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Hi All,

I'm not new here, I read the threads from time to time, but I think this is my first post. I have an almost 9-month old Lab mix puppy named Raven and today especially, I'm feeling really guilty about leaving her at home. I think what has made it worse for me is that we installed a camera in the room where she stays when we're not home and I log-in throughout the day and check on her periodically. My heart strings pulled just now because she's just sitting there, looking bored and lonely. :( I wanna go home to my baby!! *cries*

She only has like 2 toys that she has in there because every toy and bed we've purchased for her, she's destroyed within a week because she's a powerful chewer. I'm talking chewed a hole in a supposedly "indestructable" Kong bed in 2 days powerful. Any thoughts as to what we can do for her to ensure she's not dying of boredom? She's home alone usually for 3 hours M-F, but lately, my guy has been working 12 hours shifts, so he leaves earlier, which means she's at home by herself for about 6-7 hours depending on traffic.

Thoughts?
 

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Toys are a good idea, stuffed kong or puzzle toys could work. She's not home alone long though and I don't think you should feel guilty. Someone's got to earn the dough to pay for that lovely warm (or cool) room she enjoys, not to mention all the food she eats and free health care. If you are really worried you could get her a friend or send her to daycare, have a dog walker come or even install a doggy door so she can get outside. As long as she is getting enough mental and physical stimulation though I think its okay that your dog isn't your full time job, she's got it pretty easy and we've all got to make our way in this world.
 

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As soon as I left the house this morning, Kabota started howling. My husband works from home, so Kabota's never alone and I still felt like a monster, so I feel your pain.

Try to make your time with your dog as enriching as possible. Make sure she gets lots of exercise and play time, train her using positive methods in several short sessions, feed her from feeding toys. Work her body and her mind while you're with her, and she's more likely to just sleep while you're gone.

As aiw said, don't feel too bad. As much as I might love to spend all day every day catering to my dog's every whim, that doesn't pay much and food costs money.
 

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I feel guilty, too. I am a teacher, and on summer break now, so I am home, but during the school year, yes, I feel guilty.

Tire her out before you leave, that way, she may spend more of the day sleeping. Also, the kong toy, the black one, is supposed to be for heavy duty chewers, and you can fill it with peanut butter, and then freeze it overnight. That way, it takes longer to get the peanut butter out. Also, there is a brand of toy called "Rough and Rugged" and they work well for our heavy duty chewer.
 

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YES i totally get where you are comiong from, i recently moved from big bosses other farm- a 250 acre former cutting ranch in Industry to his other plaace, a crappy little 5 acre plott off the side of a busy rd that everyone treats as a drag strip. my dogs ccant go to the barn anymore for their safety (long story, not going to hyjack your thread with it) so they have to stay in a little yard by the house (an airstream travel trailer thats like 30 yrs old :/ i know i know at least its a roof, right?) while im in the barn working (5-11am...2-4ish PM) they only get 2 walkies plus play time a day not instead of just being out to go where they want (they dont run off, they know where they get fed, even if they did they cant get past the primiter fence which is coyotee proof due to it being a breeding farm with lotsa babies around).

so yes i feel your pain :( i know they hate it, i feel so guilty, i hope they dont think they are being punished :(
 

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Not really - if we weren't working we wouldn't be able to afford the dog. I'm actually more worried about what will happen this fall when I lose my job an his structured days are all messed up and he has his favorite person EVER home with him a lot more.
 

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Nope... I give her a Kong and a puppy pad and she's good. She spends the majority of her day laying in "her" bed (which she allows me to sleep in LOL) when I'm home anyway, so the only difference is that I'm gone and she's locked up--but only because she'll tear up garbage if I leave her loose.
 

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Thank you all for your reply! We are at the dog park spending some qt with her now. I will look into that Rough and Ragged brand and will try the freezer trick. Thanks so much. I was having a bad mommy moment the other day. She was just sitting there leaning on the wall looking so bored and lonely. :(
 

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I feel guilty- and it's only a few hous a day like you! What helps me a lot is my dogs have access to the outside...they lay on the porch, watch birds, etc.

I also feel less guilty if I have an enjoyable walk (meaning I am emotionally present on the walk, not wishing they'd stop sniffing so much, etc.) with them in the morning and play time. A good cuddle if they'll allow it help a lot!

Is she getting to the age where she can be trusted to have access to the whole house? The chewing might be a concern with furniture and stuff...
 

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Just do stuff with them before and after you go and give them some room and they'll be fine. I used to feel guilty but now realize my dogs have it pretty darn good compared to most. And yes, I need to work if my dogs want food. :p
 

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I feel the same =/. I leave her just running around the house with plenty of toys and food but she just sleeps majority of the time till someone comes home.
 
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