Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Silver Spring MD
I personally would increase the exercise. I have a 17 month old at home and we do 1 hour a day of brisk walking, plus a session of intense fetch, tug, or swimming, plus training every day. If something happens and he doesn't get enough exercise or mental stimulation, I definitely pay the price because he will bark, steal stuff, chase our other dog and other nuisance behaviors. Punishing him at that point really doesn't help. He just needs more exercise. I wonder if your girl is the same way?
Exercise is no fun for me, especially in the winter, so I sympathize, but try doing a 1 hour very brisk walk a couple hours before bed time (that will give her time to "cool down" before sleep time).
When it is time to go to best, I would recommend crating her or tethering her on a dog bed (if you know she won't get twisted up in the leash). Make sure the activities that you are giving her are super tempting. For your KONG, what about with canned wet dog food smeared around the inside or cream cheese? My dogs can't resist 12" bully sticks dipped in peanut butter. Or what about a nylabone dipped in peanut butter or cream cheese?
Basically the point would be to: 1) tire her out so she doesn't have as much energy to be a nuisance, 2) manage her so that she can not be bad - crate or tether, 3) build in an incompatible behavior as a new habit - lay on your bed and calmly eat this KONG toy as we fall asleep.
Tired dogs who have a chance to use their minds and have a chance to chew and eat generally tend to be pretty pleasant friends. The trick is finding a way to incorporate the appropriate level that your individual dog needs and it may be a LOT. So that is the hardest part, working an appropriate amount into your schedule for your individual dog until she is tired.
I hope this helps!
Iry, mixed breed, CGC
Max, GSD, CGC