Tiring that brain out: Mental stim! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Well, today Grimm and I couldn't run off lead in the woods and fields, because the forest service was working on removing some trees. So.....

We went on walks, and Grimm had to really work to stay in heel. Praise, corrections, even a rare cookie or two helped.

Then I had Grimm carry my leather glove across the long parking lot in front of the apartmenthouse-- and back, while maintaining heel position the whole way, carrying the glove calmly. TONS of soothing praise.

Then Grimm had to carry my house-keys up the steps to the landing, sit, give focus-- wait for "Out!" to give me the keys.

We did some object identification/retrieval games in the livingroom, with some lil bit of obedience woven in... plus we addad an element of focuswork too.

I had to actually WAKE GRIMM UP because I needed to go on my next walk LOL! He is sleeping again by my side as I type this.
Mental stim stuff rocks!!

PS-- His fave activity? Seems to be carrying the glove while in heel across the long parkinglot and back, and carring the keys while in heel, too. He seems to calm right down-- knows it is WORKING.

Patti
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 12:40 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

WTG Patti and Grimm!

I have often been an ADVOCATE for getting people to tire their dogs brain through mental stimulation. There seem to be a lot of people that assume a walk around the block and mindless ball chasing is enough. Perhaps it is for a mindless breed but not a intelligent WORKING dog such as GSD. They call them WORKING breeds for a reason.

Perhaps I should save this post to show that it does indeed work!


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Ruq, I noticed something else.. last week and the week before, I did a fair amount of interactive training weaved into our day.. just some of the training games I mentioned above. But, maybe it took 5 mins for each game we played.. maybe 10, no more. Still, I noticed GRimm seems even more bonded to me now.

In my opinion, " a GSD needs a JOB" really isn't amount letting a dog blow off steam, as much as their innate sense of responsibility: They crave a sense of helping.

Patti
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 12:56 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Most people seem to think of dog jobs being Police dogs, SAR dogs, Service dogs..... a dogs job could be to pick up the sock that you dropped on the way to the washer. His job could be to pick up his own toys. Fetch you a bottle of Coke from the fridge. Take the empty bottle to the recycle bin. Open the fridge door while you clear the condiments from the evening meal. Flick on a light switch. Carrying an item for you, suceh as Grimm carried Patti's glove and keys. Or as Gala does for Carolina, make sure the ice making unit is in proper working order, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 02:39 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Working on a walk really does help. Two weekends ago, I took Risa on a 4-mile walk. That, in of itself, if nothing new. But, during the walk, I tossed in some obedience. I let her sniff new smells in the snow. I tossed the Cuz and let her chase it. We walked past other dogs. I asked her to carry the Cuz for a mile.

When we got home she SLEPT FOR OVER AN HOUR!! This is simply unheard of.

So yes. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Plus, you can do the mental stuff in the house on cold days.

~Jamie~
Risa W-FDM/MF RA RL1 (AoE) CA CGC WCX

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 03:15 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

How did you train Grimm to carry things in his mouth? I've tried to get my dog to do it and he just looks at me like I'm crazy. Obviously I'm not doing it right! Sonia
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 12:55 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Patti, sounds like you and Grimm had a great day.

I really pay attention to your threads, I think Loki is going to be alot like Grimm

When I take Loki to the park, I have him on a long line, and bring a tennis ball or Orbee ball, and he carries it about half the time.

It seems to keep him more focused. I hope as he grows older, he will continue to do this, and like it even more.

Thanks for sharing

~JACK~

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 03:17 PM
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Re: Tiring that brain out: Mental stim!

Kuno has a Rubicks Cube in his crate. He says it's really difficult without thumbs!
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