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Good morning,

what does life with your dog(s) look like? Do you have one or more dogs? Do you train/ walk/ play together? Separately?

What does your day look like? And your week?

Anything that you do that is a lifesaver or makes a huge difference in your relationship with your companions?

:)
 

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Well, pups' routines have varied greatly as he has grown, the weather has changed, and COVID-19 has affected our area.

In general, our day starts at 4:00 to 4:30 AM. I work from home so my schedule is very flexible. I like to take pup out early in the morning because it is still nice and cool. Pup can wear himself out before he overheats. We either take a hike through a nearby woods, play in the park, or take a walk around the neighborhood. It is early enough that only a few joggers who are familiar with pup are also out. He can go off-leash most of the time.

After we get home, pup has a drink, breakfast, and settles in for a nap.

At noon we like to take an adventure. We might hang out in the yard, visit a local park, walk downtown, maybe go to the dog park. Something where the pup experiences new and interesting things.

It is time for another nap.

Supper is between 5 and 6.

As things cool down, we do a little outside playtime in the yard, neighborhood, or nearby park. For the last couple of days, I have been taking another family member and we play two-person recall. We take turns calling pup and rewarding him with a treat or toy. Over the last couple of weeks, pup has stopped listening to other family members as well as he used to. I am trying to get them more active in his training and play.

Pup settles in for another nap.

Around 9 pm the humans start going to bed. Pup has to get to (his self appointed) work. He is in charge of guarding the house while we sleep. For a while, he will walk from window to window to make sure that everything is OK. He settles into his favorite spot on the cool tile floor in the bathroom. From there, he can see into the human's bedrooms, the back door, patio window, and the part of the front entrance.

I generally fall asleep to the sound of him chewing on a bone.

For us, I think the most important things are his adventures and the long lead. He is high drive and was very reactive when I got him. Since he spends so much time out and about he can handle most things with some degree of dignity. The other big thing for us is his long lead. It lets him trot from interesting spot to interesting spot while I keep heading the same direction. I generally start and end our walks with 30-60 seconds of loose leash heeling so he remembers that the freedom of the long lead is something he earned through good behavior.

This is not meant to imply that this is the right routine or even a good routine. It is just something that works for us. Since I turned 50 it is easy for me to put on weight. I used to go to a gym. Now I like to exercise with my dog. I work from home. It is really easy for me to go days at a time without leaving the house. I used to try to make it a point to go somewhere every day; Out for lunch, a coffee shop, or even running errands. Now, I go somewhere with my dog. It is good for both of us. The evening playtime is just something I find enjoyable which has the benefit of tiring pup out.

Finally, I struggle with PTSD and the hypervigilance that goes along with it. When I first got my black lab almost 15 years ago, he helped me cope. I no longer have a compulsion to track everything around me. I just keep an eye on the dog. He is well aware of things and dismisses them long before I am even aware of them with my own senses.
 

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I think it’s also important for members to include their dogs age.... my routine is vastly different now, at 7yrs vs 7 months.
My daily/weekly routine pre-covid:

M-F
6:15am quick walk or run around the yard to stretch and potty, then breakfast at 6:30am b4 I head to work.

a few days a week I’ll stop by mid day if I’m working in the area and he gets the same quick romp as first thing in the morning, but he’s not dependent on it. If the weather is nice, no fruit/veggies on the vine and no signs of opossum babies, then he has backyard access all day.

4:30pm I get home and we go for a 1-1.5 mi walk in the neighborhood (when he was younger this was a mandatory hike and/or training sessions, flirt pole etc), on the way back we stop at the park and I toss a ball so he can run off leash for about 10 minutes.... if there’s no kids we do some work on the play structures. 7pm dinner.... another potty break at some point before bed.

Sat/Sun
Wake up when we wake up... walk .5mi to coffee shop, hang out for a half hour or so then .5mi back. I usually groom or trim nails around this time too.

At some point between late morning & early evening - Hike or other outdoor activity / outing... can vary, 3-8 miles lately.

Dinner is still at 7...I also do his meal prep on Sundays.

And that’s pretty much it. I train when I feel like it. We hang on the front porch a lot. Life with a 7yr old is pretty great...he’s game for as much or as little as I ask of him.
 

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I have 2 dogs, a retired 9 year old and a 2.5 year old training in IGP.

I train with a few club members and other friends on Wed evening and with my club (1.5 hr drive each way) on Saturday.

I work full time but sometimes bring my dogs with me. We do evening walks either by the river or hike our local trails every day.

My oldest has some health issues so I usually do two walks, a smaller with her (or both) then a longer more i tense walk/hike with the youngest.

I also train on my own or with my best friend two nights a week outside of our more formal training days.

Sundays are for exploring new trails a bit further from home.
 

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2 GSD, both males, 5 years and the other 6 months.:)

I work from home most days so that makes things much easier.

