Dog crate/potty training crisis: jury duty edition

About two weeks ago, I got a new pug puppy who I named Bruce. Bruce was adopted by another family, but things didn’t work out with their existing dog, so they advertised for a re-adoption on Craigslist. Overall, he’s a great dog, and I haven’t noticed any problems from his experience other than being a bit of a nervous eater. This seems to be improving.

Anyway, they were paper training him but also trying to get him go outside. I’ve kept a few training pads around because they help form an early warning system, and basically whisking him outside when he sniffs. While I’m at work, I crate him, and come home as often as I can. He doesn’t always make it, so I make time to give him baths and such as needed.

He’s been getting better – we’ve timed his poops pretty well now so he just occasionally pees a little in the crate. However, this is based on a pretty rigid schedule of getting up early, taking him out, feeding, out again when he starts to sniff about, I go work, take lunch at 11:30, come home, take him out (usually a couple times) over lunch, give him water and playtime, go back to work, come home at the end of my shift, out again, feed again, play again, out again, go to exercise class, come home and take him out, then several times through the evening. He generally does a good job of holding it when he can – including all night, now – but sometimes even this is a little too long for him.

However, I’ve just, unfortunately, been informed that I have to go in for jury duty tomorrow. Luck of the draw I guess. I’ve done this before but never stayed as late as lunch so I don’t know how long they give you but I’d guess a half hour, which will not be enough time to get home and back. Even with an hour, I’m not sure I could make it from downtown.

I really hate to undermine his training but there is no way the little guy is making it all day. He has a big crate with one of the dividers in place, but if I took that out, there’d be room for food and water, his bed, toys, and a training pad. I’m honestly not sure what else to do other than find a place to board him, which I can do if I need to… but I doubt a boarding facility is really going to be able to handle consistency in potty training a little puppy.

One other possibility is to lock him in a room and not use his crate, but I do worry (even if I take up the trash, etc) that he’ll get into trouble or gnaw things to pieces. I don’t really have a good room for this either – the bathroom has some things I’d worry about for safety (like a missing cover for the air vent) that I’m not sure I can line up by tomorrow. The best option would probably be the spare room, which is, unfortunately, carpeted.

Anyone have any thoughts? Is it better to risk the carpet and not undermine his crate training?

Oooooh you got your pug! Where are the PICTURES?!?

That said, hmmm… my first thought is “Drop him off at my house and I’ll take care of him.” Probably not very practical, though, since I’m many hundreds of miles away.

In situations like yours in the past, I’ve used drop-in pet sitters. Check with your vet or friends - I’m guessing most areas have someone who will stop by your house as many times a day as needed, and take care of the lil’ guy. The ones I used to use were ex-vet-techs, and could even give medication if needed. They didn’t charge too much either.

Barring that, do you have any friends/relatives who could do it? My 16-to-20-year old nieces and nephews are usually looking to make a few bucks, I’ve paid them in the past to do such things for me.

Unfortunately, having someone drop in isn’t really an option. I have some family in town but they can’t break away in the middle of the day, and my vet doesn’t offer drop-in services like this. The only way that I could really do this on short notice is to hire one of the people who advertise on Craigslist and frankly I just don’t want them in my house when I’m not around.

I will try to provide pictures. :slight_smile:

I understand your reluctance to hire someone off of Craigslist! I’d feel the same.

That said, are you really sure there’s nobody around who offers this service? My vet didn’t offer it, but they had lists of people who did. I live in towns MUCH smaller than you and both of them had multiple people who did just this kind of stuff for a living - reputable people who were bonded and had references and all that, not random people off of Craigslist.

I appreciate the advice, but no, let’s exclude that as an option. If it’s a more lengthy service than one day, I’ll consider it, but I simply don’t have the time to be checking references and searching for a reliable sitter in time for tomorrow.

You don’t have a teenaged kid in your neighborhood that you’d trust? Someone who can come in after school, at least. Or maybe one day at a doggie daycare?


Oh I didn’t realize it was just for one day - every time I’ve gone to jury duty, it’s been several days.

I’d probably opt for puppy-proofing a room as much as I could and leaving him there for a day. At least then he won’t have to lay in whatever mess he makes. Just make sure it’s REALLY puppy-proofed.

No. I moved into my home a year ago and don’t know my neighbors at all. There are not many children in my neighborhood; mostly elderly people.

Too young, plus you need to go in advance and do temperament testing and make reservations and stuff. He has to stay at home at least for tomorrow.

Only if I get selected for a trial - the last time I was there, I just waited half a day and was dismissed. Obviously if I get selected for a trial I’ll make better plans as is possible, including boarding, but I’d like to see how things shake out.

The only thing in the spare room at all is a bed, which I can probably take apart and remove. But, if he was in the crate, he wouldn’t have to lie in his mess. He’s tiny. He takes up like 1/5 of the crate now (with a divider – actually it’s less than that, the 1/5 includes the towel he sleeps and plenty of room to stretch and turn around); there’d be plenty of room for me to take that out and give him a training pad and some breathing room. My primary concern is if this will be a bad influence on his training (I don’t really want to use the pads, it’s just that we’re transitioning from his other family and he does know how to use them, and so I was hoping we could use them to get by).

Wow, What rotten timing! Too bad puppy training wasn’t an excuse to get out of it. You may not get picked as they weed people out that they feel will be biased. My mom got out of jury duty because she was an RN and it was a malpractice suit so they didn’t want her.

I’d go with the crate. Then “whatever happens in the crate stays in the crate”. If you have a partion for your crate give the puppy just enough room to turn around and a nice soft blanket. Get up early and give him his breakfast and water and then take him out for a while till he is all done with his business. Then crate him. Makes sure he has a couple of his favorite toys.

When I discovered crate training I was amazed how well it works. I would never leave a puppy home alone and even with the gates they can still get into trouble. I mean chewing the table legs and wooden cabinets etc. is very bad stuff. No papers, no pads, just keep them in the crate and bring them out as much as you can. My dog slept in his crate for the first year and now he sleeps with me and is fully trained.

Dogs like crates because it is like their own private quiet place. I like the metal ones with the slide out lower tray. They like to have full view of what is going on. The partitions you can move back as they grow so you don’t need to get a bigger crate when they are full grown.

Good Luck and enjoy your baby!

That sounds like the best option, then.

I used pads to train my puppies, and they worked well. I was a bit concerned about the whole “don’t ever let them go in the house” thing, but it didn’t seem to matter, both the puggies are fully house trained, and it wasn’t overly difficult. I didn’t use the pads for anything but mistakes - I always tried to get them outside 30 minutes after drinking water, etc. The pads were just around in case I looked up and they were about to go, I could easily put them on the pad and not have to worry about it soaking into the carpet.

Of course, that’s a lot easier because I work from home, and can be with the dog all the time. Much harder when you have to leave them alone.

I never got crate training; every dog I’ve ever owned has hated the crate, and never seemed to have a problem making a mess in it. I used crates to confine young puppies at night (and woke up to a mess more often than not), other than that, my puggies run free.