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German Shepherd Behavior: Their Strange Quirks Explained

german shepherd behavior explained

Are you curious about your German Shepherd’s behavior? Well, when I adopted my first GSD, Todo, his weird head-tilt, intense staring, and super-clinginess made me wonder if something is wrong with my dog.

So today, we will explore different aspects of German Shepherd behavior – from excessive whining to nibbling. We’ll uncover the secrets behind their bark language, and shed light on how they interact with humans and other animals alike, all while providing essential dog care information specific to this beloved breed.

Please note that this article is divided into two parts.

The first part covers 30 common German Shepherd Behaviors and the second part covers 11 German Shepherd Behavior Problems.

30 Common German Shepherd Behaviors

German Shepherds are known for their distinctive behavior traits, which are deeply rooted in their genetic makeup and history. To truly understand these magnificent dogs, it is important to delve into the intricacies of their behavior patterns and what drives them.

1. Licking you

German Shepherds are known for their affectionate nature, and one of the ways they show their love and bond with their owners is through licking. There are several reasons why your German Shepherd may lick you:

  1. Communication: Licking is a form of communication for dogs. By licking you, your German Shepherd is trying to convey a message. It could be a way of saying “hello,” showing affection or seeking attention from you.
  2. Grooming: Dogs naturally groom themselves and their pack members. When your German Shepherd licks you, they may be trying to groom you as a way of showing their care and maintaining a sense of cleanliness within the pack.
  3. Bonding: Licking releases endorphins in both dogs and humans, creating a sense of pleasure and bonding. When your German Shepherd licks you, they are strengthening the bond between you and reinforcing the trust and love they have for you.
  4. Attention-seeking: Dogs are social animals and crave attention from their owners. Licking can be a way for your German Shepherd to get your attention and engage in interactive play or receive affection from you.

It’s important to note that excessive licking can sometimes indicate underlying health issues or anxiety in dogs. If your German Shepherd’s licking becomes obsessive or compulsive, it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions or behavior problems.

2. Lick themselves

German Shepherds are known for their unique and intriguing behaviors, and one of these behaviors includes licking themselves.

german shepherd licking itself

One of the primary reasons why a German Shepherd dog licks itself is grooming. These dogs have a dense double coat that requires regular maintenance. Licking helps them keep their fur clean and tidy by removing dirt, debris, and loose hair.

Additionally, licking can be a form of self-soothing or a way for them to release excess energy. It serves as a self-comforting behavior, especially during times of stress or anxiety.

RELATED: Do German Shepherds Drool A Lot?

3. Tilt their head

German Shepherds often tilt their heads as a way to show curiosity or to better understand their surroundings. This behavior is commonly observed when they hear a new sound or when they are trying to focus on something.

By tilting its head, a German Shepherd dog is able to adjust its ear position, allowing them to better locate the source of the sound and gather more information about it.

Additionally, some experts suggest that this behavior may be a result of their strong bond with their owners, as they tilt their heads in response to human voices or gestures, trying to better understand and connect with their human companions.

4. Nibbling

Your German Shepherd dog may nibble for a variety of reasons. One possible reason is teething. Like human babies, puppies go through a teething phase where their gums are sore and itchy. Nibbling can help alleviate the discomfort they feel.

Another reason could be boredom or a lack of mental stimulation. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and active dogs, and if they don’t have enough mental or physical exercise, they may resort to nibbling as a way to release pent-up energy.

Additionally, nibbling can be a sign of affection. Dogs often use their mouths to explore and interact with their surroundings, and gentle nibbling can be seen as a way of showing love and affection towards their owners.

RELATED: How To Introduce a German Shepherd to Your New Puppy

5. Whining

German Shepherds are known to be vocal dogs, and one typical behavior they exhibit is whining. There are several reasons why German Shepherds whine so much.

They may whine to express their needs or desires, such as wanting attention, food, or to go outside. Whining can also be a way for them to seek comfort or express anxiety or fear.

Secondly, whining can be their way of seeking reassurance or trying to communicate with their owners. They may whine if they feel neglected or if they are experiencing separation anxiety.

If GSDs are not provided with enough exercise or mental enrichment, they may become bored or frustrated, leading to excessive whining. It is important to ensure that German Shepherds receive regular exercise, training, and mental stimulation to prevent behavioral issues such as excessive whining.

