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jami74

A day in the life of your dog

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Well this is my favorite thing to talk about and I need a brief break, so here goes. I'm giving you a week since it varies quite a bit day to day. We live in a second floor apartment in the middle of the city, for context. I'm not including quick trips outside for potty breaks. Zucchini is a 2.5 year old bc from working parents.

Sunday - went for a 5.5 mile trail run with our Sunday running group, drove a couple of hours to visit extended family for Hanukkah and Zucchini played with the children all afternoon, (every other Sunday we take "herding lessons" in the afternoon)

Monday - 20 minute walk around the neighborhood with freedom to stop and sniff interspersed with working on heel and leave it and look at that dog! and here, Zucchini snoozed around the apartment while I went to work, came home at lunch and we went to a soccer field a couple blocks away on a 50 foot leash and worked on herding commands with a ball as the "sheep" for 30 minutes, snoozed the afternoon while I went to work, 15-minute walk around the neighborhood in the evening and ate dinner, then my bf and I went out to dinner and a show. This was a pretty light day for her so we did zoomies and intense wrestle-play for 10 minutes when we got home before bed.

Tuesday - 5 mile run down the river and around the city in the morning, 30 minute walk around the neighborhood at lunch, 10 minutes of indoor training and random toy play through the evening

Wednesday - 25 minute walk around the neighborhood in the morning, 30 minute frisbee play at lunch at the soccer field on the 50 foot leash, 35 minute walk with my bf in the evening and lots of pets

Thursday - 5.25 mile run offleash on trails in the morning, short walk at lunch, going to treibball lessons after work (we've also taken Control Unleashed Classes and agility classes)

Friday - might go for a 5 mile run or we will just walk, walk at lunch, maybe some training after work

Saturday - Saturdays are quiet days. We will go for ~3 mile walk at some point. Might take her with me to run errands and work on her polite down-stays in public spaces.

She's usually pretty content and quiet in the house unless we are playing, but she's not really "busy" inside. That said, if we have a few days where it's just walks or little mental stimulation, she will start to go stir-crazy and stand staring at me and give a really quiet 'woof' at me every five minutes in the evening. I run 30-50 miles a week so she has the option of running more with me if she wants, but she has limited interest in running in the city so I try to get her on trails for at least 10 miles a week. She runs 15-20/week usually. Summertime she'll come out with us in the evenings if we go out with friends etc.

 

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My boy is 11 and has some knee problems. His days consist of 3 walks: morning, noonish, and later afternoon. A.m. walk length depends on when I have to leave for work, which varies. If leaving later in the a.m., the walk is longer. If leaving 8:30 or before, brief. The noonish walk is 99% of the time 15-20 minutes, and on leash. Afternoon walk depends on weather/sunset time/when I arrive home from work. Summer times it's easier, as we walk later in the day anyway because of the heat, and the days are longer. Winters I sometimes walk him in the dark or the dark & rain. I am counting down the days, (15) till the light starts to return.

Scattered throughout the day are brief trick training/play sessions and trips to the yard. He does love to visit his friends, (a few of my neighbors) and take walks with them.

When he was younger, walks were longer, I did agility lessons with him, and he loved those. I had knee surgery last spring, and am not quite ready to trot around an agility field yet. In the spring, I hope to start that again, if I can get an ok from the orthopedic vet for him. 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Interesting topic, I too am looking for ideas and comparisons.

Levi will be one year old at the end of this month.  He came to us as semi-rescue at 8 months old (a little less than 4 months ago).  Since he is so young, his disposition and training are works in progress.

My husband is retired and I work from home, so someone is almost always home with Levi and Buddy (8 year old English shepherd).  After dog breakfast, a typical day starts by going to the backyard to feed the birds.  This is more interesting than it sounds.  Although we live in the suburbs, we have a large and complex backyard.  We keep chickens and ducks which free range in the yard during the day.  So Levi watches as I let the poultry out of their night pens and collect eggs.  He does not chase or harass the birds, but he does move the ducks around the yard sometimes.  I've been watching this, and trying encourage useful behavior.  Levi did help me recapture a duck that got out the back gate was roaming the alley.

