I am running out of ideas on how to keep my 3 month old lab occupied during the morning when I am gone. He has started to get into trouble when he is out in his kennel. I have kongs, rubber chew toys, he has food and water. I don't want to leave rawhides out there because I don't want him to choke or something. I have even put ice cubes in his water that he enjoyes diving for. Do you have any ideas on other ways to keep him entertained while I'm gone. I am feeling guilty leaving him alone!!!!!! It must be a new mom thing.
So, I am assuming you are not crating him while you are gone? I personally would never leave Bali out of his crate without supervision, as he is just trouble waiting to happen. I really think the most foolproof way to prevent him from getting in to trouble is either supervision or a crate to contain him when you are not there.
How long are you gone? If for 4 hours or less, you should probably crate him.
You say you leave food and water... is he one of thoes rare self regulating eaters? Usually you can't "free feed" a lab because they will overeat. Also makes it harder for potty training if you don't have a set schedule for when they last ate. Just something to think about.
We make frozen kongs for Ender when we need to leave him alone. They keep him occupied easily for 45 minutes and then he just naps til we get home. We NEVER leave him uncrated and he's 7 months old now. I just wouldn't trust him not to destroy something or injure himself or get into something that is bad for him.
We built a kennel outside our home for him that he cannot hurt himself in that has an insulated kennel attached to it. He is very safe out there. He is actually a really good self-regulator when it comes to eating. He only eats when is hungry which I thought odd as well since I have heard that labs wolf their food down. This could change as he is only 3 months old! He is in there for 4 hours then I am home for lunch then I only go back to work for 2 more hours. I guess my question is if there are any other good toys out there for him to play with?
Well... so are you feeling guilty and that's why you are looking for toys? ;D Perfectly normal... but in all likelihood he is sleeping when you are gone.
I hope it isn't too hot for him outside. You'll find that most members of this board are not big supporters of leaving a dog outside alone... no matter what the conditions for a variety of reasons, mostly safety related.
I think the best thing to do would be to exercise him before you leave. Obviously he is still a baby so won't need anything strenuous to tire him but following the 5 minute rule a 3 month old needs at least 15 minutes of play a day. 15 minutes doesn't seem like much, so perhaps try 15 minutes twice a day to keep him occupied. Tired dogs sleep in the house.
I guess my question is if there are any other good toys out there for him to play with?
Yes -- you.
I agree 200% with Trickster --* vigorous exercise before leaving.* Retrieving is an excellent exercise -- the Lab runs after the toy or training dummy and then runs it back to you to repeat again.
That will almost guarantee sleeping while you're away.
And, as Trickster suggested, if one period of 5 minutes vigorous exercise for each month of age isn't enough, you can go to two (separated).* That's what my Puff needed when she was a pup.
"A Tired Lab is a Good Lab" -- Socrates
"A Bored Lab that is not Tired is a Royal P.I.T.A" -- Confucius
"A Dozing Lab Rarely Causes Problems" -- Bhagavad Gita
"A Lab sufficiently exercised has partaken of Nature's own Prozac and Valium" -- Hippocrates
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
We put Bailey inside if it too hot out. We live in the midwest and it has been 80 degrees here, so it's been really nice outside plus I am home by 3pm every afternoon. I agree that retrieving is a great exercise. Bailey will retrieve the dummy about 3 or 4 times before he wants to run around and be silly. I am sure that you are right that it's probably more guilt that he is home by himself. How far do you suggest that I can take him on walks for at 3 months?
I don't find walks to be enough rigorous exercise for puppies or even dogs for that matter. I haven't taken Rider for a walk in quite some time...we would walk for like 2 miles and he would be...IS THAT ALL? So we have dog play dates, swimming, and lots of retrieving...and then he's out.
I am one personally who doesn't think that a baby should be outside by himself all day...but that is me.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
How far do you suggest that I can take him on walks for at 3 months?
It depends. Will these walks be on or off leash? if they are on leash I suggest sticking roughly to the 5 minute rule to protect his growing joints. If he is off leash and free to explore at his own pace, upping the amount of time you walk slightly won't hurt him.
As Dani said, leash walks don't really satisfy a dogs exercise needs. Off leash free running is different. Leash walks are excellent for socialization but they won't do much to tire a dog out especially an active young Lab. Running (NOT forced), swimming, retrieving and playing are much more effective.