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Seriously, no judgement, please. We all have those days where things just get to be too much and we reach our limits and need to blow off steam...I'm so there.

I have a 10 month old GSD. She's a working line breed, and I've seriously had my moments where I just want to board her for a weekend to catch a break. Just stay home and do NOTHING.
First we went through all the normal GSD puppy stuff...the biting phase that made me look like a cutter because my arms were always torn up.
She still bites but not as much as she used to. She does, however, talk back when I tell her no. She barks, and barks, and barks, and runs circles around my dining room table so I can't catch her to snap her out of it...which just involves a quick snap of her collar to put her in a down/stay. I never ever hit my dog, but I did have to result to a prong collar because she's a TERRIBLE puller on walks, and when she gets excited she forgets all her training. I weigh 115 lbs, and she weighs 75 of pure muscle. She was dragging me all over the place, even though she knows very well what HEAL means. I've always been an assertive person, so I never imagined I would have trouble with a GSD. My dad used to train for the narc unit and he loves the breed, so he's even had to step in and help quite a bit, but I'm moving out and living on my own, and he won't be around to help, and as much as I hate to say it, I'm DREADING it. She is crate trained, but when she's out (even after playing ball and some training) she won't relax. She's always into something. ANYTHING she can find to chew on or tear up to get attention, and trust me, she's not neglected. She gets so much of time during the day that I never have time to do laundry or anything. I go out, maybe, once a week to see friends. I'm home with her ALL DAY LONG. I'm exhausted and at my wits end because I'm about to start school. My dad won't let me put her in an obedience program because he used to train so he has some inferiority complex about it (and I can't afford to do it right now without his help because of college). Ugh. I'm open to suggestions, people, just be nice to me, please. ha. She does get exercise throughout the day. i'm an athlete, always have been, but I can't run with her because she cuts in front of me and trips me. I thought about getting a bike and teaching her to run next to it. Ideas...I just need ideas. :help::confused::cry:
 

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If your dad wont let you hire a trainer and he has a successful history with training why not let him train her? Not you train at his direction, like leave the dog with him for what ever period of time and let him train her?
 

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Wow...You sure have your hands full!

A gsd is so much work and being single and a student
I really don't know how you do it.. Good for you..

Being young and very busy starting your life you may want to
find her a home with someone who has a lot of time to
work a working dog.

I'm married with 4 boys and we all take the time to
play and walk our gsd but she still seems to never run out of energy..haha

Again good luck with whatever you do!!
 

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Seriously, no judgement, please. We all have those days where things just get to be too much and we reach our limits and need to blow off steam...I'm so there.

I have a 10 month old GSD. She's a working line breed, and I've seriously had my moments where I just want to board her for a weekend to catch a break. Just stay home and do NOTHING.
First we went through all the normal GSD puppy stuff...the biting phase that made me look like a cutter because my arms were always torn up.
She still bites but not as much as she used to. She does, however, talk back when I tell her no. She barks, and barks, and barks, and runs circles around my dining room table so I can't catch her to snap her out of it...which just involves a quick snap of her collar to put her in a down/stay. I never ever hit my dog, but I did have to result to a prong collar because she's a TERRIBLE puller on walks, and when she gets excited she forgets all her training. I weigh 115 lbs, and she weighs 75 of pure muscle. She was dragging me all over the place, even though she knows very well what HEAL means. I've always been an assertive person, so I never imagined I would have trouble with a GSD. My dad used to train for the narc unit and he loves the breed, so he's even had to step in and help quite a bit, but I'm moving out and living on my own, and he won't be around to help, and as much as I hate to say it, I'm DREADING it. She is crate trained, but when she's out (even after playing ball and some training) she won't relax. She's always into something. ANYTHING she can find to chew on or tear up to get attention, and trust me, she's not neglected. She gets so much of time during the day that I never have time to do laundry or anything. I go out, maybe, once a week to see friends. I'm home with her ALL DAY LONG. I'm exhausted and at my wits end because I'm about to start school. My dad won't let me put her in an obedience program because he used to train so he has some inferiority complex about it (and I can't afford to do it right now without his help because of college). Ugh. I'm open to suggestions, people, just be nice to me, please. ha. She does get exercise throughout the day. i'm an athlete, always have been, but I can't run with her because she cuts in front of me and trips me. I thought about getting a bike and teaching her to run next to it. Ideas...I just need ideas. :help::confused::cry:
Sounds like a nice working pup.

Its probably not an inferiority complex, its that with the demand there has been an explosion of self-described pet trainers and behaviorists and unfortunately many of these folks don't really know that much about dog training.