Mid-morning is fetch time.  There is a large drainage channel in back of our house, usually dry, with a flat bottom and steeply sloping concrete sides.  Fences line the top of the channel, so it is a safe place for off-leash play.  We started off with straight simple throw and retrieve.  But now the game has evolved into "find the ball".  If the ball hits the side of the channel, it bounces in complex and unpredictable ways, sometimes landing in the brushy vegetation along the top of the channel.  This makes it very difficult to find (even for us), so Levi has to search for it.  The game usually lasts 30-45 minutes, with lot of fast running between searches.

In the afternoon, we walk or bike.  Walks take us to our neighborhood greenbelt park, which is also safe for off-leash.  There is a clean creek to swim in, woods, and a restored prairie.  On the way to the park we work on leash manners and proper behavior with cars, pedestrians, and other dogs.  In the park we play fetch--in the water, in the woods, and in the prairie.  Tall grasses and wildflowers make the prairie an especially challenging place to find the ball.  I've learned a lot about how dog senses work by watching Levi search.

If time and weather permit, we bike.  The dogs wear harnesses and short leashes which attach to a special bracket on the bicycle.  Bike rides may stay in the neighborhood, or may go to a much larger regional park about 1.5 miles from the house.  We negotiate several busy streets and sidewalks on the way to the large park.  The dogs are always leashed during these rides.  On weekends I try to take them someplace where they can run with the bike off-leash.  I have an off-road bicycle, so we look for unpaved  trails.  These rides are Buddy's favorite thing in the whole world.  Levi is a little more hesitant, hanging back from the bike when leashed.  When off leash he follows Buddy's lead in everything.

Our goal for Levi is to be a happy companion dog, and he has already succeeded in spectacular fashion at that.  As his talents and training develop, I may try some dog sports (disc, Barn Hunt) or herding with him.  Obviously, he will never trial with no sheep to practice with.  But if he helps me with the ducks a little, that would be great.

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We've got a lot of irons in the fire right now, so a day in the life of my dogs is basically  open the dog door about 6 a.m,  eat breakfast, sleep on the sofa or a dog bed in the room I'm working in until noon, play about 15 minutes of ball OR train, eat lunch, and then hang out chewing something, watching TV, or sleeping until about 6 p.m.  Eat dinner,  and more hanging out until I go to bed (usually midnight, but tonight that's clearly not happening) and shut the dog door.  Then they come to bed with me.   I try to get them out one day on the weekend for a couple/ few hours of hard, run it out, exercise.     I've mostly been managing that, but not always.

More  typically that midday exercise break is about 45-60 minutes long, and there's a fairly decent training session where they work for their dinner rather than having it in a bowl.  They also have disc and agility once a week each, and some kind of event (agility trial, disc comp, meet up with friends and hike,  lure course - something + agility lesson) on at least one, usually both, days of the weekend.  Fall and Spring they're at some kind of event or class or less four or five days out of the week.  Between time is still 'whatever, hang out on the couch and chew a bone'.


They're adaptable.  Thank god - or, well, thank me, actually!.  All that work I did at 'installing' an off switch has saved me (and them) a lot of grief when life... turns into life and the time for some kind of endlessly regimented routine or tons of exercise is just NOT an option. 


(Also I'm just going to admit it:  I hate any WHIFF of 'LOOK HOW MUCH EXERCISE MY DOGS NEEDS' dog-owner martyrdom contests   I know that's not what is happening here, I really do, but it makes me INSANE.  If your dog 'requires' more exercise than works in your life to avoid eating your house, TEACH IT TO RELAX, Dear God.)

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It is really nice to read what others do with their dogs! Interesting topic :) 

 

My dog's days vary but on workdays (mon, tues, thur) I get up around 6.30 and have a twenty minute bike ride around the neighbourhood. I usually go to work at 7.30 and am back at 13.30. While I am away my dog has a food dispenser kind of toy either a kong or a treatball or I hide food in a cartboard box. This is only on tuesdays and thursdays, on mondays she stays with my brother in law because I won't be back until four o'clock. 

