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If your German Shepherd is highly energetic then you’re probably wondering if and when it will begin to mellow out.

So, when do German Shepherds mellow out? There is not a specific age that German Shepherds mellow out. Instead, they will often calm down gradually as they get older. Despite that, even as adults, they can remain highly energetic by nature.  

To get your German Shepherd to mellow out more quickly it can actually help a lot to take the time to figure out why has so much energy. Once you have a good idea of the cause you’ll have an easier time correcting it.

Possible reasons why your German Shepherd hasn’t mellowed out

There are actually a lot of possible reasons that your German Shepherd is being so energetic. I will try to mention some of the main ones below.

It needs more exercise

German Shepherds are a breed that was bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours on a daily basis. Because of this, they require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. If they don’t get it then it can cause them to become more hyperactive since they will be looking for ways to vent their excess energy.

You might be surprised at just how much exercise your German Shepherd might need in order to be properly stimulated. So, if you want your German Shepherd to mellow out then the first thing for you to do would be to make sure that it is getting exercise daily and to try giving it a lot of exercise one day to see how it responds. You’ll often find that it takes a lot to calm it down.

Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.

Attention seeking

The reason that it is acting in such an energetic way could be because it is looking for attention. If you don’t give your German Shepherd lots of attention throughout the day, perhaps due to work, then it can cause your German Shepherd to try to get it from you.

If you react to it when it starts behaving crazily then it might have learned that behaving that way is an effective way to get attention from you.

Instead of reacting to it when it gets crazy try ignoring the behavior if you can and then giving it your attention when it is behaving the way that you want it to.

It’s bored

It could be that your German Shepherd is bored. This can go hand in hand with not getting enough exercise or attention. So, it’s important to make sure to give your German Shepherd lots of exercise, training, attention and toys to play with to keep it occupied.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

It needs more training

If you have been struggling to get your German Shepherd to listen to you then it could be that it is not getting enough training. German Shepherds (and other dogs) do not naturally understand what words mean.

So, when you tell it to “come here” despite not having previously taught it what that means then it’s not going to know what you mean.

This is why it is important to give your German Shepherd lots of training starting with the basics. You can actually use your German Shepherd’s excess energy to your advantage when you’re training it and you can see how in the section below.

A new location

If you’re in a new location then this could be what has been causing the energetic behavior.

When you move it can be a significant event for German Shepherds since they won’t know what is going on around them and there will be lots of new distractions. If this is the case take the time to show it around so that it can feel calm where it is.

You are encouraging it to behave that way

It could be that you have been inadvertently encouraging the behavior. If your way of calming it down is to give it things that it wants then it will likely have learned that it’s ok to behave that way and it gets it what it wants.

Even though it can be easy to give your German Shepherd a treat to calm it down you should try to get it to listen to you by using positive reinforcement training instead. This is where you reward your German Shepherd for making small steps towards doing something that you want it to do.

For example, it might behave calmly when you come home one day so you should reward it for that. You can see positive reinforcement training in action in the video in the section below.

On the flipside punishing, it can also cause the behavior. If you punish it for misbehaving then it will often think that it is being punished for the last thing that it did which might not be what you are actually punishing it for.

For example, if you punish it for running away then it will likely think that it is being punished for the last thing that it did which is coming back to you. Again, as an alternative consider doing positive reinforcement training.


It could simply be that your German Shepherd is naturally an energetic dog. Even if this is the case you can still get it to mellow out and to be well behaved by giving it lots of exercise and training.

How to get it to mellow out sooner


If you want to get your German Shepherd to mellow out then it will be necessary for you to give it lots of training.

The act of training it itself will actually use up a lot of its excess energy and it will also make it a lot more responsive to your command. It will also help to get it to look to you for direction before doing something that goes against what it thinks you might want.

There are many things that you can train your German Shepherd to do but the things that you should prioritize on at first are the basics and to not do things that you don’t want it to. For example, you could teach it to sit, stay and to not bolt out the door when you open it.

When you’re training it, it’s important to train it in multiple environments. The reason for this is that German Shepherds and other dogs do not typically carry their training over well into new environments. This is mainly due to all of the stimulating things going on around it.

You can watch the video below to see advice on how to train an unfocused dog.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.


It’s important to give your German Shepherd a lot of exercise in order to get it to mellow out. You’ll likely be surprised at just how much exercise it takes to get your German Shepherd to get rid of all of its excess energy.

One way to get your German Shepherd to do a lot of exercise over a short time period is to teach it to play fetch. It is effective since you will be able to get it to do a lot of running over a short time period without having to do much exercise yourself. It will also help to improve your relationship with your German Shepherd as it will teach it to look to you for enjoyment and will get it used to listening to your command.

Another thing that you could do would be to walk it with other dogs. By doing so you will be able to give it more exercise since it will naturally use up more energy by playing with the other dogs.


You could also give it lots of things to be distracted with by giving it lots of toys to play with.

Don’t reward it

It’s important to not encourage the behavior so you should try to avoid giving it things that it might want when it is misbehaving. Instead, give it more training and wait for it to behave in the right way and then give it what it wants.

Calming chews

There are calming chews that you can get that will get it to calm down. If you use them, try to give it to your German Shepherd before it starts misbehaving otherwise you might actually encourage more of the behavior.

Crate training

You could also try crate training your German Shepherd. When done well it will give your German Shepherd a place that it can go to that is it’s own. By having a place to go it can help your German Shepherd to feel calmer and it can help you to manage your German Shepherd when it is difficult for you to do so.

Things to consider

Doggy daycare

If you can’t get your German Shepherd to behave while you are not around then you should consider doggy daycare. By taking your German Shepherd there you will be able to avoid having your German Shepherd do bad things while you are away and you will also be able to get rid of some of its excess energy in the process.

Its age

If your German Shepherd is still young then it is likely that it will mellow out as it gets older. But, the amount that it would mellow out naturally might not be that much so it is still important to take the time to train it and give it exercise now.

Be patient

When you’re training your German Shepherd to be calm it’s important to be patient. Getting your German Shepherd to mellow out is not something that you will be able to do in just one training session. So, it’s important that you approach it with a long-term approach.

Be consistent

It’s also important to be consistent with your training. If you just teach it to do something once but then neglect to reinforce it over the weeks following then your German Shepherd will likely revert back to its old behavior over time.

To help you be consistent it can help to find ways to train your German Shepherd on a consistent basis without having to go out of your way to do so. For example, after having taught your German Shepherd the “stay” command, you could get it to stay before letting it have its food in the mornings.

Related questions

Will my German Shepherd calm down after being neutered? Some people find that it does help to calm their German Shepherd down but a lot also found that it didn’t do much to get it to calm down. In addition to getting it neutered, consider giving it lots more training and exercise as this is a more surefire way to mellow it out.

Best German Shepherd Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient German Shepherd, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link


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