Rotating Dogs

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Ivy, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

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    Those of you that work full-time and have to do dog rotations, how do you do it?

    I'm hoping to go back to school in May and there might be a possibility of having to rotate dogs. I'm just wondering what your rotating schedules are like while working full-time or going to school full-time.

    I've never been through anything like this and would like to be able to give both dogs an equal and fair opportunity to be out with me and the others.

    Do you put away the same dog every night, or do you alternate nights? When you go out to work/school, do you also alternate which dog gets put away or always the same one?
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I avoid rotation like the plague because I already feel guilty that we both work full time. That said when it is needed (ie right now, bitch in heat) we alternate nights loose and who goes to work. Crate dogs get work to eat toys and chewies to pass the time.
     
  3. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    When we had danes, we had to rotate them as they were aggressive to each other. My husband and I both work full time. We would rotate every hour to hour and half when we were home. I had to take extra long lunches on a couple of the days so that I could make the 30 minute drive home to make sure they got adequate exercise.

    Our house was situated where they each had a level to themselves and there was at the minimum of 2 barriers between them at any time. We were able to rotate them without letting them see each other, so we had the ideal set up to house them.

    However, we finally got to a point that we couldn't continue this way. Old problem behaviors were surfacing despite our best efforts to keep both dogs mentally and physically stimulated. Tension was growing between my husband and I because we were both stressed and feeling guilty about having to rotate the dogs. We didn't have a social life anymore, we didn't have time for each other. We made the decision to rehome one of the danes, the one who was mentally stable and could adapt easily into a new home.
     
  4. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    The dogs are all fine outside together, but we still usually keep Pip separate from the other dogs in the house. The smaller more confined space makes him a bit reactive. Anyway, we don't crate to rotate but we have our first floor split into two living areas with baby gates. It's hard to explain, but with the layout of our home we can do it without anyone really being isolated (we can see both areas and go in and out of both areas and see/ talk to/ interact with everyone during the course of our normal routines, you can pretty much see everywhere on the first floor from almost anywhere else on the first floor).

    Whenever Squash and Maisy are outside for any length of time, Pip has free roam of the house. Also, typically my husband goes to bed around 9-10pm and he takes Maisy and Squash with him (they sleep in crates), then Pip and I stay up for a couple of hours before going to bed, too (he sleeps free in the room).
     
  5. Torch

    Torch New Member

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    I currently have one very mellow male dog. Whenever I've had fosters or puppies in the house, he is usually allowed to roam free and sleep with us while the foster or puppy is crated. If someone is home, and can watch the dogs, he's fine with about 98% of dogs. He'll play, interact appropriately, etc. So I really only crate when I can't supervise.

    However, since Henry is so good I never make him the crate dog in the rotation. Maybe it's a little unfair, but he is sooo good it's not even funny. There's absolutely no need to crate him. Plus he's very chill so when the crated dog needs more attention/stimulation, I don't feel bad taking a little time away from him.
     
  6. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Our crate/rotate went like this:

    Get up, let two dogs out.
    Swap girl dogs, leave Murphy out.
    Feed dogs (girl dogs in crates, Murphy out).
    Leave Murphy loose in house, Mu and Tipper in kennels.
    Go to work.
    Come straight home, let Mu and Murph outside.
    Run Mu around.
    Put Mu in kennel.
    Let Tipper out.
    Run Tipper around.

    If it was nice out I'd leave Tipper and Murphy outside for awhile. If it was crappy out then one of the girls would either have to go back in a kennel or be blockaded off downstairs. We always use at least two baby gates to separate - the girls like to fence fight and if they can get to each other after they get all worked up it's pretty ugly. I hated both options - someone always got sad over it and I never felt like they had enough time out of the crate. When we were home we ended up swapping out every hour or hour and a half. And like Sara said it was really stressful - I felt horrible about going anywhere after we got home (grocery store, out to dinner, out with friends, taking one dog out for a walk), I never felt like they got enough time and attention, and I was constantly worried that we'd screw up and they'd both get loose at the same time.
     
  7. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Our house is set up so its divided in two basically. Makes it easy. Before tawny passed she was with my brother when he was living with us or fine in the other half of the house, not a very personable lovey dog with me.

    I'd hate to have to do it again. If blitz acts up aggravating gizmo now he goes in time out in the crate. He just likes to hear her bark.
     
  8. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

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    2 of my guys got into a fight. I suspect excitement escalating. His leg got it the worse, very swollen and multiple puncture wounds. The vet gave an anti-inflammatory injection and sent us home with antibiotics and and anti-inflammatory pills. In the meantime I have the 2 separated and the one that got hurt is also separated from the others. Since he's in a lot of pain, I don't want the others around him in case he gets upset and bites.

    Hopefully they will be able to reconcile in the future.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    They may, from here on out I advise managing stimuli. Preparing for excitement times and separating, practicing strong positive interrupters, and begin proofing your obedience and focus. Additionally I would study their body language, learning to manage and prevent fights is worth gold. Breaking up fights sucks and it's dangerous especially with big dogs.

    Do you have any specific questions? (We put a ton of effort into this stuff because of the dogs we own)
     
  10. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

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    The main problem is Lincoln. He's always the one that goes over the top with excitement. He's my other half's dog and i'm always asking him to work with his dog. I have printed out many exercises he could do with him, but he doesn't do anything. I'm honestly sick of having to be the one to do everything.

    Enough with my rant, sorry.

