awesomefb asked in PetsDogs · 10 years ago

What age does a German shepherd matures to adult?

I own a female German shepherd, she's 14 months old now. She's a fantastic dog, but still behaves like a 3-4 month old terrified puppy. Outside she acts normal during daylight.

But nightfall, she acts very insecure, hardly moves, she's afraid of every sound, every movement, etc..... If I drop something on the floor, she runs up to the couch, lay by me from her favorite spot.

It seems the older she gets, the more afraid she becomes at nightfall. She acts as if someone abuses her, but no one harms her. She sleeps in my bedroom every night, by day she acts like a normal dog, but at night, she starts acting very strange.

A friend gave her to me, when she was 2 months old, had to leave the country. He kept her outside 24/7, which could have traumatized her or somethin. At night she's real nervous, starts huffing/puffing as if she is out of breath, after I pet her, calm her down, she zonks out.

At night, she just becomes too afraid to move, until something startles her, she will freeze or sprint, very strange, when I call her, she will act like a 3-4 month old puppy or sprint. During the day, she walks normal. She acts as if someone is chasing her. She never walks calmly, at night. No problem during the day, but at night, she sprints.

During the day, she behaves like a gaurd dog. She has a jekyll/hyde personality.

Is this normal for a Shepherd at her age. Thanks for any suggestions.

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    I have a German Shepherd too, she's 7 years now, but still acts like a little puppy!

    The maturity process is different in each dog. My last German Shepherd came from a family of police force dogs and had a constant protective and mature attitude. She wasn't too snuggly, she always seemed to be on duty - which was really sweet :)

    But my Shepherd now is the silliest thing ever :)

    Big dogs often don't like being outside alone, especially puppies. Make sure if she's outside that you place her kennel on an angle so that she can see indoors, see what you're doing, see that you're right there. It makes a whole lot of difference!

    Do some night activities with her, put her on her leash and do a few laps of the yard with her in the afternoon, then on another day at sunset, then on a few nights. Let her sniff around so that she begins to realise where she is and become familiarized with her surroundings.

    If she doesn't want to walk, drop her leash and you walk around first. She should hopefully follow you then. Do this once every few nights until she becomes accustomed to the dark!

    It really does help and creates a better bond between you and your shepherd!

    So basically this is very normal, she is still a puppy and the maturity age fluctuates as it does in any species :)

    Has this helped?

    Best of luck!

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  • Lizzie
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    This is not normal behavior for any dog of any age. GSDs usually mature sometime at or around 2 years of age but it will be a gradual process; as a young adult, she will still be puppy like at times.

    It sounds to me that your dog may have either a medical problem or a behavior problem, NOT a lack of maturity. The first thing you should do is to make an appointment with a veterinarian for a thorough check-up. Be sure to tell your vet about her night and day behavior.

    If the vet says all is well, then you need to contact a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. Listen closely. Take notes or record all the CAAB says. Be certain that you understand what to do, how to do it and when to do it so that your time and money will not go to waste.

    If a CAAB is out of your price range, then try to find a good clicker trainer with some background in dog behavior. Go to and click on the link that says "Find a Trainer" to locate someone in your area.

    With either a CAAB or a clicker trainer, you must pay close attention and give the behaviorist's or trainer's methods a very good chance to work, even if you disagree (tell the person so) with the diagnosis or methods. You must also realize that you may or may not be doing something that inadvertently rewards or reinforces the strange night behavior in some way.

    Good luck.

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  • Jessie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    A female will mature quicker. You should see more maturity between 2 years to 2 1/2 years. 3 years tops. But usually male shepherds hit maturity at 3 years.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    A dog isn't considered an "adult" until the age of 2. All dogs will still have a lot of energy in them even when they are 9. One of my dogs is that age and he still acts like a puppy:)

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