Puppy Frustrated in Safe Room?

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Puppy Frustrated in Safe Room?

This is a discussion on Puppy Frustrated in Safe Room? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Rocco spends the first part of his day in his puppy room, the laundry room, while my wife and I are at work. He's in ...

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Old 11-21-2011, 01:58 PM
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Puppy Frustrated in Safe Room?

Rocco spends the first part of his day in his puppy room, the laundry room, while my wife and I are at work. He's in there for 7 hours a day before I come home and take him out to eat, play and walk. He doesn't go back into his puppy room until 9 PM which is when we go to sleep. In is room, he has a crate, a bed, a blanket, a radio, a few toys and his puppy pad.


We've been doing this for weeks now and I usually come home to find him sleeping. Recently he has been getting a little destructive in his room. He doesn't seem to be freaking out as soon as we leave in the morning but I think he's doing this later in the afternoon. He will pull his bed out of his crate and poop on the floor. Last time, he even pooped on his toys (he got really creative at least).

He hasn't had his 4th set of shots yet so we're afraid of taking him out on long walks and we stay away from parks. Is his frustration stemming from bottled up energy? This is not Seperation Anxiety, right?

Here's a "before" picture of his puppy room:
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:49 PM
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Have you thought about getting a dog walker to come in half way through? It may be boredom?
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:05 PM
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We thought about it but we're really not crazy about the idea of letting a stranger into our house while we're not there. If that's our only solution to keep Rocco happy and healthy then we'll look into it more of course.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:16 PM
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Sounds like the pup is spending an inordinate amount of time in his 'room'. I'm making some guesses, but:

9pm - 6am (guess): 9 hours
Work time: 7 hours
Total = 16 hours / day in his puppy room? That's an awful lot.

It's a very small space, and I don't see much in the way of brain-toys in the picture. I also don't see any mention during his 'out' time that he's getting any kind of mental stimulation, such as training.

If I were you, I'd definitely look for some puzzle feeders, and maybe let him work at getting some treats during the day while he's cooped up (remember to take out the nutrition he's getting in the puzzle feeder from his normal meal). I'd also add 15 mins of training in every night after his walk and before bed. Ideally, the pup would work himself up to being able to be out of the crate either while you're at work or at bedtime, because it would be a boring life in a small room like that 16hrs / day indefinitely.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:53 PM
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You're very close Tonka, except I wake up at 4 AM every day so I can play with Rocco until 6 AM before I have to start getting ready for work. He does spend about 14 hours in his room every day, 7 while we work and another 7 while we sleep, and we feel guilty about it. During the remaining 10 hours of the day we try to make it up to him with tons of play time and petting time. I agree with you, I think the long stretches while we're at work are a little boring to him. Rocco is 15 weeks old BTW.

During his out time, we do the following:

4 AM - 6 AM

- Rocco eats half his food from a Kong toy and the other half he has to earn by doing tricks (he knows sit, stay, down, get your ball, go to your house, rollover, and where's your junk so far)

- I bring out his toy box, about 10 toys, and he gets to pull out whichever one he feels like torturing while I sit on the floor and watch him or pet him. We play a little tug of war with his toys sometimes.

- We play fetch down the hallway, we have a 60' hallway so 1 fetch = 120'. He does a minimum of 10 of these for a total of 1200'.

6 AM - 7 AM

-Wife takes over and just lets Rocco play with his toys some more while she gets ready.

7 AM - 2 PM

- Rocco's in his room tearing $#@! up!

2 PM - 6 PM

- I get home and Rocco and I play again, we pretty much repeat morning routine but with some outside play too if weather is decent.

6 PM - 9 PM

- He's pretty tired by now and he likes to sit on couch to get petted while we watch TV. He naps a little and plays with his chew toys a little.

9 PM - 4 AM

- By 9 PM he's really sleep and he goes to sleep in his crate.

We would love for him to have access to the entire house while we're gone but he's still a puppy and likes to chew on things he's curious about. I'm gonna look into more things to engage his brain while he's home alone.

I wonder if they make timed toys or puzzle feeders that we can set to open up at around noon or something.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:25 PM
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Pup needs more exercise because he is getting older.

Can you find another (vaccinated) puppy to have "play dates" with? He needs to get out and socialize with the world or you are going to have big problems with him later.

I'm not saying to take him to the dog park, but you can have him visit with other dogs in a "clean"environment... that means your yard or the other dogs yard, assuming the other dog is vaccinated and healthy, and the yard is not frequented by strays.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

We were actually considering sending Rocco to puppy daycare to socialize with other dogs at least 1 day a week. Our vet runs a puppy daycare where they take care of about 10 dogs in a fenced-in yard. They have a bunch of toys, a slide, a tunnel and a pool in the summer time! It’s supposed to be under constant supervision. We were thinking of sending Rocco there on Wednesday’s starting in 2 weeks, as soon as his 4th round of shots is done. Do you think this will help a little?

Right now, we’ve just been taking him out with us on the weekend wherever we go. He’s been to Petco about 10 times already and we make sure to take him out to lunch on Saturday. As soon as he’s had the rest of his shots we’ll start doing parks and longer parks. He also gets to go on play dates once week or so with our friends’ vaccinated dogs.

Has anyone tried the timed automatic dog feeders? I was thinking of getting him one that opens at noon to give him a midday kibble filled Kong toy.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:13 AM
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Daycare sounds like a great idea! Will they separate by size groups? My only concern is that since he's a little guy he should probably be in a playgroup with small-medium sized dogs.

Love the timed feeder idea too it certainly sounds like you're on the right track for making sure he's happy and stimulated, getting through the vaccines stage can be a pain but it's definitely worth the wait.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:36 AM
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That's a really good idea, thanks Cali, especially that Rocco who weighs 5 lbs believes he's a 150lbs. My mother-in-law brought her dog to visit us last weekend, who outweighs Rocco by at least 20 lbs, and Rocco proceeded to ride him around like his pony. He wasn't thrusting or anything, just riding...

I took a picture, I'll try to post it tomorrow.

We're hoping that puppy daycare will also help teach him some doggie manners. Our mother-in-laws dog just let him ride but others have growled at Rocco before and he learned his lesson fast.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:01 PM
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At night could you put his crate in your bedroom so he doesn't feel as alone? Maybe you could also look into a doggy daycare? Would solve the problem of not trusting someone else in your home. Maybe you could try walking him before you go to work for at least 15-20 minutes and then when you get home again to get that energy out. When Basil was a young pup he spent only 3 hours alone before I would come home and let him out, feed him and go back to work. It's really hard on such young puppies to be alone for so long although the room is better than being crated for the entire time. I would work on having him with you guys at night and you might have to take him out in the middle of the night to prevent accidents. I think by about 4 months or so I began transitioning Basil to sleep in bed with me or on his dog bed and his crate stays open if he wants to sleep in there as well. You could also try "crate games" with the room to make the room feel more safe and make him like it more... youtube crate games and you'll see what i mean. Also maybe try to get him more toys that will curb the destruction like Nylabones, Kongs, etc.
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