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Training and Obedience > Adjusting High Work Drive to House Dog (45 replies)

by Micaho on 24 June 2011 - 18:06

Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 05:16 pm
"freedom is a privledge , everything is earned .."  This will be my mantra.  Thanks again, ALPHAPUP!

by momosgarage on 27 June 2011 - 18:06

Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:08 pm
If your kid could throw a 95 mph fastball, would you tell him to stop because you are too busy/lazy to take him to little league?

There are lots of american parents with this attitude.  I HAD PARENTS LIKE THIS!!!  The same applies to dog owners, only its more likely to happen because "its just a dog" and not a "child".

He will calm down in 3 to 4 years.  Just be patient.

Everybody has chimed in with varying degrees of solutions, however as stated earlier it looks to my like this is simply an under-excercised dog that hasn't turned 3 years old yet.  Try walking the dog 5 miles MINIMUM a day, everyday wearing an empty dog back pack.  It may not wear him out, but it could be enough to make his indoor manners less destructive.  Later you can add more miles and/or a small water bottle or two in the dog back pack.  Also, do you crate this dog ever?  Its looks like this ower just escalated a "simple issue" to "unsolvable" in thier mind without trying the most simple and obvious baby steps.  You said you are retired, can you spend a couple of hours a day walking the dog on hilly terrain with real inclines?  Do an hour in the morning and an hour at night.  Your problem could be solved in less than a week.

by Micaho on 28 June 2011 - 21:06

Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 05:16 pm
Thanks, Momosgarage.  I think I was unduly concerned about my dog's behavior because a trainer assessed him as dominant and it was 12 years since I owned a puppy to know myself what was an "issue" and what wasn't.  I now agree my dog is more underexercised than actually having behavior problems.  The initial question was, how can I exercise my dog more than just walking him, because I believe I could walk him all day without tiring him, and he can easily go 5 times as far as me.  I could work up to longer distances, but what about in the meantime, and will walking ever be enough?  So I asked about alternate games and activities, to move beyond the "obvious."  Since no one seems to think playing ball and kong will cause injuries, these are more likely going to be the supplemental exercises before or after the walk.  I wouldn't have asked for advice if I thought the problem was "unsolvable." 
Of course my dog is crated.  But I also left him out in the fenced yard for limited periods of time because I thought it was more stimulating to watch the world go by, than to sleep indoors in a crate when he wasn't even tired out to begin with.  But I can see how giving him too much freedom set him up for getting into trouble. Keeping him with me, along with more frequent walks and playing chase seems to have calmed him down quite nicely, and I again thank everyone for their input.  

by skyhorse on 28 June 2011 - 22:06

Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 06:20 pm
a few things not mentioned yet ...

crate games (look it up on youtube or google).

using food and marker training (teach him to down on a specific pillow or rug. this works for me, I toss treats from my bed to keep my dog in his resting spot)

kongs with peanut butter



make dog work for his food (feed in crate, too)

build a run for him outside and put things inside it he can destroy. mine likes to chew up kiddie pools. run is reinforced w/ cattle panels along bottom of fence to prevent digging and electric fence wire along perimeter to prevent climbing or jumping on fence.

baby gate to enclose dog in specific area of house to teach manners there first

teach calmness in a crate, then a room, then the house. food treats rule!


by Micaho on 29 June 2011 - 12:06

Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 05:16 pm
Hey Donna,
I actually had not been to youtube to watch dog training videos until about 1 week ago, so when I tried, I found so many interesting topics I didn't know where to begin!  My dog loves his crate and knows basic commands.  Can you recommend any series for that level?  Some of the activities look like fun, but I have crates in rather enclosed areas compared to those huge recreation buildings.  Oh to have acreage with ponds,etc.!  Peanut butter is about a 2 minute snack.  Maybe it should be frozen??  Swimming we are working on.  So far he's just in walking around and out again.  And he will probably be crated in our house for a very long time because he and the 5 cats drive each other crazy if they get the chance.
But basically, what I'm seeing is, make everything a game, fetching, not fetching, stop, start, wait. The games are training and the training is exercise. Maybe I'm finally "getting it."

by Sunsilver on 02 July 2011 - 20:07

Posts: 7633
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 09:04 pm
I have a very simple solution to exercising your dog safely. Buy a horse's lunge line, and teach him to lunge! You can do this anywhere, and keep the dog safe. You may need to use a flirt pole to keep him motivated. Your average pet store doesn't stock flirt poles, but you can make your own by purchasing a lunge whip at the same time as the lunge line, and attaching a favourite toy to it.

by Micaho on 04 July 2011 - 15:07

Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 05:16 pm
Interesting thought, Sunsilver!  I have never seen a dog exercised on a lunge line.  Makes me dizzy to think about it!  Without some sort of lure I can't visualize a dog running around at the end of a line continuosly.  But it would be safe.
I have contacted a German Shepherd trainer who worked alot of GSDs at New Skete.  She will evaluate him for the kind of work he needs, I hope, and we will be able to start some classes.  Thanks again everyone! 

by ALPHAPUP on 04 July 2011 - 16:07

Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 02:30 am
micaho -- you can saved money too .. i use at times an old inner tube of a bicycle , or two .  ! has good stregnth and flexability , or a bungee line you buy at home depot for cheap. as far as a flirt pole ... an old kitchen broom handle with a rope tied on it to attatch a fleece toy /rag.

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