Thank you all so much. I work but I work from home. I can't give her much attention until after 4:00. I do let her in and out all day long. She has learned to ring a bell for that. We play outside with tennis balls and a basket ball in the afternoons. I spend about 10 min two times a day in training. That's about all she can handle attention wise. We do play fetch in the house as well. She has a blanket she likes for me to put over her or tie around her and she has to figure out a way to get out of it and then brings it back to me for more. We call that "playing blankie". I suspected she just needed to exercise a little more. We are in a rural area with not a lot of options for training. I'm waiting on the local person to start up the next class but I have no clue how long that could be so we are working on the training we learned. She can be such a sweet dog and I'm not giving up on her. I just don't want to do the wrong thing so that bad behaviors set in for good.
What things are you training for? I think you can do more than 20 minutes a day total in training. It doesn't need to be a formal "we're doing obedience training now" either. When Lana was a puppy *cough cough still* we do random commands and learn new stuff ALL the time ESPECIALLY during play. I'm scatterbrained so I might be missing some but these are the things I can think of off the top of my head that I've worked with Lana on...
-Get a toy!
-Move (alternatively "Beep Beep")
-(This doesn't have a name but it's like this video...
Other ones I taught Bear but haven't taught Lana:
-Shake (cause Lana ALREADY has a thing about pawing, let's not encourage it, dang it)
-Jump through a hoop.
-Hold a biscuit on her nose (we're still a work in progress on this one)
If you like the idea of trick training, here
is a good resource cause you can get titles for tricks! How cool is that?!?! I like tricks cause it helps break up the drills and it gives us more variety and fun. Nothing makes me laugh harder than when I'm stretching and she gives me a play bow (which is how we learned BOW).
Snuffle mats / Treat Balls / Treat Dispensers / Frozen Kongs / Shell Game, etc -- these would be good when settling her at night. If that makes sense. When Bear was a puppy, he was crated at 8pm on the dot with a stuffed kong and a blanket was put off the crate. When Lana was a puppy, she was crated at 8pm on the dot with an antler in our bedroom. They both would occupy their time then realize they were sleepy and pass out for the whole night. Sometimes dogs need that routine to settle down.
Like I said earlier, Lana was too preoccupied with PLAYING with her sister when we tried leaving her out at night when she was younger. If she didn't have her sister, she would 100% have gotten into some other mischief. Now at 17 months old, she gets it. First couple of nights were rough but a couple "go to sleep" or "knock it off" and a couple "I swear to god either go to sleep or you're back in the crate. I'm exhausted. Leave me alone!" and now when we go to bed, she hops up on the foot of the bed and promptly passes out.
This morning she woke me up at 3am but it was for super sweet cuddles and I legit couldn't not be mad. Who cares if I lost half my side of the bed, or that I ended up having my husband hanging off the edge of his side of the bed. I was cuddling with a sleepy, warm Lana and it was heaven. Took us 15 months to get there though. So don't beat yourself up if your 5 month old (who you've only had a couple months tops!) isn't there yet.