Furthermore, health issues can also contribute to excessive whining in a German Shepherd dog. They may whine if they are in pain or discomfort. It is essential to monitor their health and seek veterinary attention if their whining is persistent or accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

RELATED: When Do German Shepherds Calm Down?

6. Howling

German Shepherds howl for a variety of reasons. One possible reason is that they are trying to communicate with their owners or other dogs. Howling can be a way for them to express their emotions or to get attention.

german shepherd howling behavior

Another reason why German Shepherds howl is because of their instinctual nature. They are descendants of wolves, which are known for their howling behavior.

Howling can be a way for German Shepherds to establish their territory or to communicate with other dogs in the area. Additionally, German Shepherds may howl if they are feeling anxious or lonely.

Howling can be a way for them to alleviate stress or to seek companionship. It is important for German Shepherd owners to understand the reasons behind their howling behavior and to provide them with the necessary attention and care.

7. Laying on your feet

One possible reason why GSDs may lay on your feet is because they want to be close to you and feel secure. By laying on your feet, they are seeking physical contact and reassurance. This behavior can also be a sign of their strong bond with you as their owner.

Additionally, German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and ability to detect changes in their environment. By laying on your feet, they may be trying to alert you to any potential dangers or threats that they sense. Overall, when a German Shepherd lays on your feet, it is a way for them to show their love, loyalty, and desire to protect you.

8. Laying down to eat

German Shepherd dogs may lie down to eat for a few reasons. Firstly, it could be a matter of comfort. Laying down allows them to relax and enjoy their meal without feeling any strain on their muscles or joints.

Additionally, laying down to eat may also be a natural instinct for German Shepherds. In the wild, dogs often eat their meals while in a lying position to protect their food from potential threats.

While domesticated German Shepherds may not face the same dangers, this instinct may still be present.

9. Walking in front of you

When a German Shepherd walks in front of you, it is likely because they are assuming the role of the leader or protector. This behavior is rooted in their natural instincts as herding dogs. German Shepherds were originally bred to work alongside humans in herding livestock, and their instinct is to guide and protect their pack.

By walking in front of you, they are essentially taking on the responsibility of leading and ensuring the safety of the group. This behavior can also be a sign of their loyalty and desire to keep a watchful eye on their owners.

It is important to establish yourself as the pack leader through consistent training and positive reinforcement to ensure that your German Shepherd understands their role and follows your commands.

10. Twitch when they sleep

German Shepherds twitch when they sleep due to a phenomenon called “REM sleep.” REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which is a stage of sleep where most dreaming occurs. During this stage, the brain is highly active, and the body may exhibit various involuntary movements, including twitching.

german shepherd behavior of twitching while sleeping

This twitching is believed to be a result of the brain sending signals to the muscles, possibly reenacting dream scenarios. It is important to note that twitching during sleep is a normal behavior for dogs, including German Shepherd dogs, and it does not usually indicate any health issues or discomfort.

RELATED: German Shepherd Sleeping With Owner: Is It Safe For You?

11. Scoot their butts

German Shepherds may scoot their butts for several reasons. One common reason is that they may be experiencing discomfort or itchiness in their anal area. This could be due to issues such as anal gland problems, allergies, or parasites. Scooting their butts helps relieve the irritation they are feeling.

Another possible reason for butt scooting is the presence of fecal matter or foreign objects stuck to their fur around the anus. By dragging their bottoms along the ground, they are attempting to remove the unwanted material.

It is important to note that if a German Shepherd is frequently scooting their butt, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

12. Eating poop

German Shepherds eating poop can be a perplexing behavior for many dog owners. This behavior, known as coprophagia, can have various causes and it is not exclusive to German Shepherds.

One possible reason is that dogs may eat poop due to nutritional deficiencies. If a dog’s diet lacks certain nutrients or if they have difficulty digesting food properly, they may be compelled to eat feces in an attempt to obtain those missing nutrients. This behavior is more common in puppies, as they are still developing and may not be getting all the necessary nutrients from their food.

Another reason is that dogs, including German Shepherds, are attracted to the scent of feces, especially if it contains the smell of undigested food. This instinctual behavior stems from their ancestors, who would scavenge for food in the wild.

Additionally, some dogs may eat poop out of boredom or as a form of attention-seeking behavior. If a dog is not mentally or physically stimulated enough, it may resort to engaging in behaviors that are considered undesirable, such as eating poop.

Lastly, coprophagia can also be a learned behavior. If a dog observes another dog or animal eating poop, it may imitate this behavior.

