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Hello, so I am in desperate need of motivation, feeling drained since I got my WL GSD, he is currently 11 weeks. This wasn't rush decision, I was preparing for few years, I even asked my breeder if WL is ok for me because I work from home and I need some hours in a day for myself to concentrate and do my job. He said "oh that's fine, they sleep a lot as a puppies, so you will be fine", and guess what... looks like he doesn't need sleep at all, its like he is on constant action, I completely lost my whole life as I have to nurse him 24/7. He is all about playing as you can expect, it's like he never gets tired, at least he sleeps at night, but still looks like he doesnt want to do that. Nowadays I wake up and I want this day to end as soon as possible so I can go to bed, I feel like a complete slave, tired of cleaning, nursing, all that following and not being able to do anything for myself. I was honestly thinking if this was right decision, maybe he would be more happy with the right owners, he is still puppy so it's not too late, but everywhere I read it says that it will be much better later and you won't regret it. What I am looking for is probably an answer to that question, is it really ? Or I will be left without a life myself ? I do have a crate, I leave him there for 1-2 hours daily as I go to the gym, but thats about it. Can anything be done in this situation? I am not sure I have patience for this nightmare to end, I really didn't expect this to be that hard
 

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I think as a puppy gets older, it does get easier. I've never had to devote my entire day to my dogs--unless I wanted to, though we did plenty of training, including classes, walks, and exercise. What exactly is your puppy doing? What does your day look like? Is he crated all day while you work? What mental and physical exercise is he getting? If you're not bonding and view your time with the pup as a nightmare, perhaps you'd both be happier if you re-homed him. Will the breeder take him back? Maybe you and the pup were mismatched. If you think you might rehome him, the younger he is, the better probably. I am sorry you're not enjoying the experience.
 

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I'll admit I found my first puppy as an adult to be difficult. If you think you can push through it, I would recommend finding a local trainer (NOT PetSmart/Petco) and enroll in a puppy class. That way you have someone to discuss these issues and can get hands on help addressing them.

All puppies are full of energy and will keep going if you let them, doesn't mean you should. I gave Katsu and Steel structured down time where they would HAVE to nap. Steel being 18 weeks still gets his structured down time on the weekends.

In the long run, yes it gets better, but your life will never go back to the same "pre-dog" state. You will have to dedicate time to this being - play, train, bond. If you were looking for a dog that would just hang out with you on a couch, I would recommend an older dog/different breed.
 

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Hello, so I am in desperate need of motivation, feeling drained since I got my WL GSD, he is currently 11 weeks. This wasn't rush decision, I was preparing for few years, I even asked my breeder if WL is ok for me because I work from home and I need some hours in a day for myself to concentrate and do my job. He said "oh that's fine, they sleep a lot as a puppies, so you will be fine", and guess what... looks like he doesn't need sleep at all, its like he is on constant action, I completely lost my whole life as I have to nurse him 24/7. He is all about playing as you can expect, it's like he never gets tired, at least he sleeps at night, but still looks like he doesnt want to do that. Nowadays I wake up and I want this day to end as soon as possible so I can go to bed, I feel like a complete slave, tired of cleaning, nursing, all that following and not being able to do anything for myself. I was honestly thinking if this was right decision, maybe he would be more happy with the right owners, he is still puppy so it's not too late, but everywhere I read it says that it will be much better later and you won't regret it. What I am looking for is probably an answer to that question, is it really ? Or I will be left without a life myself ? I do have a crate, I leave him there for 1-2 hours daily as I go to the gym, but thats about it. Can anything be done in this situation? I am not sure I have patience for this nightmare to end, I really didn't expect this to be that hard



**THIS TOO SHALL PASS, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE**


I got my 8 week old WGSL almost 3 months ago, ive had shepherds before and knew what to expect, or atleast I thought I did. His drive, energy, biting, never being able to pet him, took a huge toll on my wife and I. I started questioning if this was the right move for us and I know my wife, who didnt have much experience with big dogs, was doing the same.

We are now 2 and a half months in and this morning was the FIRST time Blitz hopped up on the couch with me, layed next to me and let me pet him without taking a chunk out of my arm. PROGRESS. Everyday gets a little better but I am doing a ton of training with him. He still goes after my wife more than me but even thats getting better.



You are only 3 weeks in and your pup has only been on this planet for 11 weeks, even though they grow like monsters they are still infants. The most important thing I do with him now is a long walk or run to start the morning, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Also, bully sticks and freezing peanut butter inside of a kong has brought back some of my sanity, he seems to be occupied with them for hours giving me some time for myself.
 

