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First need of advice :(

1164 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Maryn
<span style="color: #FF0000"> </span> Where to start??Basicaly my gs bitch honey is Very distructive she is 11mths old and seems to be getting worse im not talking shoes left on the floor im talking shoes taken from a box, anything on the worktop no matter what it is there seems to be not one thing she will destroy to the point of it going in the bin,im now on my 3rd sofa!! thank god for 2nd hand is all i can say, she will chew my youngest dummys, nappies,toys skirt boards chair legs you name it she chews it, once she made a start on something my lab then follows suit! i absolutly adore both of them but it is getting beyond the joke, apart from this in her she is an absolute diamond superb with the kids and other dog brilliant to take out . Oh and her barking constanly when in the garden or if some one dares walk past the house.
Ive gone through countless dog beds and toys not to mention phone wire! i badly need help not sure if this is something that needs major correction or just something simple im not doin! Is this typical gs trate or something she trying to tell me? any comments or advice will be great! thanks in advance xx
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Don't worry! This sounds like a totally manageable problem. She is actually typical for a young 11 month old GSD.
Here is what we do to get our dogs over this:

First, since a GSD has to have mental excersise, we join a training class.
This gives us someplace to go to be involved with our dogs so it's fun for us, but mostly, it gives our dogs something to do-- because of all the homework we need to do at home from the class.

Second, speaking of homework-- this will help a LOT! Tire her out mentally (mental excersise again for these GSDs)
have her do some sits, some downs, some heeling, some 'comes'-- on different surfaces. On a bumpy brick walkway outside the library, on a satiny smooth marble foyer in a shop, on the green grass of a park (filled with scents competing for her attention), and even on the raised surface of a picnic table! Try a stone wall-- bumpy surface plus height increase! These excersises on new, differing surfaces will tire her brain out.

Third-- Excersise her body more! Being turned out into the garden isn't enough for an 11 month old GSD, nor are standard long walks. With kids and a life, how can you find time? Easy! Find a field, a big fenced tennis court, anywhere that Honey can run offlead safely. Get two rubber balls on elastics, and play fetch. She won't bring the ball back? Sure she will! Because.. she doesn't get ball #2 until she brings you back ball #1. In 10 - 15 minutes, you will have a tired dog. Chew the chairleg? She needs a drink and a snooze! (note: My 18 month old needs 5 - 10 minutes ball chasing, twice a day.. each dog is different) You will see if she needs her ball chasing twice a day or not, but, probably so. To save time, you can even switch a walk for a ball game, just be sure she has time to.. uh.. use the facilities before going back home.

Also, what kind of "tough-girl" toys does she have available to her? Well, they need to stand up to a chewer.. so a Kong or other hard rubber toys may satisfy her urge. And, the key is, that they should not be available to her 24/7.... you ask her to sit, down, or come-- and then give her a toy to tire herself out and have something to do.

If you see her chewing something inappopriate, "AACKK-AACKK!" and tell her what you DO wish her to do. How about a nice down-stay by you for 3 seconds? Lots of soooothing praise when she does that, too. Or, you can see her chewing and recognize it as a need for her mental and energy outlet, and redirect her to a toy--- following her doing a sit or down or heel, whatever you have asked for, right there in your livingroom.

A crate is a wonderful thing for a very energetic dog who needs a job and mental stimulation. The crate gives her a chance now and again to have a crating schedule she can count on for naps, a time to relax.

Just want to also add-- you may wish to re-arrange a bit how things are left in the home, because access to fascinatingly stinky chewy items-of-interest such as shoes may be too tempting for her. Shoes maybe in a box in the front hall closet, perhaps? Putting things out of reach for now can help set Honey up for success!

She sounds like a dream dog! Good luck with her. I am sure more experienced owners will now chime in.
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That sounds fantastic! thanks so much they are all simple things that i can do poor thing must just be board out of her head! i take her for walks but as you say she lacks mental stimulation! im going to have a look to see if there is any training classes near by too im sure she would love that x
These GSDs are such a thinking breed. The nice thing is, you will actually get into a comfortable rutine with her-- it will actually feel good to you to pick up her leash and go for her 10 am ball playing and her 5 pm ball playing.. it will not take any extra time, as it can substitute for a walk you would normally have taken anyway. Plus, doing the excersises to tire her mentally will become a fun thing for both. The end result is a puppy who matures into a dog who, out of habit, will now look to you for fun, look to you for shared adventures.. the lifelong bond deepens with obedience rutines and earned praise. Everybody wins! Working with these dogs daily, even for a quickie 5 mins in the livingroom on a rainy day, or out at the park, really makes the GSD bond develop into the legendary tight relationship that it becomes. Oh, and, the workouts save your sofa, too.
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I agree with Patty, absolutely.

It is very hard to tire out any young GSD. The trick is to challenge them mentally!

Let her do some Search & Find exercises. Hide a ball or other toy in the yard or house. At first, let her see where you hide it. Give the command ('search' or "Where is the ball?") and be VERY HAPPY (YAHOOOO!! Good Boy/Girl!!) when he/she has found it.

When your dog understands the task, you can put her in another room (e.g kitchen) while you hold the ball. Let her stay there. Walk back to the living room and hide the ball (under a chair) so that your dog doesn't see what you are doing. Then let the dog enter the living, and give the command.
Give Huge Praise when it's found.

This is fun AND a good training for your dog. It will also get her quite tired after a few times!
Peet, yes! Great idea, the search game!

Is there a low stone wall near you? I sometimes take Grimm to a school where there is a stone wall. On the wall, he has to concentrate really hard to sit, down, and heel. I even have him stay-- then come, all while walking carefully atop the low wall. Concentrating can tire a dog nicely.

A playground with a kiddie slide, teeter-totter, benches, and other equipment, while not built for dogs, can (if you are very careful about her safety and staying right with her) stimulate her mind and scratch her mental itch. Imagine her doing a sit stay at the base of a slide! Or a down atop a bench! Just some fun things to keep that brain busy, so when she has time at home, she can unwind more easily. She is so young.. tiring her brain really will help get through this.
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yep, both mental and physical exercise are so important!

my other thought is that you might want to crate her when you can't supervise her, especially when your not home. when you are home and you can't watch her, make sure you give her smething to keep her busy, like a stuffed kong, bully stick, etc.
this is how i set my pups up for success, keeping them stimulated, and or putting them in a safe place when i can't watch them. better to start all this before they discover furniture, and chewing things around the house, but you can still discourage it at this point by following the advice given.

I have a crate for Grimm. Crating really helps a dog calm and learn to settle in the home, too-- basicly because they aren't in it much! But when they are, it's chill-out and relax time. A great help for a young dog.
She just needs something to do.

When my girl gets bored, she'll sneak upon the kids and steal a toy...just so they'll chase her a bit. I thank my lucky stars she's not a chewer though, good luck!
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