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-   -   At a loss and need advice on constant whining/crying.... ( 01-24-2013 10:40 AM

At a loss and need advice on constant whining/crying....
I don't know where to start...My boyfriend of 2.5 years has a German Shepherd, who is 4 years old. I have never been around this type of dog before and so I find myself at a bit of a learning curve. Due to my boyfriends work schedule, we only get to see each other twice a week. So I don't get to be around the house often, around the dog very often. I have tried reading as many things as I can on these dogs but I can't seem to find anything that fits this dog so I figured I would try to post after reading lots here and see if I can get anyone's experience or suggestions. I am going to apologize now for the length, but I am just lost. First off in the last year, year and a half, the dog has been diagnosed with epilepsy. He is on medication twice daily/every 12 hours. He had about 8 within the first year. Secondly, it is his behavior, which I don't think are related to the seizures, cause he acted like this before. He is so hyperactive! He is taken on daily walks tho. When I get to the house, he has to be held onto, just so I can come in the door. He has so much energy! My boyfriend and I have to sneak in a hug and kiss when the dog isn't looking when I get there or else the dog tries to get between us, jumps on us or just whines. He always whines/cries! I always thought it was jealousy, that the dog didn't like me coming around. But my boyfriend assured me that this was not the case. He will send me little videos of the dog whining/crying even when I am not there. When he walks down the hall to get food, just laying in the living room, walking from room to room he cries. And at other times, he is really quiet, just lays there, on the floor or on the couch, on the other side of my boyfriend. I still think there is a little jealousy going on, when we sit close, the dog, will sometimes "worm" his way into my boyfriends lap or climb on my lap to get to my boyfriend, now he doesn't always do this but at least once or twice during the evening when I am there. Sometimes he will just stand and stare at us and whine/cry and bark, my boyfriend will get mad at him, call the dog over and other times he will just ignore him. Neither way seems to work to get him to stop. If he gets mad or calls the dog over, sometimes he just barks back at him, like he is "talking back". Granted, my boyfriend tells me that the dog does this when I am not there too. I just don't know what to do! I try to take a bone over most days to kinda help distract him. We try that Rescue Remedy for Dogs. That occasionally works but not all the time, I don't want to have to give him that all the time, when the dog should be able to just listen. Sometimes, I just move a seat away on the couch from my boyfriend, so the dog can sit there and there can be quiet. Which I know is not good, cause then the dog "wins" but sometimes I just can't take the whining. I have a black lab, who is as mellow and quiet as can be, so I am not use to this. We have tried a few times for the dogs to meet but the German Shepherd is so anxious when I take my dog over. Mine can't move in the house without his being all over him and in his space, not to mention his always whining. We are constantly having to call their names or go outside. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE dogs and it hurts because this dog gets to me and I feel like my being there is making the situation worse (yes, I have mentioned this to my boyfriend, but we don't know what to do). I have read that these dogs are pack dogs, they like one owner and are hard to accpet strangers but my boyfriend and I have been talking marriage so the dog would have to learn to accept me at some point but I have also read how friendly and family orriented they are, so I just read opposite things all the time. I know I'm all over the place but I just don't know what to do or if there is anything I can do. :help:

1sttimeforgsd 01-24-2013 11:30 AM

From what I read the dog has never been aggressive to you, just jumpimg and happy to see you when you arrive. Have you tried working with him, by getting him to do things and giving him a treat when he obeys? Shepherd's are very vocal, some more than others.

I think that if you could interact with the dog more one on one, you would have a new best friend. He just sounds like he is full of energy and has no way to release it. I hope that you can resolve the problems with him so that you all can be one big happy family, I'm sure others will have some advice for you later. Good luck and let us know how things are going.

Freddy 01-24-2013 11:51 AM

Sounds like a high energy dog with nothing to do. He's looking for attention, mental and physical exercise.

I also have a very vocal male, almost 4. That's just the way he is. When I come home from work it's like he hasn't seen me in years. He whines, jumps (not on me, mostly air licks) and runs around like a nut. I do my best not to reward that behavior and try not to acknowledge him until he settles a bit. That approach has not diminished the behavior, though.

Capone22 01-24-2013 11:59 AM

At a loss and need advice on constant whining/crying....
He sounds under exercised. Two walks aren't enough. I would try bike rides so he can run, hikes, teach him to wear a back pack. You also didn't mention any training, which he NEEDS for mental stimulation. It will drain his energy even quicker than physical exercise. Talk to you bf about finding a training class. Nose work might be fun for him, or treiball. Something where he can use his mind. Also small training sessions every day. Teach him OB, tricks etc.

I would also look into nothing in life is free for around the house.

I think this can easily be fixed if your bf is willing to do more with him. This isn't your average pet dog.

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wolfy dog 01-24-2013 12:43 PM

Quickest way for exercise is throwing balls for the dog to fetch, if he does that.
Next: as you come in the door, throw a handful of treats in the room to keep him busy so you can greet your bf. Keep a calm demeanor towards the dog to prevent too much excitement. Ask him for a sit so can greet the dog briefly.
Dog seems physically and mentally under exercised. You can walk a GSD all day without tiring him out. They need work and strong play.

RowdyDogs 01-24-2013 02:40 PM

I agree with everyone who says this dog sounds understimulated. GSDs are very high energy dogs and when they don't have an outlet for it, you get the kind of behaviors you are seeing. One or two walks a day aren't enough unless they are very long--like all day over difficult terrain. And the dog needs mental stimulation on top of that.

