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Dog Routines?

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by NESS&NACHO, Jan 29, 2019.

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  1. NESS&NACHO

    NESS&NACHO New Member Registered

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    Hello to all,

    Some of you may already know me from my REACTIVE DOG post a few weeks ago. In summary, I have recently moved to London with my 2 dogs and have found it to be a bit of a nightmare concerning walking in the park (just around the corner from my house) and barking in the garden, etc.

    All I wanted to ask now is: what sort of routine do you guys have for your dogs? Please consider that I live in East London, close to a huge park but that can be quite dangerous after dark. I have the morning walk perfectly organised now, I am just struggling to find a way to run/walk my dogs in the afternoon/evening as well, as I do not feel safe venturing into the nearby park after dark. I do have a garden but it is not big enough for my bigger dog to get the energy out.

    I am just looking to read your stories and routines as dog owners in the big city. I do not have a car unfortunately to drive them to new places.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don't walk my dog after dark because, off lead I won't spot him if he takes off after something, and on lead, I won't notice if he's clocked a cat and could caught off guard if he suddenly lunges. He's also more 'switched on' to wildlife at dusk.

    So we have a morning walk around 8.30am, and an afternoon walk sometime in between 2 & 4. When he was younger he'd need a few games & some mental stimulation in the evening, now he's happy to doze and eat.
     
  3. Edie

    Edie Member Registered

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    I walk edie in the dark occasionally but she is alway on a lead as i dont think she is confident in the dark. My oh took her into a local park for a quick wee she just stood and didnt move until clipped on to her collar
     
  4. Edie

    Edie Member Registered

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    Sorry i caught the post a reply before i finished. Also when i walk the streets with my dog i call at the chip shop on the way back!!
     
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  5. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Im so lucky, we live in a small provinical city and there is very low risk of anyone nasty lurking in the bushes. The main reason I dont walk in the park at night is because I cant see if Murphy decided to eat something (even with a torch its not foolproof) and local teenagers like to meet there ride bikes without lights and drink beer which is not a good combo so we generally walk around the edge of the park where there is greenery but also street lights. Murphys last walk is anywhere between 9.30 and 10pm in winter and in summer I might go out around midnight when it cools off a bit. The whole neighbourhood is an on lead area so the only off lead dogs belong to numpties.
     
  6. Rhythmpig

    Rhythmpig Active Member Registered

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    Up until recently 3 one hour walks,morning,afternoon and night. That's changed now because the old girl is 16 now. She now does 3 half hour walks . In Summer when it's hot she will go out walking early morning and late at night when it's cooled down.
    If it's raining she decide she can't be bothered and turns and heads for home,it's home we go. All walks are off the lead,but we do live in the middle of nowhere.
     
  7. Dibbythedog

    Dibbythedog Member Registered

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    I live on the outskirts of West London /Greater London . WE are lucky to have lots of green belt land.
    I try to do two walks a day . One in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening .
    I walk around the block in the evening if its dark .
     
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  8. Edie

    Edie Member Registered

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    Edie and i also go out at 6am in the morning its quiet we walk for about 40 minutes on the lead as i like her to have exercise before i have to go to work. Its surprising how many dogs we see out 1st thing in the morning
     
  9. NESS&NACHO

    NESS&NACHO New Member Registered

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    I took them running around 5,30pm tonight and it was a bit of a nightmare. I believe it is because Nacho is also "switched on" to wildlife. I am trying various different options to try and find the perfect routine. The first time, before all of the reactivity and problems started, I took them to the edge of the park and then let them both off lead. Nacho went absolutely crazy and ran off (probably chasing after foxes and rabbits, etc). He came back of course but he wasn't responding to my calls for at least 5 - 10 minutes. Now that I am struggling with his reactivity towards dogs I especially don't want to do that just in case there actually is someone else in the park with a dog and I cannot see them. Up until now I have tried various different routes at the edges of the park while running with them on lead, but Nacho just seems to go completely crazy after dark. He pulls so hard while I'm running that even sprinting I can't keep up and trying to get him to stop is almost impossible. He even pawed off his muzzle from the "frenzy". He is in total hunt mode. This is very different from our calm walks in the morning. So now I have started at various different hours of the day, trying to combine light with not many people around. Tomorrow I will try around 3,30pm or 4pm. There is light until 5pm now so I'm hoping this is a good time.

