Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
My husband and I are wild about Milton (15-months-old), but he is really concerning me lately. I have a bad habit of regarding Milton as my child, so I feel the need to occupy him throughout the day, especially with summer upon us. I love spending time with Milt, but he rarely if ever plays on his own. Only in the early morning or just before bed will he grab a bone to chew on and only then for a few minutes at a time. I worry that I have ruined his ability to entertain himself because I am constantly seeking to engage him with playtime or day trips out and about.
On an average summer day, Milt wakes later than I do, greets me, and then will nap until we go for our 3-mile walk. Upon return, he naps a lot more, and sometime in the afternoon I will eat lunch outside and throw balls for him or he will swim in his kiddie pool. In the evening, I either take him for another abbreviated walk, 2-miles, or we visit the dog park, so he can swim. I really enjoy the walking and playing, but I would like for him to be a bit more active during the day and rummage through his toys to have some fun. I do like the dog park, but I would prefer to go once or twice per week instead. The thing is Milt is not the type of dog who seems to revel in all this sleep; he really likes to be active and having fun.
I am curious to know just how active everyone else's dogs are. After a school year full of daycare three days per week, I have the feeling Milt dog is bored, and I want him to learn to be the entertainer instead of me. Any ideas or advice? Do all of you walk your dog twice per day? Do your dogs tend to nap for the vast majority of the day? Would introducing another doodle puppy into our household add good energy? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advance!
You need a second Doodle!
It's summer and my two are not all that active. Actually I think dogs are happy just hanging out. Who knows what goes on in those Doodle brains. They could be solving complex math problems or just planning on how to trick me into giving a treat. I do have two dogs and they do play together. They also spend a great deal of time just hanging out.
"They could be solving complex math problems"--ha! They'd be a step ahead of me, then.
I love the energy the second pup added in our home. The are more engaged with each other and I feel less like I need to constantly be the one to occupy their time. Don't get me wrong, I still love spending as much time as possible with them and taking them on outings, but I don't feel as guilty if I can't be there all the time. My girls play a lot and we do one big energy expending activity a day (our second dog is a Weimaraner, so this is more for her) usually in the evening, and do a combination of playing and just hanging out for the rest of the day. during the hot summer months they are less active in the afternoon than they are during winter. We will never be a single dog family again because we love having two so much :)
Meg is just a bit younger than Milton and she does rest/sleep a lot. She will play with a bone or antler (generally at our feet and sometimes even wants DH to hold it while she chews...can we say spoiled?), other than that she depends on us for entertainment. We are her family after all and honestly we are retired and I got her to keep ME occupied so it is only fair that I reciprocate, right? I don't think it hurts that you are her playmate unless you are wanting a bit more freedom for yourself. Even in the yard unless I engage Meg in Frisbee, soccer or tennis balls she will find a spot and lay down...unless I head for the gate and then she gets the zoomies for three or five rounds of the yard and then comes in the house. I know if we had another dog that they would get some chasing and wrestling time in together but then again I never see her look longingly at other dogs and she has not asked for a sister/brother.
I drool over other doodles and check the rescue sights daily but so far have made myself resist, not sure how much longer I can hold out. I know that doing that could possible take something away from my relationship with Meg and then again it could add a lot. We will see what time does to my ability to resist that temptation.
He does not sound bored to me. I think it sounds like he has a pretty active schedule and is just enjoying life- even the relaxing moments. Goldie would not survive a 3 mile walk a day! I agree with Adina, if he isn't getting into trouble I wouldn't worry about it. If he was bored, he would definitely let you know (i.e. excessive barking, chewing, destruction...)
It doesn't sound like Milt is bored, but a dog friend would add a special dimension to his already wonderful life :) Our two, 4 years & 1 year, hang out most of the day, don't require any special exercise, take multiple naps, watch & bark at all the yard has going on, but have several spurts of activity with each other every day...one minute they're sleeping, the next minute play bowing & running...teasing each other with a toy...tug of war...spinning & leaping :) It's been really good for Baker to have a friend & Oskar would be lost if he didn't have Baker to bug & steal toys & treats from :P
You really should consider a friend for Milt. It would, as you said, 'add good energy' :)
Libby is not real active but she does keep herself entertained when we are not playing with her, walking or working on training with her. We have a toy box and she pulls everything out and spreads it all over the floor, plays and then lays down and takes a nap! This takes place about three times a day. On the over all, she is pretty mellow! She does love her walks and dare we miss one with her:)
Some dogs are just more active than others. We have two doodles. One is mellow and just lays around most of the time. The other one is always ready to GO! He will pester the quiet one to wrestle and he will comply about twice a day, but the quiet one would be happy to just nap the day, evening and night away. Different strokes for different folks. :o)
I think dogs that are actually bored, which when you think about it is really a kind of frustration, often develop destructive habits, like chewing things up. If Milt is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, it seems perfectly normal to me that he'd be just relaxing during his "down time." I think that getting a new puppy might be a rather extreme reaction to the fact that Milt is naturally a laid-back dog. ;)
I guess I wonder what you think it would look like if Milton was "playing" by himself? How would you think he'd entertain himself? If he's getting a three mile walk every day, you're taking care of his exercise needs....and the "outings" are certainly giving him mental stimulation. My two will play together....chase each other or play "tug" with a toy, but that's only a few times a day and not for very long. The rest of the time they just "chill" and they're perfectly fine with that. I kind of think "that's just what dogs do".
Totally agree Jane!