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I have a young Labrador (1 year old).

His day roughly consists of:

  • 06.00 - 06.10: Wake up, 10 minutes of outside time in garden to pee
  • 06.10 - 07.00: 20-15 minutes of searching for food in various toys, chills and cuddles with humans afterwards
  • 07.05 - 15.00: Outside in dog run, around 20 m^2 with isolated dog house and lots of toys
  • 15.00 - 15.30: Greet humans, relieves himself and sniffs in garden and searches 15-20 minutes for food in various toys.
  • 15.30 - 16.30: Long walk in forest, no leash. 10 minutes of training.
  • 16.30 - 18.00: Chill in garden or in house while dinner is cooked and eaten
  • 18.00 - 18.15: Short training session (sometimes skipped)
  • 18.15 - 20.00: For the rest of the evening, depending on the weather he will either stay inside with us or walk around in the garden with us, often chewing on either a stick, some animal skins or something.
  • 20.00 - 20.20: Searches 15-20 minutes for food in various toys.
  • 21.30: Short pee before bed.

We're facing some issues with him barking a lot when we sit down after dinner. And I want to be sure it is not because he needs more stimulation, but it is a bad habit / behavioral issue.

Is this enough stimulation for a very active breed?

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  • Looking at that schedule I would probably say that is a good amount of stimulation for your dog. I would suggest seeing a behaviour specialist to help you control your dogs barking whilst eating. – Bagseye Sep 2 '16 at 7:46
  • It's hard to say what is 'enough' - these things are very specific to individuals. If you have a problem with your dog behaving in a way you find unacceptable, then something needs to change, but exactly what that should be probably depends on your preferences as much as your dogs. Does he get all his food from the toys? If so, I'd be inclined to try switching things around so he gets his food after his walk, and perhaps give him a stuffed Kong to chew while you are eating. – Victoria Sep 2 '16 at 13:14
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Labs are indeed a very active breed. But be aware that, when they were used for waterfowling, they were not stimulated the whole day, too. They often had to stay in kennels for hours until the hunt started. And even active dogs like Labs need to sleep between 15 and 20 hours a day. They don't do that at once, but they need short naps during the day. So it is really unlikely that your dog is not enough stimulated.

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