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Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs

Talk With Your Veterinarian

Why Does A Dog Roll On It”s Back?

If you have tried everything within your own power to manage your dogs aggression and it has not worked, dont give up yet. Your vet may be able to help you isolate the issue.

As weve covered, it could be due to an underlying medical condition, or it could be some other issue related to old age like joint pain.

Bone And Joint Problems

A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in German Shepherd Dogs. While it may seem overwhelming, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent undue pain and suffering. With diligent observation at home and knowledge about the diseases that may affect your friends bones, joints, or muscles you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life.

Intervertebral disc disease. Note how the cushion of the disc materal has extruded and puts pressure on the spinal nerves.

Intervertebral disc disease is a common condition in Shepherds. The disease is caused when the jelly-like cushion between one or more vertebrae slips or ruptures, causing the disc to press on the spinal cord. If your dog is suddenly unable or unwilling to jump up, go up stairs, is reluctant to move around, has a hunched back, cries out, or refuses to eat or go potty, he is likely in severe pain. He may even drag his back feet or be suddenly paralyzed and unable to get up or use his back legs. If you see symptoms, dont wait. Call us or an emergency clinic immediately! For less severe cases, rest and medication may resolve the problem. In many cases involving paralysis, well recommend surgical removal of the ruptured discs . As with so many other diseases, weight control helps to prevent this problem. You should also use ramps or steps from puppyhood on so that your dog doesnt spend a lifetime stressing his back by jumping on and off of the furniture.

Your German Shepherd Will Let Out A Little Sigh

German Shepherds can make little noises that let you tell they love you or they are in a happy mood.

For example, theres one sound that shows your German Shepherd is happy to be around you. Its a little sigh of content. Some have compared it to a low moan, and it tends to happen when your German Shepherd is settling down to relax.

If your German Shepherd does this in your company it means they feel safe and happy around you, with no worries over threats.

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What Is The Difference Between A Straight Back And A Sloped Back German Shepherd

Citing the difference between a straight back and a sloped back GSD, reveals the dynamics of breeding German Shepherds. This dog breed has undergone a number of transformations. Although, some breeders have tried to keep the original line, other breeders have focused more on the physical attractiveness of the GSDs. These different focuses have made a division within the GSD breed.

German Shepherd Breed Overview

German Shepherd Behavior: Why Do They Do This!!  World of ...

The German shepherd as a breed originated in Germany. No surprises there. But, believe it or not, their name was changed soon after the war. Before the war this breed was commonly called the Alsatian in Great Britain and parts of Europe.

There are still parts of Europe that refer to the German shepherd as the Alsatian however, most of the world has converted back to calling them German shepherds.

Pretty interesting, right?

As for life expectancy, German shepherds normally live for around 9-13 years.

The color of a German shepherd can range considerably from gray to black to tan, and even a silvery color.

The males grow to be approximately 24 inches at the shoulder and the females tend to be a little shorter, measuring around 22 inches at the shoulder.

As for weight, males average around 80 pounds and the females are a bit lighter at around 60 pounds. There is no denying that these are big dogs!

Now, as I mentioned earlier, German shepherds are known for their physical strength and intelligence. As working dogs, they were bred to be confident and powerfultwo traits which often scare people away from wanting anything to do with the breed.

Its this combination that makes them quite incredible beasts. They have strong muscles. Theyre obviously large, and yet, in their minds, theyre also very confident, watchful, and alert.

If you have a puppy, I encourage you to check out my Puppy Coach training program.

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How To Tape German Shepherd Dog Ears Up

Some people recommend taping your German Shepherds ears if their ears are not still up at five months old. In some cases, tapping may work for show line German Shepherds. But it rarely works for working line German Shepherds.

If you want to tape your German Shepherds ears, you must consult with your vet first, and only do the following steps under your vets supervision.

There are several methods to tape your GSD puppys ears.

Does My German Shepherd Love Me

If youre wondering whether or not your German Shepherd loves you, this post will show you a number of ways that you can tell and what you can do to get it to love you more.

So, does my German Shepherd love me? Common ways that they will show their love for you will include wagging their tails when you come home, bringing you things, looking to you for direction or making eye contact with you.

There are actually many ways that a German Shepherd will show its love for you and I will show you 13 of them below.

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Why Do German Shepherds Lick Themselves

Have you ever seen German Shepherd behavior where your dog licks his mouth just after looking at someone? If yes, check the person for an angry face.

Researchers in animal behavior in the UK and Brazil have discovered that dogs will lick their mouths in response to angry human faces. So, dont think your dog likes your angry face if he licks his mouth. He is just trying to communicate with you!

