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Deedee Has A Bad Case Of Spring Fever


Guest limbrooke83
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Guest limbrooke83

Well, spring has sprung, and while I'm very happy to have warmer weather, this is DeeDee's first time going through a winter and into a spring, so it's all new to her. She's always had a little more energy than the average grey, but never so much as she has now!

 

I'm a transcriptionist who works from home, so DeeDee has been the perfect dog for me. She sleeps most of the time and is very quiet, so I'm able to work and take her out for potty breaks and walks during my work breaks (or if she needs to go out, take a work break when she needs me). However, now that spring has sprung, she's got a really bad case of spring fever. She wants to be outside all the time! This wouldn't be a problem - IF we had a fenced in yard. We do have a large yard, but since we rent we can't fence it in. This means every time she goes out, I have to go with her.

 

She's been bit by the spring fever bug so badly she spends most of the day whining and going back and forth between me and the door. When I take her out, she takes forever to pee (meaning she didn't really have to go that badly), and spends most of her time sniffing the grass. I seriously think she would spend five minutes smelling each individual blade of grass before moving on to the next blade of grass if I'd let her, lol!

 

Walks don't seem to help much - if anything I think they feed the fever, lol! Within minutes of coming inside she's begging to out out again. Ignoring her doesn't work very well, plus I'm always concerned about what will happen if she really does need to go out and I don't take her. She's been known to just squat and go (or even poop) indoors if she thinks I'm ignoring her - I think it's her way of saying "If you don't pay attention to me I'll just go anyway!"

 

So here's my question - how can I teach her that she can't go outside every few minutes? I really do need to work, and my husband works out of the home, so we need her to just cool it and be a lazy couch potato most of the time like she was in the winter (and last summer, too). Like I said, she has more energy than the average grey, so even after an hour of full out running at the dog park, she's ready to go again within 5-10 minutes of getting home. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Lots of dogs will try this--clearly it's worked for her!

 

Set schedule. Consider taking her out first thing in the morning, then take her for a decent walk about 30 minutes later--then sit down and work! You don't have to take her out again until let's say lunch (to start with--many dogs go all day without a break!). Take her out for 10 minutes or so, just to go the bathroom. Make sure you praise her when she goes, and then after another minute or two say, "Let's get back to work!" and go inside.

 

Perhaps, even though you're home, you might give her a Kong with a little something inside at this point--to keep her entertained while you finish up your day.

 

When your day is over, another break.

 

And of course the before bed break.

 

My boy goes out four or five times a day--period. But if I let him, he'd also go out every 10 minutes!

 

One note: I work outside the home Mon-Fri, so he is home in from our last walk (finishes around 7 AM) until I get home (around 4 PM).

 

Don't let DeeDee dictate your schedule. You're the one with the thumbs, after all!

 

If she REALLY has to go out, she could also have a UTI. I'm assuming she's fine and she's just manipulating you, but it's something to keep in mind.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest limbrooke83

Thanks. I've been doing this, although her whining and persistent pacing have been quite the distraction, lol... My biggest fear, as I said above, is that she'll just go indoors rather than waiting until I take her out.

 

Normally she's very good about not going potty inside when we're home, though we're still dealing with some lingering separation anxiety when gone. 3/4 of the time we'll come home and the house is fine now, but 1/4 of the time she's peed and/or pooped indoors while we were gone. That seems to make it easier for her to decide to just "squat and go" if we ignore her when we're home. She's only done it a few times while we were home since we got her almost a year ago, but it's still not something I want to see happen. The last time she did it was a week or two ago. She actually pooped inside within 15 minutes of being brought in from a potty break (she's very selective about when and where she'll poop outside, so I'm not always able to get her to go when I'm pretty sure she needs to do so based on her tail, the way she's walking/sniffing, and how much gas she's been having, lol!).

 

So it's hard for me not to watch her when she's acting like she needs to go, but my eyes really need to be on my computer screen where my work is, lol! Hopefully she'll get the idea soon that she can't go out every time she wants to do so... She didn't do this last summer, so I'm pretty sure it's just the whole "coming out of winter into spring" thing... ;)

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Enza has spring fever too and she's driving me bonkers. We walked for 90 minutes last night and she was still ready to run and run and run.

