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Just Looking For Advice


Guest sfalexi
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They've been doing a little digging now in the backyard and it's annoying me. My wife and I don't walk em, just turn them loose in the backyard to wear each other out. But now that the diggin's started, we're getting annoyed quickly and want to drain their energy more.

 

The problem is, I work in the army. So I have to get up at 5:30 to drive to work for PT. I leave PT at 7:30 which leaves me just enough time to feed them, let them out, eat breakfast, shower, and get back to work. Work an 8 hour shift, with lunch inbetween (they have a little more time out of their crates during lunch) then back to work. At 5 it's off to the gym for another hour of working out. Get home in time for dinner and for their dinner and that's about my schedule.

 

So when would YOU walk them?

 

Alexi

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Me personally, I believe all dogs need to be walked, regardless of size of backyard. They get bored, they need some stimulation from things outside their normal living quarters. Now that is just my opinion.

 

If I were you I would be cutting some gym time, maybe 20 mins and going to bed maybe 15 minutes later or so, so that you can put in a good half hour walk every day, or every other day at minimum.

 

But I have never been interested in working out, so that is an activity that is easy for ME to cut out of someone else's schedule. If you want to walk your dogs, I think there is no one else but you who can decide what part of your busy routine to sacrifice.

 

 

Good luck, and your dogs will love the walkies! :thumbs-up

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Well, first of all, you mentioned a wife. Is she not able to take them for a walk at any point?

 

Second, if you have an hour for the gym, but no time to walk the dogs, maybe you could consider cutting back your gym time and consider walking the dogs your cardio!!

 

I get up about an hour and a half before I need to because my dog was a real handful when I first adopted him, and he NEEDED to be exercised. In my opinion, all dogs need the stimulaton of walks. It's also a bonding exerience between owner and pet.

 

So my schedule is:

 

Up at 5:20, dog out to relief himself

Have coffee, get dressed in dog walking clothes

5:45, take dog out for 2 mile walk

6:45, now dressed for work, fueled with more coffee, give dog Kong and leave.

Work 8 hours. Return home. (I work 7-3:30)

4 PM, arrive home take dog out IMMEDIATELY to relieve himself.

4:15 PM, feed dog

 

I used to take him on another walk at 6 PM, but he's 8 now, and has LS, so I cut that one out to elliminate some of the stairs.

 

7 PM, take dog out, dog is then ready for bed. (I know that seems really early to most of you, but please refer to "get up at 5:20 AM" earlier!

 

Do I enjoy walking 2 miles in the pouring rain? No. The freezing cold? Not especially. The boiling heat? Not at all. But the dog's need for exercise doesn't go away when it's not convenient for ME to exercise him.

 

You have the luxury of a yard; that's great! But as the saying goes, "a tired dog is a happy dog."

 

Alternatively, you could hire a dog walker!


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Try walking once a week by cutting down on gym time or walking after dinner. Then work up to twice a week if that works for you. Or try playing with them in the yard to wear them out more. Your schedule is obviously tight - I hear that! I have a 2 year old, and my husband and I both work full time. We walk our hound for about 30-40 minutes at 6am and again at 730pm, but I admit that frequently falls on my husband while I do child care. Is your wife's schedule a bit more flexible? If you both work out, maybe you could take the dogs for a fast walk, working up to jogging, together instead of going to the gym. Just thoughts...you know your life and what can or can't be changed. Good luck!

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Loving and missing Argos & Likky, forever and ever.
~Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to. ~

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Guest Swifthounds

I'm a firm believer that we don't have time for the important things, we make time for them. What can you tweak in your schedule? Can your wife help out?

 

I've been there, done that with the digging. My Vixen was a digging champ as a young dog - and that was with 1-2 45 minute walks at a speed walking pace each day (think walking just fast enough to keep them at a swift trot and not into a gallop). She doesn't dog now, and hasn't in many years.

