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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What I mean is, how do you go out at dinner time without your dog? I keep rejecting invitations that would have me out between 7 and 9pm, because I think i'd have to hire someone to feed the dog her dinner, make sure she goes out a couple times before bed, and then goes into the crate. Only thing I can think of is to feed her early, then take her out to do her business, hope she does so in a timely manner, and then put her in the crate until i get back. Then when I come home, whatever time it is, wake her to take her out one more time (assuming she's asleep) so she doesn't wake at 3am, etc. Maybe it's different when the dog is older (mine is not quite 5 months yet)?
 

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Buck was pretty reliable by 5 months, in that I knew his feeding and elimination schedule. We can close off our tiled kitchen from the rest of the house, so he had reasonable freedom. I made sure that he had done his business before we left and didn’t worry about it. Scheduling a dinner was easy, parties were when we have a problem. We are the guests who leave early:(
 

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I think you should be able to go out for a two hour dinner evening without much trouble. I think I would feed and potty before leaving and leave your pup in her crate. Take her out for bedtime potty stop when you get home.
 

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I'm very lucky in this regard as my area is VERY dog-friendly... I'm surrounded on all sides by dog-friendly cafes, restaurants, and bars.
So if I need to step out for a meal my friends and family normally choose a dog-friendly establishment to accommodate us.

On the off chance that we where going someone that was not dog friendly I would simply feed Zael an hour before leaving, take Zael out right before I left (chanting "peepees and poopoos" 'cause it seemed to make him go faster), close all the doors to rooms I didn't want him in, leave him without making a fuss, and then go enjoy myself before coming home far earlier than everyone else because being away from my dog gave ME separation anxiety lol.
He could handle a little divergence from his scheduled so long as it was just one or two days every month.
 

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...Then when I come home, whatever time it is, wake her to take her out one more time (assuming she's asleep) so she doesn't wake at 3am, etc. Maybe it's different when the dog is older (mine is not quite 5 months yet)?
Ahh, the what to do about the dog after work question, eh?

Unless you live in huge mansion, I can't imagine any dog or puppy remaining asleep when she hears you park the car and trying to tiptoe in the house, lol.

Fate willing, Cleo will be with you for a very, very long time. She has to learn that you have a life apart from hers, but that you'll be back.

Ideally, come home, feed and take her to yard to relieve herself, then just before you walk out the door, put her in her cage/kennel if she didn't potty and/or isn't house broken - without making a big deal about it. No kisses, hugs, yadda yadda, just say I'll be back, and go. Leave music on or the TV, a toy and something to chew on so she won't go bananas from silence and boredom. Then go have a guilt-free good time.

When you get home, tell her she's been a good girl, feed and walk her. If you do this at least once a week, she'll get used to it, and when she's completely housebroken (if she's not already), she won't have to be kenneled while you're away.
 

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I finally got brave enough to leave my boys alone for an hour or so when they were about 4 months, while we went out to eat. They were still on three meals a day with the last usually about 7p. I'm sure we all time these things to fit our own schedules as well as our puppies. We'd go to dinner anywhere from 5p-6p and back home in an hour or so. If they got their last meal a bit late, it wasn't a big deal. We also didn't put them to bed til DH went up, usually about 10:30p-11p, so the time we were out didn't have much impact on their schedule.

We crated them upstairs in the bedroom and the first few times we stopped the car a few houses down so I could walk up to the house to listen for drama. There wasn't any, not til DH pulled the car in the drive and opened the garage door.

They were reliable enough in the house by seven and a half months that we no longer crated them while we were out but did restrict their access by gating off areas. I just kept increasing their access as they matured.

It's good for you and them to have some separate time, so go out and try to enjoy :).

I felt so much better after I found some inexpensive cameras last year so I can keep an eye on them when I'm out. What they do is sit on their sofa looking out the front window and wait. Sometimes they're up and barking, sometimes they're laying down, but waiting is their primary activity.

When the weather is nice, we go to places with an outdoor patio and bring them along.
 

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I just adjust the schedule of feeding dependent on how long I will be out I would feed earlier, walk then crate and once again out for potty when I got home. I am so glad I crate trained as whenever I need to be someplace I know he is perfectly happy asleep in his crate and I don't even have worry that he will have an accident and get hurt while I am gone. Honestly peking I seldom go anywhere lately.
 

