German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hi guys,

max is now almost 6.5 months. he still jump on people and sometime bite my hand, but he suddnely had started to chase his tail like crazy when we go to walk. i was just wondering is this a just another phase that GSD goes through? i always corrected by saying NO and hlding his collar tight so he cant chase it. i am also planning to get him neutered sometime next monthas my vet said to et it done ASAP. please tell me your experience and give me your feedback.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
Good for you for not allowing it! This is a classic sign of a bored GSD with not enough exercise and mental stimulation. You are right to stop it, it can turn into very serious OCD behaviour. I think just yesterday someone posted about a GSD they adopted that was a tail chaser, and has caught, chewed and mutilated his tail.

Many people under-estimate the amount of exercise a GSD needs. And not only exercise, but lots of mental work-outs too, which means training classes and other dog activities like tracking, agility, nose-work, and so on. Also don't know if you guys know this, but NEVER EVER use a laser light to play and exercise a dog, they can easily become OCD light and shadow chasers especially if a dog is already displaying some other type of obsessive-compulsive behaviours.

Edited to add: The jumping on you and biting your hands is also a sign that he is not getting enough exercise and training. I see from your other posts that he has always been somewhat hyper and energetic? He stays in the yard during the day when you go to work, but how often do you guys go for walks, hikes, off leash runs, training and activity classes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
How much exercise does he get? Based on his behavior, he needs more.
What kind of mental stimulation is he getting? Is he enrolled in obedience classes?
Like Castlemaid said, looks like you need to up the exercise and mental stimulation. What kind of interactive toys do you have for him to play with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
How much exercise does he get? Based on his behavior, he needs more.
What kind of mental stimulation is he getting? Is he enrolled in obedience classes?
Like Castlemaid said, looks like you need to up the exercise and mental stimulation. What kind of interactive toys do you have for him to play with?
Well, i work full time and go school full time (last semester). I still get time oit and my rotine with max is: wake up at 7 and goes to walk for half hour. Then i put him in my yard. My brother come around may be 1 and take him out againhalf hour. When i come back from school/work i play ball with him for half an hour and again walk for half hour(1 mile). I put him in crate around 9 and let him out for his work before i go to sleep. I give him kong toy with frozen PB but it only last half an hour. I also leave some toys in tard for him to play with.

We go hiking twice a week for 1.5 miles each day.

Any suggestion and feedback is appreciated. I just want to make max well behaved dog!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
I think he needs a lot more than the exercise and mental stimulation he currently gets. I completely understand being busy with school and work. It's very tough to juggle dogs with a full schedule.

Based on how your finances are, have you considered leaving him at a daycare once or twice a week? What about hiring a dog walker or trainer to take him for longer walks during the day? Is he in classes or training? Training is a great way to wear him out mentally. Has he ever had formal obedience training? How is your schedule on the weekends? Could you take him to classes or for LONG (with hills) hikes on your days off?

He is still so young so some of it is just puppy behavior. But it looks like he needs more exercise and mental stimulation or else this problem is going to get worse as he gets older (and stronger).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,527 Posts
hi guys,

max is now almost 6.5 months. he still jump on people and sometime bite my hand, but he suddnely had started to chase his tail like crazy when we go to walk. i was just wondering is this a just another phase that GSD goes through? i always corrected by saying NO and hlding his collar tight so he cant chase it. i am also planning to get him neutered sometime next monthas my vet said to et it done ASAP. please tell me your experience and give me your feedback.
PLEASE PLEASE don't let him chase his tail... it will save you sanity later in life. When Titan was a pup he chased his tail when he didn't get enough exercise or when he was bore dor anxious. It was his go-to behavior for everything. Didn't get walked that morning.. chase tail. Didn't get OB that day, chase tail. New environment? chase tail. New person? Tail. At first I thought it was funny and was a puppy phase.. and for some it might have been. To this day, 2 years later, I am still battling him with chasing his tail. He never catches then chews it.. just catches then releases and repeats. He would do it for hours if I let him. He gets obsessive and nothing in the world matters to him when he is in chase mode. It's a fixation and should be trained out of him as much as possible.