But dogs will also lick themselves for medical reasons, especially pruritus. You should, therefore, seek the intervention of your dogs vet if you notice the first signs of excessive itching in your dog.

Some of the medical conditions that will cause your German Shepherd to lick his paws and other parts of his body include:

  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Sarcoptic mange and bacterial/fungal/parasite infections
  • Injury and arthritis pain
  • Some prescription drugs
  • Hormonal imbalance

Note, however, that dogs will often lick their paws as part of self-grooming, and those who are obsessive groomers may do so a bit exaggeratedly.

Body Language Signs From Your German Shepherd

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Without any way of communicating with you verbally , your German Shepherd has to use body language to get his point across. You will get to know all of the body language that your GSD displays but its also important to understand how unfamiliar dogs communicate.

Lets example fifteen different ways that dogs might try to tell you something:

  • Looking away from you is a common sign of submissiveness. When trying to read your German Shepherds body language and he doesnt look at you directly in the eyes for too long, hes letting you know that youre the one in charge. Its not a sign of fear as much as a sign of respect and acknowledging the hierarchy between you.
  • Intense focus and staring at one object, person, or another animal is a potential sign of aggression. While it sometimes means that your German Shepherd is confused about whats happening, its often an indicator that he is going to bark or, even worse, bite. Check to see if his hair is standing up or not. If it is, move away slowly. For more detail on this, here are some reasons why your German Shepherds hackles stand up.
  • Yawning can mean a few different things as well. It could simply mean that your GSD is tired and in need of some rest, but it could also indicate that theyre stressed. Yawning is often a sign of submissiveness or worry that something will harm them. If your dog keeps yawning, try to figure out whats causing the stress.

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A German Shepherd Is First Dog In The Us To Test Positive For The Coronavirus

Three cats have previously tested positive in the U.S., but experts say the risk to pets remains low.

A German shepherd in New York has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19the first confirmed case of a dog contracting the virus in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on June 2.

The dog is believed to have been infected by its owner, who also tested positive for the virus, and is expected to make a full recovery. There is no evidence to date that pets can spread the virus to people.

This case further highlights the importance of pet owners with COVID-19 avoiding contact with pets and other animals during their illness to prevent spreading the virus to them, says Kate Grusich, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control .

The dog had been showing signs of respiratory illness after his owner tested positive for the virus. A private veterinary laboratory initially tested the dog and got a presumptive positive result. Additional testing by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories of the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed the labs resultthe standard procedure to officially ascertain a positive case of COVID-19 in an animal.

A second dog in the same home tested negative for the virus but did have antibodies in its system, indicating that it may have been exposed, according to the USDA.

Possible Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Pees Inside

There are a number of possible reasons that your German Shepherd might be peeing inside and I will mention a number of them below.


If your German Shepherd is still young then the peeing is likely to be temporary since it will get better at controlling its bladder as it gets older. With that being said, there are still a number of things that you can do to reduce how much it does it. Its also important to take the time to train it outside so that it can learn that its what you want it to do and to avoid bad habits. You can read the section below to see how.


It could be that something is causing your German Shepherd to become stressed or anxious. Perhaps due to an abusive family member, a new living environment or it may have recently lost a friend. When it is stressed or anxious then it can cause it to lose control of its bladder and you should take measures to deal with the problem to prevent this. If you are unsure of how to treat it then consider getting help from a dog behaviorist.

Related post: Why is my German Shepherd so anxious?

A change in its schedule

If the times that it normally gets let outside to pee has changed then this could cause it to need to pee when youre not around to let it out. When it gets used to being able to pee at certain times then it will naturally wait to pee at those times if it cant go outside then it will likely still need to pee when it normally does.

Health problems
A lack of training

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How Do You Tell If Your German Shepherd Loves You

1) They cant help but kiss or lick you. Dogs learn to lick and kiss during puppyhood. 2) They like staying close to you. 3) They often snuggle or cuddle. 4) They lean on you. 5) They allow you to hug them. 6) They ask for rubs. 7) Theyre always happy to see you. 8) They keep wanting to play.

Phenomnm Of Dog Growls

German Shepherd Behavior: Why Do They Do This!!  World of ...

