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Old 03-13-2017, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Working from home with a puppy--how?

Hi everyone!

I am a writer, and work from home. Well, I try to work from home. My 10-year old female boxer would happily leave me alone for hours while I write, but her 6-month-old son won't. (They are rescues, if that makes a difference.) I have to be right there with the baby, all the time. I'm not sure what information would help you all advise me, so I will just put what I think you need and allow you to ask me questions as you need to.

Pre-dog, my schedule was set so that I was up every 2 hours to stretch and move around and do housework. At least until I got into a writing groove, at which time I would forget to get up at all for hours, unless I set an alarm. I was up around 30 minutes and I'd go back to work. My home office is upstairs.

Before my gate was fixed, when I first got my boxers, I made them go out on leashes every two hours when I got up to stretch. I would walk them around the yard, try to gt the baby to do his business, and then bring them in and play. It has been snowy and/or incredibly cold in the three months I have had them, and that has made housebreaking a challenge, but that's a question for another time. We have a system going for that and I am seeing improvement. Anyway, I'd play with the dogs when we came back in before I headed upstairs. That going upstairs thing did not last long.

Now we have a gate, so the entire back yard is fenced...and it's pretty good sized. They go out without me, do their business, and come back in. I still play with them and have learned lots of new things to do with them to keep them occupied. (Thank you, Boxer Forum!!! )

Herein lies my problem. I should have published a book a month ago, but I can't get any writing done, because by the time the dogs settle down and I relax enough to write, they (or the puppy, at least) need me again. At this point in time, leaving the house to write at the library is not an option. Money is tight and I just don't have the gas money to waste on driving to the library when I have a perfectly good, not to mention comfortable, office upstairs. Plus, the point of putting the office up there was to force me to move more by going up and down stairs a lot. I physically ache from sitting in the hard dining room chair and moving so little. If I don't publish something soon, we won't be eating come the end of May. I totally get that dogs are pack animals and we are a pack. I am single and very lonely and require that companionship, but I still need to work.

Let me add that it took me weeks to stop feeling guilty that they are in a pen at night for 10 hours while I sleep. The rest of the day, they are out of it and running around the downstairs. I'm pretty sure that people who work away from home spend far less time with their dogs than I do; this is what saves me from the aforementioned guilt!

Is there anyone here who is in a similar situation? Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong? Thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you to everyone who read my plea! I'm sorry no one could help me with it, but I know that working from home is still rare and that there might not be many folks who have experience with a situation like mine.

After much thought and prayer and more searching of this wonderful forum, I have a plan: the weather is warming (just a hair) and the snow slowly melting, and I know that the dogs like to be outside longer in warmer weather, so I can let them out and know they will play and explore and chase each other for a few minutes while I do some social media. The puppy just hit 6 months, and, like another poster's pup I found in another section of the forum, he's sleeping more and requires my attention a little less. While he's asleep, I can write some and add to my work in progress. Both dogs sleep a lot in the evenings, and so that will be when I write the most. In the meantime, I'm brushing off some short stories that I will publish to increase April's royalties and give us money to live on for a while.

I'm very much looking forward to the time when my puppy figures out that he needs to always "go" outside. At that time, I'm going to buy a big huge dog bed for my office upstairs and we can all be together up there.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I work from home and it works out brilliantly. My female boxer is just great. when she was a puppy she was in the crate a lot just like yours, but she has earned the right to roam now. I take her into the woods for 1 hour in between my meetings. Then she is just quiet. I need a break so let her out then. I don't really see the problem - perhaps I am missing something that you are concerned about.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for replying!

My dogs won't stay in their crates (we actually have a setup with an exercise pen attached to their side-by-side crates) during the day while I am home. They want me and my attention every minute I am up, which prevents me from getting any work done. My girl is around 10 years old (she's a rescue, so we don't know for sure how old she is) and her son is 6 months now. She's not so much the issue...it's the baby.

