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Best place to leave puppy during the day while I'm at work?

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I've been leaving 15 wk old Faith outdoors in a 10'x10'x6' portable chain link pen during the day while I'm at work. She has a dog house with door flaps, toys, and I recently covered the top of the pen with poultry wire. She's out there by herself as she's still in her two-week quarantine period.


When Faith arrived a week and a half ago, she was so ill and run-down from her three weeks at the animal shelter that I didn't worry about her trying to escape. The good news is, she's feeling LOTS better now. :rolleyes: Of course, the downside is I've started to worry about her getting bored and devising an escape plan. I haven't seen any evidence yet, but it wouldn't be difficult at all to dig under the pen as it just sits on top of the ground. And I know I'd never go off and leave Violet, my adult BC, alone in such an enclosure and expect her to be there at the end of the day.


My long-range goal is to have an arrangement like DixieGirl's, with a doggie door from the house to a fenced yard, that both Violet and Faith could use together. I figure if they had each other for company and entertainment, they probably wouldn't try to leave - at her last home, Vi was content to stay with the elderly ACD in just a four-foot fence, even though the younger ACD would blithely sail over it and go stay with a neighbor till his family returned home at night. But it'll be awhile before I can provide a fenced yard at my house.


In the short-term, my only other alternative is to leave Faith crated. Vi stays crated all day, but I don't feel so bad for her because once DH gets home in the afternoon she's out of her crate until the next morning when I leave for work. Naturally I can't leave Faith loose all night yet, so she'd be crated from about 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and then again from about 9:00 pm to 5 a.m. This seems like a long time to me.


So what would y'all advise?

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Due to our jobs and such, we keep Cody crated from about 8:15 am to 4:30 pm each day, then he's out until 11 pm. Back in the crate at night for sleeping until about 5 am.


When he's out of the crate, we play with him, walk him and do a lot of training. He gets a lot of attention.


So far, so good. The only destructive behavior we have seen is he sometimes rips up the towel we have in the crate for him to lay on. When we did leave him alone in a room with a gate, he chewed the sheetrock on the wall and did huge damage. He also destroyed a wicker basket that held his toys.


So crating is safe and Cody (now 8 months old) feels secure in it; it's his "cave".


Of course, I would MUCH rather not be working full time...and of course then Cody would be out of the crate when I would be home, but that's another story. Too many bills, not enough money!

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I had to crate Pete and Shelby at night and while I was at work for. I just made sure that I spent all the time with them out of the crate wearing them out and in the crate they got lots of chewies to keep them busy during the day. now they are just crated during the day and sleep in our room at night with the door open. often shelby will still sleep in her crate though.

It worked out just fine and now days like yesterday, when my car battery died and I got a flat, they are used to being alone for an extended amount of time.

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I've been thinking about this because my husband and I live away from family and my dog is just one year. I'm not working right now but if I did, she would need to be let out at least once a day. I do plan to go back to work, and may not be able to always come home at lunch. My biggest concern is that an emergency will come up and I'll need care for her. Here are the options I have thought of: (I know you are looking for someone or an answer just until Faith is older, I need to come up with a long-term plan)


Make more friends in the neighborhood? Most people work or have little ones --that would make it hard for them. Plus, even short term, that's asking for a big commitment. However, a retired person who is an animal lover might enjoy the break in their day and "puppy therapy" :rolleyes:

Find a neighborhood college student. Hard to do. But this would be great, they usually have flexible schedules.


My decision: Hire an in-house sitter who stops by. I found a local one who charges $6.00 a day for as many visits as you need. I plan to bring her over to get to know my pup so that Polly isn't freaked out if we have to call the sitter in an emergency. I won't do this just once, I'll have her come over several times for her to develop a bond with our dog. We have several sick family members and I really do worry about what to do with her in an emergency. Also, this lady has a kennel and while we take Polly with us everywhere, including vacation, we need to have a relationship with a reliable person.


Would a local retired person be a good possibility for you? In my case, $6.00 a day is pricey even short-term, and I would only pay that in an emergency. Many people do like to spend time with animals, especially puppies, and it might be a win-win situation for everyone. I know while we were pet- deprived for two years since our pets had died and we were looking for a house, I would have jumped at the chance to care for a friend's pet. I would have expected cookies and good will for payment!


