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Nala will be 1 year old soon. I made sure I enrolled her in obedience classes early on.
She succesfully went through obedience 1 & 2.
Of course she is very smart but all of a sudden she barks at every dog during our walks (like crazy), is super rebelious at home (barks at us when we say NO!, runs away, mouths, destroys our wood floors by digging or chewing on stairs) and acts like a real teenager and baby all at the same time.
She's destroys my house more now then when she was little...
It's like a different dog. She's recently got nutered as well.
She LOVES to play. All she wants to do is play and when we don't, she becomes difficult and annoying.

I need to know if what we are doing will pay off in the long run or if it's making things worse;

When she does something we are not happy with, we try to change her thoughts by asking her to find a specific toy. We don't always have the patience for that (plus it only last a few minutes), so other times, we put her in timeout in the bathroom for a min or two. She's a smart cookie and knows when we're about to put her there so she either goes nuts and runs in the house like crazy or drops to the floor when we grab her collar so we slide her into the washroom.

When we are walking her and she starts to bark at every dog that is on the street, we give her a firm NO! and try to move past the dog or walk the other way. Sometimes a sit before we move on.

She is crated over night and we used to crate her during the day, until she got older and now stays out but since she got rebellious, we started crating her while we are at work.

I plan on taking some private classes but any advice on what to stick with or not and what to do when your GSD missbehaves (what seems to be on purpose and often these days) would be great.
 

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Just a quick thought. I would not grab her collar and drag her into the bathroom. That's a bad idea all around. You absolutely do not want her to be collar sensitive or distrustful of hands. If possible, grab a treat or a toy and lead her in there. I would just kennel her in that instance though. Skip the bathroom altogether. You can make her a peanut butter stuffed, frozen Kong and give that to her in the kennel when she needs time to chill out.

This sounds like the teenage phase where they really test your patience. It will get better with time. Just keep being consistent and fair with her.

How much exercise does she get?
 
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Just a quick thought. I would not grab her collar and drag her into the bathroom. That's a bad idea all around. You absolutely do not want her to be collar sensitive or distrustful of hands. If possible, grab a treat or a toy and lead her in there. I would just kennel her in that instance though. Skip the bathroom altogether. You can make her a peanut butter stuffed, frozen Kong and give that to her in the kennel when she needs time to chill out.

This sounds like the teenage phase where they really test your patience. It will get better with time. Just keep being consistent and fair with her.

How much exercise does she get?
Thanks for the advice. I heard somewhere not to use crate as timeout so they don't associate it to a bad thing. I guess the treat is the key?
She usually gets 2 walks a day plus she loves to play catch so much that we play in our backyard every day as well. She goes up and down the stairs to bring the toy back to us. She loves it.
I get what you<re saying about the collar. I make sure to keep with her training by rewarding her with treats when I tell her to come and grab her collar.
 

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Ahhh! 1 year old? Welcome to adolescence!
 
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So long as you aren't angry/frustrated/annoyed when you put her in her kennel and you don't do it physically like that, she won't know the difference between a timeout and regular old crate time. If you can't keep it neutral, don't do that. You could also give her the kong outside of the crate, but what happens when she finishes it? Will she just get into trouble again?

GypsyGhost makes a good point. You could play hide-and-seek games with her to work her brain. I often hide treats around the house or yard for my dog to find. She loves that game, and she is always ready for a nap afterwards. You already play "Find the Toy," but do you actually hide the toy yourself or just have her hunt it down from wherever she last had it in the house?
 
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Oh wow, that sounds really bad. But I suppose it's normal for a 1 year old GSD to act out like that. What I would do in your situation I would up the exercise for sure! And to play brain games with them like nose work 'Find it' game, puzzle toys. LEARN NEW TRICKS, they are so tired even after just 15 mins of mental exercise.
 

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I need to know if what we are doing will pay off in the long run or if it's making things worse;

When she does something we are not happy with, we try to change her thoughts by asking her to find a specific toy. We don't always have the patience for that (plus it only last a few minutes), so other times, we put her in timeout in the bathroom for a min or two. She's a smart cookie and knows when we're about to put her there so she either goes nuts and runs in the house like crazy or drops to the floor when we grab her collar so we slide her into the washroom.

When we are walking her and she starts to bark at every dog that is on the street, we give her a firm NO! and try to move past the dog or walk the other way. Sometimes a sit before we move on.
I'm still trying to understand the thinking behind the bolded part of th OP's first post. When the dog does something you don't like, tell her to knock it off! You don't redirect for this, you correct her for it. I am not a fan of timeouts, though I suppose in some circumstances that can be helpful...just not this scenario. When your dog does something you don't like, tell her you don't like it! Training a dog is about communication, by playing the "find your toy game" with her you're telling her that if she wants to get you to play all she has to do is misbehave! And worse, IMHO, sometimes you play that game and other times you chase her down and drag her into the bathroom....so the takeaway for the dog is, you're a little unpredictable, and dogs don't like that in a leader, which further erodes your control.