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I have another question for you to consider: What is your intent for this WL dog when he gets older? What "job" will he have? Do you have plans to get him into agility or IPO? Did you get him with the intent of being a companion animal only?

There's nothing at all wrong with the latter. But, your puppy will be getting bigger soon and have different needs for mental stimulation and exercise, and this is a pretty important time for you to be building a foundation for tomorrow. Don't waste it!!!

Yes, puppies take a lot of work. Both my husband and I work full time. Luckily, my husband works only 10 minutes from home and could/can usually come home in the afternoon to let the dog out for bathroom breaks and/or a walk. That helps a lot. But, in the mornings and evenings, we both had a schedule we developed for feeding, exercising, training and potty breaks. We often felt like "slaves" to our dog.

Totally worth it.

We put in a lot of work up front, and what we have at this time, almost a year later, is a healthy, happy, well-balanced WL dog that is a joy to be around. He's still work, don't get me wrong- many nights, after I get home late from work and classes, all I want to do is catch up with some stuff on the internet, and as soon as I open the laptop and start tapping on keys, that dog comes over and wants attention. I get annoyed. But then I think "this guy's been alone most of the day and I guess it's nice that he wants me to interact with him!" Sometimes I play tug with him while typing (NOT efficient), sometimes if I play with him for 15 minutes he's satisfied. Then on weekends I make sure to take him for longer, more interesting walks and have more play time. This helps him relax and sleep.

I know you need time to focus on work. You'll be more likely to get it if you play with your pup for a short period, and let him sleep. Train him for a short period, and let him sleep. Training and play can happen at the same time. Also, you can train the pup to entertain himself with some good toys. The more stimulation he gets, the easier it will be for him to relax for longer periods and let you get work done.

Do keep in mind what you want out of this dog as an adult, and if you put in the time, you'll have a really great dog later.
 

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U s e t h e c r a t e !!


Put the puppy up while you work. Get him out when you take a break. Put him up when you go back to work. Get him out at lunch time. Put him up when you go back to work. etc. He will live through it. So will you.


Look forward to some sort of sport training with this bundle. Keep that in mind as your exasperation threatens to take over.
 

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So from reading these responses and pretty much compassion and experience from other WL owners I am almost getting the understanding that if you want a service dog or a dog that can visit hospital patients it better be a SL GSD.
 

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Hi! Sorry to hear about the lifestyle shock! Few thoughts...

- You don't have to always give in. If he wants to Play, and you need to Work, you can firmly settle him in his crate or somewhere. He should not be given the power to run your life! He should have a daily regular schedule that fits both of you...

- I also work from home and I opted for an adult dog. I was careful to check his energy...when mine came for his home visit, he sniffed around quietly and then he took a nap. He has indeed been a dog that sleeps while you work, but is always up for activity. Prior to him, we met two other GSDs - a girl who was pacing, seemed very wired and alert (I could not imagine her ever dozing in the corner of my office!) and a tall boy who looked like a movie police dog but weighed almost 100 lbs (too much dog for me!). Although my rescue dog has some issues, overall his energy level and personality have fit our life.

- At this age, your pup is probably not deeply bonded yet, and he will be snapped up by other GSD-loving people, so not hard to rehome. However make sure you don't regret your decision...

- Is it worth it? For us, yes! When I picked our dog up from boarding after Thanksgiving, I was surprised by the huge surge of love I felt. And he was groaning/howling with joy, dancing around my legs. I often wonder why the heck my dog loves me so much (Sorry for being cheesy.) I have enjoyed being out on the trails with him this fall - my exercise buddy who always has a great attitude! It feels cozy when we are all home and he is snoozing in front of the TV. He helps me to feel safe when my husband is out of town. And he is just...funny. He has his own personality, his own doggy thoughts, his favorite bushes to sniff, his favorite stuffy that he keeps in his dogbed...a unique furry being who is now a family member.
 

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I personally have more questions than answers.

You said you researched, what made you go with a WL GSD? What are your plans?

Do you have plans to get him into a breed savvy training program?

It sounds like someone may have given you a high drive WL without adequately preparing you. A good breeder WILL make sure you are prepared AND understand.

When you say he doesn't need sleep- like a toddler he may need it but not want it. You need to give him down time. Needing sleep and not getting it, like kids, can make them even more over the top. Get a routine where he is crated and comes out every few hours to eat, relive himself, and play for a little bit. Not where he is free all day and only crated 2 hrs. They can get overstimulated.

