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Discussion Starter #1
Tomorrow is my first day at training for next year's job. I'll be leaving my 15 week old puppy home for 8 hours (8:30am - 4:30pm) and I'm really nervous and concerned whether he will become destructive. I've worked my way up to 4 hours now so that he can adjust but I'm not sure whether 8 hours is stretching it a bit too much.

6-8am: walking, fetch, playing, training and puzzles

8-9ish: I'll leave new toys and some deer antlers for chewing
9:30 -11am: mum will put him in his crate for a nap
11am - 1pm: mum will take him on a walk plus lunch in some kongs and puzzle
1:30pm: treats and frozen peanut butter in food puzzles
2pm - 4:30pm: more napping (his usual napping time)

4:30pm onwards: I'll be home so I can play, train and walk him from then onwards

I'll be at work once per week until mid December and then full time from February next year. So I'm really concerned whether he will develop separation anxiety or some kind of destructive behaviour when I'm away. Do you guys think the above plan will keep him occupied or should I send him to dog day care?

In terms of his personality, he is quite independent (sometimes follows me around, likes to play with toys under the tree by himself rather than next to me, doesn't really crave much physical affection but will come for a cuddle when I invite him before sleep, comes to say hi or just sits there looking at me when I return after a while rather than showing any form of extreme excitement so far)
 

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It's good that you have someone taking care of him at home. I suspect that is better at home than a doggy day care.

The only concern I have is that he may bond closer to your mother.

I don't think you have to worry about separation anxiety, because your mother is home with him. I could be wrong though.. because you are going to be gone for a full 4 hours more then he is used too.
Good luck.
 

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I think he's going to be fine, too. He's going to be in a familiar place with a familiar person. Just keep your own exits and entrances low-key.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes I will definitely keep my exists and entrance low key. He didn't even come to say goodbye when I left haha he was too busy with his new toys and chewy bone. I'll see how he is when I return today.

In terms of being closer to my mum, I don't think that will happen. She is only coming to put him in his crate for a nap and then walking him once at noon time. She won't be necessarily feeding him as I've already stuffed the kongs with his lunch so she will just drop it off for him.

The rest of the other time, he is by himself as she won't be supervising or playing with him.
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Discussion Starter #7
Keep us posted. :)
Okay so I came home and he came to me wagging his tail and sniffing my shoes but he didn't jump around or up on me. I didn't make any dramatic gestures or noises and bent down to pat him after he smelled my shoes.

Then I played tug and hide/seek as well as 10min training session before taking him out for a walk and a short game of fetch in the park (on a long leash). Now he is sitting next to me chewing on his antler stick while I'm doing my work on my laptop.

I asked my mum how he was when I was gone. Apparently, he played with his new toys for the whole morning before falling asleep on his mattress. After she took him out for a walk, he had his lunch from his kong and played with his bones for another hour before he fell asleep again until I came back.

So I guess he is adjusting well :thumbsup: I shall take him out to the city for some fun tomorrow to compensate for today hehe
 

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he'll be okay.
just make sure that he has enough quality time with you before or after work. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I had to guess, I'd say he'll be fine. I'm not a fan of doggy day care. I know there are some good ones but many places are not well run and for some dogs these places create behaviors that are difficult to overcome.

This link has a PDF file that talks about ways you can prevent SA. It might be helpful to you.

Preventing separation-related behaviour - Prevention - Separation related behaviour - Company
Can you suggest what signs to look for in order to determine whether a doggy day care is good? The dog day care I'm looking at the moment is willing to pair my dog up with one other dog with similar size and temperament/ energy level. He won't be playing with other dogs but just the other one dog for the day.
The place is very clean and there is 24hr supervision.

Are there signs I should be looking for? Will he learn bad behaviour from the other play mate? The reason I'm asking is because I'm thinking of sending him to dog day care right next to my workplace on Mondays next year when I have after school meetings (until 5:30pm) so I want him to be able to have more fun when I'm home late on Mondays. I'm happy to leave him home with my mum on the other days because I'll be home by 4:30pm and I will be able to dedicate at least 3-4 hours with him after work.
 

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Is that his schedule? That's a great schedule.

In my experience, if you have a puppy that's inclined to be naughty when they are alone...then that's what you have. You can do a lot of training and get the pup to behave while you're around, but if your puppy enjoys entertaining itself with other things besides toys...it's hard to break that self rewarding habit.

My puppy spent much longer times alone without breaks and uncrated since around 20 weeks and she didn't become destructive....because she's not a destructive dog. My first dog would have torn up my whole house if I left for 30 minutes.

You can mentally and physically tire out a dog all you want but I am a strong believer that some dogs are just more inclined to be destructive.

The schedule you put sounds great. Doesn't sound like your dog is really going to be alone for long periods of time. That's a great schedule for any dog.
 
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