weeks. He went in the crate at night from day 1. I made the crate smaller while he was small. He never messed in his crate. I was working full time. I left him in the crate for about 5 hours and then came home for lunch for 30 min and left him for another 4 hours. He is now 7 and a perfect dog. Never messes anywhere. Never chews on anything that isn’t his to chew on. We stopped locking the crate after 2 years and he still uses it on his own whenever he wants to relax. Be more stubborn than the dog for the first 2 years. It’s a lot of work but it more than pays off.

  33. Hi, me and my family are thinking about getting a puppy this year but nobody will be at home during the day. We were wondering if you can take young puppies to doggy daycare and how long can puppies be left in the crate?

  34. Hello,

    I just got a five month old Pomeranian puppy about a week ago. He’s okay in his crate as long as I stay in the same room with him. For some reason, even with a sheet over the crate, one of my sweaters over the crate with my scent, a frozen Kong stuffed with kibble and peanut butter to chew on, and the TV or music on, he freaks out if I leave the room. I can’t take a shower, let alone leave the apartment, without him melting down and barking and whining for a long time. It’s driving me and my neighbours nuts, and I’m afraid if he doesn’t get under control my neighbours will get fed up and demand that I get rid of him.

    I’m going to have a dog walker come at mid-day when I go back to work next week, and I’m worried that (assuming he eventually settles down after I leave) when she leaves he’ll just start going nuts again.

    Any tips or suggestions would be very, very welcome.

  35. Hello all! Been reading through some of the advice above – it’s great!
    We are due to take our new puppy home at the end of January and I work full time, my financee – part time, but not close enough to the house.
    A couple of guys at my work take their dogs in their vans or cars and go out at regular breaks for walks.

    Would I be ok taking the new puppy with me and setting him into routine from the get go? He would be with me Monday – Thursday at work and I can get access to him whenever I need (every hour for loo breaks) and then at my scheduled breaks too.

    Would this be ok?

    My husband and I recently adopted a 17 week old puppy, and are working on potty training her. She does well in the crate over night and even sometimes when we’re eating or watching TV we will put her in just so she can settle down (she does well and hardly ever whines).
    Right now my husband is out at work from 8:30am- around 1:30pm. He will come home, take her out and play with her before going back to work at 3:30pm. I am home from my job by 5pm. I take her out in the morning around 6AM, my husband takes her out again at 7:30 and 8:30, when he gets home, before he leaves, and I take her out when I get home + a few times more before bedtime.
    We have given her use of the 4-season room in our house so she has her crate and puppy pads. She actually pees on the pad about 75% of the time right now, but pooping is less predictable. As she ages, will she just learn to hold her pee/poop until we get home? Do puppies learn like this?

  37. Unfortunately my work doesn’t allow dogs, unless its a services animal. One of my coworkers is very allergic.

    Our older dog still has accidents in the house from time to time, especially on Mondays when she’s home. We don’t mind too much because it’s not a habit for her. She only does it when she has no other option. We also have her on a pretty regular schedule.

  38. If you can afford it and it is available in your area,, I highly recommend taking your puppy to puppy school. I recently got a 9-week old lab puppy and found a puppy school that provides all-day care + basic training + house training + socialization for your pup. It’s great to get her/him learning manners early on (a must for me because I don’t think I could easily control an untrained 70 lb lab!), plus allows her a safe environment to play with other puppies because they usually require at leasts a few rounds of vaccinations + fecal test to ensure a clean group. We both work full time and with a new puppy it’s so good to have that as a resource because they do need so much attention and care at that young of an age.

    But if you have an older dog, it could make it less scary for the puppy to be home alone that long since she’ll have a companion; you might consider having a dog walker come check in on them every hour so she can let the puppy out to pee. You could also use wee pads and keep her in a play pen if you don’t need a dog walker to come by that often.

