New Owner - Pacing Outdoors Problem
This is my first post, and I did my best to search for a similar issue. I am fairly familiar with dog care, and have fostered dogs from the shelter. Because I'm on a foster list, I was called when a registered white GS was brought in owner surrendered to be put down. She's 2 years old, and I don't know anything about the previous owner other than she was kept outside in a kennel and was living with a sibling GS that was a male. The owner was moving and gave them up rather than take them and the male had already found a home.
We decided to keep her, and originally gave her free roam of our property. We found that she stayed home while we were there, and learned our work schedule and would leave home soon after we left and go visit the neighboring dogs 1/2 mile away and be home by the time we got back. We live in the middle of nowhere at the end of a dead end road, so traffic is not an issue. When we learned she's a roamer, we got an underground fence and trained her on it. It keeps her contained even though if she's really insistent she'll run through it without wincing to get to one of us if we are separated from her. She lives outdoors 100% of the time. We bought her an insulated and heated dog house for the winter, even though we live in Alabama and it doesn't get extremely cold. She seems to like it.
My wife and I both work and have to drive an hour each way to get to work, so we leave early in the morning and get home after dark. We aren't able to socialize with her as much as we should. We still spend between 30 min to an hour each day in our garage or outside working on training her. However, she's started pacing outdoors. She goes to one part of our property and paces back and forth along the width of the property about 200 feet in the middle of the property (not along the underground wire boundary). I've read posts about dogs pacing when kept up or indoors, but this is the first dog I've seen to pace/jog a distance that far and keep on doing it obsessively. When we come outside she stops and runs to us, but will be back at it later when we leave her alone.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can fix this? We want her to be as happy as possible, but our work schedules don't allow for a lot of socialization. We even considered another dog, but even though she seemed to love the dogs 1/2 mile away, our nearest neighbor's dog free roams and she doesn't like him very well. He's also a white a german shepherd and will sometimes visit and steal her food or toys. I would be afraid to commit to another dog that she ends up disliking. We also have indoor cats that prevent her from becoming an indoor/outdoor dog. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by chemlabrat; 01-03-2013 at 01:11 PM.