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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,
My wife and I just brought home a 3 1/2 month old Miniature Schnauzer on Thursday and she is currently doing pretty well. We've only had a couple of accidents and she knows to go outside. She has not woken up once in the middle of the night. She's a little nippy, but is, of course, very young.

My question is about her energy level and how to schedule her walks and other exercise. We both work so she is unfortunately home alone during the day, but has done excellent in her crate and laundry room area (I switch her between these every few hours when I go home to let her out). We don't have a fenced in yard (yet) so she doesn't really like being on her cable leash at all, but it works.

My plan from the beginning has been 3 half-hour walks a day: morning, lunch, and evening. For the last two or three days, even with those walks, she's still pretty hyper in the evening (fortunately she has still slept soundly, I am just really afraid of that changing). We also play outside, chasing and fetching a couple of 10 minute sessions a day.

Seems to be enough, but she still kind of spazzes out when she gets home from her evening run (she doesn't like coming inside from her runs). Anyone have any other suggestions as to how to tire her out (while avoiding doggie daycare if we can help it)?

I guess I am wondering if I am doing too much or too little
 

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My dog is a spaz every single night. She's calm during the day (I am watching her sleep right now!) and then as soon as my boyfriend gets home, she goes bonkers. I think it is pretty normal. I mean, all that excitement of you being home!

But one thing we find works is giving her a kong or another interactive toy that forces her to use her brain. It also wears her out, the way 8 hours of intensive foreign language study wears humans out, even if you barely get any exercise at all. (speaking from experience)
 

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You're doing good with the physical exercise which is about right. Mental exercise is the thing that will make dogs want to go into hibernation. Work on basic obedience for 15 minutes in the evening. Do puppy push-ups....Sit, Down, Sit, Down. Don't do too many repetitions...that's boring and they stop doing them after 4 or 5 times. Teach Come. Work on what you want her to do when the front doorbell rings...go lay down on a mat or someplace away from the door? Practice loose leash walking in the house. Standing politely for greetings/grooming/vet check. Teach tricks. Don't forget the praise and treats for doing these things.
 

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Welcome to our forum!...and mini puppydom. I would second interactive mind games, and I would encourage you not to be a passenger in your dog's training. If you haven't enrolled your pup in a puppy class, I would do so now. Make a list of all the behaviors you've installed so far and compare that to the list of behaviors you want your dog to have in the future. Start working on that list, even at this young age.

Mini's are a bundle of energy, but it can be put under control by actively training your formative pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the encouragement and advice everyone, I really appreciate it. She went to get her first clip today, so she'll look even cuter than she did before. Any suggestions on good mind-teasing toys that are out there besides the Kong (i give her one filled with peanut butter sometimes, but I don't know if that contributes to her energy level. Really, I cannot complain...she's sleeping through the night.....I am just ultra sensitive to this for some reason.
 

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I've seen a few pull rope and twist treat dispensing toys at petsmart that i've considered buying. Probably any of those would be good if you continually switch them out. Keep him thinking.
 

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The Buddy Squirrel and the other "Buddy" toy -- the one that looks like a barbell -- are great because you can toss a few treats in there and they have really work to get them out. They are far less messy than a Kong, and you don't have to freeze it. Just toss in some small treats. (we liked to use the small Mother Hubbard treats)

Just be warned, the barbell one did not withstand my dog's mighty jaw.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Trixie, I will definitely look for those in the pet store. This may sound like a stupid question, but does peanut butter give a dog more energy or are there foods I should avoid stuffing the Kong with because it counteracts the energy I am trying to get them to release?
 

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IMO, a portion of a young pups daily ration of food should be used to stuff Kongs. PB is fine every now and then but if you can use your dog's ration of food this would be preferred over PB. I don't know if it aids in hyper activity or not, but for peace of mind using her food should alleviate that concern. Frankly, if I'm not using her food as a part of her training, that food gets moistened, and frozen into a Kong...it never sees a bowl. A frozen stuffed Kong last quite a while and may pacify an energetic pup.
 

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One of the puppy kindergarten games is called Sniff & Find. Let her sniff a treat and then 'hide' it in plain sight a few feet away. Tell her Find and send her to the treat. As she learns the game, you can start hiding them in harder to find places.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Everyone, I just wanted to thank you for the support and response to my questions yesterday. I was quick freaked out about last night because it was a day where we'd be both be gone all day and then we had plans on at night were we couldn't bring her along so I thought that once I got home she'd just be a basket case.

That was not the case, she was excited, but very chill and slept soundly all night. I did freeze her kong with a combo of her food, hot dog bits, treat bits, and chicken stock. I think she went at that all night :)
 
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