Basset Hounds Forum banner

home alone?

21320 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Apogee
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:
1 - 1 of 16 Posts
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.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.