I have a new Corgi puppy, she is 10 weeks old. She is SUCH a doll. I work 8-4:30 M-F and I live alone with my Chihuahua. I am trying to make sure my new Corgi, Sicily, gets enough mental stimulation and exercise before she is fully vaccinated.
I have her enrolled in Puppy Class at the SPCA and it starts next month (its for puppies 10-16 weeks of age at the start of class. It helps for them to get socialized to all types of other puppies before fully vaccinated.) I spoke with a close friend who is a Vet Tech about what types of activities I can do with her outside, and she mentioned that our area is high-risk with Parvo right now. So there wont be any walks.
My backyard has a big deck, and a bark covered dog-run area where both/any dogs can use to go potty. She has been doing great with crate/potty training and I have only had her for 4 days! However, I am wondering how I can get her enough exercise when I am home from work so she doesn't go nuts during the day, and how much time of exercise she needs each day?
Today was my first day of going to work all day since I got her (last Thursday night), and when I came home, I took her out ASAP to potty, then I fed her, then I crated her for 15 minutes, then we went out to the deck for some training with the clicker, and then once she lost her attention span we went into play. I let her chase my other dog until she got a little too nippy and wasn't listening. We had about 4 play sessions tonight of 15-20 minutes each. I've only crated her to encourage she potty outside.
I know I did a great job with my Chihuahua, but he didn't have this high of an energy level. I just want to make sure Sicily is getting enough exercise. I play with her until she seems pretty worn out. I wish very much that I could take her for a jog so we can both get exercise at the same time, but until she has all her vaccines, I cannot chance it, especially because our city is at high-risk right now according to my vet tech friend.
She doesn't seem to like to play tug. She doesn't understand fetch yet. She only likes tennis balls if I roll them across the deck and then she chases them but sits down to chew them. The only running she does is chasing my poor Chihuahua (who doesn't seem to enjoy the game! haha!) The only thing I can think of to give her a little more exercise where I am not administering play is to invite friends over with vaccinated dogs who are more socialized than my Chihuahua and therefore willing to play.
Can anyone give me any other playtime suggestions where I wont risk exposing her to Parvo? Also, does the amount of time I am giving her on the weeknights seem sufficient for now? (She will get long walks/jogs when she has vaccinations). She obviously will get significantly more exercise on the weekends. Any feedback would be most appreciated :)
At 10 weeks she is too young to take for a jog. They don't have the stamina and it is hard on their little legs and feetsies. Give her bones time to grow and strengthen before you start that intense of exercise. A walk for a few blocks would be ok, but I understand about the parvo concern.
Teach her to fetch the ball, or maybe it needs to be smaller that she can get her mouth around it more easily. You can start by rolling the ball just a few feet and encouraging her to bring it back. Break it into increments if you have to for training. If she goes after it and puts her mouth on it, click and treat. Then raise the bar and don't click and treat until she picks it up. Then picks it up and walks toward you. As she begins to understand the game, you can toss the ball farther from you. But start off with it really close. It probably won't take long to teach her. Another method is to roll the ball against a wall so it is already moving back towards you as she picks it up. And you can play this in the house.
Start teaching her to like her leash and have good leash manners. You can do this just by walking back and forth inside your home and deck.
Also, start teaching her tricks. She is a sponge at this age and will learn really quickly. Keep sessions short, but do several of them in an evening. Simple tricks such as sit, down, shake, spin, bow, stay, wait, go to your rug, leave it, come, etc. I would start these with your other dog out of the room. Then as she gets a little better, add the distraction of the other dog. Her attention span will be really short right now, but as you teach her the "game of learning" she will get better and her attention span will lengthen.
Good luck and have fun!
I hate to rain on your parade but, in a high Parvo area I would be even more concerned about going to a puppy class than taking her on walks.... The younger the dog, the more susceptible they are to Parvo, so young puppies (10-16 wks as you say for the class) are very high risk indeed. Maybe you can identify a quiet suburban neighborhood where you can take her for a walk, AFTER HER 12 WKS. SHOTS, even if you have to drive to get there. In an established suburban neighborhood you would have a lower density of dogs. Many of these dogs (unfortunately for them) never get out and about, but tend to be kept in their fenced yards.... Walk the area first by yourself and see how it is. You don''t need a large area. This will not eliminate all risk, but will limit it substantially, while providing other benefits.