    Because the puppy will have to go potty very often, as you know, might make sense to set up a play pen for it inside your home with wee pads if you can’t get someone in there to let her outside It’s just a fact that they have to pee every half hour the first week or two. Although the only minus is it may delay its house training because it is being allowed to wee on the floor on a wee pad, not go out side to its designated spot. But that’s totally up to you how you want to handle! With small dogs, it might be okay to let them use wee pads.
    One final thing. Does your work allow you to bring dogs?
    Hope this is helpful!

  39. Hi! My husband and I are picking up our new puppy on Thursday. He’s about 16 weeks old. We already have a 4 year old Jack Russell that we rescued roughly 3 years ago. Right now we work opposite shifts (I work part-time Monday-Thursday, he works full-time Friday to Monday). Our older dog is fully house trained and we leave her free to roam the main floor of our house when we’re not home. On Mondays when we both work, the dogs would be left alone for a considerable amount of time (anywhere from 8-10 hours). Any tips on how to handle the long day with the new puppy?

  40. I am a teacher and I got a puppy at the beginning of the summer (as soon as he was 8 weeks old). He is now 6 months old. 3-4 days a week he goes to my moms house and either spends time playing with their puppy while my stepdad is home, or the pups are in their separate crates and my grandmother comes over to let them out for about 2 hours mid day.
    Occasionally Rigby stays home in his crate, but I always make sure those days he is home and crated alone are as short as possible. I make sure to walk him in the AM before getting ready for work to get some energy out. I also leave the TV on for him (Animal Planet – lol!).

  41. Aside from YouTube videos, all things I have come across online are things you would have to pay for, much like going to a puppy training class. I’m interested to hear if you have found any courses that have worked for you!

    – Savannah 🙂

  42. Hey Ashley,
    Read over your post and I was wondering how things are going with you and your puppy?

  43. Hey Jen,
    I recently got a 7 week old puppy, and my roommates couldn’t take to her whining and crying in the bathroom while I was at work for an entire shift. I work overnights 3 nights a week, and now bring my puppy with me to work and keep her in the car in her crate, windows down, well ventilated, cool temperatures around 68-70. I take her out every 2-2.5 hours over the course of an 8 hour shift. We just started this, so we will see how things go until I’m able to get into a place of my own come December. I’d like to hear how this works out for you, if you decide to try it.

  44. Your puppy is seeing his crate as a bad place that’s why you are having problems. You should spend time training everyday that the crate is a happy place. Start by giving treats for him to just walk in the crate and progress slowly to closing the door. Leave the door open while you are home so he can go in and out as he pleases. When you close the door for the first time make sure you sit with him the whole time. Do not take the puppy out of the crate until he stops crying, once he stops crying reward the behaviour and let him out. Hope that helps!

  45. Does anyone know of an online course or any complete material where I can learn how to take care of a puppy dog?

  46. My son and I will be bringing our boy (golden retriever) home Labor Day weekend. I work full time (single parent) about 15-20 minutes away. What would be the best way to go about crate training? I may have someone who can pop in on him but I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket and rely on her everyday.

  47. I have flexibility to work from home when I bring my puppy home, so my question is around how much I need to interact with her during the day? Obviously, I’ll take her out for potty breaks every hour and try to get in quick learning sessions at those times, but do I need to be actively playing with her and doing stuff with her throughout the day? I do still have to do work 🙂 What do you suggest? Still having a dog sitter come over and interact with her while I am working? thank so much for your response.

  48. Hello, just got a 7wk old puppy (Australian Shepard/border collie. Currently wife and I work full time, not close to home. We have the puppy in a crate, but no way of getting anyone to come let out in middle of day or paying for a daycare. Any options for letting the pup alone for so long?

  49. We are getting our first puppy (Emmet is 3weeks right now) on sept 2. My husband is going to be deployed shortly after, I work full time (5 minutes from home) and son will be in school. I will have a crate and play pen set up for him. I will let him out before I go to work (around 8:30am), come home to let him out on my lunch (12-1) and my son and friend will come let him out after school (3:00),before he head to an after school program till I get off at 6:00. This is all after hubby leaves. Before he leaves hubby is of. Tue-Thur.
    I’m curious about the service dog training you did as well.

