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Discussion Starter #1
We have suddenly had to face the situation of our pup with separation anxiety (that is improving) needing to be at home for the day as all of her available daycare options are out for at least a week.

I am wondering what those of you who have to leave your pups alone while you're at work do in the mornings to make sure they are ready for the day alone...specifically, the timing of morning activities like walk, feeding, potty break.

Regen can't be crated because of her anxiety (containment makes her panic), and she jumped the REALLY TALL baby gate we set up so that she could hang out in the mudroom (washable floors) while we were gone, so I'm especially wondering how to minimize the possibility of accidents by timing her food and exercise correctly.

Today was the first day we had to do the home alone thing, but we had an atypical morning routine since I shortened my work day. She pooped THREE TIMES (twice on our run, and once in the backyard when I let her out right before leaving) before I left at noon, and when I came home at 5:30 and let her out, she ran straight to her spot to pee. This makes me worry a little, because she'll need to be able to do 8.5 hours.

Suggestions or examples of other working GSD owner's pre-work schedules would be really helpful, especially anyone who has dealt with a dog with SA. :D
 

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I do not have an issue with SA but here is how our morning goes. Max is 9 months so no problem holding.

Up at 4:30, send him out then I start getting ready. Feed at 5:00ish, play ball outside about 5:45ish. In crate with one of those hollow bones stuffed with PB and a small cookie. Leave about 6:20.
 

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Rafi had SA but it didn't affect his bladder/bowel control. He can hold it for 10 to 12 hours, if necessary. Can your dog hold it through the night? If so then she should be ok while you're at work. If she is an obsessive drinker then you may have to limit the amount of water you leave out for her.

What are you feeding? That is a lot of poop...Rafi poops once a day (on raw) and pooped two to three times a day when he was on kibble, but not all at once.

I have to take care of my cat in the morning so I get up about two hours before I have to leave, take Rafi for a 15 to 20 minute (brisk) walk, play a little ball with him in the yard and feed him. Then I feed the cat (by hand) so he has some settle down time before I leave.

I don't let him out again before I leave but one thing that's super helpful for him is that he knows the commands to pee and poop so if I know I'll be gone a long time I send him out with the pee command and he goes right before I leave.

When I leave I tell him that he's staying and he goes to his bed and I toss him a treat and then I'm out the door. No fuss.

He also can't be crated because of barrier anxiety.
 

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Oh geez, now I feel bad that I can’t dog sit. Do you want me to come over to your place, say mid day, and take her for a walk or something. I can do that...for free even! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ruth, how did Rafi get over his SA? How does he greet you when you get home?
Regen eats TOTW and some raw, she doesn't usually poop so prolifically but apparently today her intestines were overachieving! She can hold it overnight for 10 hours usually, barring any stomach upset.

@Mikkas Mom- don't feel bad! Camp Bow Wow spotted a papilloma on Regen's paw (or so they say...since she came home we can't seem to rediscover it) and they say she can't come back until she's had a vet confirm that it isn't one OR if it is one, until it's gone. So it really was the combination of two contagious doggie illnesses conspiring to drive us insane this week. And succeeding quite well!
 

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I worked Rafi through his SA using Patricia McConnell's counter conditioning program. It took 7 weeks of gradually increasing the time I left him (like from 10 seconds to 10 minutes). We went through the same routine where I would tell him to go to his bed and give him a treat and then walk out. I did it multiple times a day. During the counter conditioning program I left him in my truck when I was at work. My truck has an insulated fiber glass topper and a mattress with bedding. He only chewed a few things back there but he didn't salivate and bark and go nuts like he did when left crated.

When I get home I tell him to get a toy and then I ignore him for the first 15 or so minutes I'm home. Not in a mean way but I keep everything low key and just go about my normal routine. He automatically looks for a toy now when I get him and then he lies down on his bed with it.
 
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