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Is this acceptable ?

(44 Posts)
TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 21:17:14

18 week Labradoodle. This is her daily routine, I just want to know it sounds ok. I wake at 6 am Monday to Friday before work. After shower, I take her out for a walk around the neighbourhood on the lead (6.30 till 7). Kids play with her until we leave for work/school at 7.45. She then goes in her crate until my friend comes from 12 until 1 to play with her and let her out. She then goes back in crate until DS1 gets home at 3.30. When I get in from work at 5.30/6, after kids have had dinner, I walk her on lead round neighbourhood for another 30 mins. At the weekends we go out for a good hour and it's mainly off the lead and then a 30 min walk round neighbourhood again before bed. When the clocks change, her walk round neighbourhood will change to a run in the park before work and a good hour in the park when home. I feel guilty as it's mainly pavement walking in the dark at the moment....does this sound ok ? Thanks

NCIS Mon 15-Dec-14 21:24:12

I think you'll need to get a dog walker before she's much older as she'll sleep a lot less during the day. Four hours is quite a long time with only 30 minutes walk.
When do you get chance to do any training? The run in the park won't tire her out without lots of training too.

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 21:32:12

She's very intelligent, when I put her on lead or she brings her toy or I give her food, I always say 'sit' and she's got that already. We've got toilet training sorted, as I had a very rigid routine from outset where I took her out to toilet after play, walk, meal or sleep. I think she would show signs of stress if this didn't work...she goes in her bed when I say 'bed'. I have let her off lead whenever I walk in daylight from outset and she is fairly good at coming back as I really praise and reward her. I really want this to work.

muttynutty Mon 15-Dec-14 21:52:19

In my opinion this is not acceptable. You have a cross breed of two active working, intelligent breeds and it is not fair to keep them caged and without stimulation for so long on a regular basis.

To only have off lead walks for six months of the year is not enough and I too would feel guilty if that was all my dogs got.

When is she getting any training, games and socialisation?

I am sure you will get posts that say I worked 20 hours a day and my dog is fine ..... just because other people do it and their dogs have adapted does not make it the right thing to do.

muttynutty Mon 15-Dec-14 21:54:42

Also if she is 18 weeks old at the moment and you are are giving an hour walk just at the weekend? This is way too much and will do more harm than good for a puppy of this age

OHolyShite Mon 15-Dec-14 21:55:40

As a fellow doodle owner and crate user I feel a bit uncomfortable with your setup.

They need so much company and interaction. I've never left my girl for longer than 2 hours. If I wasn't a SAHM, we wouldn't have got a dog at all. It's not fair to leave them caged for long periods.

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 21:59:26

I've been told by the breeder and the vet that this is acceptable. We give her a lot of attention when we are here. 4 and a quarter hours in the morning and 2.5 in afternoon crated, I didn't think that was too bad, Maybe I was wrong, I'd be interested to know some more opinions, thanks for the comments though.

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 22:01:18

I know an hour seems too long but I seem to get contradicting views....she loves a good run off lead though and seems to need it

CatsClaus Mon 15-Dec-14 22:09:05

it's far from ideal for a dog to be alone for that length of time.

seven plus hours during the day alone, plus crating at night. ...14hours a day?

why are you asking a parenting forum if your vet and breeder are satisfied. And tbh i find it hard to believe any decent vet or breeder would be happy with a puppy being shut away for all that time.

SpicyBeat Mon 15-Dec-14 22:25:47

It's far too long for any dog, let alone a very young active one, to be caged all day. Vets are there to give medical care - of course they are not going to criticise the set up of a paying client. It's not their job to advise on that type of thing! A reputable breeder wouldn't home a pup to these circumstances.

Tipsykisses Mon 15-Dec-14 22:33:05

It sounds like you are doing your best but I also think that is a long time to be crated , especially for a youngster who needs company , socialising & training .
Your pup may seem settled but you can't see how it's affected as you are not home & also as it gets older the need to sleep will lessen and boredom etc will set in .
I agree with the pp who said about a dog walking service .
I really hope you find a solution soon.

Taz1212 Mon 15-Dec-14 22:38:42

I also agree that it is too long to be crated. Is there a safe room where she could be left? Kitchen?

Is there anywhere you could take her to get a bit of off lead time during the week?

NCIS Mon 15-Dec-14 22:39:10

What about socialisation? Does she get chance to meet other, calm, well socialised adult dogs in a relatively controlled environment?
Do you go to or are you planning to go to classes? There are a couple of doodles in my training group who seemed absolutely fine until they were about nine months old and then developed issues as a result of a lack of controlled socialisation and little training. They are improving but it is taking a lot of time and effort on the part of the owners.