 

The only thing I can suggest is longer walks/runs and then give her something to do in the house. Whether it's a bone, a treat ball, puzzle toy, extra training - anything to keep her occupied. The one thing that does always seem to tire Enza out is a ride in a car and walk around some place different - new neighborhood, trail, etc and so on. The mental stimulation wipes her out.

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Guest Energy11

I rent as well, but we got permission to put up a fence.

 

There is fencing you could put up on a temp basis. When we go to NY State in two weeks, we are renting a house. We will be taking some of that orange storm fencing and plastic poles, so we have a temporary fenced area. Maybe that would work for Dee Dee, so she could go out, and stay out for a while? It is pretty secure, when you put the fence posts close together.

 

Just a thought. Other than long walks, that is about it. I am not a fan of Spring, for, Spring means Summer, and I detest summer :-(

 

Good Luck!

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Guest twhitehouse

Perhaps you could do take her to a fenced in ball park, or you said dog park in the morning for a long run. Then take her for a walk at lunch (20-30 mins). Give her a kong like Susan said to help distract her some while you're working. Follow it up with another 30-45 min walk after work. I would think, even with spring fever, she'd be tired and settle down....

 

Good luck!

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Guest AGirlNamedMe

I work from home, too, and try to break up the day something like this.....

 

Breakfast

Morning potty....just a quick trip

Mid-morning....kong filled with a mixture of yogurt, peanut butter, and pumpkin (frozen - it takes longer that way)

Lunch time......long walk / potty

Mid-afternoon.....hugs and kisses, small treats and training (usually 10 minutes)

End of workday....long walk / potty

Dinner

 

Bella does go to the back door and stares outside frequently during the day. I mostly ignore it. Her other new cute thing is to come up to where I'm working and poke her cute little nose right against my typing fingers - cracks me up! - but I still try to ignore even that.

 

As for the pottying in the house, you could keep keep her right.next.to.you all day for a few days. It's a challenge to work from home and not be at their every whim.

 

The whining when Hef (my SO) leaves the house used to get pretty bad.

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3 things:

 

-More stimulation. Extra walking is key, but also brain activities - puzzle toys, food toys (like stuffed kongs), make her work for everything - pets, play time, walks, trips outside (just ask for a sit or down beforehand). Make her work to get all fo her meals - put them in kongs too, or separate them into small bowls, shut her in one room while you hide the bowls around the house, then release her and tell her to go find them. Start easy and make them increasingly hard to find once she gets it. Both Patricia McConnell and Pat Miller have excellent booklets (cheap, and quick reads) that have tons of ideas for games you can play to stimulate your dog in ways other than walking or going to the dog park and they're often things that are really fun for you (playing hide and seek for instance).

 

-House training - sounds like she's not truly house trained. A house trained dog will not go indoors and has a clear signal to indicate when she needs to go out. Go back to basics - keep her crated, in an x-pen, babygated in the room where you are working, or tethered to you with a leash and harness at all times so she can't sneak off and go. Take her out for regular potty breaks and reward her for going outside when she does. Part 2 - pick a single signal that will be the sign for asking to go out and every single time she does it, go outside, ask her to go potty. If she does, reward her, if not, right back inside. Which leads me to #3...

 

-If you think she needs to potty, or are afraid she does even if you suspect she just wants to go outside, make it clear you are just going out for a potty break. Avoid paying any attention to her, no eye contact, no talking to her, nothing - just remain businesslike. Snap the leash on, keeping a short lead to keep her close, ask her to go potty. if she does, reward. If she doesn't go very quickly and tries to play or start sniffing for fun, etc. turn around and take her right back inside, unclip her leash, put her back in the crate, x-pen, whatever, and go straight back to work. You will probably have to do this a lot at first, but eventually the light bulb will go off and she'll stop asking unless she has to go b/c she'll realize it doesn't get her anything but a potty break.

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest limbrooke83

I work from home, too, and try to break up the day something like this.....

