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I have a German Shepherd mix. To any of you who also have GSDs you probably know how much energy and stamina they have and how hard they can be to tire out. I love walking my dog in town and will visit some of the stores that allow dogs so she gets more mental stimulation. Sometimes I visit all of them, meaning I'm out even longer. But it never seems to be enough. I can have walked her for two hours, but I come home and let her off her leash and she starts running circles around me, still hyper while I'm exhausted.

I do have a ball thrower and have brought it along on walks before so I can go to a park and throw the ball for her but it doesn't do much. She'll be more content but I really want to be able to tire her out, not just make her more relaxed. I know German Shepherds are working breeds and giving them a job will help. I do have a backpack for her but it has several problems. 1) it's made of some sort of fleece and would be way too hot to use in the summer. 2) She hates it. She walks insanely slow and just defeats the purpose of working.

She loves to run and, frankly, I don't. I'm not willing to jog with her. But I thought maybe using a bike would help, as she'd be running the majority of the time and it would tire her out easier. But I don't have a good bike. The one I do have doesn't shift gears and pedalling is insanely hard. She absolutely loves it when I do get on that bike though, as she can run and I'm able to keep up. She's not afraid of it at all.

So do any of you have any ideas to help me tire her out? I'm not too picky as to how. If you could give me tips to teach a dog to run beside a bike nicely I'd appreciate it, as I want to get a nicer bike as soon as I can. Any other ideas to make her work would also be greatly appreciated.
 

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We had an active working breed dog and were in a similar position and the dog behaviourist advised that he was actually getting plenty of exercise and to instead focus on mental stimulation so we did more sniffy walks, taught more tricks, set up find it games, bought a small tunnel for training in the backyard etc. it helped to some extent.


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Discussion Starter #3
We had an active working breed dog and were in a similar position and the dog behaviourist advised that he was actually getting plenty of exercise and to instead focus on mental stimulation so we did more sniffy walks, taught more tricks, set up find it games, bought a small tunnel for training in the backyard etc. it helped to some extent.


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Those are good ideas. Thank you.
 

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I have a bad back, so it's hard for me to walk my dog, AU, who's a golden retriever.
But, I also have a yard...so when it gets dark outside, I take him out, and I stand on the porch with a laser light and he gets to chase the 'bug' around the yard. I don't do this in the winter though, it would be too dangerous...unless the snow is still soft and fresh...with no icy layer under it that can be slipped on or broken through...which could cut up a dog's feet or trip him up.

In the winter...I will play with him in the house with the laser, but he's limited upon full out running....still he likes to go from the back porch door, through the front room and down the long hall and back...sometimes he's not even following the light...lol....just anticipating where it will be next.

Stormy
 

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I have a bad back, so it's hard for me to walk my dog, AU, who's a golden retriever.
But, I also have a yard...so when it gets dark outside, I take him out, and I stand on the porch with a laser light and he gets to chase the 'bug' around the yard. I don't do this in the winter though, it would be too dangerous...unless the snow is still soft and fresh...with no icy layer under it that can be slipped on or broken through...which could cut up a dog's feet or trip him up.

In the winter...I will play with him in the house with the laser, but he's limited upon full out running....still he likes to go from the back porch door, through the front room and down the long hall and back...sometimes he's not even following the light...lol....just anticipating where it will be next.

Stormy
Lol. My dog loves the laser light too. I haven't thought about using one outside though. Thank you.
 

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Tired out

When my spaniel was alive it took him about 20x to tire out with the ball fling. The next was the dot. He loved that thing. Inside outside anywhere. We also bought him a treat search arrangement, he was working that too. Kept him busy. When you have a lot of running you do need to be aware of sprains and strains. Those long bones. Sometimes I would hose his legs down after a work out. And massage. Everything in moderation.

Good luck.
 

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When my spaniel was alive it took him about 20x to tire out with the ball fling. The next was the dot. He loved that thing. Inside outside anywhere. We also bought him a treat search arrangement, he was working that too. Kept him busy. When you have a lot of running you do need to be aware of sprains and strains. Those long bones. Sometimes I would hose his legs down after a work out. And massage. Everything in moderation.

Good luck.
AU had both hips operated on, due to hip dysplasia, so yeah, when he's out side chasing 'the bug' it's only for a limited amount of long runs across my yard...which is, as I said a long one.

But in total, he probably only runs for a 3 or 4 minutes, including his 'warm up time'

I don't allow him to flat out run the first few times back and forth...I let him 'warm up' a bit, keeping 'the bug' moving slowly so he trots, jogs after it a few times, then I increase the chase speed, and slow it back down again near the end. All of this also depends upon how cool it is outside. Sometimes even in the summer at 11 pm at night, it's still 70 degrees. Last night though, the temps were more like 55 degrees :D So I let him run for an extra minute.

Even my old feral dog, in those temps decided to chase the bug a little bit too. I had it in front of her and let her stomp down on it a few times..trot after it...but that was about it. She's not into running anymore..she's about 11 years old and I think she's starting to feel arthritis in her hips.

Also, because it is dark out there, I try to look the yard over in the day time to make sure there are no big hazards like forgetting where the sprinkler was positioned that day, or a hole that might be in the yard...or even a large bone that AU might have dragged outside without me knowing about it. Dogs can see better in the dark than humans, and it doesn't need to be pitch black for the laser to be seen, but I still try to make it safe for him.

Stormy
 

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Long structured walks are good for mental stimulation. Running and exercising is good to drain pent up energy. Jogging, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding or even treadmill helps a lot.
We have a very hyperactive English Bull Terrier Luckily we live by the beach. Good swim or 30 min digging in the sand usually tires him out.
 

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Anything involving his nose. That is a dog's job. Nosework, tracking, mantrailing, searching, hiding his food toys or family members.

I do nosework with my Belgian shepherd. She is trained to find a spesific scent, eucalyptus hydrolate.

Sense of smell is very important for dogs. A large part of their brains is dedicated for scent. They find their food by sniffing and scents also tell them who is friend or foe and when to breed. So when you make the dog use his nose you use his brain and offer him a natural opportunity to use his capabilities.

You can also teach him tricks, learning new things also stimulates the brain.
 

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Lol you might not be able to tire her out physically. Our current gsd has a seemingly limitless energy supply. I've found the point at which he tires out.......but we're talking a full long day of strenuous exercise- swimming, hiking etc all in the same day. Even then he'll still push himself to keep going even though hes cranky as heck by that point. Trying to tire these dogs out with pure exercise can be like a merry go round. They just get conditioned to need more exercise.
 

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As far as taking her with a bike, try Googling "dog walking with bike". There are devices available that attach a leash-type item to your bike while keeping her away from the wheels. When my dog goes on alert (e.g. sees a squirrel), I just pedal faster and he has to keep up with me. Different devices/ different configurations may work better for different sized dogs; you'll have to read some reviews.

I'm not sure where you live, but in the US you can look in Craigslist and Freecycle for a better bike for cheap or free. There is also garage, yard, and estate sales.
 

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I once had a shepherd/greyhound cross who had boundless energy. I walked him 3 time a day and in between I hung a ball from the whirly washing line and he would chase it around for hours. I never saw him look tired though.
 
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