When I get back it really depends on the day, sometimes I take her for a 30/50 minute walk, buy mostly I cycle with her off leash for an hour. Molly prefers cycling and I do to. She is so nice and focussed, grin on her face, and we can zoom around the nicest places here.  I especially like it in slightly bad weather. I know, I am crazy, but the feel of a bit of rain and wind in your face... just makes me feel so refreshed when we get home.

Then I try to take her out again around 18:00 for a short walk around the neighbourhood, or maybe some fetch if I feel she had a bit of a boring day. I rarely play fetch anymore, because she gets quite intense, but when I do there is usually some training involved: waiting, long distance stays, stop and stay in the middle of a fetch, recall off of a fetch.
Honestly, in winter they are way shorter than in summer and I sometimes skip them. My neighbourhood is not a great place to be in the dark so options are limited in winter. In summer I don't have this issue. 

In between we play short search games in the house: I'll hide her kong or a chew somewhere and she has to find it. Or we play fetch with a chew in the house. We don't do this every day and when we do it's only for five minutes. She snoozes when I'm not interacting with her.

Her last walk of the day is somewhere after 21:00, short potty break before bed. 

 

At the weekend the schedule is similar: morning, afternoon, evening and night walks. The morning walk is usually the longest. Saturdays are changing a bit since we have just started stockwork training. This tires her out so I do take her out frequently, but shorter walks, more sniffing time, no biking. Stockwork replaces the afternoon activity.
I try to go to the forest at least once a week and try to go to the park where we can meet some dogs. The dogs in my neighbourhood we usually avoid, they're not very well behaved (rude or agressive), somehow the dogs at the park are more social. 

 

2 hours ago, CptJack said:

They're adaptable.  Thank god - or, well, thank me, actually!.  All that work I did at 'installing' an off switch has saved me (and them) a lot of grief when life... turns into life and the time for some kind of endlessly regimented routine or tons of exercise is just NOT an option. 

This is so true. I have been ill this week and only managed to go out for short potty breaks and my dog has been wonderful. She was happy to snooze around with me all day (perfect day for her because she could sleep with me on the couch!). It took a while to train that off switch- but it's a blessing. It means I can take her with me to work sometimes when we have long meetings (if colleagues don't mind) and she just sleeps in the corner on her dogbed.

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Apart from plotting how to get into trouble my 7.5 month old spends most days as follows. Mon-Fri I get up just before six and we go a short walk, 10-15 mins, for toilet needs. Back in the house and into his cage and off I go to work. My wife gets up a seven and around 8:30 he goes out for a 30 minute walk and same again around 2pm. I get home around 5:45. we have dinner and then around 6:30 its a 45 minute walk with focus on loose lead, leave it and generally be in the same universe as me. He is caged for two to three hours around mid-day while my wife is out. Bed time is 10:30ish with 10 minutes out side to toilet. Various periods of playtime through the day with chew toys etc.

Saturday is pretty much the same but Sunday starts with a visit to a local trail park where he can be off leash and mingle with other dogs for about 1.5 hours. Pretty much the same dogs every week so I am comfortable with him being off lead.

I really should play more games with him but time runs out so quickly. Must make more effort.

A question if you don't mind. I am still working on leash walking. When did you guys start training to jog with you or Cycle with you? I know for sure if I tried after 2- 3 steps I would be tripping over him as he got excited and cut across me or jumped up. Any tips appreciated.

 

Brian

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Our day begins when Harry, who is nearly 7 months old wakes us up around 5.30 to 6 am. Unfortunately since the clocks have gone back here in Uk, he won’t sleep any longer, he will whine at first then start to bark. He wants to play as soon as he gets out of his crate. He has a 20 minute walk early then plays with my adult sons for half an hour each before they go off to work. The rest of the morning is spent playing with me, chewing on a nylon bone or rope or destroying what is left of any plants in the garden, he particularly enjoys digging holes. He loves sitting on the door step watching birds. I do some training each day as well as give him a brush and attempt to clean his teeth (work in progress).

