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View Full Version : Help... boredom may cause us to find Gracie a new home



GraciesMom
26th January 2011, 05:30 PM
Very painful post for me. We love Gracie so much, but my job situation has changed so that even when I work from home I have to concentrate more of the day. At 8 months, Gracie is getting bored when we can't take her to doggy day care, which wears her out even if she goes for just a half-day or less. She clearly needs more play time and training time than we can give her. We walk her at least 3 times a day very rigorously and again at night, but she is acting out when we can't play with her and she is not sleepy. Both hubby and I are not getting done what we need to get done as she is taking a long time to eat and wants/needs more play time. This situation is not fair to her at all. Are their ideas of what to do to entertain her more during the day when we don't have time to do so? I hate to crate more often to get our work done as this would only bore her even more.

Karlin
26th January 2011, 05:47 PM
Well, first off she is still just a puppy and right now is likely to have far more energy than she is going to have even 3-4 months from now. Is she familiar with toys like Kongs, which you can feed her her meal from and fill with low fat frozen items to keep her busy -- such as mashed banana? I jam apiece of cow ear in one and they can spend ages trying to get it (unsuccessfully) out.

There's no reason she cannot spend a morning confined to say a single room as part of a daily routine. I prefer to not crate if at all possible -- really this is not a very interesting place for a dog to spend hours of time, especially a puppy -- it is a very poor quality situation and mentally understimulating and will add to the problem, not help it. They are much happier in say a kitchen area or room of their own with a radio, some chew toys, fresh water...

I work from home with 5 dogs here with no issues, and two like to sleep in their crates and the other three tend to just find somewhere to relax.

Have you considered that you are actually training her to pester you for attention? If you always respond to her pressing for attention by giving it, even when inconvenient (and what dog or child doesn't want nonstop attention?) then you are accidentally reinforcing this behaviour by letting her know it gets results. You need to just ignore her if the timing is wrong or avoid the problem by setting up a routine where she sometimes goes to her room for a few hours.

Walks are actually not a very productive way to engage and tire a dog. 30 minutes of working on some training exercises will tire her 500% more than a one hour walk. Mine are not even tired after a 5 mile walk. A dog can outwalk a human 100 times over. Hs she done a training class? She is getting past the age where this is quite critical -- a rewards- based (no punishment/corrections) training class will give her tools for self control and also help you in managing her too. And then instead of a generally boring walk for a dog around the neighbourhood, give her a 30 minute practice session twice a day.

However you do need to consider whether a dog is the right companion for your home if you both work from home and find that a dog's need for interaction is too time consuming. You also need to consider that you may have a very bright active dog who will ALWYS be like this (I have one f those and it isn't until the last few years -- he is now over 7 -- that he has really been able to settle quietly).

If you honestly find this too difficult and demanding then you have two choices: you can adjust your schedules to maybe split time with her or approach as you would if you both worked outside the home, and work out daily dog care etc rather than only on occasion (she is tired at daycare because she has to think and play and engage with other dogs -- she is using her brain). Or you can consider whether she needs a different home and perhaps now is not the right time in your lives to have a dog. It is better to be honest and make such a decision now when she needs that extra time and might get it in a different home. A lot of my rescue dogs in the past come in for similar reasons, people realising owning a dog was not quite what they imagined. Owning a dog is like having a child -- a lot of time and effort commitment day in and day out. and people can be taken aback at how much time is involved with an active, social animal like a dog (especially compared to say, a cat). That doesn't suit everyone.

I think only you can decide whether you feel owning a dog fits with you working and home life. I would suggest returning her to her breeder as most breeders would prefer to have dogs of their breeding come back to them especially if within a short space of ownership. Any decent breeder will fully understand that people's circumstances change.

GraciesMom
26th January 2011, 06:03 PM
Absolutely great information on training versus walks. I did not know that. She has been to puppy kindergarten training classes and some things from that are working well from that and some are not. We do have a trainer coming by the house tonight to go over some of the issues she is having and help us with them. Maybe we can get tips on training sessions to help us out. Part of this situation is caused by changes at work that came out of the blue.... so that what we had to offer is not as available as it was. So I am definitely thinking that if we can't resolve this with more effective training that we do need to look for a new home where she can get the interactive she needs from owners, other pets in the home, etc. When we first got her, Gracie did play more on her own and sleep more.... and it may be that we are rewarding her too much with attention. I will bring that up tonight with the trainer. Karlin, you are the best! I still do not know how this will work out but we will do what is best for Gracie, not for us.

GraciesMom
26th January 2011, 06:52 PM
We have friends with Cavs who are recommending an older dog that is housetrained. We could give them a room that is theirs and better able to leave them together when I need to work here or outside the house. But will raise these issues with the trainer later today. Still not sure this is the best direction, but all options on the table.

Karlin
26th January 2011, 07:02 PM
Well, you have a lot of options to consider. It is just important to be honest as to do anything else is unfair on Gracie and yourselves.

It is really important for her to get to a proper training class though if all she has had is a puppy class -- she would hugely benefit from the socialisation with other dogs and people and learning in a distracting environment, not at home. In addition it is a lot easier and more fun to learn how to train (as training is really about training the humans! :) ) in a class situation. Puppy classes are really just the equivalent of kindergarten vs actual school, and she is in a critical training window right now -- generally 6-9 months or so -- where if she isn't getting any classes, you have no self-control base for her as she goes into adolescent rebellion and then into adulthood. It is far easier to train and set good guidelines now while she is still young. It is very much like giving a structured environment to a child when young as opposed to trying to shape an adolescent.

