“Here we go again,” you think to yourself.
You love your pooch, but sometimes you just can’t match their energy!
Not everyone has the agility and strength to deal with a German Shepherd.
I guess “working dog” sometimes means you have to “work” hard to keep them as pets.
Catch your breath.
And let’s talk about how to manage the electric energy that is your furry German baby.
Read to learn more about:
- What not to do to trigger their hyperactivity.
- The effects being hyper has on your pooch.
- 10 highly effective tips to calm down your German Shepherd.
- And a whole lot more…
Table of contents
- How to calm a German Shepherd down? 10 highly effective tips
- #1: Take them out for a walk or any exercise
- #2: Give them work (not a playtime activity)
- #3: Give them chew toys
- #4: When they’re calm, give rewards
- #5: Go on a ride with them
- #6: Play calming music
- #7: Be wary of aromatherapy
- #8: Ignore them
- #9: Take them to socializing activities
- #10: Be mindful of how you act
- Should I be worried whenever my dog is being hyper?
How to calm a German Shepherd down? 10 highly effective tips
#1: Take them out for a walk or any exercise
You probably already know this beforehand but, German Shepherds are very active.
If German Shepherds were humans, Michael Jordan would be in trouble.
I mean… they have high stamina, they have size, and they are agile.
This is why German Shepherd dogs need to utilize all these.
Walks and other exercise-related activities are an excellent way to release all their energy.
If you also live an active lifestyle or are an athlete, you can bring them with you during your workouts.
Running is one common exercise you can do with your pooch beside you.
Well, maybe they’d even outrun you!
“That’s great. But, for how long should I walk or exercise with them?”
A good estimate would be to exercise your pooch for around 2 hours.
This doesn’t mean you stick to one activity.
Nor does it also mean you need to do this continually.
You can walk, run, play fetch, socialize with other dogs in the park, etc.
It’s a good workout for you, too!
#2: Give them work (not a playtime activity)
That would be the last phrase anyone would use to describe a German Shepherd.
They are highly active.
Due to this characteristic, they also need to be stimulated mentally.
Cognitively challenging tasks can be beneficial to your dog’s overall wellness.
Giving tasks to German Shepherds can help provide an avenue for their energy.
It’s also a good way to distract them when they are acting up and getting hyper.
“What work can I give them?”
While shepherd is in their name, you probably don’t have herds of sheep you need tending to.
However, there are still tasks you can give to your pooch.
You can start by training them to clean their toys up after playtime.
Give them verbal cues like “clean up” and “fetch”.
Make sure that you provide them with an area where they could store their toys.
Another task you can give them is to let them help out with your daily chores.
Look at this cutie helping out their hoomans:
#3: Give them chew toys
1…2…3… too many!
Is this how you count the number of footwear your German pooch has chewed on?
Really makes you wonder, “Why on earth do they love chewing on things?”
Chewing is common behavior in dogs.
Research says that this activity is a behavioral element of feeding.
However, dogs don’t just chew on edible items.
They could target your couch, clothes, anything!
And this is normal.
“What can I do to help stop this?”
A good way to start changing this behavior is to give them chew toys.
Instead of your dogs going all out on your things, they can release all their energy on their toys.
Another reason why they’re acting up and chewing stuff is because they could be teething.
When dogs experience this, there’s a pain in their mouth.
Chewing helps alleviate this.
Learn more: Dog Suddenly Being Destructive: 7 Reasons + 10 Proven Tips
#4: When they’re calm, give rewards
Yep, one of the simplest methods in keeping your dog calm is giving them rewards.
But the key here is timing.
For your convenience, you can put treats inside a plastic bag you can carry around.
Silently observe your pooch and their behavior.
Every time they hold back on being excited and all jumpy when something excites them, reward them.
You can also do this when they opt to sit still whenever they see something they’d usually chase at.
Not barking at other dogs and humans is another behavior you wanna reward.
Basically, every time they exhibit a calm behavior during times when they usually are giddy, pet them or give them treats.
Make sure that the manner you give these rewards is a calm one.
If they are sitting down, put the treats on the floor so they don’t have to stand up or look up at you.
Giving them compliments such as “good boy” and “great job” would be better delivered calmly.
#5: Go on a ride with them
Getting tired of them zooming around the house?
Get zooming in your car!
Driving around is a good way to calm your dog down.
They’d be able to see the outside world.
Going out in your car is an adventure for your pooch.
Outside, they’d be able to see new places and other humans.
While they may not interact with them it would also be a form of mental stimulation.
Seeing other dogs while you’re driving around the park could also excite their senses.
Dogs explore the world mainly through smells.
Scents contain a lot of information about the environment.
Imagine how much your pooch would learn during a car ride.
Their mental faculties will be heightened and stimulated.
Windows down, wind blowing…
They might think, “It doesn’t get any better than this. I love my hooman!!!”
#6: Play calming music
Stuck in traffic? Turn the radio on.
Workload becomes too much? Listen to your favorite artist.
Getting bored doing household chores? Blast dance music!
Listening to music can alter our mood.
It can make us happy and energetic.
Some songs can even make us cry.
Don’t you think music has the same effect on dogs, too?
Quick answer? Yes!
