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ccoleman88

6 mo. BC staying at home, help!

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Hello!

This is my first post, but i have been watching this community for a long time, you all have been incredibly helpful!

 

I have a 7 year old BC male who is just an incredible animal. Extreme focus and obedience, he is very well mannered and a great temperament. Early on, i had him by myself living in a small condo witha tiny yard, i had the dog door allow access to his crate so he could come inside and cool off without destroying the house. He still tore up the yard quite a bit, but i was working so much that i couldn't fault him for being bored. Around 2.5 years and he began to seizure, we had him on meds to help it, but ultimately i thought it best to send him to my father's place where he has 15 acres and 2 other dogs. He has since stopped seizuring, but i miss my boy!

 

I'm now married, and living in a much larger house with a slightly larger yard. I've commented to my wife a number of times how i miss my BC so she decided to surprise me with a new BC puppy. Unfortunately i work even longer hours now, but she has been able to take him to her work during the day. Well recently he has been too out of control at her work so she can't take him anymore.

 

We are now in a situation where our 6 mo BC male has to stay at home during work hours. I am uncomfortable crating him all day because i think 8 hours of crate during work and another 8 at night is excessive for this breed. Shes uncomfortable leaving him in the yard where he will destroy things. I take him running for a mile in the morning, and most days an additional mile in the evening, plus he goes to class on tuesday for obedience.

 

I am hoping you all might have suggestions on how we can better manage the situation, i'm starting to feel like we are not being very fair to our pup :(

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I have a 2 year old boy that stays in his crate during the day while we are away. But, I have his crate with a X-Pen situated around it so he has a little more room as he likes to really sprawl out when he sleeps. He could very easily get out since the pen it really just placed up, not locked together, but he just stays there all day. Perhaps in your case, since your puppy does not know that the pen is his area, you could just try an x-pen without the crate. It will give him a little more room to play and stretch out to sleep during the day.

 

You could give him a kong toy with puppy sized treats inside and maybe smeared with peanut butter over the hole so it takes him longer to get through. You could also freeze treats, again like peanut butter or even tiny meat pieces in ice cubes. That would keep him occupied too. (But may leave him needing to go potty since it is water.) :) Also have you thought about setting up the pen outside in one area? Make sure there is water and shade though, especially with the weather getting warmer. I suppose you could switch between outside and inside to give him a change of pace each day.

 

You could also train him that the pen is a fun place to be. You could play some crate style games with your puppy in the pen.

(P.S.)If you have the extra time buy the pen online. I bought my x-pen online and had free shipping. It was $20 cheaper than Petsmart and Petco.

 

If you are uncomfortable leaving him home, and your wife can take him to work again, perhaps just some training is needed so he can go to work with her and be well behaved? Maybe enrolling in a puppy manners class in your area would be good for him.

 

Hope that gives you some ideas. :)

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I liked Bullet87's advice, however you might find that leaving him in an ex-pen during the day does not work when he eventually learns to knock it over and get out. So here's a twist on her advice: How about a crate during the day, and and ex-pen in your bedroom at night? You can try the ex-pen in the day...just make sure you can secure the pen so the puppy does not eventually knock it over and get out (as I had that happen!) :)

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We are now in a situation where our 6 mo BC male has to stay at home during work hours. I am uncomfortable crating him all day because i think 8 hours of crate during work and another 8 at night is excessive for this breed. Shes uncomfortable leaving him in the yard where he will destroy things. I take him running for a mile in the morning, and most days an additional mile in the evening, plus he goes to class on tuesday for obedience.

 

I am hoping you all might have suggestions on how we can better manage the situation, i'm starting to feel like we are not being very fair to our pup :(

 

First, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with taking a 6-month-old pup for two miles of running per day. At that age, his growth plates haven't closed, and you may be increasing the risk of damage to his joints. (There are some who would disagree, but I've heard this from enough vets that I'd rather be safe than sorry).

