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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having a hard time deciding what is best for Charlotte when she has to be left alone. When we first got her my husband was home all day while I worked so she was never left alone for more than a couple of hours while we ran errands. Now that she is a little older, she's almost 10months, we have left her alone (crated) for up to about 5 hours.
Our work situations have changed quite a bit since moving to the DC area. My husband is at work from about 730am til 7pm and I have been working 6 hour shifts 4 times a week. I didn't want to leave her in a crate from 6+ hours so she has been going to half days of doggie day care which costs us $22 a day. Well money is super tight for us so I am going to have to start putting in more time at work but I can't afford more daycare for her. Im at my wits end trying to figure out what to do with Charlotte.
What do you all do with your animals when you are out of the house all day? My coworkers think I am crazy spending that kind of money on my dog but I can't stand the thought of her being in a cage for that many hours of the day, it seems so cruel to me.
Do you think she will be ok being crated for 6-7 hours while I am away if we hire a mid-day dog walker? She doesn't have any issues going into her crate, she is super good about that. She also doesn't seem to have any seperation anxiety. She has never been distructive or anything while we were away. I just keep thinking every extra hour I put in is another hour she has to put in too. Maybe I am the one with seperation anxiety haha. :rolleyes:
 

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She has never been distructive or anything while we were away
why use a crate? if she can be trusted while you are away there is no reason to limit her mobility. If desired you could as well confine her to an area or rooms that have a flloring surface that would be easy to clean if an accident were to occur as well. That said how any individual dog is going to do when alone is purely that individual dog and no real generalizations are accurate. There are dogs that are more comfortable spending alone time in a crate rathen than have acesses to a larger area and others that are just the opposite. You no your dog better than anyone else your intuition is going to be better than any advice someone that never met your dog can give,.

The one thing you can do if torn is use a video camera to record the dog will you are away. you can see if she does better with more space or less; whether or not she does have any anxiety etc.
 

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I don't work right now but both our dogs are crated at night and when we leave to run errands. Doppler we used to leave loose sometimes but we've recently discovered he needs to be put up (to the detriment of two remotes and a little area rug). But they're only crated for about 8 hours maybe more if we take a day trip somewhere. They don't mind it. Doppler loves his crate and Virga is starting to like hers too. We just have to rush her out the door when get home so she can pee.
 

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My Porter has free roam of my two-bedroom apartment when I am at work or away from home. I leave at 7am and gets home around 6pm (Mon-Fri) and he is completely fine by himself. He wasn't housebroken when I adopted him but he is now, it took a few months but it was all worth it. I leave him chew toys with special treats inside (he only gets these when I'm out) so he is entertained for a while and the rest of the time he just sleeps until i get home. I am not sure if your puppy is housebroken but you can try it and see if she is fine without be crated.
 

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Aww poor Charlotte! :( :( It's good that you're talking and realise it's not right!!!

In my opinion it is wrong to cage a pet dog for such a long time... in fact I would never cage a Basset of mine at all and have always allowed all of our dogs free run of the house (just downstairs as stairs are not a good idea for Bassets) and they are left in the kitchen if we're out for the evening or when I work three hours, twice a week and I always leave the radio on for them when we're out! My elderly neighbour has a key to my house and she sometimes lets them out or goes and sits with them as they're company for her and she knows she can do that at her own free will.

It must be so boring for poor Charlotte to be left alone all day as dogs need stimulation... and through boredom, could get destructive, and who could blame them? Could you get an older Basset to keep Chalotte company?

Have you got a neighbour who could help look after Charlotte when you're away for so long? Can you imagine being left in a cage for several hours yourself? Surely you'd want to get up and walk around to stretch your legs or go and investigate a noise outside etc.

Or could you take Charlotte to work with you? Is she the sort of hound who would sit under your desk for a few hours and would have company. Maybe she could stay in the car and you let her out every now and again at work.

I'll go and read the other replies now as I haven't looked at them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Aww poor Charlotte! :( :( It's good that you're talking and realise it's not right!!!

