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Discussion Starter #1
How do you guys deal with going out after work when you have a puppy at home?

My nine months old lab and I are travelling to a horse show on Monday. Her schedule will likely stay quite similar to our current schedule, which works very well.

My concern is that every night at an away show is a party. Not literally, but there is always dinner (paid for by one of the clients -my job's only perk) and since I consider most of the clients friends, I enjoy them greatly.

I'm not expecting to go out every night. I wouldn't want to, and it's not fair to Bones anyways. I do, however, feel tremendous guilt at the thought of going out every few days. I always make sure she is properly exercised (which will be a cinch at a cottage) and plan to stock up on bully sticks and frozen kongs. She loves her crate and has zero problem staying in it.

When we're at home, my mom is around to keep an ear out for her (she will usually only take her out for a potty break, then put her back in her crate). I guess I need to be reassured that there is nothing wrong with leaving her alone in her crate while I go out and have fun.
 

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Oh god. I feel this pain. I always try to hurry straight home to my 3-month old pup. I don't think that feeling really goes away, BUT I can assure you that there's nothing to worry about. Yes, your puppy will probably miss you, but given the right training [as you make it sound like she is] then she'll be good to go! If my younger puppy can be a good girl, then yours can too! :D Just make sure to smother her with love and take her on long walks so that you both get your bonding time as well. <3
 

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When we go to shows, we have a large pen set up in the shade with water and toys for our dogs and our client's dogs. They play all day and are so tired at night that they don't even notice we aren't there (we are out most nights as well.) Maybe you can do this as well so that she gets interaction all day with other dogs and passers-by!
 

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Where will she be at the shows? My 9 month old puppy has been to a couple horse shows with me and she is either tied up at the stalls or trailer, or on a leash with me (when I'm spectating/socializing). Even when she's just tied up, she is so interested in watching all the commotion that she's usually pretty tired by the end of the day.
 

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Make sure she's properly exercised (mentally AND physically!), and then just do it. I promise, it gets easier, but part of that means making the most of the time that you DO spend with the dog. I'd try out some new games to really wear her out and prevent the guilty feeling.
 

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I don't think you should feel guilty. I leave my puppy home alone for 4 hours a day and I don't feel one bit bad. In my eyes he needs to learn a bit of independence because he cries if I go into the bathroom to shower! Especially since you are leaving him in the evening he will likely be asleep during that time anyway. If you are adequately spending time with him and meeting his needs during the day I think he will be just fine while you go out to dinner!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
During the day, she spends part of her day in her crate (when I'm too busy with the horses and can't directly supervise her), we go for walks around the show, and she spends part of the day tied up at the stalls. Her boyfriend (a goldie) is also coming, so she will have plenty of chances to play and be silly. Also, the cottage we're staying at is across from the beach so we'll probably have the opportunity for a swim before I go out.

I'll think of some new games and new tricks to teach, and make sure to pack a bunch of bullies and frozen kongs. Thanks guys! I feel much better!
 

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Being in a new place seeing new things is probably mentally stimulating enough that she'll be more tired than usual as well
 

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I adopted my dog when she was 2.5, so I didn't go through the puppy phase, but I felt incredibly guilty every time I left her for the first 8 months we had her. I hated going places, tried to only go to places that let me bring her in with me, and would avoid hanging out with my friends because I was that worried about Dixie.

I finally came to realize that Dixie likes her alone time. Don't get me wrong, she's excited as hell when I come home, but when I first got more comfortable leaving her I would leave and she would just stare at me then go to sleep. I was lucky enough to have a friend in home security who set up a camera for us so I could see what she was doing while I was gone. Dixie sleeps, chews on bones, runs around the downstairs, barks at people walking by, and sleeps some more.

The best thing I ever did was buy Dixie Himalayn dog chews. She loves them sooo much and they keep her distracted for a long period of time. I toss her one before I go anywhere and she chews on it while I'm gone. I've also come to learn that it helps if I take her out for a long walk/to the dog park the morning of me going out for a longer period of time.

Good luck!
 
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