13. They sit on you

Firstly, sitting on their owners can be a way for German Shepherds to establish dominance and assert their position in the pack hierarchy. By physically being above their owners, they may feel a sense of control and authority.

Additionally, sitting on their owners can be a way for German Shepherds to seek attention and affection. They may have learned that sitting on their owners elicits a positive response, such as petting or cuddling. This behavior can be reinforced over time, leading to a habit of sitting on their owners.

Furthermore, German Shepherds are known for their protective nature. Sitting on their owners can be a way for them to guard and watch over their loved ones. By being physically close and in a position of height, they can have a better vantage point to detect potential threats or dangers.

RELATED: Are German Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

Lastly, some German Shepherds may simply find sitting on their owners comfortable and comforting. The warmth and closeness provided by sitting on their owners can create a sense of security and relaxation for the dog.

RELATED: Why Your German Shepherd Sits on You

14. They sleep a lot

German Shepherd dogs have a strong protective instinct, which means they are always alert and ready to respond to any potential threats. This heightened state of awareness can be mentally and physically draining, leading to increased sleep requirements.

Furthermore, German Shepherds are large dogs with a muscular build. Their size and weight can put a strain on their joints and muscles, especially if they engage in vigorous physical activities. Sleeping allows their bodies to recover and repair any damage or strain that may have occurred during exercise or play.

Lastly, like all dogs, German Shepherds have their own individual personalities and preferences. Some may simply enjoy sleeping and find comfort in it.

It is important to note that excessive sleepiness or changes in sleeping patterns could be a sign of underlying health issues, so it is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about your German Shepherd’s sleep habits.


15. They stare at you

German Shepherd dogs are known for their intense gaze and tendency to stare at their owners or other people. There are several reasons why German Shepherds exhibit this behavior.

Firstly, GSDs are highly intelligent and observant dogs. They have been bred for their ability to work closely with humans, and their staring behavior can be seen as a way of trying to understand and communicate with their owners.

By maintaining eye contact, they are able to pick up on subtle cues and signals from their owners, allowing them to better interpret their intentions and emotions.

Secondly, staring can also be a sign of affection and bonding. When a German Shepherd stares at you, it may be a way of expressing their love and loyalty. They may simply enjoy looking at their owners and find comfort in their presence.

Additionally, staring can also be a form of attention-seeking behavior. German Shepherds are highly social animals and thrive on human interaction. By staring at their owners, they may be trying to get their attention or communicate their needs. This could be a sign that they want to play, go for a walk, or simply spend time with their owner.

16. They circle before lying down

This is an instinctual German Shepherd behavior that dates back to their ancestors, who would circle and tamp down vegetation to create a comfortable and safe sleeping spot in the wild. By circling, German Shepherds may be trying to recreate this natural nesting behavior.

Another reason for this German Shepherd behavior could be to survey their surroundings and ensure that they are in a secure and protected position. This behavior may have been passed down from their ancestors, who needed to be vigilant and aware of potential threats while resting.

Additionally, circling before lying down may also help German Shepherds to regulate their body temperature. By turning in circles, they may be able to find the most comfortable position that allows for optimal airflow and cooling.

RELATED: Why Does My German Shepherd Circle Me?

17. They roll on their backs

A dog rolls on its back for various reasons. One possible explanation for this German Shepherd behavior is that they are being submissive. By exposing their vulnerable belly, they are showing deference to a more dominant individual or trying to avoid conflict.

Rolling on their backs can also be a sign of trust and relaxation. When a German Shepherd feels safe and comfortable in their environment, they may choose to roll on their back as a way to let their guard down.

Additionally, rolling on their backs can be a way for German Shepherd dogs to scratch an itch or relieve discomfort. By rubbing their back against the ground, they may be able to alleviate any irritation they are experiencing.

RELATED: German Shepherd Behavior Stages By Age

18. They breathe fast

German Shepherds may breathe fast for a variety of reasons. One possible reason for this German Shepherd behavior is that they are experiencing excitement or anxiety. This breed is known for its high energy levels and can become easily stimulated, causing them to breathe more rapidly.

Additionally, German Shepherd dogs are often used as working dogs and are known for their agility and endurance. When engaged in physical activity or exercise, their breathing rate naturally increases to supply their muscles with oxygen.

Another factor that may contribute to fast breathing in German Shepherds is heat. This breed has a thick double coat that can make them more prone to overheating. To cool down, they may pant heavily and breathe faster.

