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17 German Shepherd Signs Of Affection: How A GSD Shows Love

17 German Shepherd Signs Of Affection: How A GSD Shows Love

We are all familiar with the saying that a dog is a man’s best friend. If you’ve owned a dog for a long time, I’m sure you’ve seen this for yourself more than once. 

Some dog breeds show affection to their owners on a daily basis. What are German Shepherds like in this aspect? What are the German Shepherd signs of affection?

While some dogs are even too clingy to their owners, some other dogs will not show their affection as often, and will take longer to become completely at ease with their owners.

Every dog lover will immediately recognize the German Shepherd (GSD); this is a beautiful dog, known as one of the favorite pets, as well as police and detective dogs. There is little that this hard-working dog does not excel at.

But, how affectionate this dog really is? Does the German Shepherd show love to its owners, and what are some signs you will be able to recognize this dog’s affection?

The answers are waiting for you in the rest of the text.

What Are German Shepherd Signs Of Affection?

a man and his dog german shepherd

Many people will say that they prefer smaller dogs that they can cuddle and fuss with all day long. But, did you know that some medium-sized and large dogs can also be very cuddly and love to snuggle up to you while you caress them?

This will depend a lot on the routines that your dog and you share – so, if you get him used to showing love and tenderness from an early age, it is more likely that the dog will enjoy petting more.

Every dog owner surely wants to know how much his German Shepherd puppy is actually attached to him. But, you should also be aware that all dogs don’t show love in the same way. 

Some dogs will want you to cuddle with them for the entire day, while some others will want to spend most of their time being active outdoors with you.

Let’s learn a little more about the signs that will clearly show you are your German Shepherd’s favorite person.

1. GSD Becomes Happy When He Sees You Coming Home

We all have to leave our home sometimes, whether it’s for business obligations, shopping, or going to a friend’s house.

When the owner leaves the house, this will somehow affect our furry pets. Dogs that are too used to the constant presence of their owners can even develop separation anxiety once their owner starts leaving them home alone.

If your German Shepherd dog starts jumping up and down when you come home, and he immediately brings you his favorite toy, and maybe even pees a little out of excitement – it’s very clear that the dog couldn’t wait to see you!

So, this kind of welcome home is a clear sign that your German Shepherd loves you.

Having a dog means that someone is always waiting for you at home, even if your furry pet is currently the only additional member of your household. We can’t imagine a better welcome than an excited German Shepherd who can’t wait for your time together to begin!

2. GSD Looks You Straight In The Eye

Eye contact is one of the most important signs of a dog’s attachment to its owners. When the dog looks you directly in the eyes, this means that he trusts you completely, and feels safe with you.

As your German Shepherd looks into your eyes, his brain releases oxytocin, a hormone known as the love hormone.

While your German Shepherd is very young and you are just starting to train him, expressive eye contact will be very useful to develop a deep connection with your dog, and to create a trusting and loving relationship from the very beginning.

In addition to training, it is very useful to maintain eye contact with the dog while petting or playing together.

3. GSD Sleeps In Your Room

german shepherd lying on the bed

Of all the other places in the house and yard, your German Shepherd’s favorite place to sleep seems to be under your bed. Why would a dog sleep under the bed anyway?

When a dog likes to sleep near its owners, this is one of the clear indicators of how much it loves them, and it doesn’t even want to be separated from them during the night.

In addition to showing affection, when a dog sleeps near you, this is also a sign of his protective instincts. German Shepherds are protective dogs whose main mission is to guard their human family and their territory.

Even if you are aware that your dog sleeping near you is his way of showing how much he loves you, this can often be exhausting in practice, as dogs shed and some of them can be restless, which will make it difficult for you to rest comfortably during night.

Therefore, there is a high probability that most German Shepherd owners will still decide to make a separate place for their dog to sleep.

4. GSD Carries Your Staff Around

Your dog likes socks, but you have no idea what it’s all about? You’ve probably seen a dog carrying your socks, underpants, shoes, or any other piece of your clothing or footwear around more than once.

A possible reason for this behavior is that your dog likes to have things with your smell nearby, so he will often crawl into your shoes or even into the dirty laundry basket.

