How Do I Know If My German Shepherd Is Happy? (Signs & Body Language)

How Do I Know If My German Shepherd Is Happy

Although we, as humans, are not able to communicate with dogs, we can still understand them through their body language.

When you watch dogs closely, from their nose to their tail, you can realise that they communicate with you through their body language.


Want to know more about what your dog is thinking, and if they are happy?

Read more to find out about your dog’s body language and how to communicate with them!


In this article, we will be talking about German Shepherds and how they use their body to give us signs of how they are feeling.


Short Facts About German Shepherd 

Known as a fine worker, the German Shepherd Dog is loyal, muscular and intelligent.

Among the top 10 most popular breeds in the US, these dogs are one of the most recognized breeds in the world.

These dogs have high energy who was once bred to herd flocks.

German Shepherds are easily trained, able to take on the role of a “national hero”.


How to Know if Your German Shepherd is Happy

Smiling GSD

One obvious way to tell if your dog is happy and excited is when they jump around when they see you.

Dogs show affection by jumping on you and trying to get close to you.

Another way to tell that they are happy is when they are smiling.

When German Shepherds smile, they tend to show their teeth. Do note not to get confused with them snarling with teeth.

If you notice them smiling while wagging their tail, it is a sure way to know that they are content.


While these are obvious ways for dogs to show that they are happy, there are other ways that they show their emotions, through signs and body language.


1. Tail Wagging

This is one of the biggest signs of affection.

If your dog is wagging their tail upon meeting you, it often implies that they are happy and excited to see you.

This tail-wagging usually comes with jumping around, especially if you have been out for a while.

However, not all tail wagging means the same thing.

If you notice that your German Shepherd is wagging its tail slowly or if his head is bowed down, it may mean that they are weary.


2. Puppy Eyes

While all dogs show emotions in their eyes, German Shepherds are known to have one of the most expressive eyes out of them all.

Like other dogs, German Shepherds will show off their puppy dog eyes as a sign of contentment.

Puppy dog eyes can be achieved by raising their inner eyebrows to make their eyes look larger and thus a more ‘baby’ face.

According to scientists, these dogs are powerful animals that know how to capture the hearts of humans.

This is a response behaviour as dogs know that this expression will trigger a positive response in us.



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3. A Relaxed Body

Happy German Shepherds show their contentment visibly through their body.

If they are happy, their bodies will be relaxed — showing no signs of aggression.

A sign of a happy German Shepherd can also be seen in their tongue. If their tongue is sticking out, it can signal happiness.

This is also common when they are asleep, showing them in a content state when sleeping.

If they are not happy, you will notice that your German Shepherd is more upright and alert.

They may also show some teeth if they are being aggressive.


4. Bringing You Toys

If your German Shepherd brings you toys, there can be two reasons why:

  1. They want to play
  2. They are showing you love and affection

If they are bringing you their favourite toy, it may mean that they want you to have as much fun with it like them.

It also means that they trust you to take care of their favourite things.

This is also similar when they bring things to you, like sticks they find during walks.

This means that they consider you apart of their pack and that they care for you.


5. Sighing

When dogs are happy, they tend to make little noises — which also includes sighing.

Although sighing is a sign of boredom to humans, dogs sigh with content.

Dogs tend to sigh especially when they are settling down to relax or when they are stretching.

Sighing also means that they are safe and happy, with no worries.


What If They Are Not Happy?

sad gsd puppy

Now that you have an idea of how your German Shepherd may be expressing their contentment, it is also important to note when they are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.


There are some signs which you can look out for to know if your dog is not content, including:

  • Growling and aggressive behaviour
  • Reduced appetite
  • Howling or crying
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Unresponsive to affection
  • Lack of interest in playing
  • Excessive licking


Overall Thoughts

While it may be hard sometimes for us to know what our dogs are thinking and feeling, they can easily read our emotions through our voice, body language and actions.

Similarly, taking a closer look at what your dog does, and their body language can tell us more about how they are feeling in a particular situation.

Remember that as all dogs are different, just because your German Shepherd is not showing these signs does not mean that they are not happy.


Each dog shows their contentment differently and like its owners, it is important to figure out how they express themselves.

When your German Shepherd is happy, make sure to give them love and attention to reciprocate the feeling.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.