6month old won't calm down - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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6month old won't calm down

I posted a few weeks ago about my dog not calming down even after trying to give the pup exercise and mental stimulation. I was told that the dog was getting over-exercised because I was walking her for 30 minutes in the morning and a dog walker was coming in to walk her for 30 minutes at noon before lunch then I was taking her to the park to play fetch for almost 2 hours and getting longer because she wouldn't relax at home. How long do you all think it will take for her to "reset" so that three 30 minute walks and training will actually tire her out so that she will nap and I can have some peace and quiet to my day or evening??? Is this just a puppy stage and she won't act like this as an adult??

As it stands right now, I work during the week. I work from 8am to 5pm. She gets out of the crate at 6:30 to walk, eat and go over some basic training skills just to keep reinforcing the stuff she knows til 7:45 when it's time for me to head out. As I understand it, the dog walker comes in at noon to walk and feed her and she says that she hangs out for about an hour to an hour and a half. Then I get home at 5 and we will go for another walk. I will work on more training with her on the walk. I play some tug with her when we get home and even try to give her a new trick to learn. I realize that she is in her crate for 7 hours during the day but at the same time, even when she's not, she still doesn't calm down.

This past weekend, my husband and I had her out of her crate all day on saturday. His thought was that if we just leave her out, she will eventually just calm down and take a nap. She paced around the living room from 7am to lunch time at noon with the only times she would stop being when she had to go outside to potty and when she would take a drink of water. Yeah, she would sit down for a minute or two but would be back up and at it again. So he let it continue after lunch and a walk til about 3 pm when I finally had enough and put her in her crate.

I looked up "Capturing calm" and the trainer in the video says that to reward the dog when they calm down so that they see when they are calm, treats rain down from the sky. Problem is, she never calms down. She will pace around and around. I have also tried tethering her to me which causes her to react in two ways: 1. she will cry and cry because she can't pace and 2. she will sit and stare at me for hours but she won't actually lay down.

Another tidbit of information - This behavior is directly linked to me. I have left out of frustration (because her pacing is starting to give me anxiety) to watch a show in the bedroom or read my book and my husband says that she relaxes and chews on her bully stick and (on a few occasions) has fallen asleep on the floor while he hangs out. I know she can sense my frustration and my anxiety. I have even tried going to sleep on the couch in the living room so that she sees that I'm asleep and she can calm down but she doesn't. She is also fed with a puzzle feeder for more mental stimulation.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. She is 6months. I feel like having her out of her crate from 7am to 9pm is a long time for dog her age to be awake. I don't know many adult dogs who are awake that long, to be honest, unless they are working. This issue is wearing me down and she has turned toward destructive behaviors when put in the crate now. I've had to remove all bedding and she is now starting to chew on the plastic of the crate, itself. I'm almost tempted to request a sleep aid or some kind of calming drugs because I can't think of anything else.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 10:57 AM
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Sounds like she is having trouble with her "off switch" when you are around, maybe since you are the one that has been walking and training her she is pacing and waiting for you to work her, then you get anxious and she feeds off you energy a but and she can't get herself to calm down and just sleep, so your job is to teach her or "make" her calm down. Many high drive dogs can be like that (not all) so you have to train the behaviour and tell her when to calm down.

the "place" command might be huge for you. Place is basically were you have a bed or something (lots of people like the lifted cot type beds) that you teach her to go lay down, and she isn't allowed to love from it until you tell her she can.

Look up on youtube how to teach "place" and watch some videos on that (i like the ones from Tyler Muto and The Good Dog Training)

you can also use the crate. I know she is in all day and night so you might feel bad putting her back in, you can also get an X-pen which is a little larger and she can still move around a tad but its small enough that she is forced to lay down and shut her brain down a little,

You can put her in an ex-pen or crate and give her a frozen kong or something so help her brain switch gears a little

but ultimately in my opinion place could be good for her, it is training as well so it will have her mind focused on staying on the bed plus when she starts to clam you can calmly give her a treat and such, start to link the the clam mindset to you

