How long can a puppy be left alone for?

(24 Posts)
absolutelyflawed Wed 18-May-16 15:47:34

Thinking of getting a puppy in the summer and wondered how long it would be OK to leave it on its own for - a few minutes, a few hours?
And when it is about 4 months old would it be ok to be left with someone else for a couple of nights?

Just trying to think it through carefully - was planning to get an older dog, which I thought would probably be ok to leave for about 4 hours or so at a time (am I right)? But my DC really want a puppy so trying to think this through.
And what about toilet training? Would I just have tonnes of newspaper down? And for how long?
TIA

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 18-May-16 15:54:35

You wouldn't be able to leave a puppy for four hours. You'd have to wait until it was a few months old before you started leaving it for that long. You can't leave a puppy for fifteen minutes for the first couple of weeks until you've got toilet training cracked.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 18-May-16 15:56:04

Sorry just reread the last bit. Some puppies take months to get the hang of toilet training. I wouldn't be making any plans at all for a few months. It's like having a newborn baby again, you need to commit to it for a while.

absolutelyflawed Wed 18-May-16 16:01:38

Ok. Thank you.
Just thinking of practicalities like the school run, when I could be gone for 20 mins plus.
What do other people do?

MeMySonAndl Wed 18-May-16 16:02:23

Puppies are... Babies. They need to be fed and taken out to the toilet at least 5 times a day. They will destroy the whole house when they are changing teeth (mine was short of electrocuting himself chewing an electrical cable and I was in the house). They need to be potty trained and are as likely as a child to soil the house while they are learning.

When old dog passed away, DS really wanted a puppy and me too, but I simply do not have so much time in my hands these days to take care of one.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 18-May-16 16:04:20

You need to be around constantly when puppies are young - up to about 6 months

Do you have any idea how difficult and time consuming puppies are? They're biting, scratching, jumping monsters for 90% of the time.

This isn't really a decision to be made by children - they don't have a clue about looking after a puppy. How old are they?

I'd definitely stick to the older rescue dog

NeedACleverNN Wed 18-May-16 16:04:56

I think with a puppy the maximum it could be left is 30 mins at a time no more than twice a day

even then they have to be trained to be left. 5 mins at a time increased to 30 mins. Once they start settling down and not fussed by being left, you can start to increase it. This should be along side toilet training.

They can only be left for the maximum of 4 hours once they are fully toilet trained or you will be coming home to puddles

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 18-May-16 16:11:31

I left pup in his crate when I did the school run. It was twenty minutes max.

I tried leaving him shut in the kitchen. He went mad and bit and chewed and howled. I know because I left my phone filming him. I shut him in the crate the next time and he was like a different dog. He obviously felt safe in there, he curled up and went to sleep.

LaurieLemons Wed 18-May-16 16:12:41

I had a playpen sort of thing which helped during the first few months. Give it lots of affection and a treat or something before you go out so it learns being left is ok. I would say no more than 30 mins at a time at first, school run is fine!

lamusic Wed 18-May-16 16:13:16

Rescue a 1-4 year old dog

ATailofTwoKitties Wed 18-May-16 16:20:34

Our pup went from needing a wee apparently every 15 minutes to suddenly being completely reliable once the weather was warm enough to leave the back door open so she could take herself out (I work at home - I wouldn't do it when I wasn't there!).

If I need to go out and leave her, I walk her first and do a bit of training, including standing there like a loon saying 'Weewee. Gone on, weewee!' in the desperate tones I thought I'd left behind once we no longer had toddlers). Even 20 minutes of walk+training and she'll then sleep for a couple of hours.

But then she really, really likes her sleep, and has gone through the night from two days after we got her.

I suspect she might be part-cat.

ExitPursuedByABear Wed 18-May-16 16:26:40

I am tough as old boots and work from home, but our puppy reduced me to tears on several occasions.

ATailofTwoKitties Wed 18-May-16 16:32:11

Well, yes, I wouldn't say it's all easy, Exit! I'm pretty crap at child and puppy discipline but we seem to have struck lucky.

I hope.

She's probably silently eating the TV in another room right now.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 18-May-16 16:32:58

You could be up several times in the night with a puppy too!

sparechange Wed 18-May-16 16:35:41

Assuming you get a puppy at 8 weeks, you can't leave it alone for more than 15-20 mins for the first couple of months. Not only will it make house training drag on, but it won't bond to you as well, and will be quite distressed.

If you are going to leave it with someone for a few nights, they need to meet the puppy a number of times before this, both so the puppy feels safe with this person, and so they know the puppy's training routine and signals.

After that, you can build up the time you leave the dog alone, but I wouldn't leave it for a 4 hour stretch until it was over a year. And then that is 4 hours in 24, not 4 hours alone, someone lets it out and takes it for a quick spin around the block and then another 4 hours home alone

ATailofTwoKitties Wed 18-May-16 16:35:49

The 20-mins-ish school run has never been a problem for us, but god, I had never quite twigged how many other things take more than 20 minutes and crop up all the time - dentists, haircuts, things needing collecting at lunchtime, hospital appointments, parents' evenings...

I love the mutt dearly, but they really are a lifestyle change in a way that other pets just aren't.

ATailofTwoKitties Wed 18-May-16 16:37:22

Ignore random typos. Wrong glasses. Possibly the dog ate the others.

Rhubardandcustard Wed 18-May-16 16:52:46

I got our puppy as soon as schools broke up, no holiday that year. Luckily it wasn't a bad summer and so we could leave door open for puppy to get outside easily. Depends on the dog really, some get the toilet training really quickly othes take longer.

We did crate training for overnight and then gradually did it during the day towards the end of the school holidays. By the time school was back I could happily leave puppy in her crate whilst doing the school run.

When I returned to work part-time, I found a dog walker who could pop in 2-3 times a day to do comfort visits to begin with and then dog walking when she was older. She was out of the house 2 hours and then was happy to sleep until I got home at lunchtime.

Catinthecorner Wed 18-May-16 17:07:15

I raise service animals so they are breed to perform and start training before they come to us at 8 weeks; but in general assume you can leave them for their age in months plus an hour, up to six hours max if you crate train (but they will need to be taught to be happy about the crate first).

Toilet training - no newspaper or puppy pads. That teaches pup it's ok to toilet inside, then you'll need to break that lesson. Take them out every 20 minutes and ask for a toilet using your cue word. If they go praise like mad. Repeat. You may have a couple of accidents. If you catch them mid wee make a noise to startle them (to stop the stream) and carry them outside to finish. Buy something like urine destroyer spray to clean those accident spots. After a few days you'll start to recognise their wee/poo dance (just like a toddler).

At four months you could have them looked after - if you can find someone to do it who will follow your training routine (so they don't learn they can eg pee in someone else's house)

CMOTDibbler Wed 18-May-16 17:15:44

Apart from all the things others have said, don't get a puppy just because the dc want one. Because they won't be putting in the training hours, picking poo out of the carpet, mopping up wee, standing in their dressing gown waiting for a puppy to wee at 3am, or taking puppy outside every 15 minutes till it wees. They are hard work, and even a 6 month old dog is an awful lot easier. But all decisions should be made on the basis of the dog that you want, not the dc, as you'll be looking after it for the next 13 years

absolutelyflawed Wed 18-May-16 19:31:13

Thanks for all the great advice.
An older dog it is!

Dieu Wed 18-May-16 22:51:14

OP, it isn't all doom and gloom with puppies! Mine wasn't at all destructive, for example. I take ours on the school run everyday - by foot, as we live close to the school. I just push the children through the gate and take him on his morning walk from there grin
Aside from all the cuteness and fun however, I will admit that the toilet training was hard. Fucking hard. And took forever. The separation anxiety is no joke either, but I guess even a grown dog could have this.

SandyMcSandface Thu 19-May-16 00:15:24

Well done OP, they really are draining (but very lovely).

ruthsmumkath Sat 21-May-16 09:06:20

Our pup was able to go 11-6 over night and only went out every hour from 7 weeks and 4 days when we got him.

School run wasn't a problem.

He is almost 4 months and only needs to go out every 3 hours.

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