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Old 01-21-2013, 05:09 PM
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Default Rotating Dogs

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?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:16 PM
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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.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:23 PM
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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.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:35 PM
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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).
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:02 PM
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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.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:38 AM
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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.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:50 AM
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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.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:30 PM
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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.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:03 PM
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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)
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:43 AM
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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.
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