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Hello,

Recently my family have been finding it slightly difficult to set in stone my dogs needs. I’d really appreciate some advice from some experienced shepherd owners on how to deal with this. My brother has been home this year after leaving university and I believe he’s accidentally overcomplicated our dogs life and made it a difficult routine.

9:30 wake up, take him to do his business and we play with him and take him on a walk until 11am and then food time.
Further playing until 12:30

He then sleeps in his crate until 2:30pm when we take him to do his business, play with him and occupy him until 6pm and then he has another nap in the crate until 8pm

Where we take him out and give him another big meal and keep him occupied until 9:30pm
Where he has his big sleep until 9:30am the next day

I feel like the amount of attention he requires throughout the entire day is something of a full time job and like we can’t take our eyes of him for more than 5 minutes, I believe that we are making it too strict of a schedule to keep him busy ALL the time and like he cant be bored or unoccupied for more than 5 minutes of being out of his crate. There has to be someone with him no matter what when he is out of his crate.

Could I please get a somewhat mapped out schedule of a regular schedule and how people with jobs could work around a schedule
 

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Every dog/family is different. If your schedule works for you and your dog, then nobody can say any different.
 

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Ryan, unfortunately your dogs routine is a product of your family's interaction with him/her. I have 3 dogs with 1 being a GSD pup. My daily routine during the week set up my weekends as early wakeup days as well. My normal wake up time weekdays is 6am. So now my 5mnth old GSD is expecting to be let out at approx. 615 every morning regardless if it's a weekend or not! LOL. But the only way to alter your (is this YOUR dog and not your families dog?) dogs routine is to alter your dogs routine and have your family stick to your guidelines. The dog will mostlikely complain to the high heavens, but he/she will adapt as long as the family doesn't feel sorry for him/her and do things to alter the routine while your not present.
 

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My 3 dogs "APPROXIMATE" daily routine... is never really set in stone because things happen... but:
Sleep in their crates until 6:15 ish weekday mornings then outside for approx. 10-15mins.
Morning feeding @ 6:30...
outside again at about 650
in their crates at 7 so I can take a shower.
back outside @ 720
in the bedroom to sleep with the wife @ 730...
The only set DAYTIME schedule is lunch for the GSD @ approx. noonish, my wife doesn't work so if she's out, their in their crates, if she's home they are either following her around the house playing in the house with eachother or in the yard.
I'm home @ 3pm... and am walking the GSD @ approx. 330 for 1 or 2 miles.
once back... me and the wife will walk the other 2 together. We do have a yard for them to run in so if they don't walk its no big deal, but the walk is great for all involved.
evening feeding for all 3 is at approx. 5pm. They all have heir separate feeding areas so they don't eat eachothers allowance.
In the evening they go out as they need to. There is a leather strap of bells on the back door that they ring to go out. After dinner there is no set schedule. We play with them when it's good for all.
Bed time is usually 1030pm during the week. They sleep in their crates during the week and in our bedroom on the weekends.
 

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I have a puppy at home and he still requires 24/7 attention when out of the kennel. I agree it is not a long term solution. I think you are doing great in that you have a set schedule. But your schedule does seem to be telling him that when he’s out of the kennel, the world revolves around him.
It seems like the biggest issue you are having is your full time watch with your dog. Some dogs have to be taught to settle. It’s something we are working on as well. I have settle toys, settle places and settle training sessions.
So for an example: when the TV turns on, he needs to lay on the ottoman. I give him a slow release kibble ball or ‘hide-a-toy’ with kibble hidden in with the toys. Then I sit with a kibble pouch at my side and calmly reward the settled behavior I want. At this point, it’s still takes a lot of my attention. If he just isn’t settling, then it’s back in the kennel. Not as a punishment, but it’s just not working and he might need a minute until we try again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
He’s our family dog however he’s our first dog so it’s just learning to make sure we all understand how his needs are.

Right okay, just trying to match up to what you’ve told me, I think a later bedtime and earlier start would be beneficial so he’s not over the top full of energy throughout the day without rest. We have a very big garden where he’d be MORE than happy running around it a lot. It’s just that he has a few weird habits while he’s out there.

