I loved my German shepherd to the world and back, but I remember thinking sometimes, did she really love me as much as I loved her? In fact, most owners think the same at some point, so this article should clear this up!
There are 11 reliable signs of affection that indicate your German Shepherd does in fact love you. Let’s run through them.
11 Ways To Know Your German Shepherd Loves You
Let’s run through 11 ways your German Shepherd is showing you his love. Some ways are less obvious than others and you may not have been aware of them!
1. Leaning Up Against You | Casual Physical Contact ⭐
One of the most universal signs of love and affection is basic physical contact.
If you notice that you German Shepherd voluntarily comes to lay right next to you, or he sits up against you and positions himself so that some part of his body is touching yours, it’s a clear sign you have a great relationship.
Dogs often look for their leader and role model and when there’s a strong bond present, physical contact will be a behavior they often engage in.
2. Ear and Eyebrow Movements ⭐
You must be thinking, eyebrows!?
Yep, both ear and eyebrow movements often show dogs true feelings and emotions, and if you know what to look for, you can read them like a book. All must be taken in context.
According to Japanese dog behavioral scientists, dogs of all breeds will shift their ears back and usually raise their left eyebrow slightly, when looking at someone they love or consider to be their leader.
Although this may be very hard to see, it’s certainly worth looking out for the next time you give your GSD a loving gaze.
3. Easy Eye Contact ⭐
Eye contact is one of the most powerful non-verbal forms of communication. For both humans, canines, and in fact all animals, eye contact transmits a wide range of emotions.
When you meet a dog for the very first time, prolonged eye contact will practically always be taken as a threat or challenge (just like it would be for humans). But prolonged eye contact for our own dogs is very different.
As your GSD becomes more comfortable with you (which shouldn’t take long) eye contact should happen easily and frequently. This means being able to look at you at least for a few seconds before breaking the stare. Easy eye contact is what you want to see (excuse the pun) and it’s a great sign of a strong relationship.
Natural gaze breaking is normal and is a sign that your GSD sees you as the authoritative pack leader, which isn’t a bad thing.
But what you should look out for is if your GSD can’t look at you at all. If you look at your GSD, does he immediately look away and continue to look away? A dog that can never make eye contact with his owner likely indicates a certain level of fearfulness or anxiety.
4. Always Excited To See You ⭐
Whether you leave the house or not, a wagging tail whenever you enter the room and look at him, or when you arrive home from work is of course a great sign.
German Shepherds by nature are very loving and family orientated, so the next time you come home from work, monitor how your GSD reacts to it. When you can through the door, does he get, wag his tile and “look” like he’s happy to see you. All of this will be obvious if he is, and just as obvious if he isn’t!
Unfortunately, science has not yet figured out whether dogs think we are leaving forever, even if we’re just nipping to the shop. So keep that in mind, the next time you leave the house, your GSD may actually believe you’ve left forever.
5. Listening Attentively to You ⭐
A sign that your bond is strong is when your German Shepherd listens to you whenever you speak. Whether you’re speaking to him or to someone else, your GSD will be listening and paying attention to you.
A good way to test this is when he’s asleep, starts talking to someone else, and watch his ears perk up. This kind of ear-behavior usually isn’t seen when people of less significance (to the dog) is speaking. Their attentiveness is reserved for their leaders and people they consider to be important to them.
Although your German shepherd will listen carefully to you when he loves you, obeying your commands is something completely different. That will require training, despite how wonderful the sound of your voice is!
6. Relaxed Body Language in Your Presence ⭐
Overall body language and his posture also reveal how comfortable he is when you’re around.
Although this technically isn’t a way of him actively showing you love, it does indicate that you’re relationship and bond is strong. And that can only happen when your dog loves you.
So what can you look out for? The biggest one will be putting himself in vulnerable positions, laying on his back and exposing his belly, either when playing or just resting. Dogs must feel extremely comfortable in their environment and who they are around in order to assume a position like this.
Casual sitting, laying, and lounging around all display a level of comfort, and that’s what you’re looking for.
7. Brings Things to You ⭐
This is a big one, and it means that your German shepherd is choosing YOU to say “hey mom/dad, look what I brought you!”
What your GSD brings you doesn’t really matter, it’s the fact that he’s bringing it to you. Most of the time it will be one of his favorite toys and he’ll want you to play with him, again, an indication that you’re his favorite person.
German shepherds also love to fulfill roles and carry out tasks, and in some situations, it can be a way for them to show you that they’re “working” and being useful. Again, the fact they’re doing it with you means a lot.
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8. Your GSD Will Follow You ⭐
German shepherds are very social dogs and love to have human company as well as canine company. They have a natural ability to develop strong bonds with their owners and as a result, can become glued to their side.
GSD’s do have a tendency to follow their owners around the house and this is usually a harmless way to stick by your side, make sure you are safe and to have company.
But this should be monitored carefully as it’s also an early sign of separation anxiety, which a serious condition that you’ll want to avoid.
If your German shepherd follows you around, it’s a clear sign of having a strong bond, just be sure it isn’t due to anxiety.
9. Checking Where You Are on Walks ⭐
The next time you’re on a walk, you may notice your GSD stopping ahead of you and periodically “checking” up on your whereabouts.
Although this is partly due to good behavior, it’s also due to him making sure you are safe, and that he knows you are there. German shepherds have a strong protective trait in them and will always make sure the ones they love are safe.
This can also happen inside your home too. He may not necessarily follow you around like explained above, but every now and then he’ll come looking for you.
10. Face licking ⭐
Hate it or love it, when he wants to lick your face it’s a sign he loves you!
It hasn’t been proven, but it’s thought that licking (especially on the face) is a dog’s version of a kiss. And it makes sense, right?
Whenever this happens your German shepherd will always be in a super happy mood, tail wagging like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s going to make your feel loved!
If you’re someone who doesn’t like this behavior, that’s fine, but avoid reprimanding him for it. Use positive reinforcement to redirect unwanted behavior before rewarding him once his focus has changed.
11. He Has a Thing For Your Smell ⭐
If you notice that your German shepherd steals your socks, shoes, and clothes, it’s good to know that it’s not always because he wants to chew them.
Dogs can smell anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times better than we can! The sense of smell is extremely powerful for dogs, and your smell, as his owner, will be one of the most important scents to him.
If he loves you and looks up to you then the smell of you will keep him feeling calm, safe, and happy. He will actively seek out your clothes, socks, shoes, and things you touch to help comfort him.
Of course, there’s a blurry line between this and simply destructive behavior, but you’ll likely have a good idea depending on his obedience level and previous training.
German Shepherd Puppies and Affection
If you’re worried that your German shepherd puppy doesn’t love you, or won’t stay still for your cuddles, you need to read this section.
Puppies are crazy little balls of energy, and whether or not they love you just isn’t on their mind during their first year.
Any attempt to cuddle a puppy is almost guaranteed to be seen as an act of play. So don’t worry when he pulls away from under your arms and runs away from you.
It can be hard to accept this because puppies are so adorable and when we get a new puppy, it’s natural for us to show them even more attention than we will as adults.
Focus on training, playing, and being a good leader for your German shepherd puppy and he’ll love you more than you can imagine. Don’t worry about looking for signs of affection during puppyhood.
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Not Showing Affection Doesn’t Mean He Doesn’t Love You
If you’re worrying because your German shepherd isn’t displaying signs of affection, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.
All German Shepherds are different and some will be more independent, stubborn, and happy to just keep themselves company. It’s just how it is for some dogs.
Focus on being a good leader, providing a safe environment, giving great exercise, ensuring he’s consuming a healthy diet, and always show him your love and attention. That’s all you need to do, and it’s guaranteed that he’ll love you back, whether he lifts his left eyebrow when you look at him or not!
Managing our own expectations is important and we have to remember that the way we communicate with dogs is not perfect (although it’s pretty darn good) and it’s not as easy as saying “I love you”… “I wuff you too”
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So there you have it!
11 Ways your German Shepherd shows you that he loves you. If you have any interesting tips to add about this topic please use the contact page to send us a message and we may update our article accordingly!