Need suggestions on tiring out a puppy during these winter mornings!

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Need suggestions on tiring out a puppy during these winter mornings!

This is a discussion on Need suggestions on tiring out a puppy during these winter mornings! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hey all! **Sorry for the long post** So some of you know that I recently got a new puppy, she's currently 10 months old but ...

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Old 12-12-2017, 02:30 PM
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Need suggestions on tiring out a puppy during these winter mornings!

Hey all!

**Sorry for the long post**

So some of you know that I recently got a new puppy, she's currently 10 months old but has the mentality of a 6 month old!

With these dark early mornings I'm having difficulty coming up with ways to tire her out before I go to work.

If she's not tired out enough she gets bored and gets into things that she shouldn't!!!

Getting a dog walker to come during the day is not an option. She is still very scared of strangers (terrified of men) and it takes her a long time to warm up to people.

Daycare is only once a week at the moment. It still stresses her out when she goes, especially if there is a male working that day. She doesn't quite play with other dogs yet but she will sniff them once she gets settled in.

I've tried playing fetch with her (30-40 minutes) with Mia in the mornings but that doesn't tire her out enough.

We'll walk around my neighborhood for an hour to an hour 15 mins and it just stresses her out. I would have thought the stress would tire her out with all the people walking by, lights, sounds etc but it just makes her more anxious so as I'm getting ready for work she stays in that anxious state and then causes a lot of damage once I leave.

Crating is not an option because well..I'm not going to crate any animal for 7-8 hours. Even for half a day she cries like a banshee. Funnily enough, if I'm home and I crate her she's fine, but as soon as I leave she goes crazy. She's actually broken the off the door so until I buy another crate, crating (for part of the day) is not an option.

The ONE thing that works is running her for 2.5-3 hours on the jetty. It's a long path surrounded by water so I can let her run loose (with a 30' lead). Every time I run her there with Mia and her doggy friends, Nymeria is totally fine at home (alone) for the rest of the day. This one time she broke out of her crate (that's when she broke the door) and I had raw food defrosting on the counter, open bags of candy, treats etc and she didn't touch anything! She didn't even touch the xmas tree (so far she's broken at least 1-2 ornaments everyday while I'm at work) and no chewed wires. (She chewed my internet cable last week sigh.)

UNFORTUNATELY....the jetty only opens at 7am and I have to be at work at 8am. If they opened earlier I would definitely run them, but they block the entrance with a huge gate.

This morning my friend and I tried something new...we up woke early and took all the dogs to a nearby (enclosed) tennis court for them to run around in for an hour (at 6am!). We'll see if that was enough to tire out Nymeria. If it works, great! I have one solution, however, I'm pretty sure my friend won't be able to wake up at 5am every morning for me lol so I have to figure out what else I can do when its just me, Mia and Nymeria.

It's pretty dark in the tennis courts, it's not safe for me to be there alone and Mia and Nymeria don't really play a lot together yet (so far only randomly at home).

Obedience training only gets her excited and her attention span is like...3 seconds. Leash training during our walks doesn't work because she's more focused on people around her (nervous).

Eventually I'd like to get a backpack for her (Mia has one for our walks) but she's only 10 months and she's a large dog so I don't think it's a good idea to get one until she's fully grown (at around 2 years of age.)

Am I totally hooped? Is there anything else that would tire her out?

Note: there are TONS of things she could chew like yak chews, bones, antlers, stuffed treat toys etc but of course she chews the things she's not supposed to. I do leave her empty paper towel rolls and cardboard egg cartons to distract her because I don't care if she leaves a paper mess. I can clean that up easily.

Note: She is currently wearing a collar that releases pheromones to help calm her down, as well as some supplements I put in her food everyday. Because she's still young and her brain is still developing, the vet doesn't want to put her on any drugs so we're trying a more natural route.

I've attached photos so you can see what I'm talking about regarding the jetty. (The first picture I photoshopped out the leashes in case you were wondering...haha)
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:44 PM
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For physical exercise, have you tried a flirt pole? You could also get some FitPaws equipment and do some conditioning work.

She may benefit from some mental stimulation. The more physical exercise you give her, the fitter she will become. She will then require more physical exercise to tire her out. It's a vicious circle!