We go for a longer walk early afternoon, I keep him on his lead unless my husband comes with us and we walk through farm land where we let him off the lead. We are gradually increasing the time off lead and so far he has been good. He then sleeps for a couple of hours until one son comes home and they play ball. 

Harry will watch me whilst I am in the kitchen preparing our evening meal and other household chores.

He then waits for my husband and other son to come home. My eldest son who is 26 is the one who was not fussed about getting a dog but has taught Harry most if his tricks with a ball.

He then gets a 30 minute walk in the evening, then he will relax and go in his crate around 10 to 10.30 depending on when we go to bed.

 

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3 hours ago, brihop said:

A question if you don't mind. I am still working on leash walking. When did you guys start training to jog with you or Cycle with you? I know for sure if I tried after 2- 3 steps I would be tripping over him as he got excited and cut across me or jumped up. Any tips appreciated.

I think we started cycling with Molly when she was one year old or something like that. Not sure though. 
She learned how to heel properly first before we added speed :) so no pulling, paying reasonable attention to where we are going. Then we added the bicycle next to us and walked with it until she didn't think it was so strange anymore before actually getting on it. I haven't had any trouble with the dog trying to cut across while she was on a lead, but off-lead she did it a couple of times. I told her to "go on" whenever she stepped in front of the bike or stopped in the middle of the trail. I would brake slightly and wave my hand at her. She caught on pretty quickly.

Bumping into the dog on the bike also helps :P but would not recommend doing that on purpose. It happened once on accident with one of our dogs and from that moment on she knew not to cut across.

In my experience the dogs finds a rhythm eventually, even if they start by jumping up or cutting across. Depending on the dog this might happen straightaway or take a couple of sessions.

 

As for containing excitement: my dog wants to go fast, but we only go fast when she stays next to me when I ask her. As soon as she moves too far in front I brake and we go super slow until she is in the right place. After doing that a couple of times she realized if she pays attention to me she gets what she wants: speeeeeeeeed!
 

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3 hours ago, brihop said:

A question if you don't mind. I am still working on leash walking. When did you guys start training to jog with you or Cycle with you? I know for sure if I tried after 2- 3 steps I would be tripping over him as he got excited and cut across me or jumped up. Any tips appreciated.

I started training Zucchini to run with me when was about 8 months. To start we did 1/4 mile "runs" where we would run a block or two then turn around and loose leash sniff our way home. I upped it to 1/2 mile 2-3 times a week at 10 months and then 1 mile when she turned 1 and her joints closed. And worked up from there. I always let her choose the pace, which when she was 1 for me was "argh slow". She was always great about wanting to just run on trails, but sidewalks/city were challenging. One thing that helped was I bought her a special "running toy" and took her to a soccer field and took turns chasing her and then encouraging her to chase me. Seemed to help her get that we were doing a running game not a jumping up game. That said, it really just took a year for her to mature enough to have the attention span to go for a run where she was concentrating on running in a straight line lol. Took some patience, but she's a fabulous running dog now at 2.5 years old! Which is good, because her #1 job in life is to accompany me on as many runs as she can.

8 hours ago, CptJack said:

(Also I'm just going to admit it:  I hate any WHIFF of 'LOOK HOW MUCH EXERCISE MY DOGS NEEDS' dog-owner martyrdom contests   I know that's not what is happening here, I really do, but it makes me INSANE.  If your dog 'requires' more exercise than works in your life to avoid eating your house, TEACH IT TO RELAX, Dear God.)

CptJack I agree with you, but it's definitely something I've struggled with. I think because I just feel guilty- all of Zucchini's sources of entertainment involve me or my boyfriend (that said, would I really feel differently if I had a yard that she could wander around?). We are getting a puppy next year and I think that might help me be a bit tougher if she wants attention and I don't want to give it, because "go play with your dog-brother if you're that bored" will be an option.

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1 hour ago, AlexandZucchini said:

started training Zucchini to run with me when was about 8 months. To start we did 1/4 mile "runs" where we would run a block or two then turn around and loose leash sniff our way home.

Thanks for the information. My boy is 7.5 months so I think I will start to introduce short jogs and see how it goes. You never know it may actually help with the loose leash training if he gets that he should stay with me.

