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What's a 'normal' day with a dog like?

(38 Posts)
Solo2 Sun 09-Oct-11 08:44:22

Rollo (golden retriever) is now 8 months old. Family life still completely revolves around his needs and I need to see if there's 'light at the end of the tunnel' from dog owners beyond the puppy stage?

If you work - at least part-time - have DCs and either no partner (in my case) or one who might just as well not be there, how do you 'live' your days with your dog? What makes it fun? When do dogs get beyond the stage of bloody hard work?

Currently, I'm up at 5.30am, let Rollo out at 6am and feed him and give him his various medications (takes till 6.30am). He gets a walk from about 6.55am till 7.29am when I then take DCs to school. Rollo is sleeping when I return and I work till 11am when I let him out in the garden, interact with him, feed him lunch and then he naps again in the kitchen as I work from noon till 2pm. Then I take him on a 40mins walk, rush home, leave him to nap again and do school run from 3pm till 4.15pm.

4.15pm till Rollo's main and last walk at 6pm is Hell with Rollo! He naturally needs attention, more food at 4pm, playing, toileting and I'm doing all that at same time as supervising homework and making DCs meal.

6pm till 7pm we all go on dog walk. This is searingly difficult if it's raining/ the DCs are tired/ someone of us is ill.

8pm, Rollo goes to sleep in his crate but I can never ever predict if he'll wake me barking in the middle of the night (Rollo barking, not me!).

Recent typical struggles also include him squidging his face into some other dog's diarrhoea, so had to clean him up at home (and he did this through the muzzle he always wears on walks to prevent him eating anything as he gets recurrent diarrhoea)....him waking me 3 hrs after I went to sleep at night, for no reason (me in garden then with him at 1am)....stealing plastic/ cardboard/ paper from kitchen surfaces and tearing it apart in garden...digging endless, endless holes in the now destryed lawn and - worse - eating grass and mud, which he mustn't, cos of diarrhoea....

It's MUCH easier than it was when he was tiny - but it's still incredibly hard work and no real fun. We all love him but we find it almost impossible to live with him. There is still NO time whatsoever at all for me to do anything fun with the DCs since we got Rollo and absolutely no question of any time for me even to fulfill my own basic needs - like eat regularly, sleep enough, go to loo etc - since we got Rollo.

At times I feel as if I really really can't go on with him.

I know I've posted along these lines before but what would be really helpful now is some experiences of having a dog FURTHER down the line so I can look towards a future that's manageable with Rollo as part of our family.

notmeagain Sun 09-Oct-11 09:20:47

I've read back through your threads and can only say what has been said before
Why is he taking up so much of your time?

I can not understand how it takes half an hour to feed and medicate him for example.

A general day would be up and out for first walk about 40 mins if i8 months old. Back for breakfast and sleep for several hours

Very very short training session sometime in the day and a bit of a play no more than 10 mins

Second walk of day again no more than 40 mins and back to sleep maybe in car when you go on school run.

Boys and dogs home after school maybe a brief play session with boys

Supper and bed.

You must ignore the nighttime barking - there is no way on earth I would get up and be in the garden for hours at night (what are you both doing!)and nor should the dog. I think you put him to bed a bit early - I would suggest he goes when you go to bed - then will sleep deeper when you are in bed.

Re the rolling in poo etc - you need to control this keep him on a lead if his leave it command is not good. Do not let him control you - he has to know the boundaries - like the digging in the garden.

You do sound as if you are struggling

bubbles4 Sun 09-Oct-11 09:33:09

he is still very young,my 1 year old staffy cross still acts very much like a toddler,still forages in the bin,struggling with recall so we still have to take him on a long lead when out.However my 2 yr 4 month staffy is now beautifully behaved,still has his moments when he joins pup dog in his naughty ways but not often.This coincided with us getting pup dog and big was 1yr 4 months,so there is light at the end of the tunnel and big dog was absolutely bonkers before that,I could never leave a basket of washing around,socks,knickers,bras would be chewed and trying to get them off him was a nightmare,it was the chase game.

Idasonions Sun 09-Oct-11 09:42:08

I think it sounds like very hard work.
Our pup fitted in with us. He walks the school run with us or comes in the car when raining. He has an off lead good run / swim every other day and just lies around the house in between. He comes with us when we go out and plays in the garden when we out there.
When he was small we had to put more time in with making sure he went out to toilet more by now takes no more time than opening the door and filling his water and chucking some food in his bowl every day.
I never ' play ' with him apart from chucking his ball on walks.
It sounds like you have been unfortunate to have a high maintenance dog ! with the bowel issues it does not sound like much fun at all.

Idasonions Sun 09-Oct-11 09:45:58

We shut him in a safe room downstairs at night and always have done. No problems ever. You should just ignore at night.
I guess we may be just lucky but we deliberatly went for a known docile breed as my husband is a dog trainer and did not want to have to have a high maintenance dog at home too.
Start as you mean to carry on and stick with it.

cedmonds Sun 09-Oct-11 10:41:58

Hi this is how may day is when we have no pups to do when we have it very hard work with cleaning out people phoning lettting pups out to play people dpending a hour at a time with there puppy when they chosse/ come and see the pup.
6.30 dogs let out in the garden and fed
7.00 the dogs come to the stables with me.
8.30 take ds to school
9.00 the dogs have a run on the heath
10.00 back home
1.00 dogs fed
1.30 they come to the stable when i exercise the horses
3.00 get ds from school and then work untill 6
6.30 dogs fed
7.00ish when ds goes to bed i will go back to the stables to sort the horses out and the dogs come with me again .
They then lie around the house untill we go to bed. about 11 ish
At the weekend they are not fed untill latter and will prob have more time at home in the garden etc.
This is with 9 dogs though

VivaLeBeaver Sun 09-Oct-11 10:44:45

I get up about 7:00am, dog remains fast asleep.

I leave teh house just before 9:00am and dog wakes up and comes charging into the hall as she knows its walkies time.
We have an hour walk.

Come back home, dog goes back to bed and remains there all day.

I persuade her to go out into the garden at about tea time for a wee, she'll normally have something to eat at that point (bowl has food in ot 24/7)

She goes back to bed and sleeps all evening. I make her go out in the garden when I go to bed for a last wee.

clam Sun 09-Oct-11 10:59:23

If he's going to bed at 8pm, then I'm not surprised he wakes so early! Although I can see that you'd need a break by then if you're "tending" to him so much.

During the week, when we need to be up for work/school ours (6mo cockapoo) wakes once he hears one of us moving around upstairs, somewhere between 6.30 and 7. (This morning, Sunday, it wasn't until 8.30 shock ). Whoever goes down first lets him out, throws some food in a bowl and then carries on making breakfast/showering/whatever. Someone will take him round the block for a short walk (and poo) by 8am, as he has a much longer, off-lead walk later on.

I don't "supervise" him during the day specifically. He dozes near me if I'm at home, and pads round after me as I move from room to room. He'll also play with his toys and chew various things, sniff around the garden and conduct his vendetta against the squirrels who laugh at him from the top of the fence. We'll go out to the woods/moor/river mid-late morning. If I'm out at work, a dog-walker comes in and the kids pop home at lunchtime to see him.

Active play/mucking about when the kids get home, he has his dinner some time between 6 and 7, another shortish lead walk (and poo) after that, and mooches about all evening till 10-ish/half past. We boot him outside for a wee, then he settles on his bed to go to sleep. Never barks during the night. He did when we first got him (see the puppy thread!!) but after a week or two we got tough, ignored him and he's never done it since.

I know you've been through absolute hell with the diarrhoea business, so I don't know how much of our routine would work for you. But I do wonder if you're being a little over-conscientious??

smartyparts Sun 09-Oct-11 11:00:24

Wow, OP, I don't know Rollo's story but he sounds like very hard work and I feel for you.

We have a 6.5 month old miniature schnauzer. He gets up whenever someone goes downstairs be it early or late and has breakfast and morning wee/poo etc and then he goes back to bed. He usually gets 2 walks a day one long off lead and one short but these could be at any time. Has dinner around 6, then tends to snooze on and off all evening.

