My "bad" dog is crate trained for bed. At night he's great, but not when he goes in there for naps--he doesn't nap, he just goes crazy. He's mostly focused on my "good" dog (who does not need to be in her crate). I tried putting my "good" dog in her crate, but that didn't change the "bad" dog's behavior. The "good" dog's crate is even out of sight of the "bad" dog's.

I've tried rewarding him when he's calm (verbal "good boy" and treats), but as I begin to speak or right after, he goes crazy again. I've tried ignoring him (back to him, not looking or speaking to him). He has a lot of energy, and some days it's easier to burn that than others. (Work, weather, construction behind house) We play ball and train when we can't go outside. I also can't leave the "bad" dog unattended and un-crated due to his high energy and need to get into everything. So when he's getting out of hand or I need to leave the room, he is crated. (Usually a couple of hours a day outside of bedtime.)

My question: How do I get him to not freak out?

2 Answers 2


In addition to Omar's answer, you should make your "bad" dog work for simple, everyday things.

There are several different forms of puzzle feeders available that offer different levels of difficulty. Some can also be crafted as a DIY project. Have a look at this list for some different food puzzles and additional ideas to entertain your dog.

The idea is to offer mental stimulation in addition to walks and games that offer physical stimulation.

If you "can't leave the "bad" dog unattended and un-crated due to his high energy and need to get into everything" then he's clearly bored. GSDs are a working breed and as such have more energy than typical couch dogs. You should accommodate for that by giving him several short jobs or training sessions during the day. Make him work for his food and for treats. Just 5 minutes is enough to ward off his boredom for a while, but he needs those 5 minutes several times a day.


I would be worried if a 10 months old GSD doesn't have plenty of energy. That being said, establishing routines, as well as repetition, is essential for training, but the most important thing is your own discipline when doing this.

Dogs in general, but specially GSD, will behave like puppies until they are two years old (more or less); he will be like this for a while.

My suggestion is that you do exactly the same things every time, don't improvise and think ahead to what kind of behavior you are rewarding and which you are not.

i.e. If every time the dog makes noise you go to see what he's doing, he is going to associate making noise with my owner coming--that's what you don't want.

Another thing, rewarding a dog is equal to releasing him from his duty, so if he is calm and you reward him it's completely normal that he became happy.

Work on establishing routines, train outside with him on discipline with basic commands, challenge his mind, and burn some energy. The dog itself will start to understand when it's time to play, when to learn, and when to rest.

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