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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I get ready to get my first dog (a Golden Retriever puppy), I'm trying to plan out a daily schedule/routine. (I am single and live alone.) I want to verify the best sequence of events, especially for the mornings. I assume I should take her out to potty as soon as I wake up since she'll have not gone since the night before. Based on some of the reading I have done, such as Ian Dunbar's book, I would like to feed the morning meal via a food puzzle, knog, or slow eat bowl as I leave for work. Based on that, I'm thinking of the following routine. Any concerns or suggestions?

  1. Wake up
  2. Potty
  3. Shower/Breakfast (me)
  4. Walk (20-30 mins)
  5. Feed in gated play area via food puzzle
  6. Leave as she eats
  7. Work (dog is in gated large dog proofed laundry room with her crate)
  8. Come Home
  9. Immediately take out for potty, some play time & training (using some of evening meal)
  10. Evening feeding
  11. Misc (training classes, play groups, individual training, etc.)
  12. Potty before bedtime
Based on my reading, I figure the combination of morning exercise and the mental and physical work to eat from the food puzzle will help to tire her out so she can relax afterward and help prevent separation anxiety.
 

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How old is the adoptee? :D
Ditto.
Also, is the dog crate trained? House trained? Any issues with being loose indoors? Not all dogs can handle being loose in even a so-called dog room- a laundry room can be hard to dog-proof because of wires, hoses, laundry soaps etc - and I've had dog that would chew through a door, door frame or floor given a chance.

Now, if this a dog over about 1 year who has no destructive issues, your schedule looks pretty good.

One thing you may change based on the dog is the feed/potty order.

Here's my basic routine with 2 adult dogs (one mine, one foster)
Wake up, dogs drag their butts out of bed when I get the food out.

Feed both dogs (different rooms) while I shower/dress etc for work

Once I am completely ready for work, they go outside. 1)because after they've eaten they are more likely to poop and 2) the shorter the time frame between morning potty and after work potty, the better.
Unless I have really slept in like on the weekends, they are never in a hurry to get outside and are fine for easily 45 minutes after waking. Like people, their bodies slow down while sleeping so it is only after they are awake and moving around that they start to get the need to go outside more.

Each dog goes in their own part of the house, if I have a foster needed crating, its into the crate.

Work.

Home and out the door to the yard to potty.

Then walk, yard time, go the park, whatever fun stuff with dinner later in the evening and a final trip outside before bed.

I don't do a morning walk, if I did, I would do a walk first thing, then get myself ready, then feed and then potty. 20-30 minutes between walking and eating (either order)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Canyx & Shell for the replies. Sorry, I forgot to mention the age. Yes, this will be a puppy. And I will crate train starting from day one (although the breeder will have already stated.) I'm taking 3 weeks vacation for her arrival at 9 weeks old. So she'll be 12 weeks old when I go back to work.

I'll also mention that initially she'll be crated when I'm at work until she is fully house trained. (And then I'll let her loose in the doggy den.) For the few weeks, I'll be coming home twice a day for potty breaks (and midday feeding) until she is old enough and comfortable holding it for four hours. Then for the next 9 months to a year I'll be coming home at lunch for potty breaks. First midday at the four hour mark, and then progressively at the 5, and then 6 hour mark. (I am fortunate to have a flexible job and a great boss.) And I have a retired neighbor couple I can call to come over and let her out if I get hung up at work. I'm also thinking about hiring a seemingly responsible 12 year old neighbor to let her out after school for a few months (once the pup is old enough to last 6 hours) so I can end the trips home sooner. (I'll wait to talk to her parents about such until I see how she is with the pup and how the pup is dong.) Once she is over a year old, and able to go 8-9 hours without a potty break, I'll leave her for the full day.

In regards to dog proofing my laundry room... My laundry room is a long narrow room that runs along the back of my garage. It's 6½' x 16'. (Yes, it's huge.:) It was a major selling point when I bought the house as I saw it usable as a doggy den.) The washer & dryer are at far end. There are no exposed wires or hoses. They are all behind the washer & dryer (and none are floor level). The washer & dryer sit sandwiched between a wall and a cabinet enclosed wash tub. So there is no chance to get behind them. The cabinet below the wash tub has no toxins in it and is locked with a child proof lock. All soaps and detergents are in cabinets above the washer & dryer. All electrical outlets are 3½ feet off the floor. (It looks as if it was built with plans to add cabinets with a counter, but that new happened.) Even so, I've put child poof covers over the outlets for when she gets bigger. And even though the laundry end is fully dog proof, I've built a movable room divider to keep her out of that end. So she'll have a dedicated 6½' x 8' area with no items other than her crate. Add for good measure, I've installed secondary sacrificial floor and door molding (finished with a food safe varnish because I'm crazy and safety obsessed) so I do not have to worry about damage from toys or chewing. And I do plan to keep her crated when she's teething and will do my up most to make sure she only chews acceptable items (especially when teething). I've tried to think of everything. Hopefully I have.
 

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You sound ready to go. the only thing I can say is never underestimating a dog's ability to destroy :) For example, child proof outlet covers (depending on style) can be made short work off by a dog with sharp and skillful teeth.

I wish all new puppy owners and dog adopters put as much thought into it as this.

(this is completely a side note and not a criticism, but generally the term "adopting" refers to getting a dog from shelter or rescue which can mean any age dog from any background while "purchasing" or "getting" is more appropriate to a dog from a breeder. I have no issues with good breeders, but the terminology is different due to the different circumstances)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Shell, both for the reply and the info on terminology. I've edited my initial post to prevent any confusion to subsequent readers.
 

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every dog is different but the only thing that I would do different was the morning feeding. We got up walked her, fed her and then walked her again. We only did it temporarily with the 2 walks in the morning until she got a little older. I know everyone is a fan of the puzzles but I didn't want to leave her after she had eaten food. I would rather empty her out before I went to work. Now she is almost 6 months and we're at the point where we wake her up, give her some time to relax and then feed her and then walk her and then go to work.
 

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You sound well prepared.

As Shell suggests, you may come home during the first two weeks and notice that the pup has chewed on the baseboard, divider, corner, etc.

Roughly, the first 3 days, the puppy may whine at night, b/c she's lonely. This is normal... hold out for 3 nights :)

Goldens are great! Take lots of pix, look for video opportunities, and try to bottle that wonderful, new puppy smell !
 
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