 

Digging is a sign of boredom, frustration, anxiety, etc. Increased walks will help, but you've also got to retrain the yard usage. You can do this by going out into the yard with the dogs and working on some training activities, some fetch, and some games. It will give them exercise they need, stimulate them mentally, and get them involved in a yard activity that doesn't center around behaviors you don't want. You also can fit this in pretty much anytime you're home and not asleep.

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Guest SpicyMom

You don't say where you live so not sure if this is practical (i.e. no traffic at 5am or wide sidewalks or you have a bike path) but a great way to give them a work out and minimize your time is to use a bike with a "walky bar". Now, I take my two with it at the same time but it's a challenge (ALWAYS with a helmet..) If this might work for you, start with each one individually to get them used to it. You don't have to go very fast, in fact, better to go slower and just have them at a nice trot. Believe me, 15-20 minutes at a steady trot will wear them out fairly quickly. Just be careful not to let them start running and pull you. It's tempting (like sled dogs) but I swear my girls had me going 40 mph once! I don't have a picture of us to post but here's a couple of links:

 

walky bar

 

or

 

walky bar

 

To hitch the two of them up, I use halters on the dogs, connected to a STRONG leash coupler:

 

leash coupler

 

Then, I pray for no squirrels or cats to cross our paths!

 

For the yard time, slightly deflate an old soccer ball and go out and play with them. They'll love it.

 

Good luck!

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If you only had the same 1/2 acre to look at for the rest of your life, wouldn't you start digging to see what else there is? Even 15 minutes after dinner to go out into the world is better than nothing.

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I'd get up another half hour earlier, do a good walk early.....quick (even 15 min) walk at lunch, and another good walk in the evening. Same old yard.....boring, boring, boring. If you do PT in the morning, could you cut off a little of the workout in the

evening? I know army guys have to stay really fit....,but you also have a responsibility for those furkids.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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We go for a walk almost every day -- a stroll down our triple block seems to work just fine to give them the chance to explore and check P-mail. I often work at night so our walk might be at 1 or 2 or 3 a.m. If I work the day like today they berate me into a walk by 7 or 8.

 

Surely you can free up 20 minutes (here usually before dinner, even if dinner is at 3 a.m.) to take them for a spin? In my experience they don't care so much for the length of the walk as much as they are going for a walk. There have been inclement days or when I was ill that we just went 5 or 6 driveways and they seemed satisified.

 

I don't want to start a crate rant, but part of their frustration may be crated plus no walks may be total lack of stimulation. FWIW

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I work out every morning and have been doing this for many years. I've been a runner for 24 years so if someone told me to cut back on my running as advice, I would ignore them. Here's what worked for me and DH.

 

I get up and 5:00 am and straighten up the house. This allows the anti-inflammatory I take to reduce the pain to kick in before I run for an hour. I go to the gym and participate in a strength training class on Tuesday and Thursday and run Mon, Wed, Fri and sometimes on Sunday.

 

DH walks the dogs for about 45 mins. in the morning while I exercise.

 

I come home for lunch (12 noon) and let the dogs out.

 

I get home after work before DH so I take the dogs for a walk for about 20 min. to go get the mail. This should only take 10 mins max., but Ben has to smell everything along the way :) then go home and feed everyone. Sometimes I take them to an abandoned ball diamond to run, but I find they are more interested in eating grass.

 

If DH works out, he prefers to work out in the evening. Then about 9 pm he takes them out for about 45 mins again. I'm asleep by the time they return.

 

So we split it up, although DH does more of the dog walking because I have limited time at lunch and am busy preparing dinner when I get home from work.

 

Could your wife take them for a walk in the morning? It appears that you have some free time in the evening after dinner as well.

 

Also, do you have a reason you need to crate them throughout the day. I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of crates unless it's for their safety or they prefer their crate but the door is left open so they can move around in the house. But that's a whole other topic.

 

Don't give up your workouts, just find alternatives and share the joy of spending time with them. Include your wife. I agree that leaving them in a crate all day and then letting them out in the yard is not enough exercise...for any breed, not just greys.

