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Is this okay?(21 Posts)
After a bit of reassurance or advice that I’m doing okay by my little pup. She’s a cocker spaniel who is almost 5 months old.
Would you say this general routine is okay for her? (There are variations day to day but this is generally how it goes)
6:30am - out in garden for wee/ little run round then in house whilst we’re having breakfast. Kids tend to play with her whilst I’m busy or she mooches round me. Pup has her breakfast.
8:00 - pup in crate whilst we go up to get dressed for school. Stays in until I get back from school run at about 9:15.
9:15 - take pup for walk for about 20/25 mins with toddler. Play in house until 10am
10:00 - pup in crate until 12:30 when I get back from toddler group.
Out of crate pretty much all of the time until I need to do school pick up. In this time I tend to do a little bit of training with her, go out in the garden or leave her to entertain herself with toys while I play with toddler or do jobs. She sometimes does have a few mins in crate if she needs a bit of time out.
She has little meal at around 12:30 when I get back. Always has access to water in crate.
Then after school run we do another walk- usually off lead in the fields which lasts a bit longer.
She stays out of crate with a mixture of stuff going on until about 7:00 when I put her in to sort kids for bath and bed.
Then she’s out for the night until we go to bed. She has last meal when we eat at around 6:00pm
I guess I’m wondering if I’m balancing crate time/activity time/ doing the right amount of exercise with her.
I’ve never had a dog before. I’m hoping to wean off the crate as she gets older but for now I don’t feel she’s safe left on her own to roam. She seems happy and is responding well to training (apart from walking in the lead). We do puppy classes 1 night a week.
Well, it mustn’t be horrendous or I’m sure I’d have been flamed, I guess.... (tumbleweed)
Steps over tumbleweed....
Personally I would try to cut down on the crate time.
BUT and a big but if she is calm and happy in the crate then that is just something to work towards. Possible I would try to have her in a restricted area rather than a crate when you are getting dressed and bath etc. However again you know the layout of your house and that may not be possible and your dog may not be safe.
Also she from what you have put above she is not getting out and about socialising much - could she go on the school run maybe on some days. Again may not be possible
Enjoy her they are not little for long
Can you use a gate to restrict her to one space while you are upstairs? We always did the main walk of the day in the morning and this meant for a much calmer day.
I can’t really restrict her. Pulse, she eats things - although this is happening less and less. We have a cat too and are working hard on getting the cat to tolerate the dog. Dog overly loves the cat and is desperate to play.
She actually does socialise quite a lot. We walk along a busy riverside route with a park so there are loads of dogs and children so she meets new people as well as meeting familiar dogs and people. She is also out and about with us at the weekend to friends houses or wherever we are with the kids.
I do agree about the crate time though...it’s something we’re working on. She does like her crate though and will sometimes just take herself off to lie in it. She doesn’t cry when we put her in it to do go upstairs.
I do just wish I could feel confident enough to leaver her to roam but I worry about her safety
It is equally important for a young dog to sleep and get rest so if she is happy in her crate then this should be ok. Studies show dogs usually sleep for 17 hours a day if happy and relaxed and get the right amount of stimulation. You are right she is safe in her crate and that is really important.
Sounds like she is having a great life and getting out and about
Dont be encouraged to let her roam until you are really happy she is safe - you know the situation in rl we don't.
It's brilliant that she regards her crate as her safe space and takes herself off there if she's feeling a bit overwhelmed and in need of a nap! Like a pp I was a little worried that she was missing out on experiencing lots of new things and situations and people - but sounds like you've actually got that covered. She's a very lucky pup to have loving caring people to be her family, and I think it's all going to be absolutely fine by the sound of things.
She will grow out of eating inappropriate things... although she'll probably pick up and cart about her toys, the children's toys, odd shoes and socks, and anything else about the right size and shape to be a pheasant, all her life. All the other Cockers I've ever met do. And Labradors.
It sounds like a perfect balance tbh. If she’s happy in her crate then there’s no need to reduce the time she’s in it from what you’re doing now. Most importantly she’s happy & safe in there. It will also encourage her to sleep.
...and it’ll stop her getting in trouble for chewing things!
She’s still VERY much a baby & you’re keeping her safe. Don’t doubt yourself.
Thanks everyone. I feel like a new mother with no health visitor drop in clinics to check I’m doing the right thing.
She is definitely very loved and we really do enjoy her. X
Ha, @alpaca,she does this . She has a little self made den to stash her gathered treasures.
She does like her crate though and will sometimes just take herself off to lie in it. She doesn’t cry when we put her in it to do go upstairs. This alone means you have done a great job!
Hows her toilet training coming along?
I've been offline for a couple of days... rather a lot of Real Life... yy she's sounding very good and very best wishes.
Sorry, just seen this. Her toilet training is great. She knows to go to the back door and we can let her in the garden.. the only accidents she has are if we don’t see her in time. Thinking if training her to ring a little bell .
Her other training is going well. She sits, lies down, will wait until told to get a treat or toy that’s on the floor, her recall is really good (don’t think we’ve got to the rebellious phase I’ve heard about yet). She’s getting better at not jumping at people although sometimes the excitement is just too much. She’s beginning to learn to give a paw.
Totally in love with her...sound like a ridiculously proud first time mum haha.
I've never had a pup, but sounds like this is a good use of the crate, especially to keep her out of the way for getting ready for school time. Maybe as she settles more you could try putting her into the crate as normal but leaving the door of it open when you head out during the 10-12.30 slot as she'll probably sleep anyway after the playing and the training while the house is quiet.
You're doing a really great job. You'll probably be able to slowly phase out the crate IF you want to in future. Our Lab is now 10 months and only very recently able to have the run of the house for an hour or so and not eat everything in sight.
Sounds fine to me. We need a pic :D
Only other thing I can think of is to make sure she's experiencing a wide range of things at this age. i.e. don't always walk her the same route.
busy town centre area
pets at home with electric doors
different types of people e.g. with hard hat on/tall men etc
Also play fireworks and thunder youtubes to her a couple of times at home.
We kept the crate until a year for our pup. Thats when the chewing stopped.
Oops should have added livestock and horses to that list.
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