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After I got Blake, I had a major panic attack. The more I read about border collies, the more it seemed I was in an unsuitable situation for one. For one, I live in a smallish city apartment with no yard. And I have a four year old daughter. Every border collie person I talked to, once I had described my situation, reacted as though I were going to attempt to keep a dolphin in my bathtub. I even looked at relocating him. In the end, though, I decided to try and stick it out. But I knew, if it was going to work, I'd have to develop a good routine.


That was five months ago. Blake is now 8 months, and I think the routine I've developed is a good one, but I'm also curious to know how Blake's situation compares with that of other BCs.


From Monday to Friday, Blake's day breaks down something like this:


I work late and sleep in until about 9:45-10:00 AM. As soon as I wake up I let Blake out of his cage to go toilet. Then he goes back into his cage with breakfast. At about 10:30 we leave the house, and stay out for about an hour. This time includes cycling, walking, playing tug or hiking, and about 15 minutes of training. Then he goes back into his cage, which is in my study. I read or work with him napping next to me until around 3 when I start to get ready for work.


This is the worst part of Blake's day, as he's caged from 4:00-9:30 PM. However, if the weather is fine, my wife and daughter let him out to play on the roof-space, usually for about an hour. (He loves playing with my daughter, the only person he'll fetch for so far!) If it's too cold for that, my wife will visit him with a treat and pet him a couple of times during the day.


I get home at 9:30-ish, and again let him out to got toilet. Then I give him dinner. After I've eaten (around 10 PM) I take him for his second outing, which will be some variation on the mourning routine, but a little longer: an hour of play, exercise and training. In the evenings, we always go to the park, which is nice and empty between 10:00-11:00, and Blake gets to run around off-lead. We practice recalls, etc., and then cycle home. From the time we get home, until about 1:00 or 2:00 AM when I go to bed, he is by my side in his cage in the study.


Weekends are the same as weekdays except that there is extra time with the family, and extra games of tug and chase.


When, or if, Blake settles down a bit, he will be allowed out of his cage while I am at work. I'm also going to start clicker training, and teach Blake all the snazzy BC tricks like leg-weaving and walking backwards, etc, which will provide him with mental stimulation.


Like I said, I'm pretty sure this is satisfactory, because Blake appears to be content. It's not the ideal situation for a BC, but it could also be a lot worse. And to my and my neighbors' relief, he never barks (except when I am putting on my sneakers!) and is pretty well behaved and calm between walks, which suggests he is not bored or frustrated.


I'm guessing that everyone's routine will vary greatly, and that, of course, some of you will not have a fixed routine. I really have no idea—hence this thread. So please share: what is your dog's routine, i.e., amount of daily exercise, work (if your dog works), socialization, training, crate time, and so on?

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Hi Blake's Dad,

I seemed to remember another thread on this same subject a while back:


Two things: sounds like Blake is very bonded to you especially and really enjoys your time together. So in that regard, he's got it made :rolleyes:

I would change "cage" to "crate" -- just a little thing, I dunno, sounds a big more humane :D

And could you take him out for a short spin before you go to work for 4 p.m.? Esp if the rest of the family is unlikely to have him out during the time you're away? I also think having him uncrated when in the house and supervised is probably, at 8 months, fairly safe. What do others think? Esp if he's in a room or two and not given full run of the house.

Sounds like you're a wonderful owner.


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My weekdays are fairly standard, I get up at 6am, let the dogs out in the yard for 90 minutes (they can come in, we do quick training sessions, but they're roaming around). At 8am they go into their crates until I come home for lunch. Back in the yard for an hour for agility training (I have lots of my own equipment). Back in crate from 1pm to 5pm, when I get home from work. Then they're out for the rest of the night, either a lazy cuddle on the couch, or a run around the lake, depending on weather and time of year.

They sleep on my bed, waiting to pounce again at 6am :rolleyes:


Weekends are free for alls, they're with me pretty much every minute. Official agility lessons on Saturday, then hiking, running, etc the rest of the time. This weekend we're going to watch a local agility trial.

