If your German Shepherd has been moving its ears back you might be curious to find out why. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it.

So, why does my German Shepherd move its ears back? Possible reasons are that it is feeling excited, submissive or that it is warning you.

There are actually a number of things to consider when trying to figure out why it moves its ears back and it would help to consider other aspects of its body language.

Why your German Shepherd moves its ears back

Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd moves its ears back will likely come with a number of clues.

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

Excitement

The reason why it moves its ears back could be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it moves them back slightly and shows other signs of excitement such as wagging its tail. It would also be more likely if it does it when something might be exciting it such as when you come home or are about to take it out for a walk.

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

Submission

Sometimes, dogs will move their ears back because they are being submissive. This would be more likely if the ears are pinned back and slightly hanging down to the side. This would also be more likely if it also lowers itself down, cries and hides itself. Additionally, it would also be more likely if it moves its ears back right after something happens that might cause you to be annoyed with it such as if it pees inside.

It’s warning you

The reason why it moves its ears back could be that it is warning you. This would be more likely if it pins them straight back. It would also be more likely if it shows its teeth, snarls and becomes rigid and if it does it in scenarios such as when it is eating.

Consider what its other body language signs are showing

When trying to understand why your German Shepherd pins its ears back and the way that it is feeling it would help to consider other aspects of its body language at the same time.

Eyes

The eyes can tell you a lot about the mood of a German Shepherd.

Generally, wide-open eyes where you can see a lot of white around the outside with dilated pupils is a sign of aggression, fear or stress.

Whereas, squinting is generally a sign that it feels relaxed.

Mouth

When a German Shepherd is feeling relaxed it will normally have its mouth open with its tongue out and be panting.

If it is feeling frightened then it may pant excessively, have a closed mouth or drool a lot when there is no reason to.

If it pulls its front lips up and shows its teeth then it would normally be a sign of aggression. However, if it shows the front teeth when waggings its tail, squinting and flattening its ears then it would be a more submissive sign.

Tail

When it is feeling excited it will usually wag its tail and often raise it as well. Whereas, if it hides its tail between its legs then it would normally be a sign of fear.

Hair

If its hair appears to raise then it will usually be a sign of being upset or aroused. This can also signal that it is feeling aggressive especially if it shows other signs of aggression.

Panting

It is normal for a dog to pant in order to keep itself cool. However, if it pants excessively with a tight mouth then it can be a sign that it is feeling stressed.

Consider the timing of when it puts its ears back

It would also help to consider the timing of when your German Shepherd puts its ears back.

If it puts them back in a situation that would cause it to become excited such as when you come home, are about to walk it or are giving it attention then it would be much more likely that it’s doing it due to excitement.

Whereas, if it puts them back in a situation that might cause it to become aggressive such as when it is eating or being threatened then it would be much more likely that it is doing it aggressively.

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