Will it get better? Depends on what you are willing to put into it, and if you have the aptitude and patience to do it in a way that shapes him properly for what he is. It is not for everybody.

Your post reads like a first time parent who just realized colic is a THING and not a myth. If you are truly distraught over it, I would look to give him back to the breeder while he is still young. However I would not judge your state of mind and ability to deal with this merely by reading a vent post. I distinctly remember being on a parent forum when my INFANT was 12 weeks old, had 3 weeks straight of day night confusion, and the jist of my post was I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep her lol

Sorry, it throws a lot of us off guard. A lot of things in life do. Educate yourself, put the time in to find PROPER resources for that (the education), be consistent, and yes it will get better. Could take like 18 months..in general (not a rule of course but in general and particularly with a known good breeding) people find they mature around age 2. This is all stuff that would have been available during a typical research period before getting a WL GSD.

Good luck, and there is a lot of good advice to be found on this forum
 

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I could go either way on this one.

My one dog is 3 1/2 now and he is just a delight. Just can't say enough great things about him but especially what it's like to live with him. He does now and always has had plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and he is very able to settle. I would not call him high drive or high energy. He has enough drive to be a pleasure to train with, but he does not have to be exhaustively worked. That's my kind of dog.

We brought him home at 8 weeks and I do remember feeling like what have I done once or twice, I was pretty sleep deprived. I chose to take him out whenever he had to go during the night and then he grew out of that naturally, but I wasn't getting enough sleep in the beginning. It all worked out great, he was sleeping through the night soon enough.

He was SUCH an easy puppy. Never bit us, never destroyed stuff, so ridiculously easy to redirect and just wanted so much to make me happy. He did earn the nickname wreck it ralph because that's how he woke up in the morning, ready to trash the place, but it was easy to set him up with his own things and he would party with his toys and his kibble ball.

So if I could have the thought what have I done with the easiest puppy in the world probably anybody could have it about any puppy. I've heard it a fair bit and I'm not sure it means the end of the world, just maybe you're a little overwhelmed.

Here's the flip side: I've never had a dog that I felt like wouldn't settle. I've never had a dog that I felt like was running myself completely ragged just to meet their needs and that includes other lines of dogs I've had even working lines. I don't know if it's my lifestyle or the individual dogs I've had. I need down time and they all learn what settle down means early on. Because they're never pent up it isn't hard for them to get it and do it.

I've met dogs that wouldn't settle--and I can't say whether it was poor breeding or poor lifestyle because I think all of them had both.

My WL was selected by the breeder as a service dog candidate so the breeder would not have paired me with a high drive, unable to settle dog. She was a lot of dog when she was young but even at a year old we had an agreement...I need an hour with my coffee cup and you have to be cool. And she did, she rolled around the floor with chew toys and made silly faces at me but she gave me time to wake up and she entertained herself nicely and quietly.
 

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My WL was selected by the breeder as a service dog candidate so the breeder would not have paired me with a high drive, unable to settle dog. She was a lot of dog when she was young but even at a year old we had an agreement...I need an hour with my coffee cup and you have to be cool. And she did, she rolled around the floor with chew toys and made silly faces at me but she gave me time to wake up and she entertained herself nicely and quietly.
 

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I went thru the same remorseful feelings when i first got my WL dog.. I thought i knew what to expect, because i have had high drive Labradors before.. I was not expecting the biting and the attitude that my WL GSD puppy had.. I thought i was doing something wrong.. When i petted him, he would mouth my hand.. When i told him no, he snapped at the air.. ALWAYS super hyper... I didnt know what i got myself into.. But after teaching him some rules, and figuring out how smart he is, we started making progress... Plenty of bully sticks, and frozen turkey necks to keep him occupied during down time.. He is now 13 months old and is my best buddy, even though he was a little **** as a puppy...
 

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At 11 weeks your puppy needs daily exercise. Not too much, but enough to tire him out, along with mental stimulation. You should not run to him every time he wants something. Puppies that age can learn to entertain themselves. Mine had toys, something to chew on, exercise twice daily where they could run around and wear out. I also started some basic training. If you do that at planned times, your dog will soon get used to your routine. You are the boss. You let him know what he can do and when he can do it.
 

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I've never had a dog that I felt like wouldn't settle. I've never had a dog that I felt like was running myself completely ragged just to meet their needs and that includes other lines of dogs I've had even working lines. I don't know if it's my lifestyle or the individual dogs I've had. I need down time and they all learn what settle down means early on. Because they're never pent up it isn't hard for them to get it and do it.

