What Happens To German Shepherds As They Get Older
This is commonly due to arthritis or hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is more likely to occur the older your dog gets. Skin problems, such as cutaneous cysts are more likely as a German Shepherd ages. In addition to these issues, all previous health concerns also become more likely or are already present.
Why Your German Shepherd Sits On You
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd does it will likely come with some clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might sit on you and the things that will make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason why your German Shepherd sits on you could be that it wants attention. This would be more likely if it does it when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does things such as sit on you.
Instead, it would help to try and give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, giving it exercise and training it and to avoid giving it attention when it tries to sit on you.
German Shepherds are meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they dont get much exercise it can lead to issues with their behavior and health. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day.
If your German Shepherd is not getting that much exercise then it might be that it sits on you because it is trying to get you to give it exercise. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not given it any exercise.
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You have inadvertently rewarded it
Instead, of rewarding it when it sits on you it would help to train it not to sit on you and to reward it when it is being well behaved.
Youre in its spot
Gsd Circling As A Greeting Behavior
If your German Shepherd gets over-the-top excited to see you when you return home, this rush of energy may translate into a fit of circling behavior, either around you or simply around and around and around.
There is some evidence that circling behavior can be a part of the greeting process for wild canids.
Along with face licking, tail wagging, staring at you, and postural changes that indicate dominance and submissiveness among pack members.
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Why Does Your German Shepherd Lick You
The most obvious reason your GSD will lick you is to show affection and joy. When youve been away and your German Shepherd has been all alone, your arrival is a cause for jubilation, and your dog will want to tell you how much they love you and show their immense joy at your homecoming.
Your German Shepherd will also lick you to investigate you and give information. Since your dog cannot ask you with words how you are or what youve had for lunch, they will lick your face to detect the smell of what youve eaten. They will also lick you after their lunch to tell you they are grateful, kind of, lunch was good Mom, thanks!
If your visual expression tells your dog that something is amiss, your German Shepherd will lick you to calm and soothe. They will come to the couch where you are lying down and lick you to say they are sad youre unwell and want you to be up again.
But dogs will also lick you to seek attention. If you have ignored them or not given them a treat all morning because you are busy, your dog will lick your face to draw your attention.
But your German Shepherd does not just lick you. They will also lick themselves.
Why Your German Shepherd Stands In Front Of You
Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd stands in front of you will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons that it might be doing it and the signs to look for with them.
It wants attention
It might stand in front of you because it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if your German Shepherd only does it when you have not given it attention for very long and if it stops doing it after you have given it attention for a while.
In this case, you could try avoiding giving it attention when it stands in front of you but to give it more attention and exercise throughout the day.
It has separation anxiety
The reason that stands in front of you could be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where your German Shepherd does not like being left alone and it gets anxious when it is alone.
This would be more likely to be the reason if your German Shepherd tends to get very anxious when you are going out. Ways that it might show being anxious could be pacing, crying or being destructive when you are gone.
If your German Shepherd does seem to have some separation anxiety then you can watch the video below to see a number of tips on what you can do about it.
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Its being protective
This would be more likely if it doesnt do it when no one else is around and it does it more when other people and dogs are around.
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They Look You In The Eyes
Another study led by Japan-based researchers determined that when dogs and their humans engage in eye contact, it leads to a boost in oxytocin in both parties. Oxytocin is generally regarded as the cuddle hormone because it is responsible for feelings of comfort in both dogs and humans.
Additionally, the more oxytocin a dog has, the more likely they are to gaze at you. So, when your GSD stares at you, it is because they love you, and your presence makes them feel good.
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.
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Why Does Your German Shepherd Specifically Circle Your Legs
While watching your German Shepherd circle a few times before bed can be sweet, navigating daily life with a large dog who insists on circling repeatedly around your legs can quickly turn hazardous.
Why does your dog do this?
The reigning theory among German Shepherd owners and GSD trainers is that this is a herding behavior and possibly also a greeting behavior.
