Feedback please - my 5 month's schedule

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Karth, Mar 18, 2024.

  1. Karth

    Karth Registered Users

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    We have a 5.5 month lab, we got her at 5 months from a breeder. She is relatively well-behaved. As first-time god parents we are going mainly by books and friends' guidance. Please provide feedback on our routine below:

    1. Morning right after bed: Take pup out for potty break. Hand feed breakfast. Crate
    2. After school dropoff: Partner takes pup out for a walk. Crate
    3. Lunch time: Backyard roam about, potty, train, hand feed lunch. Crate
    4. 3pm: Kids back, pup and kids play, train, potty break etc. Crate
    5. 6pm: Walk, train, hand feed dinner. Crate
    6. 9pm: Potty break, crate in our room

    Our pup is relaxed in the crate. No drama or anything. We tried tethering but she gets tangled up and is a bit frenzied. I tried letting her roam around my home office room (which is dog-proofed) while I work, she still acts a bit frenzied i.e. sniffs around a lot, wants to be patted a lot and does not settle down.

    Overall things are going well but we are seeing a pattern where our lab is happy in the backyard, walks and in the crate. Around the house is when she gets a bit overactive. Are we going about her care in the right way?
     
  2. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi there,

    It looks like you've got a good pattern set up of interactive time alternating with alone time. But it can be really helpful to have some time when your pup is not being interacted with by you, but is still loose in a larger area than the crate. This gives her chance to learn to entertain herself without your help, and still lets her stretch her legs :). It may also help the overall bounciness to reduce the crate time a little and replace it with some 'puppy zone' time (loose in the kitchen for example).

    So your pattern might be more like:

    walk/games together --> chilling in the puppy zone --> bathroom break --> crate

    and repeat.

    I also wonder how long you're clocking up in the crate in total? At this age a good daily rule of thumb is a maximum of 2 continuous hours in the crate, and no more than three hours total (excluding overnight when everyone in the house is quiet in bed). So your 5 crate episodes in the day would ideally be a maximum of about 35 minutes each (on average), assuming you're going to bed when you crate her at 9pm.

    If you're not sure if you're going over that 3 hour limit at the moment, it might be helpful to spend a few days tracking her crate time using a stopclock. Just start the clock any time she's shut in the crate, after the first adult in the home gets up for the day, and pause it each time you let her out. If you reach 3 hours, I'd suggest you not use the crate anymore until everyone goes to bed for the night.

    You may be nowhere near that limit anyway! But it can be helpful to check, if in doubt. Time flies when the bouncy puppy is out of the way ;)

    Edited to add - I just spotted that she's only been with you a couple of weeks! In these early days with your family, she may well need a lot less crate time than the rule of thumb above, which is more aimed at pups who came home at 2-3 months old.
     
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  3. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Karth and Edp like this.
  4. Karth

    Karth Registered Users

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    Thank you so much! I think we might be grating her a lot. We will fix that.
     
  5. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Happy to help!
     

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