He has run of downstairs at night, we have never used a crate. No accidents, no barking. The only naughty thing he does is he'll eat unsavoury things when we're out if he sees them before I do! Bit of horse shit yesterday..

Why don't you put him in his crate when you go to bed rather than early evening? Then he might sleep better overnight? It really sounds like he's running the show, must be exasperating.

clam Sun 09-Oct-11 11:08:18

Oh and I ought to add that, having followed your other threads, I am in absolute awe at your dedication to and care of Rollo. You've had a dreadful challenge, and many people would have given up on him. You haven't, but hopefully you can now relax a bit in some areas, whilst still being careful about what he eats.

tabulahrasa Sun 09-Oct-11 11:32:46

Mine used to be (before he got old and ill, he died last year)

walk to school about 8.30, coming back a way that meant he could be off lead for about half an hour, getting home about 9.30.

Toilet about lunchtime.

Walk to school on lead (I never left early enough to walk there the long way, lol) 3.10 to 3.35.

fed and out for a ten minute walk about 9ish.

On top of that, I'd take him for random walks if I felt like it, if it was a nice day I'd go for a longer walk, if it snowed I'd take him to play in it, if I was annoyed with DP I'd take him out for a walk in the evening, lol.

Also if I went to the shops I'd walk and take the dog and at weekends we might drive somewhere nice to go for a walk.

As the children got older, they played with him more than me and DS started to do some short walks

Spamspamspam Sun 09-Oct-11 12:16:36

Solo, I am always amazed by how much you do for Rolo and he seems to be completely running your life and not adapting to your needs at all. I have a child, I work full time and although I have a DH he doesn't want to walk the dog particularly.

I have a 7.5 month old Terrier who you don't really know is in the house most of the time! She has one walk a day and this is all she needs I work from home and take her whenever I have an hour, could be evening, morning or lunchtime I don't like giving her a set time as she would expect that every day. When she was little I used to give her 2 smaller walks but in the last 4 weeks I changed it to one long one - about 3 miles is just right for her anymore and she is too tired, any less and she is more manic in the house/garden. Generally we have a play in the garden at some point but most other times I expect her to amuse herself - she is often found sleeping on someone's lap and having a cuddle. Somedays she has a puppy play date or comes to the pub with us or I take her to friends/my sisters but most of the time it is just one walk and all other toileting she does in the garden which I clean up every 2-3 days - she tends to go in places where the children aren't going to walk. I am very lucky in that she has not been a big chewer, however I have made sure she has plenty of toys to entertain herself.

Some days she is not left by herself at all, other days she might get left for a few hours and gets left in the kitchen with a bone/radio etc.

Sending her to bed at 8.00pm would be a disaster and she would have me up at 3.00 in the morning. She is generally sleepy at about 8.30pm but she sits with one of us in the lounge and has a cuddle, has last wee outside about 10.30/11.00pm and gets up at about 7.15 when we get up. I must admit that she used to bark me awake as she was in crate but in the last week I have let her sleep on my bed and she gets up when I do. She only needs feeding twice a day.

talkingnonsense Sun 09-Oct-11 12:27:50

My 18 mth old spaniel just does what I do! Usually gets 2 walks but today is still sleeping on dhs feet. She follows me r

talkingnonsense Sun 09-Oct-11 12:29:39

Sorry, pressed post be mistake! She follows me around and helps with the laundry like a toddler, eats when I feed her, begs for scraps from everyone, watches tv, and just fits in. How do you react when he is destructive?

ditavonteesed Sun 09-Oct-11 12:34:30

I have an 18month old dog and a 4 week old puppy
ok 7am get up, feed dc ad make coffe, open door and bin dogs out for 5 mins.
Feed dogs at same time as eveybody else, about 30secs to serve (including medications) and less to eat. bine out for 5 mins again, while I am having coffe and feeding dc.
8.30 take kids to school.
9am take cherry out for an hour
10am take eric out for 20 mins.

1pm feed eric and make sure he goes out for 5 mins.

4pm feed eric and make sure he goes out for 5 mins.