Safi, a female German Shepherd, and Osa, a male Golden Retriever mix, were best friends for many years. When they played, they snarled a lot, lips curled and teeth exposed. The snarls looked fierce, but they often preceded silly behaviors, like flopping on the ground. Also, when something in the environment suddenly interrupted their play, the dogs faces would instantly shift into neutral, alert expressions while they focused on whatever had stolen their attention. Then, as though on cue, Safi and Osa would put their scary faces back on, almost as if they were Halloween masks, and turn toward one another. Their expressions were so exaggerated and obviously fake that they always made us laugh. Some dogs can even be trained to show a snarl on command in a context that is otherwise perfectly friendly. These observations show that dogs can exhibit nasty faces voluntarily, just as we do when we are only pretending to be mean.

Growling, like snarling, is a seemingly aggressive behavior that means something different during play than it does in other contexts. We have often videotaped play between another female Shepherd, Zelda, and a male mixed-breed, Bentley. When watching these tapes, we noticed that, following brief pauses in play, Zelda often stared at Bentley and growled fiercely. Whenever she did this, Bentley leaped toward her and the chase was on. Bentley moved toward rather than away from Zelda because he knew her growl was not real.

Read Also: Do German Shepherds Attack Their Owners

Does Rolling In Grass Or Poop Make My Dog Prone To Infection

Fortunately, dogs tend to be very resistant to the common pathogens found in animal feces. They can often even eat these, let alone roll in them, without ill effects.

There is a small risk of your dog getting parasites, such as intestinal worms by licking the mess off his fur. So try to wash as much off as you can if he does this.

Some skin parasites, especially ticks, can be found in grass, particularly in areas frequented by sheep or deer.

So it makes sense to check your dog over regularly if rolling in grass is his thing. Use a preventative tick treatment to help keep ticks from attaching.

Things To Keep In Mind

When youre training your German Shepherd to pee outside there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Be patient

Getting your German Shepherd to change its habits is not something that youll easily be able to do overnight. Instead, it will probably take you a number of weeks or months to teach it to go outside when it needs to be. With that being the case, it is important that you take a long-term approach to training your dog.

Its a common occurrence

Its important not to get frustrated when your dog pees inside its something that almost all dog owners will have to deal with at some point and its especially the case when theyre young. The good news is that many people have been able to teach their dogs not to pee inside and there is no reason that you cant either.

Now is a good time to start training it

If your German Shepherd is still young then it is likely that it will learn not to pee inside as it gets older. However, without training, it might not. Now would actually be the right time to start training it. Its habits wont be set yet meaning that it will be easier for you to change them and it will help you to make sure that it has good habits when it gets older.

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How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Hip Dysplasia

Weakness and pain in the hind legs are the usual clinical signs. The dog appears wobbly and is reluctant to rise from a sitting or lying position. Some dogs will limp or be reluctant to climb stairs. These signs can be seen in puppies as early as a few months old but are most common in dogs one to two years of age.

But It Could Also Be Submissive

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While rolling onto their backs during dog-dog play is a defensive tactic, the movement in a different context is often submissive.

Again, dogs have inherited this behavior from their wolf ancestors, who used to roll on their backs to show due respect to the Alpha of their pack.

The move also used to be deployed to persuade any approaching predators of their helplessness and to encourage them to retreat.

So, if your dog rolls on their back in front of you, it could be them showing you respect as a the Alpha of your household pack.

Some owners take this behavior further and choose to train their dog to roll over on their backs at their command.

This is really more of a trick rather than typical behavior training, but is nonetheless a great crowd-pleaser and a great way to train and supplement the communication between you and your dog.

Heres a video outlining some training pointers for the roll over trick:

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First Complete German Shepherd Dna Offers New Tool To Fight Disease

University of New South Wales
The DNA sequencing of a healthy German shepherd offers scientists new insight into the evolution of the domestic dog while also enabling dogs to be screened for hip and other diseases much more accurately.

Scientists have mapped the genome of the German shepherd, one of the world’s most popular canine breeds, after using a blood sample from ‘Nala,’ a healthy five-year-old German shepherd living in Sydney.

In a paper published today in respected ‘big data’ journal GigaScience, a global team of researchers from institutions including UNSW Sydney detailed the mammoth task of unravelling the 38 pairs of dog chromosomes to decode the 19,000 genes and 2.8 billion base pairs of DNA, using advanced genetic sequencing technology.

The new genome not only provides science with a more complete biological snapshot of the dog species in general, but also offers a reference for future studies of the typical diseases that afflict this much-loved breed.

Popular choice

UNSW Science’s Professor Bill Ballard, an evolutionary biologist who sequenced the genome of the Australian dingo in 2017, says German shepherds are popular choices in the home and the workplace because of their natural intelligence, balanced temperament and protective nature. But after more than a century of breeding for desired physical characteristics, they are particularly vulnerable to genetic diseases.

Top dog

Gene machines

Bred for success

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