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Two other adults in the home and another dog.
Got it.
MY dogs get plenty of attention from others in the house and I think tend to look less to me constantly even though I'm the one that gives them 95% of their exercise requirements
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
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.
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.

Archer doesn’t like to be touched too much and moves away, drops his ears, makes it obvious he doesn’t want to be pet if I try to do it. He only wants to be pet for short periods of time when I first get home or when we first wake up. Any other time he’s hands off.
 

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@Pytheis, one thing you said that got my attention was "While on his bed, he stares at me the entire time. He doesn’t really settle there." My GSD makes sure he can always see me, I think that's not too uncommon with the breed in general. But in order for you to notice that your dog stares at you all the time, you must be looking at him "all the time" as well. I am saying this a bit tongue in cheek, because I have noticed that most cases when my dogs started to exhibit unwanted behaviors, it was really because of my own actions or attitude.

If you're feeling stressed or guilty while your dog is pacing around and complaining, then you're probably not giving off relaxed energy signals to your dog, and they're so much smarter than humans when it comes to recognizing our body language. Next time you run into that situation, try to focus more on your own behavior and keeping your calm, and make sure to tell yourself that you don't have to feel guilty for NOT entertaining your dog 24/7.
 

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@Pytheis It sounds that you actually do not have a needy dog, his behavior around you is because he’s anticipating action and you are the one who always provides it. You really built up a value for yourself and did a wonderful job! Now you’ll just start inserting some periods of no action.

Right now I’m working upstairs and Hunter is downstairs, laying on his bed and sleeping probably. Sometimes he comes upstairs to check on me, look out of the window, then goes back downstairs because it’s colder there. I can move around, make coffee, talk on the phone, and he just sleeps, and I pay no attention to him. When it’s time for a break I’ll call him and he’ll be ready to play and be super excited. This behavior was not natural, he would rather be on the go 24/7. it evolved out of necessity.
 

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How Alpha Teaches "Enough"

Daddy is nice and patient and tells junior "enough" throughout video scene ... @ 2:34 on timer Dad puts his foot down and says, "enough is enough" lol

 

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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?
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”.
 

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I wonder if whatever you give your dog for flea/tick prevention could make him more hyper. The Simparica Trio our vet prescribed made our dog pant every time I gave it to him and it gave him loose stools, so I stopped giving him that. Later I found out that some dogs get seizures and/or even die from it. A few weeks ago I got him a Seresto collar which has just been in the news for killing dogs and I noticed that his fur doesn't feel nice and soft anymore, it feels like it has a powder coating now. Maybe I'm wrong but it feels like he is also more hyper now, so I took the collar off and gave him a bath, hopefully he will calm down again.
 

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This has been a great thread for us because we have the same issues the OP has with our GSD. He's 13 months now and demanding of our attention to the point where it can be maddening. He wants to be with us 100% of the time even when we go to the bathroom. It's not that we mind his company but he can be a real pain when he wants to play while we're relaxing in front of the TV or working in our home office. We are home 24-7 so he's hardly ever alone and apparently never learned to entertain himself.

The only ways we can calm him down are exercising him with long walks and playing tug or retrieving in the backyard. This is the time we use to train him and afterwards he is calmer but he recovers pretty quickly and he soon starts wanting attention again.

When we don't have time to walk or play we turn him out in the yard or lock him in his pen. He's miserable in either one. The pen is inside our living room so he gets to enjoy A/C and it's where he eats his meals but he hates being in there almost as much as being left alone outside.

I plan on starting to jog with him soon so that should help to calm him down and maturity is also bound to help. Luckily just like the OP's dog he does not bark very much at all and although he's loose around the house at night he doesn't chew furniture or bother us when we're asleep unless he has an emergency trip to the bathroom or hears strange noises.. He's our first GSD and we expected (we wanted working line) a high activity level but it has been challenging to say the least.
 

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I think COVID and dog owners working from home 24/7 has raised a new generation of spoiled attention seeking dogs. I have worked from home much of the time for decades and my dogs have all had to learn a good off switch. A lot of that success is due to a pretty reliable and consistent schedule where they know it's not time to eat/play/walk until it's ....time.

Don't let them nudge your hand, don't let them talk back, don't let them bring you toys, don't constantly pet them/reward a nuisance. That may seem mean to some but they are much more relaxed when they aren't constantly anticipating you rewarding them for anxiousness.
 

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This is something Fiadh has struggled with on and off as she grows. I'm a full time college student in online classes and during my classes she occasionally still throws tantrums if she wants attention or stimulation during my classes but given that I need her to settle I've found that introducing structured crate time helps a lot, putting her in the crate for a set amount of time every day with a chew helped teach her to relax when I'm in my classes while also not giving her the chance to act out and disturb my classes as well as my other dog. She rarely needs the structured crate time anymore so I don't do it as much during the day but she still often puts herself in her open crate during my class or in her place to nap and chill with a chew.
 
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