If you’re wondering whether or not your German Shepherd loves you, this post will show you a number of ways that you can tell and what you can do to get it to love you more.
So, does my German Shepherd love me? Common ways that they will show their love for you will include wagging their tails when you come home, bringing you things, looking to you for direction or making eye contact with you.
There are actually many ways that a German Shepherd will show its love for you and I will show you 13 of them below.
Ways that your German Shepherd could show that it loves you
It follows your orders
One way that your German Shepherd might show that it loves you is by following your orders. If it does what you say when you tell it to do something then it would be a sign that it loves you since it shows that it trusts you, it looks at you as its leader and that it believes that being with you will be good for it.
It protects you and your home
If your German Shepherd did not love you then it would not have any interest in protecting you or your home. If your GSD tends to get protective when there is a stranger at the door or when someone it doesn’t know is around you then it would be a sign that it loves you and that it does not want something bad to happen to you.
With that being said, if it does get overly protective when other people are around then this would be problematic since you want to be able to introduce your GSD as a friendly dog. I have written more about why it might be overly protective here.
It noses you
One way that dogs will show their love for their owners is by “nosing” them which is where they touch their owners with their noses in order to smell them. This is a sign of attraction because it does it to see where you have been, how healthy you are and to see if you are ok.
It makes eye contact with you
When your dog looks at you in the eyes it releases Oxytocin which is a hormone that promotes bonding (source). This means that, if your GSD regularly makes eye contact with you, then it would be a sign that it loves you.
It puts itself into vulnerable positions
If your GSD tends to stretch itself out when it is around you and it puts itself in vulnerable positions around you then it would be a sign that it trusts you. This is because it would not put itself in vulnerable positions if it didn’t that it was safe around you. An example of a vulnerable position could include sleeping on its back.
It licks you
Another sign that it loves you would be if it licks you a lot. If it tries to lick you a lot then it would be a sign that it loves you because dogs will groom each other by licking them and they will lick when they are being submissive. So, licking you would be a sign that it considers you as a part of its pack and that it respects you.
It gets excited when you come home
Another way that it might show that it loves you is by getting excited when you come home. If it gets excited when you come home then it would mean that it is glad to see you and that it is glad that you are ok.
It leans on you
If your GSD leans on you then it would also suggest that it loves you this is because it shows that it trusts that you will support it and that it feels more comfortable with you.
It gets you to rub its belly
If your German Shepherd goes onto its back and gets you to rub its belly then it would be a sign that it loves you. This is because it is a vulnerable position and it would not do it if it does not think that it is safe around you.
It doesn’t hide from you
If your GSD doesn’t try and hide from you when you are around then even that would be a sign that it loves you. This is because it suggests that it trusts you and it does not feel unsafe around you.
It keeps pace with you on walks
One way that your German Shepherd will show that it loves you is by keeping up with you on walks. If your German Shepherd did not love you then it would not be willing to keep pace with you especially when off the leash since it would not trust you and it would not be interested in being near you.
It brings things to you
If your GSD brings things to you then it would be a sign that it loves you. This is because it shows that it considers you as a member of its pack and that it wants to show that it cares about you.
It follows you around
If your GSD follows you around then it would also be a sign that it loves you. This is because it would not follow you around if it did not trust you and it shows that it wants to be around you.
Things to consider
When trying to figure out whether or not your German Shepherd loves you, there are many things that you can consider. Below, I will mention a couple of particularly helpful things to be aware of.
Not showing signs of affection doesn’t mean that it doesn’t love you
If your GSD does not tend to show many signs of affection towards you then it would not necessarily mean that it does not love you. It could be the case that it is naturally more aloof or that there is something else causing the behavior. I have written more about this in this post.
If it stopped showing affection suddenly
If your German Shepherd used to show affection but it suddenly stopped doing it then it would help to consider what happened at around the same time that it stopped. If it did then it could be due to things such as an illness, injury or there could be another cause for it behaving differently. You can read this post for more.
How to get your German Shepherd to love you more
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do in order to get your GSD to love you more.
Give it exercise
German Shepherds are a breed that are meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get much exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If yours is not getting that much then it would help to make sure that it does. You can do so by walking it, training it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Feed it right
It is also important to make sure that you feed your German Shepherd correctly. Normally, it is recommended for them to get between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day unless your vet says otherwise. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your GSD.
Take it for yearly checkups
It would also help to make sure to take your GSD for yearly checkups. This will help you to keep your GSD healthy and to deal with any medical issues before they become problematic.
Give it training
German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs and they would work alongside their owners for many hours on a daily basis. As a result of this, they will naturally look to their owners for direction. This is why it is important to give your German Shepherd lots of training so that it is properly stimulated and so that it has jobs to do.
Avoid punishing it
It would also help to avoid punishing it since it can cause it to develop feelings of resentment and it might not know what you are punishing it for. Instead of punishing it, try positive reinforcement training to get the behaviors that you want.
If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd, take a look at the German Shepherd Handbook