 

Second, is there any chance that you could hire a dogwalker to come take your pup for a hike? I know that's what I've tended to do when (for whatever reason) I have to leave my dog at home all day (normally he comes to work with me). We have a great individual, extremely dog-savvy, who takes a small pack of well-socialized dogs for hikes in the woods that last for hours. He'll collect the dog at noon, return him at 5-6 PM, filthy but exhausted. Dogs who have demonstrated they merit the privilege get to hike off-leash; otherwise he keeps them on-leash. And he only charges $20.

 

This may sound like it's just as much exercise as two one-mile runs, but there's a big difference: the dogs get to choose the pace. The gentleman in question is no longer young and energetic himself, so if a pup is tired, it can hang with him, and if it's got energy to burn, it can chase another dog. Also, there are always opportunities for sniffing interesting scents in the woods. Stimulating the mind is every bit as important as is exercising their bodies.

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I agree that it is a very long time for any BC to be alone. Plus running (though it may be questionable at his age) 2 miles a day could mean only 20 minutes of exercise, depending on how fast you're running him. At 6 months of age less than 30 minutes of exercise/attention just does not seem like a lot. Leaving a BC alone in a yard is pretty much no different than in a crate or pen. They will be bored regardless and eventually can lead to many problems. I would hire a dog walker to come mid day or even try a daycare (just be careful about where you take him, do a lot of research if you do decide that route and I would only suggest it as a last option). I think at his age a nice 30 min walk mid day with a dog walker would be great for him to break up the day in addition to more time with you morning/evening.

 

Any chance of seeing some photos of your little pup? ;)

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Second, is there any chance that you could hire a dogwalker to come take your pup for a hike? I know that's what I've tended to do when (for whatever reason) I have to leave my dog at home all day (normally he comes to work with me). We have a great individual, extremely dog-savvy, who takes a small pack of well-socialized dogs for hikes in the woods that last for hours. He'll collect the dog at noon, return him at 5-6 PM, filthy but exhausted. Dogs who have demonstrated they merit the privilege get to hike off-leash; otherwise he keeps them on-leash. And he only charges $20.

 

Wow. I wish I had someone around here like that to hire for those days where we are just too busy to get out enough. Any chance you could give me a website for him? (PM if you need)

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I routinely leave a 6 month puppy for 8 hours. Mine get a 45 min off leash walk in the morning, I work all day and we train them on sheep or just general manners in the evening.

 

A dogwalker is a great idea if you can't get the exercise and training. Leaving them in the back yard will lead to some bad habits.

 

If he can hold it all night in the crate the daytime will be fine too.

 

Good luck...and pictures!

 

Cynthia

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Wow. I wish I had someone around here like that to hire for those days where we are just too busy to get out enough. Any chance you could give me a website for him? (PM if you need)

 

Waffles, I don't think Jon has a website ... people find him via word of mouth. But western NY is bound to be a pretty far haul from Baltimore!

 

Here's how I found him: I kept running into him when I was hiking, and we chatted (and hiked together) on a number of occasions. I was impressed by how he interacted with dogs, as well as the way he treated everyone (his staff and people he met) with respect. Got to know some of his dogs well enough to recognize them when they were hiking with their real owners. I asked several of them about the dogwalker they used, then contacted him.

 

Duncan also stays with him on the rare occasion when we're out of town and can't take him with us. Less stressful than staying in a kennel.

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Waffles, I don't think Jon has a website ... people find him via word of mouth. But western NY is bound to be a pretty far haul from Baltimore!

 

Here's how I found him: I kept running into him when I was hiking, and we chatted (and hiked together) on a number of occasions. I was impressed by how he interacted with dogs, as well as the way he treated everyone (his staff and people he met) with respect. Got to know some of his dogs well enough to recognize them when they were hiking with their real owners. I asked several of them about the dogwalker they used, then contacted him.

 

Duncan also stays with him on the rare occasion when we're out of town and can't take him with us. Less stressful than staying in a kennel.

 

I was just curious. I wanted to see if he had a site to check out because that sounds like such a fun and unique business model vs. the typical dog walking service. I would love to just get a group of people together for group off-leash hikes with other dogs. :D

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In the past, when I couldn't find a petsitter who did lunches I was able to pay a stay at home mom I was casual friends with in my neighborhood to let my dogs out at lunch. All they really needed was let out to pee and then given a frozen Kong I would have in the freezer and so it was quick and easy for her. Maybe the OP has a neighbor who can help?