It’s nice to see your German Shepherd being attached to you, but you should probably stop this behavior at the very beginning, so that you don’t end up with ruined clothes and shoes. Also, your dog should have plenty of chew toys to keep him occupied.

5. GSD Licks You

All dogs love to lick all kinds of stuff; sometimes they lick other dogs’ pee, which will be so weird to many dog owners!

It is very likely that your German Shepherd will lick your face to show you that he loves you, but he may also lick your hands or feet.

Dogs usually lick their lips when they see they are about to get a meal they love; if they lick them, German Shepherds owners should know that this is one of the basic signs of a dog’s affection towards them.

6. Tail Wagging

german shepherd dog running in the field

Dogs don’t speak human language, so we can learn a lot about our canine friends from their body language and their barking, howling, whining, etc.

One part of a dog’s body that can tell you a lot about the dog’s mood is its tail. We can learn a lot about a dog from the dog’s tail position chart. For example, when a dog’s tail is set high, this could mean that the dog is curious about something.

On the other hand, when a dog’s tail is set low, this probably means that the dog is worried about something, or he is simply relaxed.

A dog wagging his tail when he sees you is a good sign, since this is a way for a dog to say he is happy to see you!

Many German Shepherds will not only wag their tails when they see you – they will also wag their tails as soon as you speak to them.

7. GSD Follows You Everywhere

Having a dog that follows you wherever you go – even to the bathroom – might not be so fun. But, have you thought about the reasons for this behavior? Why would your dog follow you wherever you go?

The answer is simple – this is your German Shepherd’s way to show you his affection. This is also his way to protect you and to be sure that you are protected and safe.

Having a clingy dog might be too much for many people, but, when you look at it from the bright side; you are so cool that your family dog wants to be around you all the time!

8. GSD Feels Your Emotions

You had a bad day at work, you came home, and all you want to do is lie in bed and sleep for a long time. But your German Shepherd leans on you and doesn’t want to leave you alone. It looks like the dog wants to be petted. Or is it something else?

One of the reasons why dogs are such wonderful creatures and friends is that they can recognize our emotions.

If your German Shepherd has noticed that you are sad or down, there is a high probability that he will hang around you to try to cheer you up. If you ask me, this is one of the most beautiful signs of a German Shepherd’s affection for its owners!

9. GSD Wants To Snuggle And Cuddle

a man cuddling his german shepherd in nature

Showing a desire to snuggle and cuddle is one of the ways German Shepherds show affection to their owners.

Cuddles are a wonderful way to establish a deep bond with your German Shepherd; if this becomes a standard part of your joint routine, it will have a positive effect on both you and your dog.

According to some beliefs, regular cuddling can even result in better behavior in dogs. Therefore, petting your German Shepherd will not only have a calming effect on both you and your pet, but can also result in an obedient dog in the end.

10. GSD Wants To Play With You

Playtime is something all dogs are crazy about. If your German Shepherd dog often brings you its favorite toy, and shows you it wants to play with you, this is an obvious sign that your dog loves you and that you are its favorite person.

Playtime is an essential part of every dog’s schedule, just like walking or running. You can mentally stimulate your pet while playing with it, and you can, at the same time, make your bond with it stronger.

11. Nudging 

If your German Shepherds nudges you with their head or snout, this could be a sign they really love you!

This could be their attempt to let you know that they want some attention, that they want to be petted, or it could be a simple sign that your dog is attached to you and wants to be close to you.

German Shepherds are loyal and intelligent dogs, and we think that their ways to show love to their owners are truly irresistible!

12. GSD Jumps On You

joyful teens playing with their german shepherd in the snow

You’ve probably seen at least once a video of a rather huge dog that jumps on its owner as soon as it sees it. At that moment, you probably thought how cute the dog is and how it adores its owner, and that this is its way of hugging its favorite person.

This is about right – if your German Shepherd jumps on you when you come home – this is probably his way of saying that he loves you and that he has missed you. Although in theory this sounds very charming, in practice it can often be quite tiring.

German Shepherds are not small dogs; according to the German Shepherd growth chart these dogs can grow up to 26 inches and can weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds. So, you will not be comfortable if a dog of this size jumps on you every time it sees you.

