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Does this sound like a good routine for a 9 month old? What’s your dogs routine?(29 Posts)
Wakes up anywhere between 4.30 and 7am (due to the light mornings and noisy birds unfortunately!)
Snoozes while DH potters about/watches tv until his morning walk 8-8.30am. Breakfast.
Mooches around the house, annoys the cats, sniffs about outside until 9 or 10am when I shut him in the kitchen with a kong. I leave him for around 3 hours and he sleeps for that time
We all have lunch, more mooching about, training session while I cook then we go for an off lead sniffy walk for 30mins to an hour
By now it’s usually 2/3pm. He gets very barky in the garden as next door’s dogs are usually out around this time and they don’t get walked at all so they bark at anything.
Second kong and sleep of the day in the kitchen for another 2-3 hours.
Then DH comes home from work around 6pm. High excitement, more training and a final walk to the green for last wee/poo around 8.30pm. Bed at 10.
Does that sound like enough activity? Too much alone time or ok? He struggles to settle if I’m in the room with him, he’ll sleep but he’s always got one eye on what’s going on and will follow me if I move so I think he’s better on his own in the kitchen.
The afternoon kitchen sleep is more often than not only 2 hours tops. If he’s quiet and I don’t need to start tea then I’ll leave him for longer.
I can’t understand why he spends so long on his own , I can’t imagine shutting my dog away whilst I’m in the house despite the fact that at 10 yo he still follows me around a fair bit .
Because he doesn’t sleep when I’m in the room with him and I wanted to keep him in the same routine he’ll be in when I return to work after lockdown. We’ve been having some issues with him being aggressive towards DS (a different thread) and our behaviourist said it was important he got enough quiet time and rest/sleep.
The behaviour was tricked by DS disturbing his sleep so I want him to be able to sleep in complete peace.
I'd second that thought on the alone time. it looks like hes kept alone by himself for 6 ish hours in the day apart from a tiny break when you're making your lunch, in which case if that's normal when you return to work he should be in daycare. if you add up that alone time to the hours hes asleep over night and asleep In the evening, it doesnt leave him much active fun awake time to be living.
It seems a bit sad to have a dog then leave it alone for 6 hours during the day, when you are actually just in the next room. And you are having to do this because your dog will have to learn that is what his life will consist of from now on. I think you will need daycare. All the dogs I have had have spent as much time as possible with me, and I have never shut a dog away in another room in the house in order to teach it to get used to being alone.
I’d get a stair gate or crate and crate train, and a new behaviourist. Locking any dog, let alone a puppy, in another room for 6 hours while you’re in isn’t healthy. It won’t prepare him for you going back to work either, he knows that you’re in.
Why on earth would the OP need a crate it’s bad enough that this dog spends so many hours alone in a room it would only make it worse if it spent that many hours shut in a cage .
Ok thanks, I’ll drop the afternoon alone time. This has been a new routine over the last week (hence me asking if it’s ok) after I’ve spoken to the behaviourist. She didn’t specify that amount of time just that I needed to enforce plenty of rest time for him whilst he’s going through his adolescence. She’s actually given me some excellent advice.
A normal working week is 3 hours alone 3 times a week. Before lockdown my parents would come and look after him for the 2 afternoons on my full days so I don’t want to drop the mornings.
Thanks for the advice.
Also to clarify, he doesn’t know we’re in. We’re in the annex doing home schooling and work in the morning and I’m working in the afternoon while DS draws or build Lego etc so it will prepare him for when we’re back to work/school.
He's quite a busy dog with walks so I imagine this much sleep is good for him. My puppy is younger but even when exhausted goes in and out the garden. Her daycare told me they do enforced naps for tired pups in a crate. I started that too and she's asleep in 30 seconds.
If the only issue is being alone because she doesn't settle with you there you could crate train but not leave the room.
I sometimes put mine in her crate and ask everyone to leave the living room but I come back when she is asleep and open doors so as soon as she wakes she can come and join me. If your dog is happy alone for a bit don't undo that, that's what lots of dogs find really hard.
Does he actually sleep the whole time you leave him alone? I know every dog is different but I think mine would be bored out of his mind and probably become destructive if he was shut in the kitchen 6 hours a day. Did the behaviourist explain why she thinks he should be alone for so long?
