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Hi all,

I am seeking some recommendations for toys or equipment to stimulate my pup during the day when home alone during work hours.

Unfortunately, I have quite a small yard but do have a lock up garage accessible from the yard - I have had her going to doggy day care but unfortunately she has been kicked out of 2 day cares - 1 for a minor incident but the most recent was severe (agression towards another dog and the carer) so this is no longer an option for her. Also, how far/long do you usually walk your GSD before leaving for the day to ensure they have had adequate exercise?

Any tips/tricks that would keep her occupied to alleviate both ripping up the yard, barking and anxiety would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Ella
 

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Hi Ella!

For exercise in the morning, I take my two dogs for a walk early (30-40 minutes) then do 10-15 minutes of training and a 20 minute session of flirt pole before I leave for work. I give both of them a stuffed frozen Kong of peanut butter or cream cheese as well. Katsu is crated during the day, but I used to give my shiba his breakfast in a puzzle toy to keep him occupied during the first few hours I was gone. They have timed toys that dispense food in intervals as well.

We’re also active in the evening when I get off work which may help with Katsu’s puppy energy - fetch, training classes, swimming, etc.
 

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I would do at least 40 minutes of vigorous exercise in the morning. How old is she? You could have her run off-leash while you walk, go for a morning hike where she can be off leash, you could play fetch, take her swimming, really anything that gets her heart rate going. If she is over 18 months, you could even get into running with her on leash. I would also do a training session before you leave to tire out her brain. Teach her some new tricks like speak, beg, spin, put her toys in a basket. You could hide in the house and have her find you, hide treats throughout the house for her to find, hide a favorite toy, etc. For her breakfast in the morning, you could spread the food out in the grass in the backyard and make her find it. There are lots of little things you can do before you leave to help her feel tired in more ways than just physically.

I have always given my dogs frozen kongs stuffed with yogurt and pumpkin when I leave. Sometimes I do peanut butter or banana, but the yogurt and pumpkin has less fat in it.
 
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Hi Ella,

Could you give us a little more information? Some things that would be helpful are...What is the age of your pup? Have you always owned her or did she start her life elsewhere (besides breeder). How long will she be on her own? Is she crate trained or are you looking only to keep her in your yard/garage? etc.
 
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