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I'm going insane

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 11:43 AM
I need to find something to keep my dog entertained. We have 9 month old lab/ great pyrenees cross who- despite a 45 min walk in the morning and a 30 min run in the evening- is bored to tears and has a lot of energy.

Normally this isn't a problem- we'd play fetch, I'd hide toys around the house, and so on. Now things have changed since I now have a month-old baby. DH works, leaving me with the dog all day. I'm at the point where by the end of the day I'm ready to kill the first thing that moves.

For example, I finally get the baby to sleep and the dog comes bounding in and drops a toy on her head. Or loses something under the couch and whines and barks at me to get it for him, and wakes her up. Or the baby is screaming and I'm trying to comfort her, the cat is trying to sleep in my lap, and the dog is barking because the cat is touching me and he's jealous. Or I'm nursing the baby, and the dog decides that NOW he MUST go outside, even if he was just out 2 minutes ago and then if I drop everything to let him out, he howls at the door seconds later to be let back in.

I need something to keep him entertained! We got him kongs and busterballs- he figured out the second day to drop them down the stairs. We got him that hollow tree with squirrels, he can get them out in less than a minute and then runs around squeaking them or dropping them in my lap. We got him the tennis ball in a flexible tube that they "can't" get out- he doesn't care for it. All other toys are only fun if we're playing with him.

Any ideas on what to do with this very bored, rather smart dog? I know a tired dog is a good dog, but DH figures he takes him out twice a day and that should be good enough and won't do much else as far as exercise is concerned. I can't do much in regards to exercise, as it's too cold for the baby.

This is by no means a deal breaker- but I am annoyed beyond expression and I feel like the scum of the earth for leaving him so bored with nothing I can do about.

Please help!

sugarcatmom
January 2nd, 2009, 11:47 AM
Do you have any friends that can come take your pup for more exercise, or any doggie play-mates he can go hang out with?

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
nope, we moved here a few months ago and haven't met anyone yet- well, not anyone who doesn't work anyway.

Winston
January 2nd, 2009, 12:24 PM
I used to take my crazy chocolate lab outside in the yard when I couldnt walk him and we would play with a lazer pointer! I could get him to chase it around the yard 20 times and he would sleep good after that playtime.

I cant imagine a young baby and pupper at the same time...Maybe Daddy should stay home for 1 day to see what its like to manage everything!

Good Luck

Cindy

Chaser
January 2nd, 2009, 12:32 PM
That's a lot to manage all at once!

I think it's great that you're recognizing his behaviour as pent-up energy/boredom. :thumbs up A lot of people would simply blame the dog.

I have a treat ball that worked great for my dog when he was a pup....I forget who makes it now though. It's perfectly round with just one little hole. I used to put his entire meal into the ball and it would take at least an hour and a lot of energy for him to eat it all.

Have you stuffed the kong? Peanut butter and yogurt are great, and if you freeze them well it takes a lot longer for them to finish.

I would also try making use of baby gates so that the dog is confined to only certain areas of the house. That way you can keep him a little more seperated from the baby and he won't be waking baby up all the time.

Once it's warmer and your baby is a little older I'm sure it will get better. :) You can all go out for walks or you can strap your baby onto your chest and still play fetch with your pup.

Lukka'sma
January 2nd, 2009, 12:33 PM
I would ask your husband to talk with his co-workers and see if anyone has a dog that could be brought over to your home in the afternoon for a play session. Or you could offer to go to the other persons house for an hour or so. Maybe if he could find two or three different people you could juggle them so you don't go to the same persons house daily. It's worth a try.
Put up a sign at the local grocery store looking for doggie play mates and see if you have any luck that way also

pitgrrl
January 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM
I used to take my crazy chocolate lab outside in the yard when I couldnt walk him and we would play with a lazer pointer! I could get him to chase it around the yard 20 times and he would sleep good after that playtime.


I'd be hesitant to use a laser pointer because of the possibility of obsessive behaviors developing. Here's one thread (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=49616) that mentions this, though a quick googling brings up a variety of info.

ShiroPower, have you tried multiple, short training sessions throughout the day? Obviously you're short on time and energy with a new baby, but even 5 minute, fun training sessions a few times a day can help occupy and tire out a dog. You could teach silly tricks or maybe use the time to teach commands that are useful to you when dealing with the dog and baby, like long down-stays, crawling, targeting particular spots (like a mat or dog bed), etc.

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 12:57 PM
I haven't tried freezing the Kong- he can lick out unfrozen anything in record time, I'll have to try freezing them. The ball described sounds a lot like his busterball, which he just drops down the stairs and then hoovers up all the bits that fall out.

chase_mom, I actually took your advice on the walk before I read your post. The dog was driving me totally bonkers so I bundled the baby up, strapped her to my chest in my little home made wrap, and we went for a walk. We didn't go far at all, but it was enough to get Shiro & the baby ready for a nap- first time in three days that I don't have a baby or an animal in my lap, everyone is sleeping! (I should be cleaning but I don't care! lol!)

