My German Shepherd is getting bored

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by keepontruckin, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. keepontruckin

    keepontruckin

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    Since we had the baby 15 months ago, the dogs have not had as much attention, we haven't taken them on a vacation and I keep them both inside during the day. The Shepherd is starting to do things that he has never done before like take food off the counter or nip at my ankles like he's herding me, bringing my wife her shoes and chasing cats. I'm lucky if I can get 10-20 minutes of ball playing in at night anymore. Any suggestions as to what kind of job I could give him? I thought about getting him some goats to watch until Winter, but I would need to build a fence and I don't really feel like doing all that.
     
  2. DEUCE-DOBE

    DEUCE-DOBE Landshark&Sis'

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    Sadly, and inconveniently for you, the solution is to give him/her more of the same attention you once gave.

    As far as a 'job', that'll likely take additional training, even an instinctual job may require this. Training is in itself a GREAT occupation for a dog... especially a working dog like a GSD, Dobe, Mal, Rott, etc. They NEED mental stimulation along with physical. I would suggest practicing basic commands and then some more difficult 'tricks'. Reward with a few ball throws and lots of affection. The dog may feel 'out of place' now that there's an addition to the family. You truly need to provide more attention to the dog, or the dog could seek to assert its dominance over the kid. This dominance issue is such because the dog feels that the higher he/she is on the pack dominance list, the more attention he/she will receive. This is a BAD thing my friend if it gets to this point... which it is starting to already (nipping/herding you).

    Get on this ASAP. You CAN find the time. Once the baby is more independent and doesn't require constant 24-7 attention, things will get back to normal. If you can get 10-15 minutes of HARDCORE play and training in, your pooch will feel MUCH better. Also, try being more attentive to the dog in other ways: brushing (bond-grooming to a dog), laying next to the dog (den instinct bonding) and general affection (lots of pats on the head, ear scratches, etc.

    Good luck and let us know what turns out.

    EDIT: By conducting training, you are also reasserting your status as pack leader, thus diminishing the dog's desire to 'rise' in status, knowing that YOU are in charge.
     

  3. ShootNMove

    ShootNMove concealed

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    If you can't dedicate time to your dog, at least involve it. When you're holding the baby, pet the dog and show him the baby. This will also help your dog care for your new baby. One good thing is to put your dog on a long down by the crib or whatever. Then when you come check on the baby, you can praise the dog for 'protecting' it. Eventually the dog will catch on and really make a bond with the child.
     
  4. Ender

    Ender ComfortablyNumb

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    good advice. GSD's need to be active and/or involved.

    something like this will give your pup a 'job' that takes up a lot of time and little effort on its part...but make him feel important and part of the pack.

    GSD's are INCREDIBLE dogs, but need a lot of work as far as things go. just make sure to include him and let him know that your baby is part of the family he is there to protect. (and if you haven't already, get him neutered) ;f
     
  5. ShootNMove

    ShootNMove concealed

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    Make sure he's at least 24 months before you neuter him. Otherwise, he'll be chemically unbalanced. That is where you see serious weight problems which lead to the dreaded hip and elbow defects. GSDs need at least 2 years to complete puberty and neutering them before that time is only harmful. My advice is, if you can't handle a male, just start off with a female. I have had both, and it is an enormous difference b/t the sexes. Females are caring, the males are stubborn. Anyway, just treat the dog like part of the family regardless of breed/sex. It is after all, the most vigilant part of your family, and it loves you intensely and would probably give it's life to protect you.
     
  6. keepontruckin

    keepontruckin

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    Thanks for all of your replies. I don't think he feels neglected or anything, he just needs something to do. We did the basic training a couple of years ago and still enforce that, but I don't work them anymore like we should. He still gets to patrol on the weekends while we work outside, but winter is always hard on them because it rains a lot, it's dark when we get home, it's cold and we just stay in a lot. I still try to play ball under the mercury vapor lights, but when i'm less inclined to bring a pair of muddy, wet, 80lb dogs into the house than before the baby. Hopefully by spring, the baby will be able to spend some time by herself or at least with less supervision and things can get closer to normal for them.