Endless energy?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Endless energy??

Hi everyone,

My very well behaved neutered male, 2 year old GSD seems to have endless energy. From the moment he wakes up in the morning he always wants to go for walks, hiking, play in the yard, and when he is inside the house he's always dropping a ball by our feet to play with him. This goes on from morning until 9, 10 pm at night when we have to tell him to go and lay down. My husband works from home, so our GSD is being taking out throughout the day too.

Once a week we take him to a home-based doggie daycare where he plays with 2-3 other dogs from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. You would think he would be tired, as he apparently plays ALL DAY, yet the first thing he does when he comes home is drop the ball by our feet to play, and does this throughout the evening.

Oftentimes when we tell him to lay down, he still has his eyes open, or his head propped up, looking for action.

We play with him a lot, and take him out repeatedly throughout the day, because we want to expel his energy and feel like he's bored. But we're also concerned that maybe us constantly playing with him and taking him out is contributing to his high energy level.

What do you think?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GSDSammie View Post
What do you think?
I think you just described a normal young German Shepherd.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:22 PM
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You've also described my six-year-old, intact GSD.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:26 PM
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In a puppy, they need to be told when to rest. But an adult like yours should know when he needs to rest.

You can try rewarding him when he chooses to lay down, and NOT rewarding him for bugging you to play by going along with it.

You must have a very high energy pup! That sounds really challenging. Have you tried any of the puzzle toys that are available? Sometimes working the brain is as tiring to the dog as working the body.

When my dogs were younger and my husband would go out of town, I felt like I had to be the entertainment for them, so I would get up and take them out to play or hike every time they got fidgety. So after 48 hours of go-go-go, I got tired of playing the dog's servant and stopped being at their beck and call. To my surprise, once I stopped responding to them that way, they settled in and napped when I wouldn't take them out. I do think you are right, always giving him what he is demanding is contributing to his restlessness.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:38 PM
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We go hiking alot, morning & evening walks, play tug & fetch. And all of that makes him tired BUT what really knocks him out is when he has to use his noggin in our training classes or even short training sessions at home
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GSDSammie View Post
We play with him a lot, and take him out repeatedly throughout the day, because we want to expel his energy and feel like he's bored. But we're also concerned that maybe us constantly playing with him and taking him out is contributing to his high energy level.
You know, everyone says "exercise exercise exercise" the high-energy dog, but I think there's such a thing as TOO much exercise and activity. It can work like an addiction... the more they exercise, the more exercise they need, until the dog is so wound up he doesn't even know how to be calm and relaxed while awake.

I honestly think that calmness is a behavior that needs to be practiced. If the dog is a house dog, a companion to be enjoyed while in the house, I think the dog needs to learn how to be calm when there's nothing going on. Crate time throughout the day is good for this. Learning to settle.

I have a 14 month old pup that is all go-go-go. She was a bit of a "sleeper" pup, appearing fairly moderate in energy and drive when little. But as she matures, she's growing into her drive, and now goes a hundred miles an hour! It's crazy-making at times! But we practice crate time during the day while I'm working. If she were to run wild all day, she'd be WILD all the time. I boarded her for two nights at a doggie-daycare place where they let the dogs socialize and play... when she came back from there, she was absolutely INSANE. Just boiling over with frenetic energy. You'd think after playing with other dogs and people for three days, she'd be worn out? Nope. It only amped her up.

I'd love to hear some other suggestions for calming work, if anyone has some!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:47 PM
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Haha. I thought you were talking about my Jerry Lee for a minute.

Belinda
Rusti EAC, TN-N, TG-O, WV-N, NCC, NJC, CGC, GSD Diva
Jerry Lee AXP, MJP, OAC, TN-N, WV-N, NCC, NJC, SPJ, UAG1
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 02:33 PM
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I've seen a lot of people have really good results with Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. I first heard about it in relation to anxious dogs, but it seems to be helpful with high drive dogs as well.

My Dog: Krissie ~ Beagle Mix Extraordinaire 09/09
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 03:31 PM
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Nothing wears out a dog more than swimming. Lenny is 10 and more chill but when she was younger I took her to the lake/pool as much as I could.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 03:53 PM
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Smiling inside because my Titan has brought me to tears with his endless energy.. literally cried like a little girl once when I didn't know what else to do for him after HOURS of fetch, running, hiking, you name it. He was EXACTLY like you described.. I mean to the T. He had no stop button what so ever. SO I will explain how I handled it and how miraculously it worked for him. Not that this is the only solution but it's just my experience when I was going through the same issue..

I regulated play time. Sounds simple and silly but I did and still do. All his toys go in a box out of his reach and when I want to play.. we play.. otherwise he gets a chew like marrow bone, raw hide, or antler. He no longer gets 100% access to his toys. Not even one. None outside, ever. I bring them out when it's play time. I LOVE his energy and it's so great to have when we are working SAR because he can go on FOREVER. But after I get home from work and he's out for a walk and we play.. I just want company, I want a calm dog inside the house that will sit down, chew on his bone and watch TV with me or sit by my feet while I do homework or a report from work.. too much to ask for?? maybe.. but that's what he does now. He is exactly the dog that I want him to be. He's obedient and he still plays all the time but only when I tell him we can. Because remember those are your toys that you are letting him play with. Not the other way around. By him bringing toys to you he is dictating when playtime is and saying he is incharge at that moment.. "I don't care what you are doing, I want to play." Is essentially what he is saying.

I will admit.. I felt TERRIBLE taking away his toys.. but I learned that it was for his own good and that I wasn't depriving him of playing.. just making it a more controled environment, which is exactly what a dog needs. But now my house hold is so much more peaceful (as peasceful as it can be with a GSD and Boerboel... lol) but there's no more dropping balls, stuffed, toys, frisbees, etc into my lap when I am doing something. There's no more whining to play with all the toys that are lying around the room.. he just knows.. He will play when mom says he can.. and he will play HARD because mom says he can

I know the feeling and I really hope that helps..

v/r,

Whitney
and
Commander Charly Titan (GSD)-15 Jan 2010

Last edited by wyoung2153; 02-15-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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