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Hi all!
So, I have a 7 month old working line who is definitely my heart dog. She's my baby, but I need some help. She is FINALLY out of her landshark phase, but she still stays in trouble about 90% of the time when she's out of her crate. Here's the general breakdown of my day with her:

6:30 am--Up for a quick walk to go potty
6:45am--Crated and back to sleep (I'm NOT a super early riser 'cause I don't get home from work until midnight).
8am--Up for the day and breakfast time
8:10-8:30--crated again to let food settle (she eats too fast, even with her slow feed bowl, so I worry about her bloating if I let her play too soon after feeding).
8:30--Potty break, play time for 45 minutes
9:15--downtime uncrated (unless she gets mischievous). This is usually the time that I have breakfast, drink coffee, watch the news, and check my emails for the day. The time that I finish all of this generally varies, but this is our morning routine.
Late morning/afternoon--We play and do obedience work for about an hour or so out in the pasture (I live on 13 acres...unfenced unfortunately, but the back half is far enough away from the highway that I feel comfortable letting her run and roam off lead). I also have an agility course set up for her out there that she enjoys.
The rest of the afternoon depends on my schedule. I'm an assistant volleyball coach and I leave around 4 to go to work. At that time, she's crated until my dad gets home to let her out, feed her, and he usually plays with her and does some obedience. On nights when I'm home we play, play, play until I'M exhausted.
On my days off and on weekends, we work a lot on tracking stuff just because she enjoys it, and we go on hikes, as I live in a VERY rural area, so there are plenty of nature trails around. Also because I live in a rural area there is nowhere that is conveniently located where I can get her involved in any sports. I have to drive 45 minutes just to bring her to doggie daycare or a dog park. She is socialized, though, no worries.

I'm fairly certain her getting in trouble is because she's mentally bored because she gets a lot of physical exercise.

I'm 21, and I'm very athletic, so I don't mind getting out and keeping her busy when I can. My vet advised me not to start jogging with her just yet, since she's still growing, but that's something that will definitely happen because she is just so busy and active. I hate that I have to crate her when i need to get things done, but she gets into trouble if I'm not paying attention to her. I'm lucky enough to have a schedule that allows me to have lots of time with her, but I need time to do things for myself, too. I realize a lot of this is puppy, but a lot of it is her breeding. What are some things I can do to keep her busy, uncrated, while I get schoolwork and such done? She HATES Kongs. She likes the "find it" game, but she finds every treat I hide around the house in about 15 minutes. I swear NOTHING wears her out except fetch, and she even recovers quickly from that. I'm one exhausted dog mom who just needs some advice on keeping my kid mentally stimulated, so I can catch a break. Any ideas??

Also, I came into this knowing a working line dog would be a big commitment, so I don't need a lecture. I've gotten several of those on this site. My dad trained narc dogs for a living, so I've grown up with plenty of knowledge on the breed. The only difference here is his dogs worked most days, so he didn't have to worry about keeping his dogs mentally stimulated when they were "off-duty" because they were worn out. He also never got his shepherds or malinois at 8 weeks like we did my girl. We are going to do personal protection work with her, but right now, we're just imprinting.
 

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If you don't get in till late, why take her out at 6:30. I would take her out before you go to bed then get up together at 8.
 

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If you don't get in till late, why take her out at 6:30. I would take her out before you go to bed then get up together at 8.
I take her out when I get in from work for about 15-20 minutes, but she wakes me up to take her out between 6 and 6:30 every morning and usually pees and poops right away, so I never question whether she has to go or not. That's just her clock. I'm sure that will change as she gets older, but right now that's about as long as she holds it. She doesn't put up a fight when I crate her again. She usually goes right back to sleep until I get up at 8 to feed her.
 

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Hang in there :) I literally had a puppy who HATED to sleep, he would finally fall asleep after a huge play session and sleep for 15 minutes then bang! he was awake and ready for more play :crazy: I would have to crate him if I wanted him to sleep more then 30 minutes, even then it was a max of a one hour then he was up and whining to be let out

It does get better, I know you mentioned you were rural but does she have any dog friends that can come over or you could go visit? Dogs are great for wearing each other out when properly matched. Delgado is a dog that can literally go from sun up to sun down if you allow him, but he found his offswitch around 8 months old and now can settle on the couch happily if needed. He even sleeps in until 10 AM on weekends! :wild:

I take Delgado every Sunday to my parents, they have 23 acres with a 1 acre fenced in dog run. Their labradoodle Samson is Delgado's best friend and they literally bomb it for hours together and I'll take him for a offleash hike in their woods as well. For the rest of the week he gets sessions in the backyard with the flirt pole, fetch time, obedience, and just general play and he's a truly happy camper.

Crating does help reinforce "this is time to settle" time when you need to get things done. Or keep her tethered to you with a long leash so she follows you everywhere you go.
 

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At seven months old, don't feel bad if you still have to crate her when you can't supervise - still very much a puppy. I live in the boonies too, so have acreage to go out and play chuckit to exhaust energy, go on walks on trails, set up a little course of jumps and challenge the brain by setting up different jump sequensces, so good for you to do all that.

One thing I have found that helps in stimulating their little active brains is to expose them to new environments. Sometimes I just drive 10 - 15 minutes to a residential area and do leash walks (because driving all the way into town is too much time and driving distance). Just the novelty of having to walk nicely on leash on a sidewalk, with people, cars, buses, bicyclist, other dogs being walked, etc . . . is quite a change and great socialization for them. At 7 months, prime window still to expose your pup to new experiences.

You can try and be creative in finding new places to go with her - playgrounds where she can climb all over the Jungle Gyms for example. Some places I have taken my dogs for socilization/exposure, is a riding club to see the horses, an indoor skating rink to watch hockey practice. In the winder we went to a local ski hill and just hung out at the base of the hill watching people whizzing by on skis and snowboards, went to a multi-park, see people skate-boarding, playing soccer, etc . . . I know not everyone has access to a ski hill (especially not in May!), or a skating rink - but I just mention these as examples. Point is, that having trails and acreage to walk, run and play is awesome (I don't know what I would do without it), but your pup needs to be challenged with novelty also. Means getting in the car and going places - so check out the local parks and facilities, and enjoy!
 
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