We have a small (8 pounds) puppy and are working through potty training and work schedules. We had been following the rule of thumb that a puppy can hold it for the number of hours equal to the number of months old. Since coming home with us at 4 months, we've had a dog walker at the appropriate time (e.g., 4 months, break at 4 hours). She was crated during the day and all worked well. She had a few accidents right out of the crate to begin with but overtime she learned to hold it until they got outside. She's never messed in the crate. She's responded really well to crate training - she loves it!
She is now 11 months old and we are looking to save money and no longer use the dog walker (saving $200/month!). We have increased her crate to open into a small pen where there is a limited amount of water. We've been leaving her for 7 to 8 hours. Things seem to be going well - there have been a few accidents on the linoleum. However, for the most part when we come home she's happy and it seems to be working well.
We've both had some changes in our work schedule where it would be nice to leave the dog for 9 hours. She'd get morning and evening walks. I've read conflicting things on the internet and would appreciate your thoughts on the appropriateness of this scenario and if there's any other set-ups we should consider.
A few options we discussed but rejected
*We are not comfortable hiring a child in the neighborhood to let the dog out. We believe it's a big responsibility and if it's determined that 9 hours is too long we'd rather pay the licensed/bonded dog walker we are currently using.
*We cannot come home at lunch to let her out (too far from work)
*We are not comfortable with a dog door that leads to a fenced yard.
*We don't want to put pee pads or fake grass in the pen, as we worry it would cause her to regress (i.e., it's ok to pee inside)
I and my partner also has a beagle. Her name is Holly and she is two years old now. Instead of potty training her by ourselves, we enrolled her into a potty training school which is the best decision we ever made for our baby. We avoided the hassle at the same time we can let her out twice a day to pee and poop. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Holly doesn't pee inside the house because she was trained not to. Besides, she has to walk at least 500 steps to feel the need to pee and at least 2000 steps to poop. Sometimes, we leave Holly for 6 to 8 hours then let her out for a few minutes so she can pee. As long as it's not more than 10 to 12 hours, your baby pup is good. Just don't forget to let the pup out after you got back home.