In my opinion it is wrong to cage a pet dog for such a long time... in fact I would never cage a Basset of mine at all and have always allowed all of our dogs free run of the house (just downstairs as stairs are not a good idea for Bassets) and they are left in the kitchen if we're out for the evening or when I work three hours, twice a week and I always leave the radio on for them when we're out! My elderly neighbour has a key to my house and she sometimes lets them out or goes and sits with them as they're company for her and she knows she can do that at her own free will.

It must be so boring for poor Charlotte to be left alone all day as dogs need stimulation... and through boredom, could get destructive, and who could blame them? Could you get an older Basset to keep Chalotte company?

Have you got a neighbour who could help look after Charlotte when you're away for so long? Can you imagine being left in a cage for several hours yourself? Surely you'd want to get up and walk around to stretch your legs or go and investigate a noise outside etc.

Or could you take Charlotte to work with you? Is she the sort of hound who would sit under your desk for a few hours and would have company. Maybe she could stay in the car and you let her out every now and again at work.

I'll go and read the other replies now as I haven't looked at them!
Don't feel too bad for her yet. As it stands now I'm paying $88 a week for her to spend her time romping in doggie daycare while I am at work.

I work in a pharmacy there is no way I can take her to work. And we are currently renting a townhouse that is carpeted in every room besides the tiny kitchen which isn't a good place for Charlotte to hang out. We definetly can't get another dog, it feels like a zoo around here already with 2 cats and a basset. Not to mention the extra expense of getting and maintaining a second dog.

It's just that if I start working more I can't afford to spend more on her care. The only option I can think of would be to work 6 hour shifts five times a week and pay for a mid day walker. I don't know how she would handle being left free roam of the house because she has always been crated when we can't supervise her. I am thinking of maybe getting her one of those circular exercise pens to set up in the living room to give her extra space to play while I am gone.
I was just curious as to how other people who are working full time handle this.
 

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Me and my boyfriend both work full time and Ringo we let him have free roam while we are gone but Ella can't be trusted (she would pee/destroy things and this has been tested) so she is in her kennel at night and while we are both at work.

Ella goes in her kennel from about 10:30pm - 5:30am and she sleeps the whole time. Then when I get up for work I take her out and then she gets to sleep in the bed with my boyfriend until he wakes up. Then when he leaves for work around 10:15am she goes in her kennel until I am home at 4.

So Ella is in her kennel for roughly 7 hours, then out for 4-5 hrs, then back in for 7 hours.

I hate having to leave her in there but she really can't be trusted, last time we tried to trust her while we were gone she somehow chewed up an entire kitchen tile into bits an pieces, and we rent so we really can't have her destroy our place. We also can't afford to have her at a doggy day care either so the kennel is really our only option.

If your pup is trustworthy i would definitely leave her out or have her pinned in the kitchen or something.
 

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Molly has free run of the downstairs all the time. I started by just limiting her to one room, but as I've learned to trust her, she's gained more freedom. The basement and the upstairs are off limits to her. She can get into far too much trouble in those places. She tends to sleep or play quietly when she's alone and doesn't usually have accidents. I make sure that she isn't left alone too long in order to prevent such accidents (she can only hold it for so long, then it's not her fault if she has an accident...it's mine). It all depends on your dog...how trustworthy they are. Molly isn't destructive, thankfully. Never has been.
 

