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Hyperactive GSD

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Pandora

1273773
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 7:58am PST 
I have been struggling for almost two years with my Shepherd. She has been super hyper since she was five weeks old.

She never stops. She never rests. She is always super aware and super happy and super excited.

She likes to smother people with her presence. I have mostly trained her out of jumping on people but if they feed her any energy, she will not be able to stop herself.

We have been to two trainers who have told me to come back when she calms down. The last one got so frustrated that he yelled at her and the current one cannot control her even half as well as I can so we're probably not going back to him. I have spent thousands on dog trainers.

We have tried the shock collar which worked for a while. Now she will let it shock her until the batteries die.

She is stubborn, selfish and very dominant. However, thankfully, she is not agressive - even to other dominant dogs. She has never bit anyone or any dog.

What I would like is this: What do I do (specifically) with her to teach her to calm down? IS it possible to train excitability out of a dog? I am told she will calm down with age but it doesn't look good so far and I dont want to deal with her like this for years.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 8:22am PST 
What do you do with her in terms of exercise?
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 8:29am PST 
A few suggestions for you.

The Protocols for Relaxation by Dr. Karen Overall:

http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/OverallRelaxationProtocol.p df

Pick up a copy of Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt

Consider doing some scent related games (like Nosework). GSD's seem to excel at it and it reduces energy levels.

Work on impulse control related exercises (like leave its and stays).

Your dog needs to learn to control the behavior. It's all impulse control.
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 8:39am PST 
Were you familiar with GSDs before you got her? They are legendary in how long they take to mature & how frustrating their adolescent years can be. She may take a couple more years until she fully settles down.
PLEASE throw away that shock collar. It is obvious you do not know how to properly use it. It is totally inappropriate to use in the way you have been doing.
Positive training, applied consistently, sessions done daily, works wonders with them. GSDs really want to please you, but if she thinks you are not a strong enough leader, she WILL be willing to step into the role.
When you go for walks, what do they look like? What is her job on a walk? Does she get to pull you hither & yon, or do you reinforce a good, right beside you, loose leash? A typical walk for us involves obedience training...heel, sitting at a corner, sudden direction changes, stays. Then a chance to sniff, mark, eliminate for a few minutes. Then back into obedience mode.
Does she have a *place or *crate command? If she is not greeting appropriately, she should be tethered to you to ensure she is not jumping.
It is much easier to train for what you want, rather than what you don't want. If you want her to sit and let guests greet her, then that is what you work on. Do not give her opportunities to practice unwanted behaviour. You can't try to enforce a rule, then just give up because she "just won't do it."
I once had to take 27 minutes to get a one minute stay. Body blocking, returning calmly to place, etc. laugh out loud
I still do at least 15 minutes of reinforcing basic commands every day, as well as training new *parlour tricks. This helps tire out his mind & reminds him that I give the commands. Praise, play, treats come when he complies.
Oh...one more thing...Squam is 3 1/2 & still full of beans....so hang in theresmile
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 8:41am PST 
I'd be curious to see what you have for exercise as well.

My pup wasn't nearly as hyperactive as your girl but training with Nosework in addition to teaching a lot of tricks has helped him calm down in the house. Practicing impulse control exercises and enforcing stricter rules around the house that make him practice self control helped remind him that he can't act crazy all the time (such as waiting for his dinner, waiting in a sit or down at the door, just little things). Is she able to focus at all for training if you're in a calm environment with high value treats?

I have the book Control Unleashed myself and it has a lot of great 'games' in there to help calm a dog down. I really like the game where you get your dog excited and then basically ask for a simple behavior such as down and wait for them to calm down before continuing play. It was definitely hard for Lenny to calm down at first, but he's much better at hitting that off switch now.
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Thor CGC

God of Thunder
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 9:32am PST 
I would up her exercise. Like take her for a two mile job or play fetch for a good half hour before training.

What is she doing for most of the day? What does her normal day look like?

Fun games like nosework, flyball, ect would be fun for her and get some of her energy out.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 9:56am PST 
Well, she is definitely not under-excersized. We walk 4 times a day for just over an hour each time. On weekends, we also spend about two hours a day at the dog park (off leash). In this situation, she does not bother with people at all as I have the ball and she wants it.
Source Thread

I know for my young German Shepherd, walks do little to tire him. We went on a 10K walk recently and upon coming home, he and the other dog sprinted around the yard chasing each other. A daily off lead walk in an area where he's free to run does a decent job of tiring him out, especially if I bring both dogs so they can play. If you have a safe area to do so and trust her off lead, one off lead walk can be better than four leashed walks. Since she's nearly two, leashed runs should also be alright. And when you do take her for leashed walks, I agree with the suggestion to incorporate obedience into the walk.

This is a breed that's bred to work all day, every day, in a way that also works their mind. They're very athletic and intelligent. I've found the absolute best way to tire his mind and body is herding. It's also done wonders for his impulse control, and he absolutely loves it. Any kind of sport you can get into like herding, agility, nosework, ect. should really help tire her out and teach her control.

Many of her behaviors are now habitual, so just tiring her out won't be enough. Any trainer that can't handle an excited, young GSD isn't a trainer I'd bother with. I'd say keep looking for an obedience class and start working at home. Definitely look into the books other posters have recommended. Have you tried clicker/marker training with her?

Edited by author Wed Jan 2, '13 10:24am PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 10:20am PST 
I know that dog laugh out loud I am at a loss, though, as Onyx is quoting a post I am not seeing.

I don't think exercise is going to be your issue. She is showing an American type and some of their behaviors and busyness. And contrariness. She's a teenager.

One question I have for you is "since five weeks old." That is a very young age. How long have you had her? I am hoping not THAT young, but let's find that out first. I do have strategies for you wink, just collecting info at the moment.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 10:31am PST 
OP's second post on the thread I linked to.
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 10:50am PST 
So in a highly distracting place...the dog park... she focuses on you: "I have the ball and she wants it." GREAT!! You found what she finds ultra-rewarding. Use it! Take time to work on impulse control, using the ball. Make her sit, make her wait,down, stay. Reward her with the ball.
Onyx is right..mind work can really tucker them out at this age. Keep her guessing..."last time she said sit, then she said down. Holy cow..now she wants a stay! What's next?"laugh out loud Not to be mistaken as deliberately trying to confuse the dog. Just honing her focus onto you. You still need to make sure she knows what you are asking for. It is an exercise for self-control, not learning a new command.
And making sure that she does the whole exercise. Sit means butt on ground...not hovering an inch or two over the groundlaugh out loud
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