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I've read here and there that GSD need jobs, especially the German working lines. What type of 'jobs' are there for a GSD that's a home pet? I want to keep my GSD mentally and physically stimulated, but I feel there's only so much I can do in the suburbs. I don't have a fenced yard yet, but we walk several times a day. Inside, we do some training, tugging, ball play. We go to obedience class 1-2 times a week as well. What jobs do you give your dogs?
 

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Uschi has always brought home the paper from the end of our long driveway, she also carries home all the junk mail and carries around a little metal bucket. She's done that since the first week I had her, I had intended to use it to clean up the poop but she just loves carrying it. Every morning it's her 'job' for about 20 mins, when she was really little I'd put little sticks or pine cones in it. I don't know where she got this idea, she has always done it naturally. They both love carrying big sticks on our walks and I was thinking about getting a backpack for our daily hike in the woods so it would feel more like work than play
 

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Zoe wears a backpack when we go hiking with our waters and lunch, helps carry groceries home, picks up her own toys, and will bring me objects I ask for. Not real jobs but it still stimulates them:)
 

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One of our dogs decided that he was a carpentry dog. If you told him to "Get the hammer" he would bring you a hammer. Not so good on saws, or nails, though :).

That same dog was also a great area search dog. If you dropped an object in the yard (or a hayfield for that matter) he could find it in a matter of minutes. Keys, wallet, tools, cell phone - just about anything. He was much better at finding the objects than at actually tracking (he earned BH through SchH3, IP3 titles during his 11 years with us).
 

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I don't have a fenced yard yet, but we walk several times a day. Inside, we do some training, tugging, ball play. We go to obedience class 1-2 times a week as well. What jobs do you give your dogs?
Sounds like you're doing a good job of keeping him busy. Anything that keeps them physically active or mentally stimulated can pass as work. If you happen to be a sheep farmer that works too. :)

I go outside when it's dark with 4-5 different toys, throw them around the yard, and then send Annie outside to get them, one by one. (Annie go get the bear, go get the ball etc. etc.) She loves this game. You can do the same thing in the house. Harley hasn't quite figured it out yet unless it's the ball.
 

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Whiteshepherds, how did you teach Annie to differentiate between the objects?

Thank you.
 

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Whiteshepherds, how did you teach Annie to differentiate between the objects?
Thank you.
It started by accident. Annie brought me a toy one night to play and I didn't want to touch it. (stuffed bear..covered with dog slobber) So I said "Get me the ball." She dropped the bear and got her ball.

My husband thought that was amazing (he's easily impressed, lol) so he took the ball put it back on the floor and asked her for the bear. She brought the bear. That night we discovered she had a pretty good idea what the bear and bone were...she knew exactly what the ball was.

We didn't teach her, it was something she learned from repeatedly hearing us say the words while playing I guess. Just like she and thousands of other dogs know to go stand by the car door when we ask them if they want to go for a ride.

Anyway, the rest was simple. I put all three toys in a box and asked her for one of them. Then we moved to spreading them around the room and hiding them in different rooms. For each session, finding the right toy got a click/treat and sometimes a throw or tug. Eventually we did it outside and now we do it outside in the dark. This took a few weeks, we didn't do it all in one night.

To teach new names I used new toys and did targeting with the clicker, eventually phasing in the name and then added "go get the...." Eventually I put that new toy in a box with the other toys and asked for it.

I don't know why I ended up with 5 things...I guess because the first three she had pretty much learned by herself and I wanted to see if I could teach her more. It's a fun game and tires her out...this is a good thing. :)
 

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As Uniballer mentioned, learning to search for stuff inside is a great "job" and keeps their brains working. Now if I can get Heike to find my keys, I would be one happy girl.
 

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It started by accident. Annie brought me a toy one night to play and I didn't want to touch it. (stuffed bear..covered with dog slobber) So I said "Get me the ball." She dropped the bear and got her ball.

My husband thought that was amazing (he's easily impressed, lol) so he took the ball put it back on the floor and asked her for the bear. She brought the bear. That night we discovered she had a pretty good idea what the bear and bone were...she knew exactly what the ball was.

We didn't teach her, it was something she learned from repeatedly hearing us say the words while playing I guess. Just like she and thousands of other dogs know to go stand by the car door when we ask them if they want to go for a ride.

Anyway, the rest was simple. I put all three toys in a box and asked her for one of them. Then we moved to spreading them around the room and hiding them in different rooms. For each session, finding the right toy got a click/treat and sometimes a throw or tug. Eventually we did it outside and now we do it outside in the dark. This took a few weeks, we didn't do it all in one night.

To teach new names I used new toys and did targeting with the clicker, eventually phasing in the name and then added "go get the...." Eventually I put that new toy in a box with the other toys and asked for it.

I don't know why I ended up with 5 things...I guess because the first three she had pretty much learned by herself and I wanted to see if I could teach her more. It's a fun game and tires her out...this is a good thing. :)
Have you heard about the dogs who can use the process of elimination to bring a toy they've never seen before? You put out 2 or 3 toys the dog is familiar with and a new toy, then ask for the new toy by name. It's pretty amazing, actually. You should try it and see if she can figure it out.
 

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It started by accident. Annie brought me a toy one night to play and I didn't want to touch it. (stuffed bear..covered with dog slobber) So I said "Get me the ball." She dropped the bear and got her ball.

My husband thought that was amazing (he's easily impressed, lol) so he took the ball put it back on the floor and asked her for the bear. She brought the bear. That night we discovered she had a pretty good idea what the bear and bone were...she knew exactly what the ball was.

We didn't teach her, it was something she learned from repeatedly hearing us say the words while playing I guess. Just like she and thousands of other dogs know to go stand by the car door when we ask them if they want to go for a ride.

Anyway, the rest was simple. I put all three toys in a box and asked her for one of them. Then we moved to spreading them around the room and hiding them in different rooms. For each session, finding the right toy got a click/treat and sometimes a throw or tug. Eventually we did it outside and now we do it outside in the dark. This took a few weeks, we didn't do it all in one night.

To teach new names I used new toys and did targeting with the clicker, eventually phasing in the name and then added "go get the...." Eventually I put that new toy in a box with the other toys and asked for it.

I don't know why I ended up with 5 things...I guess because the first three she had pretty much learned by herself and I wanted to see if I could teach her more. It's a fun game and tires her out...this is a good thing. :)

see its things like that that make me jealous of other peoples dogs. I can train and teach all i want and they still look at me like i've lost my mind. Cant wait til i can go to a breeder that has proven intelligence in their dogs like that. Shasta is a smart lil pup but not the brightest. Riley isnt interested in learning anything new and Shelby... well she's content to know enough just to get by.
 

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mine has many jobs...catching the frisbee for me and bringing it back so that i dont have to do it myself. helps carry firewood (which gets a lot of attention when we are camping), he lets me know when company is over and keeps them from walking in when im just getting out of the shower, scares away anoying sales men, he would bring me beer if i tought him too but i figured teaching him how to get into the fridge would not be a good thing. he runs next to me when i go for a bike ride...i could go on and on and on...these dogs are great for active family's.
 

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see its things like that that make me jealous of other peoples dogs. I can train and teach all i want and they still look at me like i've lost my mind. Cant wait til i can go to a breeder that has proven intelligence in their dogs like that. .
They don't come any better than Annie's father, I like to think she inherited his temperament and brains. She's definitely a thinking dog and a problem solver.

It's always easier to train a dog who offers behaviors and Annie does that. Harley not so much. He learns quick but I have to work harder in the beginning so he understands what I want.
Annie just throws stuff out there and if we're paying attention, we name it and claim it, and then pretend we came up with the idea. :)
 

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Have you heard about the dogs who can use the process of elimination to bring a toy they've never seen before? You put out 2 or 3 toys the dog is familiar with and a new toy, then ask for the new toy by name. It's pretty amazing, actually. You should try it and see if she can figure it out.
Going to try this with both of them, sounds like fun!
 

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Mine love the toy game as well. They also like when we hide small treats around the house and let them go find them. (They will actually try to "peek" to see where treats are being hidden.) We also have a ball that small treats or kibble can be put into. Our female gently rolls it so the kibble will come out of the holes. Our male picks it up an slams in to the ground to get his out. (they love it.)
 

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I've read here and there that GSD need jobs, especially the German working lines. What type of 'jobs' are there for a GSD that's a home pet? I want to keep my GSD mentally and physically stimulated, but I feel there's only so much I can do in the suburbs. I don't have a fenced yard yet, but we walk several times a day. Inside, we do some training, tugging, ball play. We go to obedience class 1-2 times a week as well. What jobs do you give your dogs?
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They don't come any better than Annie's father, I like to think she inherited his temperament and brains. She's definitely a thinking dog and a problem solver.

It's always easier to train a dog who offers behaviors and Annie does that. Harley not so much. He learns quick but I have to work harder in the beginning so he understands what I want.
Annie just throws stuff out there and if we're paying attention, we name it and claim it, and then pretend we came up with the idea. :)

see thats what i'd prefer. I'm actually kinda tired of training and working so hard to teach a behavior. I know GSDs take work by good lord.... in the world of GSDs.... my dogs are boneheads. I love them to death but i wish training were easier. I'd love to have the brains and temperment but right now i just cant afford the cost of a the gsd pup from the breeder i want to go through. Its my goal in a couple years. I'd like to be able to do Sch. and agility maybe. Maybe even dog acting.
 
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