If you are in a high Parvo area, keep a spare pair of shoes you can change into before going into your home, as Parvo is easily carried in on the soles of your shoes.
My puppy class doesn't start until she is 14 weeks, by which point she will have had her 3rd round of shots. Also, the class is not at PetsMart or PetCo, it's at the SPCA and is for puppies only. I am going to make sure to address that question with the trainer (who is a certified behaviorist.) I used to volunteer at the SPCA and have been through 4 Dog Training classes at SPCA so that I could walk/train the dogs on the adoption floor.
I can easily do the training myself, I just wanted to have her socialized between 12-16 weeks to other dogs, as well as handled by other people in a place other than my home and backyard. The first class we are not supposed to bring our dogs, it's for orientation only. I am sure that's where they will lay down the ground rules eg: must show proof of vaccinations, closed toed shoes, no hats/sunglasses, etc. These classes usually take place in a room with a smooth tile floor, no grout or absorbent materials (where I previously received my training.) The trainers at the SPCA are absolutely amazing and they would not endanger the animals. I would not even have a fraction of this trust with PetsMart or any other place.
So far, my Corgi has only been in my backyard, my house, and nowhere else. I was reviewing my Health Records from my breeder and she was given her vax's on 3/29, and 4/20... my next vet appointment is 5/16, that will be her 3rd Parvo shot. My orientation for Puppy Class is 5/11 (my Corgi puppy can't come), and the first class where the puppies attend is on 5/18, after her 3rd round of shots. Do you think that would be okay based on the info I gave you? Also, I should mention... the SPCA I am taking her to is about 40 mins (~20 miles) from my house, it's my particular town that is having a problem with Parvo right now. I only carry her when I am outside.
I guess my main question in this thread was how much time should I be exercising her at her age? I give her play sessions and training sessions, each lasting 15-20 minutes, and then crate her, take her out to potty. I just tend to doubt myself that I am providing her enough mental exercise. Once she has been fully vaccinated, I will be walking her quite a bit so I wont be so concerned.
What you wrote about your SPCA sounds great, especially that they check vaccination status, and I would not normally worry except for your saying you are in a high Parvo area. The puppy's natural immunity received from nursing interferes with the shots taking their protective effect and how long this natural immunity lasts varies from puppy to puppy, which is why a series of shots is given. Also, to make it more confusing, the immunity passed on through nursing varies depending on the status of the mother dog's immunity at the time and the puppy's own individual response....
As for exercise, the pup is fine for now but the energy level will grow by leaps and bounds each week that goes by. Susan gave some good suggestions. How much risk one is willing to take is a personal thing, get the info you need and then follow your own comfort level, that's what I would do. There is no perfect solution.
Jenna, since parvo is such a lethal virus, I would want her to be able to respond to her last shot. As Anna indicated, puppies have antibodies left from their moms which partially prevents response to the earliest shots. On the other hand, their immune systems aren't very mature so it is the later shots as the immune systems mature that are more important. I think I would want her to have about 3 weeks after the last shot for her immune system to mount a good response. I would be less cautious about any other virus than parvo. Also, if one town has it the others will also have it. Good luck with your new baby.
I would take her more places that wouldn't be frequented by unknown dogs. Sit outside a grocery store, a park, wherever and let people pet her and give her treats. She needs more socialization IMO.
You can bring parvo in on your shoe, so unless you're changing all your clothes etc, I don't think a few blocks walking on the sidewalk will hurt her. If you wait until 14 weeks the window for socialization is just about closed. The AVSAB recommends NOT waiting until they are full vaccinated to socialize a puppy.
It's not recommended to take them jogging until they're at least a year old or so, to allow for the growth plates to close.
Jane is right about the socialization window. Keep in mind that early socialization to people, places and situations is FAR more important than socialization to dogs. This still leaves you with many safe options.