  50. We have had our Labrador retriever puppy since June 2 when she turned 8 weeks old. As a teacher, I have been home with her and our two children all summer. With the school year starting soon my husband and I are at odds as to what to do with our now 4 month old pup. He has built a nice 12×12 pen in the backyard with shade cover, a small tub that we fill with either dirt (for digging) or water (for splashing), and a dog house. She is also crate trained and is doing really well with potty training. The problem is, she is very social and very attached to all of us. My husband wants her to be outside in the pen while we are at work but as of now she barks like crazy in there. We have very close neighbors and I know they won’t tolerate it. I want to keep her in her crate and have someone come and walk her mid-day. I worry that she is still just too young to be left alone outside, that she could get hurt, or even stolen (although our fence is locked. Our whole yard is surrounded by an 8ft solid fence and there are dogs in every household around us. So I think the other dogs make her nervous. However, husband is adamant that she be outside and he is very much opposed to her being in her crate. He feels it causes behavior problems. We have about 2 more weeks before everyone is gone during the day. What to do??

  51. Hi there, I work full time and a couple days ago I got an 8wk old puppy, I’ve got a large ex bird aviary with grass dirt area outdoors and an internal weather protected area aswell that she can go into. It’s quite big and with a few toys her big bed and blanket, water bowl she should be quite happy in there right? Large area and toileting area separate to sleeping area. Im generally away up to 10hrs a day and im rural property so no close neighbours or family etc. I know it’s not an ideal situation but with such a large area should be ok right? Any tips or advice? I’m a first time puppy owner.

  52. Early congratulations on your new puppy! I’m glad your doing a lot of research before getting your puppy. It sounds like your puppy is going to be home alone for close to 6 hours unless you are able to get a puppy sitter. When our puppies are young we don’t leave them home alone for more than 2-3 hours. I’d recommend trying to get a puppy sitter to help out. As far as leaving artificial grass or pads in the play pen you will most likely have to train your pup to use the pads/grass. Hopefully that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  53. Hey! My family has decided to purchase a Bernedoodle puppy, who will be arriving sometime in late October. We plan to play with him and train him a lot, however, my sister and I are seniors in high school. My mother works, although her hours are looking to be flexible so that she doesn’t have to leave the house until a couple hours after we do, and she would be home about 2:45-3 pm. My sister and I would be at school from 7:30am-2:45pm. My mom’s hours are tentative right now but she is thinking 9am to start.
    I know Mr. Puppy will not be able to hold it for quite a few months. We are planning on keeping him in a pen, where the crate is attached to it but he will not be forced to remain in there.
    We will be home weekends of course, and my mom will be working maybe 4 days a week, so she will help with potty training especially. We are considering a pet sitter while we cannot be home with him, but I am worried about this! A pet sitter is not my mom’s favorite idea, and we don’t really have neighbors who we can ask to help.
    When he is older and has received all his shots, we plan on putting him in daycare as well as crating, but that will be months from when we bring him home.
    We have already laid the deposit on him, so it’s a sure thing. I can’t wait!
    There will be times when he is in his pen, and he will probably “go” in it. I don’t think this will hinder his house training but will it push it back? We are thinking of purchasing artificial grass/pads, etc where he learns to go on those only, but then he is still going in the house, even with a pet sitter to help out.
    If only I could take him to school with me haha. But this is doable because we will be at home with him as much as we can. Just not while we’re at school.
    Any other tips that may help? I did read your website and it’s very informative. I just haven’t read anything about this type of situation.
    Thank you!

  54. We have a pup (we got her at 8 weeks, but she is 5 months now) and both work full time, far enough away that we can’t get home to take her out. We have a two crate system going – one in the house, that is her bed at night, and quiet time space when we’re home. The other is a purpose built crate built into the side of our garage. It’s a bit larger than your standard crate, and has a dog door built into it that leads to a fenced off dog run in our backyard. She gets stuffed Kongs and an audio book playing in the garage kennel every day, along with having a refilling water bowl and a cozey bed in there. And then she has toys, a bed, and a little paddling pool outside. We have cameras set up in the crate, and outside so we can check on her throughout the day, and make sure she isn’t showing any signs of stress, as well as a fan and a heater for the garage for weather extremes. I worked from home the week we got her, until she got used to the dog door, and was happy going in and out. She gets two walks a day, puppy class and a hike on the weekend, and is doing wonderfully. She loves her little dog run area, and will go and check her crate for treats, or go play with her toys back there, even when we’re home.

  55. There’s definitely more than one way to raise a puppy. Thanks for sharing your experience with your puppy. I’m sure you’re new little guy will figure things out in no time.

  56. We just got our second puppy while working full time with three small kids! We are lucky we live in a small town and come home easily, but we don’t use pet sitters or any assistance from others. We have a pen that we use to fence off a small area of our hallway, and lay down a layer of puppy pads. Then we put his kennel in the pen with him along with a bowl of water and food. On our two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break we come home, bring him outside to go potty, clean up any mess in the pen, and then return him to where he was while we go back to work. We did this with out older female who is now three and it took about a week but she adjusted really well! Today was day one and little guy was NOT happy! But he will adjust!

  57. Considering getting a puppy in the fall. I work 3 days a week but they can be long days. What would you think of crating the puppy in the back of our truck? It has a topper and is well ventilated. I can’t bring him into the office but could easily check on him every few hours. Thoughts?

  58. I have a 10 week old toy poodle that we have had for 2 weeks. I am curently on a medical leave so I’m home with him all day. I will be returning to work in a few weeks half days and he will have to be left alone for 4 hours a day. We got a crate for him but he would pee and poo in it and get very violent in it. We would only have him in there for an hour. Since then we have stopped using the crate and wanted to try sectioning off the kitchen with dog gates to use as his space when I have to step out. When he is alone he gets very depressed and sad to the point where I don’t want to leave him alone. But I know he has to get use to his own company. I am not really sure what I am going to do when I go back to work? Also he currently sleeps with us on our bed and I’m not getting any sleep as a result of this. Any suggestions on what I can do?

  59. I am getting a new puppy after losing our 15 yrr old border terrier Ozzy. We plan to have a couple of weeks off to look after him before going back to part time work. I do 3 shifts a week and my husband does some voluntary work.
    We want to crate train him in the kitchen getting him used to being left in the mornings as all our dogs have.
    Do we close the crate door or leave it open. We never had a crate before just a cardboard box and newspaper and lotss of toys left for them.

  60. Congratulations on having success with your crate. One thing I’d warn against is overusing your crate. Some puppies will develop behavior problems if they spend too much time in their crate. You may want to consider having someone come out more often throughout the day to get your puppy more exercise and personal interaction. Good luck with your puppy!

  61. My puppy had some bad separation anxiety. We both work all day, we were leaving him in our bathroom which was the safest place for him (he always jumped over gates, and pens, so all trainers told us he wasn’t mature enough to have that much space). Leaving him in the bathroom lead to the severe separation anxiety, wouldn’t play with toys, Kong toys, eat, drink, nothing. We took many trips to the vet and contacted our trainers. They highly recommended a crate. We had tried this before but I felt like I was putting my pup in prison. We tried it anyway, and so far so good. It’s been a few months of him being in the crate from 8 am to about 4 pm with a short walk around dinner time with his grandma or grandpa. Never had an accident in the crate. Sorry this is so long but just really want to promote the crate. It’s hard to do at first but your pup will feel really safe a secure.

  62. It’s tough to tell just by reading through your comment thread, but it sounds like your puppy could be experiencing some separation anxiety. You might want to consider bringing in a certified professional dog trainer for an in home evaluation.

    While every puppy is different four consecutive hours is probably too long a period of time for a 4 month old puppy to stay at home alone. If your puppy is experiencing anxiety in the playpen then even a short amount of time could cause her to have accidents or other behavior problems. When we worked with Linus and his anxiety we had to start by leaving him at home for very short periods (we actually started at 5 minutes because he had an accident when we tried leaving him home for 15 minutes) of time and as he was successful we slowly increased the amount of time he spent at home alone.

    This is something you probably can’t do while working full time so you may need to bring in some help and might check with some of the resources I mentioned in the article:

    Family Members – My parents, brother, sister, parent-in-laws have all helped as puppy sitters.
    Friends – Michael, Kristen, Jason, and Nicola have all been life lines for me and my puppies.
    Neighbors – We recently moved and I haven’t yet employed the neighbors as puppy sitters, but it’s coming soon 🙂
    Pet Sitters – When we got married a couple months ago we employed our first paid puppy sitter.
    Doggy Daycare – We haven’t tried doggy daycare, but we see many dogs enjoying their day at Wags and Wiggles doggy daycare.

    Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  63. Not more than four hours, and that’s pushing it, his dad takes her out during the day, and often just keeps her with him, but no matter how long she’s in there she pees or poops, I think as a way of acting out, -any tips?

  64. How much time is she spending in her playpen? At four months old some puppies have not yet fully mastered potty training. Also, some puppies may experience anxiety if left home alone for long periods of time.

  65. My boyfriend and I got a puppy when she was six weeks old and she is now four months old and we are just now both working full time and we bought a playpen to keep her in during the day, in her playpen she has all her toys, her water dish (which she likes to tip over and use as a toy) and her bed, and a couple times a day she gets taken out by her grandfather, but she still has accidents in the playpen when she’s not in there long, any tips?

  66. It sounds like you did a great job raising your first dog/puppy. If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, but you won’t be home to take care of the pup during the day then I would consider as I mentioned in the article getting some help from friends, family, neighbors, pet sitters, etc. My two dogs, Linus and Stetson do fine when we leave them home alone, but that wasn’t the case in the beginning. Linus was destructive as a puppy and when we first started leaving Stetson home alone outside of his crate he was having accidents in the house. As far as getting another puppy one thing I would consider is the fact that your puppy and your dog may not get along.

  67. My dog will be three years old tomorrow and I wanted to get a puppy, but my husband and I both work fulltime and my big boy is fine when we leave him at home. Do you think they both will be fine if we live them at home? All my big boy does is eat and sleeps and then plays when we get home in the evening. I took care of him for almost a year when I didn’t work and I would live him in the house for 1 hour and then 2-4 hours so he could get use to me being going. I wanted him to have a playmate seeing that he is home a lone.

  68. Max is a lucky dog. We did the same thing with Linus when we needed a puppy sitter. I think my brother does the same thing with his dog Georgie. Georgie gets to hang out with the grandparents and their doggy

  69. My coworker takes his puppy, Max, to his parents’ house to puppy-sit everyday. We’re teachers, so we can’t bring puppies to school and his parents are retired so it works out well. His parents have a dog too, so Max loves it.

  70. In my situation raising a guide dog puppy while working full time was the best solution. It was still difficult, but bringing a puppy to the office everyday brought a smile to everyone’s face. I think it was good therapy for our employees.

  71. HA, that 10 am and 2 pm puppy schedule sounds very familiar 😉 I got a new puppy client earlier this year who needs me to come by at those time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays since those are their long work days. I was lucky enough to raise my own pups Missy & Buzz without having to work full time, and I was plenty busy doing that – so without a proper support group of willing helpers, I would never get a puppy if I worked full time.

  72. Yes, pet sitters are a great option! We’ve always had the help of friends and family and we increased our network by raising guide dog puppies. We met some of our favorite friends/puppy sitters through the guide dog program.

  73. I know I couldn’t raise a puppy if I worked outside of the house full time. It would just be too much for me. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. Since I’m a dog walker and pet sitter, I’ve helped out with a lot of puppies by stopping by to let them out either twice a day like 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or once in the middle around noon. There are definitely a lot of options available and sometimes responsible friends and family can be a huge help too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.