A lot of what you describe sounds like just a lack of boundaries. I don't think he sounds jealous of you or like he's having trouble accepting you, he just wants to get in on that snuggling and playing. ;) My GSD will worm himself between my boyfriend and I if we let him too, just because that's like the ideal spot for him--two warm laps and people to pet him! Same with his behavior towards your dog. He just wants to play and see what's going on and be a part of everything. It's really normal behavior, just extreme because he needs more training and more exercise.

Even the constant whining isn't that weird. They tend to be vocal dogs, and again it sounds to me like it is just a sign that he's bored and wants attention. If I take a day off walking my GSD because I'm sick or whatever, he gets really noisy about it too.

A good rule of thumb for high-energy breeds like GSDs is that they need at least two hours a day of exercise--and not just walking, a good chunk of it needs to be high-energy exercise like fetch or running alongside a bike, things like that. On top of that, daily training is necessary to keep them mentally occupied. Even 10-15 minutes of obedience training in the evening after work would be a good start. If that's still not enough, puzzle toys will help give him something to think about besides how bored he is. 01-29-2013 12:23 PM

I am so sorry that I have not thanked any of you for replying to me. I truly do appreciate everyone's opinions and advice. Honestly, I couldn't agree more with you. The dog should be getting more exercise.. Unfortunately my bf works 10-12 days as well as Saturday, so the poor puppy dog doesn't get exercised like he should. I know this is not an excuse but my bf does what he can. When him and his ex broke up, she took the dog and maybe he just wanted one similar to the one she took, not to mention he does love GSD. My bf does work 3 miles from home(so incredibly jealous) so he does take a break in the middle of the day to get home and let the dog out, he can usually be home for 30-45 mins, I konw, not much but it is something. He makes sure to run around outside with him, throw the ball, etc. We constantly throw a ball and or rope in the house. We play outside, weather permitting right now. I buy him a bone almost once a week, however this has slowed a bit. I bought him one of those Rubber Kongs and he seems to like that, he throws it all around and up in the air and just messes with it. He does need more toys but he destroys everything that he gets. Tennis balls and squeaky toys stand absolutely no chance. The Kong and ropes are just about the only thing to not be torn apart. He has "stolen" a couple balls from the neighbor kids who don't come over to get their balls that were kicked over the fence. Occasionally they get given back but most of the time, the dog gets to the balls first. We were just talking the other day about needing to take some hikes and get the dogs out. Training...that a tough one. It was just my bf and the dog for the first couple years. Not much other dog socialization and not many rules. The dog does sit when my bf snaps his finger and says to sit, and shakes, high fives but that is about it. I want to train more. I actually found this awesome place where you can get training but unfortunately you have to give up your dog for 1 month so that didn't sit well with my bf, which I don't blame him, cause it'd be hard for myself to that. I think once my boyfriend asks me that important marriage question and I move in, training and walks would be easier cause I work normal hour days and with my bf going home in the afternoon, the dogs would only be in the house 4 hrs in the morning and 3-4 in the afternoon. I don't know tho. Once I do move in, much more training will have to be a must.
Thank you everyone for your advice and opinions and letting me know that I am not crazy and that GSD's just happen to be vocal dogs. I noticed this but just didn't realize how much. I will try to find more toys that can withstand not being torn apart and find some puzzle toys that was mentioned and encourage more walks and time outside if we go on hikes and little bit of training every day. Thank you again everyone! :)

RowdyDogs 01-29-2013 02:07 PM

You don't need to send your dog out for training for a month! You should be able to find someone who has regular classes you can go to with your dog, and practice at home with him between the classes. :) Really, dogs are very easy to train--you and your boyfriend just need to learn how to train him, which you won't be doing if someone else is teaching him. And in fact for the problems you're having, I'd say it's you and your boyfriend who need training more than the dog does. ;) That's not an insult, btw, it's a common issue.

If you post your general location, people might have recommendations for a good trainer for you. I also like to recommend the book "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson to people in situations like yours. It sounds like you guys just need to make a few easy changes to fix a lot of the problems you're having (although the exercise thing is tougher, you'll really need to work on getting him more to fix things totally it sounds like), and her book outlines how to train dogs in a very positive and simple way. It's a great introductory training book. :) 01-29-2013 02:52 PM

At a loss and need advice on constant whining/crying....
Oh I know we don't need to send the dog out, it was just a great program that I came across. You can also buy a dog from the program if you wish. I couldn't do that to my dog and I wouldn't expect him to do that either, not at all. I was just telling him all the options I had found. I just wish that program allowed for classes, etc where we could all three go. I've also found trainers that can come to house or we can go to them. I'm gonna sound conceded or something right now but my lab does pretty much everything on command-he has his stubborn moments, he can walk off leash, hang outside in the front yard and I just have to keep my eye on him. He doesn't jump, get crazy, etc. He has a box full of toys to keep him busy and we go on walks. I realize this is a breed thing but I feel that I personally have trained my dog well, honestly, I feel it's more a bf and his dog thing, not myself. I try to discipline/teach him but at times I don't feel it's my place as it is not my dog. I usually do say stuff but sometimes I feel bad doing so. My bf never says anything if I do discipline, he does agree with me. I feel it should be my bf, he's with the dog everyday. I see the dog one evening during the week and Sunday. I try to give tips to my boyfriend and if I'm honest the dog has made progress but still far to go.
I couldn't agree with you more. It is better if we train him and a few easy changes maybe all that we need. But they are changes that need to happen everyday, not just the days that I am there. And I think my bf really is trying but after a couple years of just him and the dog and not many rules, I think it takes times to change course. I will definitely look into the book that you suggested. Thank you 😊

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