So, that being said, stop redirecting or dragging into the bathroom, and start being clear. If the dog is doing something you don't like tell her to knock it off and mean it! Don't need to yell, or be physical, just be firm and clear and don't allow her to ignore you. Stop means stop, without losing your temper. Again, just be firm and mean it. Then you're teaching her...
 

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What are you doing to work her brain?
She has this soccer ball and other toy that dispenses treats if she can get them out, which she uses at least twice per day, then we also go through some of her training (sit, stay, off, touch, etc...) but maybe we could go through the lessons again and work more with her. I'm having a hard time to find other puzzle type games with her. Can you suggest a few.
Then she has bones and kongs to chew on as well.
 

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So long as you aren't angry/frustrated/annoyed when you put her in her kennel and you don't do it physically like that, she won't know the difference between a timeout and regular old crate time. If you can't keep it neutral, don't do that. You could also give her the kong outside of the crate, but what happens when she finishes it? Will she just get into trouble again?

GypsyGhost makes a good point. You could play hide-and-seek games with her to work her brain. I often hide treats around the house or yard for my dog to find. She loves that game, and she is always ready for a nap afterwards. You already play "Find the Toy," but do you actually hide the toy yourself or just have her hunt it down from wherever she last had it in the house?
I've made a point to keep going into her crate neutral. She still runs in there when I tell her cuz she knows she will get a treat. My concern then is how much crate time is too much crate time. If she sleeps in her crate and now stays in her crate while we are at work, is 30 min relax time too much...too little?
Hiding the treats in the backyard is a good idea. I think she would like that as she is very treat motivated. Thanks!
Sometimes I hide the toy and somethings it's just where it lays. Depending on the situation. I think I need to practice this game more often because she's not very good at it lol
 

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She has this soccer ball and other toy that dispenses treats if she can get them out, which she uses at least twice per day, then we also go through some of her training (sit, stay, off, touch, etc...) but maybe we could go through the lessons again and work more with her. I'm having a hard time to find other puzzle type games with her. Can you suggest a few.
Then she has bones and kongs to chew on as well.
In your shoes, I would teach her some sort of nosework or tracking. It’ll help build your bond, give her a “job”, and mentally exhaust her in a way she will find fun. Obedience is great and necessary, but a lot of dogs don’t seem to find it fun. The toys you are using provide no engagement with you, which she is probably really craving. Engagement sounds like it’s lacking.
 

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Oh wow, that sounds really bad. But I suppose it's normal for a 1 year old GSD to act out like that. What I would do in your situation I would up the exercise for sure! And to play brain games with them like nose work 'Find it' game, puzzle toys. LEARN NEW TRICKS, they are so tired even after just 15 mins of mental exercise.
Thanks for the advice! Can you recommend any puzzle toys? I'm having a hard time finding them online and not sure which is good or not.
 

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I'm still trying to understand the thinking behind the bolded part of th OP's first post. When the dog does something you don't like, tell her to knock it off! You don't redirect for this, you correct her for it. I am not a fan of timeouts, though I suppose in some circumstances that can be helpful...just not this scenario. When your dog does something you don't like, tell her you don't like it! Training a dog is about communication, by playing the "find your toy game" with her you're telling her that if she wants to get you to play all she has to do is misbehave! And worse, IMHO, sometimes you play that game and other times you chase her down and drag her into the bathroom....so the takeaway for the dog is, you're a little unpredictable, and dogs don't like that in a leader, which further erodes your control.

So, that being said, stop redirecting or dragging into the bathroom, and start being clear. If the dog is doing something you don't like tell her to knock it off and mean it! Don't need to yell, or be physical, just be firm and clear and don't allow her to ignore you. Stop means stop, without losing your temper. Again, just be firm and mean it. Then you're teaching her...
THANK YOU!!! I totally agree!!! I was getting annoyed feeling like I was rewarding her by playing with her after she missbehaves....so thank you! It feels like she does things on purpose.
Just to clarify, she missbahaves by bitting the couch, jumping on us, bitting shoes, clothes, stairs, digging on the floor, bitting the swiffer when we take it out, etc. We try to be firm but she won't listen. The idea behind the bathroom was to show her that she won't get to stay/play with us if she missbehaves but she soon caught on and drops to the floor or runs away. WE even used to go to bathroom to remove ourselves from the situation.
So what do I do? I am firm and clear and she still keeps doing the stuff mentioned above which is not acceptable?
 

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In your shoes, I would teach her some sort of nosework or tracking. It’ll help build your bond, give her a “job”, and mentally exhaust her in a way she will find fun. Obedience is great and necessary, but a lot of dogs don’t seem to find it fun. The toys you are using provide no engagement with you, which she is probably really craving. Engagement sounds like it’s lacking.
Thanks for the tip. Her favorite is catch. We play each day in our backyard at least twice per day. She loves it!! Can you give me some examples of nosework or tracking activities I could do with her. I think she would really like them.
 

