If your German Shepherd keeps stretching you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might keep stretching and what you can do about it.
So, why does my German Shepherd keep stretching? The most likely reason is that it simply likes the feeling. However, it could also be due to tiredness, needing more exercise, illness or injury.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd might be doing it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd keeps stretching
Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd does it will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will explain the different reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It is not uncommon for dogs to stretch more when they are tired or when they have just woken up. If your GSD tends to do it at these times then it would be likely to be for those reasons. This would be normal behavior and not something to be concerned with.
It needs more exercise
It could be the case that your German Shepherd’s muscles ache because it has not been able to make use of them enough. German Shepherds are a breed that are meant to get a lot of exercise daily. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. If yours is not getting that much then it would help to make sure that it does.
There are some illnesses that can cause dogs to stretch more (source). It is not uncommon for dogs to stretch more when they have an upset stomach because it can help to make it less painful. Illness would be more likely to be the cause if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as by vomiting or by behaving differently.
If it does seem to be the case that illness could be the cause of it stretching a lot then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
Injury can also cause dogs to stretch a lot. Injury would be more likely to be the cause if your German Shepherd has been showing signs of being injured such as by limping, whining or by being less active suddenly.
Again, if it seems to be the case that injury is the cause then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
It simply likes the feeling
It is not uncommon for German Shepherds to stretch a lot and stretching is not usually a cause for alarm. The reason that your German Shepherd has been stretching a lot could simply be that it likes the feeling.
Things to consider
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd might be doing it. Below, I will mention a couple of particularly helpful things to consider.
When it first started doing it
It would help to consider when it was that your German Shepherd first started stretching a lot since it could give you some clues as to why it is doing it.
If it started stretching a lot suddenly then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as illness or injury.
Whereas, if it has always stretched a lot then it would be more likely that it is because it likes the feeling or because it likes to stretch its muscles when it has just woken up.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it seems to stretch more.
If you notice that it tends to stretch more at night then it would be more likely that it does it because it is tired. Whereas, if it does it more during the day then it could be the case that it needs more exercise but it could also be the case that it just likes the feeling.
If it does it at random times throughout the day then it could be doing it for any of the reasons mentioned above.
What to do about your German Shepherd stretching a lot
There are a number of things that you can do about your German Shepherd acting that way. The best thing for you to do with your German Shepherd will depend on the cause of it doing it. Below, I will show you some options that you have.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd has been stretching a lot, it has started doing it suddenly, it has started behaving abnormally or it is concerning you then the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular German Shepherd.
It is not uncommon for healthy dogs to stretch often. Most of the time stretching is not something to be concerned about. Unless your German Shepherd is doing it constantly or it is showing signs of illness or injury then it would be likely to be normal behavior.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above it is important to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting a lot of exercise daily. Once your vet has confirmed that your GSD is ok it would help to give it exercise by walking it, training it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
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