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Misha is 5 months now, but I've left him alone in his x pen for a couple hours since he was 3 months. He usually eats dinner around 8 pm, but if I have something going on then I wait and feed him later. He will poop in his pen sometimes if I am there, but never goes when he is alone. I wouldn't stress over keeping your schedule exactly. You need to have a life as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all! I feel better now...I can have a life!
Funny thing about noise waking her--i never know when it will. Just today, we were out while she was napping, we came in (garage door opened/shut) and were having a normal-level conversation in the room where she slept (her crate is in the kitchen). She didn't wake up until an hour later, when someone was using a big stand-up mower outside the kitchen window. (Otoh, she still wakes at 5:30 on most mornings...)
 

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This reminds me of the old joke "How do you get to Carnegie Hall": Answer: Practice, practice, practice.
Louie is clingy - way clingier than most other dogs we had. Add to this that we had my son and his family live with us for the first 10 months and some of us work from the house. So the "staying alone" part of his training was severely lacking for lack of opportunities.
Drama when leaving the house became a part of Louie's skill box.
Now that things have gone back to normal (my son in his own house) we have addressed and fixed this. He can now safely stay for up to 4 hours. It is not a lot yet (I expect 8 hours- ish from my dogs) but we had a late start so we are expanding slowly.
Btw the drama act continues - however it is completely for my benefit a sort of extended dramatic howl ("Oh how I will miss you mom" in D minor) before he collapses dramatically on his pillow... It could be fixed but I have decided to find it charming...Life with Louie the drama queen...I wonder if instead of signing up for more dog training classes I should sign him up with Stella Adler the Acting School...he would like that!
 

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Dentastix

My pup, who is very clingy, happily trades our company for a Dentastik. We call it canine crack here. She likes to go with us, but seems to prefer this. We announce we are going out, offer her a treat. She takes it off to enjoy. Climbs up on the sofa (not allowed!) after we leave, and watches for us. I do have a peepad in the bathroom for her. We have a cheerful reunion upon our return. Anytime it is offered is dinnertime for her, so that is not a problem.

These are by far her favorite treat. She only gets them when we leave her, so they are special.

About the peepad, she is well trained. We moved to a house in the burbs with a doggie door, and fenced yard. Learned that bobcats, coyotes, and cougars were included. So back to my company (when I feel safe) outside, and the peepad.
 

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My pup, who is very clingy, happily trades our company for a Dentastik. We call it canine crack here. She likes to go with us, but seems to prefer this. We announce we are going out, offer her a treat. She takes it off to enjoy. Climbs up on the sofa (not allowed!) after we leave, and watches for us. I do have a peepad in the bathroom for her. We have a cheerful reunion upon our return. Anytime it is offered is dinnertime for her, so that is not a problem.

These are by far her favorite treat. She only gets them when we leave her, so they are special.

About the peepad, she is well trained. We moved to a house in the burbs with a doggie door, and fenced yard. Learned that bobcats, coyotes, and cougars were included. So back to my company (when I feel safe) outside, and the peepad.

I am not an expert with dogs as new to all this but that sounds so sweet! How hard was to train your dog for a peepad in the bathroom?
 

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Amazingly enough, she came used to them from the breeder. I don't recall an accident. However, she was 12 weeks old, and I think it would have been better to get her a little early. She is very, very food oriented, which makes the doggie crack more effective I am sure.
 

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I made it sound too easy. We had a carpeted, rented apartment so I was very careful initially. Carried between crate and peepad on other side of apartment. Leashed to my belt when we were hanging out. Gated in tiled area when we left her. That being said, she didn't have any accidents. However, I have seen her and my previous poodle put all four paws carefully on the peepad, but leave the business end off of it. Sometimes you can't win!
 

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How do I or did I (when they were puppies) go out for dinner? Well, all I ever did or do is take them out to potty, make sure they're comfortable, watered, etc, (lock 'em up if they're puppies) and go out to dinner. Simple as that. Seriously, don't let your puppy keep you from going out to dinner. It'll be fine. And I do not cotton to whiny complaining. Of course, I've had multiples for so long (they don't make a fuss if I leave) I forget what it's like to just have one. But yeah...I don't cater to weah, weah I don't want to be alone for one minute nonsense. If they do that, they have some more evolving to do...they must adapt.:alberteinstein:

Go and have yourself a really nice dinner out. I did the same thing with my kids when they were little. Lock 'em up in a crate and they'll be fine. :act-up:Haha. j/k. Babysitter.
 