1/ Up around 7:00 am, walk through the woods for bathroom time, down a few hundred yards along a huge pond where there's frogs, turtles, herons, sometimes ducks or geese to keep things interesting. Back though other woods, sometimes see neighbors dogs on the way back for quick play. Then breakfast for both.

2/ Quick outing/pee break before noon through the woods out back so I can leave the older boy outside while I feed junior his mid-day meal. I would love to cut him back to twice a day but he's still growing so fast and skinny. We usually do some come/sit/stay/down/heel work then. Older dog does some obstacle work or ball/stick chasing, young guys chases after him lol

3/ A quick outing mid afternoon and a full longer walk at 5:00 (45 minutes including a neighborhood) followed by dinner anywhere 5-6

4/ Have been doing a quick out about 8:00 mostly while the young guy was house training but still now off an on.Final outing about 11:00 just for a stretch and pee break. They each get a milk bone treat.

Weekends don't really change much except for some longer hikes or we could be at the cottage/lake

Minimum for every dog (6 GSD over 40 years) is 3-4 times per day, minimum 20-30 minutes each, in any and all weather; snow or rain is no excuse :) I haven't missed a day (if I wasn't travelling) in decades.
 

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  • Atleast 3 30 min walks per day even if it’s just around the backyard but 30 minutes each time minimum
  • I try to go to the park atleast once a week but it depends on my schedule
  • tug twice a day for 15ish mins
  • feed 3 times a day
I do all this every day. Usually more but this is our set schedule we have. I find as long as I do all this my pup behaves and sleeps like a baby and he is my main hobby so I enjoy time with my dog. I started to bond more with my dog when I stopped looking at him as a dog and started looking at him as my son. I know it sounds corny but seriously. When he started to respect me he listened to me way more. Also never let your dog think he’s in control
 

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I have two dogs - a 9 year old female golden retriever and a 13 month old male GSD.

7:30 - Wake up, out to potty, either play a tiny bit of fetch or do some tug. Get breakfast at 8:00 in slow feeder/puzzle bowls.
9:30 - Fetch and training session out in the backyard until he’s panting. The golden just hangs out. She has zero interest in play or exercise.
10:00-10:30 - Hour long off-leash walk. The golden sometimes goes, sometimes not. She has a hard time keeping up now. The GSD gets lots of training and fetch on the walk. After that it’s a two hour nap.
Throughout the day after that we play fetch and do training sessions, usually about 10 minutes at a time, then have rest time.
6:00 - Dinner time, again in slow feeder/puzzle bowls.
7:45 - Either another walk or to the park for off leash fetch. All fetch and walks include training, such as practicing heeling, sit/stay, look at me, impulse control, etc.
9:00 - Bedtime.

We do this schedule every single day, rain or shine, snow or hail.
 

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Pre covid-19
5 am: 30 minute walk before work
11 am: 30 minute walk after work
2 in the afternoon: one hour of training
5 or 6 in the evening: 30- 1 hour of play
9 in the evening: last walk of the day
We train with the club every Saturday morning. Sometimes if I work till 2 or 3, the 11 am walk doesn’t happen. It has changed since covid, mostly the morning walk is later and we haven’t been training. It will probably change now that I have the puppy too. I have a two year old and now a 3 month old
 

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Yeah my schedule's a bit different now because of COVID; I'm working from home instead of going to the office.

I have a 3.5-year-old GSD.

5:45am: Wake up, first thing is feed her breakfast.
6:45am: 20-minute walk around the neighborhood or in the river park (I always wait an hour after eating because I'm paranoid of bloat).
7:15am - 2:00pm: I might put her outside for a bit to hang out, or she lazes around the house. She gets annoying and asks for attention and I'm getting bad at giving it to her lol. I might go outside with her once or twice to play ball, tug, etc. during this time.
2:00pm: Our afternoon walk. Usually about an hour, ~2-3 miles in one of the river parks. If it's warm enough, she gets to swim in the river.
3:00pm: Return, hour countdown til dinner (BLOAT paranoia haha).
4:00pm: Dinnertime.
4:00-sleepy time: Varies. I might go outside with her another time to play ball/tug, especially if she's acting ancy. Maybe a 10 minute training session. But usually by about 7pm she's happily snoozing away while I write or read or watch TV.
8:30pm: One last potty break and she's in the crate for bedtime.

On the weekends the morning routine is a bit more relaxed; the walk is usually longer since it's cooler, but we may not start til 9:00am or so. Or we might do something more fun, like a longer hike on one of the nearby trails or playtime with dog friends.

When I was still going to the office, my intent was to get her used to being outside in the backyard for the day while I'm at work, but we never really got that far. Otherwise she's in the crate. I try not to keep her in there for more than 6-7 hours without a break, though I think she'd do fine. I just don't like how ancy she is when I do that. So I either take her to work with me, or come back at lunch to let her out for a bit. When things get back to "normal" I might just do like 6-hour days in the office, then come home and work from home for the remaining 2 hours.
 

