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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Zoe will be 8mos in a few days

Because my wife and I work and are both too far from home to leave her crated (and we have no backyard as we have a condo style house), I take Zoe to the in-laws on my way to work. There, she has a pretty big sized pen and we put the in-law's border collie in there to keep her company

I drop them off at about 445am, and MIL lets them out around 2pm to run around their 1 acre backyard

Zoe seems to be a complete wild dog when over there. She would rather play with the BC. She is very rough when playing and despite the BC nipping and growling back, Zoe just does not back off. She will flea bite BC's head, and overall very rough playing and it just does not stop. It's like someone flips an ON switch and it stays on and the energy really doesn't diminish. I've seen her be crazy for hours with little stopping

It's gotten to the point where the MIL is complaining every day that she's mean to the BC and won't let her be

She chewed up a package a little that the UPS guy pushed under the fence and MIL had a BRAND new bench cover that Zoe chewed a large hole in and ruined

Now the kicker. I pick her up around 430pm. She'll whine a little in the truck, but she'll calm down within a few mins and she'll be going to sleep. I get her home, and she'll sleep. She'll eat dinner, she'll sleep, I'll take her out to go to the bathroom before bed, and she'll sleep all night outside of her crate and stays in the bedroom (she might move to her open crate, but that's in the bedroom). She is a completely different dog at home, and is fairly calm, will only chew on toys, and she'll follow you and sit or lay down where you are. When at the park, she is also pretty well behaved for the most part

I need to know if this is just 8mo puppy behavior and will diminish over a few months, or is this something that is going to continue and I now need to step it and train out. Note: She's been doing this ever since she was 8wks old

My problem will be she is alone for 10hrs 4x/week. I would need some serious "come to Jesus" training over there, so that means my weekends will be shot. Also, that means 3 hardcore days of training and 4 days of no training... sound like it'll take a while

Hopefully some people have been in my shoes and can offer advice or training advice

I don't think training on a leash would be the right way as she'll know if there's no leash, then she's ok to be wild (kind of like service dogs know it's time to work when the vest goes on) unless it's start with leash to lay foundation work, then graduate to off leash
 

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It could just be that you mostly see her when she is already tired. How is she on your days off when she is at home?

They definitely have to release their energy into some activity, and if you don't give them one, they will make up one of their own.

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It seems that half of the day she is locken in the pen. And other half she is supposed to sit in house or car.

When she's supposed to burn all her GSD energy? Letting her on a backyard is not an exercise for a GSD... .

Maybe with your lifestyle would be better some non-working breed? It seems like you have nothing to offer to it (sorry if I'm wrong?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Even if I don't take her out all weekend, she is no where NEAR that bad. She starts to get restless on Sun late afternoon, but even if I don't bother taking her to the park, she only plays with her toys more and she will still sleep all night
 

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Letting her run around and harass the BC all day is not good for Zoe, not good for the BC, not good for your MIL, and not good for you guys. So, change of routine.

What you are seeing with Zoe and the BC is littermate syndrome - normal for her to find the BC way more interesting than people, and it makes training and bonding with you more difficult. She doesn't need to spend all day with another dog, especially when it is a free-for-all like that. Her style of playing is very typicall of how GSDs play, and that is one reason they don't do well in dog-parks and day-cares: They drive all the other dogs crazy, and they have overwhelming energy that other dogs have difficulty coping with.

At eight months, she can certainly spend some time by herself. Keep Zoe and the BC separated. Zoe can be crated, or kept in the pen by herself and get bathroom breaks. Maybe half-an-hour to an hour play time a day with the BC to burn off some zoomies - but anytime she starts to annoy the BC, that is too much. She is not learning anything, and no training you do at home is going to change that. How you manage her (or how she is managed at your MIL's) will.

When you get home, you and your wife can play with Zoe, go for walks, do some training to tire her out physically and mentally. Not fair to dump her on your MIL and her BC and pass on that responsibility. For the record, I'm away from home for 10 hrs a day, and often kept my dogs crated at home during that time (or they come to work with me and stay in the car, but get breaks and walks throughout the day), and they were just fine. I just had to make sure that they got plenty of walks, on and off leash, play time, and regular, daily training. Walks before work, fetch after work, outings to new places for mental stimulation, and formal training at classes or with my IPO club two three times a week.

I think that once the main focus of your dog's interest is switched to you guys away from BC, you'll see a different dog.
 

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Maybe she doesnt have enough guidance/boundaries over there so she acts like a child (8mo old GSD) would act with no boundaries. And of course when i say boundaries i dont mean just crate her up, but establishing rules and interacting with her and all that. Im not sure how much she respects your in-laws authority, i assume not really? She is still very much a puppy though, just one that can throw her weight around, so she needs guidance for sure. Maybe you should kick it with her there for a day or two or three(not in a row but just in general) and help show the in-laws how to get her to respect them while also showing zoe what is and aint allowed. Do yall attend any training classes or anything with her? I'm sure getting her mind stimulated would help her channel some of that energy and create more bond between you and her.

