Dog Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I will be starting a new job mid December which will take me out of the house (compared to my current job where I work at home). I'm worried about transitioning the puppy. At 6months old she won't be able to be home the whole day alone, so we are looking into options (dog walkers, family dropping by, daycare).

How to best prepare her for the days where someone comes to walk her at lunch?

Currently, she has a hard time settling herself in the morning (working on Dr. Overall's relaxation protocol). It takes 1.5 hours after her morning walk for her to settle. She's usually good at settling after her lunch time walk. Furthermore, she is very stubborn about going in her kennel during the day (pretty good at bedtime). When I need to leave it's 10 minutes of kennel games before she fully enters herself. Obviously, I'm working on this a lot right now. I try to find pockets of time to do kennel games, put her in and NOT leave. But she doesn't settle in there unless she's exhausted. For example, this morning we walked, hung out, then did 30 minutes of kennel games. Started with games just going in and out until she was going in and out with the door open with ease. Then I progressed to shutting the door for longer periods of time. Then I left her in there for two longer stretches (5-8 minutes). The whole time she remained alert. I let her out after, she peed outside, started terrorizing the house so I put her in her x-pen and she promptly fell asleep. I'm wondering if I should just put her in her x-pen when we leave and re-do the crate training protocol almost from scratch?

How did you help your dog prepare for the transition? To make it worse (or better?), we are leaving her with family for 2 weeks for the holidays. These people have a well trained dog, so I'm hoping to ask them to help us prepare her for a work schedule.

It's not really feasible for me to leave the house now to do my work to prepare her. So I can't set up a sort of mock schedule by progressively leaving the house for longer and longer morning and afternoon breaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
I would try being less lively, engaged & interesting to her during the day in a decreasing gradual day. Think of when you will be able to do fun things 7 months from now, and slowly move towards that schedule even though you are home.
Hire the walker ahead of time, & have them show up once or twice a week to walk your pup when you're still home.
If you have other people who can walk or feed or play with her, I would do that too, so she learns that she can count on other people.
In the past, I had a full-time job and no dog walker & a 6 month old high drive gsd. All went well, lots of classes & training, hiking, frisbee. Fun times.
You have lots of time to plan ahead, great stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Dogs do not have a sense of time, they cannot differentiate between you being away five minutes or all day. They live in the now, so all they understand is "you were here and now you are here again". Dogs generally sleep when left alone, so I would never leave a dog with things to occupy himself with, like kongs or chew toys, they need to understand its chill time. I know you will read here often that dogs get bored. They don't, they can't. Boredom requires a sense of self that is separate from their owner or other dogs, plus a sense of time, dogs don't have either. Boredom is a human mind projection onto a dog.

If your dog does well in the x-pen, then leave her there. I would, however, recommend you do acclimatize her to the crate. What crate games are you playing with her? From what you have described above what you are doing is not a good way to go about this, the only thing I would do using that method is throw a treat into the crate and let her take it and come out, no locking her in. I can explain why but it would make this post long and OT. But whatever you did to get her fine with the x-pen, you can do to get her just as comfortable with the crate.

I did not have to crate train my dog, he came to understand it was a way to connect to positive things that happened outside of the crate, I never tried to convince him the crate was a positive thing with training or games etc. By the time he was an adult he would race into the crate when I needed him to, even if he was having a to leave a compelling thing he was doing outside. At five he no longer uses one but has substituted lying half-way up the stairs because we have railings that sort of resemble the walls of a crate and he will go there automatically when I leave or when the door bell rings. No training required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
It has never made any sense to me when people claim that dogs can't detect time passing. Same with the idea that dogs can't feel boredom. How on earth would you know?! FWIW, researchers have looked into the question of dogs & time, and yes, it does seem that dogs behave differently when left for short periods of time versus long periods of time, which certainly suggests that they can, indeed, tell the difference between five minutes and four hours (see “The Effect of time left alone at home on dog welfare,” published in Applied Animal Behavior Science).
@Maiabean -- crate training is a good place to start. Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD is one good resource, and tremendous in terms of creating a dog who RUNS into her crate, but Kikopup also has some good (free!) crate training videos too. My experience is that it takes time, consistency, and lots of stuffed Kongs to make extended crate time really comfortable, but it's usually worth it (especially since, if I remember, your dog is a furniture eater!). You may not be able to leave the house, but you can probably work in progressively longer crate times while working from home. If the x-pen contains her securely, then I see no issue with using that versus a crate.

Introduce her to the dog walker ahead of time, so that they already have a relationship, and have the dog walker start a few weeks before you start your job. Transitions and big changes in routine are always rough, so I think it's great that you're preparing in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
@Artdog, how did you manage? Did the 6month old puppy just hold it all day for 8.5 hours with lots of walks and love before and after work?