    Thanks for all of your input guys. You have been a great help and support during my adjustment.
     
  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I wonder if he is getting an adrenaline rush from the rabbits etc, and that along with cortisol (stress hormone) from meeting other dogs is massively triggering his fight or flight response. I would be tempted to have a few days of not walking - just toilet breaks - to let his hormones calm right down. You could use the time, and tire him out mentally, by training mind games and mental stimulation which actually tires out dogs much more than physical exercise. Susan Garrett's 'it's yet choice' impulse control video on YouTube is good, also check out Kikopup who has great videos too.
     
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  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I totally get the 'switching on at dusk' thing. It's really hard-wired, and probably reinforced by him protecting you from wildlife in his previous home, so if you can simply avoid walking at those times rather than trying to train it out of him, it'll be a lot easier for you.
     
  12. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Some of the last comments just go to show how even in a high prey drive dog the best and worst times can differ..
    For Murphy walking at night is quite a calm and gentle thing. Even on holiday we walked through the woods at 10 pm and he was really laid back.. Same dog at 7am is a switched on, ready to go, hunting, tracking, machine.

    It is great if you can identify the times your dog is most likely to do a runner and adjust your walks to suit..
     
  13. NESS&NACHO

    NESS&NACHO New Member Registered

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    Thank you so much for all of your answers. Indeed, he is a totally different dog on the morning walks. I have decided simply not to take him out after dark anymore and either take them for a second walk around 3 or 4 or do the mental stimulation. This is what I was doing before: an hour or 2 hour walk in the morning and then play time in the evening. I only started walking them in the afternoons very recently because I thought he wasn’t getting enough excercise. But if I can go back to mental games that would actually be better for me.

    Regarding loo breaks and not walking him, he only wees in the garden so this is not an option. I have no more problems walking him in the mornings now that he has a muzzle and No Dogs coat. People stay away from us and it has returned to being a peaceful, although very vigilant, activity.

    The thing that bothers me the most about this change is that I realise that I am actually the main source of the problem. When we first moved here he showed no signs of behavioural issues. It is only when I started keeping him on lead (owing to him going up to strangers and “bothering” them) that the problems started. I realise that actually in most cases I am setting the situation up. I completely understand that he feels the need to protect me when I stiffen up. I think I need to work on my own emotions when out with him. He actually is a super sweet and well behaved dog (apart from being boystrous and high energy) but I am the one that has excalated the situation.

    I am going that the behaviourist will be able to help and go back to walks without the muzzle and a bit more free.
     
    Mad Murphy likes this.
  14. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    There is absolutely no way I’d risk Harri off lead at dusk or later. He’s another who is hardwired to wildlife and he’d be gone. He gets a 2 to 3 hour walk in the morning and a shorter and on short lead in the afternoon.

    I’m glad the muzzle has worked NESS&NACHO. Hopefully now you’ve got to the root of the problem the behaviourist can help you all work through it. Most of my walks are quite isolated. I’m not generally nervous but I have been made very uncomfortable at times especially if a lone male without a dog is following me.
     
  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Practice ;) I've developed an almost Zen-like calm now. On a number of occasions I've stayed calm when J has thrown an absolute tantrum, jumping up at me and swearing furiously - bear in mind he's taller than me when he jumps up! Predicting the situations helps a lot too - it just takes a slight change of the way he's holding his ears for me to get mentally prepared to hold on tight. I've stood to the sides of paths saying to approaching people 'Just ignore him if he kicks off'... Generally I spot triggers soon enough that I can recall him before he's got worked up and/or lead him out of range, stuffing sausage into his mouth to distract him from a dog he may or may not decide he hates.

    Once you know how Nacho is likely to react, then you can prepare for it, and when it happens it's no big deal. If you struggle to keep a grip on him, consider a head collar - I used a Gentle Leader for a while and it did help (this worked even while wearing a muzzle).

    Don't be in too much of a hurry to drop the muzzle. It will make it much easier for you to keep calm, and it's more likely that others will avoid you. Just work on him being able to have good, happy walks while wearing it.
     
  16. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Active Member Registered

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    Do you walk them both at the same time, or separately?
     
  17. NESS&NACHO

    NESS&NACHO New Member Registered

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    At the same time. The little one is no problem at all. As long as he has his ball he is happy. If he loses his ball he’ll chase after birds. When we go running he just follows us. He’s the easiest dog I’ve ever had.
     

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