I've met dogs that wouldn't settle--and I can't say whether it was poor breeding or poor lifestyle because I think all of them had both.
Great post! And I agree, this could go either way. The short answer is yes, it does get easier. The first few months, and especially the first few weeks with a new puppy, are typically much more difficult than once he's 6 months, a year, two years old. But that's predicated on a lot of things - his genetics, your knowledge and experience with dog behavior and training (and/or what the resources for such are in your area), the time and effort you're willing and able to put into raising him.

Some puppies are just busier than others, for lack of a better word. Some seem to have been born with an excellent off switch and will easily settle around the house even if they have a good amount of drive. Obviously, the latter is much easier to deal with. But in either case, it is up to you to exercise him both mentally and physically and to provide him with some structure, which should include plenty of down time. If you're this overwhelmed this early it's possible that he just isn't the right puppy for you. From your post I'm not seeing any indication that you're feeling connected to him at all. Without that connection, without wanting to engage with him or him wanting to engage with you there's not much payoff to get you through the harder parts of puppyhood.

Halo was a bit of a hellion when she was young. She was our 5th GSD so we were not novices, but she was our first WL shepherd. In addition to being a wild and crazy girl, she was also sweet, adorable, charming, brilliant, devious, and delightful. She made us laugh all the time, even when she was being naughty, because she was so brazen, and always totally unrepentant. And while sometimes she was go go go go, she could turn it off like flipping a switch, and chill for awhile. A large part of that I'm sure is genetics, but I also don't constantly indulge my dogs, catering to their every whim, I expect them to adapt to the lifestyle we're able to provide for them.
 

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Lol, we got a wgsl puppy on Memorial Day weekend and he is now eight months old and is still a terror. Not only does our pup love to bite, but he is also not too fond of corrections. We have/had WL's, WL/SL mix, and another wgsl, all were pretty much over the biting phase by about six months, the new guy not so much. Even with previous experience this pup has presented us with challenges, however we will move past this (eventually).

It takes time and effort, puppyhood is not a spectator sport. Set up a schedule for exercise, play, and training along with regular down time and your pup will adjust. It does get better when you put in the work and in most cases worse if don't. You have to decide if you can make that effort.
 

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You need more of schedule and your puppy needs downtime- even if they don’t act like it. They can get over tired. Your puppy needs to be crated more and out during structured time. I remember needing to get away for a bit. All Puppies are different and can wear one down and will often give you something to learn and tackle but they do grow up to be incredible animals. Max as a pup taught me much. Luna most of the time made me look like I had it all figured out. It all does pay off in spades but German shepherds even as adults are engaging dogs with their owners and are very healthy active dogs. I can go to the trails for a few hours and run my dogs like the wind and go home take a 5 minute nap and they are ready for more and enjoy the one one one interaction. They are not hyper but get turn on in a seconds notice. They settle down beautifully in the house. My male always wants to do something with me follows me around -not in a pesky way. The other night I was putting a duvet on the bed so I could not have him in the bed and was in the room with kids and locked him out. He sat on the other side of the door and put his tail under the door crack - purposely. that was his way of being part of the action. He is always right there even if its his tail. He was much the same as a pup. I enjoy that.
 

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I think as a puppy gets older, it does get easier. I've never had to devote my entire day to my dogs--unless I wanted to, though we did plenty of training, including classes, walks, and exercise. What exactly is your puppy doing? What does your day look like? Is he crated all day while you work? What mental and physical exercise is he getting? If you're not bonding and view your time with the pup as a nightmare, perhaps you'd both be happier if you re-homed him. Will the breeder take him back? Maybe you and the pup were mismatched. If you think you might rehome him, the younger he is, the better probably. I am sorry you're not enjoying the experience.
He is up for a play 24/7 and it's quite hard to control him (yes, I know he doesn't understand commands yet). I wake up, take him for a walk, I feel sleepy as I don't get all needed sleep so I want to take a nap as soon as we get back, he doesn't of course, he is all energetic and wants to play just after 6 hours of night sleep (I workout 6 times/week so 6 hours is not enough for me). So basically I try to take a nap for like an hour, then I make myself to get ready for the day, I put him in a crate for 2 hours (which he doesn't want to do) and go to the gym leaving him squeaky and barking, once I come back it's all silent, he is sleeping as I realise, I let him out and he wants to play again and I need to work at least for the next 4 hours, so most of the time he just playing in that time and I am getting ****load of distraction which just kills my results (I work as stock trader). At the moment he only gets physical excersie, we take long walks and do some running, he is too young to go to classes(that's what my breeder told me), but I will try to give it a call, these guys are good.