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I would find a class for either of the activities I mentioned. Tracking and nosework are both dog sports where you can compete with/title your dog (if you choose). I personally like nosework more than tracking. I find the bond built with my dog to be greater, and the understanding of their body language and search behavior is fascinating. Either will absolutely tire them out, though.

I really think you need to look for things to do with your dog, as opposed to finding puzzle games for your dog to entertain herself with. The desired result of a well mannered, fulfilled dog will not be met without engaging with her on a regular basis.
 

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I would find a class for either of the activities I mentioned. Tracking and nosework are both dog sports where you can compete with/title your dog (if you choose). I personally like nosework more than tracking. I find the bond built with my dog to be greater, and the understanding of their body language and search behavior is fascinating. Either will absolutely tire them out, though.

I really think you need to look for things to do with your dog, as opposed to finding puzzle games for your dog to entertain herself with. The desired result of a well mannered, fulfilled dog will not be met without engaging with her on a regular basis.
Thank you! The place where she did her obedience classes offers those types of classes so I will definately look into it.
 

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Yeah, it sounds like you were trying to follow advice you'd been given...I assume by your trainer? If that's the case, I'd start shopping around for more experienced and balanced trainer ASAP!

Without seeing your interaction with your dog first hand, it's difficult to give you accurate advice. But generally speaking you need to manage the dog's environment to remove as many opportunities to misbehave as you can. If she can't be loose in the house without chewing on your furnature or shoes, she shouldn't be loose in the house, for example. Of course, that being said dogs like to chew, so you have to make sure she's got appropriate items that she can chew on. And teach her the difference by showing her disfavor when she starts chewing on something she shouldn't then show her something that's okay to chew on!

If/when you find yourself focusing primarily on stopping bad behavior, it's time to step back and rework your strategy! Because that approach often just degenerates into the situation you've described...it becomes confrontational, and that you don't want.

IME most young dogs who are still chewing things up and damaging your belongings at your dog's age are doing it out of boredom. So focus on getting her more exercise and work with her more on obedience training. With my pup I did 1 or 2 training sessions per night, and often 1 or 2 earlier in the day as well with lots of treats and praise and laughter! These were short, 15 minute, fun filled games for the dog, and she truly loves them!

One of my favorite games is heel. Teach the dog the position, then move all different directions - sideways, backward, spin, reverse spin etc., continually challenging her to maintain the correct position, and praising and treating her profusely when she gets it right, and even when she comes pretty close! Teach her some new tricks, spin, roll, crawl, shake hands etc.

Does your dog know the place command? If not search for it here on the forum or on YouTube for a description and step-by-step instructions on teaching it!

Anyway, with where your dog is now, I'd definitely suggest finding a good, balanced trainer to help you! But in the meantime I'd also suggest managing better to avoid giving her so many easy opportunities to get into trouble! Good luck, she sounds like a good dog with lots of spunk!
 

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Yeah, it sounds like you were trying to follow advice you'd been given...I assume by your trainer? If that's the case, I'd start shopping around for more experienced and balanced trainer ASAP!

Without seeing your interaction with your dog first hand, it's difficult to give you accurate advice. But generally speaking you need to manage the dog's environment to remove as many opportunities to misbehave as you can. If she can't be loose in the house without chewing on your furnature or shoes, she shouldn't be loose in the house, for example. Of course, that being said dogs like to chew, so you have to make sure she's got appropriate items that she can chew on. And teach her the difference by showing her disfavor when she starts chewing on something she shouldn't then show her something that's okay to chew on!

If/when you find yourself focusing primarily on stopping bad behavior, it's time to step back and rework your strategy! Because that approach often just degenerates into the situation you've described...it becomes confrontational, and that you don't want.

IME most young dogs who are still chewing things up and damaging your belongings at your dog's age are doing it out of boredom. So focus on getting her more exercise and work with her more on obedience training. With my pup I did 1 or 2 training sessions per night, and often 1 or 2 earlier in the day as well with lots of treats and praise and laughter! These were short, 15 minute, fun filled games for the dog, and she truly loves them!

One of my favorite games is heel. Teach the dog the position, then move all different directions - sideways, backward, spin, reverse spin etc., continually challenging her to maintain the correct position, and praising and treating her profusely when she gets it right, and even when she comes pretty close! Teach her some new tricks, spin, roll, crawl, shake hands etc.

Does your dog know the place command? If not search for it here on the forum or on YouTube for a description and step-by-step instructions on teaching it!

Anyway, with where your dog is now, I'd definitely suggest finding a good, balanced trainer to help you! But in the meantime I'd also suggest managing better to avoid giving her so many easy opportunities to get into trouble! Good luck, she sounds like a good dog with lots of spunk!

She is a good dog but this adolescence phase is tough!!! Thank you so much. You've been very helpful and kind :)
 
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