Canine Behavior/gsd puppy being to naughty of leash in home
Mam i hope you remember my pup i have consulted you regarding him in past he was afraid of coming out of home and you helped me get through it by proper suggestion he is no more afraid of coming out but we have a another issue we walk him daily around about 1 hour in morning but it just doesnt seem to drain his energy as soon as he is home he wants to run everywhere im home off leash and he wants to put his nose in almost everthnyg we want that he remains off leash but the way he runs he can injured himself because he is so heavy he doesnt understand his body for makinh him roam around in home we have to watch him continously so that he doesnt gets in trouble and the thing is we tried to make him roam around in home widoud leash thinking he will eventually get tired out and sit quietly but for 5 continous hour he kepton running and jumping on things we got tired but he did not my previous dog was very well behaved but this guy just makes me totally drained out so i will be very helpful if you can suggest ways so that we can keep him off leash at home wiodud being worried and watching him 24×7...
I do remember you. I'm glad to hear that the leash walking outside has improved. That's excellent and speaks highly of your commitment and patience in working with your pup.
Now, you are learning just how much energy a GSD puppy has. It's excellent that you are getting your pup a 1-hour walk every morning. However, 1 hour per day (and all at one time) is definitely not enough exercise for a GSD puppy.
Your pup will require easily 2 hours of high energy physical activity each day. But it should not all come at one time. A 1-hour morning walk is great! But, even better, might be a 30-minute leash walk in the neighborhood and then return to your yard and play fetch or chase or scavenger hunt (see below for details) for another 30 minutes so that your dog can run around at full speed in a safe location. Or if you have access to a safe area away from your home where there is no chance your dog can get lost or struck by a car (in the US we have designated dog parks that are fenced in so that dogs can run around off leash and play with other dogs - this is great for dogs are already dog-friendly). If no designated areas, perhaps there's a nearby field or woods area you can explore with your pup where he can run around.
Of course, if you are allowing him off leash in an area off your property you will need to ensure that you can call him back to you and he will actually come...
That 2 hours of physical exercise per day can be done in two separate 1-hour blocks or it can be four 30-minute blocks or a 1-hour block, two 15-minute blocks and a 30-minute block.... you can mix it up however you want. But have multiple bursts of high energy play each day is the best way to help manage his energy between play sessions. You can even do 5 or 10-minute sessions of a quick game of Tug or fetch here and there throughout the day, and provide him with what I call "quiet activities" in between.
Even more important than physical exercise is mental exercise (some are solo quiet activities other will involve you). It's fantastic that you are ensuring your pup gets daily physical exercise. Now we need to add in some mental stimulation. Mental exercise is actually more tiring in the long run than the running around (though running around is still necessary).
Below are some ideas (it's a long list with links and videos) about how you might engage your dog's brain. Some of these are things he can do by himself once you are sure he understands how to do them and has the persistence to engage even when it gets a little tough. Others are activities for you to do with your dog, which allows you to monitor his progress, keep the game going and increase your bond with him. The solo activities are the quiet time activities that he can do when you're unavailable. They will engage his brain and help to occupy him and tire him out between heavy play sessions.
(these are things your dog can do unsupervised once you are sure he knows how to do the activity and will not destroy the toy itself):
Stuffed frozen Kong toys - you can be very creative in how you fill a Kong toy (or a marrow bone). You can provide nearly all of his meals in food dispensing toys of one kind or another. This allows your dog to work for his food which is much more natural for a dog to do (than free in a bowl) and will engage his brain and help to tire him out. Below are a few videos to teach you how to teach your dog to use a Kong. The first two teach the beginning and intermediate stages of Kongs. The third is my own video and demonstrates one way to load Kongs for the expert Kong user.
Kongs for Beginners:
One Way to Load a Kong:
Puppy (these are soft for a gentle mouth. They make a senior as well, but I think they're the same level of softness)
Classic (if the is a heavier chewer)
Extreme (for the really heavy chewer)
Sized correctly, it will probably take 2 Kongs to provide one full meal (if the dog eats twice per day) – more if a giant breed. Having many Kongs will allow you to prepare them ahead of time and freeze them for easy dispensing.
Other toys are meant for just dry kibble:
Kong Wobbler - http://www.amazon.com/KONG-Wobbler-Treat-Dispensing-Large/dp/B003ALMW0M/ref=sr_1
Tricky Treat Ball - http://www.amazon.com/Omega-Paw-Tricky-Treat-Large/dp/B0002DK26M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=U
Supervise this toy until you're certain your dog/s don't just try to rip it open to get the goodies.
Buster Cube - http://www.amazon.com/Buster-Food-Cube-Large-Colors/dp/B0006G54OU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=
This toy requires carpet or, if outside, grass for enough traction to roll. On hard floors, it'll just slide.
