1. You have chosen to ignore posts from teacherinmass. Show teacherinmass's posts

    New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Hi! My boyfriend and I just adopted a 1.5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix dog from a shelter. The dog was surrendered in Kentucky and spent about 2 months being moved from shelter to shelter until she was adopted by us. We're really enjoying her. She is a sweetheart with both of us and is learning to navigate our house and walk on a leash. She's unsure of other dogs, especially on a leash, but she's had some successful play time with neighborhood dogs. We've got her on a schedule during the week and I'm a worry wart for a dog parent. This is my first dog and my boyfriend had dogs growing up so he is less worried.
    We're crating our girl because the shelter recommended it until she gets used to us. She is completely house trained and appears to be able to go 10 hours or likely more (on one of the cold nights last week she wouldn't go out at bedtime and didn't go between 8 pm and 6 am). She does love to chew and eat lots of things, which is common for the breed, so I'm not confident she wouldn't eat something dangerous during the day, even if she was just confined to one room.

    I just want to get some confirmation that our current care schedule is ok and in line with what others do with their dog. Ideally, we want to leave her uncrated if we feel she can stay safe in the house. She does love her crate and rests there on her own, without urging from us (she's in there now, instead of on her other dog bed next to be on the couch). Sometimes, we have to bribe her to get in and we hear her wimper, but whenever we get home, she is asleep until she hears the keys in the door (we've watched her through the window).

    We get up between 5 and 6 and take her for a 30 to 60 minute walk in our neighborhood. We feed her, play for a bit, get ready for work, and then crate her from 7:30 until 3:00, sometimes shorter if we can leave work early. When we get home, we walk her for another 1-2 hours, play outside and inside and hang out before we feed her around 6. We walk her again at 8 and 10. She returns to her crate on her own and falls asleep before we go to bed. We've been closing the door to her crate at night, but it seems like she stays asleep all night, as we have to wake her in the morning.

    Does this seem reasonable? On the weekends, we keep her moving with hikes, long walks, playing in the yard and the house, and lots of toys. She's asleep now and has been since 7:30.

    I am just so worried that this is not a good enough life for her. My boyfriend is not worried and thinks she is getting plently of attention and love.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Hi, teacher, congrats on the adoption!

    Just like you and your boyfriend differ in opinion in about how much time alone is OK, you'll get differing opinions here.  The best thing for you to do to know if you're dog is happy is listen to your dog.  Unhappy, anxious, lonely dogs tend to act out and are generally restless.  From what you've described I would assume he's happy and feels he has it made in the shade with lemonade. :)

    Re the crate for a trained dog, our dog is trustworthy to spend the night and alone time out of her crate, but at night she prefers to sleep in her crate.  The one night we said, "Let's stop putting her in her crate at night; she doesn't need to be in there," she paced anxiously all night - none of us slept a wink.  So, she sleeps in there with the door closed for no other reason than that's the way she's the most relaxed.  She also goes there to be alone or if she's sick.  It's her den, the only place in the house that's all hers, and she loves it.  Although, during the day she usually chooses other spots to lie around.

    GL and best wishes.  I think he's lucky to have you.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from teacherinmass. Show teacherinmass's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Thanks... she's definitly not restless. She sleeps like crazy and gets tired quick, but has been checked out by the vet and they think she is healthy, so I'm not worried that she is sleeping somewhere near 16 hours a day. I think I just need more experience to feel confident that we are giving her a good life. I know some people really believe in doggie daycare, but I don't think its the right fit for her, as she is afraid of most dogs.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    It sounds wonderful!  In the morning I would feed her first (after a quick bathroom break) before she goes out for the walk to make sure she has enough time to have a bowel movement and voids before she's crated.

    I'm not a fan of crates but it sounds like she has been crate trained and is tolerating it well.

      Often dogs will sleep all night, copying their owners and not need to go out, if they do you will hear her being restless or whimpering/barking to let you know.

