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Why Does My German Shepherd Grunt

Physical And Health Reasons Why A German Shepherd Might Groan

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Even though German Shepherd dogs are as likely to groan for emotional reasons as for any physical reasons, it is important to remember that groaning may indicate a health issue as well.

How can you know whether your dog is uncomfortable, in pain, and needs veterinary assistance?

The first thing you want to do is try your best to rule out any other causes that dont relate to health.

If you have done everything you can think of to eliminate the reasons why your GSD is groaning and you are still not sure what is causing it, this may indicate the reason for the groaning is physical discomfort or a health issue.

The most common physical and health reasons why your German Shepherd might be groaning include these:

Soft Noises While Asleep

When a pup makes soft grumbles, yaps, or whimpers while snoozing, its not cause for alarm. This mix of noises simply means that a dog is in a deep stage of sleep, similar to our REM sleep, says Dr. Bernal. You may notice its also accompanied by a faster breathing rate and twitching of the muscles, limbs, or eyelids.Your dogs favorite sleeping position, on the other hand, can tell you a lot.

Why A Dog Lays Down To Greet You

A dog may lay down to greet you to show that they are submissiveto you. They are basically saying you are the boss when they dothis. This can be good in that they will not try to fight fordominance. This may be bad if they get too submissive.

She simply might not be able to help herself.

Grunting in dogs is possibly an involuntary action, caused by hard breathing that’s reduced in pace.

When your dog grunts and relaxes, she’s not trying to put on a show of happiness.

Her emotions and comfort level are indeed genuine.

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Train Your Gsd To Be Alone

The best thing to do to avoid symptoms of separation anxiety is to train your dog at an early age. Leave your dog alone for a few minutes. Note its behavior but do not make a big deal if it gets sad or destructive. Continue to train it by increasing the time until you leave the home for eight hours straight .

Another important thing is not to be present with your GSD all the time. Let it be alone even when you are at home.

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What Does It Mean When A Dog Lays On You

Why does my dog grunt?

Asserting Dominance. When encountering a new dog, you may want to ask yourself if the dog is sitting on me to assert his dominance.

If you recently added a new dog to your pack, one of them may sit on you to assert that he’s the top dog.

Touch is as important to canines as it is to us, especially when the person cuddling next to you is someone special.

Some dogs nuzzle their nose into the crook of your arm or lay their head on your foot.

Others show affection by resting their head on your knee, and some lean against you.

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Why Does My Dog Grunt At Me

If your dog always grunts when she’s in rest mode, she might not even be aware of it.

She simply might not be able to help herself.

Grunting in dogs is possibly an involuntary action, caused by hard breathing that’s reduced in pace.

When your dog grunts and relaxes, she’s not trying to put on a show of happiness.

How To Fix Territorial & Aggressive Vocalization

You can prevent aggression and territorial behavior by practicing recall and doing lots of early socialization in puppyhood. Start at home by inviting close friends, family, and their dogs over so that your dog can learn the rules in a safe environment. You should also try to interact with as many friendly dogs and people as possible on walks, especially for the first few years of their lives.

Practice recall by calling your dog randomly throughout the day and rewarding them heavily for coming to you. This should increase their impulse to come when called and overtake the need to investigate other dogs or bark at passersby. In fact, any kind of obedience training is great for stomping out aggression, because it means your dog is more likely to listen to you should you need to get them away from another dog.

You can reduce dog aggression by reinforcing that socializing is good. If there are any family dogs that your German Shepherd gets along with, arrange supervised playdates in a safe, controlled environment and reward your Shep for their positive interactions.

When approaching an unknown dog on a walk, do not tense up. Your Shep will sense your anxiety and assume the dog is a threat, which could encourage their aggression. Instead, keep calm and keep moving. Take a toy to distract them if necessary, and then reward them with a treat every time they manage to walk past another dog without reacting aggressively.

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Why Your German Shepherd Grunts Moans And Groans

Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd does it will likely come with some clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might grunt, groan or moan and the signs to look for.


The reason that your German Shepherd grunts, groans or moans could be that it is enjoying itself. This would be more likely if it does it in situations where it gets excited such as when you come home or when playing tug of war.

