German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 110 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
In general I think they more active then any other breed and it all depends on the puppy/dog you get. Mine is only 8.5 months and she is calm when needed and ready to go when its time:) I think that when mine was younger I did a mixture of physical and mental exercise, but as she has gotten older I think the mental exercise is better for her. I still take her for walks and hikes, she runs around with the other dogs, she plays it and hide and seek with the kids, but she loves the training. She isn't destructive and she's no longer in a crate, so I feel she gets what she needs. In the last month I have been busy with personal issues and all of my dogs have adapted well to a different routine and that I'm thankful for. At first I thought that I was going to go crazy when I first got her, but I adapted too. I put lots of work into her and her training(3 levels of obedience and CGC) and I build on that daily. When she turns a year old I will get her into agility. I am also thinking about doing therapy with her now that I got to see her with a sick person that is bedridden(she was calm and did amazing)...I think it boils down to what you are willing to put into the dog:) Good luck and if you get a GSD you won't be disappointed!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Ours is 5 and half months old and spends an hour almost every day at a public dog park. We then walk down to the lake and she spends another half an hour retrieving balls out of the lake. She loves the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
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.
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Findlay

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
Mental exercise refers to working their brain. This can include obedience classes, obedience at home, asking them to find something.... really anything that will trigger brain work.

My dogs.... well i probably have two of the laziest dogs of anyone on the forum for their age. Shasta just turned 2 and she's pretty laid back. She gets excited about walks but doesnt need them. Her idea of a good exercise day is walking down the driveway and back and if i clip the long line to her, she'll zoom around the yard like a maniac for a couple minutes and then she's done. Riley is 7 and his energy levels used to be pretty intense when he was 2-4 years old but he's slowed down a lot the last couple of years.

HOWEVER, Zena when we adopted her was by far one of the most energetic dogs i'd ever been around. She was about 4 when I adopted her and i had to train her completely as she had NO training and she had to be walked several times a day on top of 2 hours racing around the local dog park with one of her furry friends twice a day. It depends on the dog and the dogs lineage and health too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
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. 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!!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
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.
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.)

Mine are mixed, only 1/2 WGSD, so take that for what it is worth, but they are high energy, rather demanding dogs. They have a TON of energy and need mental stimulation every day, too. The mental is really important in our case. The key to a calm home here is a balance of physical and mental. They also thrive on a routine, which they hold me to. :laugh:

They're out in the morning to run and goof off (nothing formal) for 15 or so minutes. Back inside to calm down, then fed. Then back outside for a short time individually. (I don't want them getting too wound up just after eating.) Two days per week, they then get crated. Those days I'm home at lunch for a 15 minute or so romp session. Then I'm back at five PM for a good hour++ long frisbee/ball session. Back inside to mellow and then eat. Calm time. Then obedience training time most nights. Back outside for another session, this one shorter, maybe half an hour to 45 minutes. Back inside. Mellow time. Then bed time.

I'm tired just reading that, but that's basically our normal night. On weekends, you can add another outdoor session late at night.

Prior to having the second dog, our schedule included other things, such as the dog park and the big wide open soccer park for offleash running. Other social things a couple times per week -- the pet store or just a trip to the store in the car. City park here and there. These things have been on hold a bit since second dog came into the picture. One of the dogs, (the established dog) has gone thru three Obedience classes by one year old, so that helps him to burn off that mental steam. He'll be starting his next Obedience class in early June. I want to get the other dog into a beginning class around the same time but not sure if he's really ready.

Sorry for the long ramble, but bottom line, whether purebred or mixes such as mine, you need to be prepared for the dog to be your sole focus for awhile!!!! I think the couch-potato GSD or GSD mix is the exception. :) I catch myself dreaming mine were couch potatoes, but it isn't to be. :)

I have two other dogs, purebreds of other breeds, and love them to bits of course, but these boys have a something that just can't be matched.

I cannot use the bathroom without two white furballs parking on each end of the bathroom, nor can I do a single thing in privacy because they follow me *everywhere* I go. 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:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
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:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
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.
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.