    There have been many times where he takes Lincoln along with him to run errands and so forth. When he pulls into the driveway, the others are so much better behaved, they're excited but at an appropriate level. At times but not always Dallas does bark, but nothing major and not even close to the extent that Lincoln does and he's not pacing around like a lunatic either, he's usually at the window on the couch.

    When Lincoln's home and he pulls into the driveway, I try to get him in the kitchen where he can't see him out the window and it does bring down the barking a little at least or I get him to lay down by my feet away from the windows (on the couch) and prevent him from running around causing more excitement.

    After the fight I mentioned that maybe we could test out gating Lincoln in the kitchen by himself while we're both out and having the other 2 separated too (a 3 way split) and see what happens. I'm wondering if Lincoln can't see him/us come home (but can hear the truck, it's pretty loud) he might be inclined to simply lay down and wait because he can't see him out the window. And if he's not around the others, it won't cause tension with excitement. He got offended when I mentioned it, so I dropped it.

    I can get the others calm enough when i'm home, but when we're not we're going to have to separate. Also, we don't get visitors very often.

    Please, give me advice as to what I can do. :(
     
  11. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I think separating when you're not home to manage is your best option. I wouldn't trust Lincoln out with the other dogs when you're not there - it sounds like it was a bad fight and the more times the behavior is practiced the more it's going to happen. When you are home you can work on doing things with Lincoln when your OH gets home(I know he's not your dog but your OH seems completely disinclined to work on this so it's probably going to fall on you :().

    We have a similar issue (excitement triggering a fight) in our house. What we've done is set up a system where we call each other before we get home. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. That way we can either separate the girls, or set up the situation to be managed.

    My management system goes like this:

    - Matt calls to let me know he's on the way home.
    - I make sure that I have treats somewhere near me (I usually keep a stockpile in the end table). I try to make sure that none of the dogs know I have them, I don't want it to be a bribe, I want to reward them for the right behavior.
    - When Matt's car pulls into our cul de sac everyone goes on alert. In the beginning this point is where I started stuffing treats into Mu (who is the attacker in this situation). We're at the point now where I can wait until Matt actually gets in the door to reward her. If she's acting really antsy I will click/treat for looking at me before he gets to the door.

    Using this method we've gone from a near certain fight to almost no fights ever (for this particular situation). For us it had the added benefit of desensitizing Mu to trucks pulling in and out of the cul de sac, which was another trigger.

    My dream goal that will probably never happen? When Matt gets home and/or someone knocks on our door all the dogs go straight to their mats and stay there. I currently don't have ONE dog that will do this (although Mu will stay in one place as long as its near me) so this is really a pie in the sky goal.

    I hope this helps! It's a sucky situation but if this is the only area you've had fights in and you've only had the one it should be pretty easy to manage.

    ETA: I forgot to mention - in the beginning of us working on this I was actually contributing to the fights. The dogs would alert to something in the street and I would get SUPER anxious. Which they picked up on, which made them more stressed out, which caused a fight. The biggest thing I did to help this was to SHUT UP and take deep breaths. When we go through our routine I generally don't say anything at all. I focus on rewarding at the right time and taking deep breaths. I don't know if this is an issue you'll encounter but I thought I'd mention it because it took me forever to figure out what was happening.
     
  12. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    My dogs are separated when I am not home. We are currently working on door manners here. When the door opens, they use to bum rush it. Now, they are all learning to sit at the threshold between the kitchen and living room. It takes work but it does save fights. I don't have the problem with fighting, my dogs are just rude assholes to guests. Lol They love people too much. Once they learned that I was more exciting than ths guests, we've had some good training sessions. Maybe that will help you.
     
  13. ThoseWordsAtBest

    ThoseWordsAtBest Wu-Tang Steph

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    I have to rotate Elsa with the dogs. She hates Jack, and there is no way I will even bother introducing Jonas to her or expect them to ever live in harmony. Thankfully, our house is four floors one of which is an entire apartment attached. She has full roam of that apartment when she's away.

    A normal day with work is I get up to feed and let my crew outside. Put them up and let Elsa out with Shambles. Train with them, take them out and about, and she's out for about two hours. When I put her up I take Sham out for his ride, then take the other dogs out for their walking/training/whatever. I go to work at 2 PM, the rest of the day my boyfriend rotates the groups free range in the house for two hours at a time. Continues until 11 PM when I go down into the apartment and hang out with just Elsa.

    It works, but it will wear on you. I will be excited to find Elsa's forever home in that respect so she doesn't have to be rotated all day.
     
  14. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    Based on what you said, I agree with separating them while you are not home.

    This is why I love crates, it makes my life so much easier since my two can't really be together at all.
     
  15. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

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    So far the rotation is going well. The boys are now used to the new schedule and know what to do when the time comes to rotate.

    Timber seems fine when he sees Dallas during rotation, no posturing or tension. Dallas on the other hand is still apprehensive at times, with reason though. Sometimes, but not always he seems tense and a little defensive when he sees Timber, but not always.

    I'm still doing a 3 way split. I want to wait until Dallas is completely healed in case he gets cranky with the others around his swollen and sore leg.

    I'm hoping with time they can be good with one another again. I'm not going to hold my breath on it, but hope it can come true in the future.

    I was thinking of taking both of them out for walks together, not any time soon though. Would that be a good idea? Any other suggestions for re-establishing trust between 2 dogs and confidence building for Dallas?
     

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