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Discussion Starter #1
I could really use your guys advice. I’m about ready to consider giving my puppy up because I just don’t think I can handle him anymore

The problem is he never stops going. Even if I take him to the park and throw the ball for an hour he comes home and wants to play more. You can’t just let him out of the cage and ignore him he always wants to play and if you don’t play he bites you or destroys the house.

The only thing that works is giving him soup bones non stop and that’s expensive. What ends up happening is I play with him for an hour until I’m tired of playing. Then I try to give him a bone. After the bone he comes back to play so I put him in the crate. Because of this he ends up being in the crate a lot and that’s not fair to the puppy. No matter how much I walk him or play with him it’s never enough.

I just don’t think I have the time or energy to do more. I buy treats, bones, I train him every day, I play with him every day. I just don’t have more to give. I have college, work, bills to pay, other stresses. I put up a Christmas tree and he destroys it, I just can’t take it. Every day it’s chase the cats, bark at the neighbors, go potty every night waking me up, non stop play, never relaxes. Maybe I am not a good owner..I’m just pulling my hair out
 

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Physical activity can become a double edged sword. The more you try to wear him out, the more fit he becomes, which means it takes even more physical activity to tire him out, which means he gets even more fit.... What are you doing to wear him out mentally? A few minutes here and there of obedience training and/or nosework can wear out even the most energetic dog.
 

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From a post back in May -
Op here

I just found out about the ddr working line.. would they be good for me or too aggressive?

How protective are the German showline? Can I train them somewhat? I don’t plan on competing or anything but trying to train my dog would be fun and I want a dog who is protective of home

Someone asked what my lifestyle is for the dog and my family and I get tons of exercise and go to parks and hiking a lot so burning the dog out isn’t a problem. The only thing I worry about is a high drive dog killing or chasing my cats. They’re already somewhat timid as most cats are.

I’m very committed to training my dog every day if need be, I’m also willing to pay for training as long as it’s not an arm and a leg!

Talk to us about your training endeavors. 8 months old is right smack inside the adolescent brattiness stage of development.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In response to hellish:

I am committed to this puppy but I think that a German Shepherd was way more of a commitment than I anticipated. Even for my gf and I who jog a lot and go to the park a lot this puppy is just too much. I put a lot of time and money into this dog.

I tried taking him to the park, hiking 2 miles, throw the ball 50 yards repeatedly as he full sprints, and even still he comes home and wants to continue playing

I try to mentally train him teaching him sit, down, stay. I do this for an hour every day. He does good with this but after he still wants more. I give him bones to chew on. I walk him every other day for a mile. I play with him inside doing ball throws for a few hours every day. I take him to the park 3 times a week for ball throwing or hiking miles. There’s not much more I can do. And it’s not his fault either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He does very well with training. The problem is more when you are done he will not sit still. Let’s say I train him for an hour. When I go to sit on the couch he will go chew on the Christmas tree or pull a lamp down.

And we try getting him more exercise. Going to a big field and off leash throwing the ball far as I can. He sleeps home but when he’s back in the house he’s crazy again

The only thing that sort of works is hiking 3+ miles but he almost always gets ticks so we try not to do that
 

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I must guiltily admit that we have not had a Christmas tree since we added the shepherd to our household. He will be two in March and I don't trust him with not touching it when alone while we are at work.

Starting at 6 months of age we have been working with a trainer 1 on 1 every two weeks for the insights into what makes a working line GSD tick as we found him to be vastly different from the other working class dogs I have raised. NILIF training is something she is huge on and many nuances of eye contact and body language that I would have scoffed at before seeing the results first hand.

Please dont give up on your boy without considering some professional guidance from a trainer that KNOWS shepherds thoroughly. Puppies in general can be frustrating. If you get past the hump of this age stage it will get better.
 

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Have you consulted with a trainer? Simple exhausting a dog does not train them. You need to find a trainer that can help teach you how to train your dog to settled. What sort of mental activities do you do with your dog? Scent sports are good for mental exercise as are off leash walks or walks on a long line where the dog is able to move freely.