Last edited by Suzy25; 04-02-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 11:06 AM
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"Another tidbit of information - This behavior is directly linked to me. I have left out of frustration (because her pacing is starting to give me anxiety) to watch a show in the bedroom or read my book and my husband says that she relaxes and chews on her bully stick and (on a few occasions) has fallen asleep on the floor while he hangs out. I know she can sense my frustration and my anxiety. I have even tried going to sleep on the couch in the living room so that she sees that I'm asleep and she can calm down but she doesn't. She is also fed with a puzzle feeder for more mental stimulation."
I think you are the one that needs to calm down. Stop watching her so intently and relax. You can pretend to sleep but dogs can see through that. Work on your relaxation by taking deep breaths when she is around and not looking at her, moving around calmly and give her an occasional pet. Playing fetch for two hours is going to affect her structure and sets her up for hyper behavior. maybe she is addicted to all that adrenaline.
Ok, if this were my dog, I would board her at a good and safe, knowledgeable kennel or at some dog-savvy person to break this cycle and insist to keep things calm with moderate activity or have your husband do everything with her. In the meantime keep training sessions short (10 minutes) but frequent, alternated with free, non-active time where you ignore her. Allow her to be a pup. The fact that she is calm around your husband is a great sign. Do you get enough exercise to calm down? Keep us posted.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
"Another tidbit of information - This behavior is directly linked to me. I have left out of frustration (because her pacing is starting to give me anxiety) to watch a show in the bedroom or read my book and my husband says that she relaxes and chews on her bully stick and (on a few occasions) has fallen asleep on the floor while he hangs out. I know she can sense my frustration and my anxiety. I have even tried going to sleep on the couch in the living room so that she sees that I'm asleep and she can calm down but she doesn't. She is also fed with a puzzle feeder for more mental stimulation."
I think you are the one that needs to calm down. Stop watching her so intently and relax. You can pretend to sleep but dogs can see through that. Work on your relaxation by taking deep breaths when she is around and not looking at her, moving around calmly and give her an occasional pet. Playing fetch for two hours is going to affect her structure and sets her up for hyper behavior. maybe she is addicted to all that adrenaline.
Ok, if this were my dog, I would board her at a good and safe, knowledgeable kennel or at some dog-savvy person to break this cycle and insist to keep things calm with moderate activity or have your husband do everything with her. In the meantime keep training sessions short (10 minutes) but frequent, alternated with free, non-active time where you ignore her. Allow her to be a pup. The fact that she is calm around your husband is a great sign. Do you get enough exercise to calm down? Keep us posted.
I do need to calm down. I completely understand the need to calm down. I appreciate you saying this because it is something I can and should work on. My husband told me to turn on a game when I am down relaxing with her because the game will keep my focus so that I am not paying attention to her at all but make it a game that is fairly simple so that if she starts getting into something, I can turn my attention on her quickly. I have stopped playing fetch with her that much because I don't want to hurt her bones and joints but I was hoping that after a solid game of fetch, she would be calm and tired enough to listen to my training. Of course, I never wanted to hurt her. I can look for kennels in the area to board her at. And with the falling asleep part, I actually was asleep because I had been up since 4am that morning and just fell asleep on the couch at 7pm without realizing that I was asleep til my husband woke me up. I will keep the training up and continue to work with her til I find a kennel to board her with like you suggested. Thank you! And I will really try to work on relaxing myself. I promise I will.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy25 View Post
Sounds like she is having trouble with her "off switch" when you are around, maybe since you are the one that has been walking and training her she is pacing and waiting for you to work her, then you get anxious and she feeds off you energy a but and she can't get herself to calm down and just sleep, so your job is to teach her or "make" her calm down. Many high drive dogs can be like that (not all) so you have to train the behaviour and tell her when to calm down.

the "place" command might be huge for you. Place is basically were you have a bed or something (lots of people like the lifted cot type beds) that you teach her to go lay down, and she isn't allowed to love from it until you tell her she can.

Look up on youtube how to teach "place" and watch some videos on that (i like the ones from Tyler Muto and The Good Dog Training)

you can also use the crate. I know she is in all day and night so you might feel bad putting her back in, you can also get an X-pen which is a little larger and she can still move around a tad but its small enough that she is forced to lay down and shut her brain down a little,

You can put her in an ex-pen or crate and give her a frozen kong or something so help her brain switch gears a little

but ultimately in my opinion place could be good for her, it is training as well so it will have her mind focused on staying on the bed plus when she starts to clam you can calmly give her a treat and such, start to link the the clam mindset to you
I am now working on the place command for this type of behavior. She knows place but usually is only expected to do it when we are eating dinner and when someone rings the doorbell. The doorbell is really difficult because she only goes to "Place" about 20% of the time. But I will definitely work on this with her that when she isn't calming down, I will put her in place til she does. Thank you so much for that.
I was thinking about using the crate but I didn't want it to be seen as a punishment. Of course, every time I put her in the crate, it's always a very happy experience with treats. But I will also look into doing that a little bit more and maybe she will relax in her crate then I will open the door to see if she will relax outside of her crate or just buy an xpen for this.
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