How to calm a German shepherd?
German Shepherds make excellent dogs, but it can be difficult to know how to calm them down. Having lots of energy can get dogs excited and even acting. So, I did some research and found the best ways to help German Shepherds calm down.
How to get German Shepherds to calm down? German Shepherds are high-energy, highly intelligent, and like homework, so the best ways to calm your dog down are to have purposeful walks, reward calm demeanor, and stimulate his intellect with training and games.
German Shepherds are beautiful and highly intelligent animals. They make excellent police dogs, guard dogs, and family dogs. Due to their heritage they can be a bit crazy and energetic, but below are all the best ways to help your German Shepherd calm down.
Getting a German Shepherd to be calm
Throughout the history of German Shepherds, they have been used in difficult and chore jobs. They worked on farms, then worked in the world wars delivering supplies to the soldiers on the front lines.
They are now commonly used as police dogs and search and rescue dogs. To say that they have had backbreaking jobs throughout their history would be an understatement.
Because of this, it is easy to understand why German Shepherds go crazy and get too excited. Because they are programmed to have a lot of energy and to need tasks.
That is why starting training your German Shepherd when they are young is smart and will help control their energy. There are three main things you can do that will help your German Shepherd control his energy and calm down.
# 1 Take them on a purposeful walk daily
Many people may read this post and think “what the heck is a purposeful walk?” Well, German Shepherds need stimulation and they need a job. It helps them fulfill an instinct within them.
When German Shepherds act it is because they have a lot of energy and are not being stimulated intellectually and physically. That takes us on purposeful walks.
Purpose walks are when you make walking with your German Shepherd work rather than for fun.
So what does this look like? Well, for starters, getting your dog to sit up and stay still before putting him on a leash is the first step. The second step is to put on a weighted vest.
These vests come in all shapes and sizes and it doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as it fits your dog comfortably. What the weighted vest does is signal your German Shepherd’s brain that it’s time to work and not play.
Your German Shepherd will apply more energy, focus, and determination to the task that helps them fulfill some of their natural urges to work and use their energy.
While you’re walking, you want to make sure your German Shepherd is walking with his head up, that he stays next to you (not in front of or behind you), and that he is focused.
That means that you, as the owner, must also be calm and focused. Help them keep their heads up and not go around sniffing everything around them.
This walk should take at least 30 minutes and help your dog get a great workout. If you do this, your dog will have better control of his energy and will be calmer at home.
PS: You can still go for leisurely walks with your German Shepherd and family, but you still need to take a purposeful walk that day where your German Shepherd can wear his vest and ‘work’.
# 2 Reward good behavior
The next thing you can do for your German Shepherd to help him stay calm at home and in public is to reward good behavior. This means you should always have a watchful eye and a few treats on hand.
When your German Shepherd is relaxing in his bed and acting calm, walk around and treat him. When your German Shepherd is lying down when the postman passes, give him a gift.
If your German Shepherd sits and waits patiently for food to be served, give him a treat. The more you reward good behavior, the more your German Shepherd will want to replicate that behavior.
German Shepherds don’t respond well to punishment, so dealing with good behavior is MUCH more effective than punishing bad behavior. Most of the time, punishing German Shepherds has no effect on them.
Consistency is great for German Shepherds and most dogs in general, so the more you can consistently reward good behavior, the more the German Shepherd will represent your behavior naturally.
Mix this technique with the technique of taking your dog for a walk with a purpose and you will find that he has a calmer demeanor to reward and less and less frustration from having an overly energetic dog.
# 3 Stimulate their brains with games and training
German Shepherds are intelligent dogs. Like… insanely smart. So one of the best things you can do for your German Shepherd and their energy levels is to let them use their brains and intellect.
There are some really cool brain games that you can play with your German Shepherds to help them feel useful and fulfilled. I have listed some effective and useful games that German Shepherds love .
Your German Shepherd has an amazing use of smell and they love to use it, so playing scavenger hunt is a great game for them to use their brains and noses.
Get some kind of treat or food and hide it in a laundry basket or under some kind of overturned lid.
Then take a piece and take it to your dog.
Get your German Shepherd to sit up and then let him smell what he needs to find.
Set them free, let them roam the house trying to find their hidden object.
Once they have found it, let them eat and reward them with lots of love and praise.
When you start playing this game, you want to set your dog up for success.
So you’ll want them to see you hide your gift and then when you’re ready to give them your sign of release and let them get it.
Reward them with lots of praise and love. After a couple of times like this, make it harder and harder until you’ve reached the instructions above.
Note: Once they get good at this, it can be fun to play with you as their treasure. You hide and then someone else will let your German Shepherd go try to find you.
To play this game, you must buy it in a store and it is better if you use wooden rings since your dog will be chewing on these toys.
Make your German Shepherd sit up and watch you stack the rings.
Get your German Shepherd closer, give him a ring, and every time he gets close to the stick, reward him.
When he starts to touch the ring with the stick, reward him with a treat and high praise and then help him maneuver the ring onto the stick and tell him to drop.
Once he does, reward him with treats and love and then start over.
Very soon your German Shepherd will be a pro at this game and he will love to play it.
This game is really meant to test your German Shepherd’s brain. To play this you will need two bowls and a bag of goodies. German Shepherds really love this game.
Place the bowls upside down on the floor while your German Shepherd is sitting and watching.
Place a treat under one of the bowls and have your German Shepherd come get it.
Repeat this a couple of times
After placing the treat under the bowl, drag the bowls so they have shifted positions and let your German Shepherd come get the treat.
As your German Shepherd becomes more familiar with this set, you can start adding more bowls and more bowl change. Eventually, they should be able to do it with just one ball under the bowls.
The best thing you can do for your German Shepherd is to train them. Enter them. Enter them. Entertain us. The more you train with them, the more stimulated they will feel and the calmer they will behave.
If you use all these techniques, your German Shepherd will be as calm as a sleeping child and you will be able to have as much fun with them. Don’t forget that they love you and the more you help them control their energy, the happier they will be.
Note: They also love attention, so doing all of these things will help them live a long, healthy life.
At what age is a fully grown German Shepherd?
German Shepherds are fully grown at about 2 years, but they can still mature until they are about 3 years old.
How long can I leave my German Shepherd alone?
German Shepherds really shouldn’t be left alone for more than 8 hours and even that is putting you under pressure. If you are going to be away for a long period of time on a consistent basis, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker.