If your German Shepherd has been going between your legs then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be going between your legs and what you can do about it.
So, why does my German Shepherd go between my legs? Possible reasons are that it is anxious, being submissive, being protective, looking for attention or it just likes the way that you pet it when it goes between your legs.
There are actually a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might go between your legs and there are a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd goes between your legs
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd does it will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd goes between your legs and the signs to look for.
The reason why your German Shepherd goes between your legs could be that it is anxious. This would be more likely if it does it when things happen that might cause it to be anxious such as when a person or animal is around that it doesn’t like.
The reason why it would go between your legs when it is anxious is that the contact can be comforting to them and that it will feel safer with you.
Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?
It could also do it due to being submissive.
In the wild, more dominant dogs will mount less dominant dogs in a non-sexual way showing that they are the leader of the group. It could be the case that your German Shepherd goes between your legs for that reason.
It might also do it when other dogs are around that are overly aggressive and it is being submissive.
German Shepherds are naturally very protective of their owners and territory and they are used as guard dogs for this reason. Yours might go between your legs because it is being protective of you. This would be more likely if it doesn’t do it when greeting you and it does it more when other people and dogs are around.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
It might do it because it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if your German Shepherd only does it when you have not given it attention for very long and if it stops doing it after you have given it attention for a while.
You have been rewarding the behavior
If you tend to pet or rub it in a certain way, that it likes, when it goes between your legs then it might be reinforcing the behavior. This is because your German Shepherd will have learned that going between your legs gets it what it wants. This is a very common reason why German Shepherds will go between their owner’s legs.
If you want to get your German Shepherd to go between your legs less then, instead of petting it how it likes, don’t give it attention and then pet it when it is behaving how you want it to.
The reason why it goes between your legs could be due to separation anxiety. This is where your German Shepherd does not like being left without you and when it does it causes it to get anxious.
If your German Shepherd goes between your legs when it sees that you’re about to leave then it would make it more likely that it is due to separation anxiety. Other signs would include peeing or destroying things when you are away.
Consider when it first started doing it
When trying to understand why your German Shepherd goes between your legs it would help to consider when it first started doing it.
If it didn’t always do it then it would be likely that thinking about what happened, when it started doing it, would likely help you understand why it goes between your legs.
For example, if your German Shepherd first started to go between your legs when you first pet or rubbed it in a different way then it probably does it because it wants to be petted that way.
Consider when and where it does it
It would also help to consider when and where it goes between your legs.
If it goes between your legs when you first get home then it would be more likely to be due to things such as excitement, wanting attention or wanting to be pet in a certain way.
If it does it when there are other dogs around then it would be more likely that it is either being protective or submissive around them.
What you can do about it
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do if you want to get your German Shepherd to go between your legs less.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Try positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your German Shepherd for doing things that you want it to do.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop going between your legs you would:
- Reward it before it goes between your legs
- Stop rewarding it when it goes between your legs
- Get it out from under your legs and avoid giving it attention until it doesn’t try to get between your legs
- Reward it for behaving the way that you want it to
Avoid reinforcing the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it to behave that way. If you give it things that it wants when it goes between your legs then you’re likely to be reinforcing the behavior.
Instead, you can reward it when it does not go between your legs and avoid giving it things that it wants when it does.
Get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist
If you can’t get it to stop going between your legs or you think that it has anxiety problems then getting help from a certified dog behaviorist would likely be very helpful.
If you don’t want your German Shepherd to go between your legs then it might be tempting for you to punish it for doing so. But, you should avoid doing this since it can lead to other problems such as anxiety, stress, destruction, a lack of trust in you and it will be less willing to listen to your command in the future. Punishment can also be a form of attention so it can be considered as a reward to your German Shepherd.
It’s not unusual
It might seem weird to you that your German Shepherd has a habit of going between your legs but it’s not unusual for German Shepherds to do so.
When you’re trying to get your German Shepherd to stop going between your legs it’s important to be patient. Getting your German Shepherd to stop going between your legs is not something that you will be able to stop overnight so it’s important for you to be consistent and to stick training it.