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Why Does My German Shepherd Run Away From Me?

Why Does My German Shepherd Run Away From Me?

Why does my German Shepherd run away from me? This is a question that the majority of GSD owners have asked themselves at least once, including myself.

We all love our German Sheppies, but sometimes they can really give us a hard time, especially if we have to chase them around the park or neighborhood.

I can still feel the taste of embarrassment when I fell into a puddle of mud while trying to catch up with my German Shepherd puppy. I swear, my GSD was as fast as a cheetah!

German Shepherds are generally easily trainable canines that are loyal and obedient, but there are certain reasons why they sometimes might run away from their owner.

Don’t worry – if your GSD runs away from you, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad pet owner; however, there might be some things that you’ll need to change in order to prevent such behavior.

So, Why Does My German Shepherd Run Away From Me?

german shepherd running trough park

You might be surprised by the fact that this actually isn’t an uncommon behavior in German Shepherds, even though they’re considered one of the most obedient canine breeds in the world.

READ NEXT: 18 Least Obedient Dog Breeds: A Complete List

GSDs have the reputation of being loyal to the bone towards their owner, but this doesn’t mean they’ll blindly follow you all the time, especially if they’re not properly trained from an early age.

However, training might not be the only issue because GSDs have the urge to run from their owner.

Even if you think you’re doing everything right, your pup might still run away from you. Therefore, instead of blaming yourself for being a bad owner, you should analyze your pup’s behavior, find the reason why it is running away, and try to fix the problem.

Some of the most common reasons why your German Shepherd might get the urge to run away from you are:

• Missed training

• Running back home

• Seeking attention

• Lack Of Physical Activity

• Boredom

• Fear

• Excitement

• Punishment

• Mating

Missed Training

Yes, German Shepherds are really smart pups that can easily learn commands, but they still require thorough training, just like any other canine breed, especially when it comes to socialization and obedience.

No one can expect these pooches to know how to behave properly without training them first. If we have to teach our kids everything in life, it’s logical to have to do the same with a dog.

If the canine responds to a command the first few times, that doesn’t mean the work is done. Make sure that you repeat the command on a daily basis until it becomes a regular habit.

Start with small steps, and don’t expect the canine to show obedience immediately. If your GSD is already fully grown and doesn’t respond well to commands, you can contact a professional trainer who can help you get better interaction with your pet.

RELATED: How To Get A German Shepherd To Obey You – 7 Tips

Lassie’s Going Home

german shepherd running on the field

Your pet might not be a Rough Collie, but they can still be compared to Lassie, as they always find their way home. So, why does my German Shepherd run away from me if I’m its family?

If you recently changed your place of residence, and are happy with the new place, that doesn’t mean your pet is happy about it, too.

First of all, canines, including GSDs, can’t understand the concept of moving to another place, which is why they rarely consider it a new home, but a strange residence they want to get away from.

Therefore, it is highly likely that your pet will try to run away to the old house, which is what it perceives as being its home.

The best way to avoid this is to adjust the new house to remind the doggie of the old home. You can add some of its favorite stuff, such as toys, the old dog bed, its bowl, and other accessories.

Changing furniture will help you get a fresh start, but when it comes to your German Shepherd, it is better to stick to the known.

Seeking Attention

Although GSDs can do well on their own since they’re herding and working canines, this doesn’t mean they don’t need attention from their owner, especially if they’re bred to be family pets.

These doggies are quite sensitive to changes and irregular routines, which includes the level of affection they get from their owner.

If your pup feels neglected or doesn’t get attention as much as it did before, one of the first things it’ll do is run away from you.

RELATED: Here Are 7 Explanations Why German Shepherds Are So Clingy

Once you notice changes in the dog’s behavior, you should react immediately to avoid it becoming a bigger problem.

GSDs love spending time with their owner, so make sure that you can dedicate at least two or three hours per day exclusively for your pooch.

Lack of Physical Activity

german shepherd running in the yard at sunny day

I know it’s difficult to manage household chores, work, and family all at the same time, so it’s natural that you feel exhausted at the end of the day.

But, keep in mind that your German Shepherd isn’t just a pet, but a furry family member that has its own needs as well.

They are high-energy dogs, and cuddling just won’t do for them. What they actually need is to spend time outside walking, running, and exercising on a daily basis.

If your pup doesn’t get this from you, it’ll run away to fulfill those needs on its own. Therefore, the best solution is to do your best to find at least one or two hours per day to take your furry companion outside.


As you can notice, the majority of the reasons why your German Shepherd runs from you are interrelated, including boredom.

German Shepherds enjoy spending time with humans, especially their owner, and if they lack human companionship, they’ll try to find it themselves.

GSDs won’t stand being alone and bored, and they might resent their owner if they’re not amused enough.

READ NEXT: 6 Most Obvious German Shepherd Anxiety Symptoms

Therefore, by running away from you, your canine is kind of punishing you for neglecting it.

The solution is the same as for the reasons mentioned above – your canine will be happy only if it gets to spend enough time with you and the family.


black german shepherd running on the road

GSDs are brave pups… there’s no doubt about that, but this doesn’t mean they can never get scared of anything.

The German Shepherd’s instinctive response to fear is running away from the thing that scared it. Your role is to find the source of its fear, and try to get your pup used to it, rather than eliminating it.

The majority of canines, German Shepherds included, are afraid of fireworks and thunder. Since you can’t impact any of these occurrences, what you can do is find a safe spot for your pet where it will feel protected and away from the noise, so it doesn’t try to run away from the house.


Did your GSD ever almost leave you without your arm during a walk? That’s probably because the dog saw something that got it excited.

The role of the owner is to control their pup, and the GSD is well aware of that, so it’ll try to find a way to run away from you and chase the source of its excitement.

It’s natural that you won’t be able to keep the dog on the leash the whole time, especially during exercises, which is why it’s essential to train them even when they reach full maturity.

If you know the source of the pet’s excitement, you should make it a part of the training routine.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to chase a squirrel or a rabbit, but a stuffed toy animal will do the work.


german shepherd running away from his owners

I don’t know any dog or human that responds well to punishments, so it’s natural that your pet will run away from you after being scolded or punished in any way.

German Sheppies are notably more sensitive to punishments because of their sensitivity, as they’re known as an emotional canine breed.

The best way to prevent your pup from running away from you is to call it only when you want to give a reward. This can be anything from a scratch to its favorite dog treat, and your pup will appreciate it and won’t run away.


If your German Shepherd isn’t neutered yet, it is highly likely that it will take every chance it can to run away from you in search of a canine companion it can mate with.

This is why dog experts and veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering during the first year of the canine’s life.

But, even if this wasn’t the case with your pup, you can consult the vet and spay/neuter the dog as soon as possible.

RELATED: Pros And Cons Of Neutering A German Shepherd


It’s completely natural for you to ask the question: “Why does my German Shepherd run away from me?

Although you might find it unusual, especially if your German Sheppie is usually a good boy, this type of behavior is actually completely normal. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything to prevent it.

Instead of being a dominant leader all the time, try to understand your dog’s emotions and needs. The two of you are partners that need to have mutual respect and understanding in order to have a strong bond.

I hope that this article has helped you realize what you can do better in order to keep your pooch close to you.


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