I think it is worth saying a few things about crating as different trainers will say different things (and in the US I would only work with a CPDT qualified trainer, or perhaps APDT, though the latter qualification has been made a bit less meaningful). Crate training is in my eyes a huge benefit as you can transport a dog safely and confine easily and safely. Crating is a great short term management aid, helps with housetraining greatly, and can be an excellent place for dogs to sleep at night (in an emergency you'd know where they are). BUT... there is a big move in the US in particular (far less so in other parts of the world) to crate dogs for huge amounts of the day, in some cases, for a full work day :( as a convenience to the owner -- something that never happened to dogs in the past (even an outdoor kennel, as dull as they are for dogs, give many times the space to a dog). Some trainers will go on about how it is natural: dogs see it as their den, they are happy inside and even rush inside once trained. But how is it that we have come to believe our dogs --very social animals -- are 'happy' all day in a crate? We would protest at any zoo animal of the same size being confined for the entire day to a small box just large enough to turn around in -- and they are not animals needing anything like the level of human contact and stimulation a social dog needs. A dog can easily be trained through repetition and food rewards (including just a daily meal) or the slightest bit of contact or affection to accept all sorts of unacceptable situations -- that is why they can be so successfully mass bred in puppy mills/farms and complain so little, and why they can still trust humans even when they have been abused. So I have never accepted that because someone's dog seems happy all day in a crate (how can anyone really tell?), that crating is fine for long stretches.

That's why I really try to discourage crating when there are always other options -- even if a puppy playpen (xpen) with the crate inside with its door open. All my dogs are crate trained (which is great for long drives and at night) but also 'room' trained. They will settle into a room for a half or even full day if I am out. Many people confine dogs to their kitchen which is handy just in case of accidents because the floors are easy to clean. And it is always a good idea to train a dog to stay alone in a room while people are at home.

Karlin
26th January 2011, 07:21 PM
We have friends with Cavs who are recommending an older dog that is housetrained. We could give them a room that is theirs and better able to leave them together when I need to work here or outside the house

Well a second dog might help but you could also have two pestering you and twice the problems, from your point of view. It is hard to stumble upon a perfect housetrained quiet dog that will stay in a room -- all of this generally involves a lot of owner interaction, training and input and reinforcement.

It really comes back to the issue of whether a dog is the right fit for how you want or need to lead your personal and working lives. They aren't really just there for when we feel we have time, but like kids need daily interaction and effort. They are dogs, so are going to get bored if left alone for long stretches, and can react by barking, chewing things you don't want chewed, soiling the house, all common boredom issues; and these tend to accelerate if not addressed.

Getting a second dog isn't the answer to having a first dog that is raising some serious issues for you about dog ownership. Those bigger issues will all still be there, now times two, with a second dog. I don't think any of us has a dog that is willing to just lie around all day -- I do several walks a day with my gang and there's ongoing interaction, a trip to the big park a few times a week, a daily busy long-lasting treat like a pizzle stick or tripe. some training episodes etc. Even my elderly dog needs more than just companionable silence. I have learned to structure my work day around responsibilities to them to get those walks and play sessions in. But it takes time. I have friends who could not stand that level of commitment. Some of them have kids, and no problem managing kids. I'd have a hard time myself managing kids but happily shape my time around responsibly keeping dogs. :lol: People are all different (as are dogs for that matter!).

It goes back to the original point -- understanding there are no fast solutions and that the dog's need for daily interaction isn't going to decline. She will likely become a bit less needy of interaction as she gets older but she does need a lot on interaction right now because of her age. Unwanted habits can be set at this age hence the importance of thinking not just about training classes and daily structure for her and you, but the larger issue of whether a dog is the right fit, especially cavaliers who need close contact as a norm. It isn't a breed characteristic that suits everyone. So there will be a few things to take time out to think through.

GraciesMom
26th January 2011, 09:56 PM
I think that I was not very clear on something. We almost never crate Gracie, but that is where she sleeps and takes naps...voluntarily. I was looking for other ideas because we do NOT see that as a solution at all.

We ARE looking into more training classes for Gracie and getting her a room in the house that is "hers" for play and napping. She is getting alot of doggy day care interaction with dogs and other people as well as interaction with neighbors and their dogs. But it is the training part that is missing. As I noted earlier, we do have a trainer coming by tonight to go over the options and decide on a plan, if we can identify one that works. I agree about another dog Karlin... I think that it could be compounding the issue until we get this issue addressed.

I am home alot, so I think the problem is more that we have given Gracie too much attention when we are here and not enough training time. We have not let her develop her abilities to play by herself with toys when we are around. She has become increasingly wanting my attention... much more than the first few weeks we had her. So my training of her has left alot to be desired.

When I do work from home, I don't usually need full concentration the entire time, but at this point, am not getting much time at all without her wanting attention. However, the entire point of this post was to note that we do consider giving her up as a viable, if not incredibly painful, option.

At this point, we will wait until we talk with the trainer and see what's next. It may well be that we contact the breeder to help find a new family. As I stated earlier, we will do what is best for Gracie, not us.

Zumie05
26th January 2011, 11:23 PM
At 5 months old, Coco is already on her 3rd week of her second obedience class. Classes are such a great way to keep your dog in tip top shape, get them out around distractions, and help strengthen the bond between dog and owner.