@gnosticdog, I've been following kikopup's crate training protocol. But I think I was too impatient for a while and she regressed, so we are back to step 1 and 2 of the training. After 2 days of more kennel games, the dog now offers going into the crate on her own again.
@SnackRat- thanks! We are going back and going through kikopup's protocol again. And the dog has met the dog walker before, but I think I might see if I can get her to come in next week for a meet and greet. We try to have other people walk her, especially because she likes to revert to her bad behaviour with others (i.e. pulling and not listening).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Dogs do not have a sense of time, they cannot differentiate between you being away five minutes or all day. They live in the now, so all they understand is "you were here and now you are here again". Dogs generally sleep when left alone, so I would never leave a dog with things to occupy himself with, like kongs or chew toys, they need to understand its chill time. I know you will read here often that dogs get bored. They don't, they can't. Boredom requires a sense of self that is separate from their owner or other dogs, plus a sense of time, dogs don't have either. Boredom is a human mind projection onto a dog.
Why do you think that dogs don't get bored. That has certainly not been my experience with dogs.

Yes, dogs sleep most of the day, but they don't sleep all day, sometimes they think, "Oh, I want to play, what is there to play with?"

I also don't agree that dogs don't have a sense of time. When I go away for several weeks or months, the greeting I get from my dogs is not the same as when I get home from work which is also not the same as the reaction I get when I come back from having gone to the bathroom which is often no reaction.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Why do you think that dogs don't get bored. That has certainly not been my experience with dogs.

Yes, dogs sleep most of the day, but they don't sleep all day, sometimes they think, "Oh, I want to play, what is there to play with?"

I also don't agree that dogs don't have a sense of time. When I go away for several weeks or months, the greeting I get from my dogs is not the same as when I get home from work which is also not the same as the reaction I get when I come back from having gone to the bathroom which is often no reaction.
This times a million.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Why do you think that dogs don't get bored. That has certainly not been my experience with dogs.

Yes, dogs sleep most of the day, but they don't sleep all day, sometimes they think, "Oh, I want to play, what is there to play with?"

I also don't agree that dogs don't have a sense of time. When I go away for several weeks or months, the greeting I get from my dogs is not the same as when I get home from work which is also not the same as the reaction I get when I come back from having gone to the bathroom which is often no reaction.
You are free to disagree, but dogs do not think, they do however feel and they are absolute masters at picking up projected emotions, that is how their ancestors and their near relative, the wolf, is able to hunt prey far larger and dangerous than they are, so when you have been away for a long while you dog is feeling what you feel. Dogs are the most emotional species (aside from man) on the planet which is why the dog and man are able to connect on a level unlike any other species.

As for boredom, again, dogs do not have the mental capacity to think about what they want to do, they just do. Dogs just are.

This is the huge problem with the Theory of Mind in relation to dog training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
I disagree based on my experience with dogs, what I was asking you was, on what do you bases your assertions? Personal observation? Scientific Studies? Devine Inspiration?

You're assertions are pretty radical in my opinion I mean, 'dogs don't think'?. How do you explain problem solving in dogs? Doesn't problem solving imply thinking?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
@gnosticdog - Projecting a lack of cognition onto dogs is at least as huge a fallacy as projecting human emotions. Especially considering the massive amounts of research in canine cognition over the past decade, which actually provides a pretty substantial body of evidence to the contrary.

You might want to pick up a few good books to challenge what you think you know...Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (Dr. Alexandra Horowitz), The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than Your Think (Dr. Brian Hare), and Dog Behavior, Evolution, and Cognition (Dr. Adam Miklosi) would be good places to start. All written by behavioral scientists who run cognition labs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
@Artdog, how did you manage? Did the 6month old puppy just hold it all day for 8.5 hours with lots of walks and love before and after work?
Short answer. I have a husband who also loves dogs.
Long answer. The schedule (remember, it wasn't just me).
Morning pee walk before work.
Crate during the day until very mature.
Immediately after work, Long Walk (off-lead in the forest as soon as she was trained, long-line before that) that included fun heeling/leg weaves & obstacle training, tug & frisbee, swimming when possible.
Indoors, fetch, tug, training,
Before bed, short pee walk.
+ weekly lessons from basic through to rally0 then agility
one day/week dog daycare from 6months (when we got her) to 1 years old.
Our work hours were clockwork, no surprise overtime, ever barring rare weather events.
Weekends, even longer walks, more training, more exercise, and of course, more company.
As a mature dog, the daycare & lessons ended, but the long walk schedule is something we do even with no dog, so it's not really a chore. I have no dog right now, and still go on daily long walks, and longer hikes on Saturday and Sunday. Cannot wait to have a four-footed friend to join me again.