It Is In Their Wolf Ancestry
In the wolf world where dogs have their ancestry, staring is rude and threatening. So, when your dog stares at you continuously, he might be manifesting an evolutionary holdover from his ancestral roots and communicating some displeasure. And if the uninterrupted hard stare is directed to a stranger, they should back away and not stare back!
Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems And Personality Traits
Over the years working as a dog trainer, Ive probably worked with as many German shepherd dogs as any other breed.
Most often, they are an incredibly loyal breed, are devoted to their owners, and have really sweet and fun personalities. And so, to those of you who love the breed and wouldnt consider anything but a German shepherd in the future, I understand!
Yet, some people are terrified of them and feel they are dangerous dogs to own.
To those of you that are wary of German shepherds, I understand where you are coming from, too! First off, they are very large dogs and can come off very intimidating.
Second, their instinct to protect their family or property is strong and can lead untrained German shepherds to becoming very protective, aggressive, and scary dogs.
The keyword here is untrained, as any untrained dogregardless of breedcan have the same problems.
Over the last decade I really feel like Ive come to understand German shepherds and have personally fallen in love with this breed. Ive also realized that theyre so misunderstood due to poorly trained German shepherds often ending up in the news and how they are portrayed on TV and in the media.
For this reason, I wanted to write todays post in hopes that, if you are someone who fears this breed, are looking for help and direction with your dog, or you know someone who is wary of German shepherds, then this honest truth about this lovely breed might change your mind.
Why Does My German Shepherd Follow Me Everywhere
Having a dog that loves your company is one of the best parts of pet ownership. Its sweet when they prefer to stay by your side and seek out affection. But some dogsespecially German Shepherds and similar herding breedscan become excessively clingy and follow you around like a shadow you cant escape.
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The Gsd Looks You As Its Mother
Imprinting on humans means when an animal identifies a human as its mother rather than their true mother.
This also happens between animals of different species. German Shepherd Puppy is born with eyes closed, and it cant hear properly.
It is entirely dependent on its mother and cant live without her help. After a month, the German Shepherd Puppy will start to stand and walk.
Here is when its learning starts, and he will start his journey to gain the knowledge to live life.
If a puppy is left with his mother, then he will learn how to eat, interact, and socialize with other puppies in the litter.
When we take home a puppy then he can imprint on us, he will learn everything from you. Exercise, potty training, house training will put his trust in you.
And he might see you as his parent and follow you everywhere like a child.
Do German Shepherds Pick A Favorite Person
The other littermates are on the same level as them, so they will consider them equal, family, and bond with them differently. The littermates are no less loving or affectionate, just different. It must be noted that German Shepherds do tend to select which person in a family or household they bond the closest.
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How To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Sleeping Next To You
Train it to sleep somewhere else
To train your German Shepherd to sleep somewhere else you would train it to lay down in a certain spot and then gradually train it to stay there for longer and longer periods.
Avoid rewarding it for sleeping next to you
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been rewarding it for sleeping beside you. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does try to do so and to train it to sleep in a different location.
Train it to be less anxious when you are not around
Since the reason why it sleeps next to you might be that it has separation anxiety it would help to train it to be less anxious without you.
One way to do this would be to start out by leaving it for very short time periods and then to reward it for not being anxious and then to build up to leaving it for longer and longer periods.
You can see more on how to do this in the video below.
Consider crate training
Crate training is where you train your German Shepherd to be comfortable in a crate designed for dogs. When done correctly it can give it a space where it can go and feel safe. One option for you would be to train your German Shepherd to go to its crate when it would normally try to sleep next to you.
Should I Be Worried About My German Shepherd Being Clingy
For some German Shepherds, clinginess can be a symptom of an underlying problem. This might include poor socialization, overprotectiveness, and separation anxiety.
These are issues that need addressing. Otherwise, they could lead to more serious behavioral problems.
However, in many cases, following you around could merely be a sign of affection. If this is the case with your dog, ask yourself if it is a behavior that bothers you or if it is one that you appreciate.
Then, youll be able to decide on whether you want to discourage the behavior or at least make sure it isnt excessive.