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I'd agree 2 miles a day seems a tad excessive for such a young pup, especially depending on the pace. I've found that 15 minutes of mental stimulation seems to make my 8 month old pup as tired as an hour of playing fetch. Not that physical stimulation isn't important!

 

 

My husband and I both work away from the home, so we dealt with this too. My husband was able to come back during his lunch hour to let Rudder pee and run around a bit. Our schedules were also pretty different, so Rudder never ended up being crated more than 3 or so hours at a time. If you live close enough to your work, I'd say it's worth it to make the drive.

 

 

When my husband deployed, my schedule was still crazy and I wasn't able to come home at lunch. If no one came by, Rudder would have been in his crate almost 13 hours. Definitely excessive. In the interim, I had a friend with a very flexible schedule stop by my house every day for a couple hours. I found a dog walker to come by every day just as my schedule suddenly became manageable. It sounds like a dog walker might be the best solution for you. I wasn't entirely comfortable with letting a stranger into my house every day, so I called lots of references.

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Since you have a yard, is it possible to set up a dog run? I work long hours and have a few dogs (and have raised puppies on this schedule). My dogs have outdoor runs (10x5 ft) that are shaded and have dog houses. They generally choose to keep their kennels clean, but if necessary there is room to potty in a corner and not get dirty. They can walk around, get a drink, stretch out, etc. I will leave pups with a bone, kong, etc.

 

They have to learn to deal with my schedule....they get their exercise and one on one time in the mornings and evenings.

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I think finding a routine that worked for Quinn and me when he was a pup was really crucial. He often spent over 8 hours during the work day in a crate and also spent the night crated because he would not stay settled otherwise. I had a very roomy crate (even as a scrawny puppy, he loved to stretch out). On work days, I'd get up early so I could make sure I had time to play with him, do a little training, give him time to do his own thing, offer him a couple opportunities to potty and we also went for a walk (about half an hour, I think). Then he either was crated when I left for work or went to work with me and was crated at the office. At lunch, either I or someone else (friend, pet sitter) let him out to potty and play with him. In the evening after work, he got in more play, another walk (I believe), and some training.

 

Just a couple weeks ago, I came across some directions I wrote for the pet/house sitter when he was your puppy's age. I was really struck by the amount of effort and management I put into him at that stage. He is now 7 and the work of raising a puppy seems distant now. All puppies are a lot of work in my mind, but Quinn was extra challenging due to his energy level until right about 6 or 7 months. Then he switched from worst puppy I had owned to best puppy ever. But it was still a lot of work to make sure my puppy had what he needed and my house and possessions were undamaged.

 

I wasn't thrilled about crating such an active puppy as much as I did but all my dogs are crate trained as puppies and all still love going into their crates, going by their own choice, at ages 7, 9 and 13. Before they are trustworthy in the house, I know they're safe when I can't supervise them and I make sure they have enough attention and things to do when they are out of the crate. At this point in my life and where I live, I would not be comfortable leaving a puppy or dog outside unattended so using a run or kennel isn't an option for me.

 

Quinn is a fabulous companion, always ready and eager to do something (anything) with me but also very good about just hanging out either at home or the office. I frequently hear visitors at work comment on how laid back and calm he is. I think learning to chill as a youngster and at the same time having a number outlets for his energy (playing with people, other dogs, on his own, going for walks, training, just hanging out) went a long way to creating the well-mannered, adaptable guy that he is.

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I almost didn't get my puppy because of my work hours. I work three 12 hour shifts a week. I have been very happy with my current solutions. I have been using care.com to find caretakers. They have worked amazingly well, even coming to my house and taking him with them for the day. The average has been $30-$50 per day. Right now,I have taken in a friend as a roommate, trading puppy care for rent. And my next step is to hire my neighbor's daughter that is home from college for the summer. So don't give up hope, just think a little out of the box, err... crate :)

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