high energy -high drive i think i created a monster - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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high energy -high drive i think i created a monster

My working line boy is 14 mos old and is high energy ( surprise) and high drive. I have done what I think was in his best interest meeting his needs by providing regular activity for his energy outlet, and training for his drives. We have lots of on and off leash walks, and ball play, and hes been in training classes 2-4 times a week for everything from OB, Rally, Barn hunt, dock diving.

What is happening, which is what happens before any high drive activity ( dock diving, lure coursing, or barn hunt) is he is winding himself up in anticipation of being " off leash" when we walk. Pulling, whining, vocalizing in anticipation of a correction for pulling, and when corrected ( sound like hes been murdered) but yet he STILLLLLLLLL does it. I have varied my walks. I have skipped off leash , I have skipped walks altogether. I have walked him on leash in the off leash area. I have done down stays and then left the area i have done OB and left the area.. I have waited him out until he was "calm" and let him off leash . I have let him off leash but didn't throw his ball. i have changed direction, i have stopped and waited him out to respond to leash pressure .
Every day i try something different because he KNOWS every single off leash area and will be drawn to the most recent place .
There are multiple places I can let him off leash during our walk (about 12) and I have several places I can take him off leash .... and he does this at EVERY point and any place hes been before.. Some days are better, some days are worse. I think that in my attempt to full full his energy outlet I have just made a monster.

suggestions or is this just how hes going to be .... needing to be lunged before being walked? The only thing that has worked is ball play in the yard until his tongue is dragging... but thats not always practical and easy in my .10 acre of a back yard.

I really just want to have a dog I can walk, calmly. I am totally willing to put in the miles and time to work this dog and full fill his energy outlet needs, i just want to be able to calmly have him get to the point where I can let him off leash to run to his hearts content!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 10:57 PM
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What do you consider regular activity?

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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walks 2 times a day.... off leash and on leash . my phone logs 4-6 miles a day. Who know how much his logs off leash . when not trialing, long hikes at various parks on weekend.Underwater Treadmill sessions weekly. Training almost every day. Weighted vest. Thowing his ball until his tongue drags.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 11:04 PM
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The first thing I would do is lose the ball on his walks. Balls amp dogs up, you are looking for calm.
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If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 11:19 PM
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Sounds like you inadvertently keep him in an amped up state,always anticipating action.Relaxation can be taught also.Would you consider walking him to one of your off leash spots,then sitting with him quietly?Talk to him softly or stroke his chest if that helps soothe him.When he's chill just allow him to explore and do doggy things.You both may find that relaxing and satisfying.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 01:10 AM
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You also sound like you aren't doing anything consistently. A lot of times when you have a problem and try something to fix it, it isn't going to work right away. By switching up your techniques every single day you aren't giving any of them a real chance to work and you're sending mixed signals to the dog.

When you are on walks do you keep him in a heel or do you let him walk on a loose leash/free dog? It might be good to put him into a formal heel when approaching the places. Work on getting his attention on you, do focus exercises to reinforce that YOU are the source of all things good, not the off leash time.

I personally really like the turning around and walking in the opposite direction when the leash is pulled if I'm not trying to walk in a heel. You really need to be consistent with it though or it's just a weird thing the human is doing and can be written off and ignored. Show him that there is a consistent reaction to his actions.

It might also be good to consult a trainer if you continue to have issues with it.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Sounds like you inadvertently keep him in an amped up state,always anticipating action.Relaxation can be taught also.Would you consider walking him to one of your off leash spots,then sitting with him quietly?Talk to him softly or stroke his chest if that helps soothe him.When he's chill just allow him to explore and do doggy things.You both may find that relaxing and satisfying.
I work hes kenneled 730-4pm so Ive always tried to make sure hes exercised am and PM and walking on a leash has never tired him out.
yes I can def try that, but I can tell you right now he will stare at me the whole time waiting for me to move. he doesn't go off and do doggy things. His MO on off leash walks is loping around me as I walk. Hes very handler aware.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AkariKuragi View Post
You also sound like you aren't doing anything consistently. A lot of times when you have a problem and try something to fix it, it isn't going to work right away. By switching up your techniques every single day you aren't giving any of them a real chance to work and you're sending mixed signals to the dog.

When you are on walks do you keep him in a heel or do you let him walk on a loose leash/free dog? It might be good to put him into a formal heel when approaching the places. Work on getting his attention on you, do focus exercises to reinforce that YOU are the source of all things good, not the off leash time.

I personally really like the turning around and walking in the opposite direction when the leash is pulled if I'm not trying to walk in a heel. You really need to be consistent with it though or it's just a weird thing the human is doing and can be written off and ignored. Show him that there is a consistent reaction to his actions.

It might also be good to consult a trainer if you continue to have issues with it.
thanks ! I was following the advice of a trainer by changing it up so he wasn't anticipating anything. And one of the reasons i dont do change of direction all the time is my husband and I walk the dog together. Have you ever tried to walk the dog with 2 people and do multiple changes of direction ? Its not pretty and only works when we walk solo. We both use the walks for our fitness/activity. I can DEF do the focused heel by places because I use that by dogs and it works well , albeit, his reward/focus point is his ball sooooo there is that.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
The first thing I would do is lose the ball on his walks. Balls amp dogs up, you are looking for calm.
yep I agree , tho we did loose the ball for about 3 weeks and we still had the same Behavior.
let me explain, we did not THROW the ball for 3 weeks but I did use it for OB training and rewarded with Tug. and I do use it for training on walks ( focus point for heeling)
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 07:23 AM
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Put a prong collar on him correctly fitted. Use a six foot leash. Don't try to hold him back and if he goes to the end of the leash,quickly go in the opposite direction while giving him a correction and keep going. If he lunges forward again, keep repeating. No need to say anything to him. Eventually he will stop lunging. The other thing to consider is have him on leash while you ride a bike next to him so he can run rather than walk. Or you can tie him to the front of the bike and let him pull you. You can do the same thing on skates. You just have to be in a low traffic area..
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