When we got our puppy (border collie) I didn't leave him for more than a couple of hours during the day until he was nearly a year. Even now (at 17 months) it's rarely as long as four hours and that's only after a walk and a training class lasting two hours so he is ready for sleep.

It's obvious you want to do the best for your puppy, have you considered doggy day care/dog walker? I know that it is not ideal for such a young dog but if you chose carefully it would probably be ok.

MostAmused Mon 15-Dec-14 22:51:49

I just wanted to say that I also think that amount of crate time is too much. She probably needs more training, socialisation and play time in order to grow into a happy well behaved adult. She'll sleep less when she's older and the crate time will become boring. Dogs need to be mentally as well as physically stimulated.

Doggy day care is a great idea if you can't manage to be there more during the day. Do you give her a kong or something to keep her occupied in the crate?

Also, I've always been told that to avoid damage to their growing joints dogs should be excercised for no more than 5 minutes per month of age or 2 minutes per week of age. Problems such as arthritis and dysplasia etc can occur due to over excercising young joints.

Hakluyt Mon 15-Dec-14 23:00:48

So basically she's caged for most of the time? sad

SugarPlumTree Mon 15-Dec-14 23:07:32

I think 4 and a quarter hours in a crate is definitely too much and I think she needs off lead time all year on a daily basis. Also agree that an hour walking is too much at that age. Look at the UK Labradoodle forum, there are sadly dogs with hip dysphasia on there, they can be prone to it. Training exercises will help wear her out mentally

Personally I would be looking at doggy daycare in your situation or non crated with a dog walker. They are very sociable as others have said and do need a lot iof stimulation.

Hakluyt Mon 15-Dec-14 23:13:18

It's nearly 7 hours in a crate during the day. The OP doesn't say what happens at night- but I assume crate then too? So at least 14 hours a day- probably longer.......

CrabbyTheCrabster Mon 15-Dec-14 23:14:02

No, not acceptable at all. That's much too long to leave a dog crated, and as other have said, you aren't meeting her needs in terms of socialisation, off lead exercise or mental stimulation either.

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 23:21:16

Crated at night....11 till 6. I honestly am doing what I thought was best and acceptable. She has a kong and rawhide chews etc. I leave radio on and like I say, she gets a good play at lunchtime for an hour. She isn't exhibiting any behaviour problems. Vet said it's all about balance, said that if not left alone they can develop separation anxiety ? I am very sociable myself so we are always meeting other dog walkers when out so she is very confident and sociable with people and dogs. Feel a bit shit now...I love her and get a lot from her, feel selfish. I just wanted honesty though, and that's what I got.

SugarPlumTree Mon 15-Dec-14 23:25:20

Yes, sorry, was addressing that one very long session in the morning. I think to be honest OP this is a recipe for disaster with the current set up and it is very unfair on your dog. They are very lively dogs , sociable dogs and can be incredibly hard work during adolescent years. Plus they take a long time to matue too .

I think you need a big rethink on this and quickly as she needs a lot more stimulation and socialisation.

NCIS Mon 15-Dec-14 23:25:30

Don't worry OP, it's obvious you want the best, just need a bit of guidance as to what that might be. I agree never leaving them is not good but the length of time may well cause problems in the future.
She is only very young so issues wouldn't show yet anyway. The teen years start at around six months so you may want to get something better sorted before then. Have you got training classes booked?

Hakluyt Mon 15-Dec-14 23:27:11

Can I ask why she's crated so much? Do you not want her in the rest of the house?

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 23:29:03

Hakykut...I suppose caged a lot if you take night into consideration but out 2 hours in morning, 1 hour at lunch then 7.5 hours afternoon/eve. After a play in early eve, she sleeps by our feet for about 2 hours of evening. Will hire a dog walker at lunchtime if and when needed, like I say, friend has a good play with her at lunchtime in garden.

TheBlahWitchProject Mon 15-Dec-14 23:32:16

Crated as I was advised they find this secure. She seems to like it, also told it helps with bladder training. For first 4 weeks, I set my alarm to get up at 3am every night to toilet in garden.

NCIS Mon 15-Dec-14 23:34:54

I'm a fan of crating and crated mine until he was a year old but I think you will find that she gets a lot more active in the next few weeks. TBH it's the lack of training which would concern me, she really needs brain exercise more than anything especially in the next six months to a year. Would a dog walker be prepared to spend time teaching?

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