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High Prey Drive

2884 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  WiscTiger
I have a dog that is almost 10 months old. She is crated during the day while I am working which is about 4 hours. She is walked twice a day and loves being outside in the backyard. I do spend quality time with her playing and petting.

My problem is that she would rather be outside than be with me. Outside she chases birds, butterflies and whatever catches her attention. She goes crazy playing frisbee.

Another concern that I have is that she will run herself ragged outside. She goes and goes and goes constantly moving. Is this normal a dog with a high prey drive?

I have read that GS always want to be with their pack. Well, she doesn't. I am wondering if I should just leave her outside and maybe she will realize her pack is not outside and she will get lonely and then want to come in with the family.

Any thoughts?
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What form of OB training have you and the pup gone through? Mental stimulation will tire a dog out as much as physical excercise.

If you want your pup to pay attention to you then you have to become more interesting than the birds and butterflys. Chasing birds, etc can be a really run game, but it can also become an obsessive compulsion. The pup is looking for something to entertain itself.

Have you thought about tracking, the training for that is great at excercising the brain.
When we get an active and high drive puppy, they are looking for an active and high drive PACK to keep them stimulated and happy. If instead we are just good for a pet, a short leashed walk, a bit of loving and food................................ boring boring boring boring and our pups will start looking for more that does meet their needs.

Getting a working type active puppy meant an entire life change for me. You seen this site Click Here on the agility board? Shows how we have to plan, organize, come up with ideas, and find ways to interact WITH our dogs to exercise both their brains and bodies...New places, new people, new dogs, new activities, new sights, new sounds to challenge and stimulate them.

During these activities our dogs should start noticing how we are calm and happy and interacting well. THIS is another way they see we are a calm leader so they naturally start looking to us for guidance and partnership.

Any and all dog training/classes helps the human part of the relationship. I know so many people having issues with their dogs and blame the dog (I'm not saying you
). When dog training/classes isn't ultimately much about the dog at all. It's about the fact we owners love our dogs but don't know how to train, socialize, interact with them to meet THEIR needs and do it the best way for the dog. Once we get out and about with them and WE learn what to do, it's amazing what a different dog we start ending up with.

So take out your calendar and start making plans. At least 3 times a week that involve putting the dog in the car and going somewhere with him. Classes are a great way to start. But also finding parks to go to, areas to bring the dog swimming, other friends with dogs for play dates, camping, canoeing...........

BTW, I'd stop letting him in the yard without you for the next year or so. If you are letting the empty yard entertain and exercise him, well, then the yard is the most entertaining thing in his life! If instead YOU are in the yard 100% of the time with him, praising for a good poo/pee, playing a quick game of ball, quick obedience tricks (with treats!!!) and then back in the house..... then going out in the yard WITH YOU will become part of the fun.
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Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger

If you want your pup to pay attention to you then you have to become more interesting than the birds and butterflys.

What type of interaction does she have with you outside just hanging around and taking walks? What sort of play does she get? Mental stimulation?

Dog's with high prey drive, like it sounds that she has, are generally VERY easy to get to interact with their owners. But to do so the owner has to be fun and interesting. If her time with you is more boring than her time chasing birds and butterflies, she's going to rather chase birds and butterflies.

Play games with her... fetch, tug, hide & seek type "find it" games for food, toys, yourself.

And training, training, training. GSDs need more than just hang out time with their owners and physical exercise. They need mental stimulation.... this is where training comes in. They are highly intelligent and don't just have good brains, but they like to use their brains. So make sure she has a way to do that. Training not only provides the needed mental stimulation, but when done right it is also tremendously fun for the dog and builds a much stronger bond between dog and owner. And of course has the additional benefit of teaching the dog commands and manners.

Use play, and especially training, to make yourself the most fun and interesting thing in her life, and you'll see a huge turn around.
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It certainly sounds high energy to me.

I would say you probably just need to do more challenging things with her. I don't think she's crated too much, but her butt needs to be worn out and that can be difficult when the dog has more energy than you! So you work smarter, not harder.

Everyone agrees mental exercise can be just as tiring as physical. I like to buy food puzzle balls. If you go to your local petsmart or similar store you will find the shelves are loaded with toys that you can put treats into, and you dog has to figure out how to get them out. I just use part of my dog's breakfast kibble so that he's not getting overfed and a good toy will keep him busy for awhile. It takes some experimenting (I find if it's too hard he just throws it in his water dish and waits for the nasty soupy mess he's made to just dissolve.

Something on high drive/energy dogs:

Paying attention to you is a trained behavior for most dogs. You have to build up a habit in your dog to look to you for good stuff. (treats, praise, toys, games, etc) It can be embarassing acting like such a complete fool to get your dogs attention, but until you've built your exciting reputation in your dog's eyes you have to be really animated. Motivational obedience should get your dog more excited about you, and I really like the command "watch" to get immediate attention on me. I also second teaching tracking. It can be a great problem solving activity.

A Thread on teaching focus or watch:
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Quote: Another concern that I have is that she will run herself ragged outside. She goes and goes and goes constantly moving. Is this normal a dog with a high prey drive?
This kinda stood out to me.. Is it really high prey drive or hectic drive/energy?

I think I need to make a new thread...
I have to agree with G-burg, there is a vast difference in High Prey Drive and those hectic drive/energy.
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