P.s. im no expert by any means, this is just general stuff trainers i have met with have told me regarding most problems stemming from lack of mental/physical stimulation or lack of guidance and boundaries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At eight months, she can certainly spend some time by herself. Keep Zoe and the BC separated. Zoe can be crated, or kept in the pen by herself and get bathroom breaks. Maybe half-an-hour to an hour play time a day with the BC to burn off some zoomies - but anytime she starts to annoy the BC, that is too much. She is not learning anything, and no training you do at home is going to change that. How you manage her (or how she is managed at your MIL's) will.

When you get home, you and your wife can play with Zoe, go for walks, do some training to tire her out physically and mentally. Not fair to dump her on your MIL and her BC and pass on that responsibility. For the record, I'm away from home for 10 hrs a day, and often kept my dogs crated at home during that time (or they come to work with me and stay in the car, but get breaks and walks throughout the day), and they were just fine. I just had to make sure that they got plenty of walks, on and off leash, play time, and regular, daily training. Walks before work, fetch after work, outings to new places for mental stimulation, and formal training at classes or with my IPO club two three times a week.

I think that once the main focus of your dog's interest is switched to you guys away from BC, you'll see a different dog.
I will talk with the neighbors on the pen side that I'm going to try to leave her alone in the morning. I know she's going to bark, so will have to talk to them after to see how much barking was done

I do see that even when I get there to pick her up, she does come to greet me, will sit when asked, and I might get a few pets and rub in before she bolts off to play with the BC more. It's like "Ok, I got that checked off my list. Back to play!"

I do know she does lay down and relax with them as I've seen her do it, but I'm just not sure how often she does it. I'm sure she's bored and tries to make some fun, but she'd be bored if I had my OWN backyard, or if she was stuck in a crate, so I'm not really too worried about that aspect

I unfortunately don't have time to play when I go to pick her up after work. I carpool, so I'm trying to get my buddy home to his wife and kid for dinner, I'm trying to get home to my wife so I can get dinner going

Maybe she doesnt have enough guidance/boundaries over there so she acts like a child (8mo old GSD) would act with no boundaries. And of course when i say boundaries i dont mean just crate her up, but establishing rules and interacting with her and all that. Im not sure how much she respects your in-laws authority, i assume not really? She is still very much a puppy though, just one that can throw her weight around, so she needs guidance for sure. Maybe you should kick it with her there for a day or two or three(not in a row but just in general) and help show the in-laws how to get her to respect them while also showing zoe what is and aint allowed. Do yall attend any training classes or anything with her? I'm sure getting her mind stimulated would help her channel some of that energy and create more bond between you and her.
I'm not sure either. She follows my commands decently enough. Wife maybe a tad less because she might not use the same tone or inflections I do, but will still do the main basic stuff when asked. As for the in-laws, I'm not sure how she does. My commands are pretty similar to what they use. I think she's so into wanting to play with the BC that almost all recall goes out the window

She's been taught to not mess with their older dog, E, but E is probably "boring" to play with, so she really doesn't harass E too much

I do play Finding games with her. She'll bring me a toy (A), and I'll throw it around a few times. Then I'll hide it and get another toy (B) and play with that. Then I'll throw toy B next to A, but tell her to get toy A. Or I make her wait while I hide a toy and then have her go hunt around to find it

I do need to do more I'm sure, I'm just so beat, physically, by the end of the day. I know, excuses...
 

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I ddin't read all this, but shes a 7 month old puppy, locked up all day then let out on 1 acre with another dog. Can you imagine the energy overload? Just don't let them both out at the same time if she plays too rough.

She comes to you when called, then 'bolts off to play with the BC some more". Don't let her do this. When she is under a command she should obey until she is released by you saying OK, clap hands or whatever. Don't let her break the sit command. Put a long line on her and if she bolts away. Say No!, Come and reel her in. Give her another chance to come, sit and stay and be a good girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would like to mention that Zoe can be totally relaxed all day, go to in-laws and be a menace, and then come back home and be totally calm. I feel it's more behavioral than energy, and she's learned that, "It's ok to be crazy with the BC" because we really didn't set any good boundaries in that respect. Like some things, it's funny/ cute when they're puppies and only 20-30#, but now that she's over 60#, it's not so much anymore and the behavior has now stuck

I'm not well versed by any means in dog behavior so maybe it's energy, maybe a bit of both... I really don't know. Just what I think

I ddin't read all this, but shes a 7 month old puppy, locked up all day then let out on 1 acre with another dog. Can you imagine the energy overload? Just don't let them both out at the same time if she plays too rough.

