If you have ever met a German Shepherd puppy, then you know how crazy they can be. German Shepherds are actually working dogs, so naturally they have a lot of energy to expel, and can be very high functioning and active.
These types of dogs love having something to do, whether it is chasing a ball, running around, finding new smells, or generally just exercising, so a German Shepherd is not really a calm breed.
The clue is in the name, German Shepherds were bred to herd sheep, and so they have a natural instinct to run around, chase, and be athletic.
This can mean that the German Shepherd as a breed is very hyperactive, and not naturally calm. However, this does vary by age and by the individual dog itself.
As you can imagine, such a highly active dog will be even more excitable, bubbly, fun and energetic as a puppy, and so you may be wondering when German Shepherd puppies calm down a little.
We are here to tell you when you can expect your German Shepherd puppy to chill out a little, why it may not calm down, and how to calm your energetic doggie!
When do German Shepherd puppies calm down?
It is hard to give an overall general answer, as all dogs are different, even if they are part of the same breed and family. However, typically, German Shepherds are not a calm breed at all, and even after reaching maturity, you will need to keep them stimulated to ensure that they can get rid of some of their energy.
For the most part, when a German Shepherd reaches about 1 year old, it can start maturing and should be nearly fully grown. This means that you can start to expect that it will calm down a little through the following months to a year.
However, that is not to say that the dog will ever be a calm or chilled dog, as German Shepherds can be hyperactive for up to the first 2 or 3 years of their lives.
However, as your dog ages and grows closer to its golden and older years, it will not have as much energy as before, and should become much more relaxed and calm.
If your German Shepherd has reached adulthood, and is still a little crazy, then you should know some of the reasons that can make this happen.
Reasons why your German Shepherd puppy won’t calm down
Have you got a German Shepherd that just does not understand the meaning of chill out?! There could be a few contributing factors as to why your German Shepherd won’t calm down. All of which, we shall explain in this section.
Lack of mental and physical stimulation
One of the most common reasons that a dog will struggle to be calm is because it is lacking in physical and mental stimulation. Dogs already need a lot of exercise, chew toys and other things to keep them occupied and happy. German Shepherds take this a step further because they have a lot more energy than the average dog breed.
If your dog is hyperactive, then the best thing you can do for it is to give it a routine. Having a routine gives your German Shepherd something to focus on, and do. They will know when they are going out to play, going out for walks and when they will be fed.
Without a normal routine, or a lot of stimulation, your German Shepherd will find other ways to occupy themselves, such as destroying a shoe, or jumping up on top of you when you are on the couch…or pacing around the house for hours.
As we have stated, a German Shepherd requires a lot of exercise in order to function. For instance, your German Shepherd should have at least 90 minutes of exercise every single day, as well as intensive exercises once or twice a week.
If your dog is not able to expel all of their energy through exercise, then they are bound to be hyperactive and energetic around the house, which can cause you a lot of stress and other problems.
German Shepherds are also used as Police Dogs and working dogs, and are incredibly intelligent creatures. This is why they also need mental stimulation.
German Shepherds thrive off learning commands, tricks and having a lot of social interaction, whether it is from you or from their toys!
To keep your German Shepherd happy and calm, you will need to strike a balance between mental stimulation and physical stimulation. Only then will you see a difference in their temperament, attitude and behavior.
What is very interesting about German Shepherds is the rate that they grow. We have all seen how quickly a German Shepherd puppy can grow to almost full size, and look like an adult dog from a young age.
However, just because a German Shepherd looks fully grown, it doesn’t mean that it is. This is because they physically mature faster than they mentally mature.
Your dog may seem like it is fully grown, but you have to understand that it may not have reached maturity yet, and it is still a puppy, not an adult. This could be why your dog still has a lot of energy, as it is not yet matured.
Once a dog has developed fully, it can properly regulate its behavior and energy levels, which would make it calm down a little.
To understand how a German Shepherd grows and develops, you should consider this timeline. For instance, at 2-4 months old, when a German Shepherd leaves its mother, it will be very excitable and interested in everything around it.
A German Shepherd puppy at this stage in its life will be a little hyper, and will struggle to focus, as there is so much for it to explore, and everything entices them. Although, as a puppy, they tend to have a lot of energy, but then sleep it off afterward, and then repeat.
From about 4-12 months old, your German Shepherd puppy will be at the peak of its hyperactivity. At this age, German Shepherds have a lot of energy that they have to burn, and they will require a lot of playtime, attention and healthy exercise.
From this age, you will have to keep your German Shepherd engaged and stimulated as best as you can, as they will have so much energy that they need to get rid of!
After this, from about 12-24 months old, you may think that your dog is old enough to be considered mature, or fully grown, but you could be wrong.
Some owners will notice their German Shepherd has started to slow down a little from this point, but others do not. They will however still be more active than the average dog, and other dog breeds!
It is at this point where your dog may have reached its physical full growth, but it may not be fully developed mentally, yet.
