When is a German Shepherd physically/mentally mature? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 10:50 PM
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My GSD just turned 2, and still acts like a human toddler. Most dogs I've had, have matured around 3 years old both physically and mentally. 2 feels like an awkward teenager stage.

Jax - 2 year old WGWL GSD, 125lbs
Leeroy - 3 year old Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix, 120lbs


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you again!

It looks like I might have to start crate training him. Do you guys have any resources you'd recommend I start looking into? We used to live in a small apartment and I felt horribly guilty leaving him in a tiny balcony with toys and food and water. He looked so sad every time I drove by the balcony and looked up to check on him. Now that we're in a house with a backyard, I let him run around so he doesn't get depressed. Even so, I felt so ad leaving him at home by himself (but mama has to work to buy you food and toys and take you to places). Maybe I'm overthinking this. But I don't know how to keep him entertained for 9 hours in a small space, not to mention bathroom breaks, hence I've been so hesitant about crate training. Maybe I'll look for some indoor fence to keep him in a certain area. (Currently, all bedroom doors are closed, so he only has the dining area, kitchen, and empty living room to roam around.)

Trust me, I did not just pick him out of all the breeds and just now started complaining because he's too much work. My husband has grown up with many dogs, and he was working part-time and going to school part-time, so we decided that we could get a German Shepherd. I did hear from an experienced GSD owner that they go through their "teenage" phase around 8 to 18 months, when they get extremely stubborn and do things that drive you crazy. Unfortunately, that's also the time frame that my husband has to leave, which we did not know about until a month after we brought our puppy home. I'm really trying to hang on and train him a little each day and wait until his human papa comes home.

Thank you again for your help!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:45 AM
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Do you have a utility /mudroom the dog can be confined in until(it will happen) he is better at staying lose in the house? All my dogs were allowed to roam after one year but not my new puppy (who is now one) will not be allowed lose anytime soon by himself in the house. Pup goes into his extra large crate when I leave or he will go out into the kennel, weather permitting. Also since I do live on a large track of land, I was told by both my fire and police departments, who know the farms around here to keep the pet's crate covered and right next to the door in case of fire , they WILL NOT GO INTO A BURNING HOUSE risking their lives looking for a scared pet-(yep strait from their mouths) but they will pull the whole crate out or at least open the crate's door to let pup out of the house since it is right next to the door, under the window with the reflective pet here sticker.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:34 AM
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Bigger crate:



We use something like this for Jack when we had/have to contain him. He can stand up all the way, turn around, and it'll fit his dog bed.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:21 AM
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If he's tearing up things, for his own safety, I would crate him. My female is 18 months and she is still crated whereas my shiba was allowed to roam free in the house at 8 months with no issues. He got into my medication at 5 months (my husband would take him out of the crate when I left for work) - let me tell you, that is no fun. Every dog is different. Yeah, you can feel bad, but honestly, how much different is it from being stuck in the house? Mine just sleep all day anyways. They can't go potty if you don't leave the back door open(unless you have a doggy door).

For those sad puppy dog eyes, get him a frozen stuffed Kong or something similar to keep him occupied as you step out the door. By the time he's finished he'll notice you're gone and just settle down for the day.

I like dogfaeries's set up, but mine would go over that gate in a heartbeat. It might work for OP, though.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 12:52 PM
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Leerburg.com is a wealth of free info. My Dutch Shepherd wasn't allowed loose in the house until she was over 4. Gunny,my 20 month old GSD has run of my art room. But he does get into things if I have not done enough mental and physical work with him. Mental exercise is as important if not more important for working breeds. Start them young and they actually "learn to learn".

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:16 PM
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When is a German Shepherd physically/mentally mature?

I think you’re doing a great job and your dog is lucky to have you!

Have you asked your trainer this question?

You’re doing a great job of exercising your dog, getting him the stimulation and socialization he needs, and working on his training.

Give yourself a big pat on the back!

I would suggest you banish the word “rehome” from your vocabulary. You two need each other. You’re committed to each other and you’re going to come out all right together.

I do second the suggestion for a crate. It’s not hard on dogs to be crated. It gives security and comfort. Nine hours is a long time though. Any chance for a dog-lover friend to come by halfway through the day and take the pup for a short poop and pee walk?

Other than that, I suggest just hanging in there. He will become a great dog and you two will be totally bonded for life.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:59 AM
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Most larger dogs I have had matured at around 4. My Whippets around 2 - 2.5 years.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by atvu722 View Post
Thank you again!

It looks like I might have to start crate training him. Do you guys have any resources you'd recommend I start looking into? We used to live in a small apartment and I felt horribly guilty leaving him in a tiny balcony with toys and food and water. He looked so sad every time I drove by the balcony and looked up to check on him. Now that we're in a house with a backyard, I let him run around so he doesn't get depressed. Even so, I felt so ad leaving him at home by himself (but mama has to work to buy you food and toys and take you to places). Maybe I'm overthinking this. But I don't know how to keep him entertained for 9 hours in a small space, not to mention bathroom breaks, hence I've been so hesitant about crate training. Maybe I'll look for some indoor fence to keep him in a certain area. (Currently, all bedroom doors are closed, so he only has the dining area, kitchen, and empty living room to roam around.)

