Why do German Shepherds Cry? - Embora Pets (2023)

Why do German Shepherds Cry? - Embora Pets (1)

When your German Shepherd starts crying, and you might want to know if that’s normal. Sometimes the crying can seem like too much but that’s why I’m here to help you figure out why he could possibly be crying!

Why do German Shepherds cry?

German Shepherds cry because they feel uncomfortable about a certain situation, whether it be pain, separation anxiety, or hunger. When they feel uncomfortable, their natural reaction can be to cry. They can also cry when they find or discover something they think is important and needs your attention.

Typically German Shepherds will cry a normal amount compared to other dogs, but for what exact reasons do they do this and how can you help them? We will go into more detail about how to help your German Shepherd.

What is the Reason My German Shepherd is Crying?

German Shepherds are great pets– they are protective, exciting, and man’s best friend. Yet sometimes your canine cries, so what exactly is making him cry? Some of the reasons why your German Sheperd could be crying is because of the following:

(Video) German Shepherd Separation Anxiety: What You Should Know

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Feeling Stressed/ Protective
  • Pain
  • Found Something Interesting or Potentially Threatening
  • Hunger
  • Discomfort Around Other Dogs

Separation Anxiety

German Shepherds can become uncomfortable if they are left alone for a long period of time which can cause them to cry. They usually love to be around people, so being alone for a long time can be difficult for them. They cry because they miss their owner and miss the company of another person.

You will notice your German Shepherd suffers from separation anxiety if they cry when you leave or if someone they love leaves them. They may be prone to cry because they know it will get your attention and keep you there. It’s important to not give into them or they will cry every time you leave the house.

However, this can be difficult to not soothe your dog before leaving because a crying dog can be a nuisance to neighbors and hard on you to see your pet sad.

How to Help Separation Anxiety and Stop German Shepherd’s Crying

To help them overcome separation anxiety, you can practice not over reacting when they cry when you leave. Make sure you don’t make it a big deal or they’ll continue to do this action.

You can train them to become comfortable staying alone. You can practice this by leaving him for short periods of time. As you leave for short times and return, your dog is able to see that you will come back and feel less sad about you leaving. It’s natural that your German Shepherd will continue to cry, but after practice it will become easier.

Make sure to spend time with your German Shepherd so that he feels less seperated from you. As you spend more time with him, he will cry less. Quality time can really help your dog feel loved and stop crying.


Why do German Shepherds Cry? - Embora Pets (2)

A German Shepherd can begin crying if they are stressed out about something. There are lots of reasons as to why they are stressed, but some of the common feelings could be they 1) don’t feel safe 2) they don’t think you are safe 3) they are in a new place or 4) they are participating in a new activtiy.

These are just some of the reasons why he could be crying from stress. German Shepherds are great protectors, they are usually seen as police dogs so they have a great natural sense for detecting danger. If they sense there is a danger, then they can become stressed and cry.

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How to Help Stop German Shepherd’s Crying When Stressed

It’s important to watch the signs to see if there is a danger that is stressing your canine. He may know what is going on before you do. To stop him from crying, go to him and follow him or notice what could be around him that’s causing this stress.

If your German Shepherd is trained, he can take you to the subject that’s causing his stress. To help with the stress, move your dog to a comfortable area, away from the people or new situation they may be in. Like stated earlier, they could be warning you of danger, but if not, it could be because they are uncomfortable in a new place.

The best idea would be to isolate them away from whatever is new or stressing them out, such as a new dog or person.


Your dog could be in pain if they’re crying. Take notice of their body, if there are any injuries or if they are acting in a funny way. If you notice them limping or refusing to walk on a paw while crying, this is a sign that they are injured.

Notice their eating habits. If your German Shepherd isn’t eating enough or cries when eating, they could be having pain in his mouth. If it’s after they eats and there are problems with their bowel movements, it could be a digestion problem.

How to Help German Shepherd’s Crying When in Pain

Take immediate care of your dog if you think he’s crying because he’s in pain. If the crying persists, contact your veterinarian right away. If he’s expereincing pain while eating, he will need his mouth checked out. Or if he cries and scratches often, it could be fleas or some other bug bothering him.

There are bug cures at stores and local pet stores that can be of assistance with helping get rid of that pain. Most importantly, just make sure they are not injured or that there’s nothing wrong inside their body. This can cause more problems if not looked at right away.

You can try this product that is made for big dogs that deal with fleas.

(Video) How to Understand German Shepherd Body Language

Crying from Finding Something/ Discovering

Why do German Shepherds Cry? - Embora Pets (3)

If the German Shepherd starts crying, it could be they found or discovered something. This is helpful with using German Sheperds as police dogs whether it be for sniffing out drugs or finding a person of interest.