After about 24 months, or from two years onwards, your German Shepherd should be fully mentally and physically developed. This means that your dog has reached adulthood, and maturity, and it should slow down and calm down considerably from here on out.
However, your German Shepherd will still need regular cardio and exercise to keep those energy levels at a normal rate.
Once your dog passes the age of 7 or 8, then it could be considered a senior German Shepherd. At this stage in their lives, a German Shepherd is most likely to be very relaxed, calm, and may like to nap and sleep a lot rather than run around as much as it used to.
Keep in mind that even as your dog ages, it will need exercise and stimulation, just not as much as before!
If you have any dog, then you know how much they crave love and attention. German Shepherds are one of those dog breeds that love to be petted, loved, cuddled and affectionate. They have lovely temperaments and love to please their owners with tricks, commands and games.
If your German Shepherd is not getting the care, love and attention that it needs, then it can start to feel anxious, stressed or nervous, which will result in a change in behavior. This means that your dog can get overly excitable, and hyperactive.
If you cannot always give your dog the attention it needs, why not find an interactive dog toy that can occupy their minds for a while, such as this one or ask a friend or family member to check in on them, and have a walk or play with your dog.
Another possible reason that your dog may not be calming down is because of a condition called Hyperkinesis. However, this is very hard to diagnose in dogs as some are just not getting the exercise, stimulation and attention that they need from their owners in order to function properly.
Some symptoms of Hyperkinesis are short attention spans, impulsive behavior, attention seeking and hyperactivity.
You may have to seek advice from a veterinarian, who can offer medication to calm your dog, or give you a training program with strategies and methods to help you control and calm your pet. This is most often done with a reward system, or with a clicker.
If you do regularly exercise your dog, keep them active, and give them lots of care and attention, and you still do not understand why they are so wild, then it may be a case of canine ADHD. This means that it is time to take them to the veterinarian for advice, medication or treatment.
How to calm a German Shepherd
If you feel that your German Shepherd is always hyper, jumping around and full of energy, then there are a few ways that you can calm and support them. These methods are positive means of improving your dog’s behavior and expelling some of their extra energy!
The best way to do this is to train and teach your German Shepherd tricks. They love to please and engage their intelligent minds, and so teaching your dog to try new things will be great for its energy. This will also keep them occupied, stimulated, and disciplined!
In addition, if your German Shepherd struggles to stay calm, then you may want to make their exercise routine more extensive. This means making it more challenging, or exercising them more. You both can also benefit from an extendable lead so that your dog has more room to run, sniff and explore!
You can even try some agility exercises and training for your dog with an agility course kit. This can help them train, jump, weave in between cones and learn new things!
On the other hand, your German Shepherd may be struggling to calm down, and will constantly try to burn energy because they do not know how to relax.
To help this, you can create a comfortable, soft and relaxing space for your dog. Create a soft, plushy area and encourage your dog to spend time there to regulate their activity levels.
If your German Shepherd is highly energetic, and their excitement never seems to lessen, then it may be time to rethink their exercise routine.
If they always have energy, then they may need more exercise than you are giving them. In addition, German Shepherds love having a routine, and so maybe it is time to mix yours up, or create a new one.
Having a new routine, new exercises and new activities to participate in will really excite your German Shepherd, and should help them burn off any excess energy that they still have.
Finally, neutering your German Shepherd may help to calm them down, as they may not be as hyperactive. In addition, if your dog shows signs of aggression or sexual excitement, then it may be worth neutering them, or speaking to your veterinarian about the benefits of neutering.
Does neutering help calm a German Shepherd?
On one hand, neutering will calm down a German Shepherd, but this is subjective to the actual dog. Some dogs love being fun, active and energetic, and if they have been like this for a long time, then they may have already learned to love that behavior, and neutering will not change this.
Having said that, neutering can often make a dog less aggressive, or less prone to humping because the removal of the testicles prevents the production of testosterone.
Without neutering, after your German Shepherd reaches six months of age, they may start to display symptoms of an increased sex drive, increased aggression, increased confidence, more territorial behaviors, more roaming and a reduced interest in calming down.
Therefore, it is often recommended that your neuter German Shepherds as soon as possible. If you neuter after they start displaying these behaviors, then they may have already gotten used to them.
That being said, for most dogs, neutering will reduce territorial behaviors such as marking, along with less aggression and a lower libido.
Keep in mind that neutering a dog can have its benefits, but you cannot expect it to lose its energy levels as this is deeply ingrained within a German Shepherd’s nature.
To conclude, German Shepherds are a working dog breed, and therefore naturally have a lot of energy, and are hyperactive and excitable.
Even after a German Shepherd becomes fully grown it can demonstrate a lot of energy and will need a lot of mental stimulation.
This is why it is so vital that you do your research before owning one, and make sure that you provide the best level of care, attention, love, discipline, exercise, and diet routines to keep your dog healthy, happy, and thriving.
With the proper care and attention to detail, you will be able to calm your German Shepherd dog after they have reached maturity.