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Hey guys,

I would really like some advice.

Recently, I got a shelter dog to care of. He is an older dog, 6-7 years old, a mixed breed and I thought I could take care of him.

Me and my family used to own a smaller dog and I knew what that smaller dog demanded and I was okay and relaxed about it. So I thought I need some responsibility in life and decided to shelter a bigger dog. The pet pound I took him from was a really great place where they took care of dogs and genuinely loved them all and I asked them for a calmer dog since I work 9-5 so that I could leave him for the day with a few puzzle toys and some bone toys I bought for him and this is were my concern arises - I live in a small flat and I live alone.

The first week was tough on both him and me. I was not mentally prepared for him being so energetic and he was obviously still stressed out since he came in a new space with lots of new smells and things to see. The first day I just let him to sniff and look around all the places and spaces in my 2 rooms. He was frantic at first but after that chaotic night, I gave him some natural stress relief treats and he is now a lot calmer.

He needs a lot of exercise and I walk him for long periods to tire him out. And so the biggest issue I have is that he feels suffocated at home when I don't give him those treats and there is nobody in my building that can take him out during lunch hours and my work is too far away. I believe I might have to talk with the pet pound and come up with a solution to find him a family with a house since he deserves a lot of love which I am trying my hardest to provide, harder than I have ever tried for anything, but I am afraid that he will develop health issues if I keep him due to either bone trouble or internal organ problems.

Any advice will be super helpful since I am stressing out =/
 

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Actually most dogs need more exercise than you would think.

I have a poodle, which is a very active breed and he goes insane if he doesn't get a couple of hours outside on a daily basis. In our case we have busy lives but we have organized some "help" with it. I take him out for a long walk (2+hours) at least once a week. My wife runs with him, a friend of ours who is an experienced dog owner takes him once a week and we hire a walking service 1 or 2 times a week. On the weekends my wife and I take him for long walks either in the forest or on the beach where he can run loose. The walking service also lets him run loose in a pack of about 10-12 dogs, which is good for his ongoing socialization with other dogs. My children also take him out on a regular basis. My son usually plays fetch with him, which helps the dog burn off some of that energy.

.... and poodles, while active, are not even the "worst" breeds for needing exercise. I have friends who breed Huskies. Those dogs need at least double the amount of exercise of a poodle.

In terms of advice I think you already know what you need to do. Walk him more. If you can't do it yourself (as in our case) then try to organize your life so that other people can help you. I don't know what kind of facilities you have available but around here we have "doggy-daycare" and walking services that you can hire to make sure your dog is around other dogs and gets enough exercise that it doesn't go stir-crazy.

Good luck.
 

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The dog needs time to adjust to the new environment and his new life. Him being “chaotic” is probably due to stress from the move and under-stimulation. Is the dog trained to be home alone? If not, it probably is really scary and uncomfortable for the dog being left alone. He might have separation anxiety.

You say that you walk him for long periods, how long is that? Is he getting at least an hour (preferably more) walk a day? Do you offer any mental stimulation, such as nosework, obedience, tracking etc? Do you have any clue what kind of breed it could be? Is it a high energy breed/working breed, he needs suitible activities for that breed. If you can’t offer the dog the right amount of physical and mental stimulation the kindest is the rehome him.

What do you mean by the last part? Why would he get bone trouble or internal organ problems?
 

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Do you offer any mental stimulation
This, absolutely. The risk of just giving more and more exercise is that you end up with a super fit athlete that you cannot tire. Mental stimulation like the activities mentioned by @SunFlower are far more tiring than physical ones.
 

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You've only had your dog a short amount of time. It often takes shelter dogs and their owners weeks or even months to bond and establish a solid routine. Both you and your dog are stressed, and you both need some time to settle in. I would suggest reading this article. It's filled with good advice and encouragement.

 
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