    Otherwise when you are home I'd offer her a bathroom break every 2 or at the least every 4 hours.

      If you have someone that could let her out around 11:30 am during work days for 10 minutes that would be ideal, if not...that's okay, they do adjust to a routine and usually sleep till you return.

      Maybe you could gate her in a small room instead  with some toys to chew so she'd have a little more room. 

    Are you feeding her a quality dog food,  I use Castor and Pollux Ultramix dry food but there are a lot of good  products ,  Paul Newman, etc.

       She's a lucky dog, I'm glad you found her!

       PS: Be cautious around other dogs until you know for sure she's not fear aggressive. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Her routine is working for her.  The people who swear by doggie daycare and have urged you to do the same have dogs of different temperaments (assumedly) and it works for them and their dogs. I think you already know she's happy, and she should be.  Your dog will tell you if she has a problem. 

    When Gracie was a pup, sometimes she'd go to bed for the night in her crate and I wouldn't notice.  If I didn't come soon enough to shut the door she'd come find me and stare glassy-eyed until I asked if she wanted to go to bed.  She'd trot back into her crate, I'd shut the door, cover it up, and 5 minutes later she'd be snoring.  So cute!  It took me awhile to figure out what she wanted, but she was persistent and finally got the message across.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    I don't like dogs crated at night because I'd prefer they were free to protect the home if need be.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Gracie barks in her crate if she hears anything suspicious, and we let her out while we all investigate the problem.  She doesn't relax at all if she isn't in there at night, though - she paces all night long straining to see out back.  On moonlit nights, forget it, no one would sleep in our house.  She's snoring away in her crate as we speak, full moon and all.

    I'm sure it works better for some folks to not crate at night, but for Gracie it adds a lot of anxiety to her life.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    In Response to New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?:
    We walk her again at 8 and 10. She returns to her crate on her own and falls asleep before we go to bed. We've been closing the door to her crate at night, but it seems like she stays asleep all night, as we have to wake her in the morning.
    Posted by teacherinmass


    Just a thought, you could try leaving the crate door open at night and see how she does to start weaning her from spending so much time in the crate.  She'll probably sleep in there anyway but she may come out and try her dog bed and find that comfortable too...so she'd have a choice!              It's also fun in the morning when they come to your bed and wake you up with doggy kisses, better than an alarm clock IMO!

    Re: crating

    posted at 12/22/2010 3:23 PM EST
    Posts: 37
    First: 8/4/2010
    Last: 4/11/2011
    Answer by Terri Bright, M.S. Ed., BCBA, Behavior Analyst and Training Coordinator at the MSPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center:
    While some dogs may require crating for medical issues to restrict their movements, many dogs are crate-trained because of, or to avoid behavioral issues. Crate-training is an ideal way to help a dog avoid unwanted behaviors, such as house-soiling or destructive actions. Most dogs learn to love their crates. My three Bull Terriers are all home sleeping in their crates right now.

    How long dogs should be crated depends upon their age and lifestyle. Most adult dogs should not be crated for more than six hours without a break to go out, play, socialize with others, etc. Crates are not to be used to make a pet “disappear” for a pet owner’s convenience, though if your dog is not well-trained or socialized enough to withstand a houseful of company, they might prefer to rest in their crate with a yummy Kong.

