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Having a rambunctious australian shepherd can be quite the handful. They have seemingly boundless energy and it makes you wonder if/when they’ll ever calm down.
What Age Do Australian Shepherds Calm Down:
Many australian shepherds won’t noticeably start to calm down until they reach the age of 3-5 years old. They still have their puppy energy until then. Some may calm down sooner and some may take longer, but many will start naturally calming down once they reach 3-5 years old.
In this post you’ll discover:
- The 6 core stages of life for an australian shepherd (And their energy levels in each)
- When your aussie not calming down is something to be worried about
- 9 real reasons why australian shepherds won’t calm down
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
An Australian Shepherds Core Stages Of Life (By Age)
Stage 1: 0-4 Weeks Old (Newborn)
Your aussies first major stage is spent entirely with their mother and siblings.
During this time they’re learning some social behaviors and begin to wean off of their mothers milk near the end of this stage.
When your pup is this young they don’t have a whole lot of excess energy and are spending quite a lot of time napping.
Everything is new to them so they’re incredibly curious and exploratory.
Puppies aren’t separated from their birth mother and siblings until 8-12 weeks.
Stage 2: 1-4 Months Old (Young Puppy)
When your australian shepherd is in stage 2 they start to become more and more energetic.
They’re getting a better understanding of the world around them and how they can interact with it.
When your aussie is a young puppy they will have random bursts of energy followed shortly by naps.
One moment they’re zooming around and the next they’re passed out.
The reason for this is their body is growing at a rapid pace during this stage and they need lots of sleep and food to fuel their growth.
*Important note: To ensure your australian shepherd is able to calm down around other dogs and people you’ll want to start socializing them. Once they’re getting close to 4 months old you want to give them as many experiences with unfamiliar dogs, people and places so they learn how to behave in many different settings.
Stage 3: 4-12 Months Old (Puppy)
At this age your aussie is starting to become an adult dog but they’re not quite there yet.
Puppies reach sexual maturity around six months old but they’re still technically puppies until they turn one.
This is your australian shepherd’s most energetic stage of life.
They have seemingly endless amounts of energy and are constantly on the move.
Puppies at this age need a lot of exercise, both mental and physical, to help them burn off all their excess energy.
This is also the stage where most puppies start to get into mischief.
Continuing to socialize your pup in this stage will only help them be better behaved in unfamiliar situations as they get older.
Stage 4: 1-3 Years Old (Teenager)
At this stage, your australian shepherd is starting to become an adult.
They’re not quite there yet but they’re no longer considered a ‘puppy’.
(although even though my doggo is a senior she’s still my pup)
This is the teenage stage where many habits that they’ve picked up on in their first year will start to cement.
It’s important to continue being consistent with training during this stage so your aussie knows what’s expected of them.
Many australian shepherds don’t calm down during this stage but some might show less energetic signs once they get closer to 3.
Stage 5: 3-7 Years Old (Adult)
At 3-7 years of age, your australian shepherd is considered an adult.
They should be fully matured both physically and mentally.
Many aussies will start to calm down during this stage as they become older, generally less energetic and more relaxed.
This doesn’t mean they won’t still need exercise but they won’t require as much as when they reach late adulthood.
Stage 6: 8+ Years Old (Senior)
At this stage, your australian shepherd is considered a senior.
If you haven’t already noticed them calm down in the previous stage, you should see some noticeable differences here.
It won’t be a dramatic fall off of energy, but they’ll gradually become less interested in running around and more interested in resting.
Top 9 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Won’t Calm Down
1) Not Enough Physical Or Mental Stimulation
If your aussie isn’t getting enough exercise they’re going to be full of energy.
This is one of the most common reasons why australian shepherds won’t calm down.
They need both physical and mental stimulation to tire them out.
A tired doggo is a calm doggo.
Make sure you’re giving your aussie plenty of opportunities to run around and play.
This could be in the form of walks, runs, hikes, fetch, or any other type of activity they enjoy.
In addition to physical exercise, your aussie needs mental stimulation to tire them out as well.
This can be in the form of training sessions, puzzle toys, or nose work games.
Anything that makes them use their brain will help tire them out and calm them down.
Related Reading: 7 Simple Strategies To Quickly Calm Your Hyperactive Dog
2) Still Have Puppy Energy
As mentioned before, puppies need a lot of exercise to burn off all their energy.
If your aussie is still young they may just need more time to burn off that puppy energy.
Be patient and continue giving them plenty of opportunities to run and play.
As they get older they’ll naturally calm down.