But on the weekends, he's fine with just following us around outside as we do stuff. Not much of a workout for him. And he's calm in the house if it's bad weather. We do make sure he gets outside every day for some kind of exercise, no matter what the weather is.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i think the amount of exercise depends on the dogs needs.
when my dog doesn't go for a walk i drive him to one
of our play areas and toss his ball for him. i toss the ball
untill my dog starts to pant heavy. my GF kicks his ball
in the yard for him. sometimes i play "find it" (i hide something
then i send my dog to find it) in the house for a little exercise
and mind stimulation. today i'm off from work so Loki and i
will give my GF a ride to work. after we drop her off at work
we're headed to the woods (1.5 mile walk). after the woods we're going to do our Saturday stuff, go the bank, dry cleaners, lunch, etc.
my dog is going to be active untill noon. then we'll be home for a few hours and then out again at 3:00 pm. after we pick my GF up from work we're probably headed to the woods near our house for a family walk (2 to 5 miles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,836 Posts
Sasha's ideal exercise would be an hour in the morning (either a bike ride or a very very fast {pretty much a jog} walk), a little play time in the afternoon, at least an hour(same kind, bike or very brisk walk) at night, and lots of mental stuff. She loves the mental stuff the best and it wears her out like no amount of exercise will. That being said, she's very chill in the house. If I don't take her out for a day or two she's fine. At the same time, if I want to go all day long, she's down with that too. As long as she's with me she's pretty content. That being said, she's not really a couch potato. She's had to have zero exercise for the past two months due to a medical thing and she has soooooo much pent up energy that she's almost ridiculous. They need the physical and mental stimulation to be happy, how much depends on the dog.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,988 Posts
Honestly, ya'll do much more than I do with mine. There are days where I do nothing at all with them. And they are working/working dogs.

One of my girls is a really, and I mean, really high drive and high energy dog. But even she learned to calm down at home. However, it takes one word and the switch is flipped and she's ready to conquer the world.

If you have a GSD, it is important to teach them how to calm down at home and if there is a day or two without exercise, they shouldn't take the house apart because of that.

It is very important to keep a good Balance and not to over or understimulate them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for the responses! We got a pup today - she is 3/4 GSD and 1/4 lab. Eeeeeek! I will be reading avidly because I haven't had a puppy for 15 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
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. 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!!!!
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 old
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
Since we do not have a yard, I must walk our dog. Before I got our 1st dog 10 years ago, I wanted to make sure I could walk it. So I would walk myself in the morning and evening, whether I wanted to or not. Once I got into the habit of walking, then I was ready for a dog.

Our current dog gets 25-30 minute walk in the morning. If I'm lucky the tennis courts are open and I can throw a ball. About 2x a week my daughter will take her out at lunch for 45-60 minutes. Weekends could involve and hour of training or an hour hike or walk on beach midday. Evenings my dog likes the best because it is cool. We'll walk a mile to a small private beach, or tennis (if courts are open, they lock them up like Ft Knox in my town). We'll do ball throwing and digging for about 20 minutes, take a break and walk a mile home. Usually out for 60-90 minutes at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Tank usually gets an hour offleash walk at the local park in the morning, and another 30 minute offleash walk through the neighborhood at night when I get home from work(11pm). Every few days, my wife will take him on a 2-3 mile walk/run when she finishes her daily run. And then of course there are several quick training sessions when I'm not at work, fetch, and rough housing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,023 Posts
I'm not sure how much Viking "requires" yet, but this is what he usually gets:

3x 15 minute walks on trails, 30+ minutes of playtime in the house (playing with me, games like tug or fetch etc), 10-30 minutes of training (includes walking around etc), and 2+ hours on a long lead wandering/running in the park. I don't do off leash dog parks but when nobody is around at my local park, since it's fenced in, I'll sometimes let him "off leash" for brief periods to run about. On some days we're doing dog sports (Flyball), other days puppy class (obedience), etc.

Viking gives me the impression that he can keep going for awhile. We spent 5-6 hours at a dog festival on Saturday walking around, meeting dogs, doing agility, going for a swim, and then running around at a local park that evening and he was still revved up to continue training. The only thing that really tires him out is mental exercise (dog sports, things where he has to really think about what he's doing, etc). I've slowly been upping his exercise over time and adding in more things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,687 Posts
Aiden is the type of dog that can go for hours if we are out, but pretty much sleeps and lounges around when he's in the house. We go for at least 1 walk a day that can be anywhere from 2-5miles. Three times a week he goes for a 6+ miles bike ride with me, but it's not something that I think he absolutely NEEDS.

What he definitely needs more than physical exercise is mental stimulation. He's a thinker and if left to his own devices can get a little wonky. He's a shadow/light chaser, he scratches at scuff marks on the floor, and he can generally be a little OCD. We go to Schutzhund club for OB/PR twice a week and track 3-4 times a week. In the house he is constantly doing basic OB things that I ask him of. We don't formally practice too much because he is very handler sensitive and gets in to this "I'm doing it wrong" state of mind, but if I keep him thinking, even with little things, then he has less time to worry about the "shadow monsters."
 
1 - 20 of 110 Posts
Top