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Old 04-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
sechattin
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Texas
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Your time schedules really don't sound like a huge deal as long as you make sure you commit the time each day to bonding and socializing your pup.

I worked an 8-5 type schedule almost every day of the week when I got my pup. When I was gone, he was either with someone I trusted (a friend who ran a daycamp) or he was in a sturdy ex-pen with appropriate toys (lots of chews and stuffed toys) and I usually had a dog walker that I paid maybe 10-15 per day to stop by on her route, take him for a short walk and clean out the pen if needed. Now that he's older, he is just crated when I'm gone.

The reason this works for me is because he has exercise and training sessions before and after work. Before work, even if I have to be up at 5am, he goes on a mile walk, then we have a training session mixed with a game of fetch or tug. When I get back, we usually have a longer walk (2-4 miles) and then a game of off-leash fetch in the park (after he got his recall down), and a training session interspersed with games of tug.

On days when I'm off, I measure out his food for the day and put it in a plastic baggie and he works for his food throughout the day in small sessions. Along with his regular exercise, this seems to keep him very level and low-key.

The biggest thing is just making sure he gets at least the minimum of what he needs even on days when you are busy. On 10-12 hour shifts, I may have been exhausted, but I still zombie walked him through his mile walks and did some short training sessions. Even just recapping things he knows is good practice.

If you can take him in the ambulance bay with you, I would just make sure to watch his body language very closely and make sure it's not too much stimulus for him. I'm not sure how busy/hectic an ambulance bay is, but if it's too loud or has too much going on, it could stress a young puppy who feels he can't get away from it. Only bring it up as a concern because you don't want him to have any bad associations with the crate. If you can take him and he seems fine, then you have more time with your pup. Good luck and keep us updated!
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