For this reason, it is very important to start with dog training from a puppy’s young age. With proper training, the dog needs to see that jumping up is an undesirable behavior, and that there are other ways to express its love for its owners.

If you are worried whether your training sessions will go in the best order – you should not be, since the German Shepherd is a dog with remarkable work ethic that can be trained for many different purposes.

13. GSD Is Obedient To You

If you are wondering: Does My German Shepherd love me?, think of his behavior. Does your dog obey your commands? Or you have to repeat them for many times until your GSD finally obeys you.

If your German Shepherd is obedient to you, this is also a sign of its affection towards you.

These dogs are in general hard-working, loyal, and smart, and they are able to learn many commands. So, basic obedience training is something you should start with.

With time, your German Shepherd puppy will want to please you, and will figure out you are happy when he obeys to your commands. This is the reason why your dog would obey your commands – he is happy when he sees you happy and content with his behavior.

14. GSD Lies With Its Belly Facing You

If your German Shepherd lies down in such a position that its stomach is facing you, this is one of the clear signs that the dog is attached to you. This will probably also be your dog’s invitation to pet his belly.

When the dog’s stomach is exposed to the owner, this is also a sign that the dog completely trusts the owner and wants to please him most of all. 

If you pet your German Shepherd’s stomach, you let him know that he is doing something well, and that you are satisfied with his behavior.

Showing the belly is also a gesture by which the dog shows that it trusts its owner and that the owner is dominant in their relationship, but also that it acts as a friend towards its dog.

This is a very important indicator that lets you know that you are your German Shepherd’s favorite person, and that you have already formed an unbreakable bond.

15. GSD Leans On You

german shepherd dog lying on his owner on the couch

If your dog often leans on you, this could also be one of the signs of his great affection towards you.

Some people believe that the dog could also show this gesture when it wants something from you, or when it wants to show dominance, but we believe that this is a clear sign of the German Shepherd’s affection.

If your dog leans on you, this is also a sign that he is perfectly comfortable with you, and that he feels completely safe in your company.

If you have a German Shepherd who is a bit shy, he might also try to feel safe and protected by leaning on you.

16. GSD Protects You

In a search of big guard dogs, every list of these dog breeds will certainly include German Shepherds. Simply, these dogs are super protective, make strong bonds with their families, and are known as one of the favorite dogs for people of all ages.

When a German Shepherds protects you, your family, and your property, this means that this dog is highly affectionate to you. Not only does this dog love you – he takes his task as a family protector very seriously, and will do anything to keep you safe.

Since this dog is so loyal and protective, we are not surprised how many people choose the German Shepherd as their pet. If you want to have a charming companion for a walk, and at the same time a superb protector of your property, you cannot go wrong with choosing a German Shepherd.

17. Vocalization

Dogs can’t talk, but they can tell us a lot with their body language. However, although they do not use words, dogs have various other forms of vocalization.

For example, your German Shepherd may howl when it’s excited to see you after you’ve been away for a few hours. So, howling can also be a sign of your dog’s affection for you.

When you pet your dog, some of them may even sound like they are purring

Although this behavior is normally characteristic of cats, dogs can produce sounds that inevitably resemble purring – especially in moments when they are extremely pleased, for example, when you pet them.

Some dogs will even sigh when they are near you. Although many of us sigh when we are tired, or when something is bothering us, dogs usually sigh when they are satisfied or when they are in the company of someone they love very much.


a girl and her dog german shepherd sitting on the car trunk
Will German Shepherds Bond With Just One Person?

The German Shepherd may not be a dog that will immediately and clearly show its affection for you, but this dog has a tendency to bond with one person. Many German Shepherds will bond especially with their owner during exercise and training with him.

There is a great possibility that this dog will bond with other members of the family, especially if several people feed it, take it for a walk, and spend time playing with it. It is also common for
German Shepherds to become very attached to children, especially through play.

The bond between the German Shepherd and its owner is extremely strong; since this is a herding dog, it is brave, trusting, and very protective of its owner. 

