If you know anything about the German Spitz breed, you may be thinking that the right answer to the question of the header would be ‘never’. They are such lively dogs, and they will go through most of their lives with the same amount of energy. They jump up and down, waggle their tales, and run and run everywhere. But of course, that’s not the whole story.
You do see some maturing happening with the German Spitzes at around the age of 2 or 3. Then at around 7 years of age, you will notice that the somewhat crazy adult has become a sensible senior instead. It is not straightforward, though. A lot of the changes are subtle and it takes a lot of time to even notice them.
Let’s take a closer look at the lives of our pooches to understand them a little bit better.
From puppy to an adolescence
A young puppy is naturally at the worst stage when it comes to being overly energetic. No matter how active you are and what you do with your puppy, it always seems like the puppy has more energy than you have. No matter how hard you try the chances are that your German Spitz puppy will destroy something in your household.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, take a look at this article I wrote: Will Your German Spitz Puppy Damage Your Home? Helpful Tips
As months go by you will see your German Spitz puppy growing up little by little. You will notice the puppy starting to calm down at around the age of 7 – 8 months, especially if your puppy is a female because at this point she will soon start her first heat cycle. With males, the calming down process will take a little bit longer.
At this point, it may come to you as a surprise that instead of an adult dog that you hoped to get, you are now faced with an adolescence that is clearly going through something like puberty in humans. Your dog is not an adult yet, but if we compare him to what he was like as a tiny puppy, you do see some calming down process happening.
This stage in your dog’s life is not easy, but trust me, it will get better.
I have a short video clip of my two German Spitz Mittels when they were 2 years and 6 months old. You will see how much energy these two have but lucky for me, they have each other to let out some pent-up energy with.
From early adulthood to a fully grown dog
It takes 2 – 3 years for a German Spitz to become a grown-up physically (you can read more about it in my article: When Will Your German Spitz Stop Growing?)
It takes about the same time for a German Spitz to mature and to become an adult mentally as well.
At this age your German Spitz is easier to train and overall, to live with. He has learned a lot about life in general, and he doesn’t need to go like crazy all over the place.
It doesn’t mean that your dog would be totally calm because it will simply not happen with a German Spitz. He will still have lots of energy and even when you go out for a walk and you come back home, it seems like your dog is not tired at all. It is your job to provide your dog the physical and the mental stimulation that he needs, but at times it may seem like nothing is enough for your Spitz.
My advice to you is that you shouldn’t worry about it. That’s what a healthy German Spitz is like. Enjoy yourselves and everything that you are able to do with your dog. A dog’s life is short and in no time you will notice that your dog has become old. Don’t take your time for granted. Spend time with your German Spitz, do things with him.
Live like the day could be your last. That is the attitude that your dog has and maybe you should take the same attitude with you. You know what, someday the day will be your last; you just don’t know when it is going to be. It is better to live than to regret.
Becoming a senior dog
At around 7 years of age, you’ll notice another change in your German Spitz. At the moment that I am writing this article my German Spitz Mittel is exactly 7,5 years old. He is in good health but still, I’ve noticed him change during the past few months.
All the way till his 7th birthday my dog was just like he’d always been. He never calmed down at all. He was always full of energy and ready to go whenever I asked him to. Don’t get me wrong, he is still energetic, but in a different way.
Nowadays my 7-year-old sleeps a bit more than he used to. He has learned to know which things require his attention and which don’t. If something happens that doesn’t interest him in any way, he simply continues to sleep and doesn’t bother getting agitated.
We still go for long walks and we love to hike in nature. Unlike before, at this age, it looks as if we have really become the best of friends. We understand each other very well and we know what goes through in each other’s minds. You don’t get that with a younger dog.
Of course, my German Spitz still wakes me up in the morning just like he has done all his life. Well, actually, he doesn’t wake me up. He does not disturb me if I sleep. But as soon as he knows that I’m awake he doesn’t let me enjoy the moment in bed but he jumps right onto my stomach. “Let’s go out for a walk!” he says to me. He goes on jumping off the bed and back on me. Up and down, down and up he goes till I finally roll out of bed.
At the age of seven, he hasn’t changed a bit in this regard. I’m glad, though. He has taught me to enjoy every day of our lives. Any day is a good day. It is always a good morning.
Last years of your dog’s life
As years go by your senior dog becomes an old dog that has less and less energy. If your German Spitz stays healthy there isn’t going to be that much of a difference, though. He sleeps a lot more as years go by, that’s for sure, but he is still eager to go out for a walk and he still enjoys doing the fun stuff that he has always loved.
You need to understand that he is old, though. Do not demand too much of him. He still needs physical exercise but it is better to avoid the most demanding stuff. For example, if you have done dog agility in the past, you might want to switch to K9 Nose work or Dog dancing. Instead of going for a long hike a day, you might want to divide the activity into smaller portions. Three shorter walks a day is nicer to old joints than a single long one.
As the days of your German Spitz slowly come closer to an end you start wishing that you still had the energetic puppy that chewed on your shoes back in the day. This is the point when you truly understand.
It is inevitable that eventually, the day comes when you need to say goodbye.
Health issues make your dog seem like he has calmed down
If you have read thus far you now understand that German Spitzes remain active and relatively energetic all the way till the end. However, that is only if they are healthy. You can imagine that if they have any issues with their health they start showing signs of aging sooner than they should. If your German Spitz is really calm at a young age, there could be something wrong.
The energy level of a dog is an interesting matter because apparently it remains the same throughout the dog’s life. It is just that the dog will learn to regulate it as he gets older. I told you about my Mittel: at the age of 7 years old he is still basically the same, but he has learned that not all things require his attention. He only reacts to things that are still important to him.
If, however, you notice a sudden change in your dog’s behavior it is always time to visit a veterinarian. If your dog seems unexceptionally tired it is time for a check-up.
If you decided to read this article in order to find the exact age when your German Spitz would come down and make your life easier, I’m sorry to say that there probably isn’t age like that. These dogs are energetic and they will most likely remain that way all through their lives. They will somewhat calm down as years go by but their characters won’t change.
I’m glad they won’t, actually. That is how you know that your dog is healthy. You know that he is just fine when he cannot wait to get outside and walk by you as far as you want to go. If you have had dogs that weren’t healthy – like I have – you will learn to appreciate an energetic dog.
So, I advise you to appreciate what you’ve got if your German Spitz is full of desire to live. Learn from him and try to be as happy as your dog is. I think our dogs could teach us so many secrets about life if only we paid close attention.
Never take your dog for granted. You can never know when it all ends and then all you’ve got are your memories. So, go ahead and make those memories together with your little friend.