Ian Dunbar's bood mentioned a point that I have been working on since day 1 that Coco came home, which is to engage in play, then settle for 5 seconds. Play again, settle for 10 seconds..etc. Coco now understands that settling down is good, play comes later. She plays hard, and never seems to tire, endless energy, but when I am done with her, she goes and chews a bone or naps on my lap or her bed, or wrestles with the cat :p

So my advice is, more training, and perhaps a companion for her to play with when you are too busy. Karlins advice about penning her in the kitchen is also great.

However, if having a puppy with this much energy and needing more training is going to be very hard due to your schedule, it is unfair to Gracie to continue to develop unacceptable behavior, because it can get worse...to the point where you do rehome her maybe a year later. Then her next owner may do the same, and the next the same again...endless cycle.

Lots to think about, but don't feel guilty if you decide to let her go. I went through 2 test puppies and weird situations with breeders before I found my perfect match!

GraciesMom
26th January 2011, 11:43 PM
I agree 100% on training. Gracie started out behind on training. We enrolled her in a six-week class as soon as we could. But could not find one that started right away. She has only been out of class 2 weeks and the next option does not start for another 2 weeks. Just wanted folks to know that we are working on this as fast as we can but were behind as she was not a young pup when we got her. This has caused some of her issues as she was at the breeders as a potential breeding dog, but he decided she was too small. And decided to sell her at 5 months old.

Sounds like doggy day care for 4 to 5 hours at a time a few days a week is not something that folks here think is a good idea either. I would like to hear more on that. She seems to really enjoy it and plays with the other dogs well. But am I hearing that she is too young at 8 months? What are people's observations?

Believe me, if we can't work out a way to do strong training with her and identify options that work for her, we will not be keeping her. Yes, it will be very painful, but already have committed to doing it. I would not feel guilty but I would feel very very sad.

Furrfoot
26th January 2011, 11:47 PM
Just out of curiosity, could this also be an adolescence thing? I ask because boxers are so difficult during adolescence (but tends to happen mentally between 12 and 18 months for boxers, as they don't fully mature until 3 years or so), that even a great puppy seems to forget EVERYTHING they have learned, and just generally become, um, a pain in the rump, lol. Then, almost magically, they settle back down again. I have no idea how this period goes in Cavaliers, but would be interested to know, since Rose is the same age, as to if we can expect something similar...and if they do go through adolescence like a boxer, maybe that would make a difference in your decision about long term plans for her?

nicola
27th January 2011, 12:59 AM
IMHO, it is more than likely an adolescence thing in that Gracie will settle down at least better than what she is at the minute. My two have settled down a great deal since they were Gracie's age, they are two now. Please don't give up!! Have you tried kongs? If you get a kong and fill it with the most delicious things, (there is a recipe book on the Ruperts Fund thread that you can download), freeze the contents and let her go to it. I guarantee if you fill it with things she likes and then freeze it that will keep her busy for quite some time! My two spend ages with their frozen kongs and then they play with each other for a short time and then flake out for several hours. I am not an expert on this forum by any stretch so all of these suggestions are just what I think myself. If I were you, I would try the frozen kongs, I would send Gracie to doggie daycare as much as I could during the times when you need peace to work at home also I personally WOULD consider getting a companion. A companion is no guarantee to fix the situation but in my own personal opinion I think it has an excellent chance of helping. My two when they were Gracies age, played constantly with each other and there was never a dull moment for them. I really think you need to give the situation a chance. Chances are Gracie is going to settle down considerably over the next several months and it would be a real shame if you gave her up now IMHO.:flwr:

GraciesMom
27th January 2011, 01:11 AM
Maybe some of this is adolescence.. I have read that this happpens with various dogs, but I think it is mostly bad training and spoiling her initially... all my fault. I am really disappointed that the trainer coming this evening has rescheduled for Friday evening. Augh!!! Was ready to get some help and guidance. :(

Zumie05
27th January 2011, 01:27 AM
The fact that you got Gracie at 5 months old definitely had you guys off to a slower start...but none the less she is still a puppy!

Doggy daycare would IMO be another way of her being "spoiled". Not only does this probably cost you a lot of money, she is building up a lot of endurance and expecting to get this much play time. Also, the more she is around other dogs the higher risk of catching diseases, even though she is vaccinated (I am assuming she is).

I would for now ignore her attempts for getting you to give her more attention, and then go out of your way to give her attention if she goes and settles herself or plays with one of her own toys. That would get you guys off to a good start for now :)

anniemac
27th January 2011, 02:44 AM
Please don't give up! I think that I forgot ellas puppy years on purpose :) she never really liked toys, just balls. She would chase them around. It was cute. I think it takes patience, a few learning experiences but in time I have a feeling, that things will settle down.

That's a good idea about giving attention when she is not asking. I think there are so many books on puppies for a reason. I am sure the trainer will come up with a good plan. If something doesn't work, then try another.

Can someone please tell me how I can stop an almost 5 year old cavalier from begging! I gave up on that one but here was my mistake:

From the beginning I never wanted to give ella "people food" but that did not stop my best guy friend from slipping her a piece of something when I wasn't looking. I would turn around to see ella eating something, or catch him with a piece of cheese in his hand 'red handed' So now I'm stuck and have given up but no matter how sad her big brown eyes look up at me, I stay strong.

Don't give up because you have plenty of good times to come,

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

GraciesMom
28th January 2011, 12:31 AM
So now I'm stuck and have given up but no matter how sad her big brown eyes look up at me, I stay strong.

So true! You have to be really tough to not give in to those eyes! They are designed to get to us!

mommytoClaire
29th January 2011, 07:23 PM
Hi Debra, just wondering how things went with the trainer last night.

I had posted something last night, but lost my connection and it was lost in cyberland.

My Claire is going to be one in a week. I would say probably the hardest time for us was between 7-10 months. It just takes diligence. Remember, you've had Gracie for only 3 months, whereas the breeder had her for 5 months, nearly twice as long. Three months is a relatively short period of time, and Gracie is just finding out what things she can get away with, and what she can't. Personally it sounds like you do have the ideal situation with working out of the home, and it's just going to take some patience on your part and some 'working' on her part to get her where she needs to be.

If we only placed dogs (whether they've been bought or adopted) in perfect homes, there would be no dogs placed and we ALREADY have an abundance of dogs that need homes.

I am not in a situation where I can leave Claire in a room. Our kitchen doesn't allow us to 'gate' it off, and my older diabetic blind/glaucoma dog Nash already occupies the laundry room when we are gone (it's a very large room), with the cat. Claire has a tendency to jump on Nash's head and eyes, so I don't leave them when they can't be supervised. I wouldn't want to risk Nash or her getting hurt. With that said, I do have to crate Claire. It's a very large crate, large enough for her to play a bit and sleep. She's well potty trained, and she is never left in there for extended periods where having to relieve herself would be a problem. And we never use it for anything other than when we have to leave the home, or she wants a nap.

My husband does work from home, so most days she spends the afternoon in his office with her toys, playing, napping and jumping on the cat LOL>

The biggest thing, and we've found this with ALL our dogs, is consistency. It's hard when they do have a lot of energy. But, they are puppies, and I'm already seeing a change in Claire's 'puppy' energy as she turns one. Of course, training will help, and keeping their mind occupied, as mentioned with the Kong.

I hope you will take your time before making any decisions. A few weeks at this point in her life isn't going to make that much of a difference, and it sounds like you do have a lovely home for her. Of course, if there are other things playing into this, only you can make the decision. I would just hate to see her rehomed if this is just a temporary (as has been mentioned) adolescence thing.

And yes, sometimes the doggy day care situation can energize them to the point where this is their expectations. I've had this happen with a friend. She still uses doggy daycare, but only on occassion, and uses a dog walker other times.

If having time while you are working is a problem, I think perhaps having someone come in and 'dogwalk' while you working might be more plausible. I have a friend who is a dogwalker and she is much cheaper than doggy daycare, and does this for several clients who 'work' at home.

My opinion would be to give it some time. Gracie sounds like a wonderful little girl who is perhaps just going through her 'terrible' twos.

Blessings,

Cindy and Claire

laram
30th January 2011, 11:22 AM
Just wanted to reiterate something has already been said: Gracie is really young and over energetic behaviour is to be expected. I posted about Sammy's boredom at a similar age. He would demand to play or go out or do something/anything pretty much 21 hours of the day, and he was always getting himself into trouble (pulling things down from tables, opening cupboards, tearing up magazines, scratching the wallpaper). I blamed myself; I thought I was just too boring or lazy an owner for him.

Now, at 4 years old, he is the lazy one. I threw a ball to him yesterday and he just watched it go by and looked at me like 'what was that about?' Mostly, he's just interested in his walks, his food, getting cuddles, and lying beside me on the sofa. The idea to scratch wallpaper or tear up magazines would pretty much never cross his mind.

In the mean time, a few tips:

Be strict! She will continually demand your attention if you continually give in to her. Sammy sometimes just needed a time-out in another room for a minute and then he'd give up.

Kong's or chew bones help a lot! Wedge something like a dog biscuit in there so that it's really tough to get out. Anything soft is too easy.

When you are home, space out little activities (like the kong or a little playing session or a grooming session or a walk or a toy or a newspaper to tear up). I bought a whole load of second hand toys (stuffed animals, balls etc) so that I could rotate them, since he got bored with them so quickly. By the time a particular toy came round again, it was new to him again.

When you are away, leave her in a small room where she can't get into too much trouble. And of course leave toys, a kong etc. Eventually when she loses the destructive edge of her energy, you can trust her in the whole house.

Eventually she'll get into a routine where she just sleeps when you're away in any case.

I agree with Karlin that adding another dog often means you just have two bored dogs on your hands. I experienced that when Sammy was a young dog and I dogsitted another young dog for a week. The two of them would sit staring at me, waiting on my every move just in case I did something interesting. It made me feel even more boring!

shell1805
30th January 2011, 01:25 PM
i think i was relatively lucky with bentley, we had sullivan our 4 year old lab when he was a puppy (sadly lost him to cancer 7 months back) but bentley learnt alot off of him. however, i would strongly advise whether gettin a second older dog would help in this situation, no matter how many walks they were givin or games we played they would still both run around the place like crazy. sullivan was the most layed back dog ever, inroduce bentley the terror and he became an over sized puppy over night. so this may be more of a hindurance if you dont want 2 dogs playing 24/7.

i strongly remember bentley going through a clingy stage at about 8 months, he wanted to be with me all the time but it did pass. i must admit, i never did the puppy class thing or even saw a trainer(fortunatley within my family we have 6 dogs of varying ages and sizes so bentley got lots of interaction with them while growing up and now also. however if he didnt have all these doggy chums i would have definatley gone to puppy classes as socialisation is top priority to me as im sure it is for others). i just spent the time getting to know his strengths and weakness's and homed in on what would work for him (bentley has the concentraion span of a knat so i have to do things in short bursts if i want him to learn anything bless him)

IMHO i think it would be premature to re home gracie so quick, the situation has only changed recently so neither you nor her has had time to adjust. i would hate for you to do something spare of the moment and regret it later but i can see where you are coming from.

once bentley got past a year he changed massivley, partly as i had him neutred i think. he just chilled out more but i sometimes think that it was because i changed also. we knew each other better and both knew what was expected from the other.

hope, no matter what happens, that the best works out for both of you xx

Karlin
30th January 2011, 02:01 PM
Doggy daycare would IMO be another way of her being "spoiled". Not only does this probably cost you a lot of money, she is building up a lot of endurance and expecting to get this much play time. Also, the more she is around other dogs the higher risk of catching diseases, even though she is vaccinated (I am assuming she is).


:bang::bang::bang:

I am sorry but this is just a ridiculous set of statements and cannot be left unchallenged and ties in with a growing issue with some of your posts. If I recall Coco is your first dog you have owned as an adult -- plus she is only a puppy still with which you have had numerous issues yourself-- so please, how can you make a statement like this as if you are speaking with knowledge and experience?

Zumie I have spent a long time saying nothing but feel as admin that I have to ask you please not to give advice in areas where you have no knowledge and are just making things up -- this for example is very serious difficult decision for a dog owner (where you, please recall, are not noting the one area in which you DO have experience -- you yourself returned several pups and thus you actually did the exact opposite of what you advise). For about a year, you kept getting puppies and then dropping off the board when you returned them to the breeders for various reasons even though at one point you accepted this was not a good time to get a puppy at all (which I guess must have changed within months). Anyone can see your past posts over time on this. Eventually you returned here with yet another puppy and this time have begun to post on nearly every single thread where someone asks for advice. People are always encouraged to participate, don't get me wrong, but half the time your advice comes from way out in left field and reflects no experience at all of actually owning a dog. Please be more cautious in advising people what to do if you are not speaking with any personal knowledge!

As to the points made here:

Have you ever put a dog through daycare? I don't think so. If you have ever put a dog into daycare you will know they do not get 'spoiled' :sl*p: -- they have fun and exhaust themselves. Do you truly believe allowing dogs to enjoy themselves with other dogs 'spoils' them? Dogs *need* to get intense interaction and activity *every day*. Daycare is a great way for dogs to get playtime and learn self control and self discipline (that owners often fail to give them).

What do you mean in saying that a dog should avoid all the fun of play and critical socialisation -- ask any trainer and they will say, the more dogs the better!! -- because of fear of 'disease'? What 'disease'? Vaccinated dogs are not going to encounter any problem issues in socialising with other dogs and to deprive them of play is silly and cruel. Would you argue that children should stay inside all day and have no friends and avoid school because they might get colds? :bang: If you are aware of diseases that dogs could get that might pose a risk, please let us know what those are and why we should all refrain from having our dogs mix with others.

This owner is facing some serious decisions. If you wish to share the area where you have advice -- making a decision to actually return puppies in such a situation as the owner faces -- that is a legitimate contribution, but this is damaging advice that comes from no personal knowledge or experience at all.

GraciesMom
30th January 2011, 02:43 PM
I greatly appreciate all the tips, but sorry that it created some major issues between people here. One of the things that is clear here is that there are lots of experiences and lots of different types of personalities in the humans and the dogs involved. I honestly don't think that there are perfect answers....just some better than others. But, here is an update.

First, the trainer has given me more ideas for training activities to help keep her occupied both with me and when I can't totally focus on her. One in particular has been really effective. She also does think that short periods of walking/training activity with her over the day rather than a few longer ones is best.

Second, we are enrolling her in the next level of class training.

Third, I have found what I think is a better day care for her.... they not only group the dogs by size but also by temperament/energy level. She would not be with hyperactive dogs that wear her out completely. And no more than 6 dogs per group.

The dogs get to know each other as they are grouped together more regularly. But... and here is a question...I have to agree to take her there for at least 3 half-days a week so that she does get to know her play group. I am more than willing to do that but wonder about thoughts on that.

Karlin
30th January 2011, 02:59 PM
I think all that sounds like an excellent approach. I think at least three half days would be very beneficial. I work closely with several certified trainers as well as vets, and this kind of approach is exactly what they would advise. I think the best place for a dog to be if people cannot give active attention is in daycare as they have a blast and you end up with a fantastically socialised dog.

Believe me one of the biggest difficulties owners have and biggest management issues as they get older (including why they end up in rescue) comes from poorly socialised dogs and Gracie is in a critical period for active socialisation with both dogs and people. Being a solo dog alone at home is not a great situation for a dog and quite lonely -- she would even without your other questions and issues, benefit from three days a week with other dog pals (half days would be a minimum; this really is very little time overall so I'd say go for it and the advice is excellent).

For many dogs especially those with some social issues or lots of energy, I consider the single best fostering situations for my rescues to be with some of the trainers I know, who then bring them to daycare with them to mix with other dogs and learn great doggie and people manners, or with my friends who homeboard and thus the dogs get lots of socialisation and playtime with other dogs.