It’s important to note that if a German Shepherd is consistently breathing fast and showing signs of distress or discomfort, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

19. They chase their tail

German Shepherds may chase their tails for simply seeking attention or trying to entertain themselves. Like many other dog breeds, German Shepherd dogs have a natural instinct to engage in playful behaviors, and chasing their tail can be a fun and stimulating activity for them.

Another reason for this German Shepherd behavior is anxiety or boredom. If a German Shepherd is feeling stressed or lacks mental stimulation, they may resort to chasing their tail as a way to release pent-up energy or alleviate feelings of restlessness.

In some cases, tail chasing can also be a sign of a health issue. For example, fleas or other skin irritations can cause a German Shepherd to become itchy, leading them to chase and bite at their tail. It’s important to regularly check your dog’s fur and skin for any signs of irritation or parasites and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

20. Chewing on wood

German Shepherds may chew on wood to alleviate teething discomfort. Like human babies, puppies also go through a teething phase where their adult teeth start to come in. Chewing on wood can provide relief for their sore gums.

Additionally, chewing on wood can be a way for German Shepherds to satisfy their natural instinct to chew. This breed is known for being highly intelligent and active, and they require mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom.

However, it is important to note that excessive chewing on wood can be a sign of anxiety or boredom. If a German Shepherd is consistently chewing on wood and causing damage, it may be a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to address the underlying issue.

21. Digging holes

Firstly, digging holes is a natural instinct for many dogs, including German Shepherds. In the wild, dogs would dig holes to create a den or shelter for themselves. They may dig holes as a way to create a cool spot to lie down in during hot weather or to find a cozy place to rest.

german shepherd behavior of digging

Secondly, German Shepherds may dig holes out of boredom or frustration. If they are not provided with enough exercise or mental enrichment, they may resort to digging as a way to release their pent-up energy.

Another reason why German Shepherds dig holes is to bury or retrieve objects. These dogs have a strong prey drive and may have a natural instinct to bury bones or toys as a way to save them for later.

Additionally, German Shepherds may dig holes as a form of escape or to explore their surroundings. These dogs are naturally curious and may try to dig under fences or barriers in order to venture beyond their confined spaces.

22. Eating rocks and dirt

While it is not uncommon for dogs to have a natural inclination to chew on objects, the specific behavior of eating rocks and dirt can be concerning. There are several possible reasons for this German Shepherd behavior:

  1. Nutritional deficiencies: Dogs sometimes eat non-food items in an attempt to fulfill their dietary needs. If a dog’s diet is lacking in certain minerals or vitamins, they may be drawn to rocks and dirt as a source of these nutrients.
  2. Boredom or anxiety: Dogs, including German Shepherds, may engage in destructive behaviors such as eating rocks and dirt when they are bored or anxious.
  3. Pica: Pica is a condition characterized by the consumption of non-food items. German Shepherds with pica may eat rocks and dirt due to an underlying medical issue, such as gastrointestinal disorders or hormonal imbalances.
  4. Exploration and curiosity: German Shepherds are intelligent and curious dogs. They may eat rocks and dirt as a way to explore their environment and satisfy their natural curiosity.

23. They follow you everywhere, including the bathroom

This is a common German Shepherd behavior that has been reported by almost all owners. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, which is why German Shepherds follow their owners everywhere. They have a natural instinct to protect and keep an eye on their loved ones, which is why they feel the need to be close and follow them around.

Additionally, German Shepherds are known for their obedience and willingness to please their owners. This makes them naturally inclined to follow commands and stay close to their owners.

Furthermore, German Shepherds are active and energetic dogs. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. By following their owners, they can ensure that they are getting enough physical activity and mental stimulation. They enjoy going on walks, playing fetch, or simply being by their owner’s side during daily activities.

24. They flatten their ears

One common reason why German Shepherds flatten their ears is that they are feeling nervous or anxious. When a German Shepherd is in a stressful situation, such as meeting new people or being in a crowded environment, they may flatten their ears as a way to protect themselves.

Another reason why German Shepherds flatten their ears is when they are feeling submissive. This can happen when they are interacting with a dominant dog or when they are being scolded by their owner. By flattening their ears, they are showing respect and submission to the more dominant individual or dog.

In some cases, German Shepherds may also flatten their ears when they are in pain or discomfort. This can be a sign of an injury or illness, and it’s important to pay attention to any other accompanying symptoms or behaviors. If a German Shepherd is consistently flattening their ears and displaying other signs of distress, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

25. Their hair stands up

German Shepherds have the ability to make their hair stand up, which is known as piloerection. This is a natural response that occurs when the dog feels threatened or fearful.

When a German Shepherd senses danger or becomes anxious, their body releases adrenaline, which causes the hair on its back and neck to stand up. This serves as a visual warning to potential threats, making the dog appear larger and more intimidating.

Additionally, the raised hair helps to trap air, creating a layer of insulation that can protect the dog in case of an attack. So, when you see a German Shepherd with its hair standing up, it’s a sign that they are on high alert and ready to defend itself or their territory.

26. They jump on you

German Shepherds may jump on you because they are excited to see you and want to greet you in a playful manner. German Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and enthusiasm, so jumping can be their way of expressing their excitement.

Another reason for this German Shepherd behavior could be that they are seeking attention from you. By jumping on you, they are trying to get your attention and engage with you. It is important to note that jumping is a behavior that can be reinforced if it is rewarded with attention or affection.

Therefore, it is essential to discourage this behavior and teach your German Shepherd alternative ways to greet people, such as sitting or staying calm.

27. They rub against you

German Shepherds are known for their strong desire to bond with their owners and show affection. One way they do this is by rubbing against their owners.

This German Shepherd behavior is often seen as a form of marking and claiming their territory. By rubbing against you, German Shepherds are leaving their scent on you, which helps them feel more secure and connected to you.

Additionally, rubbing against you can also be a way for German Shepherds to seek attention and physical contact. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I’m here and I want your attention!” So, if your German Shepherd is rubbing against you, take it as a sign that they love and trust you and want to be close to you.

28. They put their paws in the water bowl

German Shepherds may put their paws in their water bowl if they are trying to cool down. Dogs do not sweat like humans do, so they may use their paws to splash water onto their bodies as a way to regulate their body temperature.

Another reason for this German Shepherd behavior could be that they are simply playing or exploring. Dogs are curious creatures and may enjoy the sensation of splashing water with their paws.

Additionally, some German Shepherds may have learned this behavior as a way to get attention or to communicate their needs. By putting their paws in the water bowl, they may be trying to signal that they are thirsty or that they want fresh water.

29. They walk between your legs

German Shepherds may walk between your legs to seek attention or affection. By walking between your legs, they are able to be close to you and receive physical contact, such as petting or belly rubs.

Another reason why German Shepherds may walk between your legs is for protection. This breed is known for their protective instincts, and by positioning themselves between your legs, they may feel like they are guarding you from potential threats.

Furthermore, German Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable dogs. Walking between your legs may be a learned behavior that they have been taught or reinforced through training. Some owners may encourage this behavior as a way to establish a closer bond with their dog or as a way to control their movements in crowded or busy areas.

30. Sometimes they smell really bad

German Shepherds have a dense double coat that can trap dirt, debris, and even bacteria, leading to a buildup of odor-causing substances. Regular grooming and bathing can help to minimize this issue.

Another reason for their strong smell is their active lifestyle. German Shepherds are highly energetic and love to explore their surroundings. This often leads to them rolling in dirt, mud, or even dead animals, which can contribute to their odor.

Additionally, German Shepherds have higher oil production in their skin compared to other breeds. This can result in a stronger smell, especially if their skin is not properly cared for.

Lastly, it is important to consider that bad odor can also be a sign of an underlying health issue. If a German Shepherd consistently smells bad despite proper grooming and care, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the odor.

Common German Shepherd Behavior Problems

1. Separation Anxiety

german shepherd behavior problem of separation anxiety

German Shepherds are loyal companions who crave human interaction. When left alone for long periods of time, they can develop separation anxiety, which is a common behavior problem among this breed. This manifests as excessive whining, barking, destructive chewing, and even attempts to escape.

To help alleviate separation anxiety in German Shepherds, it’s important to gradually acclimate them to being alone. Start by leaving them for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time.

RELATED: How To Help Your GSD Overcome Separation Anxiety

2. Aggression/Biting

Shepherd’s aggressive behavior towards other animals or strangers is another behavior problem that may arise if not properly trained and socialized.

Socialization plays a vital role in curbing aggression in German Shepherds. Expose them to different environments, people, and animals so they learn how to interact appropriately. Positive reinforcement training methods are highly effective in teaching them good manners and building trust.

RELATED: Are German Shepherds Dangerous?

3. Excessive Barking

german shepherd behavioral problems

German Shepherds have a strong instinct to protect their territory and loved ones. However, this can result in excessive barking if not properly managed. This behavior problem may be triggered by perceived threats, boredom, or a lack of mental and physical stimulation.

To address this behavior problem, it’s important to identify the triggers that cause your German Shepherd to bark excessively. Is it due to boredom, fear, or a perceived threat? Once you understand the underlying cause, you can take appropriate steps to address it.

RELATED: How To Stop German Shepherd From Barking Aggressively

4. Destructive Behaviors

German Shepherds are intelligent dogs with boundless energy. When they become bored or anxious, they may resort to destructive behaviors as an outlet for their pent-up energy. This could involve chewing on furniture, shoes, or even digging up your garden. This behavior problem can be detrimental to household items or furniture.

To combat destructive behavior problems, ensure your German Shepherd receives plenty of physical exercise. Regular walks, runs, or play sessions can help tire them out and reduce restlessness. Mental stimulation is equally important—consider puzzle toys or training activities that challenge their intellect.

5. Fearfulness

Fearfulness or skittishness can occur in German Shepherds when they lack proper socialization during their critical developmental stages. They may become apprehensive around unfamiliar people, objects, or situations.

To address this behavior problem, expose your German Shepherd puppy to various environments early on. Introduce them gradually and positively to different sights, sounds, smells, and experiences. Encourage positive interactions with people of all ages and other animals.

6. Housebreaking Issues

Inappropriate elimination indoors is a common German Shepherd behavior issue faced by many German Shepherd owners during housebreaking training.

To address this behavior problem effectively, establish a consistent routine for bathroom breaks and reward your dog each time they eliminate outdoors. Supervise them closely indoors and interrupt any signs of elimination inside the house with a firm “no” before immediately taking them outside to finish their business.

Positive reinforcement through treats or praise when they eliminate appropriately will help reinforce desired behaviors.

7. Mouthiness

German Shepherd puppies are known for their curious nature and tendency to explore the world through mouthing and chewing behavior. This German Shepherd behavior is a natural part of their development as they use their mouths to investigate objects and surroundings.

Owners should provide suitable chew toys and redirect the puppy’s attention towards them whenever they start mouthing on inappropriate items such as furniture or shoes.

8. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In German Shepherds, OCD typically manifests as repetitive and compulsive behaviors. These behaviors are often excessive and may include repetitive tail chasing, excessive licking or chewing of paws or other body parts, obsessive digging or scratching, and even compulsive barking or whining.

These behavior problems can be distressing for both the dog and its owner. The exact cause of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in dogs is not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

German Shepherd dogs with a family history of OCD may have a higher risk of developing the disorder. Additionally, certain environmental triggers such as stress, boredom, or changes in routine can contribute to the onset or worsening of OCD symptoms.

10. Excitement Peeing

When a German Shepherd gets hyperactive or overwhelmed with excitement, they may involuntarily release small amounts of urine. This is known as excitement urination.

According to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, it is more common in puppies and dogs that haven’t fully gained control over their bladder muscles yet.

One way to address this behavior problem is by providing proper training and socialization from an early age. By exposing your German Shepherd to different people, animals, and environments, you can help them get accustomed to new experiences and reduce their anxiety levels.

11. Hyperactivity

German Shepherd hyperactivity can be a common behavioral problem observed in this breed. While not all GSDs exhibit hyperactivity, it is important to understand and address this behavior problem in those that do.

German Shepherds, known for their energy and athleticism, have a natural predisposition towards higher activity levels compared to some other dog breeds. In their young age, German Shepherds are particularly energetic and playful. This behavior is a result of their breed characteristics and the need for physical and mental stimulation.

Hyperactivity in German Shepherds can manifest as excessive restlessness, difficulty in settling down, constant pacing, and a strong desire for constant engagement.


In conclusion, understanding German Shepherd behavior is crucial for anyone considering owning or working with this magnificent breed. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility, making them excellent companions, working dogs, and even therapy dogs.

Throughout this article, we have explored various aspects of their behavior, shedding light on their innate traits, temperament, and specific needs. German Shepherds thrive in environments that provide mental and physical stimulation, consistent training, and a strong bond with their human companions. This breed requires an owner who can provide leadership, structure, and positive reinforcement to ensure they grow into well-rounded and balanced dogs.

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