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-   -   Any tips for drastically changing a dog's schedule/routine? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-information/416394-any-tips-drastically-changing-dogs-schedule-routine.html)

Zlata 02-25-2014 10:54 PM

Any tips for drastically changing a dog's schedule/routine?
 
I apologize if this isn't in the correct section.

In October, my current job gave me an assignment that required me to travel extensively. Sora was 8 months old at the time, and since my husband works 80 hour weeks, we thought it was best to place Sora temporarily with my parents. My parents have been very, very graciously watching him for us.

Well, now that my work assignment is drawing to a close, I am preparing to take Sora back to our home, but I am feeling a little anxious about it. My parents are retired and spend all day at home. Sora is never alone. He has access to a large, fenced backyard, and he gets countless hours of playtime and potty breaks. My parents also haven't been crating him. In short, he has been absolutely spoiled rotten :crazy: (Did I mention that my mom is a retired chef and also makes him handmade dog treats? I have some SERIOUS competition here!)

I work full-time. For the first 8 months of Sora's life, he spent most of his day alone (I would come home at lunch to let him out.) Our backyard is very large but not fenced, so he will be on leash for exercise once again. I also have plans to crate him because I find that it helps him relax and sleep much better (but I do feel that we might have to reintroduce the crate!) We spend every minute of our weekends together, of course, and every free minute of our work day mornings and evenings!

Anyway, I am concerned that he is going to react very poorly from having someone always in the house with him 24/7 to having no one in the house with him for quite some time. I was hoping that someone could provide some insight and tips to facilitate bringing him home and helping him adapt to the 'old routine'. :D He is not yet neutered per our vet's recommendation, so sadly, anything like dog daycare would be unfeasible at this moment in time. My work breaks are pretty short, so my other option I was considering was hiring a dog walker, but I'm still not sure if that would help him adjust at all. Thank you in advance!

David Winners 02-25-2014 11:44 PM

I would have a plan and schedule worked out before bringing him home. If you could exercise and do some training before work and then right after work, with some quality time before bed, he should be fine. The dog walker could be a good idea if the dog is of the right temperament.

Changing his routine is fine as long as things are as clear and predictable as possible when the change happens. Some would advocate the 2 week shut down. I have no experience with this but it has many supporters.

I find that quantity is not as important as quality when considering the time spent with the dog.

David Winners

Charlie W 02-25-2014 11:51 PM

I work full time and my husband works for 8 months of the year. For the four months when he doesn't work, the dogs get used to having him there pretty much round the clock. When he goes back to work they revert to being alone for about 9 hours, 3 or 4 days a week depending on how our shifts fall. They seem to just adapt, they have a lot of exercise and attention when we are there and I have never seen any sign that they are in any way stressed when things change.

I think the handmade dog treats might be a hard act to follow though :eek:

crackem 02-25-2014 11:55 PM

If we need to change a routine we just change it ;). And I agree with David, quality of time not quantity.

David Winners 02-25-2014 11:56 PM

Natural Balance rolls will work ;)

David Winners


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