Here are a couple articles about over exercising a dog:


https://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/too-much-of-a-good-thing/


https://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/the-superdog-syndrome/
 

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Challenging their brain goes further than a lot of mindless miles of fetch or running. :)

Sit/Down/Come doesn’t make them think once they’re more than a few months old, it’s just repetition.

If you get into a class with structured challenges and increasing difficulty (Nosework, Agility, Rally, take your pick of many activities), a 30-45 minute class will do more to tire them out than hours of zooming around.

As the dog learns, the challenges increase, so you never end up with an amazingly fit athlete with a very bored brain.

Foundation classes also tend to include elements of impulse control and/or crate games, skills that will transfer well to other parts of your daily life.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I won’t give up on him, I think I just needed to vent to people who understand haha

I think I’ll take him to a trainer. I’ve been wanting to start ipo with him but I’ve been procrastinating but I think he really needs something to do that makes him be more involved
 

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CatMan900:
I can relate to a lot of your problems. My puppy, Cassie, is 5 months now. The collective members here provide a wealth of information that can help you manage your challenges.

CHRISTMAS TREE:

I have to say you were very optimistic to get a Christmas Tree. I didn't even consider it, LOL. I'm thinking the only way to have been successful with having a tree would be to either have it in a room, where the dog can't roam or to have a tiny tree on a table (with an electrified fence around it). A virtual tree, projected against a wall, might have been an option.

TOO MUCH ENERGY:

I've received advice from other members here, that sometimes you just have to give them a time out in their crate, or some other means of confinement. One member indicated she would tie her dog to the refrigerator.

I was reluctant to crate much early on, but have grown to see it as a tool. Sometimes, Cassie is rowdy when I let her out of her crate (i.e. come home after 4 hours away). Other times, such as an hour or 2 before bedtime, it can serve to render her mellow for the rest of the evening. Generally, she sleep on my bedtop without much trouble. Some nights, I have to put my arms under the covers, so she won't use them as a chew toy, LOL. I always wake up to a bit of a battle, as when it's time to get out of bed, the "on button" engages and she goes into high gear. On most days, I engage in a little battle when I get up and both of us had a potty run. Then, it's in the crate she goes until I can make some coffee.

Cassie is my 3rd GSD. I have to say, however, that she is quite a handful, in comparison to my prior two dogs. With my prior dogs, I was working and managed to raise the dogs without a whole lot of stress. Now, I'm retired and thought it all should be easier. It's been quite the opposite with little miss Cassie, LOL. On most days, she has multiple periods of time, when she is in high gear and very rowdy. When she is in low gear, she can be a lot gentler and sweet. It's almost like there are two personalities, LOL

My prior 2 GSDs liked to engage in herding activity with balls. One liked underinflated soccer balls and an Egge toy (shaped like a very large hard plastic egg). With the Egge, it was a herding activity. With the soccer balls, I'd eather kick them or launch like a volleyball and she would chase it and retrieve it. My other dog grew to like an underinflated basketball, I'd bounce it to her and she would bounce it back with her nose. These games can be fun for you and your dog. If you Google, "Herding Games for Dogs", you might find some helpful info.

Using a flirt pole can help drain some energy. I bought one a couple of weeks ago and it helps drain some energy. Some people like them, others don't. Best to read up on how to prevent injuries when you use it.

Even with my prior 2 dogs, I'd generally have the experience of getting in a good 3 miles walk at the park, the dog sleeps next to me on the drive home. Then, by the time we got home, the dog would be ready for a game of ball outside (either with a soccer ball, basketball or an Egge toy)
 

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Where are you located? Look for a good trainer who does sports or a local dog club. We can help you find one. Even an active German Shepherd should be able to settle. Exercise isn’t enough. They need mental stimulation and they also need to learn to be comfortable alone. My WL was much more active as a puppy, but I made him learn to lie quietly next to me during meals or when I was on my computer. Now he can relax for long stretches of time. The more activity you train him to want, the more he will look for it. You have trained him to be that active without realizing it. It can be fixed.
 

