German Shepherd dogs are usually affectionate, brave, and confident. Considering these dogs’ wonderful traits, many dog owners get surprised when their furry friends start acting in other ways. Anxiety can make GSDs become fearful dogs.
If you are a GSD owner, it is important you know how to recognize German Shepherd anxiety symptoms. If your dog is anxious, this can make both his and your life a lot harder.
Even going for a walk with an anxious GSD can make a dog feel bad. I am sure nobody wants to see its favorite pet not enjoying any of the activities he is normally crazy about!
To help your anxious German Shepherd, you will first need to know how to recognize signs of anxiety in him. Let’s see what are some of the most common symptoms of dog anxiety.
What Are German Shepherd Anxiety Symptoms?
Anxiety is a serious problem for dogs – if you notice any of the symptoms that might indicate your German Shepherd is anxious – you should immediately try to find the best way to help your dog.
Let’s see those symptoms you should watch out for.
1. Destructive Behavior
Some German Shepherds will manifest their anxiety with destructive behavior.
If you have an adult GSD that is usually obedient and well behaved, you might be surprised by coming home and finding your dog has chewed and destroyed some of your furniture, clothes, or shoes.
This can make you really mad, but, you need to understand that there is certainly a reason why your dog suddenly behaves like this. Anxiety is one of these reasons.
In cases like this, you should not punish your German Shepherd, but rather try to find a reason for its anxiety.
2. Aggressive Behavior
One of the most important tasks of all dog owners is to raise well-behaved dogs that don’t show aggression towards people or other animals.
Are German Shepherds aggressive? Well, this will depend a lot on the dog owner, and its way to train his dog.
If your GSD has never shown aggression towards people nor animals, and now you suddenly notice he became aggressive – even towards you – this might be aggression due to anxiety.
Anxious dogs are in fear, and this can make them doubt even their owners – the person they trust the most.
Of course, this can become a serious behavioral problem, so you need to figure out the solution as soon as possible.
3. Urination Around The House
Your potty-trained German Shepherd has suddenly started peeing in your house? And this is happening pretty often?
If your dog is peeing in the house, this could be a sign of a certain health issue, but also a sign of anxiety.
Maybe your dog pees every time he sees or hears the source of his anxiety. Obviously, you should immediately try to discover the reason for your dog’s anxious behavior.
Your German Shepherd suddenly started shaking a lot, and it is not even so cold? This could mean your dog is anxious.
This is one of the ways your dog is showing you something is not okay with him. He is not feeling good in his own body and he needs your help.
5. Barking And Whining
Anybody owning a German Shepherd knows these dogs bark a lot. But, how much barking is actually too much barking?
If your dog barks excessively, and does not pay attention to your words to stop with it, this could also mean the dog is anxious.
Does your German Shepherd also whine a lot? This is another reason to almost be sure that your dog is anxious.
Anxious dogs are constantly under stress. So, your dog is likely to negatively react to all people and sounds in his environment.
Even the most ordinary things will cause distress in an anxious German Shepherd.
Watching our canine companions acting like this is not easy. This is why we have to discover as soon as possible what is causing anxiety in them. Only like this can we determine the best way to help them.
Why Is My German Shepherd Anxious?
Why would your German Shepherd become anxious?
Most common reason for anxiety in both German Shepherds, and in all other dogs, is separation anxiety.
Since German Shepherd dogs are so devoted and loyal to their owners, they always want to take care of their human family.
When their owners are not home, many German Shepherds will become anxious since they don’t like to spend time alone. They would like to hang out with their humans for all day long.
However, we all know that this is not possible in many cases. The only thing we can do here is to teach our dogs how to spend some time alone without them becoming anxious when you are not there.
Of course, this might take time, but this is something all dog owners need to do, if they don’t want to come home to a dog that shows destructive behavior, or that whines and barks excessively while you are away.
Although dogs are most often anxious due to separation from their owners, they can also become anxious for some other reason.
For example, if you have welcomed a German Shepherd puppy from an animal rescue, this dog might be poorly socialized. Seeing your family members, or your guests might make them very anxious, especially at the beginning.
You should be extra gentle with your dog if you notice it has social anxiety like this.
Furthermore, many dogs can become anxious due to loud sounds. Dogs’ hearing is a lot better than humans, and this is why our dogs often warn us about something even before we are able to hear it ourselves.
This is why many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, fireworks or firecrackers. Some dogs might even be afraid of loud household appliances!
The key step here is to recognize what exactly is causing anxiety in your German Shepherd.
How To Help My Anxious GSD?
Dog’s anxiety can get quite hard to deal with. However, as a responsible dog owner, you need to do everything you can to help your German Shepherd.
If you GSD is anxious when you leave the house, you can help him by leaving the music on. This way, your dog will relax a bit, and will feel less alone while you are not home. Also, this can prevent your dog from stressing about all the sounds coming from outside.
You should provide your dog with a safe place on his own inside your home. The best place for this would be a dog crate or a dog bed. You can find some great options on our list of best German Shepherd beds.
Furthermore, you should make sure your dog will be entertained while you are away. Therefore, you should provide your dog with interesting, interactive toys so your dog will be busy and will be less likely to become anxious.
One thing you should always remember is that your German Shepherd needs to have enough exercise on a daily basis. A tired dog will sleep better, and a dog that exercises will feel more confident and stronger.
If your dog is bored, does not have enough exercise, and does not spend enough time with you, it is most likely to become unsatisfied, anxious, and to show destructive behavior.
In the end, if you think your German Shepherd’s anxiety is something you will not be able to deal with on your own, you can always consult a veterinarian. There are also some medications that can help your stressed dog feel better.
Anxiety is something that can happen to all dogs – both young and old, both females and males. This is why dog owners should know how to recognize German Shepherd anxiety symptoms.
If your dog suddenly starts acting weird – barks and whines a lot, shows aggressive and destructive behavior, and always seems to be under stress – this probably means he is anxious.
Dogs usually become anxious due to separation from their owners, but other things, like new environments and loud sounds can also make your dog nervous and stressed.
As soon as you discover the exact cause of anxiety in your dog, you will be able to help him right away.
And, remember that if your dog doesn’t seem to be getting any better from your anxiety-relief methods, you can always seek professional help.