If you have a young German Shepherd, I’m sure you’ve thought… when do German Shepherds calm down? I know that was something I thought all the time when Allie was a young pup.
Unfortunately, every German Shepherd is different so there is no exact answer that will work for every GSD but this article can give you a guide.
Why German Shepherds Are Hyper
German Shepherds are hyper because they are working dogs historically. Originally, they were bred for herding and thus they have enough energy and stamina for a full day’s work. Working line German Shepherds especially are made to have a job, thus they require a lot of exercise and activity or they will be hyper.
Ways to help your German Shepherd to calm down
1. Proper Exercise
Exercise is key to helping your German Shepherd calm down. A daily exercise routine will help your GSD burn off energy which will help them to be calmer.
Check out this article on 21 ways to exercise your German Shepherd for ideas.
Exercise is also important because it helps to prevent destructive behavior. If you have ever heard the saying a tired dog is a good dog, that should be every German Shepherd owner’s motto. A tired German Shepherd is less likely to be mischievous and more like to quietly lay on their bed and rest.
Because German Shepherds are working dogs, you should aim to give your adult German Shepherd at least one-two hours of exercise each day. Puppies should be exercised multiple times a day but for shorter durations.
Check out this article on how long to exercise a German Shepherd puppy for more detail.
Training is important for two reasons. One it helps you have more control over your dog when needed in everyday situations; and two, it is a form of mental stimulation that will tire your dog out.
Participate in some type of training with your dog and you will find your dog is exhausted afterwards.
For a puppy try a basic obedience class, for an older dog maybe try agility or Schutzhund. Many forms of training also involve exercise which is a win-win for you!
You can also teach your dog new tricks at home at any time. Tricks training is a great way to bond with your dog as well as calm them down.
3. Mental Stimulation
German Shepherds aim to please and love to work. They also love to learn new things, in fact, they need to learn new things.
Training is one form of mental stimulation, but puzzle toys are another. Puzzle toys are toys designed to work your dog’s brain to problem solve.
These toys usually involve the hiding of a treat in a manner where your dog has to figure out how work around the device to get to the treat.
If you are interested in some great puzzle toys for German shepherd click here.
Socialization is an important part of your dog’s development and should not be overlooked. Dogs should be socialized sufficiently as a puppy. Your German Shepherd should be exposed to all kinds of people, dogs, animals, and new places so they are comfortable in any new situation and don’t become fearful or aggressive.
The extra benefit of socializing your dog with other people or animals is that those other parties will tire your dog out for you. If you set up a doggie play date, the dogs will play and play by the time they get home they will pass right out.
Some options for socialization include, doggie daycare, taking your dog to the dog park, doggie play dates, field trips to new places, or having a friend or family member who has time to spend the day with your dog.
I took my dog with me to my mother’s house for a small gathering, and by the time she played with all the people there, followed everyone around and watched everything going on, she slept like a baby that night. Trust me all that socializing is exhausting!
When my German Shepherd calmed down (a little)
I have a solid black working line beautiful German Shepherd named Allie. Of course, when I got her home I suddenly realized I was in over my head with my first German Shepherd.
She was hyper and I never seemed to be able to tire her out for long. A short rest (and I do mean short) and she was back to being bananas!
I asked her vet when she was about a year old, when will she calm down? I was told around 5 years old! I was thinking 4 more years!
Funny thing is when age 5 rolled around, she wasn’t exactly calm. Now I admit she had some calmer moments but I wouldn’t have called her calm by any means.
I noticed the calming down process began around age 7. She was and is still is very active, but she could rest longer and be content. Some of the activities I used to do with her at age 1 where she would bounce right back in 10 minutes would tire her out for a longer time period.
Now, at 9 years old – she is still NOT a super calm dog.
However, she is the calmest around me. We can be active or relax together. Let other people come around and she is back to being a crazy young puppy full of excitement jumping up and down ready to play.
So when do German Shepherds calm down? German Shepherd calm may not be the type of calm you are thinking. They will calm down somewhere between the age of 5-7 but may never be a full couch potato.
Each dog is different and some may calm down earlier or later. Keep in mind that German Shepherds may never be as calm as another dog breed but they will get calmer over time.
When I look back at it now, life would have been so much more boring with a calm German Shepherd:)
When did your German Shepherd calm down? Let me know in the comments.