Golden needs (i.e. time, attention, etc.)...your $.02 please... - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:53 AM
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Golden needs (i.e. time, attention, etc.)...your $.02 please...

We're going through a bit of a transition period. My dog (two year old golden mix) is doing well, as he's very adaptable. My concern at the moment though...is whether or not he's getting enough time and attention.

I get him up bright and early for a walk and he does his business like clockwork (it only took him 2-3 days to settle into the routine). He's in a good mood in the mornings (he's crated at night and when I'm at work). He runs around the backyard while I'd getting ready for work. I give him a few treats, put him in his crate, and head off to work.

When I get home...I make a bee line to his crate and take him for a walk. Again...he's in a good mood and happy to see me. We go for another walk and he hangs out with me in the house for the next couple of hours before bedtime. We go out back in the backyard (fenced) and hang out when he wants to go outside.

I do my best to work my weekends around him. i.e. If I have to do yardwork, he's out with me. If I have to work in the garage, I leash him to a pole with his food and water so he can hang out. If it seems like that's not what he wants, I let him loose in the backyard.

His behavior has improved by leaps and bounds. His house manners are improving daily. I'm able to give him more attention now, than in the past. However, my concern is whether or not it's enough for him. If I were to judge based only on his behavior and demeanor...I would say that it is. However, I just feel guilty at having to crate him while I'm gone for the day.

My intention is to eventually (when I think he's ready for it) allow him to sleep on a bed next to mine. I would eventually like to allow him more space in the house, as well. i.e. I've got an extra bedroom. I could make that dog proof (this would maybe be a few months out), so that he's got more room during the day.

Thoughts? Thank you.

Last edited by bubbagumpshrimp; 11-15-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:11 AM
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Tayla will be a year old on Saturday. Up until the last couple of weeks she has been very restricted in her "freedom" time. We got her at 4 months and she came to us with a mouthing/biting issue. We worked on it daily, but she was worse with my husband so I got up an hour early every day to let her have free time before I went to work. We both are home for lunch so she got another hour mid day out. I get home first around 4:45 so she got a little time out before my husband got home, in the crate she went again until after dinner and then we only let her out for hour increments during the night when she could be occupied with chewing on something other than us. She was getting about 5 hours a day outside her crate during the week and a little more on the weekends. Well, in the past couple weeks her behavior has gotten much better and she is able to keep her mouth to herself so she gets time out of her crate from the time we come home until we go to bed. So maybe 6 to 7 hours free during the week and maybe 8 to 9 hours on the weekends. She still is restricted to only some rooms of the house because she is still not trustworthy and since she is so much bigger than our other Golden who is 15 years old, we limit her time free with her to when we are home. So even if she were trustworthy she wouldn't get out when we aren't there because I'm afraid of her inadvertently injuring out old girl. Having said all that it is also important what you are doing with them when they are out for stimulation. We play with Tayla a lot and she does Nose Work and we are starting her with tracking. Mental stimulation is as exhausting as physical stimulation and even if she is in her crate, it is in the middle of the living room area so she is never isolated when we are home. You seem like you're doing fine.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:13 AM
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I do not think you have to feel guilty at all about crating your dog while you are at work. You are keeping him safe, and many dogs like being in a crate to sleep (there is a sense of security; mine loved her crate). Is it a large crate? Can he walk in, turn around, and lie down? Could he stretch out on his side if he wanted to? If so, I'm sure he is perfectly comfortable. A crate pad (like a mattress) is nice, too (unless he'll chew it and eat it).

If you worry your work day is too long, you could look into a dogwalker or having a friend or neighbour come in halfway through. It would give your dog another chance to get out and get some exercise.

It sounds like you are spending a lot of time with your dog. Exercise is definitely really good for behavior and such. Is there any way you could work in off leash time? Take him somewhere and play ball for a half hour - great for exercise and great for bonding. Or an off leash hike in the woods? That's the only thing I would suggest. Goldens love to run! And swim, if that's a possibility. But for sure having him around when you garden or work in the garage? That's all good. Goldens mostly just love being with their people.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:16 AM
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My 2 cents :

Once he's reliably housetrained, you should transition him out of the crate.
You mention he's 2 years old. Did you recently adopt him? At 2, I would not have him in a crate all day and then back in all night.