How to Help German Shepherd from Crying When It’s Found Something

Usually, this is a great quality for dogs that work with crime. It’s a helpful behavior to have the dog cry when they discover something. However, this could be troublesome for a family. If this continues, it would be best to train your German Shepherd and help them learn that there is nothing to be excited about.

It can take time, but if there’s no reason why your dog is crying over a cat , you could try bringing a little squirt bottle and squirt them when they cry about that.

Hunger and How to Cure It

If your German Shepherd is crying, it could just be that they’re hungry. If this is the case, remember to keep track of when you feed your dog. Keep a good, consistent pattern for when you feed them. If you recall you haven’t fed your dog, do so!

Sometimes dogs will cry even after they’ve eaten. This could be because they’re not satisfied with the portion. Make sure you are feeding your dog enough food for his or her required age and size.

Uncomfortable Around Other Dogs

If your German Shepherd cries around other animals or dogs, it could just be because they are uncomfortable around them. Dogs are often uncomfortable around new dogs or people, so this is normal. They might also cry because they feel intimidated by other.

How to help German Shepherd Stop Crying Around Other Dogs/ People

If they continue to cry around other dogs, stay close with them and help introduce them to other dogs. This may be difficult if they are on walks or at a dog park. To help avoid this problem as they grow up, introduce your pet to new people and animals inside your home where they are comfortable.

Slowly introduce them to new people or animals on different days so they can become familiar with meeting new people. As they become familiar with meeting new people or animals, it will be easier when they go out in public. German Shepherds can be naturally protective, so it can be common for them to be a little weary of new people.

(Video) 150-Pound German Shepherd Loses 50 Pounds | The Dodo Comeback Kids

Can German Shepherds be left alone during the day?

It is not a good idea to leave a German Shepherd alone during the day because they can become bored and get into trouble like destroying furniture or try to escape. They need attention and need time to exercise to avoid getting into trouble.

Do German Shepherds suffer from separation anxiety?

It is possible for German Shepherds to suffer from separation anxiety if they feel stressed when left alone or behind. This can result in different reactions like chewing, biting, trying to escape, and crying.

Jen Nelson

Jen has over 23 years of experience living and caring for all types of pets from axolotls, snakes, rabbits, turtles to dogs and cats. She has owned and cared for many breeds of dogs including her German Shepherd named Jet.

(Video) German Shepherd Has Hilarious Reaction To Crying Baby


Why do German Shepherds cry so much? ›

Commonly, dogs whine when they feel anxious or excited. They will also whine when they're feeling empathetic towards their family or even other animals. Dogs tend to be communicative and it's often easy to understand them if you take the time and make an effort to listen.

How do I get my German Shepherd to stop whining? ›

After you've identified what is triggering your dog's whining, the best way to stop it is through distraction training and treats. If your dog is whining for a treat, obviously, you will not reward him for his whining. Rather engage him in some other form of training and treat after he does a good job.

Why are German Shepherds so vocal? ›

Why are German Shepherds vocal? Many Shepherd dog breeds are known to be vocal because of their working background, and German Shepherds are no exception. They were originally bred to guard and herd livestock, both of which can require vocalization.

Why does my German Shepherd put his paw on me? ›

If your dog puts his paw on you, it can be his way of saying I love you. We pet our dogs to show our love and affection. Turns out they do the same. By putting his paw on you whilst you are petting him, he is expanding contact and reciprocating affection back to you.

How can I tell if my German Shepherd is sad? ›

How do you know if your dog is depressed?
  1. Exhibiting low activity levels.
  2. Loss of interest in the things they once enjoyed.
  3. Change to eating habits, often eating substantially less (or not at all)
  4. An increase in amount of time spent sleeping.
  5. Showing signs of anxiety or aggression through sporadic howling or whining.
Mar 9, 2022

Why does my German Shepherd stare at me? ›

Just as humans stare into the eyes of someone they adore, dogs will stare at their owners to express affection. In fact, mutual staring between humans and dogs releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone. This chemical plays an important role in bonding and boosts feelings of love and trust.

What calms a whining dog? ›

Use dramatic body language such as turning away from your dog or folding your arms across your chest and completely ignore her to indicate to your dog that her attention-seeking whining won't work. In addition to not reinforcing whining behavior, you need to reward your dog for being quiet.

Do German Shepherds prefer one person? ›

German shepherds can be a one-person dog or great family pet

So, the bottom line is yes, a German shepherd will undoubtedly form a strong bond with just one person and be content to do so. However, they also make great family companions and they love to be the center of attention.

What calms German Shepherds down? ›

Chewing is actually beneficial to hyper, overexcited German Shepherds that need to calm down. Kong toys to the rescue! Place your German Shepherd's food inside a Kong toy which is specially designed to make them work to get to the food. When they become too hyper, focus their attention on the Kong toy.

Why do German Shepherds tilt their heads when talking? ›

So, when a dog cocks his head to the side, he is trying to hear your words, understand what you are saying, and let you know that he is concentrating on you. heads and appear to absorb every word."

