The German Shepherd dog communicates well by whining. This is a way they express their feelings orally. This should not surprise you because, according to their ancestry and breeding, they are vocal animals. They bark, moan, howl and whine to communicate.

Why does my German Shepherd whine?

The German Shepherd can not be separated from whining, as it is very vocal. Listening ears are required. Many times, it results from excitement or fear. However, there are other reasons which may include:


When the German Shepherd is sick and in discomfort, he will not stop whining. You can easily detect this as he will also refuse food and stay lying alone.


The German Shepherd will not hesitate to whine when he is afraid. As a vigilant dog, the German Shepherd could hear sounds from a distance or see something around. If unable to confront such a thing, the German Shepherd could whine a lot.


When you come around, your dog is excited and may whine and wag its tail to greet you. This rarely lasts so long, but you can train the German Shepherd to stop to prevent him from doing the same to strangers.


The German Shepherd is a thoughtful companion, observant, and can tell the mood of the moment. This makes your dog appear sober and makes gestures to appease you while whining. Let him see that you appreciate his effort, hell be a little calmer 


Your German Shepherd is smart enough to know when he is wrong. Especially when he is caught in the act. He’ll hang his head low to avoid eye contact with you, tuck his ears backward and tuck his tail between his thighs. Don’t keep your Shepherd in this position for too long. Of course, let him see you angry once in a while, but you should forgive him as quickly as you recognize he is sorry.


When your dog needs you or needs something from you, he’ll whine. You can train him to stop this by not responding till he stops whining. However, you need to be attentive to his needs and make them available at the time due.


German Shepherds are very active and enjoy a rush of activity. If they do not have enough of this, they’ll whine continuously and even pick up on things they can bite and eventually destroy.

Separation from you 

If your dog whines upon your departure and paces about, destroys something or drools, then you can tell that he is anxious about your absence. You can put him in a room without showing up for a while. Let him have access to toys he could chew on. This would help him get accustomed to your absence.

To Notify You

The German Shepherd Dog was bred to be a Shepherd indeed, hence, they are security conscious. They tend to whine when a threat is posed.

It is only that what they consider a threat could be different from what you think a threat should be. You can curb unnecessary whining by training them to whine only at things that you find alarming, because whining is the right disposition on their part.

What to do about excessive whining?

Each time your dog gets what they want from you after whining, you’re teaching them that’s the right way to get it. However, there are better practices your dog can indulge in to communicate other than nagging about the place.

For example, if your dog whines to be let out of the crate to go potty, you can train him to ring a potty bell instead.

If your German Shepherd whines to get your attention or something he likes to have at the moment, you can teach him that a better way to do that is to remain quiet. This is achievable by ignoring his recurrent whines.

You may have to ignore him because if you look at him or in his direction or you speak to scold him, he will believe that he has your attention that way. You can also put up a gesture to show that whining doesn’t cut it. As soon as he goes quiet, give him a treat and a back rub. You can also scratch his head.

That way, your dog would learn to be quiet to get your attention. You also make your dog know this by spending time with your dog when you realize he is quiet. Over time, your dog understands that whining does not get your attention, and he stays quiet.

Whining during greetings

If your dog gets overly excited at your presence and whines a lot when greeting you, tone down your welcome. Do this by greeting simply and calmly instead of showing excitement in your voice. You can also train your dogs to contact your palm with its nose, that is called hand targeting 

Another thing you can do is to distract him with his toys. After he has stayed calm for some time, you can go ahead and to 

How to teach hand targeting

If you have a German Shepherd that whines when greeting you, correct him by teaching him to touch an extended palm with his nose instead.

Stretch out your palm in your dog’s face and expect him to touch it with his nose. If he doesn’t, take your palm away and stretch it again. Call out your dog’s name to get his attention.

If he still doesn’t, then put some treats on your palm for him to sniff. As soon as his nose touches your palm, free him some of the treats and say “Yes!” If your dog has done that 9 of 10 times, change the position of your palm and wait till touches your palm with his nose. Say “Yes!” and feed some more treats.

Do this again by placing your palm above his head. If he reaches for your palm with your nose and touches it, say “Yes!” and feed him more treats. Let him know that this is how to say hello.

Let your dog’s friends and your family know the new method and let them try out hand targeting in different places. Always reward your German Shepherd when he responds the right way 

Also, you need to extend the training to people your German Shepherd doesn’t know. Beforehand, tell a friend who is meeting your dog for the first time about the approach. Then invite the person over or fix a meeting while you’re walking with your dog. If the friend presents his or her hand and your dog doesn’t know what to do, give him a cue by telling him to touch your hand first a few times. Then ask your friend to try again.

If your German Shepherd does hand targeting without your lead, do not reward him to prevent him from irritating people who may not want to interact. 

Anxious Whining 

When anxiety is the reason your German Shepherd whines, the first thing to do is take out the reason for the anxiety. 

You can tell that your dog is whining because of anxiety when he destroys things, paces, or drools. When your dog is stressed and anxious, he might not control his whining. 

Also, if your dog has something stuck in his throat, this can make him uncomfortable and whine. In case you saw him, you can try to pat him till he’s away to take it in, but it is always safe to contact the vet as soon as possible 

How to stop your German shepherd from whining

It could be a simple matter of not having enough exercise and fun in your GSD’s life if he is whining and being destructive. The best thing you can do to aid a German Shepherd in this condition is to give them regular exercise and playing.

A german shepherd needs plenty of room to run about in the backyard, but that doesn’t mean he should be left alone. Here are some easy methods to bond with your pet (while also allowing him to burn off steam):

A toy that entertains your dog will serve so well if your dog was whining because of boredom. Whenever you observe this, simply engage them with their favorite games. You can lead your dog to stack up to rings and they’ll have some fun.

Training programs also work well to stop your Shepherd from whining excessively. This could be an investment, but training your shepherd is more cost-effective than having to repair all the items they destroy. You can also avoid having a case filed against you if they bite someone or destroy their things. You’ll end up having a comfortable and compliant Shepherd 


A German Shepherd needs to be well trained to put on the right act per time. You can accomplish this by devoting quality time to training your German Shepherd to bark only when required. Besides, teaching your German Shepherd how to remain calm will help him focus on things other than the many distractions in the house.


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