"She barks, and barks, and barks, and runs circles around my dining room table so I can't catch her to snap her out of it...which just involves a quick snap of her collar to put her in a down/stay."
You should be able to command a down without chasing her or touching the collar. If it requires a correction I can tell you the dog doesn't understand the exercise yet. Also, if you chase her you just made that a fun game.

If you want to run with her, run in a heel... if she cuts infront of you she doesn't understand heeling yet. Have her on a prong and if she begins to advance just a few light taps will back her up.

Keep at it, and in time (2-3 years old :p) the dog will calm down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If your dad wont let you hire a trainer and he has a successful history with training why not let him train her? Not you train at his direction, like leave the dog with him for what ever period of time and let him train her?
That was the plan. I've lived with my parents since I got her in November, and the plan was for him to do all her obedience. I mean, we discussed it for months before I got her...only problem is, he hasn't held up his end of the bargain. I've done all of it aside from the heal command, which he taught her. I mentioned leaving her with him for about three months after I move out, and he FREAKED out on me. He said he doesn't have time (even though he, for the most part, works from home). And he said he doesn't want a dog, so if I can't handle her, I need to get rid of her, which breaks my heart. I got her in november. I've left the house to go somewhere overnight three times since then. I'm going nuts and I'm frustrated, and I think she picks up on that.
 

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I can understand getting help training your puppy but YOU should be doing the training. It is YOUR dog, not your father's dog. Even if you dump her off on your dad to train for 3 months, training is not accomplished in only 3 months, training continues for the rest of the dog's life.

If you were planning on someone else raising and training YOUR dog then you shouldn't have gotten her. It is also very important for YOU to do the training and/or be present while the training is taking place so that YOU can learn how to do it on your own for when the trainer is not around. It also helps with bonding and teaching the dog that you are in charge.
 

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I can understand getting help training your puppy but YOU should be doing the training. It is YOUR dog, not your father's dog. Even if you dump her off on your dad to train for 3 months, training is not accomplished in only 3 months, training continues for the rest of the dog's life.

If you were planning on someone else raising and training YOUR dog then you shouldn't have gotten her. It is also very important for YOU to do the training and/or be present while the training is taking place so that YOU can learn how to do it on your own for when the trainer is not around. It also helps with bonding and teaching the dog that you are in charge.
Like I said, I have done ALL her training. And I planned on being actively involved in all of it while living here, so I would know what to do when I left...now I'm leaving and she's not where she needs to be, so I'm just trying to get some ideas of where to go from here. I've considered taking her to my dad'd friend who still runs drug dogs to see if she can use her. I want Jovi to be happy. That's my priority. If I can have her happy and living with me, that would be ideal, but if I can't I don't want to be selfish and keep her from being a happy/healthy dog working to her full potential.
 

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Too bad your not close to the boarder sounds like a very nice working propsect as long as she has the nerve to go with the drive. If you do end up keeping her crate her. She doesnt come out unless she is on a leash and interacting with you. Crate, walk, Crate, Train, Crate Walk etc. The dog should never be able to do what she wants on her own. All good things come through you.
 

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So your moving out for school? Right?
I'm sure you've thought about the time needed for your GSD while your in school and I truly appreciate your honesty about wanting her to have a happy life.

Tough, tough choices for sure.

I think you need a weekend free to get your "me time". It's healthy when you've been under stress.
 

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I never ever hit my dog, but I did have to result to a prong collar because she's a TERRIBLE puller on walks, and when she gets excited she forgets all her training. I weigh 115 lbs, and she weighs 75 of pure muscle. She was dragging me all over the place, even though she knows very well what HEAL means.
It's "heel". Sorry, but that's a pet peeve of mine. :) If she's pulling terribly on walks then she either doesn't really KNOW the heel command, (as in it's been fully trained, proofed, and generalized under a variety of different circumstances), or she doesn't think she needs to obey you in general. I'm guessing that there's an element of both going on, based on your description of everything else. If she's still pulling so bad even wearing a prong that you can't run with her, then you're not using it correctly, because that shouldn't be possible.

I train my dogs extensively from the time I bring them home as puppies - by the time Halo was 10 months old she was either in or had completed her 4th obedience class, and even though she's smart as a whip and made most of the other dogs in her class look bad because we were so far ahead of them, she certainly didn't "know very well" what all the commands meant yet, not to the point where she would immediately comply no matter where we were or what we were doing. Especially the heel command. Her leash walking skills were coming along nicely, but were not perfect, and if we saw a cat or a squirrel all bets were off. She was not a terrible puller, however, because I'd spent literally hundreds of hours, walking hundreds of miles with her on a walking path near a lake, which was rife with distractions - bicycles, skateboards, families with toddlers and babies in strollers, people walking with and without dogs, joggers.....And every walk we did was a training walk, where I reinforced the kind of behavior I wanted. If she HAD been a terrible puller after all that training I would definitely NOT think that she knew very well how to walk on leash!

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm trying to get you to adjust your expectations of what she really does know. You said you've done all her training, but can you describe what you've trained, and how? When did you start, what methods have you used, where have you trained her (at home, in your yard, out in public places, etc.?) If all or most of your training has been done at home in a low distraction environment it's perfectly normal that she wouldn't obey out in the big wide world with all its interesting sights and smells.

Are you familiar with NILIF, where in order to get anything she values she must do something for you first? Nothing in Life is Free

This is something I start immediately - at first it's very easy, appropriate to the age and abilities of the puppy, and then I gradually make it more challenging. My dogs learn to defer to me, to offer sits, downs, and eye contact, without having to be cued, because that's how they get what they want. Those become default behaviors, part of our everyday life.
 

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Take a step back and think about what you've got. You have a pup (and it's still a pup) who's brain is going 90 to nothing, 24/7. Your pup WANTS to please, it just has no idea how. Nor does it have the ability to focus long enough to figure it out.

You don't have to be with your pup 24/7 to correctly train it. You need to re-energize or you're not good to your pup or yourself. Use your crate when you need a break.

Incorporate your pup into your daily chores. Don't think that now you need to do laundry. Think 'I need to work my pup. What can I do? I know, WE'LL do laundry." Carry treats with you (or toys what ever reward is best). Gather your laundry, have the pup bring you a sock. "Bring it!" When it does, reward. Give your pup a towel to carry to the washing machine. "Bring it!" When it does, reward. Have your pup sit (for a moment) in front on the washer "Sit!" reward. If it takes your pup 15 minutes to realize that "Bring it" means not to run around with a sock in it's mouth, then you are training it to bring it to you.

Teaching a dog useless parlor tricks uses a lot of mental energy for your pup. Don't focus so much on the basic (serious) OB. Think of fun things you can teach your pup. Google dog tricks, there are tons of them out there.

If you think you are providing enough exercise for your pup and you still are unable to get it to focus, increase your exercise by 2. Get a flirt pole. Great tool when you've had all you can take and you STILL need to tire out your pup.
 

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It's "heel". Sorry, but that's a pet peeve of mine. :) If she's pulling terribly on walks then she either doesn't really KNOW the heel command, (as in it's been fully trained, proofed, and generalized under a variety of different circumstances), or she doesn't think she needs to obey you in general. I'm guessing that there's an element of both going on, based on your description of everything else. If she's still pulling so bad even wearing a prong that you can't run with her, then you're not using it correctly, because that shouldn't be possible.

I train my dogs extensively from the time I bring them home as puppies - by the time Halo was 10 months old she was either in or had completed her 4th obedience class, and even though she's smart as a whip and made most of the other dogs in her class look bad because we were so far ahead of them, she certainly didn't "know very well" what all the commands meant yet, not to the point where she would immediately comply no matter where we were or what we were doing. Especially the heel command. Her leash walking skills were coming along nicely, but were not perfect, and if we saw a cat or a squirrel all bets were off. She was not a terrible puller, however, because I'd spent literally hundreds of hours, walking hundreds of miles with her on a walking path near a lake, which was rife with distractions - bicycles, skateboards, families with toddlers and babies in strollers, people walking with and without dogs, joggers.....And every walk we did was a training walk, where I reinforced the kind of behavior I wanted. If she HAD been a terrible puller after all that training I would definitely NOT think that she knew very well how to walk on leash!

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm trying to get you to adjust your expectations of what she really does know. You said you've done all her training, but can you describe what you've trained, and how? When did you start, what methods have you used, where have you trained her (at home, in your yard, out in public places, etc.?) If all or most of your training has been done at home in a low distraction environment it's perfectly normal that she wouldn't obey out in the big wide world with all its interesting sights and smells.

Are you familiar with NILIF, where in order to get anything she values she must do something for you first? Nothing in Life is Free

This is something I start immediately - at first it's very easy, appropriate to the age and abilities of the puppy, and then I gradually make it more challenging. My dogs learn to defer to me, to offer sits, downs, and eye contact, without having to be cued, because that's how they get what they want. Those become default behaviors, part of our everyday life.
I actually knew it was HEEL...that's how exhausted I am. I'm an English major...grammar is usually my thing. That's embarrassing. I guess I should elaborate on my training and whatnot...