This dog’s love for its owner is so great that the German Shepherd is ready to face various dangers in order to protect its owner.

Since the German Shepherd is a protective dog, there is a high possibility that he will not be friendly towards strangers. 

So, it is true that this dog often gets attached to one person, but this does not mean that other family members cannot have a special bond with the German Shepherd.

Here it is important that the dog recognizes that the whole family takes care of him, feeds him, plays with him, and spends time with him in nature. 

Do German Shepherds Like Affection?

Generally speaking, German Shepherds like affection, like all other dogs. But, while some other dogs love to be petted by their owners while lying on the couch together, you probably shouldn’t expect this from your German Shepherd.

This dog is a working dog that always needs to do some task. Therefore, there are other ways you can show your German Shepherd love, such as taking him for a long walk, giving him new toys for mental stimulation, or praising him after a successful training session.

Whether your German Shepherd will enjoy your show of affection will depend a lot on each individual dog.

Some German Shepherds will want you to pet them often, while others will enjoy spending some time alone during the day. It is only important that each owner finds out what form of showing affection suits his furry pet best.

Are German Shepherds Affectionate?

Some German Shepherd will be more affectionate dogs, and some less – so, we cannot say for sure that your German Shepherd will or will not be very affectionate.

However, this dog is very intelligent, loyal, and protective, so we can say that we generally expect them to be affectionate.

If your GSD seems not to be showing affection towards you, there are some things you can do to encourage him to start doing this. For example, you can use a positive reinforcement training method, where you will be rewarding your dog every time he shows some sign of affection.

All German Shepherd owners should understand that there is a big chance that your dogs might not understand that you want them to be affectionate. First you should think about whether you are showing much affection.

You should also show much affection to your dog, and then there will be a higher possibility that your dog will act in the same way.

Also, if you have been punishing your German Shepherd, this might be the reason why your dog is not too affectionate. Punishing your dog might cause your dog to become distrustful. 

You need to learn how to show your dog that you are the leader of the pack, but that you are also his friend.

What else is essential is spending time with your German Shepherd; these dogs do not want to spend too much time alone, and enjoy sharing moments with their human families the most.

What Does It Mean When My German Shepherd Puts His Paw On Me?

If your German Shepherd puts his paw on you, this is one form of his communication. Giving you a paw was probably one of the first commands your little dog mastered, and you were very excited when your dog started giving you a paw.

Today, even though you have an adult dog, you still probably love it when your German Shepherd gives you a paw. There is a high probability that you have accustomed him to a reward after offering a paw, so this may be one of the reasons why the dog puts his paw on you.

If you pet your dog, and at that moment he puts his paw on you, this is a sign that he is very pleased and wants you to continue petting him

In some cases, your dog may be trying to let you know that he wants more attention by putting his paw on you. Putting a paw on its owners can also be a sign that the dog wants to play or go outside.

How Do German Shepherds Show Affection Towards Children?

Licking, leaning on them, bringing their favorite toys, and waiting for them to come home are some of the ways how German Shepherds show affection towards children.

Children are the ones to whom German Shepherds will often show their love, since children are sincere beings who will perhaps spend the most time with the dog.

Growing up with a dog is a priceless experience for any child, especially with a dog like a German Shepherd, with whom children can learn a lot about friendship and loyalty.


German Shepherds are without a doubt one of the most beloved dogs around the world. These dogs are beautiful in appearance, highly intelligent, trainable, and extremely loyal. In addition, they are very hardworking and are known as one of the best police and detective dogs.

In the aspect of affection, some German Shepherds will show love to their owners, while some will be a little more reserved. 

However, there are some clear German Shepherd signs of affection, such as sleeping near the owner, wanting to play with the owner, following the owner wherever he goes, showing a desire to be petted, and so on.

Even if it seems to you that your German Shepherd does not show its love for you, think about your dog’s behavior. Maybe he expresses his feelings in some other way, for example, he always waits for you outside the door in the morning so that you can exercise together.

Through positive reinforcement and creating a deep connection with your furry friend, you can encourage him to show more affection.

In whatever measure and form your German Shepherd shows love to you, one thing is certain – this dog is a man’s true best friend.

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