How do I keep my dog busy throughout the day?

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  1. I adopted Stella in February of this year and she's been such a dream. We've been through some tough times (break up of a long-term relationship, moving back in with my parents) and she has been coping fairly well. She has adjusted to me being away at work during the day, so there isn't really a problem.. I'm just worried that she's bored. She is a bit of an older dog (~7 years old), but it seems like all she does is sleep. Her typical weekday schedule is this:
    7:15 am - 8:15 am: Walk
    8:15 am - 8:30 am - Breakfast
    8:30 am - 4:30 pm: Sleep?? (I have no clue what she does while I'm at work, but I do occasionally come home to find my shoes in her bed, unchewed)
    5:00 pm - 6/6:30 pm: Walk
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Dinner, Nap
    9:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Walk

    She was picked up as a stray so I don't have much history on her, but she doesn't have any interest in toys. Even the good ol' frozen peanut butter Kong doesn't entice her. I've thought about enrolling her in doggie day care, but she is very fearful of strange humans and will usually not approach other dogs or humans without me around to guide her.

    There isn't really an issue per say.. I just want to make sure that I'm giving her the best life that I can. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    And of course, a photo of my little lady:
  2. You could always enroll her in a socialization/obedience class but I only recommend those that are taught by actual dog trainers (not the Petco classes) which would give her a way to gain confidence. Also maybe start trying to figure out what she likes, like water, try dock diving, does she have a good sense of smell, try tracking or nose work and so on.
  3. Sounds like a lucky dog to have you for a mama. I'm home all day and my little dog usually sleeps most of the time, too. He likes to "patrol" the neighborhood from his perch in an upstairs window and bark at random stuff. Is your dog allowed to roam the house while you're away and can she see outside? I don't think animals require a lot of "activities," as long as they get some exercise and love.
    remainsilly likes this.
  4. Aw.:heart: Hello, Stella.:smile:
    Your schedule shows 3 daily walks. Excellent. Bonding time & stimulating/interesting exercise.
    Taking your shoes means she cares. Maybe leave out a worn shirt, if prefer she cuddles that?

    Suggest food ball/dispenser. To feed morning meal.
    Put dry kibble meal inside--takes time for dog to play/eat & can be fun when alone. Also slows fast eaters.
    I use this:
    Prefer to hard plastic dispensers, as kong wobbler. Which are destroyed quicker.
    Omega paw ball also good:

    Also, never underestimate the joy of a window view. To see world. Doggie t.v.:biggrin:

    Overall, Stella sounds content & in love with you. Nice balance of activity with quiet time. Doing great, imo.:tup:
  5. I don't have a dog but I agree, three daily walks makes me think you're doing a great job. She's probably fine. From my limited knowledge dogs who have separation anxiety will show you by destroying things, trying to escape, etc.
  6. I have already signed her up for an obedience class, so I'm hoping that'll raise her confidence level enough that she'll enjoy doggie daycare!
    loveydovey35 likes this.
  7. Thanks! I'm a first time dog owner so I worry about every little thing. She does have free range of the home but she doesn't explore or get in to things (at least I don't think so). I had to move back in with my parents after a tough break-up so it was a bit of an adjustment for her. She is still very shy/anxious around my parents so she really only ever hangs out in my room. She'll follow me to the back door when I leave for work, but I think she just grabs my shoes and heads back to my room after.
  8. Thank you, that really means a lot! I know I may just be overly anxious as a first time dog owner. I have her on a raw diet, so the food dispenser toys for her meals won't really work. I did buy one to put her treats in, but she doesn't really 'get it.' No matter how many times I show her how it works or what kind of treats I put inside, she'll turn away from it. I still try every once in a while just to see if she'll take an interest in it, but no dice!
  9. Thank you! Like I said, I know on some level she's content, but it just seems like a lot of sleep.
  10. It could be that you just haven't found the right "treat" for her. Some dogs are more fond of cheese or hot dogs, not so much commercial dog treats. If she is not destroying anything, she likely isn't bored while you are gone. She's probably just low energy. :biggrin:
  11. What a gorgeous pup, and how lovely you are to have rescued her! I think she is doing well, especially if she is not being destructive, as others have noted. My pup is about her age and sleeps all day as well, if that makes you feel any better.
  12. Honestly she sounds pretty content. As others notes she's not bored. I think a socialization/obedience class is a great idea talk to the trainer too. They might pick up on her talents so you know what activities she enjoys. Since you adopted her at a older age, and you've had a recent breakup/move she might be a bit anxious. 3 moves in a relatively short time might be why she's mostly chilling in your room. It smells like mama so I feel safe here. I'm sure she'll open up to your parents in time.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using PurseForum mobile app
  13. Thank you all so much for your kind words and advice. I have to keep reminding myself that in six short months, she moved from Thailand to Canada to live with my ex-fiance and I, and then from our condo to my parents' house. It was a lot to deal with for me, so I'm sure it was even more so for her, especially since I have no idea what her history is like (I suspect abuse based on some of her reactions). I have signed her up for obedience school and she will be having her first class tonight. I will make sure to bombard the trainer with my questions. I have my fingers crossed that this will be a huge stepping stone in building up her confidence so that she becomes comfortable with my parents (and people in general). They've had minimal interaction in the past two months, but my parents are just dying to be able to take her out when I'm not around!

  14. Stella is beautiful and lucky to have you!
    As others have said, it sounds like she's content and well taken care of it. She is getting long walks with you, and it it's perfectly normal that at that age she would sleep the rest of the time. Hopefully she'll get more comfortable around your parents over time.
  15. a dog doesn't need to be kept busy unless it's destructive. as long as she's not destroying your home, let her rest up for her long walks upon your return. i would confine her to a single room though - bedroom, kitchen, den, etc. - just until you have a better idea of her habits during the day and whether she can be trusted not to pee and poop in the home. after a few weeks you'll know if she can enjoy the full reign of the home.