1 hour ago, Flora & Molly said:

think we started cycling with Molly when she was one year old or something like that. Not sure though. 

Thanks. I think he may be a little too young to try the bike. I will see how the jogging goes first. Better get the local hospital on alert for the twisted ankles and bruised knees....Just joking.

 

Thanks again,

 

Brian

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1 hour ago, AlexandZucchini said:

 

CptJack I agree with you, but it's definitely something I've struggled with. I think because I just feel guilty- all of Zucchini's sources of entertainment involve me or my boyfriend (that said, would I really feel differently if I had a yard that she could wander around?). We are getting a puppy next year and I think that might help me be a bit tougher if she wants attention and I don't want to give it, because "go play with your dog-brother if you're that bored" will be an option.

 

I may possibly be a little more hard core because I work from home.  So I am often physically present but not actually available to the dogs - in a way that means things like loud play are also absolutely not going to be happening in ear shot of me.  I do admit 'take it outside!' has been useful.  It gets them outside being crazy once in a while, but mostly the situation means they learn pretty early what kind of attention is available for them and when and 'go away' is a thing they figure out.   

That said for me the key to the guilt thing is just knowing they've done enough to satisfy them and that further pushing on their part is because they're black holes and not  a need.  Right now?  Yeah, I feel guilty.  Monday morning after an agility trial?  Not so much.

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The day starts at 03:40-ish with Cash waking me up. He's taken over the job from Senneca, who is pushing 14 and considers herself retired. After a brief bathroom break for everyone, we go out for our morning walk -- about 45 mins. Back home, the dogs wait for me to shower and fix breakfast. Weekends they may get a little extra (scrambled/boiled egg) on their kibble. Weekdays,  I'm off to the office, so the dogs get crated until my wife gets up. They have managed to train her to serve freshly made chapattis for lunch; or sometimes watermelon. When I get home from the office, I quickly change clothes and drive them to the park where we play ball for 20 - 40 mins or so (dependent on the temperature). Then it's back home and they wait for me to fix dinner and after dinner we go out the back where I give them their "after-dinner" treats (small pieces of cheese/stale bread/meat/fish as available). Then it's off to bed.

 

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My Collie's  day starts at sunrise when she and the black lab jump on top of me to let me know it's morning. I open the door and let them out for a run , to do their business and some running around. When they return I feed them both, then after I had my breakfast I take the Collie ( named Bruma , which means mist and is a hallmark of our islands) on the car with me and we do the rounds of the sheep, which I keep in 3 separate locations. She's still young and not much help yet. At lunch time she has another romp with the Labrador in the fields around the house , then they both chill  while I do other things and at the end of the afternoon we go to "school", about 15m of training, still basic obedience but aiming for work with the sheep. 

The rest oif the day, if it's winter, she stays indoors with the other dog and last thing before bedtime (very early) I let them both out again for some more fooling around. They both sleep in my bed, I know it's not ideal and all that but I don't care. I think they are very lucky dogs. 

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Thanks everyone for answering. I love the idea of running and cycling with our boy, as soon as the evenings start to get light again (and we've got the hang of heeling, sigh) we'll be on to that.

Our boy is 8 months old now. He was very reactive with traffic, he is now a lot better but going for walks (without driving somewhere) are still very much a challenging training session rather than relaxing exercise. He can now move along the path without lunging at every vehicle but his tail is between his legs, ears back and he leans on the harness on busier roads. He is relaxed enough that he can eat the treats as we go but will still throw in a lunge every so often. I'm hoping by next winter we will be able to go on a brisk walk round the block as I could easily fit a couple of those into our day.

He sleeps really well now. He'll wake up at 7am and I used to make sure bedtime wasn't before 10pm but more recently it's been earlier with no problems.

On the three or four days I work he gets a 'hello' from me, sent into the garden to do his business and given a chew before I go to work. He then spends the morning playing, cuddling and doing tricks with another family member before having a Kong for lunch and then mostly sleeping the afternoon until I get home. Evenings tend to be his 'awake' time, we try to go somewhere he can run around, depending on the weather we'll stay out between 15 minutes (throwing the ball from under a tree in pouring rain) or up to an hour walking through trees and fields while he runs and potters and sniffs. I would like to do more exercise and training on these evenings but I'm tired after work and short on time.

