I wanted to get some opinions on the best option for leaving an 8 month old home for an extended period of time. Finn is crate trained and he sleeps in his crate and also goes in his crate when we are leaving the house. Up until now, when we were at work he would go in the crate but I would come home on my break to take him out to go potty and stretch his legs since I'm at work for 8 1/2 hours every day. My schedule is changing and Jason found a job (yay) so he won't be home with Finn all day as he has been for the last month and a half and it just may not be possible for me to come home for lunch EVERY day. This would mean Finn would be in his crate all night, out for breakfast, potty and to stretch his legs then back in the crate for 8 1/2 hours. He's never been in his crate that long (no more than 4-5 hours at a time) other than at night so I don't know if he would have an accident (remember he's only 8 months) or get antsy and act up or get thirsty (we don't keep water in his crate). The only other option I can think of is to use a baby gate to block him in the kitchen but I don't know if he's mature enough to behave in there and not chew the cupboards when he gets board plus he would probably go potty in there since there would be more room than in his crate. I just don't know what to do. Hopefully all of you will have advice after having raised your own pups so I look forward to getting your opinions. :)

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Comment by Alice on May 13, 2009 at 5:48pm
Doggy day care would not be an affordable option for us.
Comment by Mom of 3! on May 12, 2009 at 2:07am
Have you thought about maybe Doggy Daycare???
Comment by Sarah C. on May 3, 2009 at 5:51pm
they sleep in the crate when you're no there anyway. I never had much guilt bc when i had the big crate, didi would just stay in one corner anyway and sleep till i got home. Bah
Comment by Alice on May 3, 2009 at 5:03pm
We actually do have a playpen and this is what we started off keeping him in when we were out (still no more than 4 hours at a time) but as he grew he started pushing it around the kitchen by jumping on the sides and he would ALWAYS go potty in there. Since we've been keeping him in the crate we've made a lot of progress with house training and I'm concerned that if he starts going in the playpen and has accidents we will regress in potty training. It's a tough decision because I want him to have room to move around but I don't want him to start going potty inside again or destroying things. ??
Comment by Beth on May 3, 2009 at 4:31pm
During the day when we are at work we keep Echo in a "playpen" type thing. I feel better about this than keeping him in a crate all day, because he can at least walk around and stretch out. I would like to be able to block off the stairs and let him be able to have the whole downstairs when we are gone, but we are having house training issues and I'd rather not do this until I trust him to not use the potty in a corner somewhere. Anyway, here is a link to the pen we have, if you are interested. You can make it in a variety of shapes to fit your space, and there is also an expansion set that has two more sections to make it bigger if you want. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=112697&RN=2109
Comment by Susan Stanton on May 3, 2009 at 2:28pm
I got Bertie at 9 weeks in July and returned to my teaching job in late August, so he was just over 4 months old when I started leaving him home alone. I would be gone from 6:30 in the AM, getting home around 4-5 pm. So I hired a dogwalker to take him out mid-day (he only took one dog at a time), and otherwise, blocked Bertie in an area that included the bathroom and a short hallway (this was in a small apartment). His crate blocked one end of the hall, so he could snooze in there if he wanted, and a baby gate was at the other. He did just fine -- but I did train him to use pee pads if he needed to go. He rarely if ever used them. I also left a small stuffed Kong in the freezer for the dog walker to give him, just for a mid-day snack. Be careful what toys you leave him -- I did not leave him with anything that had a squeaker (they can choke on those), things like that - only things he could chew but not hurt! But I think he spent most of the day sleeping anyway, so in the crate or in the confined area didn't make much difference to him, but I felt better about it.

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