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I agree with everything posted above, but also just wanted to add that teaching a dog to settle is part of training. If it isn't something specific you asked for in the breeding your dog is from, there's a good chance your dog doesn't come from parents who naturally have an off-switch to pass down. Having a specific type of dog bed and teaching a "place" command can be a life saver. I did it for my girl, and I have a dog bed on every floor of my place. If I go into a room where there normally isn't a dog bed but need her to settle, I bring a dog bed in and give her the place command. I will intermittently reward her for laying there and relaxing.

It exhausts her because she's so focused on getting a treat in the beginning, but as time passes it also forces her to relax because the only way she can get rewarded is by staying calm on the dog bed while I do my own thing. It also gives me freedom to move around without worrying about her. Eventually, or at least in my case, you end up with a dog who automatically looks for the dog bed in every space and lays down on it because it's their space.
 

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To the OP ---


I'm going to be a bit more specific to something I haven't seen others being, well, terribly direct about. When you have worked your pup, when you have played with your pup ---- and when you need to do something else -- put the pup up! Crate time is a fine time. It sounds like your pup is getting plenty of attention, plenty of exercise and as you consider a specific sport for him, he will have highly structured time added to that then... ----- put him up, let him rest. He needs his humans to be game and they can't be game if he's consistently wearing them out. He needs crate time, you need crate time. Scratch the "not fair to him" stuff.



Really, it sounds like you are doing great almost to the point of over the top with this pup. So - maybe give yourself a pass on the "unfair to him" regarding crate time.
 

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One thing you can change right now is your perception of this issue. Try thinking about it as a good problem to have. It suggests your pup has plenty of drive which can really help with training once you learn how to use it. It suggests your pup is healthy and hopefully doesn't have any orthopedic issues which plague the breed. This will improve with maturity and you could end up with a very nice dog. If you have read many posts here, a lot have to with someone's dog lacking drive or being fearful, or having health issues. I'd much rather have your "problem." Also, I wouldn't do any jogging because your pup is too young. When he gets to be about a 18 months, he can run and bike with you, which can really help tire him out. If you live in a warmer area, swimming is a great way to provide exercise that won't pound his joints. What is the dog's breeding? Has he been crate trained/do you use a crate? If so, that is a place he can learn to be calm, but don't use it for punishment.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for all the replies everyone.

I’d say my biggest concern was that because he never tired out and I have to crate him, that I’m doing something wrong as an owner. I feel bad because most dogs are out all day with their owners but maybe my puppy is too young and hyper for that right now? If someone could answer this that would be great. Because I try to keep him out all day but he just destroys or wants to play

Also thanks to whoever said try to look at it as a positive. I never thought of it like that. It probably does mean if he’s this active that his hips and elbows will be healthy hopefully ?
 

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Another vote here for more mental work, and especially tracking I find really takes it out of them in a good way. They are methodically working, it's low impact, and when they are done they are pretty gassed.

And another vote for teach your dog to settle and understand it's going to be hard at first because your dog is used to being in this constant go state so prepare yourself that it might be quite a job to teach him to settle. I've done it with a foster dog that had the same problem and it was kind of a project but we got it done. So when the first couple tries are an exercise in frustration expect that's normal and persevere.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The parents were ipo 2 and ipo3 so this is a high drive dog. Maybe I was naive to think it would be easy. This is my first dog and I think I jumped in the deep end and I just need to adapt! I’m used to my grandmas schnauzer which couldn’t hurt a fly lol

I’m gonna start ipo with him I think that will help..

Also I seen someone said he could use a job, what kind of job?
 

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Yes, your puppy is probably too young and hyper to hang out with you all the time. This will get better with continued exercise, training and maturity. High drive dogs are not for the typical pet owner, so you have to adapt and it sounds like you are doing a lot to meet his needs. Like I said, consider yourself fortunate. You could have a lot worse "problems."
 
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