 

Hope this is helpful!

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest lasharp1209

Like someone else said, going for ANY walk is better than no walk. So even if you only have time to go down the street and back, they'll enjoy getting out. Also if you are going anywhere that they can go in the car with you, that will give them a little more mental stimulation. Looking out the car window is great entertainment.

 

Another thing you might try is making a lure pole to play with in the yard. We just did this for Blade following a tip by someone on Greytalk and he LOVES it - it gives him something new and different to do, plus it tires him out in less time than we would usually take for a normal walk, so on those tight-schedule days he still gets some good exercise. And super easy and cheap - I just bought a lunge whip for $20 at the local Tractor Supply store and tied one of his stuffy toys to the end of it. Plus it's a great workout for my arms :)

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During the work week I walk my dogs in the mid evening normally about an hr or so after they've eaten, but I don't have a set schedule. Whenever I find a window of time where I have nothing I have to do (or nothing I want to do) we go for a walk.

Keep in mind that a walk is about WAY more than just exercise. It's also about mental stimulation. For your dog it's also about smelling new things, checking pee mail and leaving their own msgs. Your dogs are probably digging more out of boredom than lack of exercise. If you really don't have the time for a walk, try to find time to play with your dogs. Romp in the yard with them or toss a stuffy around or anything that has you paying attention to them.

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Guest GreyRabbit

I walk my dogs the SECOND I get home from work. Rip my business clothes off and put on my sweats/parka/etc and out the door!

 

This way I don't give myself any time to get comfortable with being home or inside on cold days and they have come to expect it, so they are great motivators/P.I.T.A.s !

 

I also don't have any children or other responsibilities though, so the second I come home they are the only thing I have to give my attention to. Good luck!

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I agree with the others that say maybe the wife could help out with the dog walking (you didn't mention if you have young kids or something that makes it difficult)? Or if shortening your workouts isn't an option, do it as a family thing before or after dinner. Our girl LOVES what we call "family walk" and we take one nearly every night about 45 min - 1 hour after she eats her dinner. This walk is pretty leisurely usually and we only walk two square blocks --- but she knows this is her meet people and sniff everything possible time. She is always so happy on these walks, she literally prances sometimes! And usually when we get back from the walk, she still wants to tear around the yard chasing a toy or squeaky ball for a couple of minutes. But then she is totally tuckered out.

 

Personally, I adjusted my schedule when we adopted Molly to accommodate a morning walk. I think when you adopt a pet, it's your responsibilty to make sure their needs are met. That sometimes means you have to sacrifice certain things or figure out creative ways to get everything done. So every morning I'm up by 5:30/5:45 for a 45 minute walk. And she is all business on this walk. I sometimes have to jog to keep up with her! Sure, I'd love to sleep in on weekends, but she loves her scheduled walks, and makes sure we never miss it --- rain or shine.

 

 

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I, too, am up at 5:30am, taking care of two kids, 3 cats, and 3 dogs, working all day, and often not home until 6pm or later. THe dogs get their morning walk by my husband while I get the kids ready for school. He is at work when I get home in the evenings. By the time I do dinner, dishes, homework, backbacks/lunches for the next day, baths and put the kids to bed, it is 9pm. That is when the dogs get their evening walks, because that is the only time left, no matter how tired or worn out I am. On the nights I work late, the dogs get their walks late. I made a commitment to these dogs when I got them to exercise them, and that means more than letting them zoom around the yard. I am sure if you think about it, you and your wife can manage to fit in the time to get them walked. Two brisk walks a day can do wonders for them to start with, then gradually build up the time walking. I am sure you will reap the benefits. Good luck! :)

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Guest bonnebike

You can walk them anytime, day or night. You just have to make time in your schedule. I've got one of the little LED headlamps for our early morning walks. At this time of the year it's dark when we are out. We've walked at night, too. Our doggies are used to a daily walk so even a walk around the block will satisfy them when the humans are pressed for time.

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