We just got a new puppy, Tyson, who is 8 weeks old right now. We have to leave him at home when we are at work and the children are at school. His "room" is in the laundary (outdoors) which is under a large porch that leads to grass and paving. He shows no signs of separation anxiety and is used to being on his own -- as soon as my husband or my children (whichever comes first) arrives home, they play with him and his is allowed inside the house. He has his bed, water and toys all with in around the porch and his bed. Some problems we are having (p.s. first time owners):
- he poops in the grass when we are home, but when we are not he poops on the pavement...
- he doesn't seem to play by himself much, instead just lays there
Is that normal? Are we doing something wrong? He gets enough exercise after we get home and we make sure to play with him before we all go off to work/school. I don't know how to teach him to play by himself -- is that a thing he will learn when he is older? What about the pooping issue? Is that just our fault that we are not home to lead him to the grass? He doesn't seem to have a problem with grass, we play with him on it daily.
In Australia, a puppy gets three vaccinations, the last one being at approximately 3 months. Until then we are strongly recommended to not to take Tyson onto the streets, so walking him for exercise is off the list for a while.
Any hints? Helps? Stories? Please write them below and help us first timers find our way with Labs!
How long is he alone? A normal workday is far too long for a puppy to be isolated from any human contact. Not to mention you have no way to direct where he will toilet if you aren't there to help him learn. He sounds lonely and bored and that will lead to problems as he matures and decides to entertain himself in ways you don't like and that may injure him. Or bark, which your neighbours will just love. CAn some one come in to be with him? Is Doggy Day Care an option?
RE vaccinations: you should discuss this with your Vet and breeder and assess the risks for where you live. You might be able to do as we did, avoid dog intensive areas but sill find places to take him where the risk is reduced? He needs to go out and socialize with safe dogs you know, people, and habituate to sounds, sights, places and things. We did a nursing home and ski resort parking lot and lobby with noise, funny hats, fumes and motion and commotion, with permission. The letter below emphasized the importance of this, ask your Vet.
Thank you for your reply. Tyson is usually alone for 4-5 hours on week days as my husband gets home early. We've talked to the neighbours (who have dogs) and they said they didn't hear a single bark from him. They can hear him running around and playing with his toys sometimes but other than that, nothing more. Unfortunately Doggy Day Care is not an option as it is a 40 minute drive in the OPPOSITE direction to both our work places. We live on a no-through street where all the other dogs are also kept in the backyards while the owners are at work. He has one more month left before he is allowed to go to a dog park! Until then we've been socialising him within our home with elders, little children, parties at home, different sounds and we allowed him to explore the shopping complex for a while (that is where the vet is located).
Dogs don't play by themselves kind of the same way being an only child is pretty boring.
Umm... We've removed all the plants that are toxic to him and we have a very secure fence with no gate. The only way out of the backyard is through the kitchen door or the shed (which are both locked). I don't think we have to worry about that. Should we just get him more toys? Or maybe there is nothing we can do?
Many dogs are alone for 4 to 5 hours. Adult dogs. It's a long time for a baby puppy. If a neighbour can't stop over for a few months then I think you are stuck. I don't like to leave toys or bedding or things a puppy can chew and swallow when I am not there to observe. If he sleeps the whole time that's probably good, then he's not getting into trouble. Personally, when mine was that young, I would not leave him for more than three hours, just my arbitrary choice of time. Regarding the potty, if you aren't there to encourage him to use the spots you want then he's going to choose his own.
it's hard to picture of that set-up is safe or not (for now and for later). But generally dogs don't entrain themselves when you are gone, and if they do, well as mentioned above it won't be doing anything humans would find "appropriate". they generally sleep so you can entertain them all evening
I don't think 4-5 hours is the end of the world and pretty good compared to many other puppy routines.
I am pretty picky about what toys I allow a dog to have while they are not being supervised. MANY dog toys actually say to only give when supervised. they can ingest parts and get sick or blockage or choke. I leave only specific "safer" toys with dogs and even that depends on the level of chewing they do.