If your German Shepherd keeps walking in front of you then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you why it might be doing it and how to stop it.

So, why does my German Shepherd walk in front of me? If it does it on the leash then it likely wants to go faster, wants to interact with something or has excess energy. If it does it off the leash it likely wants attention, does it naturally or it is being protective.

There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd sits in front of you. Depending on why it does it, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.

Why your German Shepherd walks in front of you

Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd walks in front of you will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons that your German Shepherd might be doing it and the signs to look for.

It wants to go faster

German Shepherds are a working breed that are supposed to be very active. As a result of this, they often want to do things at full speed. If your German Shepherd pulls while it is on the leash then it could be that it does it because it wants to go faster.

If your German Shepherd does pull on the leash then you can try implementing the tips at the bottom of this post.

It’s being protective

The reason that it walks in front of you could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it only seems to do it when other people are around especially if it shows signs of being aggressive around them.

If this is why your German Shepherd walks in front of you then I have written more about what you can do about it here.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

It wants to interact with something

German Shepherds can be very curious about their environments. The reason that it pulls on the leash might be that it wants to investigate something that has caught its interest.

This would be more likely if it only walks in front of you when there are other people, dogs or things such as bushes that it wants to look at.

It has a lot of energy

The reason that it walks in front of you could be that it has lots of excess energy. German Shepherds are a very active breed and to wear them out can take a lot of exercise.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. If your German Shepherd is not getting that much exercise then it is likely to be the case that it wants more.

It wants attention

If your German Shepherd walks in front of you around the house then it could be the case that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it when you have not given it much attention for a while.

If it does seem to do it for attention then you could try ignoring it and rewarding it with attention or treats when it does not walk in front of you.

You haven’t trained it not to

German Shepherds will often naturally want to be ahead of you. The reason that it does it will likely be that you have not trained it not to do it yet. You can train it not to walk in front of you by following the tips I’ll mention below.

Things to consider

Before trying to get your German Shepherd to stop walking in front of you it would help to have a better understanding of why it is doing it. Below, I’ll mention a couple of things that you can consider.

When your German Shepherd first started walking in front of you

It would help to consider whether or not it has always walked in front of you.

If it didn’t always do it then it would help to consider what happened at around the time that it started doing it.

Some things that might have happened could include:

  • You changed its schedule
  • You started walking it on a different route
  • You stopped giving it as much attention

If your German Shepherd has always walked in front of you then it would make it more likely that it does it naturally and you need to train it not to do it.

When your German Shepherd walks in front of you

The timing of when your German Shepherd walks in front of you would also be helpful to consider.

If it only walks in front of you when there are other people or dogs around then it would be more likely that it is either curious or being protective.

If it only seems to do it at home then it would either be more likely that it does it naturally or it does it for attention.

How to get your German Shepherd to stop walking in front of you

Below, I’ll mention two ways of getting your German Shepherd to stop walking in front of you depending on whether it does it on a walk or at home.

Use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop walking ahead on the leash

Positive reinforcement training is where you reward the behaviors that you want to see from your German Shepherd.

To use positive reinforcement training to get your German Shepherd to stop walking ahead of you on the leash you would do as follows:

  • Start walking it on the leash with some treats
  • Stop when it is about to walk ahead of you and get it to pay attention to you
  • Reward it for stopping and paying attention to you then carry on walking
  • Repeat the above until it stops walking ahead of you

You can watch the video below to see how it is done

Use positive reinforcement training to stop it walking in front of you at home

To use positive reinforcement training to get your German Shepherd to stop walking in front of you at home you would:

  • Avoid giving it attention when it walks in front of you
  • Get it to pay attention to you when it is about to walk in front of you, reward it and then walk ahead of it
  • Reward it when it does not walk ahead of you when it normally would

You can also give it lots of attention and exercise throughout the day.

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Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.

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Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.

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