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Why Do German Shepherds Howl
Most people will associate howling with the wolf-like Siberian Husky. You may realize that German Shepherds look like wolves but did you know your German Shepherd also manifests this wolf-ancestry behavior once in a while?
Usually, howling is a form of communication that dogs will use with you and other dogs outside their usual barking, groaning, or whining. And unless it is incessant, you have a normal dog, and you need not be worried.
Here are some reasons your German Shepherd will howl:
- You have not had time for him all day, and hes looking for attention.
- Hes sensing some danger, and he wants to warn you about it.
- Another dog in the neighborhood is howling, and he is responding as the pack dog that he is.
- Hes reacting to high-pitched sounds like an ambulance siren.
- Hes alone and lonely at home and suffering from separation anxiety.
- He has medical issues that are causing him pain or itching, and he wants you to know and do something about it.
Most Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems
Before we dive into the most common behavioral problems associated with German shepherds, I think its important to look at where the breed has actually come from.
Over the last century, German shepherds have been used for tracking, search and rescueespecially for the police and protection and guarding. So, its no surprise that a lot of the issues are in this exact area.
They have been intentionally bred for traits such as fierce loyalty, intelligence, and strength.
This leads to one of the first common problems for German shepherds, which revolves around aggression and the need to protect. Its very possible that an untrained German shepherd would be likely to bark or lunge at other dogs or people, especially on his own property.
Its not at all that this type of dog is being mean or nasty. In fact, from the dogs point of view, he believes hes just doing his job of protecting his family or territory.
Its a very, very common problem, and, at the end of the day, it is what the German shepherd has been bred to do a lot of the time.
The good newsthis behavior can be untrained. Or even better yet, if youre working with a German shepherd puppy or a young German shepherd, you can easily avoid this behavioral problem. And in case you are wondering, this does not automatically mean, that if you ever really do need help, that they wont rise to the occasion!
Once again, with some basic training and a good sturdy harness, this behavior can be easily prevented.
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Seek Affection And Attention
Your German Shepherd may lie on or close to your feet to simply seek affection and attention. German Shepherds enjoy a warm cuddle and sometimes they can even become extra clingy.
If you are sitting at a chair tapping at your computers keyboard for an hour or two, your furry friend will take what he can of your closeness, hoping to remind you that he exists.
Gsd Circling As A Herding Behavior
According to Leerburg dog trainers, the circling behavior has some roots in a newer style of sheep herding that has come out of Germany.
This herding style is called Herdengebrauchshund, or HGH for short.
HGH herding style is quite different style from how Border Collies herd sheep. Collies are used to round up the sheep and drive them in the desired direction.
But with tending or HGH style, German Shepherd dogs are used instead of Border Collies.
And the GSDs job is to become a living fence of sorts, nipping at the heels of any sheep that are tempted to break formation.
These dogs are trained to control flocks of as many as 800 sheep using this exact type of circling and nipping behavior .
In many ways, when your German Shepherd dog repeatedly circles you, your dog is simply creating a living fence or protective perimeter around you to keep you from being harmed.
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Why Your German Shepherd Walks In Circles
Each of the different reasons why your GSD does it will likely come with some clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might walk around in circles or pace and what would make them more likely.
The cause could be that something is making it feel anxious. The reason why it feels anxious could be due to things such as separation anxiety, being in a new home, another pet passing away or a change in its schedule. Anxiety would be more likely to be the reason if it started doing it at around the same time that something happened that might cause it to become anxious.
I have written more about why your German Shepherd might be anxious in this article.
It could be the case that your German Shepherd is doing it compulsively. This is where your German Shepherd has an irresistible urge to repeat the behavior. This would be more likely to be the case if your German Shepherd has been pacing repeatedly over the course of weeks or months.
It would also be more likely if it started pacing or walking in circles excessively when something happened that would cause it to develop behavioral issues.
Possible things that could have happened could include:
- Someone mistreated it
- Another dog was aggressive towards it
- It was separated from another dog
Look here for more information about compulsive behavior in dogs.
You have inadvertently rewarded the behavior
Someone has mistreated it
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