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I need eight to ten hours of sleep but only GET six hours of sleep a night! I am definitely sleep deprived! Too much to do, too little time. And since we got Cody, I have WAY less time to do the unimportant, frivolous things like clean, cook, do laundry, help my daughter with her homework, etc.!

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Thanks for the advice, but I'm afraid I don't have those kinds of neighbors - we're waaaay out in the country on a large farm. I'm the only person for miles who doesn't just allow their dogs to roam at will. And there's no such thing as doggie day care 'round these parts.


Of course, this means it's also not as dire a situation should Faith manage to get out of her pen - we're a half mile from the nearest paved road, and she'd more than likely be waiting for me on the front porch. But I'd worry that she might wander into the horse pasture and get hurt, or be injured by those other dogs that my neighbors let roam around.

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When Oreo was a pup we too had an enclosure for her in the backyard. It worked very well, and she never got out of it (though when we stopped using the enclosure and started leaving her in the fenced yard she would get out under/through the wooden fence.) My suggestion would possibly be to make the pen sturdier/more escape-proof. Oreo's pen was built under my parents' deck, he used chicken wire to fence it all in and put rocks/gravel on the ground - harder to dig through than dirt! Oreo had a lot of carpetted area as well.


And of course crating is an option. I don't think I'd feel bad about crating at night, because they just sleep anyways. our two aren't locked in at night, but Zeeke usually sleeps in his crate anyways.

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As young as Faith is, I wouldn't want her to have to stay crated all day. I'm lucky that my pups can come to work with me. They don't get to come into the office, but it's a private parking lot (I can see the van from my office) in a private area with a good-sized field to let them run in for a couple of 15-minute breaks during the day. If you had an arrangement like that, it would be ideal.


But in your case once she's past her quarantine, do you have a fenced yard? If so, then you could move her kennel into the yard, and then even if she did dig out she'd still be contained. Oops, just went back and read that you'd like to have a fenced yard eventually. If you want to keep the kennel moveable, how about putting a little perimeter fence around it? It would at least slow her down a bit if she did dig out.


Another option is to lay wire down on the ground of the pen--big enough to extend past the pen's edges and then cover it with gravel. You could add a stall mat on top of the gravel so she'd have a softer place to lie down, but the combination of gravel with wire underneath would prevent digging.


Later if you wanted to move the pen, you could shovel up the gravel and use it for something else (lining a ditch, on your driveway, etc.).


And as for the guilt of so much crating, that's how Lark started sleeping on my bed. I felt bad that she was crated at work all day and then crated at night, so I started letting her up on the bed. I have a tall antique bed that's difficult for a pup to get on or off of, so she was effectively contained, but near me and not in a crate. It worked great, though now of course she thinks my bed is her right.


The pups alternate between being crated at night and allowed on the bed simply because often three of them (plus cats) is more than I can stand when I don't get enough sleep as it is.



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I have a new pup. When it is too cold for me to take him to work and leave him in a crate in my car I leave him in a pen in the basement. I put plastic down, then cover it with an old sheet. Put the x-pen on that. Then I have a litter box with wee wee pad and pine shavings in it. There is also a crate.


So far this winter has been super mild so he comes to work most days. Since its so new he still hasn't figured out the litter box for all the time. He uses it once from what I can tell. Then he pees around the pen. I just wash the sheet.


Its not an ideal situation but I just have to get through until he can hold it to be in his crate for the 8 hour work day.



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Originally posted by Vickkers:

when my car battery died and I got a flat,
Sorry to hear you had such a yucky day yesterday Shelb'smum!



I don't have any really good suggestions for you Sally, I'm sorry.

Oh wait theres more,

that was after I had to drive my grandmother home becuase she checked herself into the hospital because she is angry and lonely :rolleyes:


THEN when I got home I triped over a cat the cement stairs (wearing sandels) and stubbed my toe which is now swollen and black and purple :D:D


but I got to play with my puppies which made it better until Pete jumped on my toe :D

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Originally posted by juliepoudrier:

If you want to keep the kennel moveable, how about putting a little perimeter fence around it? It would at least slow her down a bit if she did dig out.

I nominate Julie for the post of Facilities Construction Consultant to the BC Boards. :rolleyes:


I think that's what I'll do. So far she has not shown the slightest inclination to dig out anyway. I just got a little worried watching her try to dig up a mole when we were out for a walk in the field the other day.

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