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Stay at home Dog Mom

4065 Views 39 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Sunsilver
Hi All, I need support and/or words of wisdom from someone who's been there or still is there:)

Does anyone on this forum spend everyday all day (24/7) with their puppy? If so, does it drive you crazy and exhaust you too?

Mac is 9 months old. Since we brought him home at 8 weeks old, he's been left alone (crated or gated in kitchen) only a few times. I work from home so he's free all day. Not left in the house or crated like puppies' whose owners/parents work outside of the home. So, I’m lucky. I don’t have to work all day then come home and play with my puppy. I can do it throughout the day. I figure he’s lucky too.

But he is absolutely insatiable. He never wants to be in the house. So, I moved my home office to the sunroom/porch so I could be closer to him and watch him…more importantly he can see I’m watching him.

Its still not enough for him. I’m going out of my mind.

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hi Carrie,

do you walk him? brisk walks can really put a dent in my puppies energy...that and a solid 30 minutes of fetch. (he's 10 months)

have you tried Kongs and stuff like that to keep him occupied for a while?
Hello there and hello Mac. I was wanting to know if you have a yard? Where he can run and play? Have you tought about a walk at park? He needs his mind to be stimulated... He might be getting board. Or maybe some doggie classes he can go and meet new friends and work on obedience or agility training. That might make him feel a little better. I wish I could stay home with my dog and kids. Your very lucky you get to work from home. I get off at two from work though so hafe days are great for my family.
I'm the same as you, with the dogs pretty much 24/7 except mine are both older now and more settled. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Part of the problem was mine, Harley said jump, I asked how high. We spent hours going in and out, I was lucky if I got a 15 minute break inbetween. When my husband came home at night I said "he's all yours" and went and hid in my office!

Someone was nice enough to point out to me that not all dogs have an off switch so we have to teach them to settle down even when they clearly think running around the yard is a better place to be. They will gladly run our lives if we give them the chance.;)

Once you know your dog is getting enough exercise and you know their bathroom habits you just have to learn to ignore the stares and whining and tell them all done, enough, go lay down etc. They do get the hang of it eventually.

I do remember that in Oct. the year Harley was born, (he was born in April) when the time changed and it started getting darker out earlier, he started settling down earlier at night. You might have that to look forward to very shortly.

Besides that slow down I saw a big change just around 9 months. He could actually lay on the couch for an hour during the middle of the day, lay quietly on the floor just watching the world go by, that kind of thing. In fact the few times this happened I actually starting watching him to make sure he wasn't sick! :)

It'll get better, honest.
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I too, work from home. It sounds like Mac is just like Uschi. I was so intent on making sure she was happy that it was driving me crazy too. She knew no boundaries because she had total freedom and all of my attention, even when I was trying to work. A fellow poster gave me some excellent advice and told me to tether her to me, I literally tied her leash to my belt loop and she had to do what I wanted. When I washed the dishes she had to sit next to me, when it was time for her to potty I was there, when I had to work on the computer I picked out the chew stick and toy she could have and she had to lay there and control herself. I didn't give any commands, I pretty much acted like she wasn't there. Naturally she had play breaks, a training session and I crated her when I wanted to be unattached from her. I was determined to do this for a week but it took 2-3 days before there was a world of difference. My husband was out of town and he couldn't believe the difference when he got home. The biggest thing it did was limit her freedom, her movements and activities were determined by me and she ended up loving it! We had had a difficult time bonding and it was the best thing we could have done. She was able to control herself, look to me for direction and seemed to enjoy the boundaries. The whole world was too big and too much for a pup to handle
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Thank you for the support & advice.

I thought we were good parents by revolving our lives around Mac. And, it makes us happy. But a 75lb spoiled brat is hard...and physically painful
Yes, I am home all day long and pretty much raised my puppy. Whenever she drove me crazy I used to pull out the clicker and exhaust her mentally.

Other than that I went on long walks, hikes, went to the dog park when it was empty, puppy class, later on Schutzhund and then I only did obedience from home when my helper retired.

