Am I good enough for my GSD? Daily schedule... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Am I good enough for my GSD? Daily schedule...

Hi all. I adopted a 3-year-old GSD (or mix...not quite sure, see pic!) about a month ago. It was kinda hard at first, but I think we're getting into a routine. She went into heat 5 days after I got her which complicated things, but I've had her wearing a diaper in the house while I'm home, not leaving her outside unsupervised, and crating her (sans diaper) when I go away. Her heat is winding down now so I'm thinking I can lose the diaper.

Anyway...I have a rather busy full-time job (I'm a wildlife biologist) with a sometimes unpredictable schedule, and I'm single with no other dogs, so I kinda worry that my life is not going to be stimulating enough for her. Plus I'm trying to do all the right things with feeding schedules to reduce the odds of bloat. So what do you think about the schedule below?

6:20: Wake up.

6:25: Feed breakfast to pup.

7:25ish: Go for a relaxed walk to pee and poop, generally only 15-20 minutes and low intensity. She likes to sniff a lot and I let her because I just want her to pee and poop (she refuses to do it in the yard).

7:45: Back home, she goes in the crate and I go to work.

12-2ish: I come back home to let her out (she usually doesn't have to pee--she has mondo bladder) and play with her for a bit. I'd really like to be able to just leave her until 4 when I get home from work, but I've been nervous about doing that. So far she seems fine when I come home, like she's just been sleeping in there all day. Ideally I'd like to just let her roam in the house or, even better, outside (I feel like she'd be less bored in the yard) while I'm gone, but because of the heat and my not quite trusting her to be alone yet, she's in the crate. Luckily she loves her crate, it seems.

~4:00: We go for a longer walk or a run, about an hour. There's a park where I can let her off leash and she trots around and we work on recall (she is REALLY good on recall, and I usually let her run ahead, then run backward and she turns and sprints back to me). When I'm sure the heat is over, and after she's spayed, I'll take her to the dog park some days.

~5:00: Hang around the house, I watch the news and let her decompress after exercise. She's generally pretty annoying because she wants her dinner, so she follows me everywhere and kinda paces and whines.

6-630ish: Feed her dinner.

6:30-rest of evening: Hang around, maybe do some training for 15-20 minutes, cuddles. I'll take her out for one last bathroom break around 9pm which she may or may not pee (like I said, mondo bladder). I'm trying to train her to pee on command but it happens so infrequently it's taking some time.

Bedtime: Back in crate.

Sometimes I'll go out for a couple of hours in the evening and she goes back in the crate. Sometimes I get to do field work during the day, like hiking/driving around, and she'll come with me and get some really good exercise/stimulation. She's pretty annoying in the car/truck (whines incessantly) so that's making me hesitant to take her places that aren't close.

She generally is pretty calm and will just lie on her bed and sigh and seem kinda bored. She hasn't shown any destructive tendencies, although one time I took a shower before I fed her, and came out to find she'd pulled her treat bag off the table and torn it apart and eaten everything in there (luckily there wasn't much left). She's really not into toys and she powers through chewy treats. I've taken to putting some stuff in a Kong and leaving it with her in the morning when I crate her, and she likes that.

Sorry, TLDR, but...I just worry that I'm not giving her enough exercise/stimulation. She gets at least 1.5 hours of exercise every day, and more when I can. She's not hugely into playing; I wish I could just throw the ball around for her, but she's not really into it. She's HIGHLY food motivated and pretty smart, so I'm hoping to teach her some new tricks. I really wish we could do something really cool like tracking or agility but I live in a small town and there's not a whole lot of opportunities. Maybe I can build some agility stuff in the yard...

ANyway, still TLDR! Sorry. But I'd love to hear your thoughts. and I know there have been lots of posts about daily schedules and I read them ALL! But it seems like every case is different so....let me know what you think.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 08:06 PM
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What a pretty girl! Sounds like you are both doing fine. She needs time to just be a dog, too.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 08:24 PM
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Wildlife biologist ? Sounds like an outside job ? Can you bring her with you ?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 08:28 PM
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I think you are overthinking this. Give her the time you can during the day. Take her for hikes or other activities when you can on the weekends. Not a fan of dog parks. Our dogs don't need to play with dogs outside their pack. YOU are her pack now. I'm willing to bet she'll get more pleasure playing with you than with strange dogs.

Dogs really are simple life pleasures kind of creatures Just enjoy her.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I can take her with me some days, yes. She's pretty good on trails (I live in Montana so there are LOTS of hiking opportunities), though she's timid and scared of strangers so when we encounter someone on the trail it can be a little tense.

But a lot of my job involves me flying in planes (can't take her), going to meetings (can't take her, or she waits in the vehicle), or doing office work. My office does allow me to bring my dog sometimes but she gets REALLY anxious there because of all the strangers. I might bring the spare crate there so I can bring her and she can feel safe in there. Plus she's just really distracting and I don't get as much work done.

Thanks for the replies; I sure hope I'm giving her a good life, but yeah, being single and having a 40+ hour/week job and then being pretty mentally and physically drained on my time off, I just worry she's going to get too bored and/or not have a great quality of life.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 10:42 PM
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The amount of activity should be geared toward what your dog needs. If she’s not tearing things up, whining and seems to be tired at night, she’s getting enough exercise.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 11:16 PM
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I like everything I read except for the dog park.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai555 View Post
though she's timid and scared of strangers so when we encounter someone on the trail it can be a little tense.
so help her. If she'll take treats from them, ask them to help you. I've only had one person tell me no. When strangers pass by, stop and let her sit if you can get off the trail, or on the side of it. Let her just watch them go by and reward her for just watching.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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I am. We're doing quite a bit of training to try to help her be more confident. She's generally OK with people once I "introduce" them to her, and she may never rush up to strangers wagging her tail, it'll just have to be something we manage. I carry treats on our walks, am planning on having them available for house guests so they can feed her, I just haven't had a lot of house guests since I got her.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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What's wrong with dog parks?

For the record I live in a small town, and our dog park is generally pretty lightly trafficked. I've taken her there only once so far (before she went into heat), and she loooooved playing with the two other dogs that were there. She really likes playing with other dogs so I feel bad depriving her of doggy friends. But I am hoping I can take her to friends' now and then, dogs I know she'll get along with and they can wear each other out.

That one time we went to the dog park, she was really having fun playing fetch with the other dogs. She won't play fetch with me (doesn't show much interest in balls at all), but it was almost like she was learning how to do it by watching them. She was chasing the ball right along with them, just didn't know what to do with it.

**edit** I should also point out that this dog park is technically the only place in town we're allowed to let dogs off leash. There are three other river parks but they have leash rules. I break these rules frequently because my pup has good recall, I want her to be able to run around, she always stays pretty close, and I watch for other people/dogs like a hawk so I can leash her back up before we get to them. I have taken her to the dog park a couple of times early in the morning when there were no other dogs, so she could run around off-leash.

Last edited by banzai555; 09-22-2019 at 01:02 AM.
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