Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, new to this forum and wanted some input or ideas/opinions about my dog. He is a 2 1/2 year old white shepherd who constantly runs circles around my house and chews at himself. All day long he is pacing and running around the house and it's driving us crazy! I don't know if he has some sort of doggie OCD or if he is just bored. If it is boredom, what do you suggest that I can do with him. I know that they say shepherds need a "job" to do but what kind of a job? As for the chewing, I just put him on a grain/gluten free food to see if maybe he is itchy from allergies. He just finished his transfer over so it might still take a couple weeks to see if that is the cause of that. Also, any suggestions on socializing him? He is quite aggressive towards other dogs and strangers and I feel as if I can't take him anywhere out of fear of what might happen and how people will preceive him as a dog and me as a owner. He is such a sweet boy to us at home and I want him to be that way with everyone. Thanks so much for reading I look forward to the suggestions I will get!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh I forgot to mention, one reason I ask if it's OCD or something is because when he is eating he will take one bite of food then run a lap around the house then come back for another bite and another lap and so on. When I let him in the house from outside he runs laps as soon as he gets throug the door!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
How long have you owned him? When did the behavior begin? How much training does he get a week? What is his daily exercise routine?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have had him since he was a puppy and he was well socialized, at least I thought he was, he went with us to friends houses and to the park all the time. His behavior began sometime around 6-9 months old or so, its like it came out of nowhere! Right now we play fetch in the yard for a while and I am doing daily basic obidence training with him, plus a walk around the block. What type of exercises do you suggest that I do with him? I know that he should be getting more, he is a very hyper active dog and can go for hours one end with no rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Hello all, new to this forum and wanted some input or ideas/opinions about my dog. He is a 2 1/2 year old white shepherd who constantly runs circles around my house and chews at himself. All day long he is pacing and running around the house and it's driving us crazy!
He is bored.

I don't know if he has some sort of doggie OCD or if he is just bored. If it is boredom, what do you suggest that I can do with him.
Play with him, walk him, fill up toy kongs with a treat of some sort inside(peanut butter, etc), teach him tricks, etc.

I know that they say shepherds need a "job" to do but what kind of a job?
A job is anything that gets a dog's mind working. Everything I listed above could be considered "a job".

As for the chewing, I just put him on a grain/gluten free food to see if maybe he is itchy from allergies. He just finished his transfer over so it might still take a couple weeks to see if that is the cause of that.
Hopefully this works. If he's not chewing himself as much, you know that was the problem. Give him fish oil pills, that will help with his skin and coat. One a day, I believe its 1000mg.

Also, any suggestions on socializing him? He is quite aggressive towards other dogs and strangers and I feel as if I can't take him anywhere out of fear of what might happen
Get a professional trainer, you missed the period where it was easiest to socialize him, which was when he was a puppy. Positive trainer only, you won't need leash jerks or anything like that to get your dog to first accept the presence other dogs and then greet them.

and how people will preceive him as a dog and me as a owner.
You're already off on the wrong foot if you are taking the dogs behavior personal, and care about what other people think. A dog behaves a certain way because they have been taught that way either directly or indirectly, so it is your fault that your dog is aggressive towards other dogs and people, you didn't take the proper steps to socialize him as a puppy and you didn't bother to put in the time for training him.
So if people perceive you in a negative light then it is completely understandable because you did make mistakes. Admitting you did make mistakes will help you work even harder to fix them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Dog aggression isn't always the owner's fault, sometimes it just happens regardless of all the socialization in the world!

But I would agree he's bored. A walk around the block is barely a warmup for a shepherd. Try biking with him or running or swimming if possible. You may try getting a backpack for him, empty at first then adding maybe water bottles and snacks for a walk. Look for hiking trails in your area and make a weekend out of it.

Just keep repeating "a tired dog is a happy dog, a tired dog is a happy dog" and soon most of the OCD like issues should work themselves out. The dog aggression will take more effort, but one thing at a time!

Good luck :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
This sounds like boredom. Shepherds are working dogs and it sounds like the weird eating behaviour is an attempt to "earn" his food. If he is aggressive to both dogs and people you will have a real job on your hands socializing him in a safe way. That has to be the most important thing here, if he has to be muzzled in public for a while, better safe than sorry.

Tripling the exercise is really, really good advice. Fetch is good, take him jogging, ride your bike with him or rollerblade (only if he has good leash manners). You could also look at getting a flirt pole (a good option for when you're beat but he is raring to go). Remember this exercise also has to be done with an eye for the safety of others.

Our dog Callie was also hyperactive for about 3 years (she's still high energy but she's calmed) what really made the difference for her was using her mind. Teach him tricks. You can play 'hide and seek' or 'find the toy' (I would hide the ball somewhere in the house while she waited in down/stay. When I released her she would go find the ball). Look into agility and maybe setting up some obstacles in your backyard. Try using the kibble he usually gets for dinner as a reward for training. You could also try teaching him his toys by name and having him bring them to you and then put them back (instructions can easily be found on the internet). Also if he's running around the house teach him focus, make sure he's got lots of exercise and then teach him down/stay and slowly increase time intervals. That way you have both approaches of giving him an outlet for his energy and teaching him when to slow down.

Just on the topic of brain games, I liked this site http://www.moderndogmagazine.com/brainboostinggames
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replys and the last two had very positive and great ideas! I will definatly up the exercise and tricks. I did start with a little hide and seek game this past weekend and he seems to enjoy doing that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Try for two 30 min. walks per day, increase the obedience/trick training, continue socializing with people, try to find a few very social dogs with his energy level to socialize him better with dogs.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
For the "hot cold" one that is essentially free shaping which is a blast once your dog gets the hang of it, and you can use any item at all but it's easier if it's not something that's usually in the room (such as the bookshelf suggestion), instead you could try taking one of your dining room chairs into the living room or anything really, be creative! You can get some cool behaviors :) Try 101 things to do with a box, too:

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167

I had my dog biting and licking the box for treats at one point and it was hilarious lol!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top