 

Breakfast

Morning potty....just a quick trip

Mid-morning....kong filled with a mixture of yogurt, peanut butter, and pumpkin (frozen - it takes longer that way)

Lunch time......long walk / potty

Mid-afternoon.....hugs and kisses, small treats and training (usually 10 minutes)

End of workday....long walk / potty

Dinner

 

Thanks! I think we'll try a variation of this schedule ourselves. It snowed again, so it's hard to tell, but it seems DeeDee's spring fever has gotten a little better as I've forced myself to ignore her, lol...

 

3 things:

 

-More stimulation. Extra walking is key, but also brain activities - puzzle toys, food toys (like stuffed kongs), make her work for everything - pets, play time, walks, trips outside (just ask for a sit or down beforehand). Make her work to get all fo her meals - put them in kongs too, or separate them into small bowls, shut her in one room while you hide the bowls around the house, then release her and tell her to go find them. Start easy and make them increasingly hard to find once she gets it. Both Patricia McConnell and Pat Miller have excellent booklets (cheap, and quick reads) that have tons of ideas for games you can play to stimulate your dog in ways other than walking or going to the dog park and they're often things that are really fun for you (playing hide and seek for instance).

 

-House training - sounds like she's not truly house trained. A house trained dog will not go indoors and has a clear signal to indicate when she needs to go out. Go back to basics - keep her crated, in an x-pen, babygated in the room where you are working, or tethered to you with a leash and harness at all times so she can't sneak off and go. Take her out for regular potty breaks and reward her for going outside when she does. Part 2 - pick a single signal that will be the sign for asking to go out and every single time she does it, go outside, ask her to go potty. If she does, reward her, if not, right back inside. Which leads me to #3...

 

-If you think she needs to potty, or are afraid she does even if you suspect she just wants to go outside, make it clear you are just going out for a potty break. Avoid paying any attention to her, no eye contact, no talking to her, nothing - just remain businesslike. Snap the leash on, keeping a short lead to keep her close, ask her to go potty. if she does, reward. If she doesn't go very quickly and tries to play or start sniffing for fun, etc. turn around and take her right back inside, unclip her leash, put her back in the crate, x-pen, whatever, and go straight back to work. You will probably have to do this a lot at first, but eventually the light bulb will go off and she'll stop asking unless she has to go b/c she'll realize it doesn't get her anything but a potty break.

 

Thanks for this info as well. We do give DeeDee quite a bit of mental stimulation each day. She works for her food at each mealtime, going through several tricks on command prior to being given food, then having to wait in front of the food bowl until we give her the okay to eat. She's very, very food motivated, lol. We also use a Buster Cube mid-day with a handful or two of food in it. She is also required to wait after we clip on the leash and open the door until we give her the "okay" to go outside. And we do play hide and seek with her - she loves to look for her daddy on command, and it's so funny to see her excitement when she finally finds him, lol!

 

DeeDee is pretty well house trained. Apart from separation anxiety issues, she's only pottied indoors maybe 3 or 4 times since we got her almost a year ago. However, she is a dog that doesn't mind peeing in her crate (we believe she did so at the track, too, as evidenced by the fact that her belly/rear end fur was stained yellow when we got her). We no longer crate her because of her separation anxiety - as a skilled escape artist she was finding ways to escape her crate and it was much too dangerous to continue putting her in it. Because of this and because I've seen her jump just for the fun of it, a baby gate or x-pen would not work for her either. This is a dog who will jump over the back or side of the couch from a standstill just because she wants to lay on it - not that she couldn't walk around and get on it the normal way, she just has no problem jumping over things, lol...

 

I like the idea of very short, businesslike potty breaks. My only concern is that she can be very picky about where she potties. Sometimes it takes a minute or two for her to find the right spot, even though I can tell by her determined sniffing (rather than the relaxed sort of sniffing) that she is actively looking for a spot to go. However, I'll try to bring her in the second she stops sniffing and starts looking around, etc. If she doesn't go, though, wouldn't that mean I would need to take her out again in another 30 minutes to an hour if I know she needs to go?

 

Once again, thanks to everyone who has replied. Each post has been very helpful - thank you!

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