Okay, so I started training Jovi immediately as a puppy...imprinting, I guess is more the word. When I would throw the ball, I'd use a long lead, and I would never give her the opportunity to stray far away from me so she got the idea of "Okay, she throws the ball, I bring it back to her." Then I started using the command, "Bring it!" (Or "come here!" if she didn't have the ball) and rewarding her when she got it right. Her recall still isn't great but we're still working on it daily. For some commands, I incorporated the clicker, but she learns pretty quickly. She had the "Leave it" command down at 9 weeks. I mean, when I said leave it, she left it...no matter how tempting it was to go after whatever. As far as the heel command, she knows exactly what it means...when I say it, even if she's in the house off lead, she comes directly to my left side, sits down right by me, and looks at me expectantly. When I begin walking, I lead with my right foot to establish that I am in front of her, she moves along my left side, making eye contact with me. She actually heels better off lead. And the prong collar works wonders...I made that part confusing...she tries to pull against it when she gets excited, but she can't pull nearly as hard as she did before. She's very strong-willed. She knows her commands. When I put her in a down/stay, she'll get up and look at me. If I take a step to go correct her, she immediately lies back down. So she knows she's doing wrong, it's like a testing behavior. She likes to see how far she can push me.

When we go outside, I make her sit and wait before she can go out the door, allowing me to go out first. I make her heel and sit down before I throw her ball. I reward her when she brings it back to me and leaves it for me to throw (something that has been very difficult to get her to do...she hates to drop the ball).

I live in a rural area, but I do take her to a nature trail down the road, that has some light traffic, and I drive 45 minutes twice a month to take her to the closest doggie daycare for socialization with other dogs. She does very well at doggie daycare, which tells me that she's just not expelling enough energy at home and that's probably the culprit behind her behavior. She's not a bad dog at all when she's worn out. haha. She's just very driven, very strong-willed, and very energetic, and I am a very worn out chick. I've considered getting a cheap treadmill and training her to run on it for about 30 minutes at a time, or teaching her to run next to my bike.

How did you teach your dogs to focus and make eye contact?? It's weird that she almost does it naturally when she heels, but if I were to tell her to focus any other time, she'd have no idea what I mean.

Also, she's really bad about jumping. When I come home from work or school or whatever. We've tried leaving a short leash on her and correcting her when she does this, but it's been difficult. Any tricks or tips to helping correct this behavior? She does it when people run past on the trails, too. She LOVES people, but they're afraid of her because she jumps and I don't blame them because it hurts. I want to be able to take her with me to friends' houses and be able to have people over at mine without having to keep her kenneled.

I really do appreciate the advice!
 

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I thought about getting a bike and teaching her to run next to it. Ideas...I just need ideas.
I think other people have given you some good suggestions, especially Lilie and Cassidy's Mom. :)

I'm just highlighting the bike thought because if you have a dog who really pulls, I would strongly recommend getting a WalkyDog or other hands-free attachment to bike with your dog.

Here's Pongu on a WalkyDog and 16" bungee attachment (he's actually in the wrong kind of harness, though -- it would be better to use a non-restrictive harness instead of a front-clip harness if you're going to be doing this regularly. I don't bike with my dogs often or long enough to warrant the purchase of extra harnesses specifically for that, so I just use the ones I already have):



The WalkyDog and bungee cord allow enough flex to prevent the dog from easily pulling you over while you move, and also enable you to keep both hands free to hold onto the handlebars or do other things. It is a LOT safer than trying to bike with a dog while holding onto a regular leash.

And it's super exercise for my crew. Tires them out like woah.
 

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I second the walky dog recommendation, you'll need to limit your distance until she matures though and stay off the pavement as much as possible. Someone mentioned the flirt pole as well, great way to tire them out in a short time. You need to be careful using it as well, only sweeping movements, no erratic movements.
 