5.30 take eric and cherry for a quick half an hour in the park, kids sometimes coma and play in playground.

do a bit of training while i am in kitchen making dinner.

7pm feed eric and let out.

10.20pm feed cherry, let them both out and then go to bed.

I don't understand how rollo can take so much time. think you are pandering to him way too much. if i am in and doing something else the dogs just mooch about. If I am sitting having a cuppa or something i do a bit of training or chuck a ball around.

ditavonteesed Sun 09-Oct-11 12:39:20

14 weeks not 4 doh.

clam Sun 09-Oct-11 13:43:52

So, hang on, I've just re-read your OP. You walk him for between half an hour and an hour 3 times a day, and feed him 3 times also?

Does he really need that? Retrievers are bigger than cockapoos for sure, but that still seems quite a lot to me, although I'm no expert. If you make sure the walk you do during the day when the kids aren't around is a good long one with lots of running around (on his part!) and fetching etc... then could you cut the length of the tricky ones with the kids in tow to a quickie round the block?
And I cut out lunch for mine a couple of weeks ago, partly because I thought 6 months was the threshold for that, but also as he'd been neutered the vet said to cut his food intake so he doesn't put on weight. But I understand that with Rollo's delicate tummy, you might be under strict orders from your vet. But if his last meal is at 4pm, then won't he be waking early out of hunger? Or are you waking him in order to fit in a walk before the school run?

The other thing is, of course, that having a strict routine can be quite limiting. As someone mentioned earlier, if you always do certain things at certain times, they come to expect it and then you're stuffed if something crops up.

silentcatastrophe Sun 09-Oct-11 19:44:53

Our day starts quite early as that's when dh wakes up. He lets the dogs out at about 6.30/7'ish. Everyone has breakfast and at 8.30'ish, dh usually takes the dcs to school. I often go out for a scoot around with the dogs for 40 mins or so, then work. Someone is usually at home and the dogs will go out when they want to, and one of us will take them for a walk in the afternoon. They have their supper at 4.30'ish and a last runabout at about 8-10pm, depending on who is awake! The dogs' mealtimes are regular, but everything else is pretty flexible.

discrete Sun 09-Oct-11 20:00:10

Our dogs (a 3yo and a 4mo) just do what we do - we are usually outside most of the day and they can run around. The older dog goes for a bike ride with dh or me when he feels like it (not always) the little one just runs around in the fields like a nut all day long (we live on a farm).

Training is usually just as I prepare food for the dc, using scraps from the preparation as rewards.

Apart from the occasional attack on something that shouldn't really have been left out, they are no work at all!

mishymashy Sun 09-Oct-11 20:33:34

Hiya, we have an 8 month old black lab.
I get up at 7am let him out into garden for 30 mins whilst i get kids up and ready for school. Give dog and dc breakfast at 8am. The dog then pinches everything the children have left on the floor ie school books and pens. Spend 20 mins trying to retrieve it back from very happy pup!!
Do school run then come home by 9.15 to take him on his morning stroll for 45 mins which is our time! The best part of the day.
The rest of the day he just plods around the house with me or garden if its nice weather. He gets a small tea at 3pm because he suffers terrible with his tummy if i'm not careful, then has his last walk which is only between 20-30 mins about 6.30. He runs around with the kids like a mad dog when they get home from school! The dc are his only motivation.
He is a lazy dog i should add and the idea of running after a ball more than twice is alien to him!!!!
He goes to bed about 11pm when i go, but is normally sleeping under my feet by 8ish. I cant lie on the floor with him anymore as he thinks he can still sit on my lap and i dont fancy being crushed to death!
I havent seen your previous posts about your dogs tummy troubles but we had a nightmare journey with ours due to extreme sensitivity but have thankfully resolved this after many trials with different foods and the days are so much happier now. I was despairing for 5 months trying to scoop runny poop from all sorts of random places.
I hope things settle down for you, i know how hard it can be.

WitchesBrewIsMyFriend Sun 09-Oct-11 20:34:58

I have 2 GSDs - the usual routine for them both is;
Get up, 6.30/7 chuck dogs in the car, up the hill, run the dogs, walk the hills do a bit of search work with the older one, bit of training with pupstar. On lead back through woods to car, in car, home.

