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How long do you think would be comfortable to leave a five month old puppy in a crate. She stays on our bed at night for about 6 or so hours and in her crate 2 - 3 hours at a time during the day. We would probably be gone for about 6 hours and she would have to be in her crate. We were planning to be away on Sat. and then remembered we can't leave Lucy. Can't wait till she doesn't have to be in a crate and can be left longer. I really appreciate any help!
 

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Potty-wise, my mom's rule of thumb for leaving puppies in the crate is that they can - on average - hold their bladders for about 30 minutes for every month they are old. Until they are more mature have have more control. Her boy puppy was able to be left longer in his crate faster than her girl puppy, he was averaging a solid hour/month old at about 5 months, while the girl was at the 30 mins for awhile.

I also think it really depends on your individual puppy and their bladder strength/maturity level. Just make sure that if you leave her you don't leave anything that she could possibly eat and choke on, but also don't leave her with nothing to do, because then she will probably get destructive.
 

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That's the other thing I'm concerned about. Her crate is plenty large enough to chew her bones, move around a little, etc. but she only lays and stares or sleeps when she's in it. I know she'd just lay there and do nothing while we're gone. Is it normal to not have anything to do with chew toys, etc. while in their crate? It seems as if my other dogs would chew or play while in their crate but it's been awhile so maybe not.
 

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My Roxy is 8 months next week and we leave her for the major part of the day. At 5 months it was about 5-6 hours... We only work about 10 minutes away from home and if one of the kids was not going to be in and out of the house during the day, I would come home at lunch to let her out.
 

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Any chance you could take your pup with you? We (weather depending) take Gracie everywhere with us. She has gone with me everywhere since she was 8 weeks old. Just a thought!
 

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Any chance you could take your pup with you? We (weather depending) take Gracie everywhere with us. She has gone with me everywhere since she was 8 weeks old. Just a thought!
8 weeks old! Wow I was afraid of parvo so I would never let mine go anywhere until that last shot and then the rabies. I'm too overprotective I think.
 

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Maybe Desmond was an odd case, but we could leave him for just about 8 hours when he was 5/6 months old. I have school, so I am out for 8 hours every day. He has never messed in his crate the whole time we've had him, and is always fine when I get home. We go out and potty IMMEDIATELY when I get home though.
My "rule" has always been they can hold it for an hour for every month old they are, and one hour more. So Lucy is 5 months old, she should be able to hold it for about 6 hours.
If she has a history of not being able to hold it for very long/messing in the crate, I wouldn't leave her for that long though.
 

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How about a pet sitter than can come over and give your little angel a potty break? Most charge only $15-20 a visit. A good pet sitter is a gift from heaven. I would also guess that your Lucy will be fine for that amount of time away. She will sleep away the day.

Generally you will be OK taking your pup places as long as you avoid places that are popular with other dogs. For instance, a dog park or pet store that allows pets in would not be wise. Also, I would not go visit a dog park with an older dog if I had a young puppy at home. You could bring something unwanted home on your shoes.
 

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Crate training is perfectly normal and the dog typicaly considers that area their safe place. There should be no problem with you letting her in there.

Maybe it would be a good idea to try her in the crate for the night so you can get a feel for if she holds it well. I feel you answered your own question if she sleeps in bed without fail for at least 6 hours. She used to a dry place so she likely will hold out until you get home.

All my dogs are crate trained including at night. Olie is about four months and does not bark for almost 7-8 hours. Not sure how we got that lucky the Poms were different with much smaller bladders too.

I know its tough (I still have a hard time going to dinner sometimes) but go enjoy your day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I guess the reason I'm so worried is that we'll be out of town. I'm sure she'd be okay. She would stay in her crate over night and a good hunk of time during the days before she was potty trained and earned her freedom.
 

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Crated dog is safe dog , especially that young. It is better much better to have her pee in the crate than find out upon the return that she chewed on something dangerous or got stuck somewhere : ( or tumbled heavy object on herself or similar.

I also would not take puppy out places before all vaccination is done - not before 12 weeks. Parvo is soooo contagious that people can bring it home even on their shoes :(. But your puppy is 5 months and should already be protected by now : ).

She will probably be bored and sleep most of the time...
 

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Fonzie's almost 6 months and he's crated all day while we're at work. He can just make it, but he sure needs to go out as soon as DH gets home around 3:30. On late days, we have our son or daughter come over and let the dogs out in the afternoon. Luckily, Fonzie loves his crate (we give him a small Kong every morning with a little kibble in it as a treat, along with a nylabone and some toys, to ease the confinement). He goes in there now even when the door is open. He also sleeps in the crate at night, with no fussing. He has an alarm clock in his head, and he usually goes in there on his own about 15 minutes before we go to bed every night!
 

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Fonzie's almost 6 months and he's crated all day while we're at work. He can just make it, but he sure needs to go out as soon as DH gets home around 3:30. On late days, we have our son or daughter come over and let the dogs out in the afternoon. Luckily, Fonzie loves his crate (we give him a small Kong every morning with a little kibble in it as a treat, along with a nylabone and some toys, to ease the confinement). He goes in there now even when the door is open. He also sleeps in the crate at night, with no fussing. He has an alarm clock in his head, and he usually goes in there on his own about 15 minutes before we go to bed every night!
I share a similar experience
 

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A breeder friend of mine suggested attaching an exercise pen to the wire crate in either the bathroom or the kitchen (easier cleanup). That way the puppy could stay in the crate as long as she wanted but was free to move out into a little larger area to stretch out some more. That's what I'm planning to do when I get a puppy. That along with coming home at lunch to let her out.
 

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A breeder friend of mine suggested attaching an exercise pen to the wire crate in either the bathroom or the kitchen (easier cleanup). That way the puppy could stay in the crate as long as she wanted but was free to move out into a little larger area to stretch out some more. That's what I'm planning to do when I get a puppy. That along with coming home at lunch to let her out.
This might be a good idea but I would not do this until the dog is potty trained. I only suggest this from my own experience one time. If you allow that much freedom too soon it wont bother them much to mess at the far end corner...: ) :):)
 

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I understand what you're saying. I guess the thought is, if they are going to be left longer than they can hold it, it would be better to have the puppy go outside the crate on papers, etc. than inside the crate where it might become a habit.
 

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I love reading all the blogs , you learn so much helpful information.. that you normal don't hear about. the bringing sickness home on my shoes. I had never heard of. Thank you everyone for being so informative.
 

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The rule of thumb I'm aware of is the same one as Birdie's -- age in months +1 hours. It varies a bit depending on the dog. So it shouldn't be unreasonable to leave her for 6 hours while you are out.

If she does have an accident, it's not the end of the world. So long as she's not being routinely left for longer than she can hang on, it's not going to form a habit. My dog had an accident a few times when she was a puppy and I had to be somewhere. She was smart and she didn't like to lie in the wee, so she would dig up her bedding and wee under her mattress pad, so it blotted it up from underneath and she could lie on it and stay dry.
 

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Any chance you could take your pup with you? We (weather depending) take Gracie everywhere with us. She has gone with me everywhere since she was 8 weeks old. Just a thought!
I don't recommend this. My puppies do not leave my house/property until they are completely finished with their series of shots. Their feet don't touch the ground in the vet's office while they are getting their shots. It's just too risky.
 
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