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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My husband and I just recently adopted an 18 month old pit named Ginger [link]. She is amazing and is learning super fast! We have had her almost 2 weeks now. When we brought her home, she knew the commands 'leave it', 'sit', her name and her 2 charged words of 'nope' and 'good'. She did not like to do 'down' and I don't think she knew any other commands. The trainer at the shelter was working with her on the leash as well.

She now knows 'sit', 'leave it', 'down' (very willingly), 'stay', 'paw', 'crate' (which we use for the car and the crate), and 'drop it' (she's better at dropping it when we're playing tug of war then dropping her beloved tennis balls while playing fetch!).

She is super smart and has a ton of fun, goofy energy. But my husband and I both work full time. Now that the holidays are over, we are back to work. My husband takes her out early in the morning (6am) and feeds her, then I take her out when I wake up (7:30am) and put her in her crate before I leave for work around 8am. Every time we bring her out we throw the ball for her until she doesn't want to fetch anymore. We get home around 5:45pm and let her out and play ball immediately. Then feeding time, indoor play time, and she's taken out one more time before bed, and the schedule starts over.

Since Monday (it's Friday now) she's destroyed a phone charger that was plugged in behind her crate (she had never even looked at it before, so I thought it was fine), and her blanket (little by little over the past 4 days until now it's swiss cheese). She has a history of chewing on her tail when bored pretty severely.. she is still missing fur on the tip of her tail. Thankfully I haven't seen any signs of her doing this.

She started barking non-stop when I left this morning for the firs time.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can put in her crate to occupy her? Is this something she will adjust to over time? It's only been 4 days.

I have tried nylabones, she doesn't chew them, a marrow bone (I supervised her for several days with it to make sure it'd be safe to leave it with her), which she does chew outside the crate, a Kong, which she leaves 3/4 of the goodies in it (I bought a larger one yesterday so hopefully that will change) and I also got her another stuffed marrow bone. Hopefully the new Kong crate bed we bought will survive...

I feel terrible, but we have no choice. We can't afford a walker, and we work too far away to go home on our breaks...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
Jesicca
 

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Definitely sounds like she needs more exercise. For the typical bull breed dog, throwing a ball a couple times per day is not adequate exercise. Both of my dogs need two hours of good exercise per day to be tolerable at home.

I know it can be hard when you're working full time. Between my partner and I, we're out of the house over 12 hrs per day. It's just about finding a balance that works. There are plenty of ways to exercise dogs well with time-restraints.

Flirt pole, spring pole, weight pulling, and treadmills are invaluable tools for tiring out a high-energy dog. I'd definitely suggest looking into those and trying at least one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! I definitely will!

I think it will also be easier once the snow melts... she doesn't like the way it's got a hard layer on top that she falls through every once and a while, so she doesn't like being outside right now. I do tug of war, which I will do more of, and we sometimes throw the ball for her from the living room into the kitchen. Do you have any suggestions on how to work her without equipment in the house for now?

Thank you again!
Jesicca
 

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You can rig up an indoor spring pole in the mean time. Is there anywhere you can take her to let her off leash?

My dogs get an off-leash run every evening. I'm lucky to live basically in the middle of nowhere, so it's easy to find a safe spot to let them loose. I realize this can be a lot harder and potentially unsafe if you live in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yes, we have a fairly large fenced in back yard [link]. :) This is where she gets to play ball. But there is a lot of snow on the ground, and it's not nice snow either... I don't even like walking on it for fear I'll twist my ankle! It's got dips from where we walked, and a layer of ice on top that sometimes breaks and sometimes doesn't... Once the snow clears up it will be MUCH easier.

Did you build your spring pole? Or did you buy a Tether Tug type product?
 

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Yep, I just rigged up a very simple spring pole (more like a tug toy, though, cause I'm just using a stretchy rope) and tied it to a tree out back. My summer project will be making a more suitable, permanent spring pole. :)
 

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You could also get a cheap treadmill on craigslist and supplement additional exercise with that. Sure is a cutie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you both so much for all the amazing suggestions. I am looking into a spring pole type toy first, then I'll probably look into a treadmill (I should get one for my husband and I anyway...).

I've been having trouble figuring out how to make a spring pole, or even just some sort of anchored tug of war toy for inside my house... I think I will post a separate thread asking people how they set up their's.

This community is a life saver! Thank you again!
 

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Is she crated for 10-11 hours during the day and then crated again at night or where is she when you are sleeping and for how long? Can you set up a safe room or indoor/outdoor kennel run instead? I would be getting up an hour or so earlier to exercise and spend time with her and using work to eat toys instead of just feeding her. That would be a help but it sounds to me like this is already a stressed dog and you need to work on this asap before you end up with a full blown case of separation anxiety. You can't exercise or feed out that issue.

Amazon.com: I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety. eBook: Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.: Books
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She's in the crate any time we are not supervising her. She's never been allowed to be anywhere unsupervised in her life. In the kennel she had an indoor/outdoor run. This is where she lived for 8 months, until we adopted her. Then they switched her to a crate exactly like the one she's in now for a week before we took her home. Is it possible for it to be separation anxiety when she's never had this much human interaction before? I'd understand if she was used to being around people more often and then suddenly not, but she's been conditioned to be a crate dog.


I am also happy to say that today is the first day that I came home from work and she hasn't destroyed anything! She's very wound up, and my husband is actually outside working her as I type, but other then that a happy girl!
 

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Great advise on getting her more exercise and ways to do it. As far as something to put in her crate to keep her busy, put some peanut butter inside her kong at night and put it in the freezer. When you're ready to leave for work put the kong in the crate with her. Should keep her busy for awhile.

Joe
 
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