How much time do I spend with my puppy?
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Thread: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Exclamation How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    I have an adorable 3 month old lab mix who has gotten really comfortable with his new home. He keeps to himself a good amount of time, and will be playful when someone approaches him or when he wakes up from his naps.
    My question is, how much time do I spend with him for playtime. I am at home right now so keep petting him or playing fetch, but want to know how much time is "too much".

    I will be starting work soon, and I don't want the transition to be too hard on him. He has hardly been alone since I brought him home a few weeks ago.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    I'm not sure if you can put a number on it. Your dog's excitement level would determine that. Obviously if he's bouncing off the walls and nagging you to keep playing, you've probably gone too long. I would say variety is probably more important. Changing the games up often, including obedience work in between. I'd say if you approached it this way it could go on all day without much worry, but I'm sure your dog would want to rest some too.

    As far as transitioning him, I would not ignore those times when he chooses to be independent. If he crawls into his kennel on his own, or settles down on his mat for a nap, tell him how much you appreciate him relaxing. Pat him on the head and give him a belly rub if you can. He may get excited from the attention, but the more you do this, the quicker he'll realize settling down earns him free praise.

    So, I'd say don't be concerned with how much time you play with him, just add variety and praise him for being independent.

  4. #3
    Senior Member LoveLilly's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    Curbside's advice is right on the money. For us we have always worked since Lilly was 8 weeks old and right away she had a noon time sitter. Lilly requires a great deal of interacive play....she wants her toys thrown, or playing tug o war or she brings you her flossie or bully stick and DEMANDS that you hold it while she chews on it. I think its b/c we work 8 hours M-F and when we are home our attention is everything to her. also, I make a point to spend as much time with Lilly as possible since she is without us from 8-5. As a result she goes with me on errands or my husband and I go solo on running errands so someone is home with her for the companionship.

  5. #4
    Senior Member starry15's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    I would spend as much time as you can with your puppy. Wear it out by going on long walks and playing.
    ~* Star the American Eskimo/Golden Mix! *~

  6. #5
    Senior Member Renoman's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    I'm not sure if you can put a number on it. Your dog's excitement level would determine that. Obviously if he's bouncing off the walls and nagging you to keep playing, you've probably gone too long. I would say variety is probably more important. Changing the games up often, including obedience work in between. I'd say if you approached it this way it could go on all day without much worry, but I'm sure your dog would want to rest some too.

    As far as transitioning him, I would not ignore those times when he chooses to be independent. If he crawls into his kennel on his own, or settles down on his mat for a nap, tell him how much you appreciate him relaxing. Pat him on the head and give him a belly rub if you can. He may get excited from the attention, but the more you do this, the quicker he'll realize settling down earns him free praise.

    So, I'd say don't be concerned with how much time you play with him, just add variety and praise him for being independent.
    I agree and I would like to add to it. You don't have to be 'doing' anything to spend time with your dog. Quiet time is still time spent together. I used to sit on the floor with Reno and watch tv while he chewed his nylabone. He'd get as close as he could and I'd just pet him until he chose to get up and move. Now of course, if I got on the floor, I couldn't get up - it sucks to get old!!!

    The more time you spend with him, the stronger the bond will be.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    I spent an hour or two a day playing outside and working on some training. I use a toy so it is fun. Then I take Petra for 2 or 3 walks a day. She is good in the house if I walk her. When she was 3 months I took her for one walk around the block a day, played outside, and snuggled inside, we hang out in the living room or on my bed and watch tv. When I started having to leave to go to school, I use the command "wait" so she knows that i'm leaving and will be back later. I use it anytime I leave the house. She doesn't get upset when I leave now, it worked out well.
    "No outfit is complete without a little dog hair"

  8. #7
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: How much time do I spend with my puppy?

    If I read your post correctly you're concerned about creating some separation anxiety when you go back to work? The time you spend or don't spend when you are home doesn't matter. Separation anxiety is created/aggravated/taught through drawn out good byes and greetings. They essentially teach the dog to miss you when you leave (and they will)and reinforced even more with exaggerated hellos when you come home. Comings and goings should be low key, matter of fact.

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