Understanding The Body Language Of German Shepherds
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, protectiveness, and overall high intelligence. But as German Shepherd Dog owners know well, each dog has a personality all their own. Understanding the body language of German Shepherds and how your dog communicates will help with both bonding and training.
Give Your Pet Bone & Joint Supplements
Bone and joint supplements provide the necessary nutrients to your dog.
Bone and joint supplements for your pet contain the following ingredients:
- Glucosamine helps relieve pain and joint damage
- Chondroitin reduces inflammation in your dogs joints
- Collagen keeps your pets bones and joints healthy
- Fish oils contain Omega-3, a nutrient that helps control inflammation and improves your dogs mobility
Why Do German Shepherds Tilt Their Heads
There is nothing cuter than a German Shepherd head-tilt and you will find tons of pictures and videos of dogs tilting their heads on all social media platforms. Many owners will make plenty of strange sounds just to see their pup perform an adorable head tilt. So, why do German Shepherds tilt their heads?
German Shepherds tilt their heads when they become interested in something different. They use the position of their head, and more specifically, their ears to learn the direction of the new sound. They also tilt their head when trying to understand what youre saying and to increase visual cues.
There are a lot of other behaviors that German Shepherd Dogs portray. You can read about problematic behaviors in this breed and their solutions from my article on German Shepherd Behavior Problems.
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Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs
Dogs may roll on their backs on different occasions. This German Shepherd behavior might occur when he is playing with you or other dogs. The dog in the below photo is clearly having a super time playing in the snow.
We will often interpret a roll on the back during dog play as being submissive. However, research has shown that rolling on the back is a winning rather than a losing position. Your German Shepherd will roll over when playing with other dogs for two key reasons:
- To avoid a nape bite
- To launch an attack
But German Shepherds will also roll over to scratch their back since they cannot reach it with their paws. This could just be normal scratching, but it could also result from a flea/tick infestation. Check your dog and take measures if you find out that they are rolling over because they have fleas! Also, ensure their flea prevention treatment is up to date.
When playing with you, dogs will roll on their back to get a scratch on their belly. Granting his desire reinforces your GSDs behavior. So, avoid it if you do not want him to always ask for it!
German Shepherds that rest or sleep on their backs for a short while feel very relaxed with their environment and are at ease exposing their belly. They feel safe and secure in this position.
Other reasons that dogs may roll on their backs are when attention-seeking, as an expression of joy, or a show of confidence. They may also display this behavior to regulate their body temperature as it helps them to cool down.
Why Are German Shepherds So Vocal
As a herding breed that tends to be protective and territorial, the German Shepherd can be excessive in barking, groaning, whining, and moaning. But these German Shepherd behaviors may also be triggered by positive situations and other breed-related temperament traits such as its friendly family-dog nature.
Also, leaving your dog consistently alone at home and for long periods may cause him to be vocal. The German Shepherd is among the top 10 dogs most prone to separation anxiety. As such, your GSD may also groan, whine, or moan to express his loneliness.
As a rough guideline, your German Shepherd may manifest any of these behaviors for one or more of the following ten reasons shown on the table.
|German Shepherd Behavior
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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.
Causes Of German Shepherd Limping
Limping is a common occurrence in dogs. It occurs when your dog is unable to walk normally due to pain or weakness. Your dog may walk slowly or awkwardly, and he will generally favor one leg over the other.
There are two types of limping that your German Shepherd may experience. Some forms occur gradually over time, whereas sudden lameness happens instantly, usually after an injury. Some cases are minor and can be managed at home, while others will necessitate the assistance of a medical professional.
Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Limping
Here are 23 reasons why your German Shepherd may be limping:
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How Do German Shepherds Show Love
5 Ways To Tell Your German Shepherd You Love Them In Their Own Language
Want To Train Your German Shepherd With Peace Of Mind
If you havent trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!
And in most cases its still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.
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Ear Movements And Gestures
German Shepherds have an acute auditory sense. Its how they were bred, and they need to hear well to stay ever-vigilant when guarding herds and property.
Their ears are large and rigid so as to allow for maximum sensitivity to subtle noises.
The shape of their ears also offers a distinct advantage to you, as it is possible to notice even the most subtle of cues just based on what a GSD is doing with his ears.
Lets now take a look at some German Shepherd ear behaviors and how to translate them.
What You Can Do About Your Dog Going Between Your Legs
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog going between your legs. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about your dog going between your legs.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your dog for displaying the behaviors that you want to see. To use it to get your dog to stop going between your legs you would reward it when it does not go between your legs and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
An example of how you might do this would be as follows:
- Reward it before it goes between your legs
- Stop rewarding it when it goes between your legs
- Get it out from under your legs and avoid giving it attention until it doesnt try to get between your legs
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce behaviors that you dont want to see by giving it things that it wants when it displays them. It could be that you have negatively reinforced it going between your legs which is why it does it.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it goes between your legs and to try to only reward it when it behaves the way that you want it to.
Get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want.
Its not unusual
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Why Does My German Shepherd Sit Between My Legs
A reason similar to why your German shepherd goes between your legs will also make it sit comfortably between your legs.
Here are some reasons that will bring out this behavior
- You have been rewarding this behavior
- Your German shepherd is protecting you
- Your German shepherd is trained, and hes waiting for commands from you
What Does It Mean When A Dog Wags Its Tail
A happy dog will wag their tail and an angry dog will have an erect or fluffed up tail. The different movements and positions of a dogs tail can tell you a lot about how the animal is feeling or what they are trying to communicate. When a dogs tail is between its legs, it could indicate a variety of things.
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If Your Dog Could Talk
then wed never have to guess how he or she is feeling. But body language is still a great substitute. By understanding how dogs use their face, tail, and body to express themselves you can always have a general idea of how a dog even an unfamiliar one is feeling. When you apply that general knowledge to a dog whose personality you know well, you can gain an even greater understanding of that dog.
Understanding your German Shepherd dogs use of body language helps with bonding, training and even identification of medical issues. So just because your dog cant talk doesnt mean he or she has nothing to say. You just have to know how to listen. Heres to excellent communication between you and your four-legged friend.
For more info on dog body language, visit us at Shepped.com. Also on and
Guest Author: Andrew James
Dilation Of Pupils Out Of Context To Light
Just like in humans, if a dog is in low light conditions, its natural for his pupils to be dilated.
However, the sign to look for here is if your GSDs eyes are dilated in a brightly lit environment, such as outside on a sunny day or in a brightly lit room.
This can be a sign of stress, anxiety, or over-arousal.
Take note: If a GSDs eyes are very frequently dilated out of context to lighting conditions, then this can also be a sign of a medical issue that needs further inquiry.
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Routine Care Diet And Exercise
Build her routine care into your schedule to help your GSD live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.
- Supervise your pet as you would a toddler. Keep doors closed, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as necessary. This will keep her out of trouble and away from objects she shouldnt put in her mouth.
- She needs a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year she blows her coat and loses crazy amounts of hair daily brushing is recommended during this time.
- German Shepherd Dogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!
- Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Dont worrywell show you how!
- She has a high prey drive, so she needs to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.
- She’s a large, smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she’ll get bored. That’s when the naughty stuff starts.
- Naturally a bit wary, she’s distrustful of strangers bond her to children early to trigger protective behaviors.
- Keep your dogs diet consistent and dont give her people food.
- Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
- Exercise your dog regularly, but dont overdo it at first.
German Shepherds Will Explore Everything With Their Noses
Youll find evidence of their very thorough sniffing everywhere walls, doors, windows, and more. All dogs have a better sense of smell than humans 10,000 to 100,000 times better in fact thanks to having millions more scent receptors. But compared to other breeds, the GSD ranks near the top in scenting ability. Its no wonder they make such great police and detection dogs. Among many other jobs, GSDs are known for their bomb and drug sniffing work, tracking, and search and rescue.
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Why Is My German Shepherd Always Laying Down
German Shepherds, like all other dog breeds, can have lazy days. If theyre laying around all day, its no cause for concern. That being said, you might be a bit worried if they start to lie and hide away from you for more than a day. Dont fret just yet, though. There are plenty of reasons that this could occur.
Lets examine a list of possibilities below:
How Do You Calm A Scared German Shepherd
German Shepherd training, in their article entitled The 7 Golden Rules & Basic Commands advises that one of the simplest ways to deal with fear is to call them to you if they are playing and are suddenly looking fearful.
Teaching your Shepherd to come to you like this can even save their life or yours someday, so teach them to come to you and then to sit down when they are scared.
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How To Get Your German Shepherd To Be Less Afraid Of Things
Dont worry, there are plenty of ways that you can help your dog to deal with their fears. Most commonly, your dog is just going to need some positive conditioning by means of love, reassurance, and an active effort not to reinforce bad behaviors.
Weve outlined some common options that can help in the sections below.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Has A Nervous Tail
Nervous, Unsure, or Appeasing Tail: This is carried below the plane of the back and maybe even tucked between the legs. Only the tip, is moving. This pup is slinking along either toward or away from you. The dog may curl its body a bit away from you with a lifted paw. This dog may still be social, he is just not sure what to make of you.
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