Yes it can be done. We were (and still are) in the same situation with Shelby. We did leave her in her crate while we were at work and we never had an issue with her. She never went to the bathroom in her crate and always was able to hold it the entire time. She was not given free range of the house until she was about 3. She just could not be trusted to not chew things up. We both have jobs where there is always a possibility that we might not be able to come home (I’m a nurse, he’s a manager at 911 center). So we always have a neighbor who will take care of her if we are stuck. She was a little more difficult to house train but I think that was because the breeder kept all pet quality pups in the house so they would be accustomed to the normal household activities. But she didn’t train them to tell you when they needed to go out. She believed in just taking them out every so often and felt they then learn to go on your schedule. So it took us sometime to learn how to communicate the need to go out. I must say that even now Shelby doesn’t always tell us when she needs to go and she will just hold it until we take her out. (Unless she really has to go). Looking back maybe that really did help with her being able to hold it all day. When she was a pup we would spend a lot of time every day giving her a lot of exercise and training. I would even do some training for just a few minutes every morning before leaving for work. Now that she is older she has a lot less energy.