GraciesMom
30th January 2011, 03:30 PM
I do think sometimes the groups are too big and no consideration of the temperaments....just size. The good thing is that a half-day is really 6 hours, not 4. I have left her a couple of times for as long as 8 hours and she was sooooooo tired. She was like a limp noodle. But she gets along great with other dogs and she was just named "sweetest camper" for February.

However, I think the new day care facility I just heard about, I would feel better leaving her longer since she would not be thrown in with loghyperactive dogs too. I do have an application already filled out and planning to drop it off tomorrow to set up a time for her to be evaluated by them later this week.

Karlin
30th January 2011, 03:59 PM
This is a good point: quality of daycare centres can vary enormously. There should be a good ratio of staff to dogs (more staff the better) -- in that case it really doesn't matter if a larger group is out playing together as the staff then keep the really active dogs from hassling the less interactive or shy new dogs. Small dogs also shouldn't all be out with really large dogs. Puppies are generally socialised with primarily smaller dogs. There's no issues for dogs mixing with more playful dogs as long as they aren;t being overwhelmed by them (and sometimes the hyper ones are actually poorly socialised dogs who do not read other dogs' signals well and don't lay off when they get too pushy. It is good for them to be carefully mixed in with groups that will teach them better manners). But you want good personality matches so every dog is having fun.

But it is good for dogs of all sizes to mix sometimes, because otherwise you end up with dogs tat are scared or aggressive to dogs of other sizes out of fear. Most big dogs are gentler with small dogs that smallies are with each other!!

A daycare centre should be insured as well.

This for example is what Dog Training Ireland does:

http://www.dogtrainingireland.ie/daycare/


All daycare is supervised at all times with dogs matched by personality, age, size.
All care staff are trained and certified in canine first aid.
All training staff are certified CCPDT, APDT and only reward and positive training methods are used.
All toys and equipment are safe.
We have full planning permission for our safe and suitable newly built premises.
We are fully insured.

nicola
30th January 2011, 04:41 PM
I posted earlier in the thread in favour of daycare and I feel the more the better, depending on what you can afford. To me, what Karlin says just makes sense and I think you AND Gracie will be much happier especially now in her puppy days when she has so much energy. Once she is a bit older and has settled down you could always re-evaluate the length of time spent in daycare and you may find she is happy just to lie beside you while you work. My two are quite content now, at the age of two to lie and chew their kongs beside me. I am so happy you seem to be going in the right direction and that you are giving the situation a chance...Gracie is one of the nicest looking Blenheim puppies I have seen :lotsaluv:

GraciesMom
31st January 2011, 01:52 AM
Gracie would get to be with some slightly larger dogs, instead of all tiny dogs...but not too big.... no more than 25 lb, but would be grouped more based on temperament. She does get to play with two larger dogs in my neighborhood regularly... one of them is submissive to Gracie! HA!

What I like most is that they have a record of not letting any dog become a bully in the group and have suspended dogs from daycare until they address issues. Gracie is very good now with pretty large dogs, but the really hyper dogs are more of the problem for her after an hour or two. All doggie day cares here but be insured but what I like about this one is that it is locally owned place (not a chain) that has been around a long time and is highly recommended by local Cavalier owners and two trainers that we all like. They have wonderful outdoor and indoor play areas with lots of interesting items to play with and on. The people who work there also do alot of ball throwing, ring tossing, and various games with them.

It is no more costly than the place I had been taking her to....and it also is a vet hospital so if anything happens, they have someone onsite to address it.

nicola
31st January 2011, 02:30 PM
Sounds great, shes going to have a ball!! You are very lucky to have the option of daycare. There isn't a single dog daycare in our entire country that I am aware of!

anniemac
1st February 2011, 07:10 AM
I am so glad you found a place that looks also at temperament. I strongly believe in socialization. My cousin has a weimrheme r that she takes to day care everyday so she is very close to the owner and I knew them before I got Ella. The day care owners former partner owns the dog bar.

Long story try short, at the dog bar Ella will sit next to a great Dane. They are calm but she will also play with mia (weimrheiner) even tonight. At day care (doesn't go now) they are not in same group. So like karlin said, good to get used to bigger dogs but have ella around a bunch of hyper active big dogs for a period of time it doesn't work.

They KNOW the dogs and know who is "friends" with who or not. In NC they have to have a certain # of staff per dog but it is the level of interaction. So its not just small dogs, big dogs (sure they break them up) but even to personalities.

When ella first was diagnosed, they limited her play time or they kept an eye out. they wanted information on SM b/c they have some other cavaliers that they have seen scratch to give information to. If I take her, she can be up front with them. It is somewhere that you have to find the right one, which it sounds like you have, and let them know and get feedback.

They told me cavaliers do not need 5 full days of day care. Other highly active dogs might. Its good for them to play and get tired especially a puppy. I am sure gracie runs to go back.

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Zumie05
1st February 2011, 07:31 AM
:bang::bang::bang:

I am sorry but this is just a ridiculous set of statements and cannot be left unchallenged and ties in with a growing issue with some of your posts. If I recall Coco is your first dog you have owned as an adult -- plus she is only a puppy still with which you have had numerous issues yourself-- so please, how can you make a statement like this as if you are speaking with knowledge and experience?