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As, I have mentioned before, my alarm clock appears to be stuck a 04:30 -- if I'm not showing signs of life by then, Senneca is nuzzling me frantically. Once I'm dressed, we go for our morning walk; it's cool now, but when the Arizona summer heat turns on full, I have to be out this early or else it's just too hot (we have plenty of days when our night-time low is over 100F). Our route is pretty standard and carefully timed to be about 1 hr. Once back, I shower and fix breakfast for myself and the dogs. We get a little interaction, but by 6:30 I'm on my way to the office. Senneca (and right now, my foster boy, Rhys) have found their favourite corners to doze off and digest their food. My wife is home, so they are not crated during the day except for times when we have visitors who don't like dogs (or who have small children from whom the dogs need to be protected).


Evenings I get home about 16:30 (that's 4:30 pm for folks born in the US). Depending on the outside temperature, we may have some interaction time indoors first; do a little agility practice in the back yard or go straight to the dog park. There we mix periods of training with free time where they can just run and play with other dogs. Tuesdays, we have only a short park session before we go to agility class. When we're back home, we have dinner and some more (quiet) interaction before it's time for bed.


Weekends add bonus trips; shopping, outings, and whatever goes. Again, summer makes it harder; there's no way they can sit in the car while I shop. Either someone is with them (and the A/C is on) or else they have to stay at home.

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We ahve a dog door and a lot of space fr the dogs to play so they come and go as they please. They're allowed out uncontrolled into the public when the garage door is open where they mingle when people walk by. Morning walks between 9-12 or in the afternoon after the heat of the day depending on my work schedule. These days mornings are working out better. Morning meal at 7:00 dinner at 6:00. If possible Jin goes where I go. At note here I never go to the same place in twice in a row and never park in the same place. Don't know why, just habit I guess, I don't want them running out to the same place. The only regular place they visit everyday is the wash.

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I work from home, which is a nice bonus for Finn - but I still have him on a good crating schedule, because you never know when I'll have to work outside the home again.


Wake-up for me is around 9am, when I take Finn outside for morning pee-poo, and fetch/running around/whatever until he gets a bit tired. Then we go inside and I prepare his three daily Kongs - each filled with his kibble rations and a drop of peanut butter - and freeze them. We usually then go for a short walk around the neighbourhood, about 15-20 minutes.


He's then crated for 3-4 hours while I work. He goes out to potty, and hangs out while I make my lunch. I give him a RMB to gnaw on while I eat my lunch, then we either go on another short walk or play in the yard for awhile.


Back to work/crate for 3-4 hours, then he's usually out for the rest of the evening. If I go out for the evening or he otherwise has to be crated, I try to give him more attention, training and exercise during the other periods of the day. :rolleyes:


Whenever he's out, I try to integrate training - even if it's just food feedback for being well-behaved.

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Alex and I are up at 0330. She goes out to take care of business, plays with her brothers, eats, and then a short walk. We are finally able to trust all three out of their crates so they have free run of the house. Out for potty break around 1230 when Mikey comes home for lunch. I'm home around 1400 so it's back out for potty and frisbee. Dinner is around 1630. Shortly after that we go for a hike in the woods. Lots of play and training during the evening. Bedtime is about 2100 so we go for a walk before then. She sleeps in my room. She even has her own side of the bed and a pillow.




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I don't go to bed until 2am. Meg sleeps on my bed and between 9-30 and 10 she wakes me, no doubt she wants some action. I dress,put on kettle, and head to garden where we play 'tennis' for 10mins. Then brekkie. If it is fine back out to the garden and while I garden she is running around chasing sticks and stones, she never chews them she is so anxious to get back for more. This could go on for hours!

Usually, if the tide is out in the middle of the day, we go to the beach where Meg paddles and runs around.

As I am at home, retired, most days she always has company.

In the Winter it is great as the fields all around me have been harvested and there are acres of land to walk.

All in all she seems to get enough excercise but perhaps I should take her out on lead more often.

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I wake at 7:00 am and put Colt, who sleeps in his crate in my bedroom, out for his business, then feed him and go back to bed. He scarfs down his meal in under 30 sec's and then hops into bed with me for almost an hour when I then get the kids up for school. Kids to school by 9, I have tea and toast, read the paper, then Colt and I head out to the river or ravine trails around 10 ish for about an hour to an hour and 1/2.


