If your German Shepherd has been yawning a lot you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be yawning a lot and what to do about it.
So, why does my German Shepherd yawn so much? Possible reasons are that it is frustrated, anxious, stressed, tired, copying you, there is an issue with its diet or that it needs more exercise.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your GSD has been doing it. It will become easier for you to deal with it once you have a good idea of the cause.
Why your German Shepherd yawns so much
Each of the different reasons that your GSD yawns a lot will likely come with some clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of possible reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It’s getting frustrated
Sometimes, dogs will yawn when they are becoming frustrated (source). This is because yawning will act to signal that they are beginning to lose patience.
This would be more likely to be the reason that your GSD does it if it does it in situations such as where you are training it to do something difficult.
In this case, it would help to reduce how much you are asking from your GSD and to try to train it in smaller steps.
It is anxious or stressed
The reason that your GSD does it could be that it is anxious or stressed (source). This is because they will sometimes do it when they are getting agitated or they are unsure of what is going it.
This would be more likely to be the reason that your GSD does it if it does it in situations where it might be anxious or stressed such as when there are fireworks or when you are about to leave. I have written more about why your GSD might be anxious here.
In this case, it would help to try and remove the source of it becoming anxious if possible or to desensitize your GSD to the thing that is making it become anxious.
A lack of interest
Sometimes dogs will yawn when they are being indifferent (source). This would be more likely if your GSD does it in situations where it might be trying to show that it is not interested such as when another dog is around it.
It feels a connection with you
Studies show that dogs will yawn more when a human that they trust starts yawning (source). If your GSD tends to yawn more when you do then it would be a sign that it trusts you and that it feels a connection with you.
The reason that it yawns might simply be that it is tired. This would be more likely if it does it shortly before it goes to sleep or when it is laying down.
In this case, it would help to make its sleeping environment comfortable for it so that it is able to sleep whenever it wants to.
It isn’t getting enough sleep
It might be a sign that it is not getting enough sleep. This would be more likely if it seems to be tired a lot and if it has started doing it suddenly after something has caused it to stop getting as much sleep.
In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to sleep effectively and that there is nothing that is preventing it from being able to sleep. If your GSD is restless at night, then I have written about why it might be the case here.
Its environment is too hot
If the weather has become hotter then it could be the case that it has been yawning more because the hot weather has been causing it to become more sleepy. This would be more likely if your GSD tends to yawn more when it is hot.
In this case, it would help to make sure that your GSD has access to shaded areas, a cool room and water when it needs it.
There is an issue with its diet
It might be the case that an issue with its diet is making it feel fatigued. This would be more likely if your GSD has started yawning more suddenly after a change in its diet. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your GSD.
Not getting enough exercise
The reason that your GSD does it might be that it is not getting enough exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. If your German Shepherd is not getting that much then it would help to make sure that it does.
Things to consider
Below are a couple of particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your GSD does it.
When it first started doing it
It would help to consider when your GSD first started yawning a lot since it could be the case that an event triggered it to start doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, not getting enough sleep or something causing it to become anxious.
If it has been doing it a lot for a long time then it could be that it does it because you yawn a lot, it does it to show frustration or anxiety or that it naturally yawns a lot when it is sleepy.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it seems to do it more.
For example, if you notice that it tends to yawn more when there are noises outside then it might be due to anxiety. Whereas, if it does it more when you are training it then it might be due to frustration.
What to do about your German Shepherd yawning a lot
The best thing for you to do about your GSD doing it will depend on the cause and the situation. However, below are a number of things that you can do in order to reduce how likely it is to need to yawn.
Make sure that its diet is right
It would help to make sure that your GSD is eating correctly. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it. Generally, it is recommended that they eat between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day. It would also help to ask your vet if you are feeding it correctly.
Make its sleeping environment comfortable
It would also help to make sure that it is able to go to sleep easily when it wants to. You can do this by ensuring that its sleeping environment is cool, not too bright and comfortable for it.
Give it exercise
If you are not currently giving your GSD much exercise then it would help to make sure to do so by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Give it access to a cool and shaded area
If the weather is hot outside it would help to make sure that your GSD has access to cool and shaded areas so that it won’t feel so fatigued and so that it avoids being in the sun for too long.
Reduce how much you demand from it when it begins to yawn
Since yawning can be a sign that it is frustrated, it would help to be considerate when training it. If you find that it is struggling to follow along with the training and it is yawning a lot, try to reduce what you are asking of it and to train it in smaller steps.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why your GSD is doing it then it would help to take it to the vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert help tailored towards your particular GSD and you will be able to rule out any medical issues.
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