Is there a reason he isn't out and about yet? In other words, do you have a reason he cannot yet move about the house without a crate? I would opt to gate off a safe section of the house where he could move around, change positions, etc.

A crate is just too small a space for a 2 y.o. Golden. Could you bring him to a doggy day care a couple days a week? At least try it out?

I have had large dogs all my life and after the puppy stage (lots of training like you are doing on manners and acceptable in-house behavior), they have been fine in the house when we're at work and at night, they will always let us know if they need to go potty. Very rare though. I notice they like to move about to different sleeping spots which is okay with me.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayla's Mom View Post
Tayla will be a year old on Saturday. Up until the last couple of weeks she has been very restricted in her "freedom" time. We got her at 4 months and she came to us with a mouthing/biting issue. We worked on it daily, but she was worse with my husband so I got up an hour early every day to let her have free time before I went to work. We both are home for lunch so she got another hour mid day out. I get home first around 4:45 so she got a little time out before my husband got home, in the crate she went again until after dinner and then we only let her out for hour increments during the night when she could be occupied with chewing on something other than us. She was getting about 5 hours a day outside her crate during the week and a little more on the weekends. Well, in the past couple weeks her behavior has gotten much better and she is able to keep her mouth to herself so she gets time out of her crate from the time we come home until we go to bed. So maybe 6 to 7 hours free during the week and maybe 8 to 9 hours on the weekends. She still is restricted to only some rooms of the house because she is still not trustworthy and since she is so much bigger than our other Golden who is 15 years old, we limit her time free with her to when we are home. So even if she were trustworthy she wouldn't get out when we aren't there because I'm afraid of her inadvertently injuring out old girl. Having said all that it is also important what you are doing with them when they are out for stimulation. We play with Tayla a lot and she does Nose Work and we are starting her with tracking. Mental stimulation is as exhausting as physical stimulation and even if she is in her crate, it is in the middle of the living room area so she is never isolated when we are home. You seem like you're doing fine.
He was VERY mouthy early on. I've been working on curbing him of that habit.

That's one thing that's pleased me with his progress. I can let him just freely roam the first floor of the house (when I'm around) at this point. If he picks something up that he's not supposed to, I can tell him to drop it and he generally complies. At least he's not chewing stuff up, lol.

Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Girl View Post
I do not think you have to feel guilty at all about crating your dog while you are at work. You are keeping him safe, and many dogs like being in a crate to sleep (there is a sense of security; mine loved her crate). Is it a large crate? Can he walk in, turn around, and lie down? Could he stretch out on his side if he wanted to? If so, I'm sure he is perfectly comfortable. A crate pad (like a mattress) is nice, too (unless he'll chew it and eat it).

If you worry your work day is too long, you could look into a dogwalker or having a friend or neighbour come in halfway through. It would give your dog another chance to get out and get some exercise.

It sounds like you are spending a lot of time with your dog. Exercise is definitely really good for behavior and such. Is there any way you could work in off leash time? Take him somewhere and play ball for a half hour - great for exercise and great for bonding. Or an off leash hike in the woods? That's the only thing I would suggest. Goldens love to run! And swim, if that's a possibility. But for sure having him around when you garden or work in the garage? That's all good. Goldens mostly just love being with their people.
Yes. I had to upgrade him from an extra large size crate to a giant size crate (huge) by the time he was ~7-8 months. That seems to be plenty big enough for him.

I originally had a blanket, sheet, pad, etc. in there with him. The problem is that he's a boredom chewer. I can't have anything in there that he might ingest. He seems to prefer the bare floor of the kennel to bedding though.

What I'd like to do eventually is get him into a dog daycare. It's only ~$15/day around here. He LOVES other dogs and would eat that up. I need to get a few things knocked out before I can swing that though.

