What To Do - My Senior Need A Job!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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What To Do - My Senior Needs A Job!!

So, I've got a 10 year old GSD, who's a mix of German and American show lines (Star of Hope vom Bayou Land ) and she is driving me NUTS!!

Here's the sight that greeted me when I arrived home today: This is a first - normally, she gets into the garbage under the kitchen sink, and not even childproof latches stop her! She and my younger GSD regularly hike at the local military base, doing 4 to 6 km. at a time. I let her run off leash, and she takes off like a rocket, giving happy barks for the first few minutes. At the end of the walk, she is still running ahead, while my younger dog has fallen back to walk beside me. If I stop to rest for too long, she circles behind me and barks at me to get me moving!

She has her BH, and I thought of maybe doing more schutzhund with her, but the trainer at the club is afraid she will hurt herself. I am training my younger dog towards her BH, so it would make sense to do SOMETHING with her at the club. There's only so many hours in the week, you know?

ARrgh! Suggestions, anyone? Oh, and puhleez don't tell me that showlines are supposed to be 'lower energy'! This one is being a PITA!!
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Last edited by Sunsilver; 05-01-2017 at 07:46 PM. Reason: typo in title
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:44 PM
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It may be more of a hobby than you are looking for but I took up rally with mine. I think she was about 9 and a half when I started teaching it to her. That's about when her health caused her to start retiring as a service dog and she was not happy with retiring.

We are about to go back to an annual trial which was our very first ever last year, so we have been at it almost 1 year. She is about 10 1/2 now. WCRL rally has a Veterans class which has level 1, 2, and 3 exercises but no jumps and not tons of repetitive sits or things that might be hard for old dogs, but lots of fun, different, and challenging exercises. My girl has her Level 1 title and working on a Level 1 championship, (10 Qs in 1b), but not doing 2 and 3 with her because it's too athletic for her now.

I'm also teaching her nosework, planning to do some nosework trials once we've tapped out Rally
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:50 PM
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How about "Nose Work"?

Once you learn the basics, you can play with her at home!

What is K9 Nose Work? | K9nosework

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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The president of the club I belong to also teaches nosework classes. I was planning to do that with my younger dog, but maybe the old girl is the one who needs the activity more than she does. I just don't want to have to go to two different training venues, unless I can find a class really close to home.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 07:13 AM
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Just a suggestion, but some of this stuff can be done around home if you choose. I hide stuff around the house all the time for Newlie and tell him to "Find it" and I think he is pretty good at it, although what do I know?, lol. Sometimes, it's treats, sometimes it's a ball, recently on Easter, I hid his Frosty Paws ice-cream. I took it out of the freezer, left the lid on it, and then put it in a drawer and and closed it and he found it, I would say, in under 5 minutes. Earlier, I had gotten into the habit of hiding things in one room, intending at some point to add on another room, but I accidentally found out that if I just kept saying "Find the cookie," he would go from room to room by himself. Also, I found that I could add multiple things to search for, like hiding one or two pieces of kibble all over the house, and as long as I kept saying "Find more cookies," he would keep looking. Of course, you can do this in the yard or on hikes, too.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Newlie! I most likely will give this a try with her. I hope she doesn't use the training to get into even MORE mischief around the house!

I know it's her opening the cupboards, because it most often happens at night, when my younger dog is crated, because she thinks it's fun to play with the cat at 3 a.m.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 11:04 AM
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To me it looks like she was about to prepare you a nice casserole and got sidetracked! I would say thats a pretty good trick. haha
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, right! Complete with dog hair, and mud she's tracked in from the yucky rainy weather we've been having...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 08:51 PM
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Another idea! Train your dog to pick up toys around the house and put them away. Newlie knows how to do this, but I rarely play this game with him since it's exhausting. I have to hoot and holler and act like a rabbit on cocaine to get him to pick up each toy, take it to his toy box and drop it in, then watch like a hawk to make sure he doesn't immediately take it back out again. By the time he's finished, I am laying on the floor having a stroke, but maybe you will have better luck.

Also, what about training her to bring in the newspaper?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Toys? WHAT toys?

Oh, you mean THESE ones!

Toys don't last long around this house, and for that reason, I don't have very many of them. And she doesn't get to play with them unsupervised. Mind you, she's proven to me over the years that she does have a cast-iron gut. When I catch her tearing a piece off one of her toys, of course, I go over to take it away. If the piece is already in her mouth, she'll wait until I'm a foot or so away, then swallow it. Seriously, it's happened too often for it to be a coincidence! Then, of course, I find it in her poop a day or so later...
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Last edited by Sunsilver; 05-02-2017 at 10:09 PM.
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