Then three mornings a week we go to the barn, he sleeps in the car on the way, and then plays with one of his pals. I tie him outside the arena while I ride. On the mornings I don't ride we come home, he sleeps on his bed in the kitchen or at my feet in the office and I work for a couple of hours. He wakes and goes out in the backyard for a very short while, unless I am out there with him and I try to get in another hour or two of work while he amuses himself and cat naps intermittently. Son comes home from school, takes Colt for about twenty min. walk. Depending on the day of the week Colt comes to various kids' classes downtown and we walk or hang around class if he or I have had enough exercise that day. Late evening one of us takes him for another short walk and off to bed he goes.


Weekends are looser and often busier.


He has rarely been left at home in his crate for more than an hour and 1/2. I've been taking him most places until I feel he can be out in the house himself.

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My work schedule varies, but it's the same pattern just different hours. :rolleyes:


- Up at between 7:30 and 8:30am, dogs all out to potty as soon as I'm dressed.

- Dog breakfast after pottying, so about 30 mins after I'm up. I eat at my computer after they've been fed.

- If I don't have to go in to work until later (11am) then it's generally some play and just hanging out in the house until about 30 mins before I have to be at work, otherwise they don't get the free time before the pup goes out to potty and everyone is sent to their respective rooms with treat dispensing toys (kong ball for the pup, Kibble Nibble for Z, Waggle for Maggie).

- home for lunch between noon and 3 depending on how late I'm working. Dogs go out to potty when I get home, then hang out while I eat my lunch. I'm usually home for about 30 minutes.

- home for the evening between 6:30pm and 9:30pm depending on schedule. Dogs are let out by DH around 5:30pm, but if they haven't been out by the time I get home I let them out then. Dinner is generally about 30-60mins after I get home.

- Hang out time, play time with each other, and the occasional training session with me fill the time after I get home until final potty break before bed between 11pm and midnight.


Z goes to SAR practice every Monday and agility practice every Thursday morning for the most part. The pup is starting a puppy agility class on Thursday mornings this coming week as well. Maggie gets walks with DH about once or twice a week when I'm out working the others. Weekends are a very similar schedule of feedings and time out to potty, but much more time with me during the periods between.

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Our daily routine with our Aussies is up around 6 a.m. Dogs go out to do business; eat breakfast and do feeding chores (sheep and chickens). Then it is whatever we are doing that day (gardening or working with the tractor in the fields). DH is building me a new round pen now so after that is done we will be working on training with the sheep and new lambs. Our a.m.'s now are still cool enough; evenings are cool also after the sun goes down. We are at 4,400 ft so not as hot as Phx or Tucson. Narita in Southeast AZ

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Your 8 month old lets you sleep until 10:00??? You lucky bastard. :rolleyes:


I'm as surprised as you are. In one of the books I bought, the author said (in the cautionary introduction entitled: Are You Sure Want a Border Collie?) something like: "And you can forget about sleeping in for the next 15 years." But Blake just waits quietly in his crate. The times I've spied on him, I've found him not exactly chilled—sitting like a sphinx with his ears pricked—but still, he never barks in the morning; even once a few weeks ago when I had the flu and couldn't get up until after noon, though he was especially frisky during his walk.


afrancis, thank you for your kind words. I forgot to mention that I do actually take Blake out before leaving for work, but only for a 3-4 minute walk around the block to heed nature's call before "lockdown".


And I feel the same way about the word, "cage", but I use the word to distinguish what we keep Blake in from the plastic box with windows that comes to my mind when I hear the word crate. To compensate for the small apartment, we ordered the biggest wire crate we could find—great dane size—which looks similar to the second photo below except it has double catch trays and a big fluffy blanket.






Oh, and while I am at work, I have some nice speakers and leave my computer playing the Complete Works of Mozart. I hope that doesn't sound batty. Studies suggest that animals enjoy a little classical music. :D

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My new pup is getting used to the scheduled me and Holly (1yr 3mth old chihuahua) live by. Up at 7. Potty time, play time in living room for twenty minutes, start getting ready for work while they wrestle eachother/run around, feed them at 8 in crates, play time for twenty more minutes, crate them and head off to work. Good thing is that I manage the apartment property I live at, so they're only a front door away. :D They are in crates while I work, but I have started coming home every two hours to Let my new girl, Abby, out to potty. I'm always home at lunch time for an hour too and they get to run around together. Sometimes I even bring Abby to work with me.


Home by 6, and they are out for the rest of the evening. Dinner time at 7, bed time at 11. I take my chi for a fifteen minute walk a day, but can'take the BC yet since she hasn't received her full round of shots yet.


The end. :rolleyes:

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