Take DC to school, home, replenish water (again) for dogs, feed them. LEave them alone to relax, sleep. Take them out for a wee lunchtime. Feed them 4.30/5pm take them out for a walk (1hr give or take) approx 6.30 some training around the fields and home. Bedtime is when I go to bed - they go out for a wee then and I say night to the dogs and that is it.

Obviously some days I am out and about, other days the children are and the dogs fit in around what we do.

chickchickchicken Sun 09-Oct-11 21:43:08

hi solo, as you know dog2 had terrible tummy problems. the first year we had him i did wonder what i had taken on. he also had a major leg op (which we knew he would need before adopting him). i would occasionally think that if i didnt love him so much i would have taken him back as well as thinking i couldnt do that as no-one else would put up with him. he was nervous of so many everyday things and the first year was hard.

he has been with us 5yrs now. there is hope and it does get better. i have two other dogs and our days are -

8am (later on weekend) we get up. dogs get up when i do. open back door for them to go in garden. give them breakfast

between 9-10 walk dogs off lead

during the day dogs will lounge around the house, follow me around, get toys from their toybox, potter in garden, a few minutes training when i'm preparing food, will do some one to one training with dog3. if i go out i will usually take one of the dogs with me

another walk with dogs. timing will depend on my plans

4pm dogs have their tea

evening - they lounge around the house. we may play a game of chase or hide and seek. dogs are used to fetching their own toys from their toybox.

they go to bed when i do. i let them out in the garden for a wee before bed. if its raining they usually decide they dont need to go!

is it possible that rollo is being overstimulated? i know i was guilty of this with dog2 as i felt so sorry for him.

Elibean Sun 09-Oct-11 22:00:44

Ah Solo, its been a nightmare time I know in many ways....but you know, reading your post and comparing it to the last one I read about Rollo, it does sound as though its heading in the right direction. May not feel like it, but from the outside - it sounds a lot less awful than it was?

We've only had our pup (5 months) for 24 hours, so not sure how the weekdays will pan out - but have to admit, I'm not sure how the dh-free evenings will work yet. I have a 4 yr old who has just started Reception and is knackered (aka grumpy as hell) by 3.30pm, and a 7 yr old, and the afternoon/evening walk is the bit that baffles me. Especially in winter! We'll see...

I do think that if you had good nights (we did last night, thank goodness) it would make a huge difference. I would work on ignoring the night time barks, to start with, I think. Easy to say, I know.

higgle Mon 10-Oct-11 10:15:28

Life with elderly rescue Staffie
7.15am Bounces about a lot and tries to kill lead
7.30am 1/2 hour walk, folowed by breakfast
8-12 sleeps on his sofa
12 goes out in garden, pootles about, back to sleep
2-4 pootles about, 4pm asks for walk
4pm walk followed by dinner
5.30pm - 10pm cuddles and naps
10pm in basket in kitchen for bed.

He is very easy indeed!

wordfactory Mon 10-Oct-11 11:06:06

solo I must admit that having our pup has not been fun as she has had an injury and been housebound for the last six weeks.

I try to work but she needed to be watched.

This weekend DH took over and I was amazed at how much tougher he was then me and how in turn she was a lot more content.

When the DC wanted to play footie in the garden with him he just slung her in the crate with a kong full of cheese. She licked it for half an hour then fell asleep.

When DS had a footie match, he just slung her in the crate in the back of the car with a kong full of cheese and stood next to the open boot watching the match. Sge ate her cheese, watched the match and then fell asleep.

I realise now that I've been too worreid about her being in the crate. She likes it in there. It's her little den. I realise too that given half a chance she will sleep and sleep, but if she's out of the crate she will walk around and around, chewing and destroying. She also likes just sitting in the garden so I need some sort of run where she can do it safely without me watching her 24/7 (we can't make our garden escape proof).

I think once she's able to go out on long walks, we'll have an easy dog on our hands.

I was looking at your scedule and wondered if you could crate Rollo during that difficult homework period. With a kong, or a bone he would probably be very happy.

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