He doesn’t really interact with the other people in the house and he doesn’t care at all about them. He might go say a super quick hello if he hasn’t seen them in a while, but that’s it. They let him out to go to the bathroom and feed him if I’m not home, but otherwise they do nothing else.How does he behave with the other adults in your home? When we got our dog, the breeder said her working lines must have outdoor time by themselves. My other dog could not care less about time to herself, but he loves it. I’ve noticed while isolating this last year, we sre together all the time and my dogs have become quieter than ever except during playtime. I think it’s because I ignore them a lot when I’m online or writing but we are all in the same room. Prior to March 2020, I was gone a lot.
Congratulations first off!!!! You truly have done an amazing job. Now take a step back and enjoy. Truly... German shepherds are smarter than us period. We spoil them, they expect more. Now that you have done the most difficult part. You reverse. Build in rest time. Sucks but you are lucky to have a smart dog. So figure in alone time somehow in your hone. This may be difficult. Or leave home. You have been blessed and challenged. Overstimulation is easier to deal with than a dud. Find your schedule now and work that. Be patient and happy. One week persistence with a smart dog you will see “hope”.Archer will be two years old on April 30th. He’s an amazing dog - really. He graduated out of needing a crate when he was 8 months old, he has literally never chewed on anything inappropriate, he’s never counter surfed, he never pulls on the leash, he never had issues with being mouthy, doesn’t destroy toys, behaves like a dream out of the house. Great dog.
I know shepherds are high energy, I know they’re brilliant and need lots of mental stimulation, I know they’re tons of work. I put that work in. He knew over 60 tricks by the time he was 11 months old, literally. I exercise him constantly by going on hikes, playing fetch, playing tug, practicing agility in the yard, etc. I do training multiple times a day, and all of his play sessions include training. He eats out of a Kong Wobbler and not out of a bowl. We do Nosework multiple times a week. I’m always searching for new tricks to teach him. I take him to dog friendly stores to do training and socialization. Point is, I do SO MUCH with this dog.
My problem? He has way too much go. I can leave my house at 8AM with him, not get home until after 1PM (we went for an off leash hike, then to multiple dog-friendly stores while I did errands, went to my work to give him a bath, then home for lunch out of his Kong). It took him over 30 minutes after we got home of pacing, whining at me, and bringing me toy after toy before he finally settled for a nap. How long did he sleep? One hour. That’s it. Then he was back to pacing, whining, chomping toys in my face, and otherwise annoying the crap out of me. He cannot rest for longer than an hour no matter how much I do with him. He’s absolutely nonstop, and I can’t tell when he’s truly had enough for the day and I need to stop catering to him or if he actually needs more. I’m exhausted. I love going to work purely so I get a break from him. He’s making my life miserable, and I feel like I’m a slave to my dog. Not a good feeling.
I’ve tried putting toys away in the house and only getting them out when I want to play - he isn’t allowed to decide playtime. That just makes him whine and pace and be obnoxious. He sits and whines near wherever I hid the toys. (I always ignore him, or when I get really sick of it, correct him and tell him to go lay down.) I’ve tried not playing in the house at all and only playing outside so he thinks inside is for resting. Well that just makes him completely obsessed with being outside and he’ll sit at the door and whine. And if I do so much as breathe in the direction of the door, he sprints across the house like a madman thinking we’re going outside. He won’t settle that way either.
How do I know when he’s actually had enough exercise and mental stimulation for the day so I stop feeling guilty and catering to him? Do I really need to get his crate back out and put him back on a crating schedule? How much sleep does a two year old dog need?