German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Apollo turned 5 months yesterday- time is flying! ?

A few weeks ago we moved his crate into the living room so that he’d be able to see what we were doing in the evenings. I had hoped that integrating him into our relaxing time would get him to, well, be able to relax with us!

Sometimes while I’m cooking or cleaning, he’ll lay down in the kitchen and watch me or nap... but in general if he’s inside and NOT crated, he’s wild!

So... we’ve kind of let the crate be his “calm.” He goes in willingly and doesn’t usually whine. He goes in and settles right down.

I worry that he’s in his crate too much and I really want him to be able to just lay on his bed by the couch but that seems a long way off! Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to encourage him to relax outside of the crate? Am I depending on the crate too much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
I feel your pain! My girl is still a wild child 95% of the time when she's out of her crate (she's almost a year old now).

What we've done is treat teaching her to lay calmly like any other trained behavior. She has NO off switch even when all of her needs are met, so since she won't willingly be calm then we have to set the boundary/expectation and enforce it. Lots of people refer to this as a "place" command. Tons of info if you search for teaching a place command.

We got an elevated bed (like a sheet of durable fabric stretched on a frame so it's a few inches off the ground) and use that as her designated spot. She can move around on it, but is not allowed to step off, and has a chew available on the bed if she wants it.

The boundary has to be CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY enforced, since if she's allowed to step off one time with no correction she then assumes she can do that whenever she likes. I will sit on the floor by the bed, have some kibble nearby, and spend as much time as I have patience for correcting when she inevitably tests whether she can push the boundary, and rewarding randomly when she respects it. I usually am either on my phone or have my laptop playing a movie or something so she gets used to understanding that, when I'm doing those things, the expectation is that she stays in her spot.

I'll be honest, it's not very restful or relaxing *grin* but it's been slow and steady progress. The other day she stayed on the bed (with occasional correction, slowly being fed her breakfast) long enough for us to watch a two hour movie, which is HUGE!

Treating it as a training session has helped, since when I went into it with the mentality of "we're going to chill and relax!" I would always end up frustrated that I couldn't, in fact, just relax lol. Just know that it's possible! (Or at least that's what I tell myself to maintain my sanity ;) )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Perfectly normal. I got my pup when he was 7 1/2 weeks, he wasn't completely housebroken up until he was 6/7 months. And puppies are mostly only could be housebroken 90%, until they're 3 years and an adult. Based on what you wrote, it looks like he hasn't been housebroken yet! It takes time. Set boundaries, teach him and BE CONSISTENT. EXERCISE him by taking walks (15-20 mins once or twice a day is enough for most 5 months olds) and Play sessions! Make it fun, relax. As a GSD, he will learn in no time!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,810 Posts
pups full of the Joy of Life. The laying around on the couch or a dog bed will come. For now, take a deep breath and finds times in the day when you and the pup can play. Our dogs love routine, or like in our house, tradition. We always took our walks around the same times. We would take our play ball-fetch-in-the-house breaks around the same time, twice a day. We would go out and play tug around the same time every day. We had one room where we could close the door and watch some t.v. while our pup lay in front of us tearing up cardboard boxes or rinsed plastic juice bottles. We closed the door so that the mess would be contained and we could watch our little mischief maker. We also tried to not over stimulate our pup. We did IPO training and it helped him develop self control skills, although each time I touched him he thought it was to rough house. I think the first time he sat still to be pet he was over a year old. Now, at 4, when I stop scratching his chest he gives me the big-paw-of-more-please.

So use routine, keep the pup in the same room as you, being patient for maturity, clear fair boundaries enforced, and no laughing at crazy behavior because they are a pup (yes, this is hard). OK, you can laugh a little. Heck, puppy-hood goes by very quickly.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top