*Sidenote: Puppies are also more likely to be calmer if they’ve been spayed or neutered.
If your aussie is still intact, you may want to consider getting them fixed.
If something interesting, intriguing or exciting has come into your australian shepherd’s environment it will be hard for them to calm down.
In fact, they’ll likely do the complete opposite of calming down.
Which is running around like a maniac.
This is often called the zoomies or FRAP (frenetic random activity periods).
What happens is something sparks their energy and they start running around like crazy because they’re not sure how else to deal with what they’re feeling.
This can happen when a person comes home with lots of energy and riles them up.
Or if another dog is excited around them.
Their high energy is highly contagious to an australian shepherd and makes it next to impossible for them to calm down.
Related Reading: 11 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Are So Hyper + 5 Tips
4) Improper Training
If your aussie hasn’t been properly trained they may have never learned how to calm down.
Or that it’s something they should do.
Proper training is essential for an australian shepherd to learn how to control their energy and be calm when needed.
Without it, they may never learn how to properly calm down.
If your aussie is still young, now is the time to start training them.
If they’re older and haven’t been trained, it’s not too late to start.
It may just take a little longer for them to learn since they’ve had a lifetime of bad habits to break.
Either way, with patience and consistency, your aussie can learn to calm down when needed with proper training.
Related Reading: 8 Real Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Are Hard To Train
5) Accidentally Encouraged Hyper Behavior
It’s very easy to accidentally encourage hyper behavior in your australian shepherd.
This is because the actions you’re taking (yelling at them or chasing after them) seem like the right things to do to teach them what they’re doing is wrong.
But it’s unfortunately doing the opposite.
If you yell at them for running around being wild, all they take from that situation is that you’re paying attention to them.
If you chase after them then they’ll think the two of you are simply playing a game.
Basically if your response to your aussie being hyper wasn’t ignoring them, they’ve likely learned it’s ‘good’ behavior.
Which makes it very difficult for your australian shepherd to want to calm down.
Because they want to keep getting attention from you and being hyper has worked in the past.
Related Reading: Top 8 Best Beds for Australian Shepherds
6) Not Enough New Experiences
If your aussie never got many new experiences as a young puppy, they’ll likely have more difficulty calming down.
Simply because they never learned how to behave in unfamiliar environments.
When your pup is 2-12 months old it’s important to give them as many chances to experience new dogs, people and places as possible.
Without this, they won’t have the ability to calm down on their own.
They’ll either get super nervous, protective or jealous and be unable to settle, or they won’t know how to be calm and well-behaved in general.
If your aussie is older it’s still a good idea to socialize them.
It just might take a little longer for them to unlearn bad habits and establish newer better ones.
7) Dealing With Boredom
When an australian shepherd is bored to tears the last thing they’ll want to do is calm down.
Anything they can think of is a better/more fun thing to do than sit still or take a nap.
Which can lead to stealing a sock or shoe and running around the house trying to get you to chase them.
Or even being destructive and chewing things apart because they want something to do.
It’s quite common to find your australian shepherd even herding you and your family if they’re bored.
If they aren’t given a task to keep them occupied they’ll create one for themselves.
Which means instead of sitting still and being calm they’ll always be up and moving around, pacing or even nipping at people’s ankles.
Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys
If your australian shepherd hasn’t been able to calm down recently, and they weren’t always this way, or to this extent, it could be anxiety.
If your pup recently went through a big environment change it can cause them to feel overly anxious.
Things like moving to a new home, losing a loved one, a change in your work schedule, etc.
All of these affect your aussie’s day to day life and environment.
Which can create higher than usual levels of anxiety because dogs thrive on structure and routine.
When their environment changes it can be very challenging for them to adjust.
If this is the case and your pup recently went through a big change, do your best to give them structure in their new environment.
This can be feeding them at the same times every day, taking them for walks at the same time, playing with them at the same time, or car rides every night at the same time.
Until they create a new normal your australian shepherd will likely have trouble calming down due to anxiety.
Related Reading: Australian Shepherd Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes & Solutions
9) It’s a Working Breed Thing
All working breeds have high levels of natural energy.
They were bred to be on the job all day.
And your aussie is no exception.
Australian shepherds need more exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis if they’re to calm down.
Without it, the only thing that will make them calm down is getting older and naturally having less energy.
Other posts you might find interesting:
12 Best Harnesses for Australian Shepherds
9 Weird Reasons Aussies Follow You Everywhere + 4 Tips
9 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Dig + Tips To Stop It
Top 8 Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Paw At You + 3 Tips
Puppy to Dog: Your Pet’s Life Stages