This is a way of him telling you he is bored or needs more exercise. Or even in my case, anxious in a new situation. I notice that when I work him a lot that day.. he doesn't do it (granted he is alone while I am at work so who knows, lol.) He has pretty much gotten a lot out of his system except for doing it when he gets excited or really really bored. He knows he's not allowed to do it and will go out of sight to do so..

Advice: Redirect. What worked with Titan was making him go lay down and stay. I would say "Enough! Go to bed!" he would stop and go to bed. After he was quiet for a minute he would get treated or played with. Some suggested to redirect with a toy immediately. So essentially he would start chasing his tail and I would give him a toy instead.. well that didn't work with him because he started to think that if he chased his tail that he was going to get to play. I had to make him realize that it was not fun chasing his tail. To going to lay down for a few minutes in his kennel wasn't fun but he got rewarded for being calm. Like I said he doesn't do it nearly as frequently but every now and then he will start. I only have to say "enough!" and he lays down right where he is at and doesn't do it anymore.

That all being said. SOMETIMES it is just a phase but I would hate for you to go through what I had to go through. It was so obnoxious when he did that. Titan once moved my couch 5 inches while I was sitting on it because he was too into chasing his tail. There used to be a corner of the house you could see dirt marks in a pattern where he always went to chase his tail. I would highyly encourage you to redirect. :)

Hope that helped! sorry for the long post! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
For most dogs this is more than a phase its the start of mental boredom. Problem is most people dont speak dog and arent obsessed with them the way most people here are so they never learn that this will normally just get worse. Instead like mentioned above, they think its funny and actually encourage this behavior to show their friends or make videos of it. IMO thats like laughing at an old person who cant feed themselves but keep trying.

Anyway, I would try to do more mental stuff with your dog. Walks are good but its the mental work that will tire them more imo. Train him to do stuff like get his toy and bring it to you. One thing trainers and breeders have told me is to teach/encourage nose work by not feeding them in bowls. Instead, you hide their food and they have to find it in order to eat. Many breeders start this with their pups before 8 weeks and use it as a kind of guide/test to determine good work dogs and what kind of work would be best for the dog.

HTH, it can be really tough when you have so much going on. Just remember that it wont last for ever (you being tired and pulled at all ends) and this too shall pass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
I am gonna start a thread about easy trick/training to do when time gets busy. Hope we get some good advice there. Look for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I think he needs a lot more than the exercise and mental stimulation he currently gets. I completely understand being busy with school and work. It's very tough to juggle dogs with a full schedule.

Based on how your finances are, have you considered leaving him at a daycare once or twice a week? What about hiring a dog walker or trainer to take him for longer walks during the day? Is he in classes or training? Training is a great way to wear him out mentally. Has he ever had formal obedience training? How is your schedule on the weekends? Could you take him to classes or for LONG (with hills) hikes on your days off?

He is still so young so some of it is just puppy behavior. But it looks like he needs more exercise and mental stimulation or else this problem is going to get worse as he gets older (and stronger).
i live in country side where wal-mart is 35 miles away, so there is no daycare. All farmers have dogs in their pick up here, i would guess they train them on their own. i did took him to puppy class i think couple months ago just for sociolization. currently, i am taking him to private trainer which is 1.5 hours away.

doesnt matter how much time, money i spend on him i always feel like i am not providing him better life due to his behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
I can understand your frustration. Keep at it. Keep a structured schedule. Dogs do well with regular schedules. Do your best to give lots of exercise. Switch it up with hikes, walks, ball playing, tug, find it games etc. Try to do 15 mins to obedience daily. Even if it is the basics, the mental workout is important.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i've never had my dogs neutered and i've never had
any medical or behaviour problems with them. your dog
is jumping on people because you're allowing it. when you
approach people shorten the leash or slide your
hand down the leash towards the dogs neck and
don't allow him to jump. take sometime out to teach
your dog how to meet and greet.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top