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Hubby &I both work

by Marie in NJ

I love animals and desperately want to get a puppy. I have always had large dogs in the past but after doing some research think that I would want to get a Maltese. The problem is that my husband and I both work outside of the home. We are gone for about 10 hours, 4 days a week. Two of our kids still live with us and are in and out. If we paper train the pup is it cruel to leave it for 10 hours a day? What do other people do? Any advice is appreciated.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Personally, I couldn't leave a puppy all alone for 10 hours a day. That's just my opinion though. Have you thought about getting two puppies? Atleast they could keep each other company while your working. Maltese puppies are the absolute greatest, so why not double the fun?

Hi Marie, Personally I have found that when you get a dog from puppy age they seem to be just fine being alone because that is what they become accustomed to. I also noticed that whenever I would come home from working all day usually my little one was asleep. While my choice would really be to have two maltese so they could keep each other company (I live in an apartment that only allows one)I have always only had one at a time. I think you should get one and then see how you feel about it - you can always get another of these gorgeous pets a little while later. Good Luck with your decision.

I agree with everyone else. If you get the puppy when he/she is still a baby (12 weeks!), then it will get accustomed to your schedule. We also have neighbors who have dogs. Even though our babies are potty trained to go on paper, they much more prefer outside. We pay our neighbors a few dollars a week to let out (and watch) our puppies in the yard for about a half an hour everyday while we are gone. They bring thier dog and they all play together! Arrangements can always be made, if you really want someone to love and take care of. Please, please do not get a dog just for the sake of having one. They need lots of love and care when you are home and will give more back than you could ever give. I have found most Maltese owners (at least on this web site) to be very, very good parents, and that's all takes, willingness! Good luck on your decision.
-Chuck Norman(Pentium and Princess)

I agree with everyone here! While my situation is a little different (I don't go to work but to School) I just got another Maltese! So I hope that they will keep each other from being too alone. I do advise however to spend quality time with your pup when you are home, walks, or even just a 1/2 hour of play time! Good luck!

I have had Avery for about six months now. When I first brought her home, I took a day off of work to try to help her settle in. Since I teach school, I then had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to spend with her. I live alone, so I was worried about her spending all of that time alone. She adjusted beautifully. She is usually asleep most of the time, but I leave her in the bathroom with plenty of toys, food and water to entertain herself with. She is trained to a litter box because making a dog "hold it" is cruel and unhealthy. Besides, a puppy could never make it that long! Good luck.

It can work, our dog uses papers when we are at work and goes outside when we are home. Because of the Maltese's small size, we have found him no trouble at all for our dog to accompany us wherever we go, ball games the lake, friends houses, biking, running errands. I feel with a larger dog, you would probably not be able to bring them along like you can a Maltese. When we leave our dog for the day, we make sure he has plenty of toys, (try putting peanut butter way down in one of those hollow bones) chew toys, and a shirt you just wore, in his bed. A radio on, may be nice as well. Good Luck! -Patti

I agree with everyone else too! Although my parents have to work longer than 10hrs for 5days of the week, and I have school , I come home everyday at 4pm and see my puppy asleep or playing with her toys. Then I have to do work, usually taking me the whole evening . Queenie plays by herself or picks a toy up and show me and I couldn't resist to go after her and play with her. Just leave your puppy at home or in the kitchen or bathroom with toys and paper train them. Queenie prefers to sleep when I'm gone. Good luck!

Marie, A puppy cannot wait 10 hr for a potty break. At 12 wk (the appropriate time to bring a baby home) their systems are only developed to the point where they can hold themselves 4 hr (and I found that really more often for peepee breaks was necessary). You might want to get an older pup (6 mo or so) if you have no options other than 10 hr days. Lucy can handle a whole work day now (she's 2) and like everyone else has mentioned, seems to sleep most of the time I'm away--though she seems to have an alarm clock that goes off just before I get home because she's always at the window. A couple of other suggestions are to take your vacation when you get the pup so you can spend all day every day working on the potty training business and when you go back to your regular schedule have a neighbor or a pet-sitting service come by to let the baby out to use the facilities. My Lucy is trained for outside, but maybe a puppyjohn or papers would work for you as the baby matured.
-cathy brown

My mom doesn't work so Mika is hardly ever home alone for but 3-4 hours in the morning during the school year. She is now 8 months and has the run of the house. She can hold herself that long with no problem. When she was a baby I thought it would be mean to make her hold it in her crate. I gated off the kitchen and gave her food, water, and toys. I put some paper down for her to go on if she needed. It worked great and now we don't keep any paper down.Jackie and Mika
-Jackie Florio

We just got our adorable maltese Rascal! One of the tips that has seemed to work for us when we are away from her is to make sure she has a lot of toys. We have a variety of toys that she enjoys and rotate them so she doesnt get bored. We mix up different toys on different days and it seems she looks forward to getting some of her favorite toys back. One of the thing she really loves is the pigs feet and ears. Especially the smoked ones. We tend to reserve the smoked pigs feet and ears for when we are leaving. Does anyone know what this puppy john that is mentioned is? Does anyone have suggestions on paper training--she hates wee wee pads--does anyone think paper or the litter box lined with paper is better. Thanks!

Marie, we leave our little Princess for 10 hours in her crate with toys to chew on. She seems to have grown accustomed to the situation. Once we are home she is so happy and remains all over us until the next day. We try to walk her everyday which she loves!! I think is we left her alone in the apartment without the crate she would get depressed since we are not around to play. For now it's working fine. Good Luck!

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