Kibble Nibble - http://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Kibble-Nibble-Dispensing-Medium/dp/B001F0RRUA/ref=
Variation on the Tricky Treat Ball and Buster Cube. This has ribbing on the outside and may be able to roll around on hard floors better.
Bob-a-Lot - http://www.amazon.com/StarMark-Bob-A-Lot-Interactive-Pet-Large/dp/B001JQLNB4/ref
Variation on the Kong Wobbler
Planet Dog Mazee - http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Dog-10573300-Mazee-Green/dp/B007R3R52E/ref=sr_1_11?
This looks cool. I might need to get this for my boys!
Some toys are just to engage the dog's need for chewing. ALWAYS SUPERVISE THE DOG UNTIL YOU KNOW HOW THEY ARE ENGAGING WITH THESE TOYS. SOME OF THEM MAY CHIP WHICH IS USUALLY OK FOR THE DOG TO EAT, BUT SOMETIMES THEY WILL SPLINTER WHICH CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS AND REQUIRE YOU TO TAKE THE ITEM AWAY TO AVOID CHOKING HAZARDS OR POTENTIAL PERFORATIONS TO THE DIGESTIVE TRACT.
Marrow Bones (which can be stuffed like a Kong once they've cleaned them completely) – I prefer the ones that still have meat/tendon on them with a bit of marrow inside. I think they’re intrinsically more appealing to dogs. Once the dog/s have cleaned them thoroughly, you can reestablish the bone's awesomeness by stuffing it similarly to the Kong. You can also freeze the stuffed bones like the Kong to increase the length of time it takes to get the goodies out.
Antlers - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=a
Deer, Elk, Moose... each dog may have a preference for one over the other. I encourage you to purchase these in person and not online. Many antlers have 'branches' that have been cut away along the length, not just the cut ends. I've found that if those branch areas are not sanded completely smooth, they are more likely to splinter. So I like to buy them in person so I can inspect and handle them and decide if they seem safe. If I can find one that doesn't have a branch cut along the length, I always prefer that. They are expensive, but they seem to last a reasonable amount of time.
Nylabones - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=N
I prefer the polymer options as they last weeks to months, while the "edibles" are snacks that will only last a couple minutes. The polymer ones come in many different textures, flavors and shapes. Dogs are likely to have preferences, so it may take some trial/error to see what they like the best.
Not all dogs are chewers, some will outgrow it. So if your dog/s refuse to engage with the chew options, then we'll have to be a bit more creative to either encourage the chewing or find other ways to entertain them...
Everlasting Treat Toys – http://www.amazon.com/StarMark-Everlasting-Treat-Ball-Large/dp/B0012V1G0Y/ref=sr
And you can be creative once they've eaten the stuff that comes with it. You can buy replacements, or you can use other large things like apple slices or melon chunks or large dog treats for shorter, but healthier engagements.
(These activities require you to be present to keep the game going. You typically just put a couple of kibbles into each compartment then allow the dog to work out how to get the kibbles, then you can re-load. You may need to teach your dog how to engage with these puzzle toys by making the kibble easier to get to initially and then building up the difficulty as the dog gets the hang of it.)
Trixie Gambling Tower - http://www.amazon.com/Trixie-Gambling-Tower-Level-1/dp/B002XCTUIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=
I have this one. It's a bit dainty with some small screws that must be used to hold the thing together. But, it can be fun and challenging for many dogs. Here's a link to my boys getting to know this toy.
Trixie Move-2-Win - http://www.amazon.com/TRIXIE-Pet-Products-32025-Move-2-Win/dp/B0054LTPTC/ref=pd_
My boys seem to like this one better (stay tuned for new video)
Shuffle Bone - http://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Seek-A-Treat-Shuffle-Bone-Puzzle/dp/B0038WP1YC/ref
This is a much easier puzzle toy, but still fun for the dogs.
Nina Ottosson Collection - a whole line of interactive puzzle toys
Trixie Poker Box 2 - http://www.amazon.com/TRIXIE-Pet-Products-Poker-Level/dp/B009WPTW9E/ref=sr_1_fkm
This is definitely on my to-buy list.
For dogs who love their plush toys
(be certain he's not going to ingest any of the material. This may need to be a supervised activity so you can collect the bits and pieces as he tears apart the toy).
Stuffed toy puzzles:
Hide-a-Squirrel - http://www.amazon.com/Kyjen-PP01056-Hide-A-Squirrel-Squeak-4-Piece/dp/B0002I0O60
Intellibone - http://www.amazon.com/Kyjen-PP01076-IntelliBone-Interactive-Multicolor/dp/B0002I
Other Plush Puzzle Toys - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dpets&field-keywords=pl
More creative - at home ideas:
Holee Roller (see blog set up)
various versions: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dpets&field-keywords=
Blog 1 just a snack: http://leopolds-crate.blogspot.com/2012/05/fun-dog-activity-newmans-own-brand.ht
I've found that using large chunks of USA made jerky works well too. It's just got to be big enough that it's a bit difficult to get through the hole.
Blog 2 supervised meal time: http://leopolds-crate.blogspot.com/2012/08/fun-dog-activity-for-dogs-who-like-to
For the dog who likes to disembowel toys.
muffin pan with a few kibbles in each cup, with something in the cup covering it up - crumpled paper, socks, paper cups, etc.
Play Find It. This is a game dogs should play one at a time if there are multiple dogs in the house. I usually confine the dogs in one area (you may put them outside if there’s no way to confine them to a single room inside), then hide some food and bring one dog in, play and then return that dog to the confinement area, set up for the other dog (if there is another dog) and start again... Taking turns so each dog gets to play for a minute or 5, and then take a break. Hide a couple kibbles, or drop them nearby, and then tell the dog "Find It". The first several times, you may need to stand near the kibble, or tap the floor or even point right at it in order to help the dog locate the food. As the dog picks up on the premise of the game you'll be able to help less and hide kibbles in more difficult places.
Sniffing is a very natural dog behavior. It's soothing, self-reinforcing - especially if the dog is successful in finding a goodie - and is excellent brain exercise. I play an advanced game like this with my dogs for dinner periodically. It takes about 45 minutes to get through the entire meal (both dogs, taking turns) and they're ready for a relaxation break afterward because they've worked hard. I can teach you how to teach the dogs to play this game at a more advanced level if you like.
Scavenger: While the dog is in the room with you, you can practice Sit or Down and then toss a treat across the room with a "Get it" or "Find it" command and allow the dog to run after and sniff out the kibbles. You can toss one kibble to get the game started and just as the dog finds that kibble, toss another in a different direction as you give your verbal cue again so that the dog ends up running back and forth in yard or room or hallway. This allows some good physical exercise while working to find and eat a meal or snack. The main difference between the Find It game above and Scavenger is that in the Find It game the dog was out of the space while you hid food around the area, then he has to come back in and locate them all. That is a slower game, while Scavenger is a more high-energy game that can help burn physical energy while using the nose and brain to find the individual kibbles that the dog has just seen you toss somewhere in the space.
NOSE WORK is a fantastic game for nearly all dogs. It can be done in a small space or large. In this game you remove the dog from the space and hide the food inside a box (in the beginning stages), that is just one of several boxes/items, and then bring the dog in to Find It. As the dog gets skilled at this initial phase, you then add the element that the food is now hidden inside a small container (with holes so the smell comes through) that is hidden in one of the boxes. This then requires the dog to request your help so they can access the goodies that are tucked inside the smaller container. Once the dog is skilled with that, you can increase the difficulty by reducing and then removing the boxes and hiding the small container all over the room or house, allowing the dog to search for it and alert you when he's found it. This is similar early training to Search and Rescue dogs as well as Bomb and Drug sniffing dogs. Super fun for the dogs and most owners enjoy it as well. Video demos below:
Beginning Nose Work:
Beginner Nose Work - Steps 2 and 3:
Nose Work - Out of the Box:
As you can see, there are loads of different ways you can engage your dog's brain. Most of them involve searching for or gaining access to food because that is the most species-appropriate activity a dog can do - they are scavengers/opportunistic hunters by design and so this works their brain in their most natural way possible. NOTE: You should be using the dog's daily ration of food for these games. This is not meant to be snacks on top of his regular diet. By using his regular portion of food, we are able to engage his brain without adding extra calories.
For physical exercise, you can play fetch in your yard, you can play Tug (this is a great game during which you can work on impulse control by incorporating breaks in the game and asking for obedience behaviors - see video below. Of course you have to teach those behaviors before we can expect pup to be able to do them during a high energy game...)
Hagrid & Chewie Tug/Settle
You can use a Flirt Pole type toy to play with him in the yard:
Chewie Plays with Flirt Pole - again you can incorporate impulse control games as part of the larger game.
If you go to my youtube channel, there are a few videos for some basic exercises such as Sit, Down as well as Stay, Drop It and Leave It. You may also like Kikopup's channel. She has tons of videos demonstrating many obedience skills.
Nutz About Mutz
I hope some of these ideas are things you're able to work into your regular routine with your pup. GSDs are high energy dogs anyway, and then add the puppy energy and you certainly have your hands full.
You don't need to have every toy I listed. But having at least 2 and hopefully at least 3 or 4 will allow you to rotate toys which will help them stay interesting because he doesn't have the same thing day in and day out.
Please keep me posted on how you are progressing.
Jody, CPDT-KA, APDT
Worcester, MA Behavior Specialist
Masters Candidate - Animals and Public Policy
Tufts - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine