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My husband and I just adopted a 5 year old GSD named Duke exactly one week ago. He is adjusting well to our home and we are working on a few issues by using some of the training suggestions from here on the forum.

The first few nights he was here, in the evenings (AFTER his walk) when my husband and I would chill on the couch and watch TV Duke would usually plop down on his blanket or somewhere on the living room floor and chill with us. But for the past 2 or 3 nights, when we relax on the couch, Duke doesn't seem to settle down. Instead, he paces around the living room into the kitchen into the dining room and back into the living room. He doesn't seem nervous or hyper or anything. He just walks around looking and sniffing. One thing to note: this behavior started AFTER we put his crate together and put it in the living room and put his blanket inside the crate. He is fine in the crate...does not whine, and will nap in there when we close the door and hang out in the living room. In general we leave the crate door open. Sometimes he will go in on his own. Most of the time he walks up to it, sticks his head in, and then walks away. Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight into why he would go from settling down on his blanket/living room floor in the evenings to pacing around the house. :confused: Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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It has only been a week. Give him more time. What toys does he have? Get some squeaky toys, tennis balls, Kong Wubba , bones to chew .... things to distract him. How much exercise? A 5 year-old GSD normally has a lot of energy and needs ways to burn it off. Most evenings, my dog becomes energized and plays with balls and toys all around us while we watch TV. Fortunately, most TV shows don't require full attention and we play with her at the same time. Use this time to interact with him and let him get used to being handled by you.
 

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Even though he gets plenty of exercise, mine also gets interested in playing just when we're ready to settle down. I play tug with Stosh after I do the dishes, sometimes practice tricks, roll the ball down the long hallway, stuff like that. Then he gets something to chew on and settles down. But like PaddyD said, it's just been a week so he's probably taking that time to explore a little and check things out. I'd do what he suggested and play, teach a trick, something during that time.
 

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I to find that just when the kids and I are ready to settled down for a quiet evening, Brewski becomes bored. Paces around the house, and lately he will toss a toy on one of us, as if to say let's go this show is boring. Kong's are great
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Glad to know this isn't unusual.

The thing is, we are being careful about toys right now. He has been resource guarding so we keep most of his toys put up and we get them out to let him chew for a little bit while we hold the other end. Then we put them up, so he knows we say when play time is over. The only toy, right now, that is out all the time is a large tennis ball. He really doesn't play with it very much. I was thinking we could get him another low value toy to leave out all the time...maybe a squeaky chew toy...and just keep the higher value toys put up. Right now he has a Nylabone and a tug rope that we only get out a couple of times a day for "practice" play time.

Honestly, he doesn't play with toys much. When he is outside we can't even get him to pay attention to any toys. He just walks around and sniffs the fence line. Inside the house we can sometimes get him interested in the ball, but he doesn't play with it long. If we roll it he'll go get it but he doesn't bring it back. Sometimes he even resource guards with that. I'm hesitant right now to actually tug with him on the tug rope because I don't want to get him upset and growling. He resource guards with me way more than with my husband. Right now I'm avoiding any situations for him to resource guard with me and instead trying to build his trust in me by "trading up" for treats while he chews his Nylabone (with me holding the other end).
 

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Do you give him bully sticks or antlers, or a raw knuckle bone, something that will take a lot of time to chew? Those things keep Stosh's interest and satisfy his chewing needs--I've never had a dog that liked Nylabones
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He likes the Nylabone. It is chicken flavored and he'll usually chew on it for several minutes while I hold onto one end. If I were to let him, he would take it away and probably go lay down and chew on it for a while. But I don't let him do this because we are working on the resource guarding.

He does have a rawhide bone, but we are NOT letting him have that right now. The rawhide is apparently high value to him and this is when we discovered the resource guarding. I'm not going to buy bully sticks yet either, because I believe those will be along the same lines. We are sticking with lower value toys right now and trying to teach him it is ok for him to let us have what is in his mouth.
 

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Regen was a rescue and also paced around a lot for the first couple of weeks she was home. She would get up every single time we did and would have a hard time settling except in her crate at night.
She also took a while to learn to play with us...it was a full two months before she would really show "relaxed dog" signals when playing instead of stress. She was abused and neglected, so I think it just took her time to trust that things were going to be OK in her new home.
Sounds like you are doing everything right. As for helping him relax...if the two of you are in the same room watching a movie or TV, a Kong is a great thing to give him so he will mellow out with you.
 

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That's a good question, HobNob.

A lot of my fosters pace around the living room when we're all settling down to watch a movie. It usually subsides on its own after a few weeks.
 
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