On the days I don't work he gets a morning trip out. Once a week that is to a big park where we do loads of things like playing fetch and other ball games (he waits while I hide it in the leaves or he has to wait while I run and put it somewhere and then return to him for a touch before he's allowed to fetch it, I've started teaching left and right when throwing it etc), We practice recalls and nice walking in the middle of the park with no distractions, move towards the edge to 'go sniff' and we have a long rest (practice settle). Other days it will be a drive somewhere we can walk off lead (beach, river, woods, a big field where we might take his football and he'll get to say hello to other dogs). He'll have a Kong for lunch and be settled for the afternoon but will be restless again in the evening. When the evenings were light it would be another off lead walk, now it's dark and often raining it is more likely to be some lead walking practice. He also gets a bit of playing at home with different people (hide n seek, tug, tricks).

It actually sounds like quite a lot now I've written it down, but when he's restless in the evenings I worry that he's not getting enough.

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9 hours ago, brihop said:

When did you guys start training to jog with you or Cycle with you? I know for sure if I tried after 2- 3 steps I would be tripping over him as he got excited and cut across me or jumped up. Any tips appreciated.

I don't run (bad knee) so can't help with that.  Levi is the sixth dog I've trained to run with the bike.  It really helps if the dog already has reasonable leash manners, and I don't like to do much until the dog is a year old to avoid injury.  The right equipment also helps.  The leash bracket on my bike is attached to the rear drop-out and chain stay.  This is the lowest possible point on the bike, and greatly reduces the chances of being pulled over--in fact, I've never fallen because of the dog pulling or lunging while leashed to the bike.  When wearing their leashes and harnesses, the dogs are near the classic heeling position, i.e. head at my knee.  Trying to hold the leash in your hand or attaching it to the handlebars is suicidal.

Once the dog knows that the bicycle means that he/she can run as fast and as far as he wants, things usually go smoothly.  This was true even for a friend's huge untrained husky mix.  On the bike, pulling can be a virtue.  As long as the dog knows to run in the same direction as you are steering the bike, you can let him do the work.  Since herding breeds are so sensitive to the movements of handler and stock, they learn this quickly.  This is another advantage of keeping the leashed dog behind or next to the cyclist,  not in front.

Off leash is a little trickier.  Crossing in front of the bike and bumping the front wheel can cause a crash.  If you see the dog beginning a close front cross, correct him with whatever command you use, "no" or "ah ah".  If the dog stops or slows in front of the bike, use "go" or "move on".

And last, a fit cyclist riding on pavement can outrun a dog if going for much distance.  This is especially true in hot weather.  So watch carefully for signs of fatigue or overheating.

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11 hours ago, Michael Parkey said:

Trying to hold the leash in your hand or attaching it to the handlebars is suicidal.

 

I always hold the leash in my hand and never had any trouble at all. I like to keep direct contact with the dog. If your dog pulls you every which way it is dangerous no matter where the leash is attached (although handlebars wouldn't be advisable). I think in the beginning it is better to keep the leash in hand to help the dog understand what you want especially if it gets excited. I think it makes it easier to stop both bicyle and dog.


While typing this I realize I am speaking from my Dutch perspective and our bicycles may be a little different which makes it easier to keep the leash in your hand. I have a "grandma" bicycle where you sit mostly upright and cycling with one hand (or none) on the handlebars is very easy and it has pedal brakes. Then again on a mountainbike or city bike where you can reach the ground with your feet I still don't see a problem. Easy to steady may the dog pull, but I would sort the pulling away from the bike first.

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My bicycle is a pretty standard design for mountain or off-road bikes in the USA.  This means that the brakes and gear shift are on the handle bars.  For safety, I keep my hands on the bars almost 100% of the time.

