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Break Up The Day vs. Leave In Peace?

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Hi boards!

 

It has been a very long time since I've had anything to post...some of you may remember my girl Barra, who I had to finally put down in December at (almost) 15 because of a ruptured tumor on her liver. I've now gotten myself together and have adopted a 7-ish month old puppy from rescue with the intention of training her for agility. Yay me, eh? :) Ghillie is the sweetest little goof on four legs, but of course I may be a tad biased in that regard. Anyway, I've been back lurking around the boards for a little while now, now that I have a reason to talk 'border collie' again with people. I've read a few posts that skirt around my own particular question but haven't quite found the answer I need, so here I am!

 

I work full time so Ghillie is crated for a good portion of the day. Fortunately I am able to go home at lunch to let her out for a few minutes. She gets about 30 minutes of exercise before work and an hour or so of walk/run/training after work, then a quick walk around the block before bed. This of course will increase as she ages and we're able to start proper agility training. She's also loose when I'm at home and can watch her. She doesn't like it much when I leave her alone but this might just be my own guilt surfacing because her crate is roomy, there's something safe for her to chew on, and I leave the radio on for noise. What I am wondering is, given the fact that she does protest the confinement in the morning- and I live in a condominium with neighbors close by- am I just providing an unnecessary disruption by coming home at lunch? She's had no accidents overnight so she's proven she can control her bladder for 8-odd hours at a time, so would I be better off letting her alone instead of dashing her out for 15 minutes of potty time then putting her back in her kennel and running away again?

 

I didn't have to worry about this issue with Barra as she was able to come to work with me for the first 3 years of her life so this isssue is new- and a bit daunting. Needless to say I want to do right by this puppy- and also keep any potential noise complaints from my neighbors to a minimum- so any useful advice you all might have would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Ghillie from TDBCR?? :D I hope the answer is yes, so we can watch her grow up around here!

 

Have you stood quietly outside your condo to see just how much noise she makes, and for how long? I agree that keeping your neighbors in mind is always a good policy, but a mid-day bark or two isn't killing them, either, if she's not going crazy after you leave at lunch. Really, though, it sounds to me like she'd do just fine without your coming home, too. Ummm, so that's no help at all!

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When Keeva was about 9 months old my home schedule changed and I needed to leave her 2 days a week from 9 am to 4pm. My office is 10 minutes from my house. I would come home play frisbee, check on the horses eat lunch and then go back to work. (Break up the day as you say).

 

After a few weeks of this I was exhausted. There was never a mess. So now 2 days a week I leave her in peace. Yes, she is really happy to see me but the other 5 days she is not confined at all.

 

Oh she is not crated but has the entry to my house to herself with a baby gate to keep her from roaming on those two days.

 

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Ghillie from TDBCR?? :D I hope the answer is yes, so we can watch her grow up around here!

 

Yes, THAT Ghillie. :D Of course a TDBCR dog would be recognized around here- that makes me laugh!

 

I haven't hung around to see how long she cries, no- mainly because I think it would upset ME to hear it. I'm a wussy worry-wart at heart! Out of sight (or earshot,) out of mind, I suppose, but that's hardly fair to my neighbors if she really does keep it up for a long time. However, when I do come home she's lying down in her kennel and not looking particularly traumatized so perhaps it's just an adjustment period. I will experiment with that in the next day or two just to see how long she does fuss.

 

And frisbeegirl, it's good to know that it can be done. Maybe with a bit more exercise before work she'll be sufficiently comfortable for the rest of the day and I won't have to worry about disturbing her halfway through. I'm also considering daycare for 2-3 days a week- there is a reputable one nearby and they offer half-days, which is tempting. Thanks again for your opinions!

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Do you leave her with something when you leave so she doesn't notice you leave as much? That can help with the crying when you leave issue.

 

Lucky girl, lucky you! Shes really darling.

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I remember you! Sorry to hear about Barra :(

 

My suggestion would be leaving her with a stuffed kong to work away on. My dogs are big foodies and would be pushing me out the door again to get a yummy treat.

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You could also ask your neighbors if she's barking a lot. Sort of a preemptive approach--if they know you are concerned about the noise bothering them then they are also more likely to be forgiving when she does bark.

 

As for leaving her or not, I really think that's up to what works best for you. I used to take my youngsters to work so I could get them out on my lunch hour and know that they got a good 45 minutes or so of exercise/interaction, but I had an ideal situation for doing that. It wouldn't have hurt them to stay at home in a crate either.

 

Of course I'm such a softie that I felt really sorry for Lark spending most of the day in a crate (except for lunch break, etc. and the times before and after work but before bed. So I started leaving her out at night on my bed, which was a really tall antique bed she couldn't easily get off of. Now she thinks that the only place a dog should sleep is on the bed. But I created that monster. :D

 

Pictures?

 

J.

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Pictures?

 

Coming soon! :D

 

And thank you for the idea of asking my neighbors. I never see anyone around during the day so I sort of assume everyone's at work but that does seem the neighborly thing to do, you're right.

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I forgot to mention I get up extra early on the two days to give enough time for our hike. She is pretty well exercised when I leave her.

 

Good Luck

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Is she protesting when you go back to work at lunch? Or just in the morning?

 

I'd be curious to find out how long she protests. When my youngest was a puppy it was too hot to bring her to work with me so I made the treck home EVERY day - twenty minutes each way (12 miles each trip) and it liked to have killed me (financially and otherwise). Then when it got cooler and I could take her with me, she'd refuse to potty in a strange place (ie not at home) more often than not, and wind up holding it all day anyway. So finally at about 6-7 months old I gave up and just let her stay home and hold it while I was at work. If she wasn't going to potty anyway...

 

However, back in another life I worked only 3.1 miles from home. I'd run home at lunch, potty and play with dogs for about a half hour, and then go back to work. It made all of us happy, and I did this even when I didn't have puppies.

 

So, I'd say it's a YMMV thing. If she's not protesting at lunch, and you're happy going home, then do it! If she IS protesting when you go back from lunch for long... then maybe not.

 

By the way, nice to see you. :)

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