Our mission is to provide a home to animals that have been adandoned or abused, to show them what it is to live in a home where they are loved.

Rotating is one of the things we do that keep the dogs calm, entertained and under control, all the while giving them the feeling of having lots of freedom and making having loads of dogs seem totally natural.

We always try to keep the dogs in smaller groups. This is in case anything goes wrong for example a dog fight, dogs chasing a cat or squirrel, dogs trying to escape, this is done is a smaller group and not a huge pack. A pack of dogs is incredibly powerful and difficult for someone to control.

One of the ways that we keep the dogs in smaller groups is by dividing them between upstairs and downstairs dogs and allowing certain dogs to cross that barrier under controlled conditions.

The other way we do this is by rotating. Rotating is where we let a small group of dogs out, let them play and run and then rotate them with dogs that are inside. This goes hand in hand with using the gate and applies to any door in the house.

Rotation is something we do all day long. We let a small group of dogs out to play for 20 minutes. If someone ca be with them outside even better. If you are doing something outside, such as putting away tools, trimming the bougainvilleas, watering the plants, clearing away leaves, etc, even better. Where you walk, the dogs will follow you, usually with a hoppity skip and a jump.

After 20 minutes open the gate to let them in. Invariably the dogs that are inside will be ready to come out. The rules is - dogs in first, then dogs out. This way you never have 2 groups of dogs outside, making it easier to control in such a big area.

We rotate all day long, even when the dogs are sleeping. This way we make sure that no dog is ever desperate to go out.

Morning Rotation

First thing in the morning all the dogs want to go out. It's usually been about 12 hours since they have been able to pee, but rotation still applies here.

Start downstairs at 5:30 or first light letting out Lady, Swiper and Scruffy. If there are any cats in the yard these 3 will chase them without hurting them.

Go upstairs to let the cats out of the house and Bernie. He might need to be coaxed a little (sometimes a lot) and then guided to the yard. This way he doesn't pee on the balcony. Close the door and let Romeo out of the cage.

Go downstairs again and let Lady and Swiper in. Even if it has only been a few minutes, the idea is for them to pee and come back in so that the others can go out as well. Scruffy stays outside usually.

2 in and 2 out. Let out Motta and Honey. These 2 are great cat chasers so it's very important that they do not go out if there are cats around.

So, back upstairs (phew, what a workout!), let Bernie back in, he's probably waiting at the door, and then let Bobby and Laica out of the kitchen. In the mornings these two can cause a commotion so it is very important that they are not outside when Swiper is out (downstairs) and that they don't stay out long enough  to start barking at the morning walkers.

Back downstairs it is now Mingo's turn to go out.Mingo sometimes sniffs a lot and doesn't pee. The trick to get him to pee is to take him around the garden to as many interesting spots as you can and make sure he pees at least 3 times before bringing him back in. When Mingo comes back in he will head directly to the kitchen, if he doesn't just saying the word 'kitchen' will usually get him to go inside. Close the door behind him and go and get Jettie from my room.

Back upstairs get Bobby and Laica back into the kitchen. You can let other dogs out such as Spotty, Whiskey or Clara but do not let Gizmo out yet. Gizmo goes out after Mingo.

In my room at this stage will be Vida, Paz and Jet. Pick Jet up and as you open the door call Paz and Vida to come out, let them out and follow them, closing the door behind you.

Open the gate and again let Paz and Vida out into the yard, put jet on the floor outside without letting out other dogs and follow them out, closing the gate behind you.

Jet wants to go out, she really needs to pee, but you still need to walk her around the yard a little. Keep an eye on her and make sure she poops. Watching the dogs poop might feel like an odd thing, but it's not a bad idea. This way you know which dogs might have diarrhea or constipation.

While Jet is out, it's time to let Gizmo out. Let a couple dogs in before letting Gizmo out.