Zumie I have spent a long time saying nothing but feel as admin that I have to ask you please not to give advice in areas where you have no knowledge and are just making things up -- this for example is very serious difficult decision for a dog owner (where you, please recall, are not noting the one area in which you DO have experience -- you yourself returned several pups and thus you actually did the exact opposite of what you advise). For about a year, you kept getting puppies and then dropping off the board when you returned them to the breeders for various reasons even though at one point you accepted this was not a good time to get a puppy at all (which I guess must have changed within months). Anyone can see your past posts over time on this. Eventually you returned here with yet another puppy and this time have begun to post on nearly every single thread where someone asks for advice. People are always encouraged to participate, don't get me wrong, but half the time your advice comes from way out in left field and reflects no experience at all of actually owning a dog. Please be more cautious in advising people what to do if you are not speaking with any personal knowledge!

As to the points made here:

Have you ever put a dog through daycare? I don't think so. If you have ever put a dog into daycare you will know they do not get 'spoiled' :sl*p: -- they have fun and exhaust themselves. Do you truly believe allowing dogs to enjoy themselves with other dogs 'spoils' them? Dogs *need* to get intense interaction and activity *every day*. Daycare is a great way for dogs to get playtime and learn self control and self discipline (that owners often fail to give them).

What do you mean in saying that a dog should avoid all the fun of play and critical socialisation -- ask any trainer and they will say, the more dogs the better!! -- because of fear of 'disease'? What 'disease'? Vaccinated dogs are not going to encounter any problem issues in socialising with other dogs and to deprive them of play is silly and cruel. Would you argue that children should stay inside all day and have no friends and avoid school because they might get colds? :bang: If you are aware of diseases that dogs could get that might pose a risk, please let us know what those are and why we should all refrain from having our dogs mix with others.

This owner is facing some serious decisions. If you wish to share the area where you have advice -- making a decision to actually return puppies in such a situation as the owner faces -- that is a legitimate contribution, but this is damaging advice that comes from no personal knowledge or experience at all.

Sorry. So let me back up here then. Parvo, distemper, parinfluenza, and kennel cough are diseases dogs can get. Immunization against these pretty much eliminates the risk. Kennel cough however is still possible to contract regardless of vaccinations or not, because it mutates like the flu does. So a flu shot doesnt necessarily make you immune. Plus there is always a possibility of getting giardia or parasites from other dogs.

Spoiled is the wrong word to use I suppose. The doggy day care may simply just be giving the pup so much exercise that she is building up endurance, therefore needing more and more. Just like athletes. People who are not as active cannot sustain high levels of activity for long. People who have trained need to be active for longer and longer periods of time to get an adequate work out. I am just putting two and two together here and giving an opinion, and not looking to be excused from doing so.

I understand this is a serious matter for the owner which is why I wanted to give my own two cents. It is up to the OP how to take what is said, not for others to make that decision for her.

I have put a dog through day care before. My last dog was a Rottweiler. We took him once a week and found that it was better for us to exercise him, as it saved us money and got just as much energy out of him. Also, visiting dog parks worked good as well, but one can never be too careful about diseases. Dogs can get sick just like people. Please point out where I said that Gracie should not go to doggy day care. I simply said she might be building up endurance and that exposure to lots of other dogs increases risk of catching something. Doggy day care and dog parks are great ways for dogs to have fun, socialize, and let out energy. I never said that people should not do this.

I was a dog trainer for 4 years, and feel pretty confident about advice that I do give. But, I am not a god and do not know everything. Part of the reason I joined this forum was to learn more.

I am sorry if I have lead the OP in the wrong direction, but I do not feel it is fair for you to ask me to not participate in places I have no experience. I am the one to judge my level of experience, and appreciate constructive criticism, as I appreciate learning more. I am however offended to be asked not not participate.

Karlin
1st February 2011, 05:37 PM
This is still ridiculous and I stand by my response. What in the world do you mean that a dog is 'building up endurance' in a negative way simply by getting a positive level of attention. interaction and play? This is simply bizarre.

And how is daycare a greater risk for 'disease' then going to a park? Dogs are generally required to have kennel cough vaccines for daycare. I cannot imagine a daycare that would not require basic vaccines at registration --people are far more likely to encounter distemper or parvo walking in a park with a dog than in daycare. Giardia?! That is pretty unlikely in daycare too.

You were a *dog trainer* for four years? Really? Yet you are asking when dogs start to pant? How to housetrain? Running a puppy to try and exhaust it? Were all these things never dealt with in four YEARS of dog training? :confused::confused:

My issue is that you keep popping up giving advice on threads on questions where often you yourself have made repeated posts with similar problems. You also seem to have a pattern of getting dogs and then returning them or rehoming yourself so it seemed odd that this point of actual experience was not even mentioned in a thread like this yet someone was being told that getting a dog some appropriate activity and interaction would "build up endurance" and "spoil" the dog.

It is just ridiculous "advice" much less to come from someone claiming four years of experience training dogs. On a site that is very concerned with dog welfare, and caring dog ownership as well as making responsible decisions about ownership, I just cannot leave such posts as they don't even reflect an alternative point of view, they are just utter nonsense that could lead many people to stop doing activities that are extremely beneficial and productive for their dogs. I am sorry for being that blunt but please perhaps stick to posting videos and pictures and asking questions rather than advising others.

Zumie05
1st February 2011, 06:13 PM
Again as I said I am not a god and do not know everything. As a dog trainer, yes I helped people potty train. I ask questions like that for more ideas to see if I can add onto what I already know. Coco is potty trained now, hasn't had an accident in almost 4 weeks, so I would say I have done a good job on that.

