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Old 05-18-2012, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How much exercise does your dog require each day?

And how do you provide it? What is your routine?

I am just trying to get a clear picture of what owning a GSD is like, as we are strongly considering getting one. Would love to hear how you deal with exercising your dog! Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In general I think they more active then any other breed and it all depends on the puppy/dog you get. Mine is only 8.5 months and she is calm when needed and ready to go when its time I think that when mine was younger I did a mixture of physical and mental exercise, but as she has gotten older I think the mental exercise is better for her. I still take her for walks and hikes, she runs around with the other dogs, she plays it and hide and seek with the kids, but she loves the training. She isn't destructive and she's no longer in a crate, so I feel she gets what she needs. In the last month I have been busy with personal issues and all of my dogs have adapted well to a different routine and that I'm thankful for. At first I thought that I was going to go crazy when I first got her, but I adapted too. I put lots of work into her and her training(3 levels of obedience and CGC) and I build on that daily. When she turns a year old I will get her into agility. I am also thinking about doing therapy with her now that I got to see her with a sick person that is bedridden(she was calm and did amazing)...I think it boils down to what you are willing to put into the dog Good luck and if you get a GSD you won't be disappointed!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ours is 5 and half months old and spends an hour almost every day at a public dog park. We then walk down to the lake and she spends another half an hour retrieving balls out of the lake. She loves the water.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, three levels of obedience by that age! That's amazing. Really inspiring.

Is that what you mean by 'mental exercise?' I plan to do formal obedience classes for sure with any dog I get, but I keep reading about 'mental exercise' and wasn't sure exactly what people are referring to.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by minerva_deluthe View Post
Wow, three levels of obedience by that age! That's amazing. Really inspiring.

Is that what you mean by 'mental exercise?' I plan to do formal obedience classes for sure with any dog I get, but I keep reading about 'mental exercise' and wasn't sure exactly what people are referring to.
Yes that is the mental exercise... I think that training is a pretty important part of owning any dog, but more so with a GSD. You want them to be socialized with dogs, people, kids, etc and the training helps with all of that. I also did the same thing with my Golden Retriever and I will go through obedience classes with any dogs I get from now on. It is worth it when you see what both you and the dog have accomplished.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mental exercise refers to working their brain. This can include obedience classes, obedience at home, asking them to find something.... really anything that will trigger brain work.

My dogs.... well i probably have two of the laziest dogs of anyone on the forum for their age. Shasta just turned 2 and she's pretty laid back. She gets excited about walks but doesnt need them. Her idea of a good exercise day is walking down the driveway and back and if i clip the long line to her, she'll zoom around the yard like a maniac for a couple minutes and then she's done. Riley is 7 and his energy levels used to be pretty intense when he was 2-4 years old but he's slowed down a lot the last couple of years.

HOWEVER, Zena when we adopted her was by far one of the most energetic dogs i'd ever been around. She was about 4 when I adopted her and i had to train her completely as she had NO training and she had to be walked several times a day on top of 2 hours racing around the local dog park with one of her furry friends twice a day. It depends on the dog and the dogs lineage and health too.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My dog loves to be active, but he is also fine in the house on days when he doesn't get a whole lot of exercise. BUT, he is one of the dogs that will run till he drops if you let him. He's pretty well balanced. Some days he just needs to RUN, and I actually run him in the yard for about 15 minutes (play fetch) BEFORE I take him on a walk because when he gets excited and also has pent up energy, he generally gets very whiney and annnoying and he'll whine for about 6 blocks or so.

I think overall GSDs are highly active dogs and will do best in a home where they can be worked, or in an active family. They could easily be too much for a 'couch potato' style of living. They can get bored easily and destroy things in the process. GSDs are very smart, and their minds need to be put to use or you will find things chewed up all over the place Mine also chews if he feels we aren't paying attention to him!

So all in all, physical and mental exercise are very important. The amount of drive will vary from dog to dog. A high drive dog is going to require a lot more exercise and mental stimulation. But oh gosh- even with their quirks and high maintenance, there just isn't a dog cuter, or one that can melt my heart, easier than a GSD!!!!
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minerva_deluthe View Post
And how do you provide it? What is your routine?

I am just trying to get a clear picture of what owning a GSD is like, as we are strongly considering getting one. Would love to hear how you deal with exercising your dog! Thanks.
It is constant. If we "skip" a day, they become major pains in the behind. (I only skip if I"m sick or it's pouring rain.)

Mine are mixed, only 1/2 WGSD, so take that for what it is worth, but they are high energy, rather demanding dogs. They have a TON of energy and need mental stimulation every day, too. The mental is really important in our case. The key to a calm home here is a balance of physical and mental. They also thrive on a routine, which they hold me to.

They're out in the morning to run and goof off (nothing formal) for 15 or so minutes. Back inside to calm down, then fed. Then back outside for a short time individually. (I don't want them getting too wound up just after eating.) Two days per week, they then get crated. Those days I'm home at lunch for a 15 minute or so romp session. Then I'm back at five PM for a good hour++ long frisbee/ball session. Back inside to mellow and then eat. Calm time. Then obedience training time most nights. Back outside for another session, this one shorter, maybe half an hour to 45 minutes. Back inside. Mellow time. Then bed time.

I'm tired just reading that, but that's basically our normal night. On weekends, you can add another outdoor session late at night.

Prior to having the second dog, our schedule included other things, such as the dog park and the big wide open soccer park for offleash running. Other social things a couple times per week -- the pet store or just a trip to the store in the car. City park here and there. These things have been on hold a bit since second dog came into the picture. One of the dogs, (the established dog) has gone thru three Obedience classes by one year old, so that helps him to burn off that mental steam. He'll be starting his next Obedience class in early June. I want to get the other dog into a beginning class around the same time but not sure if he's really ready.

Sorry for the long ramble, but bottom line, whether purebred or mixes such as mine, you need to be prepared for the dog to be your sole focus for awhile!!!! I think the couch-potato GSD or GSD mix is the exception. I catch myself dreaming mine were couch potatoes, but it isn't to be.

I have two other dogs, purebreds of other breeds, and love them to bits of course, but these boys have a something that just can't be matched.

I cannot use the bathroom without two white furballs parking on each end of the bathroom, nor can I do a single thing in privacy because they follow me *everywhere* I go. They just cram themselves right into your heart and life and they don't seem to be happy unless they are right there. They must always know what you are doing. I find this occasionally annoying, but mostly I find it very endearing.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelle View Post
They just cram themselves right into your heart and life and they don't seem to be happy unless they are right there. They must always know what you are doing. I find this occasionally annoying, but mostly I find it very endearing.
This explains perfectly what I feel every day for Bear...don't get me wrong...it can be SUPER annoying....but in the moments when I feel the way you perfectly verbalized it, it's amazing. GSDs are special and really do give what they get. As long as you can get used to peeing with a cute pair of "personal body guard" eyes staring at you...you're good.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PupperLove View Post
My dog loves to be active, but he is also fine in the house on days when he doesn't get a whole lot of exercise. BUT, he is one of the dogs that will run till he drops if you let him.
That's how my GSD is. Most days he runs with me in the morning at least 6 miles, sometimes 7 miles. Then he'll play at lunchtime outside for an hour (with my other dog and my husband). Then in the afternoon he might get another 3 mile run.

But on the weekends, he's fine with just following us around outside as we do stuff. Not much of a workout for him. And he's calm in the house if it's bad weather. We do make sure he gets outside every day for some kind of exercise, no matter what the weather is.
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