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He attached immediately to my husband, but I'm home with our new guy all day and feed him. But, my husband is still the main person so when he goes to work River gets a little frantic, but finally calms down.

Here's the thing: he often races upstairs, races through my bedroom and continues racing and racing and racing.

My two boys hide in their bedroom.

River gets a long walk in the morning and again in the evening by my husband or all of us. He's getting stuffed Kongs, bully sticks etc. Formal training starts on Sat., but he knows to sit and will do it if he feels like it.

I hate to say it, but I end up putting him in his crate because I can't control him. The racing thing is part of it, but he also nips at our legs, feet, hands and clothes. Forget us sitting on the couch, then we're fair game for him. Sometimes I just get exhausted and put him in the crate. Which is right here w/ me.

Any ideas?

Alley p.s. also what size should his crate be for a 70 lbs. dog? Wire or the travel kind? Which brand is best?
 

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Maybe trade the morning walk with a bike ride or a game of fetch. All three of mine have an off switch in the house, but Zoey can be persistent about letting you know she needs an outlet for her energy. With her, the bike or fetch takes a notch out in a short amount of time. If River shows interest in chasing things, perhaps you can take him out after your husband leaves and use a flirt pole or play fetch with him. That might get him to associate your husband leaving with something fun to follow? Tuke use to mouth our pants and hands, trainer said she was "herding" not sure if River is doing the same. When in OB class and we passed the exit, she would grab my pants and pull me in the the direction of the door, cracked me up. Perhaps someone will post with some suggestions on that, DW trained ours to "leave it"
 

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My concern is that your dog may not realize that you and your sons are above him in the pack hierarchy. He is getting to do what he wants when he is out of the crate. What happens when he decides it is time to nip you or the boys to keep you in line? If you play the crate card every time, then you do not end up bonding with him. You might as well have an animal from the zoo in a cage in your house.

You and the boys need to immediately engage the dog. On a leash. The engagement needs to be in a strict training mode: sit, stay, down, leave it, come. Start with a 6' leash, and when he's solid, move to a 20 foot lead. When he starts to zoom in the house stop what you're doing and get control of him and make him obey. Tie his 6' leash to you if you have to to get him to realize that you make the rules and his job is to do what you say.

If you can't do these things (which are only the rudimentary training needed) then you need to rehome him to someone who can. If you allow a GSD to run amok in your home you are asking for trouble.
 

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I don't think you're going to do any irreparable damage crating him until you can get the training underway. It's safer than getting fed up with the dog or having the dog injure someone with his indoor zoomies. It's not like you'll have to do it his entire life...you already have formal training scheduled, good for you!

My boy is 2-1/2 and I had to start crating him again during the day while I'm gone because he busted through a window a few weeks ago. It's safer for him. Do I like it? Not really. Will we do it forever? No way. But for now, it's keeping him safe.

My trainer switched me to hand feeding to strengthen our bond. Maybe you could try that?
 

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First of all, congrats on your new dog and I think it is great that you chose to adopt! I fostered and then adopted my dog at about the same age. Best decision ever! But, he wasn’t always the perfect dog he is today. We had to learn about each other’s needs and find mutually productive ways of communicating those needs : ) Yes, I do see it is a two-way learning process.

My Riley was also very “mouthy” at first. I don’t think he was ever taught that humans don’t like that kind of attention-getting behavior. So, it took a bit of patient and consistent re-direction and other methods over the course of a month or two to curb that behavior completely.

To explain further, if he was mouthing for attention, I would simply not reward that behavior with attention – positive or negative. As soon as he displayed a behavior I liked, I would then give him lots of praise and attention. If his mouthing was because he was in play mode, I would re-direct him to a toy.

I do think that with a newly adopted dog, it is really important to focus on positive engagement and management. Do not set the dog up for failure. Give them time to learn your routines and your expectations. There is nothing wrong with putting the dog in the crate when you have other things to attend to and thus cannot supervise and interact with the dog… just don’t use it as a permanent or long term solution to behavior problems.

Finally, look up “Nothing in Life is Free,” I think this can be very helpful in setting boundaries and providing structure for new dogs. You don’t have to abide by it to the “T,” but I find that the basic principles are sound, particularly with a new (adult) dog.
 
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