So DH and I just acquired a puppy last weekend... and since our last puppy was our Lab who's now almost 8 years old, I'd forgotten how much work puppies are! She's adorable though so it's totally worth it!
I have to kennel her (Boston Terrier) in our Lab sized kennel during the day while we're at work but someone comes home at lunch for potty breaks & snacks. It's a long time for a puppy to stay in a kennel with nothing to do but sleep -- she's 3-4 months old. I gave her a big Kong today at lunch that had the liver flavored Kong "stuff" squirted inside so hopefully that kept her busy for a while.
Any ideas for puppy safe stuff toys that I can leave in her crate with her while she's gone? If you can post links to places I can view/order said items, that would be great! I also have a hard rubber nylabone and some rubber keys in there with her right now but I don't know if she plays with those after we leave. She loves stuffed animals but I'm scared to leave her alone with those.
My senior BT is loose in the house during the day so at least puppy isn't completely alone (even though senior BT sleeps most of the day!).
Thanks for the ideas!!
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower
I've always thought dogs should learn to settle and lie quietly in crates, thus I never put toys in them- crate time is rest time, not play time.
Best thing to do is to get the puppy so tired before each session of crating that all the puppy wants to do is sleep. Since you're very wisely and correctly only crating for a few hours at a time with breaks, it's very possible to do that.
Putting a small dog in a very large crate may be a bad idea- the entire concept of the crate is it's only big enough for the dog to sleep in, thus the dog is motivated to hold its bladder. If the crate is too big, the pup might feel fine peeing over in the corner and sleeping on the other end. If your goal is to just confine the pup in a puppy-proofed area, I'd suggest using something that is clearly not-a-crate to avoid teaching the pup bad crate behaviors- puppy-proof an entire room, or use an x-pen or something.
Agree w/ Wendy on crate size...you may want to install a box to block off part of it.
As for toys, you can stuff kongs with mashed carrots, potatoes, peanut butter, etc and freeze them so they last longer when you do give them. I am a fan of giving toys that are CLEARLY dog toys and nothing plush/stuffed w/o supervision. You have a lab, you know why I say this. LOL
If you've got the hard nylabones and she doesn't seem that interested, you can boil some chicken broth, remove it from the heat, drop in your nylabone and let it soak up the flavor. Won't hurt the nylabone and will often get them interested.
One word of caution: 2-3 toys available at a time. Rotate toys if you have more than that because it seems like for some dogs, if they have tons of toys, everything within reach is assumed to be a toy. If they just have 2-3 and those live in a "toy box" when not in use, you can avert shoe, sock, pillow, and other non doggy thing disasters.
Congrats on your new pup!
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.