I'm able to work in off-leash time in backyard. I've at least gotten him to the point where he won't just bolt and take off if he gets loose.

Yup. That's one thing that I've noticed with him. As long as we're hanging out together, he doesn't much mind what we're doing. i.e. He was fine on a 14 hour road trip. We just stopped every hour or so to stretch out legs. Thank you for your input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldy1 View Post
My 2 cents :

Once he's reliably housetrained, you should transition him out of the crate.
You mention he's 2 years old. Did you recently adopt him? At 2, I would not have him in a crate all day and then back in all night.

Is there a reason he isn't out and about yet? In other words, do you have a reason he cannot yet move about the house without a crate? I would opt to gate off a safe section of the house where he could move around, change positions, etc.

A crate is just too small a space for a 2 y.o. Golden. Could you bring him to a doggy day care a couple days a week? At least try it out?

I have had large dogs all my life and after the puppy stage (lots of training like you are doing on manners and acceptable in-house behavior), they have been fine in the house when we're at work and at night, they will always let us know if they need to go potty. Very rare though. I notice they like to move about to different sleeping spots which is okay with me.

Hope this helps.
No. I've had him since he was about six weeks old. The problem is that the living arrangement at the time didn't lend itself to training a dog (he was a gift from my ex wife). I received this tiny bundle of joy, but had pretty much zero time to spend with him early on.

I've been working with him more the past several months. I would say that he has just now gotten to the point where I could think about trusting him to try out a gated area. So yes...that is something that I need to try with him ASAP.

At this point...I think I can swing a day or two a week at a dog daycare. The only reason I haven't already is $$$ (in the middle of a divorce).

Thank you.

Last edited by bubbagumpshrimp; 11-15-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbagumpshrimp View Post


What I'd like to do eventually is get him into a dog daycare. It's only ~$15/day around here. He LOVES other dogs and would eat that up. I need to get a few things knocked out before I can swing that though.

I'm able to work in off-leash time in backyard. I've at least gotten him to the point where he won't just bolt and take off if he gets loose.

Yup. That's one thing that I've noticed with him. As long as we're hanging out together, he doesn't much mind what we're doing. i.e. He was fine on a 14 hour road trip. We just stopped every hour or so to stretch out legs. Thank you for your input.
I think this sounds like a perfect eventual goal. He'll love it - and he'll probably come home and just crash! For now, I think it's fine to have him crated while he is still learning not to chew everything. You're giving him lots of attention - the mere fact that you are concerned tells me he is a priority for you.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:47 AM
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You can dog proof a room for him, but honestly I didn't read anything in your post to be concerned about... sounds like you are doing everything you can to ensure a good and secure life for your dog.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:49 AM
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Be very careful about where you put him for doggy daycare. Tayla was in doggy day care a couple times a week for a couple months. I noticed that every time I picked her up she would urinate when the went to get her and put a leash on her. She NEVER does that at home. Put up some red flags for me and I've never brought her back. Make sure that where you take them the dogs are evaluated for not only size, but personality and get a tour of the facility. We were new to day care and were told we couldn't, for safety reasons, go into the back. There were cameras, but I never felt they had enough staff. Just things to check out.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:32 PM
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Smile Doggie daycare

I totaly agree with you. I use to work at a Doggie daycare place and we evaluated each dog on a whole bunch of different areas. We also did a trail period for about a 2 weeks and each new dog had a nanny on there first day. That person job was to make sure that the new dog was playing nicley and getting along well with others. All and all the doggie daycare that I worked at was a great place!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:04 PM
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Sounds like you are doing a great job! Cooper sleeps in a crate at night and is crated while we are at work. Luckily, I work 5 minutes from home so I come home to play with him on my lunches and we bring him to doggie daycare or he goes to hang out with my sister and her dog for the day at least 1 day a week. Daycare is great! Really tires Cooper out! I think as long as you are giving your pup lots of attention and exercise while you are home, you are doing great! Your pup will tell you if he is bored .
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