To be honest, I think I might just be too nice and too much of a worrier. I live in town instead of in the country, and I worry that the neighbors will call the cops (one of whom lives across the street) if the dogs carry on too much. I also feel guilty when they are unhappy. It's probably a good thing I was never a parent to a human child!
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With the 6 months old you will just need to take him for a big walk off-lead if possible. Then feed and ignore. Possibly shut them in a different room. work is work at the end of the day. Really ?? ear plugs in - computer on. As for the cops - well I live in the UK and the cops wouldn't be bothered with barking dogs. You have to be firm, not harsh. Say what you mean and stick to it! best of luck.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks! I'll give it a go. I did try that when I first got them, the leaving them in another room, but didn't last too long due to guilt and uncertainty on my part. I'll do better this time!

I think in bigger towns than mine (population 1,000), there are dog wardens, but we're so small that cops do it all.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry I'm not much help but when I'm busy at home my dog is crated. He knows that when he is in his crate its time for a nap. Its why I like crate training, when I am out busy can't watch crate. Now he is older and trustworthy so not so much an issue but I still use the crate when I'm leaving for longer than an hour or unsure about my return and of course at night he goes in to sleep.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No, that's very helpful! Thank you!

I think maybe I should have insisted they remain crated more often, but I was so new at this and the puppy made such a ruckus, not to mention a mess, that I gave up. He was better behaved when he roamed, so that's what I went with.

They do have the crate/pen setup I mentioned for when I leave the house and during the night. They have adjusted well to that, though heaven forbid I leave a toy outside the pen...Jasper will tear up the puppy pads and pull blankets out of the crates trying to find it. But, if he doesn't like that I have gone, or if I'm gone too long, he tears the pads up, too.

Do you think it's too late to teach the two of them to stay in the crates/pen while I work? I am giving thought to just removing the furniture from the dining room and blocking it off for them, but I hate to do that.

Any change I make has to wait a couple weeks, anyway. I was unable to write for the first 11 weeks I had the dogs (change messes me up big time) and now that I am writing again, I dare not rearrange anything until I have a book finished! LOL
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Could you look into a dog walker now that the weather is getting nicer? I used to pay a friend to walk the dogs, and he'd play ball with them for 1/2 hour afterwards to tire them out. I think daycare costs about $12.00 for half-day, and you could write while the puppy is gone. You could get the puppy used to being crated after he's been to daycare for 1/2 day. Many dogs sleep for hours after daycare!

Your vet's office may be a good resource for finding a dog walker, or daycare in a small town. Bored puppies can get very destructive without lots of exercise. A couple half days a week might allow you some time to write, and be well worth the expense for now. The rescue may have some ideas.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is a interesting article how someone crate trained their 3 year old dog. She mentioned consistency and that is the key to it all. Never take the whining, excited dog/put out of crate until they settle down. Do not walk quietly as to Not disturb the go, follow normal routines while the go remains in the crate. Give high value snacks ONLY in the crate. Only say to your dog, kennel or bed as he enters the crate, then walk away. Do not greet your dog with a hello or moms home when you return just go about your business as as the go quiets open the crate and allow him out on command. He is not allowed to just walk out. I say ok lets go out now. SO yes you can do it, its never easy in the beginning but oh so worth it in the end. I can get up in the morning walk around the kitchen, fix coffee etc. before I open Kai's crate and say lets go..But I did this since he was 7 weeks old and never ever let him win by crying or whining. In the beginning it was a bit harder but he was on a schedule so I knew if he had to go out to potty or not. Its just learning the schedule at first. Your dog is older so you will know if he has to go out or not. Yes finish writing.. let work on the crate because I'm sure their will be lots of howling in the beginning. You can set theocrats side by side and each one goes in to their own. You will have lots of support here as you go thru this. Oh and definitely a dog walker for now, lots of folks out there that could use a few extra $, so ask at your vet as already suggested.
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