Am I doing enough for my dog before, during and after crating??

asked 2018-06-11 11:57:54 -0500

I have massive guilt about crating my dog while working. We got him as a 10 week old puppy and had the dog walker come twice - he slept more then though. He's now a 67 pound, 1 year old puppy (we increased the crate size!) He's a hound/lab/staffordshire terrier/pointer mix - has a lot of energy but is pretty good for a puppy. I took him to daycare starting at 7 months until just recently. He had an incident and got put on "probation" - I won't get into all of that, but he basically got too excited when dogs came and left and they would grab him by the collar to put him in a crate at those times, and well, he didn't like that and got into it with another dog who came at him while he was upset. ANYWHO.. that said, I now have to have him home while we're working. I'm gone about 9 hours, and have a great rover walker coming midday. I get up earlier now and take him for a long walk first thing (30-45 minutes), let him stay out of his crate while I get ready, then play catch him in for another 30 minutes before I head out. He's out of the crate for about 2-3 hours before I go to work, back in for 4, gets a 30 min walk, then back in for about another 4 1/2 hours. I walk him when i get home, play outside, give him interactive toys, etc at night - then he sleeps in the crate. I would love to leave him out of the crate, but he has had issues with eating foreign objects (one surgery already) and i'm too worried about him destroying something and choking, for now.

So, my question is - am i doing enough? I'm slightly exhausted as it is, but feel bad if he's lonely or bored. My husband's work schedule is longer, so he can't help too much. I know the dog is awake sometimes in there because of a security camera. I can't leave too many toys in the crate other than Kongs which he empties very fast. He destroys other toys. He's just sitting there staring. :(

I should note, this schedule is every other week - then my stepsons are with us and home earlier after school - which helps!

Would love some feedback or other ideas to tire him out more! thank you!

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3 Answers

answered 2018-07-02 01:23:00 -0500

I agree with Nancy's suggestions...And since you have a camera at the ready, you'd be able to tell if a baby/puppy gate is enough. Perhaps you can borrow someone's for a day, or find a used one on Craigslist so that it's not such an investment (since a larger dog might be inclined to climb over it --whether that day or quite some time from now). Some more busy toys might also be an idea; with the kong, have you tried freezing the treat inside (such as peanut butter or the Kong brand filling)? That could make that particular treat last longer. There are also a great amount of dog puzzles available on the market now. Amazon is a great source for those. Anything that works the brain can be great for stimulation. You can leave multiple items, rotate items, rotate a group of multiple items...Whatever seems right for you as long as it's okay for your dog. From your post though, it sounds like your dog is doing okay (even though they might seem sullen or bored) but it's more regarding how badly you feel for leaving them there. Try taking a look around your living area to see if there's puppy-proofing you can do in a particular contained area that might help with leaving them in a larger space. Otherwise, it will likely come with time. Every dog is different, and so is every situation. I've been working with animals for over 28 years; It sounds to me like you're doing the best you can, keeping tabs on as much as you can, and that your dog is doing okay. It's difficult to see them locked up during the day even for a few hours --and especially with all the access that we have to them now with the newfangled cameras, apps and everything! :-) Just keep thinking baby steps. You'll be alright!

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answered 2018-06-13 12:42:03 -0500

Sounds like you are doing the right things. The only other possibility would be to have a dog room in your house. Crating him is better than surgery. It will get better as he gets older.

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answered 2018-06-18 03:25:04 -0500

It sounds like you’re doing a marvelous job & really care about your pup’s wellbeing. Those are very difficult circumstances, & you deserve credit for all you ARE doing. They used to have a Kong machine that dispensed a treat filled toy on a programmed schedule, but I can’ t find it for sale anymore. The only other possibility is if you have a small room (e.g., laundry room) that can be TOTALLY puppyproofed, so he might be a little less confined during those few hours he’s alone...a room with absolutely nothing he could chew on or swallow. And maybe a baby gate would be better than a closed door. Even the bathroom might work out. In any case, kudos to you for all you are doing...he’s lucky to have you as his mom. And take heart...he’s still a puppy & things will get better eventually.

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Thank you, Nancy! Its nice to hear that. Just love him so much!! We may try the room idea soon if we can figure out what room he can't destroy. :)

Karri Q.'s profile imageKarri Q. ( 2018-06-18 06:59:28 -0500 )edit

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