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I love her but she drives me nuts. Its hard for me to walk her during the day because I have a 2 year old son who spends the day with me and my dog pulls when she sees other dogs/cats. Im considering getting a prong collar to make it possible for me to walk her while pushing my son in the stroller. I never wanted to get one because I felt that if I practiced loose leash walking with her enough I would never need one but this dog needs to get out before my husband gets home from work. Also, I feel like walks help her calm down for a very short period of time. Same with playing frisbee or fetch. It interests her for the first 20 minutes but then she gets bored and still has energy. We can sort of drag it on for about 40 minutes but she isn't as enthusiastic after the first half of the time.

Shes about to turn 1 this month so maybe it still a puppy thing? Not sure. Any tips on how I can help her not be so hyper? She seems to try to entertain herself some parts of the day but by the evening she is so wound up, she can hardly stand herself. She could probably use some more mental stimulation as well. Any ideas? Puzzles? We already do kongs, kong wobbler, she has toys, bullies, frozen bones.. Is there a favorite toy out there?

I try to do soothing things with her like brushing her out or cuddling in front of the tv. Her "calmness" doesn't really last after we are done doing the activity. Part of the reason is, our house can be loud and have a lot going on. We have 2 kids who run around and yell and chase each other.
Is it even possible to train your dog to be more mellow? Please someone tell me she will mellow out at some point. Any other soothing activities that you guys do with your dogs?

The weekends are usually fine. Both my husband and I are home. She gets out multiple times a day, she gets a hike in and or the beach.

I just wish I could figure out a solid way to take the edge off during the week so that when 4 or 5 rolls around she is such a nutcase. (By nutcase I mean she is running back and forth jumping on and off the beds and couches, gets very vocal, starts getting mouthy, doesn't let you just be) My only other option is to start crating her again, when she gets out of hand but Id rather not. My husband is very against it. He didn't use crates for his dogs as a child but then, he never had a dog as intense as this one. We have the crate set up but only use it when absolutely necessary like the garnerners come or we have a bunch of kids over (she cant handle it, she is easily excitable). I have mixed feelings about the crate. I don't think its a horrible thing but I think it takes away from her opportunity to learn how to live harmoniously with us. It can seem like a short sighted solution but maybe Im overthinking the crate and should just take advatange of it.

Anyway, any thoughts would be so helpful!
 

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mine is off the wall too. when she get too nuts i yell at her to calm down. if she doesn't i start standing up and then she runs to and gets on her chair with her head down because she knows if i go grab her by the collar she's going into the crate.
 

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The dog needs more exercise not just walking but actual wear him out exercise. The dog also needs more mental stimulation. Not from a puzzle but from training. If he had a job that may help also. I am no trainer just what I have done with my own dogs. But I can tell when it's time for me to take them out and throw a ball, get out the flirt pole, (Athena is like yours ball is OK for a few minutes. But get out the flirt pole and she'll go for hours. Plus you can incorporate obedience into it also). Or just go out and train obedience. Amazing what a half hour of obedience training will do to calm a dog down. However, if he's that hyper you may have to tire him out a little before obedience.
 

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not to worry, it does slow down. You have a dog that in human years would be a teenager. When you play with her, stop BEFORE she gets tired of the game. The game then becomes a reward for good behavior. Practice Nothing In Life Is Free, asking for a paw or a down before you toss the ball, or give the treat or open the door to go out, etc. I also taught mine to do things like Help With Laundry...I drop socks and wash clothes on the floor and my dogs pick them up and carry them to the washing machine. On lousy weather days I hide nice small treats all over the house while my dogs Hide You Eyes in the bathroom. It doesn't take long for them to find up to 100 tiny treats but they do love it. I have hardwood floors and I use the Large Breed kibble from 4Health and slide a piece or two at a time across the floor. The dogs pounce on the kibble and then eat it. I call that game Catch The Bug.

And don't be afraid to use a prong if you need one. If they walk loose leash the prongs aren't really noticable, but if she takes off after a squirrel then she'll get a self-correction when she pulls. Make sure you get a good quality one. You'll probably have to order online. And make sure you get the right fit. My boy always wears his but usually walks loose leash. It is for those times when some little dog gives him the stink eye or a rabbit darts across our path. My girl who is just over one, wears a martingale and the prong. The deal is if she walks calmly I have the martingale hooked to the leash. If she acts foolish I switch to the prong. She is much smaller than my boy, though, and less likely to drag me down the street if something pops up suddenly.
 

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Part of the reason is, our house can be loud and have a lot going on. We have 2 kids who run around and yell and chase each other.
How about teaching a collective calm?
 

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You have a high drive high energy dog. Will it slow down... probably but not for a couple of years IMHO.

What have you done for training? Over the months you have gotten a lot of input, curious what you have done? Ideally someone good can get eyes on this dog and help you figure out what her needs are and how to effectively and efficiently tend to those needs. And yes, seems like she needs consistent exercise, consistent training (because you are not done with that) and consistent mental stimulation. I have no problem with prongs but I like to see that part of a whole training program.

Take a class in nose work and turn that into games is one idea for mental stimulation. The thing with mental stimulation is that you have to invest your time and effort as well. You can't just throw a puzzle or a kong at her and expect that to always work.

And then a crate with a bone for quiet time.
 

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Oh, and get the two kids involved in the training. They need to learn how to walk the dog and more important, learn how to read a dog's body language. And they might love teaching the dog "tricks". My daughter was ten and started teaching my Ridge mix tricks, many years ago. They did well together.
 

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Sometimes by trying to wear them out, you end up constantly entertaining her and teaching her that bouncing off the walls gets her what she wants. You end up with the exact opposite of what you want. A structured routine can help, teaching her to settle down in the house can be easier with some crate time, some kennel time, some laying in a spot like a place command. Everything as calm as you can make it at home. Don't create the expectation in her that we could be playing crazy any minute now at home. Age can help, but not if you are accidentally teaching her not to settle.
 

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mine is off the wall too. when she get too nuts i yell at her to calm down. if she doesn't i start standing up and then she runs to and gets on her chair with her head down because she knows if i go grab her by the collar she's going into the crate.
Quite the training methods :smirk:

These dogs need training and exercise. No surprises here. Do your research before you take on a GSD.
 

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I love Leerburg's management training. He teaches his dogs to be calm in the house: they are not allowed to play and act crazy in the house; that behavior is reserved for outside (offleash/fenced yard or long lead) time. He advises keeping your dog under control in the house at all times until she learns that the house is not a place where she is allowed to act crazy. He does this by always having new/untrained dogs either on a leash, in a crate, or in an x pen. However, during this time before the dog is 100% trained, you work on training. Teach a place command. If she's been calm for a couple weeks, try allowing her off leash in the house. If she starts acting crazy, leash goes back on. You really only need to crate her when you can't hold onto the leash/watch her. This is what I do for my dog. He is only allowed on leash in the house so that I can control him, because otherwise he is just to crazy. If I can't watch him/hold his leash, he goes in the crate.
 

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Sometimes by trying to wear them out, you end up constantly entertaining her and teaching her that bouncing off the walls gets her what she wants. You end up with the exact opposite of what you want. A structured routine can help, teaching her to settle down in the house can be easier with some crate time, some kennel time, some laying in a spot like a place command. Everything as calm as you can make it at home. Don't create the expectation in her that we could be playing crazy any minute now at home. Age can help, but not if you are accidentally teaching her not to settle.
So true, made that mistake. Tried to wear her out and just wore myself out and created a puppy that didn't nap and just wanted to go go go. Great post.
 

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I have two young children and a young dog. It's not an easy mix! I need to be organized with my time. Routines are good for everyone. Everyone knows what to expect. That being said, that is where I have found success with my similar situation.

My GSD is now almost 16 months. She needs a routine. She needs structure. And, she needs to get her energy out. We've found our most success with her comes by giving her a long walk in the morning. Sometimes it's at a park, sometimes a neighborhood. I try to keep her exposed to various scenarios and noise. It's usually a park. I have her on a long lead. For some of the walk, we practice obedience. She heels right beside me. We work on varying pace and automatic sitting, etc. I try to give her a chance in wooded areas on the long line to smell and sniff around while walking. The morning walk is usually around 45-1 hour. I choose mornings because there are less people, etc out and about. Mostly because it sets the tone in the start of the day. If we are having a busy day, we get up early and get her out. I do it with and without my children. The dog is on a prong. In the summer, we got up early because of the heat and whatnot. My point here is that it is essential for this dog to get her exercise. There have been times when I have been too sick or my children were too sick and my husband was not available that we miss this. No matter all the obedience in the world, she was still needing to get some exercise. As she's gotten older, she's more forgiving if it needs to not happen. I play more ball with her at home instead, etc. I understand not wanting to create a need in her for more exercise than I am able to give her. I don't find this unreasonable for the dog given her age, etc. I find that it is essential to her well being.

We play ball for 15-20 minutes a couple of times a day. Maybe a couple of shorter sessions in addition, too. I end it when she's not listening the first time. She's usually running hard and is full of intense focus so she's ready for some water and chill after it. She also loves tug mixed in. She would be completely disinterested at 40 minutes. I also sit on the dog with her outside so that she will chill out there too.

After dinner, we don't do anything exciting with her. It's chill time. Quiet time. She gets a bully stick or something after the kids go to bed but that is given only when she is in a quiet and calm state.

I keep her on a leash in the house because I can't follow through with commands if I can't get to her. She needs it less and less but I still have it. Mostly now because my cat is exploring the house more. Also if she is not settling, I can easily grab the leash and sit on the dog. My kids can do it too. She doesn't pull or fuss about it. (Except with the Cat)

If she's not listening or won't be calm, she gets crated in the kitchen or in her crate. I think it is a good idea to get the dog used to the idea that they are not always included. Also, if they are not calm and behaved they are not allowed to be with the family. She's better off in her crate and having a nap than tired and acting like an over tired toddler.