That said, my dogs rarely lunge or pull away from the bike.  When this happens, it is almost always the result of something extraordinary.  The example that comes to mind is the time a driver in a pickup truck decided to swerve toward us and blow his horn as he passed. (I live in Texas where drivers are sometimes hostile to cyclists and pedestrians.)  Buddy panicked and so did I, but because of the low mount on the leash attachment, I kept control of the bike and neither of us fell or was injured.

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Every day is different. I'm in college, so I'll give you a typical school day.

First class is at 8:00 AM so it's basically just up, outside to potty, hang out a bit and then I hand her her breakfast that I froze in her kong the night before and goodbye. 

I managed to get all my classes scheduled back to back (smug smile) so I get back around 2:00. About 45 minutes to 1 hour off leash walk, I typically stop somewhere along the walk and throw the frisbee a bit. 

Rest of the day hanging out with me, following me around, lying on top of my books while I'm trying to study, and just generally hanging out and being with me. 

At dinner time I'll often do trick training and/or chuck pieces of kibble in random different directions. Ohmygod does she love that. she goes nuts scrabbling after the food, LOL. 

Rest of the evening just hanging out with me usually. 

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I'll add though that some days we do absolutely nothing. If I've got a lot on my plate that day she just follows me around while I do stuff or sleeps and that's it; no walk, no training, just going out to potty. And she doesn't go nuts.  She's fine with "do nothing" days as long as the "do stuff" days happen more often in general. BCs can absolutely have a some days each week that are boring days and be fine with that as long as they are included in your life and get to hang out with you. 

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Merlin's usual day starts with being let out to potty, breakfast, and chill time while I get a few details out of the way.  Then we head out for a walk, hike or bicycle ride. 

Walks on low activity days.  Hikes when time allows.  Bicycle rides are the mainstay.  He has a sidecar that he rides in to, and between, the four to seven parks he runs through.  When on the park trails he sets the pace, the colder the faster it seems.  I prefer him out in front where he can alert me to oncoming traffic and I can see what mischief (rare) he is getting into.  By breaking the route into one to three km segments, Merlin runs up to 15 km on a ride that will cover 20-30 km.

We have maintained a daily nap between 11:00 and 2:00.  The remains of the day he follows me around while I do tasks.  The evening he settles down after dinner and fades off to sleep.

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I joined over two years ago but it glitched when I tried to log in for multiple days.  I, also, fell off the wagon coming to the boards to peep at things.   Here I am over 2 years later, not only with Ranger but his younger brother, Four (just turned 1).  They have the same parents.

It's amazing what changes in 2 years.

Our routine has been a staple for almost two years now.

Mornings we are up and heading out to venture in the woods.  We run 2 to 4 miles on average and climb 500 to 900 feet.  Boys always get to swim.  When I'm lazy, we hit the flat woods and no swimming hole.  Some days I do city runs with Ranger and city walks with Four.  I'm lazy, I prefer to never have to use a leash so we spend much more time in the woods.   

Some weekends, the brothers meet up with two Anatolians and romp hard on 50 acres of woods, creeks, and sneak through the cow pastures...but not if the bulls are close.  Little man, Four, just started on stock so I don't trust him yet.  Ranger, he just stares them down and they bend their heads and start walking.

After morning trips we come home and I do house chores.  Dogs get to come and go in the backyard, but usually they eat their late breakfast and sleep for a while.  

(Twice a week Ranger and I are on sheep.  Four goes once a week, just for lessons so far.)  

I leave for work mid afternoon and hubby comes home a couple hours later.  They potty, chill, play ball or tug if it's the nice weather months in the backyard.  Their afternoons really very depending on if hubby hits the gym or not and what the weather is like.  

In the evenings, hubby feeds them and the brothers play inside if they choose.  Usually tug or wrestling and it has never got out of hand.  Hubby says about 830pm Four brings a tug to Ranger and it's game on.

Late evening I'm home and both get short before bed walks to get all their pee out and perhaps poop.  (On a rare occasion, the boys meet up with a dog friend and play ball at the local school in the dark.  They love glow ball time and come home and crash out.)

