German Shepherd Separation Anxiety

photo by wagbrag

If you’ve ever been homesick, then you probably had your fair share of anxiety. You long to see your home again. Knowing German shepherds, they probably see you, their owner, as their home. That’s what makes them adorable, but as always, too much of everything is bad.

When left alone for some time, you’ll be surprised at how reckless your dog can be. They destroy things. They get unnecessarily loud. They might even go after you. That’s why as an owner, as well as the root of their anxiety, it’s your job to help your German shepherd overcome this feeling called separation anxiety.

Thankfully, this blog post aims to help you achieve a better understanding of German shepherd separation anxiety.

What is German Shepherd Separation Anxiety?

There are multitudes of behavioral issues that German shepherds can display. One of these issues is separation anxiety and it’s perhaps one of the most severe problems.

But what is separation anxiety?

According to psychological researchers, separation anxiety is a state of being in uncontrolled fear due to detachment from a mother.

This behavior is commonly observed in infants and children that are in the process of developing. This is because most of the time, they can’t go without the attention of their parents.

We all know anxiety is common and it is a normal feeling. BUT, if this anxiety is on a completely different level, it enters the stage of separation anxiety.

This might be considered a disorder to children, but when it comes to German shepherds, it is often seen as a natural reaction.

Why is Separation Anxiety Common to German Shepherds?

Children often exhibit separation anxiety due to their immature minds. And as previously mentioned, it rarely happens to humans.

However, dogs, being the loyal creatures they are, display the behavior more commonly than you think. But one thing’s for sure, it all comes down to their loyalty.

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Due to their loyalty, dogs often get bored and feel distanced when their owners are not around. But German shepherd separation anxiety is more common than other breeds.

The root of separation anxiety is the attachment to a certain person or object. German shepherds, being social creature, tends to develop affections rather easily and in more extreme levels.

It is also found that intelligent dogs are more prone to separation anxiety. Their intelligence requires them to stimulate their mind often, but that won’t happen without their owners.

Considering that German shepherds are one of the most intelligent breeds, it’s only natural.

Other breeds that are prone to separation anxiety are Labradors, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies and each of them shows different symptoms of separation anxiety.

If that’s the case, how can you distinguish a German shepherd with separation anxiety?

How Do You Know if Your GSD has Separation Anxiety?

Knowing about the symptoms and the causes of this behavior is critical. With these details, you’ll be able to make preparations for dog separation anxiety training.

German shepherds can endure the toughest of the challenges they experience. But even they can’t hide their anxiety about being separated from their loved ones.

This is good news, though, since you’ll be able to figure out if your dog has separation anxiety. Let’s start with the most obvious way to go about it.


Depending on your German shepherd’s personality, the symptoms of separation anxiety may differ. Thankfully, some symptoms will always be present in German shepherd separation anxiety.

  • Digging
  • Howling
  • Barking Loudly
  • Going Outdoors
  • Whining
  • Chewing

These symptoms will be even more obvious when it comes to a German shepherd puppy’s separation anxiety behavior. This is because they are still impatient and immature.

Being able to spot a German shepherd separation anxiety is great and all. But, if you think these symptoms aren’t enough, then it’s worth remembering the possible causes of the problem.

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German shepherds develop separation anxiety mainly due to being left alone by their owners. That’s what most pet owners know.

Although that’s true, there are many other reasons besides this.

  • The schedule of the owner undergoes a significant change
  • The owner moves to other places (with the dog)
  • The German shepherd had a new owner
  • The owner leaves the house for a vacation… or dies

These are all important details that will be helpful if the time comes for your dog to exhibit this behavior.

And that’s precisely why we won’t end this article without mentioning tips for dog separation anxiety training.

How Do You Treat Separation Anxiety (for German Shepherds)?

There are many ways to treat separation anxiety after it happens. However, prevention is the best separation anxiety solution there is.

You may sometimes decide between leaving your German shepherd regularly. If it’s necessary for you to do so, you must have a way to prevent it.

The following are some of the best ways to deal with dog separation anxiety:

  • Get them used to being alone. Your German shepherd is trainable and adaptable and we all know this. That’s why you must take advantage of this trait. The process is straightforward but you have to do it slowly.
    • Every several seconds, get out of the house, leave the door open, and immediately return. If your dog shows no signs of anxiety, proceed to the next step.
    • Level it up a bit and instead of leaving the door open, close it once you go outside, but still, return immediately.
    • Slowly increase the time before you return. Make sure you don’t increase it dramatically.
    • Do this repeatedly to get your German shepherd used to being alone.
  • Tire out your dog. Just like any other creature, German shepherds have limited stamina.
    To ensure that they won’t be able to do anything reckless, tire out your dog before going out. The best-case scenario is that the German shepherd falls asleep after this process.
    You can take out your German shepherd for a walk and do some activities. Hopefully, your dog will get tired faster than you do.
  • Feed your dog. This follows the same concept with tiring out the dog. Being full means less activity. It also promotes sleepiness or drowsiness.
    You can consider it as hitting two birds with one stone. Not only are you feeding your German shepherd, but you’re also preventing them from making a mess out of things.
    However, remember that feeding them too much may lead to diarrhea. This means they’ll make a mess in your house uncontrollably.
  • Act like you don’t care. If you’re not able to prevent German shepherd’s separation anxiety, there are other ways to go about it.
    An anxious dog will often whine, bark, and do unnecessary actions for attention. So, discourage this behavior by showing them that it’s not working for you.
See also  Are German Shepherds Good With Other Dogs?

If you’re able to implement these dog separation anxiety training, your German shepherd may develop an immunity to other behavioral issuesa win-win for both of you.


There’s no denying that German shepherds are extra adorable when they do cute things. But there are times when you must ignore the cuteness and approach their behavior seriously.

Separation anxiety is, without a doubt, a dangerous behavioral issue. Sure, the result may only be property damage, but you never know when your German shepherd gets into an accident because of separation anxiety.

Fortunately, you learned everything about separation anxiety. Now, you are no longer unaware of this issue and you can handle it without any problem.

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