My main concern was during the day, he’s been given too much attention that he’s now very bad at being alone for more than 5 minutes. Leaving him downstairs whilst I get a phone charger is like a mission.
 

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There’s a trainer that posts on YouTube: Stonnie Dennis. His dogs settle really well. It might be worth watching how he gets those puppies to deal with life not being all about them for every moment.
Stonnnie doesn't really show you how to do what he's showing you in his video's. It's more like prospecting for customers... he shows you JUST ENOUGH to want more... for me, UPSTATE CANINE ACADEMY is a better youtube view..
My Nessie is starting at OffLeashK9 this Friday...
 

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... 9:30 wake up, take him to do his business and we play with him and take him on a walk until 11am and then food time.
Further playing until 12:30

He then sleeps in his crate until 2:30pm when we take him to do his business, play with him and occupy him until 6pm and then he has another nap in the crate until 8pm

Where we take him out and give him another big meal and keep him occupied until 9:30pm
Where he has his big sleep until 9:30am the next day...
It seems to me that, in an understandable desire to meet the pup's needs, YOU have created something of a attention monster. ;) I agree that it's important to meet a pup's needs for activity, stimulation and/or attention. However, I also believe that it's equally important to teach the puppy what I like to call 'life skills' (e.g., potty training, house manners [no running in or 'redecorating' the house], walking politely on a leash, passing strange people/dogs on the street without comment, and quiet time).

To me, what you've described (see above) reads like a busy schedule that may be too heavy on human interaction/stimulation. While it's good that you're training 'settle sessions' now (and that photo is just hilarious; I can easily imagine him LEAPING from the ottoman as soon as the session's over), I'd scatter those sessions throughout the day and reinforce the message by crating him for increasing periods of time. Puppies need rest periods throughout the day and most owners need a break even from a pup as handsome as yours. I'm assuming that he's familiar and comfortable with the crate. If not, you'll have to go back and teach him to enjoy the quiet time (settle sessions) by himself. Just give your typical command ('Settle'), escort him to his crate, put him in it with a toy/treat, lock the door and leave him ALONE for 10, then 20, then 30 minute periods.

I'd also recommend that you alone experiment with what I've suggested. Then, if it's working for you, I'd type up the pup's daily schedule and post it somewhere where all family members can see it (e.g., Fridge). Then, have some kind of discussion to make sure that everyone's on the same page.
 

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Stonnie absolutely tells and shows you what he does. He starts each and every day with a huge exercise and elimination session that consists of him riding his quad while a pack of dogs follow and frolic with each other. Training comes later.

Stonnie is a HUGE advocate of a lot of exercise. Anxiety is inversely proportionate to exercise. Exercise releases calming hormones. It is essential to a dog's mental and emotional well being that can be conducive to successful training.

Less is more. Increase the quality of time spent and you will be able to decrease the quantity of time spent.

Have you considered tethering him to you when you are not able to focus on him?
 

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Sometimes I think these dogs that need constant supervision are lacking something more meaningful, not overall time.

Like, when I track my dog he is very settled afterward and will sleep or rest for hours. Sometimes I think what these wild youngsters are missing is --meaningful mental drain, in combination with being told enough is enough.

I guess my dogs don't typically have the energy to go looking for trouble and harassing me because they've used their energy up on training and offleash runs and also I ALWAYS condition that in the house is only for resting or very mellow relaxed play or chewing.

My youngest spends his first hour of the day in his ex pen with a kong-- because I have to feed my dogs then feed and potty the kennel and he's pretty satisfied after his big chew session, and he will just lay in front of the fire until it's time for something else.

So my suggestions would be:

-quality, not quantity-- teach the dog something meaningful like tracking and obedience and practice and move forward with that for 1/2 hr a day or so and I bet that will give the dog a more meaningful experience than 1/2 of nonthinking stuff

-let him have a decent chew session-- a frozen kong or something like it

-in the house is only for settling

-try trading an on leash walk for an offleash walk in some nature area
 

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Hello RyanStokes1231 and welcome to the forum! Disclaimer.. I am not experienced, not a dog trainer, and although I’ve had dogs most of my life, Josie is my first GSD. She turned one year old back in October so it sounds like she and your pup are close in age (if I am seeing it right).