When jet is ready to come back inside she will go to the gate and start hopping around. There is no need to pick her up, she knows where she ants to go. Open the gate, let her in and follow her to my room, open the door just enough for her to get in and in she goes! Pax may also want to go in. This is because she knows breakfast is almost ready and she waits in my room for her turn.

Now, all the dogs have had a chance to go out and pee. Let Mingo out of the kitchen.

After breakfast rotation

The morning rotation is a little more structured for the dogs downstairs.

The first dogs to finish eating are the first dogs to be given their bowls. So these are the first dogs to go out after breakfast.Before rotating be sure to pick up bowls, especially any unfinished food, and put them on the kitchen counter in the downstairs kitchen. Open the gate to let out Scruffy, Vida and Lady. Swiper and Max may also be ready to go out and Motta will want to come in to check for left overs.

When Mingo and Honey are finished eating, pick up all the bowls and open the kitchen door. Let a couple of the others from outside back in and let Honey, Paz and Motta back out. By this stage the only dogs downstairs that haven't been out are Mingo and Jettie. They need to be taken out within an hour of finishing breakfast.

The routine for the upstairs dogs is much easier. Bernie is already outside and the reason for this is because he wants to pee immediately after eating. He gulps his food down, pees and then goes directly to the back door, asking to be let in. Do not let Bernie inside until all the bowls have been picked up inside and the dogs have finished eating.

Let Bernie in and Clara, Spotty and Whiskey out. Leave them out for 10 minutes and then let Bobby and Laica out as well. Close the kitchen door and again make sure their bowls have also been picked up. At this stage you have 5 dogs outside, get at least one dog inside to keep the groups balanced.

Make sure that Whiskey, Spotty and Clara are inside when letting Gizmo out. When Gizmo is done eating he will want to come out. Don't let him bark, this simply means he has been left to long. If he does start barking, let him out of the room as soon as possible, even if it's not to go outside.

Before dinner rotation

The only dogs that need to go out just before diner are Mingo and Jettie. At about 3:30pm it's important to make sure that both Jettie and Mingo get to spend some time outside. Mingo is usually pooped after his walk but he needs about 15/20 minutes to stretch his legs and pee a little just before dinner. This also means that he doesn't need to go out directly after dinner. Once he comes back inside, go and get Jettie and sit with her outside for about 15/20 minutes as well.

After dinner rotation

This is one of the most important rotations since it's a full hour and a half during the times when the dogs are most active and also when the street is most active. What this means is that the dogs will be tempted to bark at people and dogs walking past the house and this needs to be controlled. It is also their last chance to pee before bed so it's important that they spend a lot of time outside and that each of them have a last pee around 6pm. Last pees can be done under supervision as well after 6pm.

To this end there will usually be bigger groups of dogs outside, especially downstairs. So we need more people outside downstairs during this time. Whiskey and Spotty can come downstairs, this means 2 less dogs to bark at the gate. Mingo cannot be outside during this time at all so that's it's very important to take Mingo out just before dinner.

Typically at 5:30pm Spotty and Whiskey can go back upstairs and chill inside for about 20 minutes. At this stage Mingo can come outside for his last romp around the garden. A good 20 minutes walking around the garden, sniffing and peeing and maybe playing a little is good for him and keeps him calm when he goes inside.

Once Mingo is in Jettie can come out for about 15 minutes. This is the time it starts getting dark and the toad(s) come out. The only dogs that should be outside during this very last stint are dogs that don't chase toads like Scruffy, Honey, Max, Paz.

With Whiskey and Spotty downstairs, there are only 5 dogs upstairs. Bernie will probably be passed out on the couch, which makes him easy enough to forget. Bernie, despite being lazy, really enjoys a walk. At about 5:30, take Bernie out for a walk while the other dogs spend time outside.

Someone needs to be outside with the dogs, upstairs, especially watching at the gate to make sure that the dogs stay calm when people or dogs walk by.

1 thought on “Rotating”

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