PS. be less interesting to your dog during 'working hours' as you move closer to your work away from home date. Be more interesting to your dog during those times when you will be able to spend time with your dog. Schedules are really important, even the body follows a schedule (bathroom functions, without going into detail, even our own). Even when I went to part time work, my dog did not want or need to go out during the day, and slept most of the day. The schedule remained the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
@Artdog, that's actually very helpful.

I should mention that it's not just me, but also my live-in boyfriend. The dog is ours. We are both very active and hope to take her running with us when she's old enough. Ideally, I'd love to transition her to no middle of the day walk on days where we can reliably get home right after work and do a big long walk and play with her. Because of our running, there will be days where we have practice after work and will be sending her to doggy day care to have her social and exercise needs met for the day.

Starting today, I need to get her on a bit more of a schedule. I managed to her to sleep or be calm for a solid 3.5 hour stretch...the longest so far when I'm home. So thanks for the tips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
@Artdog, that's actually very helpful.

I should mention that it's not just me, but also my live-in boyfriend. The dog is ours. We are both very active and hope to take her running with us when she's old enough. Ideally, I'd love to transition her to no middle of the day walk on days where we can reliably get home right after work and do a big long walk and play with her. Because of our running, there will be days where we have practice after work and will be sending her to doggy day care to have her social and exercise needs met for the day.

Starting today, I need to get her on a bit more of a schedule. I managed to her to sleep or be calm for a solid 3.5 hour stretch...the longest so far when I'm home. So thanks for the tips!
Good. Because when I read 'the schedule' I think, wow, really, I did all that??? And then, nope, good to hear you have a partner. I think you'll be just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
@Esand, the writings of Kevin Behan, plus my own years of eclectic research, current science, personal observation and practice and seeing the huge flaws in the current research and theories.

@SnackRat, those authors are all projecting human thoughts onto dogs and for the most part, miss the mark. I am not saying dogs aren't intelligent, just their intelligence is not through thinking but feeling. Researchers like Deer and Horowitz are interpreting what they *think* the animal is thinking, and are assuming that animals perceive the world exactly as we do. So by asking what is a dog thinking, we will reflexively interpret the evidence as if the animal is thinking that what happens outside causes what happens inside. An example would be deer runs from the predator because it feels threatened. This is confusing a thought with a feeling and constructs a view of animal reality that the outside causes the inside. Take thoughts off the table and go to emotions because that is what both humans and animals have in common and observe dogs from that vantage point.


I wonder why, if the Theory of Mind (ToM) and the practice of operant conditioning, is correct, it has not resulted in more well trained, well-adjusted dogs, especially since the explosion of trainers and behaviorists using +R methods*, it appears that quite the opposite has happened, as even Ian Dumbar has stated:

I have spent the past few years puzzling over why dog training is no longer working that well. Today there is much more management and less reliability.
Perhaps it's because we have got it wrong? And perhaps the world of dog training needs tweaking or even a do-over?

I stand by what I believe to be true, dogs feel, and that dogs also reflect back to us our emotions and act accordingly.

Here is an example, before I could hit send for this post, my son called asking to be picked up from a local Mexican fast food place, at the same time my husband wanted to talk to me and have me deposit a check on my phone. My son gets impatient waiting, so I was anxious to leave but needed to do the check first. My dog picked up on my feelings of wanting to leave and automatically went and laid down on his spot on the stairs (the crate-like spot I mentioned above) because he sensed I going to leave, he didn't think this through logically, he didn't understand my conversation with my husband, but he did pick up on feelings and familiar leaving patterns.


This has gotten OT from the OP, so I will leave my thoughts at that.
* Please be clear, I am certainly not advocating for or suggesting dominance training either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
@Esand, the writings of Kevin Behan, plus my own years of eclectic research, current science, personal observation and practice and seeing the huge flaws in the current research and theories.

Here is an example, before I could hit send for this post, my son called asking to be picked up from a local Mexican fast food place, at the same time my husband wanted to talk to me and have me deposit a check on my phone. My son gets impatient waiting, so I was anxious to leave but needed to do the check first. My dog picked up on my feelings of wanting to leave and automatically went and laid down on his spot on the stairs (the crate-like spot I mentioned above) because he sensed I going to leave, he didn't think this through logically, he didn't understand my conversation with my husband, but he did pick up on feelings and familiar leaving patterns.
I don't think anybody is going to disagree that dogs are highly empathetic animals that understand human emotions at least as well as we do.

That does not exclude dogs thinking. I've watched with my own eyes a dog frustrated by a barrier that she could not climb over nor knock down after several tries, push a chair up to the barrier and climb over.

That kind of problem solving is indicative of cognition. It is not an emotional or instinctive behavior.

If you don't want to continue to post about this in this thread, why not start a new one? I think it's an interesting conversation.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top