Where should I start?
We accepted a trial with a 3 y/o
The primary reason the current owners have to give him up is because they have had a change in family situation and the new home is too small and the dog was starting to get problematic due to lack of exercise and room to move.
We have lots of land and space but absolutely NO experience with dogs. Our farm has lots for the dog to do but where to start.
SO here is the coles notes on what I've seen so far.
The dog had been cramped condition for over a year.. likely close to a year and a half. I suspect much of his time has been spent in his crate when not being walked as the owner spent a lot of time working.
Temperament is great so far he is playful and friendly, always wants to play.
Here is the tough parts. (for me).
We decided to try and keep him close to his usual schedule until the anxiety of the change subsides. I am having a hard time evaluating what is bad habits and anxiety from the change.
So he has been sleeping at nights in his crate. He came with a crate, a toy and a leash.
He also spent the day in his crate when people not home.
He is absolutely calm and fine in his crate.. relaxed and not anxious at all.
If I get him out to come and spend time with the family, he runs around like its play time.. he won't settle down and will barely focus enough to sit or lay down. Even then it is only momentary and he is back to tearing around. He jumps up on the furniture.. usually paws up on it, grabs things like shoes or digs into things he shouldn't. Face up on the counters occasionally paws up on counters.
So figuring there was some transition required I have tried to consistently police him on these things by moving him away, telling him no, etc. Eventually he wears me down and I have had to put him back in his crate. The house is not dog proofed but my family has dogs and I've never had to move things before so I'm going to try and get him to mind the things he can't / shouldn't have.
He doesn't stay persay, but when not frenzied in excitement he will sit and lay... I think I can work on the stay thing.. and I'm thinking that is my first mission. not sure how to go about it yet.. google is my friend here.
Ok so outside when walking, he is ok, he has a pinch colar but he doesn't pull much, he likes to walk ahead and I suspect that is because in the city the sidewalks he likely always walked ahead. I would like to work with him to walk at my side ultimately slack free. But lots of room to improve here.. that isn't so much a concern atm.
Now it will be a bit complicated because I have a "walk" and then a "run" so a run is going to be less structured as it is in the trails where he is on a lunge lead. He gets about 15 feet of lead to run sniff play jump etc. I'd like eventually to get him to recall. He responds to a tug on the leash but has rarely responded to my call of his name followed by a 'come' command. so work there.
My question is what should I focus on and when.. should I give him a few more days.. I feel that putting him in the crate when I've reached my patience limit might be a bad thing.
I will admit that I was unprepared for this challenge and did not expect the house behaviour to be so off. I suspect that maybe he didn't get hang around time for a long time so every time he leaves his crate he thinks its play time because he has this chew toy always.. but this could be a security blanket too.. I don't know.
He is great with kids so far, and they said he has been socialized with other animals, but I can't say how much. I would like to train him to herd sheep / cattle in the spring (although it likely won't really be necessary as they are grazed managed).. wink he won't know that.
they had him on a 3 cups of dry food once a day (is that normal) I've always known my family to feed theirs twice a day. He didn't eat the whole bowl last night, so once he walked away I picked it up. (thoughts on that)
I see he has intelligence, he is alert, but having no experience with GSD, what to you all think.