Why Do German Shepherds Whine? Meaning + Prevention
Alex Vicente • Updated on June 7, 2022 • [rt_reading_time postfix=”minute”] read
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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
German shepherds are normally vocal breeds.
And they whine for many reasons.
They could be excited, calling for attention, anxious.
Maybe they want something or are even scared.
There are plenty of reasons.
Why do German Shepherds whine, you might ask.
Let’s find out why, what it means and how to address it.
Table of Contents
Why Does My German Shepherd Whine?
Here are some of the most common reasons why German Shepherd starts making these particular whining noises:
Hunger or Thirst
This one should be obvious, when your dog is hungry or thirsty, he will let you know.
It’s now your responsibility to understand them.
A little tip to help you understand which whine it is.
Check if it’s feeding time, this will depend on the schedule you set for them.
You’ll also find them circling their food bowl.
Injured or Sick
Another reason you GSD whines is maybe sickness, maybe they ate something they shouldn’t.
Or maybe they injured themselves while playing in your backyard.
Tips To Help You Identify Sickness or Injury:
- Check if there is any leftover food around the house that they may have eaten. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to eat anything.
- Check their food bowl for any signs of reduced appetite.
- Check their body for any signs of injury, cuts, or bruises. In this case, don’t hesitate to go to the nearest vet.
Seeking Your Attention
Dogs love attention. If they don’t receive any, they will ask for it, and whining is their go-to.
For example, if you find your dog standing next to your back door whining, this means he wants to go play outside.
To avoid excessive whining, always set a dedicated time for playing or exercising.
This helps your dog release their energy and helps create a bond between the both of you.
So you come home to find your favorite vase shattered, and you can’t find your dog only to hear their whining from across the room.
This is because they know when they’ve done something wrong.
And they’re sorry about it.
You can notice it when they show submissive behavior, like looking away from you, tucking their ears and tail.
German Shepherds are active and energetic breeds. Excitement could also make your German Shepherd whine. That can have many reasons.
Reasons for excitement:
- When they’re about to get a treat
- When someone is at the door
- While playing with them
- When they see their favorite toy
- When they’re about to go outside
Fear or Stress
Whining could also be a sign that your dog is fearful. Loud sounds could be a reason your dog is anxious.
Fireworks on the 4th of July, thunder on a stormy night, sirens, or any loud noises, in general, could cause such behavior.
Next time pay attention to your surroundings, it’ll help you translate what your dog is whining about.
You’ve Been Reinforcing Their Whining
Another reason why they whine a lot is you.
Yep, you read that right.
If you keep giving in to their demands every time they whine, they will learn that whining gets them what they want.
How to Reduce Whining?
Whining isn’t always a bad thing.
It’s one way your German Shepherd communicates, but excessive whining can sometimes be annoying.
Depending on the situation, let’s look at some ways to reduce your dog’s whining and train them with other alternatives.
Is he seeking your attention out of jealousy?
Just ignore him.
If you give in to such behavior, he will always act this way which will, later on, become annoying.
Don’t mix that up with neglect.
If you have more than one dog, give them attention equally, you don’t want them feeling neglected.
Go to a Vet
Before trying to stop your German Shepherd from whining, make sure it’s not either sick or injured. If so, take it to a vet immediately.
Training will not only help your dog consume their extra energy, but it’ll make your dog behave the way you want it to.
It’s best to start at a young age, for instance, 6 to 7 weeks old.
And there are plenty of things a German Shepherd can be trained to do, I’ll leave that to your discretion.
Toys are a great alternative when you don’t have time for attention.
It will keep them busy and will give them something to chew on rather than your furniture. You’ll thank me later.
Spend Time With Them
You’re busy, you’ve got work to do, you have chores and you set plans for everything.
But your dog only has you.
He depends on you in almost everything, you’ll be surprised at how much they miss you.
Spending some quality time with your dog will not only give them the attention they need but will also reduce their anxiety and help calm them down.
Try spending at least one hour a day.
To them, it means a lot.
So your pooch had their meal, and they’re all stuffed up.
Now they want to go outside to potty. What’s the best option?
You guessed it, whining.
Hanging a small bell next to the door will teach them to use that instead of whining.
It’ll only need some training.
Wrap Them Up
Whenever your dog is afraid, you’re always his comfort zone.
But what if you can’t always be around?
Invest in an anxiety vest and wrap it around his body.
It helps with anxieties like thunderstorms, loud noises, travel, and anxiety in general.
In a nutshell, German Shepherds have lots of reasons to whine, whether they are happy, sad, scared, sick, or injured.
It’s your responsibility to understand what they’re trying to tell you.
Always try to listen to your dog and check their body language when they whine.
It’ll give you a better idea of what they are trying to tell you.
German Shepherds are highly intelligent and active dogs, they require daily activities, schedules and training programs to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
There are tons of things a dog can learn.
And it will always be beneficial for you and your dog.