Home » Animals & Pet » Dogs » 11 Reasons a German Shepherd Whines Too Much + Tips To Stop Whining

11 Reasons a German Shepherd Whines Too Much + Tips To Stop Whining

GSDs were originally bred for guarding and herding livestock. This is why they are highly vocal and whine so much. However, a GSD may whine excessively for various reasons, such as being hungry, scared, anxious, excited, happy, or unwell.

Whining is mostly normal and can be reduced with training and behavioral changes. Let’s find out the common reasons a GSD whines too much and how you can deal with it.

Key Takeaways

German Shepherds whine and bark too much because they were originally bred for guarding and herding.

Coupled with other reasons like stress, anxiety, happiness, attention-seeking, and the ability to alert to danger, GSDs are known to be highly vocal breeds.

The right way to stop a GSD from whining too much is to identify and eliminate the root cause.

common reasons a GSD whines too much and how you can deal with it.

11 Reasons a German Shepherd Whines Too Much

Before you go harsh on a dog for barking, whining, or groaning, remember barking, whining and growling is their language. Instead of shouting back at your dog or using cruel methods, try to understand why and remove the stimulant.

1. Vocal Breeds

GSDs are highly vocal breeds. They were bred for guarding and herding. GSDs are still used for these purposes in the countryside and ranches. Your German Shepherd may whine because it is in their DNA. Moreover, GSDs are said to be descendants of grey wolves and share 99% DNA with wolves.

2. Excitement/Happiness

GSDs may start whining loudly when they are happy or excited. For example, you give them a reward, you play with them, or they see you coming back after a long day out. You may also hear a GSD whine when he is well-fed and relaxed. A GSD may whine to show their love for you. It is their special way to show that they care for you.

3. Scared/Anxious

A German Shepherd may wine too much because he is scared or anxious. He may have seen, heard, or smelled something making him anxious.

Your pup may whine because he is scared of you. He may be scared of an argument you had with someone, or you shouted back at him for making a mistake. GSDs get anxious and scared when you leave them alone. They’ll start barking or whining because of loneliness.

A GSD may not always whine when he is scared. Most pups get their head down, move slowly or stay in one place, tuck their tails between their legs, or tremble when scared.  

4. Attention Seeking

Many GSDs whine or groan to seek your attention. German Shepherds are demanding dogs. They start making crying sounds when they don’t get love, care, and attention. For example, you have made your dog used to going out for a walk every day, petting their fur, or letting them sit in your bed. A GSD expects that this behavior will continue without any exceptions. So, they start whining if they don’t get what they want.

they start whining if they don’t get what they want.

5. Alert Danger

GSDs may suddenly start whining and barking when they feel danger around them. These sounds may act as a warning sign for humans that danger is present. GSDs have a protective nature; they’ll do as much as possible to protect their human from dangers around them.

GSDs may also whine, pace around the home, pull back their teeth, and raise their tail to indicate a dangerous situation.

6. Communication with Other Dogs

GSDs whine to communicate with other dogs. They express different emotions by whining, for example, fear, happiness, invitation to play, or getting attention from other dogs.

7. Hungry/Need Something

Most breeds bark excessively when they are hungry or need something. German Shepherds whine. Your GSD may be whining because he is hungry, needs something to play with, something is wrong with him or his bed, or simply does it to seek your attention.

Dogs are highly resourceful pets, but they can’t do much when they are inside. Hence, it is your responsibility to provide them with everything.

8. Potty Time

Your GSD may want to do potty. If your dog is whining and looking at the door or pacing between you and the dog, take them out as he wants to pass the stool.

9. Medical Problems/Pain

Your GSD may often whine if he is in pain or hurting himself. This whining is usually prominent at night or when your dog sleeps. They are busy during the day while playing and may not feel the pain.

Dogs also wince upon touch if they are in pain. Moreover, they become lethargic and give up their appetite if they are not feeling well.

10. Boredom/Separation Anxiety

GSDs sleep a lot, but they like to be active and burn their energy when they are up. He will roam around your home, play with you or cuddle you for some time, but he will get bored after a few minutes.

