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Discussion Starter #1
Maggie is a bundle of energy and stress. We can't seem to completely drain her energy so she is always pretty stressed. Not only does she run a lot (she would make a good frisbee dog if we had a field) but she is also very nervous around people, noises, dogs, and other things.

Is there something that I can do for her? We walk her 2-3 times a day, 7 days a week, for about a 1 1/2 miles. I let her run in our yard for as much time as I have (which can be for 30 minutes or 1 hour). She also plays with our next door neighbor's dogs and Sarge.

I heard a backpack can do wonders for high energy dogs, but they seem awfully expensive. Can we make one ourselves? Can we get a human kid backpack and suit it to her? What items are there available?
 

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Why not enroll Maggie in an Obedience class? She'll be exposed to other dogs in a controlled environment, given something to think about (mental exercise can be just as exhausting as physical exercise) and it will give you "homework" to do between classes at home to help keep her busy. After she gets the basic skills down you can always go on to dog sport training with her, too (think: Agility, Flyball, etc.).
 

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Start teaching her some tricks, not hard to do. There's lots of info on line and for ideas on what sort of things just go on Youtube and search for dog tricks. There's tons of stuff you can do without having to spend alot of money.
 

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High energy dogs need about 15 miles a day. Mental stimulation can be even more tiring and basic obedience is a great outlet.
Diet can play a huge part in the energy equation...calories = energy. Diets that are high in cereals/grains have too much sugar (a sugar high)....constantly on edge/fidgety.
There is also the old adage about intense exercise......it will wear most dogs out but, it can also make an olympic champion that constantly needs more exercise.
 

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I agree with the obedience classes. I have had a few dogs that were just like your Maggie. A bundle of nervous energy. Obedience training stimulates their brain. It makes them work and wears them out in a different way. It also builds on your relationship and helps the dog to feel more confident in themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have taught her the basic commands and am currently teaching her patient tricks like stay and come. She so far (I know she's behind, but I had surgery last year when she was a puppy) knows sit, down, up, and leave it. The problem with obedience classes is that she gets so nervous towards other dogs, she barks aggressively towards them. She also is protective of us and gets intimidated if anyone looks her in the eye.

She gets food, but leaves it. She doesn't eat a lot. She eats Innova - does that have high sugar? My mom said it was good. I wish I had a treadmill...
 

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You could try training her to run next to a bike. I love biking with my dogs and it wears them out quicker than walking. For the obedience classes, just contact the trainer and ask if they would mind if you bring in a dog that is fear aggressive, and if they can help you with that. Going to obedience classes was very helpful with Allie.

Swimming is also great exercise. Feed her out of interactive toys, rather than a bowl. We just got a new one made by starmark called the bob-a-lot. Its awesome, kept the dogs buys for a good 45 minutes when made a little harder and they really enjoyed it! We also feed them out of squirrel dudes, the twist-n-treat, the buster cube. Helps keep them busy for a bit and they get some mental stimulation too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You could try training her to run next to a bike. I love biking with my dogs and it wears them out quicker than walking. For the obedience classes, just contact the trainer and ask if they would mind if you bring in a dog that is fear aggressive, and if they can help you with that. Going to obedience classes was very helpful with Allie.
I usually rollerblade and bike daily with her and that has helped her get over her human fear (somewhat). Even though I live on a small, dead end street, I love to exercise with my dogs :) The only problem with running is that we live on an enormous hill. If I ran down it I would fall over (yes I've tried) and I've tried running up it, but it's not good for my knees. As a young woman I know that running is generally not good on knees for us and instead I do other activities.

She's afraid of pools :( Plus I don't have one around :(
As soon as winter is over, I plan to continue exercise.

Edit: Plus, I forgot to mention that my mom does a good deal of walking with her and she has arthritis in her back (she wants to keep nimble so she walks a lot).

Sorry if I down ideas, but I do think I'll try teaching her more tricks and I really want to teach her to catch a frisbee.
 

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Innova is good.
"Protective of you"...."nervous towards other dogs....barks aggressively towards them".
I suspect you're allowing her to do those jobs...protecting you and heading off the other dogs. Those 'jobs' are very stressful and they shouldn't be on her shoulders to handle. Take them away from her.
When she wants to 'protect' you/the family....someone needs to step in front and handle the situation...not her. Same for other dogs....she doesn't get to 'handle it'....you do. Let her know that you're taking over the leadership position from now on....she gets to sit back and watch. She will be much calmer knowing it's not her responsibility anymore.
 
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