Lone Wolf, the early years
August 20, 2012 4:14 PM Subscribe
What should I do for my new puppy when I have to be away for long periods?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to pets & animals (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am adopting a two month old female German Shepherd. I have never raised a puppy before, and I have lots of questions. I have two books on puppy training, I'm being given a puppy shower, and I'm very excited to raise a well-behaved best friend.
She will primarily be an outdoor dog, though this is meant to include occasional indoor visits and a proper room of her own (the bedroom-sized laundry room which is off the rear of the house). So, as a puppy, her time will not be spent mostly in the house. When she is in the house, she will be with me, on leash. The rest of her time will be spent with me outside, on adventures, or crated in her room.
Here's the problem: the semester is about to begin and I will need to be away at school for two days per week, 8 hours each day. Since I'm spending that time as the TA in a college class, I don't think I can take her with me in a crate, even to the office, since I won't be able to visit her and take her out for play every two hours. Each class runs for 4-5 hours.
What I can do is build a puppy-safe run at home, outside in the yard, with water, toys, and a house in the shade. It would be about 10 by 40 feet. I live in one of the most temperate places on Earth, fortunately, so weather is not a worry here.
Can I leave a two month old puppy alone, with interactive food toys and such, in a safe place, where she is allowed to potty for that long? Say, 7 hours? If not, how often should I arrange for her to be visited? Can this be a job for the neighborhood kid, should I seek further to leave her with a family member or friend every time (an imposition, to be sure, though hopefully a fun one) or should I employ a professional? My understanding at a glance of doggie day care is that she may not be eligible, plus it's $30 per day, and if that can be avoided, yay.