I'll admit I found my first puppy as an adult to be difficult. If you think you can push through it, I would recommend finding a local trainer (NOT PetSmart/Petco) and enroll in a puppy class. That way you have someone to discuss these issues and can get hands on help addressing them.

All puppies are full of energy and will keep going if you let them, doesn't mean you should. I gave Katsu and Steel structured down time where they would HAVE to nap. Steel being 18 weeks still gets his structured down time on the weekends.

In the long run, yes it gets better, but your life will never go back to the same "pre-dog" state. You will have to dedicate time to this being - play, train, bond. If you were looking for a dog that would just hang out with you on a couch, I would recommend an older dog/different breed.
how do you MAKE them take a nap?


I have another question for you to consider: What is your intent for this WL dog when he gets older? What "job" will he have? Do you have plans to get him into agility or IPO? Did you get him with the intent of being a companion animal only?

There's nothing at all wrong with the latter. But, your puppy will be getting bigger soon and have different needs for mental stimulation and exercise, and this is a pretty important time for you to be building a foundation for tomorrow. Don't waste it!!!

Yes, puppies take a lot of work. Both my husband and I work full time. Luckily, my husband works only 10 minutes from home and could/can usually come home in the afternoon to let the dog out for bathroom breaks and/or a walk. That helps a lot. But, in the mornings and evenings, we both had a schedule we developed for feeding, exercising, training and potty breaks. We often felt like "slaves" to our dog.

Totally worth it.

We put in a lot of work up front, and what we have at this time, almost a year later, is a healthy, happy, well-balanced WL dog that is a joy to be around. He's still work, don't get me wrong- many nights, after I get home late from work and classes, all I want to do is catch up with some stuff on the internet, and as soon as I open the laptop and start tapping on keys, that dog comes over and wants attention. I get annoyed. But then I think "this guy's been alone most of the day and I guess it's nice that he wants me to interact with him!" Sometimes I play tug with him while typing (NOT efficient), sometimes if I play with him for 15 minutes he's satisfied. Then on weekends I make sure to take him for longer, more interesting walks and have more play time. This helps him relax and sleep.

I know you need time to focus on work. You'll be more likely to get it if you play with your pup for a short period, and let him sleep. Train him for a short period, and let him sleep. Training and play can happen at the same time. Also, you can train the pup to entertain himself with some good toys. The more stimulation he gets, the easier it will be for him to relax for longer periods and let you get work done.

Do keep in mind what you want out of this dog as an adult, and if you put in the time, you'll have a really great dog later.
Yes, my main target was IPO, but since it's my first dog and I live alone and work from home this loos like a very difficult target, I feel like I've already lost everything, all my free time, I can't read books, I can't work, I can't watch my favourite tv show, every minute in the day is all about him, keeping him entertained, keeping an eye if he isn't chewing anything he shouldn't be supposed to, not pooping right in front of me and looking at me at the same time(lol) , and I am scared that once he gets out of puppy state he will need even more mental and physical exercising, and I am not sure if I can give him that, because I have plans on going to bodybuilding competition and this looks quite impossible at the moment cause I can't even eat as much food as I need anymore. All my friends who has dogs are living with their girlfriends and their dogs sleeping whole day which looks so easy and I feel like I am the only one struggling while living alone and all dog attention is to me only


I personally have more questions than answers.

You said you researched, what made you go with a WL GSD? What are your plans?

Do you have plans to get him into a breed savvy training program?

It sounds like someone may have given you a high drive WL without adequately preparing you. A good breeder WILL make sure you are prepared AND understand.

When you say he doesn't need sleep- like a toddler he may need it but not want it. You need to give him down time. Needing sleep and not getting it, like kids, can make them even more over the top. Get a routine where he is crated and comes out every few hours to eat, relive himself, and play for a little bit. Not where he is free all day and only crated 2 hrs. They can get overstimulated.

Will it get better? Depends on what you are willing to put into it, and if you have the aptitude and patience to do it in a way that shapes him properly for what he is. It is not for everybody.

