The German Shepherd Home Alone Dilemma

by Chris
(Essex, UK)

Hi Guys,


I've just moved into my first house, and am doing a lot of research around my intention of getting a german shepherd in a few months time (probably leading up to xmas so I can spend some extra time at home with bank holidays etc).

I work 9 - 5, but am only about a 15 minute drive from home, so my intention is to take the dog on a long walk in the morning (my house back onto a nature reserve, so plenty of sniffing and climbing!), either crating or keeping the dog in my smallish kitchen during the morning and popping home at around 12:30 for a twenty minute run around/toilet break/play, then crating him again until I get home at 5:30.

This in itself doesn't sound practical - not even to me, but there is another factor.

My girlfriend will be at university, so will be in and out at different times of the day. She might be out all day though, so the above will definitely be a reality some days. Hopefully most days, it'll be a few hours alone for rover tops.

I also have my parents half a mile away, and my sister at college down the road who can check in (again, if and when she can).

Just wondered what people thought about the crating of the dog for two periods of say, three hours each. Hopefully, most days this won't be the case.

I was also wondering on the possibility of building a fairly large pen in the garden. I live down a really quiet cul-de-sac with about ten houses in. I've read it's not great for the dog to have the run of the garden, but a large pen with a shelter/dog house might be a good compromise?

Sorry about the long post - my situation takes quite a bit of explaining!


Total German Shepherd:


Hi Chris,

Overall, your potential solution as mentioned above to the problem of having a dog at home during your working day sounds good, assuming your helpers keep up on their promise to consistently check in on the dog for "pee pee breaks" and the like on the days you're gone at work all day.

3 hours or so in a crate is no big problem, so long as your puppy is not really small (only a few months old and can't "hold it" for 3 hours yet), and you have trained it to accept accept the crate as a good thing and the perfect place for a quiet nap and time to relax when mom and dad are not available.

All in all I think your solution sounds good - as long as everyone else keeps up on their part of the bargain. Good luck with your new German Shepherd - send us a picture and story about your puppy later on when you get the chance.

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Oct 28, 2011
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Home Alone Dilemma
by: Linda Arnold - St Louis

Crating a pet? Some people think oh I'll get a puppy or dog and crate them while I'll at work. Crating is not a doggy sitter. I never was a fan of crating especially for long periods of time. Would you want to be in a cage for 9 to 10 hours or more?

Puppies can't hold their waste for a long time, remember they are babies. It's okay to have a crate but within reason for short periods of time. When I got my beautiful MIA, she was 12 wks old, from the breeder to 1st owner of 1 week, she had everything crate included, she was kept in that crate for long periods and we had to retrained her to potty outside.

If you can PUPPY PROOF your kitchen, a hallway, a sunroom and or a bathroom (leave a door open, use a baby gate. If there is room for a crate, great, leave it open, so they can rest, have their water, chew bone and toys. I would paper train your puppy(some people disagree)when not at home and at night, but when you get home immediately take the puppy out and about every 45 minutes,or when you see him or her sniffing around, after they eat, the 1st thing in moring and the last thing before going to bed.

The puppy will learn; it just takes a little time and patience but the reward of a having a dog - Priceless!!! Read our story "gsd puppy mia story, and Mia My Beautiful GSD"

Oct 21, 2011
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GSD RESCUE?
by: Lt. Ronald McCarty Ret

CHRIS, rather than a puppy try the German Shepherd Rescue. You will more than likely find a GSD that instead of being in a shelter will more than appreciate a home even in these types of conditions.

I wouldn't go into this counting on someone else-especially family. As in business family can be an issue over time. I hope you prove me wrong! No one has the absolute answer because it's going to be what it is going to be.

Again, Chris-think about a rescue if you have experience with GSD's.

God Bless--Ron

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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.
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