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I've been there... Running with the dog takes time to teach but, I just recently started back working out, and running with your dog helps TONS. at ten months, I would wait a little for her to fully develop though. I didn't see who recommended teaching tricks, but they are right, it also helps a lot. A lot of that energy is mental stimulation believe it or not. I work 8-10 hours a day, go home, run, do some light training with my dog or play tug or fetch for 15-20 mins, after that he just kinda lays around or follows me around the house if I'm cleaning or whatever. Longer runs or a good hike somewhere on the weekend are normally part of the schedule. Set a routine and stick to it, and the pup will calm down. that and NILIF. It takes time, the puppy energy won't just instantly go away, but eventually she'll calm down. I did all my own dog training (no formal training myself), and for the most part, my dog gets compliments on his behavior, and he started off as an unruly high energy rescue with zero training at 1 year old. My dog is just now a little over two and I still have the occasional problem, its always fixable though. You do not need to give up your life for your dog like some people on here think, I'm 28, still lead a pretty active social life and work full time and my dog is just fine.
 

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as far as make eye contact and focus, I use "(insert dog's name here) look" and point to myself or where I want him to look. I don't know if that's "by the book", but it works for me. As far as jumping up I push my dog back down firmly and give a stern NO, once again, that just worked for me. I know a lot of people on here would disagree with me but a little negative physical contact (firm push down or a light swat on the nose) isn't dog abuse, not something I use in everyday training, but for jumping and/or nipping or biting that's how i dealt with it, and problem solved.
 

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as far as make eye contact and focus, I use "(insert dog's name here) look" and point to myself or where I want him to look. I don't know if that's "by the book", but it works for me.
I use the treat to lure the dog to look in my eyes. Then I stop using the treat as a lure to avoid having them learn to watch my hand instead of my eyes. It only takes a couple of times if you are really making big eyes and marking the moment your dog gives eye contact.

SAFETY NOTE: When teaching 'look' to make eye contact, make sure you aren't using your face as a lure! Don't say 'look' and then stick your face in front of the pup to try and catch it's eyes. It will mistake the game as "Hey pup! Grab my nose and pull! I want a nose job anyway! "
 

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I have seven months old female gs working line and she provides similar challenges, sometimes my wife has enough of her due to biting and attention seeking. We enrolled her (us) at puppy training school and this is great way to stimulate her. I have also employed ball on walks. Since she ball is her favorite thing, I have to use two balls to play her. I throw the ball #1 up the hill and she runs and retrieves it and brings it back to me. Since I have second ball ready she drops #1 at my feet, I throw #2 and here we go again, and again … for about 20 minutes up the hill until she is pretty tired. This work and once we at home she lays down to rest. Those dogs need to work and to be stimulated; if they are bored they will bite and be restless. My wife has also issue with pooling while on walks so I started to train her by wrapping short leash around by bum and telling her to “easy” and stopping her completely. Once she relaxes and let her walk, if she start pooling, use word “easy” and exert resistance and even stoppage again until she gets it and at this point she does relax. You have to work this a bit and might succeed.
I know that it is sometime frustrating but on the bright side, as they mature they will be more responsive. Had GS before, currently have golden retriever 10 yrs old and 7 month old female GS. It gets better with time. In those time of frustration, think it is like having a baby that is very needy but it will eventually grow up.:hug:
 

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How did you teach your dogs to focus and make eye contact?? It's weird that she almost does it naturally when she heels, but if I were to tell her to focus any other time, she'd have no idea what I mean.
That was actually one of the easiest things to teach them! I train it on cue to the "watch" command, but long before that I train it as a default behavior by marking and rewarding them whenever they looked at me on their own.

When I get a new puppy I wear my treat bag around the house from the time I get home until bedtime, and I "capture" behaviors that are offered up naturally - anything I like and want to encourage more of. The more I click/treat for eye contact, the more they offer me eye contact. At that point I can put it on cue by naming it "watch". I prefer not to lure with a treat, that was how I initially learned to do it, but since then I'll just hold food in my hand down by my side, and the second the puppy stops trying to get it and looks up at me, even for the briefest second, I mark it and give the treat.

Eventually, I work up to longer duration, and I also make eye contact work to get them what they want, by requiring it for everything - opening the door to go outside, to come inside, before putting on the leash for a walk, before releasing them to go outside after they're leashed up, before I release them to eat after I've put the food bowl on the floor, before I throw a ball or let them have a bone or bully stick, or take a tug, to jump in the car, to jump out of the car, everything I can think of.

By the time Halo was in puppy class at 13 weeks old, (we got her at 10 weeks) her focus was good enough that others in the class were asking me how I got her to do that. :D I have pictures of her in the second week of class, in a down with food on the floor in front of her, staring at me intently because she KNEW that's what would "make" me give her some!

Now my dogs know that if they want to go outside and we walk to the door together and I just stop and stand there and do nothing they need to sit and look at me. I don't even have to say a word because it's such a strong default behavior due to being heavily reinforced from a young age.
 
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