Finding another dog he can run around with would be awesome, I'll have to put up some flyers for a "playgroup"- I'm already looking for mom&baby playgroups, and I know Shiro would enjoy the company of some doggy friends and burn off a lot of energy as well.

I also like the idea of short training sessions. There are so many things where I think, it would be great if you knew how to do X! I know that mental stimulation is often more tiring than physical exercise, but it never occurred to me to use training instead of toys that he needs to think about. I was taking the lazy way out, I think, haha. Now I need to try to think of new things to teach him... Hm.

thanks for the suggestions- I think even the encouragement was a big help!

Jim Hall
January 2nd, 2009, 12:59 PM
teach him to vacum

Dracko
January 2nd, 2009, 01:06 PM
Maybe there is a doggie daycare you could take him to a few days a week. Get him out of your hair but he'd be having fun and socializing with other dogs.

I know when Dracko was young and I was new to the "dog world" being a cat person all my life, I about went nuts with trying to keep him occupied and burn off energy. And I didn't have a new baby to deal with!

Good luck...

rainbow
January 2nd, 2009, 02:00 PM
You've already received good suggestions to help tire out your big ball of energy. I hope that they work out for you. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

I just wanted to thank you for being so concerned about the puppy and understanding his needs. :angel: It must be very difficult when you have a month old baby as well. :grouphug:

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
You've already received good suggestions to help tire out your big ball of energy. I hope that they work out for you. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

I just wanted to thank you for being so concerned about the puppy and understanding his needs. :angel: It must be very difficult when you have a month old baby as well. :grouphug:

I'm going to do my best to implement the suggestions... I love the doggy daycare one, lol! I'll have to try to convince DH of that, even if he only goes really occasionally, a day without him would feel like a vacation almost.

It's definitely not easy at all, but I keep thinking when I catch him chewing on my underwear or going through the bathroom garbage (normally in areas that are blocked off, but i forget sometimes), "you are going to be a GREAT dog when you're done being a PUPPY!"

He's pretty cute, too, which definitely helps when I'm ready to pull my hair out.

chico2
January 2nd, 2009, 04:13 PM
ShiroPower,I have no advice to give,have not had a puppy for years,but others do,you came to the right place for answers:thumbs up
Oh,and Welcome To Our Forum!!!
Ooops,I see you are not quiet a newbie,but Welcome anyway!

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 04:15 PM
Thanks, Chico!
I've actually been lurking for a LONG time (a year or so, maybe even more?) and posted once or twice about raw feeding, but am definitely not active- I don't have a lot of valuable knowledge to contribute anywhere, so rather than look stupid (lol) i just keep my mouth shut.

Frenchy
January 2nd, 2009, 04:22 PM
I don't have a lot of valuable knowledge to contribute anywhere, so rather than look stupid (lol) i just keep my mouth shut.

I don't either but it doesn't stop me from posting :laugh:

:p

you can still voice your opinion :) anyway , I think it's great that you understood your dog , I hope the advices you got will help :goodvibes:

chico2
January 2nd, 2009, 04:40 PM
Aww Frenchy,you are too darn modest,if anyone has experience with different pups(older)it's you..
But seriously S-P,I don't know much,but have learned an awful lot here and I can only give advice from experience(3 cats),when it comes to dogs,just common sense:laughing:

shirley1011
January 2nd, 2009, 05:32 PM
I have sent you a private message...hey it took me a month to realize there were such things!!!
I have also noticed on www.kijiji.ca that people are posting for doggie play dates...maybe that might help you in your area or maybe find someone you can trade off dogs with.
Good luck...Our puppy is now 14 months...so I know too well the energy...

Lukka'sma
January 2nd, 2009, 06:20 PM
"you are going to be a GREAT dog when you're done being a PUPPY!"

He's a great dog now, just in disguise

Thanks, Chico!
I've actually been lurking for a LONG time (a year or so, maybe even more?) and posted once or twice about raw feeding, but am definitely not active- I don't have a lot of valuable knowledge to contribute anywhere, so rather than look stupid (lol) i just keep my mouth shut.
I don't either but it doesn't stop me from posting :laugh:

:p

you can still voice your opinion :) anyway , I think it's great that you understood your dog , I hope the advices you got will help :goodvibes:

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p275/clwhal/dreculsi1.gif

ShiroPower
January 2nd, 2009, 07:16 PM
It's true, he's a great dog but he definitely sends me around the bend sometimes.

And I guess i post in other forums where I don't actually know anything... I guess I could start here, too! (I had no idea there were forums for basically EVERYTHING until I got laid off and had a lot of free time on my hands while waiting for my baby to be born)

Dracko
January 2nd, 2009, 11:31 PM
Wondering if you could post a picture of your puppy for us to see?

