I think my Carli is ADHD
Hey y'all. Been a while. I'm coming up on my giant girl's two year birthday one month from tomorrow and she's lost interest in playing. Well, let me rephrase that - she's lost interest in playing in my backyard. I have a rather large fenced in backyard and I'm distraught because she won't play in the backyard anymore. We go out back and and loses interest sooooo quickly in any type of playing, training, or anything other than running to the fence to scan the open common area behind our fence for the stray friggin cats that roam all over our neighborhood. (Don't even get me started on that.) when we go to the nature preserve on the weekends, I let her off leash and she goes nuts running around, chasing sticks I throw, and just generally having a good time. On weeknights though, I don't have time to do all that so I try to play with her in the backyard, but she has not interest. We can come inside the house and it's zoomies all day because there are no distractions inside. But outside, the slightest noise grabs her attention and playtime is done. It's extremely frustrating - not to mention the torn sheets from jumping on the bed while running full speed when she inevitably goes nuts inside - because I feel like I've regressed greatly in keeping her attention and keeping her active. I try so hard to get her to play, but she has no interest. It just seems like the slightest noise or smell when outside grabs all of her attention and there is little I can do to get it back. I get that GSDs are guard dogs and I'm proud of her for taking that step from the timid, shy rescue she was when I got her last October, but it really is getting old very quick (she's been like this for a couple months now.) I'm guessing the stray/feral cats get in my yard at night because she will have her nose to the ground and will roll around in whatever she smells, which would be fine if that helped burn off some energy. But it doesn't. And then we come inside and she's balls to the wall hyper again. We walk a mile before work and 2-3 miles after work (before she eats dinner), but it's like she is ADHD when we try to play outside. I have a gazillion toys, a jump I built for her (that she really liked last winter but has lost interest in since), and I do my best to be super enthusiastic outside playing with her but she just does not care. Short of finding an open field to walk her to so she can play, I'm just not sure what to do to remedy this situation. I was in Atlanta for 4th of July and walked with some friends to Oakland Cemetary where there is an open field for dogs, and she loved it - she ran a million miles an hour for 20-30 minutes straight without even having anyone play with her. But again, when I try to play with her in the backyard, it's often like I'm not even there. But as soon as we come inside - woohoo let's play!
I hope this post makes sense. I'm exhausted after the work day kicked my ass, a 3 mile walk in this SC heat, and 3+ hours of her being needy (for lack of a better term) has me waving the white flag for help. I'm probably not communicating well at this point in the night, but I would appreciate any thoughts on how I can get my baby girl (who I love more than anything in this world) to just have fun being a dog again, rather than always being on the lookout for what might be "coming to get us." She clearly has tons of energy to burn, but short of getting a doggie treadmill, I'm not sure what I can do to help her burn that energy off. The attached pic is an example of how much fun she has in the woods. At home in the backyard, she won't run for much of anything other than to bark at a cat or someone walking by.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.