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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Leaving Mini Aussie At Home For Long Hours

by Krista

I'm in grad school and am making the transition from being in the classroom in the same building everyday and having the ability to go home for lunch, or get out of class early - to being on clinical rotations where I need to be at a location up to an hour from my house - hence longer hours away from home.

The first worry that comes to mind is the well being of my 1.5 year old Mini Aussie. He is very well behaved, I make sure he gets lots of exercise and to always run him around the yard as much as he needs. But I worry about leaving him for 8 hours 5 days a week.

Any advice? Words of wisdom? Something to alleviate my anxiety about this upcoming transition in our lives would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance!!

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Not ideal at all
by: Callie

You shouldn’t be leaving your Aussie alone for that long, especially on a regular basis. They’re just not a breed that can be happy with that lifestyle. I too am in college and have an Aussie so I get the struggle. I noticed what seemed like my dog getting depressed when I did something similar one semester and I still had someone to check on her. So if you really have to be away that long try making their environment more stimulating. You can do this by getting more puzzle toys and introducing a new one every week or two (you can also rotate toys so they forget they had them and they shift their attention to whichever ones you’ve given them that week). You can also try "DogTv" it’s like $10 a month but the shows are completely made for dogs, with sounds they like and colors according to the spectrum they see, taken into account. It’s really cool, I was checking it out the other day and my Aussie actually stopped playing with her chew toy to watch it; which I have never seen happen. But it can be a little pricey for a student. I know they’re giving a free 14 day trial now though so you can check it out. Another thing that is probably most important is to hire a dog walker that can exercise them for like 30-60mins, I think rover also has promotions. You can also take some of their food/treats and hide them around little spots in your house to make a scavenger hunt for when you leave. So if you can’t focus on physical stimulation do your best to provide mental stimulation for them while you’re gone and make sure to have someone let them out and walk them around while you’re out. Because if you’re gone 8 hours of the day and sleep 8 hours at night it doesn’t really give them anything to do and they need mental/physical/emotional/social stimulation which is why I also recommend trying to get to the dog park every weekend since they won’t get enough socialization during the week or looking into local dog day camps where you could take them maybe once a week to play with other dogs all day. Just make sure to research the place so you know your baby is actually playing all day instead of in a crate! Hope this helps!!!

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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