He does sleep the whole time he’s alone, like flat out, belly up, paws in the air sleeping. If he wakes I go to him but he doesn’t often.
I’ve always left him for the 3 hours in the morning. When I’m with him in the afternoon he sleeps but it’s never quality sleep.
Someone made the point up thread that he’s not having much ‘active living time’. He’s having around 13 hours of alone sleeping time per 24 hour period. The rest he’s spending with family. I don’t think that’s ‘not much active living time’?
I don’t know, I’m great full for any advice.
The behaviourist just said to give him plenty of quality rest/quiet time. She didn’t specify how much which is why I was asking if his routine sounded ok.
He’s growled and snapped at DS in the evening (there’s a whole thread on this) and she talked about small stresses building up over the course of the day.
Your behaviourist is absolutely right - dogs need 15-18 hours of decent sleep/rest each day. It's important for their emotional wellbeing and perfectly normal. Free-roaming dogs sleep for similar lengths of time. Dogs don't need to be entertained for 10 hours/day and don't need constant interaction/daycare.
Lots of the clinical behaviour/anxiety problems we see in modern dogs are associated with lack of routine/sleep disturbances. Quality sleep and quality exercise/training are key, the rest of the time it's fine for him to chill/potter
That's reassuring, Veterinari. My Pippa Mathieson puppy training book also says that between training g , walks and meals puppies need to be sleeping. I am doing daycare with puppy once a week in case I need it in the future but my old dogs never went. To be honest if we always did a good run in the very early morning and a park mooch every afternoon they want to e in their own beds in between, not having loads of dogs around them. And they didn't need a walker as got plenty of exercise. I worked part time then extended my hours as dogs got older and slept more. Now I need to decide whether to reduce hours again for puppy or use daycare/ Walker. I wont need to decide till she is 9 months old or so so I can wait and see what kind of dog she is and what would suit her best. Any one got tips?
Since your dog is sleeping the whole time you are leaving him it sounds like he is appreciating the alone time. I would just continue to follow the behaviourists advice, she will no doubt know what's best for your dog and your situation more than the majority of us on here
I don't think there's anything wrong with so much "down" time but I wouldn't shut my dog away from me for six hours a day - I just don't think it's necessary. If he's not alone for six hours a day normally, why is it something you've chosen to enforce now? I think it sounds really miserable for him to have so much time without your company - especially when you're around to provide it.
It actually makes me really sad to think of him shut away on his own for six hours while you're all around and having fun. I would never shut my dog away like that. What's the point in having a dog if he spends more than half his life on his own in the kitchen?
Read my pp please. I explain why he’s on his own and I also explain that he can’t hear us.
I know, I read your posts. and I'm glad you're going to drop the afternoons, but I still stand by what I said.
It's totally normal for dogs to follow you around and for them to "sleep with one eye open" as you say. It's part of their nature to keep an eye on what's going on. The fact that your pup does that is normal - it's not a problem behaviour that needs to be corrected.
I'm all for dogs being left regularly for short periods to get them used to it, but the idea of doing it for six hours a day did make me really upset for your dog. They're pack animals and shouldn't have to spend so much time without human company.
I think you’re missing the point. As explained previously, the behaviourist has told me to ensure pup gets plenty of quiet rest time whilst he’s going through adolescence. Not because him follow me around or having one eye open is a problem but because he’s been growling and snapping at my DS in the evening and she felt it was, in part, due to a build up of stresses throughout the day and having that quiet time would help him to reset.
We haven’t had a single incident since we started the new routine so I will continue as we are for a while longer.
It’s not 3 hours in the afternoon, I did correct myself in my second post. It’s 3 hours in the morning and then up to 2 hours in the afternoon.
* It's totally normal for dogs to follow you around and for them to "sleep with one eye open" as you say.*
It's actually not. It's a sign of hypervigilance and underlying anxiety.
When dogs rest they should rest soundly, not have chronic underlying anxiety about where you might be.
However hyoervigilance doesn't actually seem to be an issue for the OPs dog.
* They're pack animals and shouldn't have to spend so much time without human company.*
No they aren't pack animals and if they were this sentence makes no sense - they'd need dog company not human. Dogs are social animals and need a mix of human and dog company, but not all the time.