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I'm like Poodlebeguiled. At one time when I was working & handling a lot of dogs I had 13. Now I have 5: 3 big, 2 little. The tiny dogs get catered to more than any we've ever had but they all adapt to our schedule. It's safer for them in the long run. All are crate trained. Any pup under a year is going to be crated. My Giant is really good at helping the younger dogs because she knows when we're going to town & it's going to be a quiet day at home without us. She immediately settles in & it cues the other dogs. We make certain all our dogs have the chance to pee/poo before we leave. Mr. Layne, my Standard Poodle youngster, is not quite 6 months (until the end of the month). Right now he's capable of holding it for 8 hours. We started out with short trips to town & gradually longer & longer building up to 8 hours.

Here's why it's important to teach puppies & your dogs to adjust to human schedules & NOT be bothered by abnormalities. A few years ago, my mother was visiting, husband was out of town. Mom & I took care of the dogs & went to town for a fun day knowing we would be back by dog dinner time. No problem. We'd just gotten town when Mom was rear-ended by a driver who expected Mom to run a red light like he planned to. It was around 14 hours before we could get home after I had to go to the E.R. & be cleared to leave. Ugh. My head/neck were affected by the strike from behind. There was NO one who could go let my dogs out. When we arrived, we expected a mess. What we found? Dogs who were eager to go outside but only one tiny little Chihuahua puddle. None of the dogs were upset or worked up, no chewing from stress or separation anxiety. All good dogs happy to see us. (I would never do this deliberately but emergencies do happen. I'm glad my dogs are trained to handle it).

Our training starts with puppies, doing like poodlebeguiled said. Food, water, bathroom, comfortable. Humans go to dinner, come back, take dogs out for potty breaks... No need for it to be a 'thing'.
 

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For puppies who are too young to "hold it" for 3-4 hours (or more) I put them in an exercise pen. Their crate is in the pen with its door open (and clipped to the side of the pen so it stays open). The pen is on a waterproof mat that is covered with newspaper (or with white unprinted newspaper for white dogs). There is a water bowl clipped to the side of the pen, but no food. There are a couple of toys and a chew bone for entertainment.


I raised quite a few puppies while I was holding down a full-time job, so the exercise pen setup was perfect for me.


One caution - once puppies get old enough to climb it is wise to have a top on the pen. I once leased a whippet bitch to a friend who wanted to raise a litter of puppies that she could train for obedience starting at 7 weeks of age. One day she went out and left these 5 week old pups in the whelping box in her living room thinking it was quite secure. When she got back, the living room was in tatters - not a single puppy (and there were 12 of them!) was still in the box. They had had a wonderful time. Among other things, they had gotten into her knitting basket and woven a web of yarn throughout the place. Wheeee! And, of course, there were little piles of poop and little damp places all over the carpet. No, I did not offer to help clean up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Johanna, that is hilarious! I can just imagine the wreckage...

Cleo is crate-trained, though she resists going in during the day. I did go out a couple of times! So, thank you all for the pep talk. And, at least one time, when I was ready to come home, I had a perfectly legit reason to depart--no one argues with, "I have to let the dog out..."
 

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If your feeding time conflicts with the dog's feeding time, then it's the dog's feeding that gets moved. You need socialization just like the dog does ;) Feed him before you leave, go potty, put him in the crate, and go have a nice dinner. Nothing bad is going to happen if the schedule is broken once in a while. I don't eat my meals at the same time every day. I think it's important to include some variation in our dog's lives, to make them less sensitive to disruptions. Sometimes we won't have a choice but to miss a meal, come home late, etc, and there's no reason for the dogs to get anxious about these things.
 

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The most wonderful thing I ever did for myself, and for my dog, was to never have a schedule. Dogs in the wild eat when they eat, and sleep when they sleep, just like I do now that I am retired.

I have an amazing Spoo, who is my wonderful Service Dog. Since there is no real schedule, and he is fully potty trained, there are no worries for either of us. He knows he will be fed marvelously healthy raw food, when it happens. He sleeps until I get up, adapts to my non schedule, and we are both healthy and happy.

When I worked and had to maintain a schedule I was miserable.

The interesting thing is that I house and pet sit, and within one day all of the animals act the same as my Spoo.

When their owners return they cannot believe that their dog slept with me to 10 am and did not demand breakfast at 7:30 on the dot. I also always train them to do something they never did before, to their owners amazement.

Those dogs on a schedule actually have you trained....

Ah yes, "My dog needs to go out" is the most wonderful way to gracefully leave!
 
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