    If a dog is injured trying to escape from a crate, he or she may have a condition called “separation anxiety.” Some dogs with separation anxiety may require medication and behavioral modification. It is best to speak with your pet’s veterinarian before beginning any new medications.
    AngellVets
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    My parents' last dog was crate trained. He came that way from the shelter.  They had never had a crate trained dog before and, like me, thought the crate was cruel.  So they left him out in the cellar like they did w/ their previous dog when they took a short trip to the store.  The cellar is well lit and warm, with carpeting.  The dog [130lbs of Rottweiler] went nuts and tried to claw his way through a solid oak door to get to the main part of the house, doing hundreds of dollars of damage.  If the dog is happy in his crate, he's happy in his crate.  They learned to leave him in the crate when he's going to be alone - for some reason he found it soothing.  He would run in there when it thundered and go in at night when it was bedtime. When they were in the house, they'd leave the crate open for him and leave the door open if he went in it.  He stayed in the crate happily for about the amount of time you are leaving him in there.  If he's happy w/ his crate, just go w/ it.  Just make sure the crate is big enough that he can turn around in it. GL.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    ALF, that's pretty funny, well, not really, how your folks learned.  I didn't know how much Gracie loves hers until she had knee surgery, and she chose to spend 18 - 20 hours every day for the first 1 - 2 weeks post-surgery in there (cried if she couldn't open the door herself) despite being outfitted with a humongous, hard plastic cone of shame that made turning over a challenge in there.

    Oh, that brings me to the ComfyCone (see "Where to Buy" at the top) If I knew when she was a puppy what I know now, I'd have bought one for her to have on hand as a necessary part of a dog's first aid kit.  You never know when she'll get an injury (even a small one) on her paw or something that you'll need to keep her from licking and chewing right away.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kinga9. Show kinga9's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Congrats on your new addition! Very exciting time for you both. Like Kar said, you're going to find differing opinions on what you "should" do, but with some trial and error you'll figure out what works for you and your schedule.

    We started out leaving our little Stella in the bathroom when we went to work with a gate, her crate and tons of newspaper, and a week in I found her in the sink sleeping. Next up was the kitchen, where we put a 4ft high pen for her to play in that took up a ton of room, which lasted a day since I came home from work to find her snoozing on the couch. The next day we barracaded off the kitchen with gates, which she also climbed out of and again I found her snoozing on the couch. Since she hadn't destroyed anything in the two days that she had free reign, she's been a free dog since. During those two weeks, I had been researching dog walkers (and yes, I know...I should have researched before we got Stella) and we choose one that comes to the house and takes her for 2-3 hours a day with 3 other dogs to a leash-free dog park in the area. There she can do her business and get some energy out. It's an additional expense, but one that we feel is well worth it.

    As far as being worried if you're providing a good enough life for her, it sounds like she's in heaven. She has a warm home, two loving parents, yummy food and clean water, several walks a day and lots of playtime. Sounds like a pretty good life to me! Best of luck!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    kinga, I love that you found Stella in the sink, that's hilarious!  As for the dog walker research, no one can anticipate every need before it arises...give yourself a break. :)
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    It's instinctive for a dog to want to protect his home... how can they do that if they're in a cage?

       Maybe I'm old fashioned but sometimes I think a dog just needs to be a dog!

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Kinga loved your story about Stella's "adventures" - what a great personality she must have.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Well, when the dog voluntarily elects to sleep in its crate, the dog is being a dog. It thinks the crate is it's cave.  You might prefer that the dog roam the house freely to 'protect' it, but the dog might prefer to be a dog by protecting  it's home/crate by sleeping in it!  My parents' dog would take his treats back to his crate to eat them, and would store all his toys in there unless he took them out himself to play.  He was a hilarious dog.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    teacher - congrats on your new little furbaby. i'm sure you already can't remember life without her!

    let me echo those here who say that she will let you know how she wants to proceed and you have to guide her as to what you want her to do. most dogs just want to please their people parents and are eager to learn, even if, as bosco's vet once said of him 'he knows his commands, he just sometimes chooses to ignore them'!

    i freely admit that bosco is spoiled rotten, but he hated his crate from the time he was a little puppy and so i didn't force the issue. it just wasn't a 'safe place' for him -  he's always been a mama's boy who wants to be close by me at all times. a lot of dogs on this board love their crates and go to them even with the door left open, so i say let her be. kinga had the same experience with stella and it works for her, too.

    as far as your play and walk routine goes, you have one very lucky pup! i try to give bosco about 5 miles a day (not all at once, but in several walks over the day) and some good play time, although outdoor play time in the winter isn't as frequent. my neighbors think it's funny that i walk bosco so much and it doesn't come close to the 2-4 hours you're walking your little girl.

