Isi I have two GSDs, both rescues, and my male already had horrid hips when I adopted him at 10 months old - he had apparently been hit by a car and allowed to heal on his own, his back end is crooked, etc. (this was the best guess by an ortho vet once he had gotten that far - he had been picked up as a stray, gone thru shelter system, on euth list, and picked up by rescue group, I fostered, then adopted). He's limited in his physical activity, so clearly could not carry a back-pack - but he LOVES jobs around the house. I've trained mine to pick up things from the floor and hand them to me (much as a service dog would do -- they aren't, but GSDs do need and love jobs, so why not?) and he LOVES his jobs!! Just a bit a go I dropped a pen on the floor, and without me even asking, he rushed over and picked it up and handed it to me. It keeps him on his toes (so to speak) and focused (which was such an issue with him for so long - he was a bit late in maturing, typical boy!) and now, he's like my little butler!I have a German Shepherd and often I feel like I don't give him a job.I have looked at the back packs but then I worry about using extra weight while walking on a breed prone to hip dysplasia and being overweight(same as carrying too much weight ) would put my guy at risk for developing this horrible problem. So I have been blessed with a very healthy GSD why risk it to add this job of carrying weight.
Yes, it's well-known Cesar uses shock collars - and in fact, there was one episode I remember where he used it openly. I was appalled, of course it was "for the dogs own good" blah blah blah. I wish he would have put it on himself. Anyway, enough of that. But - you're absolutely right. Get to know what drives your dog, and use that. If only more people understood that. If your dog is "wild and crazy" - is it an agility dog? A flyball dog? If your dog is always nosing around into everything, could it maybe love scentwork or nosework? (Mine do, and one is preparing for trials). You have one you've discovered LOVES tricks - that's endless - you'll probably go nuts trying to make up more and more tricks! Is your dog a nutty swimmer? Maybe dockdiving? It just goes on and on -- but when you think about it, the people with the most fulfilled and happy dogs, have the least amount of problems.OMG I have never seen an episode Of Cesar like that with a shock collar!? Anyways I wanted to point out coming late in the thread that this seems to bring up a bigger picture, Know your dogs, breed or if you don't know for for sure because they are the best breed of all "TRUE 100% PUREBRED MUTT" get know them what drives them, their size, their instincts and work with that.
Just speaking from personal experience, I used to come home to stuff torn up (sometimes, not always) no matter how much I dog-proofed things (and yes, we exercised, played, walked, frozen kongs, toys, ........ all the stuff we all recommend .. before work each day). Since the dogs now have so many jobs and nosework, I haven't had an issue in a long time. Shoot, I think they think .. thank goodness, she's leaving, we can get some rest!
Dog jobs are a good thing!