I work full time and my husband is mostly home with Josie, he may leave the house a few hours in the day time when I am at work. Josie lives with a 10 year old Jack Russel Terrier (we are having to minimize contact with her right now) and 2 cats. Here is what our daily routine looks like:
Weekdays:
  • 6am – alarm goes off, snooze for about 20 minutes, I take a shower, while Josie remains in her crate in the bedroom. She may whine every now and then until released (i.e. look at me until I say okay).
  • 640 to 7ish am – I let her out in the backyard to do her business but she may immediately want to come back in. Before we get to the back door we practice waiting at each door until I give her the okay that she can pass. The first doorway is the toughest. In the past few weeks we have been working on waiting on doorways and ‘look’ then release. So I may ask her to sit, platz and definitely look at me before she can proceed. (which can get interesting with 2 demanding cats parading in front of her).
  • 7ish to 745am – structured walk (as best as I could to attempt it) in the neighborhood, about 1.70 miles. There’s a part of our walk where she is free to sniff, parts where we go up and down stairs without pulling, along the highway she needs to be looking up at me most times and turn around left and right when I do (our attempt at heeling). We are currently working on leash reactivity. At the end of the walk before we go back into the house I may ask her to do a few tricks, and again, wait until I give the okay to go back in the house. Oh and I have been asking her to point out (touch) the ‘trash’ (trash bin) too as needed.
  • 745am to 8ish – we work on trick training. This is something we have done since she came home at 9 weeks. It is during this time I have a smoothie for breakfast, I know not ideal training conditions.
  • 8ish to 815 --- breakfast time. Takes a while because I have to prepare 4 bowls for all of them, and they all have raw food. During this time I expect Josie to hold her down in the corner in the kitchen. She may break her down a few times so I have remind her a few times what she needs to do. She may whine during this whole process and I could feel her piercing eyeballs on me the whole time. After the main meal I give them all treats. I ask for a few behaviors from Josie, like open and close the pantry door and kitchen drawer, for her to get her treat.
  • 815ish to 830ish – I get ready for work and Josie stays in her crate in the bedroom (door open) until I am done. I then leave for work.
  • 830 until 530 to 6pm --- She mostly ‘chills’ when I am gone. She may be crated (with a frozen stuffed Kong) for an hour or two when my husband has to leave the house when I am gone. She has on some occasions started excavation projects in the backyard when left unsupervised (yikes).
  • 6pm onwards --- I come home. We work on distance commands in the backyard (sit platz stand Lassie) and recall. We recently started playing ‘fetch’. She holds her down, I throw the ball, she has to look at me until I release her to get the ball. We are working on speeding up the going back to her place (elevated dog bed/cot). She has a tendency to want to possess the ball and not give it back. This session can last 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I prepare dinner, she can walk freely but mostly she settles by my feet. While I am having dinner I expect her to stay in her crate in the Arizona room. After that, we do our 2nd session of trick training which can last up to 30 minutes if we are learning a new behavior. Finally we relax in the living room. They may chew on bully sticks as I watch tv. I try not to play fetch inside the house anymore because I want her to settle when we’re indoors and playing will be mostly indoors. Right now I am trying to figure out how to play ‘tug’ with her properly, we may do that indoors for now until she we are clear on the rules of ‘tug’. I digress.
  • 9pm to 10pm – brush her teeth, brush her coat, one trip in the backyard for potty. When she goes back in she goes straight to the bedroom and goes in her kennel…bedtime.
Weekends --- schedule pretty much the same except Saturday we go on a 2 hour hike in the morning and Sunday an hour of exposure/ socialization in town. We may leave her in the crate for 4 to 6 hours when we have to go somewhere. We may take a break from trick training for 1 day.

Whew! I am no realizing how much work it can be. Hopefully that gives you a good idea of what our day looks like.

Enjoy your pupper !!?
 
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