As it turns out, German Shepherds like listening to music.
They sometimes sing to it, too!
Have you heard them do it?
They look like they’re enjoying the music, right?
Well… science says they do!
According to research, auditory enrichment has a positive effect on kennelled dogs.
Simply, it is something that happens when dogs hear things they don’t usually hear in the wild – their natural habitat.
This is why music can help calm down dogs.
Further, the study shows that both soft rock and reggae resulted in dogs having comer behaviors and higher HRVs.
However, generally, as long as the music was playing, dogs showed less time standing and more time lying down.
What’s important is you play different types of genres of music to avoid habituation.
You can choose pop, funk, motown, classical, as long as it isn’t played at a loud volume.
Loud noises can cause dogs to panic and be in a frantic state – much like during the 4th of July.
You might also want to know: Why Does My Dog Howl When I Howl? 7 Surprising Reasons
#7: Be wary of aromatherapy
I’m gonna throw you a curveball here and mention one that you shouldn’t do.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils have been increasing their hype around the world.
It’s pretty normal to think that it would work on your pooch, too!
As mentioned earlier, scents are essential to dogs.
They rely on these heavily when walking around, socializing, and learning about others.
Dr. Buzhardt estimates that dogs’ noses are 1,000 to 10,000 times better than us humans.
They have a lot of nasal receptors with the help of which they can smell you from miles away.
This is why German Shepherds are excellent in working with the police as bomb-sniffing dogs…
…and why aromatherapy could be dangerous to dogs in general.
Their noses are sensitive!
The danger also extends to having essential oils on their skin.
Dogs are also naturally curious beings.
They can be attracted to the smell of essential oils and lick them.
Your pooch could also experience allergic reactions, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, and other health issues.
With chemicals and other possibly harmful ingredients that are present in these scents, your dog could have poisoning.
Essential oils can contain the following:
- Ethers or oxides.
Some scents are dangerous to your dogs, such as:
- Pine oil.
- Citrus oil.
- Tea tree oil.
- Ylang Ylang.
- Cinnamon oil.
- Pennyroyal oil.
- Sweet birch oil.
- Peppermint oil.
- Wintergreen oil.
Don’t use these scents as it may cause the following:
- Muscle tremors.
- Difficulty in walking.
#8: Ignore them
Yep, the solution could be as simple as that.
Just… ignore them.
“Really? Won’t they feel bad?”
Look, doing this doesn’t mean that you don’t love them anymore…
But sometimes, the best way to stop a dog’s behavior is to ignore them.
Most of the time, dogs are looking for our attention.
They want playtime, cuddles, pets, treats, etc.
And every time they get it from you by being hyperactive, they could think it’s an effective way to always do it.
What you can do is hold back on the attention every time they do it.
Let’s take for example jumping on you.
How many times have you had to stop and tell your pooch “no” when you’re out walking?
It could be that they were jumping and pawing at you and it could sometimes get annoying.
If you constantly give them your attention whenever they do this, the behavior won’t go away.
Whenever your fur baby jumps at you, you can try standing still and not giving them any regard.
Don’t try to push them, or pull their feet away from you.
Don’t even tell them to stop what they’re doing or even look at them.
Just plainly ignore them.
When they calm down, pet them or give them rewards.
Through this simple training, the behavior of keeping still and walking calmly will get them rewards.
You will soon get rid of the unwanted behavior and teach them how to act properly.
“Baby, that’s my friend!”
How many times have you had to explain to your German Shepherd that they don’t have to be afraid of someone new to them visiting your home?
They could be exhibiting fearfulness or being annoying in one way or another.
According to research, this may be the result of the lack of socialization.
Being hyper and generally uneasy could be caused by this.
Fear of meeting new people and acting up whenever someone new is around is not a desirable behavior in our babies.
“What can I do?”
You can start off by slowly letting them meet new people.
Begin by introducing members of your family who don’t frequently visit and therefore might be new to them.
You can also invite a few friends over so your dog can meet them and be more comfortable with them around.
Generally, you’d want to choose people who you already trust.
According to the certified dog trainer, Stephanie Gibeault, dogs can hear what you feel.
Bring people who make you happy and introduce your pooch to them.
This way, your dog can sense your emotions which would be positive overall.
#10: Be mindful of how you act
Lastly, always remember, our dogs are picking up your emotions.
If you come home all angry and stressed, they become uneasy, too!
Research shows that the characteristics of humans can directly affect your dogs and your relationship with them.
If you want them to keep a calm composure, you yourself need to be an example.
Watch how you react to reading something scary or shock-worthy.
Some people tend to overreact to minor things. And this could translate to their dog mimicking the behavior.
Should I be worried whenever my dog is being hyper?
You don’t have to worry about your dog being hyper. This type of behavior in working dogs like German Shepherds is common.
They can be tiring at times and time-consuming, but the amount of love and loyalty you can get from this breed of dogs is immense.
However, if their behavior is still persistent after using the techniques listed here, you may want to consult your vet.
Dogs can also suffer from mental illnesses and other issues that cause hyperactivity.
However, as long as their behavior isn’t negatively affecting your day-to-day in a major way, you have nothing to worry about.
Don’t forget to check out: Why is my dog hyper in the morning?