If your German Shepherd is always restless 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 be so restless and what you can do about it.
So, why is my German Shepherd so restless? Possible reasons are that it isn’t getting enough exercise, there is something wrong with its diet, it has anxiety, it wants attention, you have been reinforcing the behavior or that it is ill or injured.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd is so restless. Depending on the cause there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd is so restless
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd acts that way will likely come with some clues.
Below, I’ll mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be restless and the signs to look for.
It needs more exercise
German Shepherds are a breed that was bred to do intensive tasks for hours on a daily basis. This means that they need a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated and if they don’t get the exercise then it can cause them to become hyper. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day.
If you think that your German Shepherd is not currently getting enough exercise then one of the first things for you to do would be to make sure that it does.
You might not think that giving your German Shepherd more exercise will make it behave more calmly but it can actually make a big difference to its behavior.
Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.
There is something wrong with its diet
The reason why it has been acting restless could be that there is something wrong with its diet. This would be more likely if it suddenly started acting restless when you changed its diet but it could still be the case if it has always been acting that way. You can look here to see what foods you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.
If you are unsure of what food to get for your German Shepherd, consider getting dog food designed specifically for German Shepherds. You can get a GSD specific dog food on Amazon here and one for GSD puppies on Chewy here.
It could be the case that something is causing your German Shepherd to become anxious. Possible reasons why it might be anxious could that you recently adopted it, you recently moved home or that someone mistreated it. Anxiousness would be more likely to be the reason if it started being restless suddenly.
Another reason why it might get anxious could be that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left without you and being alone can cause it to become anxious. There are a lot of other symptoms that often come with it like peeing inside, being destructive while you’re away or becoming anxious when it sees that you are about to leave.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
It wants attention
The reason why your German Shepherd is restless could be that it is its way of getting your attention.
If you do not give it a lot of attention (or exercise) on a daily basis then it can cause it to look for ways to get it. One of those ways is to act in a way that gets a reaction out of you.
If your response to its bad behavior is to give it any kind of attention when you normally wouldn’t then it will have taught it that behaving that way will get what it wants.
To stop this you should try ignoring it when it is behaving
Illness or injury
If it has started being restless suddenly then it might be the case that it is due to an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has been acting unusually in other ways as well. If you think that illness or injury might be the cause then taking it to the vet would likely be the best option.
Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?
Things to consider
Before trying to get your German Shepherd to stop being restless it would help to have a good idea of what is causing it. Below, I will mention a few things to consider.
When it started to become restless
The timing of when your German Shepherd started being restless would be useful to consider.
If it started being restless suddenly then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, a change in its schedule or illness or injury. In this case, it would help to consider what happened at around the time that it started being restless.
If it has always been restless then it could be that it is not getting enough exercise, you have been reinforcing the behavior or that it does it for attention.
When it is restless
The timing of when it becomes restless would also be helpful to consider. If it becomes restless at certain times then it could be that there will be a number of clues in the timing. For example, if it seems to become restless when you are about to leave then it would suggest that it has some separation anxiety.
How old it is
Its age would also be something to consider. If it is still a puppy then it is likely to calm down as it gets older but it could still be due to the things mentioned above. If it is older then it would help to consider the things mentioned above.
How to stop your German Shepherd from being so restless
There are a number of things that you can do to get your German Shepherd to be less restless that I will mention below.
Give it exercise
Since German Shepherds
One way to give your German Shepherd a lot of
You could also try walking it with other dogs since it will naturally wear itself out by playing with other dogs.
Give it training
To get your German Shepherd to stop being restless you can give it lots of training.
Start by teaching it to do simple things such as to sit and stay in an environment like the home where there are not many external distractions. Once you can get it to do that you can build up to teaching it harder things such as to come to you on command.
Once you’re able to get your German Shepherd to listen to you in less distracting environments you should build it up to teaching it to do the same in more challenging environments.
You can watch the video below for advice on training restless dogs.
Don’t reward it
As mentioned above it could be the case that your German Shepherd acts restless because you have been rewarding it.
Instead, of giving your German Shepherd things that it wants when it gets hyper, try training it to listen to you, giving it more exercise and ensuring that its diet is right.
Give it distractions
Another thing that you can do is to give it things to be distracted with such as calming chews or toys to play with. However, this should be in addition to giving it training, exercise and ensuring that its diet is right.
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Best German Shepherd Training Program
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.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.