by Lilian S. Barber

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People frequently wonder if it would be fair to a dog if no one is at home during the day.

Ideally, a dog shouldn't be left at home alone all day, but this isn't an ideal world. Most people have to go out and earn a living. Although I don't advise anyone to do this with a very young puppy --for those where no one is at home for 8 or more hours a day, day after day, an adult dog or five or six month old puppy would be much better than a younger one --with proper arrangements an IG can be happy even if his/her humans work full time. Some sacrifices are necessary. For instance, it is VERY unfair to leave a dog alone all day, come home to throw some food at him and then take off for an active evening social life, leaving the dog alone again. If you are gone during the day, plan to spend quality time in the evenings with your IG. It will be necessary to offer a comfortable and safe place for the dog while he is alone. This can be a laundry room or other small room or an exercise pen with a top on it. If eight or more panels are use, the IG will have room enough for a little activity. The dog should be paper or box trained. He should have an open crate with comfortable bedding, accessible water and a variety of toys. I don't feel that crating a dog for more than four hours at a time on a regular day after day basis is a great way for him to live, nor is it safe to allow an IG complete run of the house while no one is at home. There are exceptions to the run of the house rule, but they depend on the house and on the dog. This breed can be incredibly imaginative about finding trouble to get into. Years ago when we had only two IGs, we allowed them run of the house while we were at work. One day, after months of no problems, I came home to find that the male, Figaro, had banged against a lower kitchen cabinet door enough to pop it open. He had found and consumed an entire one pound package of lard. That explained the multiple piles of shaving cream appearing substance all over the house. Fortunately Figgie's stomach was all right the next day.

For those who must leave a dog alone during the day, eventually adding a second dog might be considered so they can keep one another company. Since multiple dogs can complicate several things in one's life, this should be undertaken only after some careful thought and planning.

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