Six months out of the year, Ranger and I backpack on multiday trips.  This has been my ultimate favorite activity to do with him.  I'm hoping by next summer Four will be ready.  So far Four has really been doing well when bumping into wildlife or scenting on it.  I can't wait to take him on his first trip, of course only an overnight.  Fingers crossed he is a natural like big brother.  If not, Four and I can do fastpacking trips and save the big backpacking trips for Ranger.  ...this is originally why I got a border collie, for a backpacking companion. 

...then Ranger turned one and I decided, why not try him on sheep and see.  Parents work cattle.  Well, Ranger very much so wanted to work and was ready.  So to this day, tick tock, Ranger is still patiently waiting for me to play catch up.  Hubby wanted to start Four on sheep so he is Four's main handler, I'm just back up if need be.  It's been fun growing and playing with these dogs.  Wouldn't have life any other way. 

Also, I think I read in this thread, having the dogs learn to relax.  It is so true.  My dogs know they get my time in the morning.  It's undivided attention, all about them, as we explore nature.  When we get home I have things to do and they know I will not drop what I'm doing to entertain them.  They learn to entertain themselves and settle from the time they are puppies.

  

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What a lovely thread!

8 month old Merlin rattles the crate door at about 7.30 and by 8am I am up to let him out. We cuddle on the sofa for about 20 minutes which gives me time to wake up properly lol! I feed him and then take him for a 10 minute walk around our property. I then take a bowl of yoghurt and granola to the sofa and he has yoghurt smeared in his bowl nearby. He then lies around waiting for my hubby to get up. 

After we’ve had breakfast and coffee and frankly lazed around Merlin is ready for action so by 10.30/11 we take him out. Every other day he gets either a good off leash walk of about 30/40 minutes or we walk to a huge ball field and play fetch with him so he can run fast. There are other dogs to socialise with off leash. In the intervening days we play on a smallish area of our property where he can run and chase balls and frisbees. Usually this takes 20 minutes before he becomes more focused on sniffing around the trees  

After his lunch he goes in his crate for a rest or rests on the rug. The afternoon is a mix of him resting, a bit of indoor training, him popping outside onto the deck to take in the sights or play in his attached pen by himself plus playtime with us. By 4.30pm he looks at me to remind me to start cooking supper. He then lies by the chopping block waiting for me to toss him raw carrot. 

I walk him round the property again at 5pm and feed him at 5.30 and then he rests in his crate for 1-2 hours (depending on the day) and we have a quiet supper. About 6.30/7pm he’s out of the crate and has a chew and a play and by 8pm he’s ready to rest on the rug by our side.

I take him out for a wee at 9 ish and by 9.30/10 he takes himself to his crate for kibble treats and then settles for the night. 

He has his moments for sure and if we are doing chores he wants to join in - not always possible. We still have to watch him carefully as he of course loves to get into mischief!

He doesn’t have free reign of all the rooms in the house but can wander at will in the kitchen and living room and go out on our deck when he wants to. 

We only leave him very occasionally and only for a couple of hours. He whines like fury in his crate but our webcam confirms that he settles the moment we drive off.

He gets lots of training but on an ongoing basis as well as specific sessions. For example - we train him to keep going to lie on his cushion (it avoids being ambushed) and before going out or into other rooms he has to lie down. He’ll also now wait patiently in the mud room while we get our boots on whereas just a month or so ago he’d be running around with shoes in his mouth. 

When he’s off leash we call him back frequently with liver rewards. In the ball field he can easily get selective deafness so then he goes back on the training line. 

Every morning and while out walking my hubby and I both practice ‘walk on’ and ‘stand/lie down’ at a distance. He’s perfect at doing it provided there’s no distraction - then he goes deaf! So we are planning some extra training line sessions for him as otherwise he’ll be taking over haha! 

It’s taking time and patience but we’re getting there. 

We’ve moderated our training and rules so that we focus on the important stuff whilst letting his character shine through. So he chooses the toys he wants to play with and we let him run around with the oven mit once a day. But he never gets table scraps and never walks out of a door until given permission to do so. 

He drives us nuts but is absolutely adorable. We have definitely nurtured him to our pace of life but every day he gets time to be a collie and several times a week he gets the time and space to run like the wind!

 

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