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Potty Training While Full-Time

Discussion in 'Considering a Sheltie?' started by ev99, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. ev99

    ev99 Forums Regular

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    Hello all. Me and my girlfriend are currently considering getting a sheltie. We both think the temperament and personality of shelties are perfect for us. I have been doing constant research, which in-part entails fervently reading as much of this forum as I can. I have been reading up on crate training, and its important link to potty training your sheltie. My problem is that I am about to start dental school, and she is currently in nursing school. This means we both spend a good amount of time away from home. She works 2 12-hour shifts through the week, and I will be in school 7-4 on weekdays. I think I will be able to come home for lunch, and I will be able to walk, play, and socialize the puppy before and after school, but how do you potty train a puppy who is left home for stretches on weekdays? It seems like the advice here is to take it out every hour, which doesn't seem feasible for people who are in school, or work full time. My question is, how did people who worked full time potty train their puppies?
     
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Depending on what age you get your puppy, you'll be fine with a crate if you can get home at lunch for a potty break. Most breeders don't let puppies go until 9 weeks or later. The older the puppy, the more control they have. Although in my experience even 8 week old puppies can go 8 hours though the night and keep the crate dry. If you can get puppy out at lunch time, give him a bit of exercise and put him back in the crate, he should be just fine.

    As the puppy gets a bit older, you can expand his area to a small space gated off or an ex pen with his crate inside (door open) so he can move around while you're gone. Puppies don't have total control of the elimination muscles until 6 months of age so there will be some accidents, but that happens even if you're there all the time!

    Just be sure to give the puppy lots of attention and play when you are there and you'll be fine. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
     
    Cleo2014 likes this.
  3. ev99

    ev99 Forums Regular

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    Thank you for the reply! In regards to ex-pens, would you only move it to an ex-pen when older, or could I start with a crate inside an ex-pen? It is hard knowing your puppy will be stuck in a crate for so long during the day, but if giving the puppy more room to start would cause it to have accidents, I understand that.
     
  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    You could do that, but I wouldn't advise it right away. Your puppy will find a spot to soil unless he's in the crate, and that will make it harder to house train him. I wouldn't worry too much about leaving a puppy that long as long as he has an outing at lunchtime. Remember that puppies are like babies, and spend much of their time sleeping! He will quickly learn to nap while you're gone and play hard when you're home. It won't take long until you'll be able to give him more space and use the crate in the ex pen...probably a few weeks to a month.
     
  5. ev99

    ev99 Forums Regular

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    Awesome thank you so much for your help. I am sure I'll be back with more questions as I go.
     
    Ann likes this.
  6. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    A really good book to read, that covers potty training, is Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar.
     
    Cleo2014 likes this.
  7. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    When I got Piper (he was 10 weeks old) I arranged my holidays so I'd have some time with him but when I returned to work I kept him crated (I had someone come and take him out) and as he got older I kept the crate open but kept him in an enclosed area where he couldn't get into any trouble (although he still managed to get into trouble occasionally) but this worked out great. I kept him in a bedroom where he couldn't get into any trouble and a baby gate on the doorway so it was easy to take him out but an x-pen would've worked as well. Good luck and I do hope you select a Sheltie as they are the sweetest, mild tempered dog I've ever known.
     
  8. ev99

    ev99 Forums Regular

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    Feb 26, 2017
    Thank you for your advice, we are pretty set on a sheltie! We are in the process of contacting many breeders, and trying to find the best one. Though we aren't getting one until the fall, it is hard not to just go buy one right now!
     
  9. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Actually, you're smart to look now. Depending on where you're located, you'll want to get on a breeder's list for a puppy from a coming litter. It's rare for a good breeder to have a puppy ready to go when you call. Most keep lists of people who are waiting for one. So visit breeders now and choose your breeder (or two) and ask to be put on their list. That shouldn't obligate you, unless they ask for a deposit -- most don't and I'd avoid them if they do -- and that will at least put your in the queue for when you're ready. Here in the Northeast, all the breeders I know have long lists of Sheltie puppy buyers waiting!
     
  10. ev99

    ev99 Forums Regular

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    There are a couple breeders we really like, but both said they don't know when they are expecting litters, and they don't start forming the waitlist until after the puppies are born. So it may be more of a waiting game to see who has a litter at the right time. What would you saw seperates a great breeder from all the others around? Right now we are going off of look of their females, membership with the ASSA, and how nice they seem in their emails!
     

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