Trust me, I did not just pick him out of all the breeds and just now started complaining because he's too much work. My husband has grown up with many dogs, and he was working part-time and going to school part-time, so we decided that we could get a German Shepherd. I did hear from an experienced GSD owner that they go through their "teenage" phase around 8 to 18 months, when they get extremely stubborn and do things that drive you crazy. Unfortunately, that's also the time frame that my husband has to leave, which we did not know about until a month after we brought our puppy home. I'm really trying to hang on and train him a little each day and wait until his human papa comes home.

Thank you again for your help!
Hang in there. It will get better. From what I've read, I think you're already doing all the right things...wearing him out before you leave, the trainer, etc.

Your dog seems to fall into the category of "do not let it roam free when you're not around." I do agree with everyone...CRATE. It can't be helped. Some dogs are well behaved from pretty much the beginning like my first GSD. I could leave him to roam freely with a whole cooked chicken sitting on the kitchen counter top and come home hours later and that chicken would still be there untouched. (It's actually happened many times.) Some dogs cannot be trusted alone like my current one. This pup would've eaten the chicken AND the tray the chicken was sitting on. So the best thing to do for your sanity is to keep it out of trouble by putting him in a crate. The crate's not as bad as you think it is. Just think of it this way. 1)You're protecting your home from the destruction caused by him. You could be saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars on repairing or replacing things. 2) what if he eats something that gets lodged in the back of his throat and no one is there to take him to the vet? Or he gets into something that is poisonous to him? In the crate, he doesn't have access to those dangers. And 3), not to mention, he won't bark as much and annoy the neighbors if he's in the crate and away from the windows.

Do you live close enough to home that you can come home during your lunch break and take your dog out? Or is there someone you trust (who can handle a powerful breed like a GSD) that can come to your home and take your dog out for a quick bathroom break in the middle of your 9 hours away? That could help ease your mind of the 9 hours in a crate. If you don't have anyone like a good friend or family member, you could use Rover.com or any other site to find a dog walker. Maybe better to spend the money on a dog walker instead of doggie daycare. Anyway, keep us informed.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:42 AM
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Hang in there. It will get better. From what I've read, I think you're already doing all the right things...wearing him out before you leave, the trainer, etc.

Your dog seems to fall into the category of "do not let it roam free when you're not around." I do agree with everyone...CRATE. It can't be helped. Some dogs are well behaved from pretty much the beginning like my first GSD. I could leave him to roam freely with a whole cooked chicken sitting on the kitchen counter top and come home hours later and that chicken would still be there untouched. (It's actually happened many times.) Some dogs cannot be trusted alone like my current one. This pup would've eaten the chicken AND the tray the chicken was sitting on. So the best thing to do for your sanity is to keep it out of trouble by putting him in a crate. The crate's not as bad as you think it is. Just think of it this way. 1)You're protecting your home from the destruction caused by him. You could be saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars on repairing or replacing things. 2) what if he eats something that gets lodged in the back of his throat and no one is there to take him to the vet? Or he gets into something that is poisonous to him? In the crate, he doesn't have access to those dangers. And 3), not to mention, he won't bark as much and annoy the neighbors if he's in the crate and away from the windows.

Do you live close enough to home that you can come home during your lunch break and take your dog out? Or is there someone you trust (who can handle a powerful breed like a GSD) that can come to your home and take your dog out for a quick bathroom break in the middle of your 9 hours away? That could help ease your mind of the 9 hours in a crate. If you don't have anyone like a good friend or family member, you could use Rover.com or any other site to find a dog walker. Maybe better to spend the money on a dog walker instead of doggie daycare. Anyway, keep us informed.
I like to tell people Shadow makes poor decisions. At over 8 years old she is crated when alone. I have caught her walking the ledge on the pass through between the kitchen and living room, climbing from my bed to the bookcase under the window, climbing UP the 8 foot bookcase in the office to inspect the shiny reflection on the ceiling, using the table to access the glass doors on the built in that were reflecting sun, sticking her head in a heat vent that she for some reason pulled the cover off of, climbing from bed to dresser to fight with the dog in the mirror and best of all …...using the chair to get to the counter to get to the bakers rack to get on the fridge! I guess because she saw me putting stuff in the cupboard up there and was curious? I know how she did it because she knocked stuff over on the way. I was outside for less then 3 minutes.

Have you ever walked into your kitchen to find your German Shepherd up on the fridge? It is a bit scary.

She is not bad or destructive, just curious and agile.
Some dogs just need crates.
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