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I always wait an hour after eating because I'm paranoid of bloat
I am not sure if there is any science behind my anti-bloat or if I am just repeating all wives' tales.

I always fed my dogs after I am done eating and before I start cleaning up the kitchen. The dogs are expected to hang out quietly while we eat. Laying on the floor by my feet is fine. Any misbehavior means they lose the privilege and get sent to their bed or crate. My goal is so that everyone has been calm for 15-45 minutes before the dogs eat. This seems to encourage them to eat a bit more calmly. No hard exercise for 45 minutes to an hour after eating.

I have a small water bowl on the front porch. After getting hot, I encourage them to drink a cup or so of water outside before we go inside. It takes me a few minutes to take my shoes off and put their equipment away. Once that is done they are free to get more to drink. Getting a bit of water in their stomachs and waiting a few minutes seems to really reduce the gulping they used to do when they were really thirsty and had a full bowl of water.
 

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Any talk of bloat needs to include the instruction to feed your dog on any type of elevated platform, not on the floor.
 

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Any talk of bloat needs to include the instruction to feed your dog on any type of elevated platform, not on the floor.
Yep I've read that too, that the OPPOSITE is true (raised platforms increase risk of bloat). I've also read that there's not conclusive proof that feeding them too soon before/after exercise can cause it, but I've heard a lot of anecdotal stories ("I fed my dog, then she immediately played really hard with a friend dog, then bloated an hour later").

Seems like the biggest risk factors are feeding one large meal per day, and genetics...the latter being completely outside our control other than doing preventive gastroplexy which itself carries risks.

So.....whatever, adjusting feeding schedule is relatively easy so imma keep doing it. :)
 

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I've read just the opposite that raised bowls may increase risk of bloat?
I had never heard that but Google shows VERY limited study of it. I would need to see more detail.

For instance if most people with large dogs feed with elevated bowls and X have bloat, then looking at dogs with bloat and most were fed elevated would reach flawed conclusions. It appears there's no trouble feeding at floor level so that might be the better option. I had always been told the opposite by my vet 30 years ago and it's never come up since. I'm going to try and ask my current vet next week and see what she says.

There are only two studies that study the effect of raised feeders on the risk of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) and their findings conflict. Only one study found a significant effect of feeder height, with large and giant breeds fed from a raised feeder being at an increased risk of GDV floor fed dogs. However, these authors found that, where the feeder was raised, the height of the feeder that increased the GDV risk was affected by the size of the dog. Large breed dogs were more likely to develop a GDV if fed from a bowl ≤ 1 foot tall, whereas giant breed dogs were more likely to develop a GDV if fed from a bowl > 1 foot tall. No studies found that feeding from a raised feeder reduced the risk of GDV relative to feeding from the floor. Therefore, the safest option in the absence of further evidence is to advise that owners of ‘at risk’ dogs feed from a feeder on the floor. This may not reduce the risk of GDV, but there is no evidence to suggest that it will increase the risk.
 

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I am back to work this week. I had been working a few hours 2-3 days a week during the lockdown so she was semi-accustomed to be left alone for periods of time.

I set my alarm for 6.15. Up at 6.30. I'm very lucky for the most part she sleeps through the night. sometimes she needs to go out a bit earlier say 5am. Most nights are good though. I'm ready to go for a walk at 7am. we go to a park across the road. She chases ball/wubba/frisbe. we do a short walk. hang out a bit. back home at 8 when I make her brekkie. I go to work round 9am. currently I do 2 3hr shifts (building just reopened, great for puppies). back home at 12 till 2pm. we play, hang out, train and have lunch. back to work 2-5pm. Home and train. walk at 6, sometimes the beach/park/forest. She meets lots of people and dogs. Home and dinner. She gets a huge spurt of energy round 9pm goes a little wild in the house. Bed at 11pm.

I have never been a morning person so early starts have been really hard. But i always drag myself out of bed cause I know she is delighted to see me in the morning.
 

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At our most active my dogs get a walk during one half of the day and a training session the other (morning or afternoon).

Honestly we do not train daily. I'd say 3x a week is a fair guess. I try to be sure both dogs go to civilization once a week. For the lab it will still be with the purpose of exposure to something he will encounter as a service dog, or actual work.

For the shepherd it might be obedience practice in town for distraction, or just a walk in nearby town/city so he does not forget civilization.

This time of year, our outing may be dock practice. Or sometimes I track the shepherd away from home. "Home" is 60 acres so we hike here, and they have a huge yard they like to hang out in.

Both dogs come to work with me sometimes, and often are included in social hour with boarded dogs.

They are pretty easy going dogs...I don't try hard to satisfy them. Both ready with bells on to go do anythibg, both thrilled to train, both totally able to just be dogs and hang out and chase squirrels.

We have some swimming places around here too, often what we do on a hot day. They both really love to swim.

We were probably competing about once a month until covid, which meant a weekend camping.

We are super excited for some dock diving competitions this summer as so far all ob, rally and tracking has been cancelled.
 
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