Hi guys, new to the forum but not new to the labrador breed. I've had 2 labs in the family growing up and recently my gf and I have decided to rescue a yellow lab and bring him into our house. They say he's around 2 years old and likely a golden retriever/yellow lab mix.
We'll be getting him around mid September (he's in Texas now and will be transported to us here in Vancouver) and I was curious what your thoughts are on the length of time he should be left alone in our house. We both work fulltime so he will likely be alone 7-8 hours a day. I plan on heading home for lunch quite often to let him out/walk him but there will be days where that's not possible. Do you think he'll be alright for this length of time? The rescue agency also said that we should be leaving him in his crate while we are out, at least for the initial stages - this just seems like an unreasonable amount of time to be left in a crate and I would rather let him roam around the house, or at least a portion of it.
If required, we'll hire a dog walker to come in mid-day but I was just wondering what your thoughts are on this first.
A crate is absolutely a necessity especially with a new dog or puppy. There is nothing cruel or punishing about using a crate as long as you keep it positive and don't use it as a punishment. I am betting the foster home is using a crate and continuing this will help Cooper feel secure. A crate usually becomes the dogs special place, one they will seek our often on their own.
ETA- congrats on your new family member and welcome! Thanks for adopting.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Crate until you are 100% sure he is responsible enough to be left alone. In many cases if left alone the dog will relax and sleep anyway. You can test it out as you go but it's far worse for the dog to get into trouble being left out rather than being crate for that time.
I work full time, but I usually go home during lunch time. My dogs are on their own from 9 to 2 and from 4 to 9:30 PM. I donīt crate them, they have a nice indoor / outdoor space, but Iīve also left them inside the house with the back door open to my fully fenced (concrete walls) yard and they have been good.
From time to time I wonīt be able to make it home for lunch, thatīs the way it is. Dogs were fine on their own, but again they have open space where they can go out and play, pee or poop, and a place inside in case it rains. In my case they keep each other company.
I wouldnīt leave a dog on a crate for 8 hours definitely, though. Hire a dog walker for those times when you canīt make it home at mid-day
I would crate him at least for the first couple of months until you have seen all of his tricks. Rescues usually are on their best behavior initially then the truth comes out later.
As long as his crate is big enough (he can stand, turn around, lie down) you are fine. If he is completely housetrained, you can even get a little bigger crate.
They sleep all day anyway. I work from home a couple of days a week and my dogs go from one soft surface to another napping the entire day.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Welcome to the forums. As others have said, crate him until you know he's trustworthy. If he's already crate trained, there should be no issues with him staying in his crate while you're at work. Before I started working from home, my two were in their crates for 8 hours a day +/- and did just fine. At 2 years, your new fellow will be able to last for that duration. Leaving him out of his crate while you're away could be dangerous for the dog if he's at all unreliable about getting into things and chewing things he shouldn't. A dog who gets into mischief in the house while unsupervised could eat things he shouldn't which can mean very expensive surgery at the vet or even death. I'm not saying this to be dramatic or scare you. It's just the reality of having a young lab. Mine couldn't be left alone in the house until they were 3 or 4 years old. before that, things got damaged, eaten and one of them came close to needing surgery after eating some baskets made of dried reeds. Fortunately the slivers didn't puncture the intestines, but he was in horrible pain for several days until the reeds passed. I think you'll find your dog likes being in his crate and will spend the day sleeping.
Thanks for the replies guys, my familiy dogs usually had someone around during the day so this is something new to me. I think it's more about me feeling guilty for leaving him for extended periods than the dog actually suffering from it.
Trial and error I guess.... see how he reacts once we get him. Hopefully he's a big sleeper.
Welcome to the forum. I agree with everything that's been said - crate is the best thing until you are confident that Cooper can behave himself unsupervised. Cooper looks like a happy guy -- thanks for rescuing and we look forward to pictures once he arrives at his furever home.