GSD Foster Behavior Question - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2014, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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GSD Foster Behavior Question

Hi all!

My husband and I are fosters for our local humane society and have recently taken on fostering a 2 year old, male German Shepherd. We are struggling to find ways to keep him happy throughout the day. We would like to take him running but he is not good with walking on the leash yet (he has no obedience training so we're working on that right now) and we're afraid that if we start running with him, he'll just take off (and we're sure he's much faster than us!). We've tried playing fetch with him but he has no interest in any toys (tried squeaky, rope toys, balls and stuffed toys). We tried creating a brain game by stuffing an empty crumpled water bottle with treats but he is ignoring that as well, even after we showed him how pushing it will let treats come out.

Any ideas for how to stimulate the brain of a dog who appears to be uninterested in toys?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2014, 04:48 PM
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Thank you for fostering! My experience with adopting adults is that sometimes they're somewhat stuck in their ways. For example, my GSD wouldn't play with the toys I had - a nice selection, but nothing interested him. But the tennis ball was his world, as soon as I brought that out. Maybe your pup wants a frisbee? I think tossing a ball back and forth with your DH and kind of teasing him with it could get him more interested too. Good luck
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2014, 05:24 PM
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He may be more interested in games once he get used to his new living situation. OB sessions should help work his mind. Similar to what blanketback mentioned, try bouncing a ball off a wall and being a little animated about it might help too.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2014, 05:36 PM
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How long have you had him? For the first couple weeks, you need to more or less just let him adjust. Think about how his world has been turned upside down, even if it is for better. Do you have any experience with GSDs? They can be very reserved with strangers for a while, especially if he has been through anything traumatic. Do you know anything about his background?

Really, I wouldn't expect a whole lot of normal dog activity from him for a while, let him adjust and figure out his new situation before you make too many demands on him.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-13-2014, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies everyone! We are trying to give him time to adjust but, at the same time, we don't want him going crazy around our house with too much energy...

I grew up with golden retrievers and we've fostered a variety of dog breeds, including a previous GSD and a GSD/akita puppy mix. I heard they tend to be very high energy and I just want to make sure we're giving him the exercise he needs/deserves.

We've had him for about a week now and all we know about his background is that he was found in the animal shelter.
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