Do German Shepherds get angry easily? ›

So, are German shepherds aggressive? While any dog can show aggressive tendencies if they aren't socialized from a young age, German shepherds don't appear to be more at risk for aggression than any other dog breed.

Why does my German Shepherd follow me everywhere? ›

Dogs, especially German Shepherds, instinctively follow the pack leader, which is you. Your dog should listen to your command and when he follows you around, he might just be waiting for one. Be firm in your tone, don't make your commands a question, and keep commands consistent.

What does it mean when a dog puts his head on you? ›


Others show affection by resting their head on your knee, and some lean against you. It's important not to push your pet away when he's expressing his love. That's the time to strengthen your bond and enjoy the special moments of affection.

What does it mean when your dog follows you to the bathroom? ›

If your dog follows you into the bathroom, it's likely a result of their animal instinct and pack mentality. Canines who do this are referred to as “Velcro dogs,” due to their desire to be attached to your side. They may follow you around, even to the bathroom, to protect a part of their pack.

Why do dogs rest their chin on you? ›

We know that they depend on human cuddles for their happiness and wellbeing. So, when they put their snouts on your foot or your hand, it's not simply because they've been wired to protect the Alpha. It's also because they love you and they want your affection.

How do I know if my German Shepherd doesn't like me? ›

The Top Behaviors and Signs Your Dog Doesn't Like You
  1. They cower or hide when you're around.
  2. They tuck their tail between their legs when they see you (and notably don't wag their tail)
  3. Their body stiffens, or fur stands up in your presence.
  4. They flatten their ears or arch their backs around you.
Jul 1, 2022

Do German Shepherds remember their owners? ›

A German Shepherd never forgets.

German Shepherds have incredible memories, quickly picking up on paths and trails that you normally take them for walks on. They never forget about their friends, and will greet you happily whether you've been gone for 9 minutes or 9 months.

Should I stare back at my dog? ›

Staring Can Make a Dog Feel Challenged

For a dog, a stranger staring at them might be seen as a challenge, threat, or something to make them uneasy. They may even fear you could be trying to take a resource, such as a toy or chew, away from them. That's why it's best to act calm around new dogs.

How often should you bathe German Shepherds? ›

Frequency. Unlike other breeds, German Shepherds don't need to bathe often. In fact, it's best that they only bathe every 3-4 months. German Shepherds have a double coat - the topcoat and the undercoat.

Is it okay to ignore dog whining? ›

Ignoring the whining is your best option,” says Dr. Coates. “Any type of attention will just reinforce the behavior.” Campbell says that pet parents should avoid giving attention or taking a puppy out of the crate until he is quiet.

Should I let my dog cry it out? ›

And finally, don't leave your puppy to cry it out.

Puppies can become even more anxious and fearful. You want him to know that you will help him if he's crying. It's ok to soothe your upset puppy. You aren't rewarding your puppy for crying.

Why is my German Shepherd so emotional? ›

Yes, German shepherds are emotional. Even the breed feels the energy of its owner and changes its behavior accordingly. Moreover, the German shepherd is a famous breed when it's about emotional support. A dog can serve you as emotional support if any, only if it's emotional itself.

Is it OK to leave a German Shepherd alone? ›

No. German Shepherds should not be left alone for more than 8 hours a day. They are easily bored so if they are left alone for that long, they may start engaging in destructive or problematic behavior such as digging, chewing and barking.

Why do German Shepherds have so much anxiety? ›

Your German Shepherd puppy is more prone to separation anxiety than other breeds because they are loyal and form an intense bond with their owners. They are highly social, and we bred them to be with us and interact with us, so when they are left alone, this can cause profound distress.

Can German Shepherds be quiet? ›

German Shepherds can be trained to be quiet. This is evidenced by Shepherds used in police work and rescue missions as they are usually quiet and focused when tracking and only react as trained once they find what they are looking for.

Do German Shepherds pick one person? ›

German shepherds can be a one-person dog or great family pet

So, the bottom line is yes, a German shepherd will undoubtedly form a strong bond with just one person and be content to do so. However, they also make great family companions and they love to be the center of attention.

Are male or female German Shepherds more affectionate? ›

Many German shepherd owners will also say that their males are more affectionate and goofy while their females are more reserved. That is not to say that females are not as sweet, some just may not be as cuddly. Both sexes are extremely curious about everything going on in their household.

Can a German Shepherd forget its owner? ›

Experts say it takes a trivial 70 seconds for your dog to forget what just happened. But while their short-term memory could maybe use some improving, their long-term memory is impressive, to say the least. Dogs most certainly recognize and remember their owners, even after long absences.

Do German Shepherds naturally protect their owners? ›

German Shepherd Dogs are protective of their loved ones

They can be aloof with strangers yet are not hostile. This natural protective instinct is reassuring to the German Shepherd owner.


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