I think my Carli is ADHD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Tim
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 10:25 AM
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Give yourself a break, this hot summer has been hard on us all. As far as the backyard goes, nothing you have beats hunting feral cats. Perhaps for awhile you just need to use the back yard for on leash practice. Keep the time short and have super yummy treats. After a few weeks of this Carli may come to realize that backyard time is time with you..not the feral cats. Mostly because you won't let her go fence hunting anyhow, she might as well pay attention to what y'all are doing together.

I've been lucky that my dogs LOVE playing with water. A few minutes of playing with a hose (I use a white water supply hose and cut off the metal end in case they grab it) and they are good to relax for an hour. It has been way too hot and muggy for long walks in Maryland. Also, I'm trying a new game with them...teaching them to mimic me. My three year old is starting to understand. She-pup not so much yet.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
Give yourself a break, this hot summer has been hard on us all. As far as the backyard goes, nothing you have beats hunting feral cats. Perhaps for awhile you just need to use the back yard for on leash practice. Keep the time short and have super yummy treats. After a few weeks of this Carli may come to realize that backyard time is time with you..not the feral cats. Mostly because you won't let her go fence hunting anyhow, she might as well pay attention to what y'all are doing together.

I've been lucky that my dogs LOVE playing with water. A few minutes of playing with a hose (I use a white water supply hose and cut off the metal end in case they grab it) and they are good to relax for an hour. It has been way too hot and muggy for long walks in Maryland. Also, I'm trying a new game with them...teaching them to mimic me. My three year old is starting to understand. She-pup not so much yet.
Thanks for your thoughts - I really appreciate it. I think I'll try the water hose this weekend, and I'll start doing more leash work in the backyard, rather than trying to play or just trying to relax on the deck. I guess it was a lot easier to keep her attention during the winter (I'm still going through my first year with her, so we haven't been through all the seasons yet) since there weren't as many distractions around.

How are you teaching them to mimic you? That sounds fun!!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 12:50 PM
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Question: is there a risk the playing with a water hose, that squirts water, can lead to OCD? Deja is too keen on it for her own good so I keep that session very short and only on my terms. She can only play when I take the nozzle off so the water runs slower without a sound.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 12:59 PM
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all play -- all day --
you try everything in your might to facilitate playing
zoomies in the house -- torn sheets --

hunting cats to the point of shutting you out ? e-collar -- so much as look at a cat and zap -- a little bit of
aversion for the dog's own good --

obedience classes
rules of conduct in YOUR house , consistent and all family members on board --

play is for outdoors - and I would have play AFTER a successful training session -
play session short and sweet , YOU decide when to cut it off and that point is when the dog is at the
crest of loving it -- then the next time you will get behaviour you want because the dog wants the reward
of play - looking forward to training.

can't walk that far and that much in the heat -- I get it -- too hot to pass gas outside so dog comes in to the temp controlled nice house and zooms -- -- get a TREADMILL , maybe in the cool basement .


if dog needs to expend energy in the house then that is where she goes - you lead in to the trot just like warming up for a run , and then towards the end you slow the trot down and let her taper into a walk for a while

get a crate --- make a kennel for her to chill out in the yard

you might think about letting a dog run free in a designated nature preserve
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 01:02 PM
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that! I will definitely try that this weekend! I wonder if it will work for "cut the grass" or "sweep the floors." Lol. (Not really but if it would...)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttodd27 View Post
Thanks for that! I will definitely try that this weekend! I wonder if it will work for "cut the grass" or "sweep the floors." Lol. (Not really but if it would...)
I have my dogs pick up and take laundry to the wash room. I also have them carry buckets to the hose when they help me water the garden. Cut the grass, they would drive right over my shrubs. And sweep the floor??? I think my boy would rather chew up the vacuum.
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