    it doesn't seem to me that you need to worry about anything that you're doing. this board has some extremely knowledgeable and experience owners on it and you will get a variety of opinions, but it really comes down to what makes a comfortable and happy co-existence for you and your dog.

    btw kinga - i still can't believe we haven't caught up for a walk and talk. knock on the door the next time you're walking stella by and see my car in the driveway! loved the stella stories - i can just see her all curled up in the sink!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    I give our dog a den in order to let her be her most natural doggy self.

    Hey, BP. :)
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal.

    Exactly!  What could be more aimed at letting her be a dog than that?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    I consider the entire home the den,  not just the cage!  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    The Crate is the den, not the entire house. 

    Crate the dog during the day.  It keeps them out of trouble and they pretty much sleep all day anyway.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kinga9. Show kinga9's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Kar, I know...being a new puppy owner I thought I was doing everything wrong and then finally one day I woke up and told myself I was doing the very best I knew how and that's the only way to go. Stella loves us, so there's my answer right there :-)

    TT, she's one of a kind. She's super high energy, can find a ball no matter where it may be, and loves to give kisses constantly. When I came home to find my Oakley sunglasses chewed to pieces one day, I didn't make a peep but she knew from the look on my face and my hunched shoulders that I was upset and she wouldn't stop licking my hand for the rest of the night as if to say sorry. She's the best co-pilot:


    and is willing to go anywhere we go. She's just simply the best.

    BP!!!! YES! I almost did the other day, but I didn't want to intrude! DH said something about a fire over at the school this past Saturday???? Anywho, this weekend we'll be out and about early both days so I'll swing by. Just bought Stella a Chuck-it...she's obsessed! Teacher, you have to get your girl one if you don't already have it, saves your shoulder. Also, BP reminded me about our younger days with the crate, those seem so long ago!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    In Response to Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?:
    I consider the entire home the den,  not just the cage!  
    Posted by dog-lady

    If you're anti-crate that's fine.  But, a den cannot be the whole house by objective definition.  Spaciousness actually defeats the anxiety-busting purpose of a real den of a dog in the wild.  Her inner wild dog prefers a sleeping area that is just big enough to sleep comfortably because it cuts down on the area needed to be defended, instinctually speaking.


     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    Just because I don't crate Bosco doesn't mean he hasn't made a den for himself. His favorite place to lie (other than on top of me if I'm on the sofa!) is a chair where he can curl up and be cozy:



    So it doesn't have to be a completely enclosed spot. He's such a moose that sometimes I laugh that he can get himself all curled up in that chair but he loves it.

    Kinga - sounds great. I should be around most of the weekend, too. If my car's there I'm around unless we're already on a walk. Look forward to it! As for the school, they've been doing some work on the roof and I think that's what all of the commotion was about. It hasn't been closed at all, so it appears everything is ok.

    Teacher - I second the Chuk-It recommendation. It's a great way to tucker out the pooch without throwing your shoulder out!

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    No one has to crate their dog to ensure their happiness, but if a dog takes to one it's probably because of their instinct to feel relaxed and comfortable in a small space, as dog-lady's article describes.

    Awesome photos!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: New Dog Owner- Does this sounds ok for a typical dog day?

    One reason for actually using a crate is because it makes the stay at the vet or boarding kennel easier on the dog.  A dog that being boarded or at the vet will have to spend much of it's time in a crate.  If the dog isn't create train, then in addition to being in a new place with new people and dogs and new smells, they also have to deal with being in a crate.

    A rescue dog will have no problem with the crate.

    That ridgeback is going to need a lot of exercise.  Perfect dog to run with.  And in addition to exercise, mental stimulation is a must, particularly on cold days when they don't get much exercise.  Mental stimulation can be provided when working on obedience or even giving them a knuckle or bullystick.

     
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