She comes to you when called, then 'bolts off to play with the BC some more". Don't let her do this. When she is under a command she should obey until she is released by you saying OK, clap hands or whatever. Don't let her break the sit command. Put a long line on her and if she bolts away. Say No!, Come and reel her in. Give her another chance to come, sit and stay and be a good girl.
For some reason I never thought of doing that. I'll have to grab my long line and try that. I just wish I had more time to do things while there

Was just talking to my MIL and she says when she gets home, the BC will be in one of the Dogloos and Zoe is hanging out elsewhere. When she lets them out, Zoe turns into wild hound. MIL will play some fetch and tire both out and when both are tired, they will lay near each other and be calm and not care. That makes me think that there's massive energy in Zoe and it just doesn't burn off enough to tire her out whereas some fetch for 20mins kills a LOT of energy and really poops her out

Like walking. You could prob do a 3mi walk and be a little tired, but do a 1/2mi at full sprint and you're going to be pretty gassed

Now, yes, she's only 8mos old. However, can someone tell me that this behavior won't last forever? Will she get to a point where she's mature enough that the behavior won't be as bad? I mean, what do other people do who have multiple dogs or multiple GSDs? I've heard of crate and rotate for training, or does this sometimes carry over into the normal day?

I feel bad. I just want her to be happy with having a large are to play in and another dog to play with, but then just relax as well. I know I'm not the only person who works during the day. There are people who CRATE their dog all day. I think I'm at least doing one better by having her in a 40x25ft pen. She has plenty of space to run in

Anyway, MIL is going to talk with the neighbor so they know, but Zoe will be put in the pen all day alone. When MIL comes home, she will let Zoe out around 330 to play and fetch and run and then I'll be there at 430ish to pick her up. We will see how that works out and then the BC will only have to put up with crazy Zoe for an hr instead of all day
 

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That is a good idea. If Zoe tires out after exercise, she may eventually be able to play with the BC. She needs to be taught how to play safely. My young dog began bullying the older smaller one when they were let outside together. The door became a signal to misbehave because they each wanted to go through itnfirst. I got a squirt bottle with plain water in it and zapped him a few times each time that happened. I also started sending him outside with a toy. When his mouth has something in it, he is less focused on the other dog. I used water because it worked from a distance. He didn’t like it in his face. He quickly learned to leave her alone outside. Once he runs around for a while and is tired, he won’t bother her anymore.
 

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I would like to mention that Zoe can be totally relaxed all day, go to in-laws and be a menace, and then come back home and be totally calm. I feel it's more behavioral than energy, and she's learned that, "It's ok to be crazy with the BC" because we really didn't set any good boundaries in that respect. Like some things, it's funny/ cute when they're puppies and only 20-30#, but now that she's over 60#, it's not so much anymore and the behavior has now stuck

I'm not well versed by any means in dog behavior so maybe it's energy, maybe a bit of both... I really don't know. Just what I think



For some reason I never thought of doing that. I'll have to grab my long line and try that. I just wish I had more time to do things while there

Was just talking to my MIL and she says when she gets home, the BC will be in one of the Dogloos and Zoe is hanging out elsewhere. When she lets them out, Zoe turns into wild hound. MIL will play some fetch and tire both out and when both are tired, they will lay near each other and be calm and not care. That makes me think that there's massive energy in Zoe and it just doesn't burn off enough to tire her out whereas some fetch for 20mins kills a LOT of energy and really poops her out

Like walking. You could prob do a 3mi walk and be a little tired, but do a 1/2mi at full sprint and you're going to be pretty gassed

Now, yes, she's only 8mos old. However, can someone tell me that this behavior won't last forever? Will she get to a point where she's mature enough that the behavior won't be as bad? I mean, what do other people do who have multiple dogs or multiple GSDs? I've heard of crate and rotate for training, or does this sometimes carry over into the normal day?

I feel bad. I just want her to be happy with having a large are to play in and another dog to play with, but then just relax as well. I know I'm not the only person who works during the day. There are people who CRATE their dog all day. I think I'm at least doing one better by having her in a 40x25ft pen. She has plenty of space to run in

Anyway, MIL is going to talk with the neighbor so they know, but Zoe will be put in the pen all day alone. When MIL comes home, she will let Zoe out around 330 to play and fetch and run and then I'll be there at 430ish to pick her up. We will see how that works out and then the BC will only have to put up with crazy Zoe for an hr instead of all day
My Inga really changed around her 2nd birthday. Instead of zooming all around, she sits and watches me feed the livestock. She obeys the 30 commands she knows without do overs.

If your dog barks and annoys the neighbors what people do is put an automatic antibark collar on them. The ones that give an electronic correction work better than the ones that spray citronella oil, although citronella oil keeps away mosquitos :)
 

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Apex at about 8 months seemed to be going backwards then boom at 9 months had a big leap forward. It's happening again now he is 15 months. We took some steps backwards but now big leaps forward.

I work from home but my office isn't in the house. I could hear him barking in the crate when no one was in the home. I used a squirt bottle like a ninja to correct the barking. Worked fine. When he is home alone we leave the tv on loud seems to help he then isn't listening to every little noise.

It may not work but when we did puppy play the instructor used a squirt bottle to correct inapproaite play. That stuck with Apex as well. He plays now just like he did as a puppy he likes to chase and be chased.
 
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