Your post reads like a first time parent who just realized colic is a THING and not a myth. If you are truly distraught over it, I would look to give him back to the breeder while he is still young. However I would not judge your state of mind and ability to deal with this merely by reading a vent post. I distinctly remember being on a parent forum when my INFANT was 12 weeks old, had 3 weeks straight of day night confusion, and the jist of my post was I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep her lol

Sorry, it throws a lot of us off guard. A lot of things in life do. Educate yourself, put the time in to find PROPER resources for that (the education), be consistent, and yes it will get better. Could take like 18 months..in general (not a rule of course but in general and particularly with a known good breeding) people find they mature around age 2. This is all stuff that would have been available during a typical research period before getting a WL GSD.

Good luck, and there is a lot of good advice to be found on this forum
Originally I wanted SL GSD, but did lots of reading and some said that WL is more "interesting" breed with higher drive and it looked all fun when I imagined how I throw him everything and he just brings it back to me lol, HOWEVER, I knew that this might be a bad idea and told the breeder point blank that I work from home and I need at least 4 quiet hours in a day, is it possible with WL ? He said that sure thats easy since puppies sleep a lot, almost all day, I trusted him and went for it, and now it looks nowhere as near as he said. He does sleep, but very far from all day, its like 1.5 hours of sleep and he is good to go again. Breeder is not professional, they have puppies only once a year, but they are registered officially and successfully completed all health inspections.Oh, and he didn't give me anything, I had to choose, it all went down "by queue" principle, so if you are 4th who paid money, you are choosing your dog after first 3 people chosen theirs, which is the first time I've ever seen.


Great post! And I agree, this could go either way. The short answer is yes, it does get easier. The first few months, and especially the first few weeks with a new puppy, are typically much more difficult than once he's 6 months, a year, two years old. But that's predicated on a lot of things - his genetics, your knowledge and experience with dog behavior and training (and/or what the resources for such are in your area), the time and effort you're willing and able to put into raising him.

Some puppies are just busier than others, for lack of a better word. Some seem to have been born with an excellent off switch and will easily settle around the house even if they have a good amount of drive. Obviously, the latter is much easier to deal with. But in either case, it is up to you to exercise him both mentally and physically and to provide him with some structure, which should include plenty of down time. If you're this overwhelmed this early it's possible that he just isn't the right puppy for you. From your post I'm not seeing any indication that you're feeling connected to him at all. Without that connection, without wanting to engage with him or him wanting to engage with you there's not much payoff to get you through the harder parts of puppyhood.

Halo was a bit of a hellion when she was young. She was our 5th GSD so we were not novices, but she was our first WL shepherd. In addition to being a wild and crazy girl, she was also sweet, adorable, charming, brilliant, devious, and delightful. She made us laugh all the time, even when she was being naughty, because she was so brazen, and always totally unrepentant. And while sometimes she was go go go go, she could turn it off like flipping a switch, and chill for awhile. A large part of that I'm sure is genetics, but I also don't constantly indulge my dogs, catering to their every whim, I expect them to adapt to the lifestyle we're able to provide for them.
I can pet him, he sleeps at night, always happy to see me, licking me and biting at the same time (2:1 ratio), but I just find it hard to give him as much attention as he need and I am afraid that later it can get even worse as he will need some decent time and training regularly, and I already gave up my whole life, I can't even do personal workouts to my clients anymore so I have to say that "I'm full" but in reality I ain't doing anything
 

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Dogs are great workout partners.

A good game of tug is all I do to maintain upper body fitness tone (I'm no body builder though). It's exhausting and fun for me and the dogs. Watch some videos from Michael Ellis or Ivan B on how to play tug properly and teach the commands associated.

Dogs- even puppies, love off leash sniff and ramble runs or hikes. Teach the dog some very solid off leash skills as a pup, and you've got a partner on the trails for life. The basics are come, heel, and down (at a distance or wherever they are). Place can also be useful for certain scenarios.

Do some fun find it games with the pup- learn the basics of IPO tracking and start laying some short trails. Lots of great ways to work a dog with their nose.

For the house, train place and settle. There are lots of great vids on how to go about this. Or work with a trainer.

Fetch- is a great workout for the dog but not tiring for you on workout days. He's a pup, so I'd keep fetch short and focus on tug, and nose work.

If you don't want to spend time with the dog/puppy, rehome him. Dogs like GSD know full well if you don't like them or are frustrated with them, and will act out or become depressed (really). It's not fair to the dog to keep him if you get no enjoyment out of his puppy antics. Because the puppy stage should be full of fun and learning new things for dog and owner and it is a very short stage in their lives.
 
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