I also left her home alone every once in a while. She always had the company of my other two, adult dogs, so she was never alone.

However, she is now 7/8 months old and i can leave all alone at home. she knows that being at home means "quiet time" and she will rest & sleep just like the two older dogs as long as I work her. If I don't work her for two or three days, than yes, she will get bored and she will find herself work and a job and I may not like it. LOL
I thought we were good parents by revolving our lives around Mac. And, it makes us happy. But a 75lb spoiled brat is hard...and physically painful
If you're like many of us you spend more time with your dogs than a lot of people but you really do enjoy it most of the time.:)

Just a warning....

If a friend calls and tells you they spent a quiet night at home, and you begin to's time to take a break from the puppy. ;)
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I too am home 24/7 and for my Miss Molly (11 months) who bounces off the walls, I have found that 1 -1&1/2 hour walk every morning and then the same amount of time in the afternoon at the park allows her to be calm enough to rest and be relatively painless during the day!
I'm home all day with mine too. Dakota is a little over 2 now. She used to really drive me crazy about going out to play. Barking at me and nudging my arm when I was at my desk. I started to ignore those times. Once she was calm and laying around, I would ask her if she wanted to go play and we would go out. So she just kind of caught on not to drive me crazy "asking" over and over to go play. She still does it sometimes, but I'll ignore it until she's calm. Luckily with Jackie, Dakota will play with her a lot in the house so she's not usually bored. We still play with her, but Dakota is her play buddy too.
I have to confess, I did wake them up to go out to play when I wanted- just to mess with their minds!
I have been a SAHM since 2 weeks before my son was born in 2002. My husband has worked from a home office since the late 90's. None of our dogs have ever really been home alone (especially since my husband is a home body). Before the Beast we fostered quite a bit and the rescue asked that we try to crate the dogs for several hours a day or put them in an isolated room etc to simulate people who have to was an odd request and tough to do.

The older ladies are easy to live with home all day, but the Beast. Ack...he is convinced that every time you move it is to play with him. He is always on the ready. He seems to pull a toy out of no where and have it and drool on you if you simply shift position in a chair! We wake every morning to practice in the yard...then play. I then wake my family and do our home routine. As soon as the kids are on the bus Beast and I go for a long long walk. When we get home my husband romps with him in the yard. They will jog around 2pm. The kids play tag or chase with him at 3:30 EVERY day...they wear out before he does. My husband will walk or jog with him around 7...and I will walk him at ten. He gets time in the yard whenever he wants. He plays with the ladies throughout the day. he gets me to toss toys. We do dog activities in addition to the other things I listed. After a suggestion here, he has a treadmill and we have him use it....even with ALL that...he is all play all the time as I said- with even the slightest move.

I can't imagine what he would be like if we were not both home to give him so much play and activity time!
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I was home with Zoe until this summer when I went back to work part-time and yes she drove me nuts because 2 30 minute walks a day were and still are a joke to her,lol However, now I have to wake up extra early so I can run her, get the kids ready for school, and be to work on time. Then rush home from work to run her again before getting the kids, doing hw, cooking, cleaning, and then yes run her again. Being home was easier though I still feel your pain especially on rainy days:D
I completely understand what you are going through. I am home with our dogs all day too. Victor is 20 months never wants to stop. He was so addicted to tennis balls and playing ball that I would physically hurt my hands playing sometimes 4-5 times a day. For a while there all my life consisted of was VICTOR,VICTOR,VICTOR. It got so bad at one time I felt as if I was neglecting my other animals. He demanded all of my time every hour of the day all the time. It was never,NEVER enough for him. Everything was about playing as soon as he went out it was "let's play". It had to stop he has to have boundaries with his playing if not I would fall apart. I have to pick up all his toys when it is not play time and the tennis balls have to be hidden until playtime if they are left out he will run us into the ground with playing. We now play a little in the morning and an extensive playtime a hour or so before sundown and then a little cool down with walking. I will completely wear him out and then pick up all of his toys and tennis balls. The new puppy has helped so much now and took a little of the stress off of me with the constant playing. She is going to be an excellent playmate for him when she gets older. I am excited for this. He is now so much better now that I got into this routine because now I can do the stuff I need to do during the day and still have time for everybody. Shepherds have to have boundaries or they will take over every minute of your life. I love them with all my heart but sometimes enough is enough. There has to be time for yourself in there too. If you hit your breaking point maybe a kennel would help. You could put him in there and do what you need to do without worrying or a playmate if you think you could have another one. You are not alone out there. So hang in there.
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Hey there,

