Yes that is the mental exercise... I think that training is a pretty important part of owning any dog, but more so with a GSD. You want them to be socialized with dogs, people, kids, etc and the training helps with all of that. I also did the same thing with my Golden Retriever and I will go through obedience classes with any dogs I get from now on. It is worth it when you see what both you and the dog have accomplished.Wow, three levels of obedience by that age! That's amazing. Really inspiring.
Is that what you mean by 'mental exercise?' I plan to do formal obedience classes for sure with any dog I get, but I keep reading about 'mental exercise' and wasn't sure exactly what people are referring to.
It is constant. If we "skip" a day, they become major pains in the behind. (I only skip if I"m sick or it's pouring rain.)And how do you provide it? What is your routine?
I am just trying to get a clear picture of what owning a GSD is like, as we are strongly considering getting one. Would love to hear how you deal with exercising your dog! Thanks.
This explains perfectly what I feel every day for Bear...don't get me wrong...it can be SUPER annoying....but in the moments when I feel the way you perfectly verbalized it, it's amazing. GSDs are special and really do give what they get. As long as you can get used to peeing with a cute pair of "personal body guard" eyes staring at you...you're good.They just cram themselves right into your heart and life and they don't seem to be happy unless they are right there. They must always know what you are doing. I find this occasionally annoying, but mostly I find it very endearing. :wub:
That's how my GSD is. Most days he runs with me in the morning at least 6 miles, sometimes 7 miles. Then he'll play at lunchtime outside for an hour (with my other dog and my husband). Then in the afternoon he might get another 3 mile run.My dog loves to be active, but he is also fine in the house on days when he doesn't get a whole lot of exercise. BUT, he is one of the dogs that will run till he drops if you let him.
Well said ,mine are the same but my youngest has never damaged anything in the house and he has been crateless since 6 months. He will retrieve a ball till your arm falls off but is a couch potatoe complete with head on the pillow when in the house. He is now 8 months oldMy dog loves to be active, but he is also fine in the house on days when he doesn't get a whole lot of exercise. BUT, he is one of the dogs that will run till he drops if you let him. He's pretty well balanced. Some days he just needs to RUN, and I actually run him in the yard for about 15 minutes (play fetch) BEFORE I take him on a walk because when he gets excited and also has pent up energy, he generally gets very whiney and annnoying and he'll whine for about 6 blocks or so.
I think overall GSDs are highly active dogs and will do best in a home where they can be worked, or in an active family. They could easily be too much for a 'couch potato' style of living. They can get bored easily and destroy things in the process. GSDs are very smart, and their minds need to be put to use or you will find things chewed up all over the place Mine also chews if he feels we aren't paying attention to him!
So all in all, physical and mental exercise are very important. The amount of drive will vary from dog to dog. A high drive dog is going to require a lot more exercise and mental stimulation. But oh gosh- even with their quirks and high maintenance, there just isn't a dog cuter, or one that can melt my heart, easier than a GSD!!!!