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Discussion Starter #1
About two months ago, I started taking pup on hikes through our local woods every other day. At first, he was on his long lead, now we walk to the wood on the lead and he runs free in the woods.

Over time, we settled into a nice routine of leaving just about sunrise and staying out for about 90 -120 minutes. It is nice and cool, 50-60 degrees, and drizzly. Perfect hiking weather as far as pup is concerned. Since nobody else is crazy enough to be out at that time we have the entire woods to our selves. So far so good.

Now, my problem, if you can really call it a problem, is that the hikes don't seem to tire him out. They just build his endurance. Every morning before dawn, he comes in my room and gives me hints that it is time to wake up. The hints range from to subtle, like staring at me, to more obvious, like dropping all his toys on my head and pillow. Yesterday, after our hike, while I was taking a shower, he gathered up all of his toys and dropped them in the shower with me

What sort of exercise to you provide your high energy pup while they are 10-12 months old. I think we might have to start our adventures again. The mental stimulation of new people, places, and things seemed to wear him out nicely without excessive stress on his growing joints
 

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No routines is my approach. Dogs learn routines before we even recognize there is one! I like to keep them guessing...

So we'll go out to the same place, every day, but one day we hike, next day we train, and the next we'll just sit there. No pattern whatsoever!

I've found, over the years, that it teaches the dog to focus very intently on you, because you are the only pattern that is consistent, and dogs love patterns.

People talk about "working" on engagement with their dogs...break up your routine like this, and let your dog do all the work is my advice, it works wonders!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sadly, I am a creature of habit..... And pup has figured that out. Hiking boots or old running shoes means we are going to do something together. He sits down next to me with an expression of, 'Tie faster we have places to go. No don't worry about a jacket, you will be fine! Did you remember a pocket full of treats?' Other shoes mean I have to work or do errands to run. He lays down by the patio door and lets out a mournful sigh. I'll try mixing things up a bit.

I'll also give nose work another try. So far Ole hasn't really been too into it. Maybe as he has matured, it will suit him better. My last Black Lab was crazy about nose work. I would have him sit in the front yard while I hid things in the back yard for him to find. Currently, Ole wanders off as soon as he sees something more interesting. I guess I should probably start by adding more value to the object he is looking for and working in a lower distraction environment.

Yes, Ole is by far the most fun dog I have ever had. He is a handful, but incredibly fun.
 

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Up the treat value to small pieces of beef or pork chops from your dinner.

Begin for quite a while in a smaller area INSIDE the house. Then slowly enlarge the the area in the house as he becomes proficient at it.
Tooooooo many distractions outside for a beginner.
;)
 

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The more you exercise the fitter he gets. So find things that work his brain instead.
The other approach you can take is to crate him when you get home. Over time it will teach him that this is your time not his.
Shadow wakes me by digging her head into my stomach and then rolling on top of me so consider yourself lucky.
 

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Just in case you want to make your own Treats!

EZ HOMEMADE MEAT TREATS

Items needed:

Non Stick Fry Pan

Pork Chops or Lamb or Goat or Round Steak or Liver or any meat the dog is not sensitive to.

Scissors

  • Trim off all fat on the edges and in-between and if it has bone, remove that too. If using frozen Liver, thaw, and blot well with paper towel to remove excess blood.
  • Take a pair of scissors (outstanding tool for cutting meat) and cut the meat into manageable pieces.
  • Choose a fry pan (non stick works the easiest) and give the pan a small drop of oil or a quick spray of Pam.
  • Heat the pan until really hot and drop in the meat pieces in to sizzle. Keep your heat high but don’t leave the pan unattended.
  • Sprinkle on a little garlic powder if desired.
  • Let it sizzle for about a minute or two then flip over. Braise the other side (pour off the juice if there is too much) and remove from pan when the middle is pink (especially the Liver or it will crumble). If using chunks of meat, turn over as needed. Place on to paper towel, blot and let cool.
  • Take your scissors and cut all of the meat in strips about ¼” wide, (or small pieces if using chunks of meat). Now take those strips and cut small pieces about the size of a ½ of a dime, (or whatever size you prefer).
  • Place small amounts into sealable snack baggies, then place those baggies into a sealable freezer baggie and place in freezer. When you need them, take out one or two baggies, place them in the fridge and they will un-thaw. Of course the dogs love them frozen too, if you forget! They will unthaw quickly on the cupboard or in your pocket for training.
The process takes a little time but saves a lot of $$ and the dogs go crazy for them!

If you want to purchase treats, Vital Essential Mini Nibs, not "treats" (which is a freeze dried dog food) are fantastic to keep in your pocket for rewards!
1 pound (which lasts quite a while) is approx. $30.
Vital Essentials for Dogs - Free shipping | Chewy
Single protein, No added hormones, antibiotics, colors, fillers, flavorings and no synthetic vitamins or minerals.

Best of luck with your pup! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the suggestions. Even in the house pup doesn't seem to love the nose work.

He does really enjoy 'toss and search' where I throw a toy into a flowerbed or behind something so he can't see it right away. He directs 100% of his energy towards finding the toy. I think I can leverage that desire to find something into some fun nosework.

After a couple of short 'toss and search' sessions the past couple of days pup is totally zonked out.

Something I do when I make home-made treats is freeze them in muffin tins and then stick the frozen blobs in a big freezer bag. I take out one, which is about one cup, at a time and thaw them. I am in kind of a rut with roast chicken bits. I'll see what other types of meats I can find at a reasonable price.
 
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