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Discussion Starter #1
Today has to have been the worst day of my 54 years so far. We've got some construction going on in the backyard and when the concrete was poured this morning, Maisey was not allowed to go out back the whole day. She doesn't like to go potty out front unless we get into the car afterwards, and forget about convincing her to poop in the front -- she doesn't want an audience. Because she hasn't had all of her shots yet (she can get her second set this coming week), I can't take her cruising around the neighborhood. So Maisey was largely confined to the house most of the day. No amount of playing or training satisfied her. She barked and whined and chased her tail incessantly to the point that I didn't know what else to do for her. I felt like a total failure and miserable because she was obviously miserable, my stress level built so high that it triggered one seizure after another, and I ended up in bed from just after 11 am until nearly 9 pm.

Are there any other members who have seizures and dealt with a bored or stressed puppy that can offer me some advice here?

Or even anyone who doesn't have seizures (count your blessings!) who can advise me how to relieve Maisey's boredom and stress in a situation like this so that I don't get stressed and seize and then can't do anything at all for her? :cry:
 

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Why does a dogs behavior give you stress?
The dog will act worse if your stressed.

Can you just allow it go crazy and ignore it? Stick it in a crate for a few hours. It'll do no harm.
 

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I would suggest maybe seeing a trainer who can help you work through this. Young dogs have boundless energy.

Also, the trainer can help you work on a Potty Command on a leash. It's very helpful during situations like this, or heck, even if you go on a road trip sometime.
You don't want to be walking around the pet section of a rest stop for an hour or two waiting for your dog to be comfortable in a new environment.

I believe that may be the reason your dog won't move it's bowels in the front. You would be surprised how sensitive they(dogs) are to environment. Something like a new lamp can make them act bizarre, so construction and trying to eliminate in the front....Oi!

Maybe some good leash skills practice it's good for stress for you and the dog....sometimes working leash work will make a young GSD more tired than just running around the back yard after a ball. It works their brain as well as their body.
They become desensitized to new environments and situations, get exercised both mentally and physically, and you get out and get some fresh air.:)

Rules to ponder:
1. Consistency
2. Patience

(works with humans too! :p)
 

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Ouch!


I think you could still take her for walks around your neighborhood(if its a reasonably safe neighborhood where people vaccinate their dogs and don't let their dogs run around the neighborhood)? Just to not let her near other dogs unless you know they are safe. Or even just practice heeling up and down the front of your house and/or driveway? If you teach her the 'leave it' or 'yuck' or 'come away' that will keep her safe from licking anything you dont want her to.

Also food dispensing toys should keep her busy.

On rainy days I used to throw ball after ball for ours to run after(this is before he learnt to fetch and drop it in exchange for a treat). You can play 'find me' game. Hide around a corner and call her name, and make her sit and treat her when she comes to you. You can practice loose leash at home too, vary your pace, slow, fast, light running, make abrupt turns, etc....

You can throw kibble on the floor as you walk(off leash), one piece at a time and say 'find it'.

Ours doesn't like to go anywhere except in our back yard too. Once in a while in our front yard if that's where I take him. But walks, forget it. Its whine whine whine when he needs to go till I get him home. He is better now though. I am working on the 'go pee" and 'go potty' commands.

but dont worry. When they really need to go they will do it anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MadLab, you've asked some really good questions.

Why does a dogs behavior give you stress?
The dog will act worse if your stressed.
In this case, it was the other way around, LOL! For 4 hours, I chalked it up to puppy excitement and just ignored it. But when she began chasing her tail, I figured there had to be a problem because she had never done that before. At that point, the guilt and the stress of what I was doing to this poor puppy hit me like a ton of bricks. :eek:

Can you just allow it go crazy and ignore it? Stick it in a crate for a few hours. It'll do no harm.
I did, and I can, but how do you cope with feeling guilty for making your puppy miserable? She chased her tail inside the crate, too! Actually, I think what we have is a kennel, not a crate -- it's the kind of container that airlines use.

My natural reaction is to fix whatever is making my animals miserable and when I can't, I get nervous and stressed because I feel guilty. I guess that makes me a wimp? a wuss? Where's Dr. Phil when you really need him?!
 

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MadLab, you've asked some really good questions.



In this case, it was the other way around, LOL! For 4 hours, I chalked it up to puppy excitement and just ignored it. But when she began chasing her tail, I figured there had to be a problem because she had never done that before. At that point, the guilt and the stress of what I was doing to this poor puppy hit me like a ton of bricks. :eek:



I did, and I can, but how do you cope with feeling guilty for making your puppy miserable? She chased her tail inside the crate, too! Actually, I think what we have is a kennel, not a crate -- it's the kind of container that airlines use.

My natural reaction is to fix whatever is making my animals miserable and when I can't, I get nervous and stressed because I feel guilty. I guess that makes me a wimp? a wuss? Where's Dr. Phil when you really need him?!
No, it means that you don't have a solution and are asking for help/suggestions.
Try teaching your dog "tricks" at home if you are homebound. Things like space training, name training (say the dog's name calmly and when it looks at you reward/praise) much better IMHO than the "watch" command....you'd be surprised what seven- ten minutes of that throughout the day will do....Focus skills, impulse training (LEAVE IT) that is the best safety command that there is.

I wouldn't resort to crating every time that you are frustrated. The dog will pick up on that (they are all about the body language)...and will make the association that you are upset and then it goes into the crate.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions, CarrieJ.

Rules to ponder:
1. Consistency
2. Patience
Ironically, I think that it's because we've got rule #1 down so well that Maisey is having such a hard time with the construction stuff. Our daily routine is quite consistent and she knows that when we go out the front door, she goes potty in the front yard, gets in the car, and we leave. So when I took her out yesterday to potty in the front, she did and then headed straight for the car, LOL!

Also, the trainer can help you work on a Potty Command on a leash.
Even in the backyard, Maisey is on a leash. Part of the construction project is filling up our swimming pool with dirt and turning it into a garden area, so it has been drained of water for quite a while. I was worried that Maisey might fall into the empty pool and get hurt before that part of the project was completed, so I've leashed her whenever we go out. She's very good with going potty on command in the backyard. And with peeing in the front IF she gets to ride in the car after, LOL!

Maybe some good leash skills practice it's good for stress for you and the dog
This is something that we can do in the house, and something that I didn't think of to try. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :wub:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sri, thanks for so many useful tips!

I think you could still take her for walks around your neighborhood(if its a reasonably safe neighborhood where people vaccinate their dogs and don't let their dogs run around the neighborhood)?
Maisey is my first dog, and I understood from the breeder, who is also a vet, that it was not safe to take her out into the neighborhood until she had her second set of shots mostly, I think, because of a puppy's propensity to put everything in its mouth. My neighborhood doesn't have a lot of dogs in it and the people who do have them have pit bulls that are kept confined and never walked. The only dogs that I have seen being walked is a trio of chihuahuas that belong to a former student of mine and her family, so I know they are safe.

Or even just practice heeling up and down the front of your house and/or driveway?
Unfortunately, the driveway is full of cinder blocks, sand, a cement mixer and who knows what else in preparation for the work that will start in the front tomorrow. The cement in the back should be dry today, so Maisey can go out there again, but all of this advice is definitely helpful to someone like me who has zero experience with dogs!

You can play 'find me' game. Hide around a corner and call her name, and make her sit and treat her when she comes to you.
This is a great idea! There are plenty of places in the house to play this game, and it's also a great way to help her remember her name, LOL! :laugh:Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CarrieJ, I agree wholeheartedly:

I wouldn't resort to crating every time that you are frustrated. The dog will pick up on that (they are all about the body language)...and will make the association that you are upset and then it goes into the crate.
Since Maisey will eventually become my service dog, I think it's really important to build as strong a bond as possible with her. If I crated her out of frustration, she might not trust me like I want her to. Additionally, it's vital that she is with me during the times leading up to seizures so that she gradually becomes aware of the chemical, emotional, and physical changes that take place before the actual event. This, from what I have learned, will make the training process much easier for her when it comes to alerting.

We are both learning now -- I am every bit as much the puppy as Maisey is at this stage. That's why I'm so very happy that I found this forum with so many helpful people to guide us through this adventure!
 
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