It wants your attention

The reason that it does it could be that it wants your attention.

This would be more likely if it does it at specific times such as when it would normally go out for a walk, get fed or get attention in some other way. It would also be more likely if it does it when you havent given it much attention for a while.

Illness or injury

It could be that your German Shepherd is injured or ill. When dogs are in pain it is common for them to make unusual noises. If your German Shepherd has been groaning or moaning a lot recently in situations when it normally wouldnt then this could be the case. If pain is the cause then youll probably notice other symptoms such as limping or a change in behavior.


It could be the case that it does it as a warning. This would be more likely if it does it when people are trying to intimidate it or to enter its space. It would also be more likely if it shows signs of aggression when doing it.

Its protecting food or possessions




Your Dog Is Naturally Expressive

Why Do German Shepherds Groan: GSD Vocalizations and What They Mean

Well, do they seem healthy with no signs of pain at all?

Is your dog still young? And oh, one more thing

Have they been doing this ever since?

If yes is the answer to all those questions, this might be it. This could be funny at times because they grunt at everything they do. Like when they walk, eat, lay down on the floor, or in any simple activity that isnt tiring at all.

Your dog might only be on the talkative side, such as:

  • Terriers.

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Teaching Your German Shepherd Hand Targetting

Hand targetting is where you get your german shepherd to focus most of their attention on your hand. Rather than whining. Its most effective in german shepherds that cant control themselves and get excited or scared when they meet new people.

Heres how you should train your dog to hand target.

Step 1

First of all, hold your hand out in front of your german shepherd. Every time they touch their nose to your palm give them a treat.

However, when youre doing this dont say anything. Just keep your palm outstretched to them and let them touch it with their nose.

And make sure you dont bring your hand to them if they arent going for your hand. Instead, try moving it from side to side in front of them.

If they still dont move towards it, then rub a treat on it so they can smell it. That will definitely get them to bring their nose to it.

Give them a treat and congratulate them every time they do this successfully.

Step 2

Once your german shepherd realizes they get a treat every time they touch your hand with their nose, its time to kick it up a notch.

Start putting your hand to the left and right of your dog, or a few inches back. Every time they touch it with their nose, give them another treat.

Do this 20-30 times.

Step 3

Now things are getting interesting. Each time you hold your hand out say a command, like calmly or hello and then proceed to let them touch your hand.

Once again, every time they do this give them the treat to let it sink in.

Step 4

German Shepherd Whine When They Are Bored

German Shepherds are extremely active. They have a lot of energy to burn and often require their day to be filled with a lot of activities keeping them mentally stimulated. Mostly, they love roughhousing, and given the opportunity, they can play for hours on end. But, if you notice that your German Shepherd whines more when it is not doing anything, it may be boredom.

To reduce this behavior, ensure you provide several energy-intensive activities for the German Shepherd. Allow the pup to have at least one hour of exercise per day. When going on walks, fit the pup with a weighted vest so that it works out as it walks. Provide the dog with a lot of toys and other activities that would keep it busy the whole day.

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Why Does My Dog Grunt When I Pet Him While Sleeping

Grunting is an expression of contentment think of it as the canine equivalent of purring Sadly, some dogs may grunt during sleep if they’re having a stressful dream. It may be time to schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice your dog grunting a lot.

Grunting in dogs is possibly an involuntary action, caused by hard breathing that’s reduced in pace.

When your dog grunts and relaxes, she’s not trying to put on a show of happiness.

Her emotions and comfort level are indeed genuine.

Routine Grooming Also Keeps Your German Shepherd Odor Free

Why does my German Shepherd grunt, moan and groan?

If you keep up with housekeeping chores, and you make sure your veterinarian treats ear infections, then you should have relatively minor problems with German Shepherd odor.

There is still a certain amount of work involved in keeping dog odor in check.

Lets take a look at specific canine care concerns to reduce dog odor, starting with the obvious.

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Why Do Older Dogs Groan

Groaning that seems to happen all the time or when your dog is preparing to lie down should concern you because it could be related to certain medical conditions such as ascites, panosteitis, and arthritis.

Arthritis, a medical condition characterized by wearing out of the joints, happens in older dogs.

When you dog sighs it is an emotional signal terminating an action A sigh is sometimes accompanied by your dog having their eyes partially closed. This is most likely their way of communicating pleasure. It may be that your pup sighs when you’re petting them or you have just given them one of their favorite treats.

Why Does My Dog Grunt So Much

She simply might not be able to help herself.

Grunting in dogs is possibly an involuntary action, caused by hard breathing that’s reduced in pace.

When your dog grunts and relaxes, she’s not trying to put on a show of happiness.

Her emotions and comfort level are indeed genuine.

Possible reasons why your dog sleeps on your stomach are that it is being protective, it feels safer around you, it has some separation anxiety, you might have encouraged the behavior by rewarding it or it might just be being affectionate.

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Why Does My Dog Sigh When I Hug Her

The most common sounds of pleasure are moans and sighs, although dogs also use whines and growls to communicate happiness.

Low-pitched moans are very common in puppies and are signs of contentment.

Puppies moan when they are in close contact to their littermates, their mother, or their humans.

Dogs can sigh for a variety of reasons, but the main reason they sigh is to signal that they are relaxed.

However, deep and frequent sighing can indicate that your pet is in pain or suffering from illness.

If your dog is sighing, it usually means he’s really content and relaxed.

Do Dogs Want To Be Alone When They Die

Why Does My German Shepherd Stretch So Much? 5 Different Types of GSD Stretches and Their Meanings

From these patterns of strange behavior, a myth arose that dogs approaching the end of their life prefer to be alone as they seek out a quiet, solitary, peaceful place to die. Unfortunately, the reality is simply that dying of old age for any species is not the gentle, idyllic death that many would like to believe in.

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Is It Normal For Dogs To Moan

The most common sounds of pleasure are moans and sighs, although dogs also use whines and growls to communicate happiness. Low-pitched moans are very common in puppies and are signs of contentment. Another sound of contentment is the sigh, usually accompanied by the dog lying down with its head on its forepaws.

Brush Your German Shepherds Teeth Several Times A Week

Brushing your German Shepherds teeth several times a week can eliminate dog breath.

And beyond controlling canine halitosis, brushing your German Shepherds teeth can stop cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Use a special canine toothbrush you get from your vet or from a pet supply store to brush your dogs teeth.

Never use toothpaste intended for humans on your dogs teeth.

The sudsing agents and detergents in toothpaste for people can cause severe irritation in a dogs mouth. Toothpaste for dogs has flavors dogs enjoy, like chicken and liver.

When you are brushing your dogs teeth, be sure to brush both sides.

Use the canine to reach the teeth in the back of your German Shepherds mouth, which catch the most odor-causing food particles.

Blocked, impacted, infected, or swollen anal glands can also cause intense dog odor.

This is a problem you should let your veterinarian resolve.

The things you do to keep your German Shepherd create opportunities to bond with your dog.

Do them regularly and they will become a beloved part of your dogs weekly routine.

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Expressing Pleasure Or Elation

Often times, when something feels good to our dogs, they express their pleasure with a groan. You may have noticed that when you rub your dogs tummy, or scratch behind their ears just right, they start groan uncontrollably.

Groaning under these conditions is just their way of expressing their elation, relaxation, and pleasure from something good happening.

They Often Snuggle Or Cuddle

Why Does My German Shepherd Grunt: Understanding GSDs ...

Apart from following you around, German Shepherds like to feel physically close to you. Snuggling or cuddling is one of the best signs that your GSD is being affectionate because this is one way they treat you as part of their pack.

German Shepherds will lay close to you when you are lying down and sit next to you when you are sitting. Adorably, many GSDs dont realize their size or weight and would actually sit or lay on you like a small lapdog.

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Your German Shepherd Is Anxious Or Afraid

A German Shepherd that feels anxious or afraid may act out in any number of ways, including by groaning.

The best way to figure out if this is why your dog is groaning is to look for other situational triggers.

Some things to look for may include a thunderstorm that is brewing, holiday fireworks going off, a strange person or dog in the vicinity, or something else that might be frightening your dog.

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.

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