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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm hoping someone can offer some advice. I have a wonderful 6 month old male puppy. I've had him since he was 9 weeks old. He's always been very mouthy & willful but then again, what GSD puppy isn't? I take him for twice daily brisk walks, we go to the dog park, we do some basic nose work, basic obedience, play fetch, etc. I give him a lot of attention & affection. I feed him high quality grain free food with add ins such as ground beef, steak & eggs. He is not crate trained. I have a very good trainer that works with us. My concern is that he is extremely anxious all the time & will not settle down. He lays down for a few minutes & then is up on the move again. Even at bed time he pants very fast, almost all night. Our trainer said he is very high strung & anxious & will more than likely always be that way. We will work on him going to his "place" at our next session so perhaps that will help calm him.
The GSD I had before Lucas was never like this. I just want him to be happy & healthy. Is there anything I can do to help him become calmer? I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you.
 

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I think what may help Lucas are quiet time sessions with you. Put Lucas on his leash if he doesn't hold a down/stay. Start with 5 minute sessions. Sit - read, use the computer, some type of quiet activity. Have Lucas on the down/stay where you are seated - insist he hold the down/stay (he can have his favorite toy with him) but otherwise ignore him - if he starts his panting - just yawn but don't look at him. At the end of the 5 minutes, release him from the down/stay and reward/praise. Work your way up 30 minutes. Also Lucas may need a den of his own - you can use a crate but leave the door open and a nice soft crate liner inside. At night - a fan may help - he could be too warm. Also if he doesn't have one - a dog bed as he could be uncomfortable - but be careful he doesn't chew it since he is still young. If you have fenced in yard, let Lucas outside for short sessions alone. Take him to a regular park, sit on a bench and Lucas practice his down/stay.
 

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Mine is the same way and if I didn't use a crate he would not get enough rest. He is getting better, but I have yet to see him just go lay down when he's out and about. He would be a wreck if he didn't have any toys to play with. He will lay down and chew on one of the toys.
 

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Thank you so much for the info. I have ordered a large crate for him. I'll leave the doors open & make it cozy for him. Perhaps having run of the house is too overwhelming at his age. Quiet time tgether is a great idea! I'll be sure to do that with him tonight. We have a fenced in backyard & he will go out & sit quietly sometimes. I leave him alone as he seems to enjoy it. He used to dig holes in my garden but I have since covered the soil with some flagstone to keep him from digging. Should I remove some in one spot to let him dig? I covered the garden becaue he also loves toplay in water & will tip over his water bowl & jump in the lovely puddle he makes on my kitchen floor....after he dug in the garden. It made wonderful mud pies all over the place. LOL I have a sprinkler that we play under now & he just loves it. I want to help him be calm & not be part of his problem by creating too many activities for him but he's so high energy. Last night he sat out with us & our neighbors after our walk & he layed down quietly part of the time which was amazing to me because a down stay is almost impossible for him. I swear he has ants in his pants! I was talking with someone at the dog park & he told me that GSD's experience very high levels of anxiety at 3 months & then again at 6 months. I never heard this before & of course I take most everything I hear at the dog park with a very large grain of salt. LOL Having such a nervous dog is a new experience for me but I think that in the long run it will help me on many levels by causing me to learn new ways of communicating & interacting with him which will make out bond even better. Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll order it up right away. I just ordered "On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals. I should have that tomorrow. I don't know if it will help but it got many great reviews. He's such a wonderful boy & I feel so bad for him that he's anxious all the time. I'll keep you posted on our progress.
 

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Perhaps 6 month is the best time to get him into training shoes. Also i read the same in house training tips in a recent blog read which i would love to share it with you all here.

Anxiousness comes out of energy and maybe he is too young and energetic to be anxious. Just try a little bit of training in your home and hope he is all fine as he grows up.
 

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I have a great trainer for him now. She is actually the 2nd one as the first trainer was not a good fit for either of us. Lucas just didn't take to her & I was left feeling confused & deflated. She used what she called the "energy" technique where I was supposed to tell my puppy what I wanted him to do using my energy plus behave like the pack leader. I think all of my energy was drained keeping after my pup because neither I nor Lucas grasped the concept. She also caused him to be very stressed out by trying to keep him in the kitchen & basically cornering him near the back door. I told her to stop. He was 4 months old at the time & she scared him. After that I just worked with him on my own with basic commands until I found a new trainer. She came to our house & spent 3 hours speaking with me & observing Lucas. We have our first session next Friday. Lucas interacted with her beautifully which was a relief. Last night he actually slept peacefully. I made the bedroom cooler & gave him a snack before we went up. He spent some alone time in the backyard & we got some play time in about an hour before bedtime. These steps seemed to have helped him a little bit. He seems so eager to learn & I think that once we really get into training he'll become a bit more calm. Fingers & toes are crossed. Well, the one he hasn't chewed off yet that is. LOL
 

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change his food to a lower protein.. some dogs will react to higher protein foods that are over 25% protein. one of my dogs gets crack like on proteins over 26% so he gets lower protein foods. most grain free foods are 30% protein and above and that is too much for most dogs. give it a try
 

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Oh my goodness! That might explain why he gets the zoomies shortly after he eats! In fact, my husband asked me last night what was in his food to make him so rambunctious after he eats. Plus, I add some fresh cooked meat to his meals sometimes so I guess that jacks up the protein levels even more. Please let me know what food you recommend.
 

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I feed Lucas Earthborn Holistic. Grain free. I alternate between Coastal Catch which is fish based & Great Plains Feast which is bison & lamb but holey moley, looked up the protein content & Coastal Catch is 32% protein & Great Palins is 34%!!! Plus I usually add some fresh meat to his food. Either ground beef or beef cubes. Arrrggghhh!!! He might be getting protein overload. Is too much protein bad for him?
 
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