I do a lot of down, place, and sit on the dog, too. My dog is out and with the family most of the time. I've by no means got this dog thing all figured out. I just wanted to pass along what I've figured out to work for me. She's not my first dog. I've had three others but she's my first puppy with my kids. It's a juggling act. My husband is away a lot and with no set schedule so I have had to figure out how to make it all work on my own.

Just like with children, it's going to get worse before it gets better. Your pup has lots of growing to do. 12 months is only the beginning of the teenage phase ��.

Good luck!
 

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I must be doing something wrong then. Or is it something right then. By the time I get back in with my dogs they're all ready for a nap. I try and not get into a routine with training or play. They may come at any time, together or separate. One or all three dogs together. I know I have done my part when they're content just chilling the rest of the night out. As far as acting crazy in the house. Just don't allow it. They start acting crazy put a stop to it. If they are getting the zoomies then it's time to go burn off some steam.
 

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I must be doing something wrong then. Or is it something right then. By the time I get back in with my dogs they're all ready for a nap. I try and not get into a routine with training or play. They may come at any time, together or separate. One or all three dogs together. I know I have done my part when they're content just chilling the rest of the night out. As far as acting crazy in the house. Just don't allow it. They start acting crazy put a stop to it. If they are getting the zoomies then it's time to go burn off some steam.
Your dogs have each other to play with and keep themselves occupied. They don't have to rely solely on you for entertainment and exercise as in a single dog family.
 

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Your dogs have each other to play with and keep themselves occupied. They don't have to rely solely on you for entertainment and exercise as in a single dog family.
This is true. But not always the case. Rosko was 11 months or so when Athena came along. But we spent a LOT of time outside working and playing. If I missed a night we could definitely tell. There was times I would go out at 10 cause he was bouncing off the walls. That being said dogs are all different. While I thought Rosko could get crazy maybe the OP 's dog is higher strung than Rosko. However, I still think more exercises and training will solve her problems.
 

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I love Leerburg's management training. He teaches his dogs to be calm in the house: they are not allowed to play and act crazy in the house; that behavior is reserved for outside (offleash/fenced yard or long lead) time. He advises keeping your dog under control in the house at all times until she learns that the house is not a place where she is allowed to act crazy. He does this by always having new/untrained dogs either on a leash, in a crate, or in an x pen. However, during this time before the dog is 100% trained, you work on training. Teach a place command. If she's been calm for a couple weeks, try allowing her off leash in the house. If she starts acting crazy, leash goes back on. You really only need to crate her when you can't hold onto the leash/watch her. This is what I do for my dog. He is only allowed on leash in the house so that I can control him, because otherwise he is just to crazy. If I can't watch him/hold his leash, he goes in the crate.
How old is your dog?
 

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I had young children and a drivey dog. I walked the dog twice a day, just us. I let the dog run for at least 30 minutes a day. Indoors, rather than crating, we used a leash tether. The dog learned to be calm on the leash in the same room with me. If I changed rooms, I moved the leash. After I wore the dog out, then I allowed play time with the children. The walking time was important because it was one on one. Do you know another parent you could exchange time with to watch your son while you work with the dog? I did that with a friend. She watched mine several time a week for short periods, then I watched hers for half a day weekly so she could work part time.
 

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I had young children and a drivey dog. I walked the dog twice a day, just us. I let the dog run for at least 30 minutes a day. Indoors, rather than crating, we used a leash tether. The dog learned to be calm on the leash in the same room with me. If I changed rooms, I moved the leash. After I wore the dog out, then I allowed play time with the children. The walking time was important because it was one on one. Do you know another parent you could exchange time with to watch your son while you work with the dog? I did that with a friend. She watched mine several time a week for short periods, then I watched hers for half a day weekly so she could work part time.
Tethering is an excellent method for raising a well behaved pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The dog needs more exercise not just walking but actual wear him out exercise. The dog also needs more mental stimulation. Not from a puzzle but from training. If he had a job that may help also. I am no trainer just what I have done with my own dogs. But I can tell when it's time for me to take them out and throw a ball, get out the flirt pole, (Athena is like yours ball is OK for a few minutes. But get out the flirt pole and she'll go for hours. Plus you can incorporate obedience into it also). Or just go out and train obedience. Amazing what a half hour of obedience training will do to calm a dog down. However, if he's that hyper you may have to tire him out a little before obedience.
Hi I used to have a flirt pole and use it a lot. Then I had a trainer come over and he told me I was going to make her "squirrel/cat" crazy. At that point I had already noticed that she had a high prey drive and I just stopped doing it. So what would you say about that? Could it be possible make her prey drive even higher? One of my biggest problems with her is pulling on a leash when she sees other dogs/cats.
 
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