Have you tried training tricks? Maybe getting started on nosework? Perhaps work on polishing up her basic obedience cues? These are things that will mentally tire her out rather quickly, which is just as important as physical exercise. You can do these things right in your house, or anywhere, which is nice!
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for the ideas @Aspen726!

I'm going to stay away from the nosework because I'm still working on her recall. My friend's galga has her nose TO THE GROUND and sometimes doesn't hear her call her back and just follows her nose! When I call Nymeria when she is sniffing something it falls on deaf ears...

She's learning the simple commands right now but she gets so excited and hyper! She thinks "down" is a game lol it's actually kind of cute because she literally throws her body down (because I lure her with a treat). And when we practice sit, stay, come she LEAPS and BOUNDS towards me lol Man you would love watching her, her long awkward legs bouncing towards me haha I should definitely teach her some tricks though.

I have a flirt pole that I made for Mia but Nymeria will be too quick for it. Mia is already too quick for me and grabs the toy at the end before I can lure it away! I'm a little weary with games that involve her nose or prey type toys only because she's still young and I need to work on her recall. I think she would really enjoy the flirt pole though. She found it in my closet and was trying to pull the squirrel toy off of it haha I'll consider it when she's a bit older for sure!
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:32 PM
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If she's at doggy daycare she can't destroy and break things and it's a good way to socialize her. My dog was afraid of men too, but he loved going to doggy daycare. He was going two to three times a week this was the people and dogs were familiar to him and it was a routine. He's hesitant about playing with new dogs but will wrestle for hours with his buddies.
I don't like to crate a large dog for hours either and my dog broke out of a crate before I got him so was terrified of one. He has bad separation anxiety and destroyed his room and was a danger to himself. One antidepressant made a huge difference with him. I try to give him one to two hours of exercise at the dog park daily but it's at night, I'm never organized enough to do it in the morning and get anywhere on time. It's also dependent on other dogs since he won't play with me much. Walking doesn't tore him out and I have a bad knee so can't walk as much as he can or run at all. And now that it's snowing and icy and slippery out I have to walk very slowly and carefully and not far at all whereas he loves to run and play in this stuff.
He started the Zoloft when he was a year and eight months and had no problems from it and it really helped him be safer.


Or is there a room you can keep her in that's puppy proof so she can't destroy things?
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:46 PM
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@Shadowmom, trust me it was pretty hard waking up at 5am to get organized to bring the dogs out to the tennis courts HAHAHA My other dog Mia isn't a morning dog anymore, she loves to sleep in but now I think with Nymeria, she's going to turn back into a morning dog too! sigh.

No, I'm in a condo so there's no room I can keep her in. My walk in closet (that I'm using as a storage room) is too small (if I moved all the stuff out) and obviously baby gates don't contain her either haha

I have to introduce her slowly to doggy daycare which is why she's only going once a week for now. Her situation before I rescued her was basically a huge paddock (dog run) filled with 25+ other dogs running around. She probably thinks that I'm dumping her off at another shelter lol This daycare that she goes to has over 30 dogs per day (with at least 3 staff working at the same time).

The last smaller daycare she went to had too few employees working (one staff per shift with a small overlap between 11-3) so if that one person left to go to the front to let in dogs come in, Nymeria would clear the 5' gate to be with that staff member. It was super dangerous especially if the front door was open she could have easily ran out onto the street. Needless to say...she was not allowed back at that daycare...

The natural supplements are working a little...I had run out for a few days and she was definitely more destructive. If there's still no improvements in another month or so I'll have to look into something else that might be stronger but still safe to take at her age.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:34 AM
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@yoshiposhi have you done any shaping? That's much more tiresome than luring because they're using their brains. It's also much more fun and holds their focus to you a lot better.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:35 PM
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With some dogs, it's just hard to get them enough physical exercise to take the edge off. My history is mostly with Border Collies - super high energy. But, we had a small sled team of Siberian Huskies for some years. With the huskies, it was enough to run 10 miles or so each day. But, with BCs, I've found that physical exercise is rarely enough.

I like to do concentration games - activities that are relatively mellow for indoors, but which require intense concentration. For us, that often means just doing clicker training to learn some new task. It doesn't have to be anything useful - just something new that the dog can start to understand after a few minutes.

If you can get intense focus for even just 5-10 minutes, that goes a long way, and can be equivalent to a half-hour or so of physical exercise, in terms of making your dog relaxed and happy.
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