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i tried the crate thing wit bowser at first, ( i only worked 5 hour shifts) and that did not go over well. We rent a two story town house, with carpet everywhere...we have a 5x8 or so "back yard" that is concrete. We put in a little wooden box with wood chips in it for pottytime, and i got one of those sliding glass door doggy doors. It just lifts in and out and is pushed tight and flush by the sliding glass door.
ANyway, bowser and daisy get free run of the downstairs with the doggy door, and now they do wonderfully. We only crate them at night when we're all in our den asleep *lol*
I think you may find that the more you leave her by herself in a crate the more anxious and upset she will get over time. Sometimes you can't help it and you need to crate the dog, but it should be used sparingly...not every day for hours. The dog will just eventually go crazy crying, howling, tearing up their bed, chewing the crate which could damange it or damage their mouths or paws. Not to mention after a while i do know dogs that have started going to the bathroom in their crates when they are caged for too long. AND it had nothing to do with actually really needing to go to the bathroom, it was just being upset.
anyway, it took some time and a lot of "oops, should have puppy-proofed that" lessons, but now everything is calm and happy with being downstairs and having a doggy door!
 

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We don't own a crate and haven't had the need to use one yet. Both of the dogs roam free in the house, but before we leave we shut all the doors to bedrooms, office, bathrooms, etc so they really are only in the living room, dining room and kitchen. We have a dog door to the backyard.

You'll learn quickly what she'll want to get into and figure out how to puppy proof it. Anabelle digs through the trash sometimes so we either empty it or prop a chair over it so she can't get to it. For a puppy leave out plenty of toys, though obviously none she could hurt herself with.
 

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I have 4 bassets- the baby is 5 months old. While I've never used a crate before I absolutely would not be without one now. We generally pen the big dogs in the kitchen on a tile floor- lots of room and they do fine... but the puppy kept escaping and literally demolished the house! So he gets crated... amd miraculously it helped in housebreaking too. I work full time but generally among the family schedules they only have to be penned 2-3 days per week. The longest I've left them has been 6 hours- most of the time it's 3-4 hours... they were fine - the puppy made a beeline for the doggy door but no accidents. Once he is big enough to not flat basset under the doggy gate he can be penned with the rest... You do what you must to protect your basset and home... sometimes its not ideal but she will be fine.
 

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Willow is 7 months old now and STILL not completely housebroken. She does wonderful as long as we're keeping an eye on her, and we take her out every 30 minutes. But if we wait even 10 minutes longer, she's going in the house! That being said, she is crated during the day while we are at work. She has separation anxiety (even when I walk into the other room, if she can't see me), but that too is getting better. What's helped in the crate the most is the KONG toys, they seem to occupy her mind. At night, we have her "barricaded" in the corner of our bedroom, and she can see us while we sleep. I've tried leaving her in that corner when we're gone during the day, but she just seems more comfortable in the crate (with the TV on, of course).
 

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My fiancé and I both work full time. He leaves around 7 am, I leave around 7:30. I’m home around 5:30 and he can get home anywhere from 5 -8pm. I have never been comfortable with Squishy being by herself for that long a period.

BUT, when we got her at 10 weeks we recruited our mothers to come around lunchtime for potty breaks. So Squish gets visits from Grandma (one of them, they alternate J) Monday through Friday. The plan was for them to come around lunchtime for a quick potty break and “love” session (which is what we call her laying on her back and begging for belly/leg and ear scratchies. Of course there’s some puppy kisses involved too!). But our little girl managed to charm both of her “grandmothers” into usually staying for at least an hour or 2. Now, when grandma comes she gets “love”, potty breaks, lunch, more “love”, an occasional quick walk, occasional visit with any neighbors that stop by to see her, then more “love”. Sometimes they play in the back yard or the house. We even have the occasional “puppy-napping” where they take her back to their house for the afternoon. So I don’t feel nearly as bad for leaving her as long as we do. Can someone say: Spoiled?

When we got her, we kept her crated in the laundry room that’s attached to the kitchen. House training was a surprising breeze and there were only 2 or 3 accidents in the house, so by the end of summer (she was 3-1/2 – 4 months old) we started leaving her in the laundry room (with the door to the kitchen closed) and her crate open for 30 minutes to an hour while we ran errands on the weekends. She doesn’t seem to be the destructive type and nothing was ever disturbed except for the occasional rug being pulled up. Then, we started having her crated in the morning, but Grandma would leave her in the laundry room for the 2nd half of the day. Within a few of weeks she graduated to full laundry room all day.
About a month ago, we started leaving her in the kitchen and laundry (gated off from the rest of the house) for an hour or two when we would run errands or go out on Saturday night. Once again, she never seemed to disturb anything/chew anything or potty anywhere. Except for the occasional kitchen tea towel. She loves towels. We knew we were good when after only being “free” in the kitchen for the second time we ran very late at a friend’s house (emergency, couldn’t get away) and we ended up being away for 6-1/2 hours. Other than needing to go outside for potty and being very happy to see us, nothing was disturbed or out of place. And just a week or two ago, she graduated to all day kitchen and laundry access. We leave plenty of toys and bones to chew on. My fiancé’s father gets huge beef bones (leg? Or collar bone ?) with the marrow still in there. Squish can spend hours licking and chewing on those things.

As amazingly good as she’s been, I don’t want to give her too much freedom too quickly. She’s still a puppy (8 months next week). And, despite how good she’s been, I’m still hesitant to let her have unsupervised access to dining/living and bedrooms. Even though we’ve slowly given her “freedom”, those rooms have too many tempting things to destroy or get into trouble with J

Here’s what I would do:
Try slowly increasing Charlotte’s time out of the crate when you’re not home. If she’s housetrained and not destructive, you probably don’t need the crate anyway (unless you want to use it). You said you were thinking about getting a mid-day walker. Maybe start with leaving Charlotte in the crate in the mornings but have the dog walker leave her in a gated area for the afternoon? You can gradually increase the time to all day in the gated area. I would leave her crate where it’s at, but open. I’m a first time dog owner, and maybe I just got lucky with Squishy, but I imagine it’s like a having a kid. As responsible as your kid may be, you can’t just give them unconditional freedom. You have to start with baby steps and increase responsibility or freedom as they prove they can handle it. Every kid (and dog) are different so you have to see what works for them.

Try leaving her for an hour or so at a time this weekend out of her crate and see how she does. You know your dog and if you think she can handle not being restricted, try it. I would imagine you’ll find out pretty quickly if that’s a mistake…just make sure you don’t leave anything you wouldn’t want destroyed out J No shoes left out in the living room while you’re away.

OR – have Charlotte go to day-care 1 or 2 days of the week, with the mid-day walker coming the other days? Obviously coming home for lunch break is not an option, is it? Regardless, I would make the transition of being left outside the crate a slow one. I don’t know how anybody else has handled that transition, so maybe other basset owners that have crated their dogs as puppys could chime in. If she’s been crated pretty consistently for 10 months, I can’t imagine you can just let her roam free in the house one day without some sort of destruction or acting out. But maybe I’m wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for the opinions and advice, it makes me feel more certain about what I am doing to compare it with everyone else's choices. We are going to meet with a dog walker tonight and probably do a test run Friday to see how well Charlotte will hold up being in her crate for 3 hrs (8-11am) out for a half hour walk and then in again for 3 hours (1130-230) til I come home. We will probably still continue to bring her in to doggie daycare about once a week just because she loves to play with other puppies more than anything, its a real treat for her.
 

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LottesMama, you sound a really caring Basset owner who is really trying to find out the best way to care for Lotte and it will be well worth it for the happy years together you will be sure to have!
 

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I can let Daisy run loose alone in the house for about 3-4 hours without any worries. But any longer than that and she starts to chew on things and pee on the floor. Not peeing to empty her bladder, she just makes little spots on the floor in various areas of the house. I think it's a separation anxiety thing.

So when I'm at work, I put her in a pen similar to this...
Black Finish Exercise Pens | Cages | PetSolutions

I put it on the linoleum surface inside my front door. I put her bed, water, a few toys, and a puppy pad in there with her. She very, very rarely ever uses the puppy pad, she can hold it all day (I'm gone about 9 hours), but I put it in there just in case.

She absolutely hates going in there, but the alternative is chewed up things around the house and pee on the carpet.
 
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