TeriM
January 3rd, 2009, 01:22 AM
Feeding his meal in a treat ball is a good plan to take up some time. You can always babygate off the stairs so he has to work a bit harder ;). The frozen kongs are awesome. I usually mix a variety of things including peanut butter, plain yogurt, banana, kibble, cheeze wiz etc. I also love to buy frozen meatballs (costco, M&M meats etc) and stuff those in the kong for a fast, easy stuff :thumbs up. The short training sessions are an excellent idea and my guys also love a game of "find it" where I hide pieces of kibble all around a room.

Good luck and we'd love to see some pics :D.

Tundra_Queen
January 3rd, 2009, 07:18 PM
Finding another dog he can run around with would be awesome, I'll have to put up some flyers for a "playgroup"- I'm already looking for mom&baby playgroups, and I know Shiro would enjoy the company of some doggy friends and burn off a lot of energy as well.



Hi
Maybe u could talk to your vet to see if he/she knows of someone else who is looking for a playmate too?

Also, when baby and pup are sleeping, maybe mom should take a nap too? :D

lm9012
January 5th, 2009, 06:35 PM
You've received awesome advice so far! Definetely want to also commend you on not giving up on your dog and understanding that he's a pup and is simply bored, not crazy!

Freezing the kong will buy you time. Applesauce, yogurt, treats, etc. take a while to melt so your dog will stay busy. Also, while you don't want to feed these daily...pig ears, beef hides can help buy some time. You can even encourage chew toys which would content him without there being any extra calories injested. You can try raw bones, I've given high energy pups a piece of shank bone..let me tell you, by the time they get through all the yummy marrow in the middle...hours have gone by! they will scrub that bone squeaky clean, and you can then spread peanut butter in the hole and freeze it! I soo agree with doggie daycare..it can get expensive..but if you promise to go a certain amount of days you can get price breaks, also if your dog is rescued, a lot of places will cut you a break for adopting a rescued pet. check with your vet if they know of any reputable ones. I don't know where you are, here in Chicago some of these daycare/hotel places are insane..Glass enclosures, flat screen TV's..puppy cams so you can watch them play from home...you name it!! I want to stay there!!
A co-worker of mine adopted a lab that was barely a year old, and she was taking her to daycare once a week..she said it bought her several days of calm until the weekend when she and her husband could have the time to take her to a dog park or the beach. She would tell me it would poop the dog out for days. She actually has a month old baby herself now, and they are still doing the daycare. They see it as an excellent investment. Since it gives her time to focus on her and the baby..

You can also look at kijiji or craigs list for people offering care at their home, or play dates. I know that may be scary at first, but you could find reputable people. I found an amazing dog walker through craig's list..she was the best! Temps will warm up soon and you can strap the baby up and head to the doggie park..and soon enough your pup will calm down and not need so much. (hopefully!, she is part lab after all!!)

Good luck with you and your babies!!

Luvmypitgirls
January 5th, 2009, 06:58 PM
I didn't read thru all the replies so I don't know if anyone has suggested getting treadmill.
I recently got one for my dogs because it has been far too cold to take them for walks.
I put each one on for about 1/2 hour to 40 minutes at a time, under supervision of course.

ShiroPower
January 5th, 2009, 08:18 PM
I'm working on pictures now (but uploading pics here is irritating, so I'm doing it in stages so I don't get frustrated, ha)

Our dog is not a rescue, unfortunately, so discounts aren't an option. I talked over daycare with DH, he says he'll see if we can work it into the budget for Feb so even knowing a break is coming up is very relieving.

I've been freezing his kongs (when I remember- I fill them before bed and pop them in the freezer overnight) and it definitely takes him longer to get stuff out. We are probably going to invest in a small bag of kibble for easy treats, to stuff in his kong, and to use as a game and scatter-feeding occasionally (he's on raw right now).

I've also discovered that only semi-defrosted meat takes him longer to eat, and he likes it better that way so that's a double bonus.

I've emailed a couple of people about playgroups, and there's someone actually just down the road from me with a 2 yr old lab so we're trying to setup a time to get them together.

We had a surprisingly busy weekend, so we're just getting back into normal mode today- sorry it took me awhile to check replies!

ShiroPower
January 5th, 2009, 08:21 PM
Some pictures, hopefully, if I'm doing this right....

He IS fully supervised at all times with the baby- and the baby is crying in the one picture because she's tired of being in pictures. I got a bit too shutter happy and she's had enough of it, lol.

ShiroPower
January 5th, 2009, 08:22 PM
not sure what happened with sizing there, whoops.

This is a new computer so all my best pictures of Shiro are on the old (and disassembled) computer in the basement, hopefully soon to be retrieved!

Frenchy
January 5th, 2009, 08:44 PM
They're so cute together ! :lovestruck: