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We have a roughly 9 month old "puppy." We have a dog walker come in during the middle of the day, making our dog's longest stint in the crate about 4.5 hours. Our dog walker won't be able to come for three days, leaving our dog crated for roughly 7 hours. I don't expect the pup to be particularly happy about 7 hours in her crate, but is it reasonable to expect her to go 7 hours without an accident at this age?

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    You have to expect an accident to happen. Clean it up and start over. If no accident then be happy. What I like is an oversize crate so they don't have to lay in the accident. – paparazzo Jan 11 '16 at 19:42
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I'm guessing you don't get up in the middle of the night to let your puppy out to go, do you? If not, she can hold it for 7 or 8 hours.

I wouldn't get her a larger crate; if she has to go, she will if she can get away from it. It's not a great idea to give them the opportunity to go in their crate. One of the reasons to crate-train is to teach bladder control.

While I can't agree that crating your dog is such a miserable existence that you should change your life to stop it, you might consider letting her grow into gradually larger spaces when you're gone: a bathroom at first, then a mudroom, etc. You can put a bed and some toys, water and a few other entertainments in a small room with a gate. (Some people even put in a set up to skype with the dog during the day.) Any area with a vinyl or tile floor (just in case) will do.

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  • You're right...she does hold it all night long and isn't even particularly urgent about going out to do her business when she gets wakes up. We left her for a couple hours longer than usual on the third (and last) day and she did fine and, again, wasn't urgent about going out when we got home. I do want to let her out of the crate during the day, but she still likes to chew cords and book bindings and to lick the kitchen counters. She has a little more growing up to do before she can be unsupervised in the house. – SnappingShrimp Feb 3 '16 at 21:33
  • I understand that completely. A bored puppy is a force to be reckoned with! (I had to replace a vinyl floor once.) Good luck! :-) – anongoodnurse Feb 3 '16 at 21:51
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As said, expect an accident, move on and don't punish the dog for what is essentially not its fault.

It's an awfully long time for any sociable animal to be locked up and not fair. I don't want to get into personal situations but it sounds like having a puppy was not a good idea if the majority of its day is spent locked in a crate. Personally, I would suggest make adjustments in your own life to suit the animal for learning and play, this age is when they absorb the most information and pick up good habits.

Are you close to your home when you are at work? Can you take the dog to work with you to at least have it close by? Are there friends or family who can look after the animal? Because at that age, yes, it is still a puppy and to be locked up all day will be utterly confusing for the animal.

I am sorry to drag on but I feel that important things may not have been taken into account. I hope I am wrong, but that is no life for a puppy, or any animal in fact.

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    It's about an hour round trip from work and back. I can't take the dog to work because I work in a laboratory setting and NIH rules say "no pets." Don't worry: I don't think our dog is neglected like you fear. We have the dog walker specifically to give her a break and love during the day. Our teenage son comes home at 3pm and gives her a long potty break and love. When we get home at 5pm, she gets a lot of love and play. She sleeps in our bedroom and we get up early so she can get love and outside time before being crated at 8am. – SnappingShrimp Jan 12 '16 at 20:43
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You have to expect an accident to happen. Clean it up and start over. If no accident then be happy. What I like is an oversize crate so they don't have to lay in the accident.

OK I have to step in and disagree with Morgan.

A dog can have a very happy life with just an hour of interaction a day. Give them 30 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of attention. On a busy day you can make a dog feel important in 10 minutes. Long or short day greet your dog when you get home. If it has been a long day then take them out immediately - hey I held it take me OUT. Let them sleep in the same room as you. A puppy will sleep 20 hours in a day.

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  • Yes, she sleeps a lot. We've noticed this on weekends. She sleeps for long stretches of time, even though she sleeps soundly for 8 hours each night. Her crate is large enough that she could have an accident and get away from it; when she curls up, she uses barely 1/3 of the crate. (She's more of a sprawler than a curler, though, hence the larger crate.) Her only accidents were when we hadn't quite learned her potty cues at about 5/6 months. So as to not ruin her success record, we've decided to stay home in the morning, do the regular dog walk, then go in to the office. – SnappingShrimp Jan 12 '16 at 20:59
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A walker would help allot! Does WAG work in your area?? I LOVE them. And you letting the dog sleep with you every night and not in the crate I think helps a lot for the dogs mind for being in the crate during the day

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