Am I good enough for my GSD? Daily schedule...
Hi all. I adopted a 3-year-old GSD (or mix...not quite sure, see pic!) about a month ago. It was kinda hard at first, but I think we're getting into a routine. She went into heat 5 days after I got her which complicated things, but I've had her wearing a diaper in the house while I'm home, not leaving her outside unsupervised, and crating her (sans diaper) when I go away. Her heat is winding down now so I'm thinking I can lose the diaper.
Anyway...I have a rather busy full-time job (I'm a wildlife biologist) with a sometimes unpredictable schedule, and I'm single with no other dogs, so I kinda worry that my life is not going to be stimulating enough for her. Plus I'm trying to do all the right things with feeding schedules to reduce the odds of bloat. So what do you think about the schedule below?
6:20: Wake up.
6:25: Feed breakfast to pup.
7:25ish: Go for a relaxed walk to pee and poop, generally only 15-20 minutes and low intensity. She likes to sniff a lot and I let her because I just want her to pee and poop (she refuses to do it in the yard).
7:45: Back home, she goes in the crate and I go to work.
12-2ish: I come back home to let her out (she usually doesn't have to pee--she has mondo bladder) and play with her for a bit. I'd really like to be able to just leave her until 4 when I get home from work, but I've been nervous about doing that. So far she seems fine when I come home, like she's just been sleeping in there all day. Ideally I'd like to just let her roam in the house or, even better, outside (I feel like she'd be less bored in the yard) while I'm gone, but because of the heat and my not quite trusting her to be alone yet, she's in the crate. Luckily she loves her crate, it seems.
~4:00: We go for a longer walk or a run, about an hour. There's a park where I can let her off leash and she trots around and we work on recall (she is REALLY good on recall, and I usually let her run ahead, then run backward and she turns and sprints back to me). When I'm sure the heat is over, and after she's spayed, I'll take her to the dog park some days.
~5:00: Hang around the house, I watch the news and let her decompress after exercise. She's generally pretty annoying because she wants her dinner, so she follows me everywhere and kinda paces and whines.
6-630ish: Feed her dinner.
6:30-rest of evening: Hang around, maybe do some training for 15-20 minutes, cuddles. I'll take her out for one last bathroom break around 9pm which she may or may not pee (like I said, mondo bladder). I'm trying to train her to pee on command but it happens so infrequently it's taking some time.
Bedtime: Back in crate.
Sometimes I'll go out for a couple of hours in the evening and she goes back in the crate. Sometimes I get to do field work during the day, like hiking/driving around, and she'll come with me and get some really good exercise/stimulation. She's pretty annoying in the car/truck (whines incessantly) so that's making me hesitant to take her places that aren't close.
She generally is pretty calm and will just lie on her bed and sigh and seem kinda bored. She hasn't shown any destructive tendencies, although one time I took a shower before I fed her, and came out to find she'd pulled her treat bag off the table and torn it apart and eaten everything in there (luckily there wasn't much left). She's really not into toys and she powers through chewy treats. I've taken to putting some stuff in a Kong and leaving it with her in the morning when I crate her, and she likes that.
Sorry, TLDR, but...I just worry that I'm not giving her enough exercise/stimulation. She gets at least 1.5 hours of exercise every day, and more when I can. She's not hugely into playing; I wish I could just throw the ball around for her, but she's not really into it. She's HIGHLY food motivated and pretty smart, so I'm hoping to teach her some new tricks. I really wish we could do something really cool like tracking or agility but I live in a small town and there's not a whole lot of opportunities. Maybe I can build some agility stuff in the yard...
ANyway, still TLDR! Sorry. But I'd love to hear your thoughts. and I know there have been lots of posts about daily schedules and I read them ALL! But it seems like every case is different so....let me know what you think.