A bored GSD needs playing, walking, exercise, and fun. They’ll start whining or barking if they don’t get what they want. Hence, spending time with your dog and giving them options to burn their energy is better.

GSDs love to spend time with you and your family. They whine when left alone or see everyone getting ready and leaving for work or school. Knowing that they’ll be staying inside and have nothing to do, they start whining even before you leave.

they start whining even before you leave.

11. Female GSD is on Heat

A female GSD whines when she is on heat. A heat cycle lasts 12-28 days and comes twice a year. There is nothing much you can do about it but keep your dog relaxed and happy during the heat cycle.

How to Stop German Shepherd From Whining?

Trigger Identification Method

Identify the Trigger: Excessive whining from GSD is usually triggered by a stimulant. Work towards identifying the trigger to remove the root cause of this behavior.

Resolve the Issue: Remove the trigger or train your dog to adjust to it once the trigger is identified. For example, if your GSD whines too much because he is hungry, train them to ask by sitting near you with their head down.

Reward: Reward your pup with a treat every time he does what you want him to do. A reward generates positive reinforcement and leads toward behavioral adjustment. Do not reward or give your dog anything when whining or barking. It will encourage him to whine or bark whenever he needs something for you.

Visit A Vet/Trainer: If your dog whines due to anxiety, fear, or stress or you don’t see any improvement in his behavior, take him to a trainer or a vet.

Ignore your GSD

Do not rush to your pup every time he whines. Let them understand that whining will not work. A dog whining for attention seeking will stop and understand that it won’t work. However, if whining continues for a long time, check your dog.

Wrap them

GSD puppies love to cuddle. They like to relax by getting close to a trusted human or their mother when they are afraid. You can cuddle with or soothe them when you are around, but what to do when you aren’t?

You can wrap them in a scarf or soft cloth to give them a protective feeling. These wraps are quite useful when fireworks are going on, or your neighbors are playing loud music.

Teach them “Quiet” Command

The “quiet” command is best known for dealing with excessive barking. However, you can also train your GSD to stop whining with a quiet command. Teach your dog to stop whining or barking when you order them to. Reward with a treat to develop a positive association with the command. You can also use anti-barking devices to make your dog stop what they are doing.

Give them Time, Food, and Love

German Shepherds like to cuddle and play. Make sure you take out some time for them daily. Stick to this schedule and don’t take unnecessary breaks from it. Your GSD will feel happy and relaxed even if you manage 30 minutes for them from your busy schedule. Take him out on a walk; he will be the happiest pup on earth.

Moreover, ensure that your dog is properly fed and taken care of. Take him to a vet if something makes him uncomfortable or he isn’t well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for my GSD to cry too much?

GSDs are vocal breeds that whine or cry more than other breeds. Many first-timers don’t know this, and they start getting worried without cause. Many pet owners take their dogs to vets to find out nothing is wrong with him. It is just his nature.

However, if the whining is too much and your GSD barks while whining, check for triggers causing this behavior. Try to remove these triggers and train your dog to behave normally before such triggers.

Why is my German Shepherd pacing?

Your German Shephard may pace around your house because he is hungry, not feeling well, need to pee, is bored, or is excited. You cannot pinpoint the reason unless you identify the trigger.

Why do GSDs whine too much at night?

GSDs whine too much at night because they are tired, stressed, scared, or anxious. Sometimes the dog may be hungry or in pain. Sometimes GSDs also whine when they don’t get enough time to exercise or play during the day.

To stop GSDs from whining during the night, remove the stimulant or make your dog comfortable by attending to his needs. If this doesn’t work, contact a vet to solve the problem.

Why does my German Shepherd whine when I pet him?

You are giving him time and attention mostly due to happiness. However, sometimes the dog may not like the human touch, or he is trying to ask you something.

Inspect the dog’s body language to identify why he is whining. If he is relaxed, he is happy. If he is restless or agitated, he does not like your touch.

Do all GSDs whine too much?

No. Not all GSDs whine too much. While GSDs are vocal dogs, they don’t whine too much and too often unless something is wrong with them. Hence, it is critical to check why they are whining too much.

Leave a Comment