Yes I am too a SAHDM. Luckily for me, Liisi isn't too high energy. A brisk hour long walk once a day or at the minimum, a few times a week is usually enough to keep most of her energy at bay. She also has a chihuahua buddy to play with and that helps. When she gets bored, I will give her raw pigs feet, pork neck bones or other types of meaty bones to keep her busy. I also use a flirt pole and we have a few games of tug or fetch when she's persistent. Hang in there, they are so worth the effort and trouble!
my wife an i were home with my last GSD.
our pup had plenty of crate time, free time,
training, exercise, socializing and training.
both of us played with and trained the dog.
we trained and played indoors and outside.
our dog was always willing to go outside
but he didn't dictate when it was time to go out.
if he came to us because he needed to go to the bathroom
we never denied him. as far as going out for walks/play
we controlled that. i think through playing and exercising
helped with his desire to go out. thei dog i have now would
love to be outside all day but i don't leave him in the yard
unattended. through frequent breaks, play and exercise
i think he's content being indoors.

set aside some time for your dog during the day.
play some indoor games. find a job for your
dog to perform when he's indoors. ajob can be
anything. it doesn't have to been involved.

you could get him a playmate. :)
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Yesterday, I posted this thread because I was emotionally & physically exhausted. I was in serious need of help. I knew for sure that my situation with Mac was my own fault and that made me cry even harder. Reading your non-judgmental, wise and supportive posts has helped me so much. I cannot thank you all enough.

We love Mac more than anything and will do whatever it takes to make him happy. I think I’m starting to understand that being strong leaders is what he needs more than anything.

A heart felt thank you from me & Mac to all of you.
After reading all of the replies again over the weekend I did a lot of thinking.

We have a large yard. Mac loves running laps and playing chase with me. Every morning he has a (short) play date with the neighbor’s lab. I didn’t think lack of socialization or exercise could possibly be an issue.

However, I realize that we haven’t been taking him to the dog park lately and none of the other neighbors let their dogs play with Mac now that he’s so big. The local kids are back in school so he doesn’t get that attention anymore. And, he doesn’t get his daily swims anymore because its cold out. Plus we’ve implemented raw into his diet. So while his exercise and stimuli has been reduced… his energy level has increased. No wonder he’s acting crazy.

With all of that said, I honestly have to admit that I cannot exercise him more than I already do. In fact, I have to spend less time exercising and playing with him throughout the day and more time focusing on my work. He needs professional help! I’m signing him up for agility classes at our local kennel club. I'm sure this will make him happy.
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That's a great idea, I'm sure he'll love it. After reading your thread I decided to have more of a schedule so I'm sure I can get my work done, I'm in control of when and what we do, Stosh knows that he can't bug me to go out and play, he's tired enough that when I'm working he's sleeping or chewing inside or out, he gets to choose. More structure has really helped us both- I would much rather be out playing frisbee with him than arguing cases!
I am also a stay at home puppy mom. I have acreage with horses, cats and another dog, so I had to figure out boundaries for my puppy. When I want a break, he would go in the crate and yes, I would feel guilty. I got over that, I figured my sanity was very important. LOL We have several play sessions as well as training time each day and he goes to the barn with me while I am cleaning stalls. The older he has gotten, the better he is about naps during the day. Our most difficult time was around 7 at night and he wanted to keep playing. I tie him to the bed and ignored him a lot at first and now he will lay down and chew on a rawhide and then nap. Oh, and he does 15 mins. on the treadmill during the week. You will figure out what works for you and your dog eventually and things will get better.
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