Panting? That is not covered in training. I simply was curious. Running a puppy until exhaustion? Please....why do you all get the idea I am trying to cause my puppy to collapse? Now days she runs herself until panting. The panting question was in comparison to other dogs which I had noticed; many dogs begin to pant almost immediately when excited and during play, and as a very young puppy Coco never did which triggered the question "I wonder if they don't pant until a certain age?" And I did not run her to collapse simply for a picture. I could have done so when she was 10 weeks old, and didn't. I know that puppy bodies are sensitive and should not be worked too hard, since they are still growing.

Rehoming dogs; well those dogs I was on a trial run with and the breeder understood there was a chance I was not going to keep them. She knew the first dog was very shy and timid and when I brought him back said she was not surprised because he did not seem like a match for us, but wanted us to try him out to be sure. The second dog was the same deal, except we did like her and wanted to keep her. My Grandmother had aquired the first dog because of her more laid back lifestyle, and things worked out great for both of us and I was very excited how things were working out. Later it was discovered that first dog had some health issues, which I notified the breeder about and mentioned that the cost of his health would be appreciated in a reduced purchase price. She was offended and immediately made me surrender BOTH her dogs. I was in tears over this, it was not my choice.

I have fostered dogs and cats alike and volunteer at my local pet shelter. So I do have experience. Just because of that should not keep me from asking questions about potty training, panting, and nutrition because as I said earlier I am here to ad on to what I already know.

And, once again, please point out where I said it is a bad idea to take a dog to doggy day care. I did not recommend that to the OP. The whole endurance things makes sense to me. A trained racing greyhound will need much more exercise to relieve the excess energy than a pet raised greyhound. But if that doesn't make sense to you, so be it.

*Sorry for hijackig the thread. I had no idea my little tidbit would cause an uproar like this. I won't try to give you anymore advice due to Karlin's request.*

GraciesMom
3rd February 2011, 02:01 PM
So far, the new plan is working soooooo well. And we have not had a chance to try the new doggy day care yet but still using the original one. I did file an application with the recommended one yesterday. They then want me to bring in Gracie for evaluation next week... which will happen on Monday or Tuesday. YAY!

The new toys that require Gracie to think, doing a combo of training/walking and having a place for her to play with her stuff that is near me has worked really well. She prefers to play on carpet/rug, so got a new rug near my computer area that is just for her. She loves it.

Also, doggy day care is tiring her out but the next day she wants to rest up. She has spurts of excess energy but we can deal with that.

She is such a joy in my life.... so happy this is working out so far. I can't imagine my life without her. Sometimes I just cry happy tears because she is such a blessing.

Sandrac
3rd February 2011, 04:24 PM
Thats great news. b*n*n*

Karlin
3rd February 2011, 05:23 PM
That's great and so glad you are finding some workable approaches. Dogs really respond to structure so if she knows after her morning time with you that she goes to her special area and has some busy toys -- just like making sure kids have a few toys to play with to keep them occupied and busy -- until a lunchtime break or a potty break midday, she will soon learn and enjoy the new routine.

Daycare is great for giving her social, active time with other dogs and as you say -- pooping her out!

So many dog issues are not training but management problems -- or can be solved much more swiftly and easily by some simple management. But that isn;t always obvious and it can be hard to realise sometimes, when it seems like the dog has to be trained specifically to do this or that. Of course, you actually are indirectly training her -- to have more self control because she can expect that she will have something fun to do whenever you aren't around and won't have to make up her own entertainment -- doing the things which tend to frustrate owners.

A good way to think about solving any unwanted behaviour -- which almost always is something normal for the dog -- is not to respond 'stop that now!' but to think, 'if I don't want her to do this, what else am I going to give her to do; what would I like her to do that she will also enjoy?'. Or as I call it, toddler thinking. With a small child, we would never expect them to just sit quietly all day because making noise interrupts us -- we come up with alternative things for them to do and a structured routine of food, rest, play, busywork. :D

Desrae
3rd February 2011, 06:00 PM
Oh that is great news alright! Really glad to see your updated post.:-)

mommytoClaire
4th February 2011, 02:10 AM
Best news I have heard all week! They are easy dogs to fall in love with aren't they?

anniemac
4th February 2011, 02:20 AM
I'm so happy! I loved the picture You sent :)

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GraciesMom
5th February 2011, 03:22 PM
It made our week to get the Rupert Calendar and little stuffed Rupert, which looks like a baby Gracie. I cherish them both and thank all of the doggies that posed for pictures. They are all priceless!

Karen Rawlins
8th February 2011, 11:14 PM
Churchill is 3 1/2 years old and has just been diagnosed with Syngromelia. He has a tendancy to get very lazy and I have to force myself to take to different places for his walks rather than just around the neighborhood. If their are dog parks or walks in your area which there are where I live and it is just a few minutes from my house it helps so much. Some times he just looks bored. But if I get him out someplace different he is alot better dog and sleeps better as well. Good Luck

GraciesMom
9th February 2011, 01:25 AM
We started the new doggy daycare yesterday and very well run. I liked it! Gracie did too

anniemac
9th February 2011, 02:49 AM
We started the new doggy daycare yesterday and very well run. I liked it! Gracie did too

Yeah!

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GraciesMom
9th February 2011, 09:11 PM
Tried a couple of times but said your box was full! Naughty naughty, says Gracie!