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Dogs don't need words to show how they feel or what concerns them. They use their body for this. Find out the German Shepherd ears meaning in dog language.
German Shepherd Ears Meaning
Dogs often use barking and tail to communicate. Both can be used to demand attention, reprimand, or to show joy. However, some dogs can also use their ears, and that is the case with the German Shepherd.
German Shepherd puppies often have their ears down, which is a sign of cuteness and helplessness. They use it as a security measure, to make you think that they are not a threat so they can stay safe. However, they can raise their ears or lower them at their convenience, and even lift one and leave the other flat.
A German Shepherd that wears its ears neutrally is not communicating. You can recognize a neutral ear position because the ear is turned slightly to the side.
The pricked ears symbolize that they are presenting attention, that they are taking this moment seriously or that they may bark to give a warning. And when the ears drop it means that the dog is relaxed.
Other Body Language of the German Shepherd
Sometimes people say: “It's wagging its tail so it's happy!”. But unfortunately not every dog that moves its tail up and down is being happy at that moment. Sometimes dogs also wag their tail while they are scared or angry. You can use the dog's posture as a guide to estimate its mood. Look not only at the tail and the ears, but also at the entire body of the dog.
German Shepherd Posture Meaning
A German Shepherd with a high body posture feels confident and tough. They hold their head up, stands as straight as possible on their legs, and their ears and tail are also raised (or as high as possible). Sometimes when a dog suffers from ‘mixed feelings' you see an ambivalent attitude, for example the tail tells a different story than the body.
If a German Shepherd assumes a high body position but keeps their tail low, then at that point they're not as tough inside as they pretend to be.
Even when the dog raises their hackles (the hairs on their neck and back stand on end) they try to make it clear that they are tough. But sometimes their neck hairs stand up because the dog is (much) more scared than they want to show.
German Shepherd Tail Meaning
There are three tail positions, namely neutral, high and low. This applies to all breeds and all tail shapes. A dog has a neutral tail when not communicating.
If a dog covers their anus (often they have their tail between the hind legs) they have a low tail position. The dog is not exactly brimming with confidence.
A German Shepherd has a high tail position if they do not cover their anus. With this the dog tries to make it clear that they feel confident and tough.
A neutral tail position is between ‘high' and ‘low'.
Dog Language: Warning Signals
A German Shepherd doesn't only bite when it feels confident. In fact, most of the biting incidents are a result of fear aggression: the dog feels threatened, is afraid of something and to ward off the ‘danger', it attacks or bites. It is rare for a dog to bite without warning beforehand.
If you see a German Shepherd exhibiting any of the following behaviors, it is important to be alert. They're not feeling pleased at all and is trying to tell you: “Stop that, otherwise I might bite.”
- The dog stiffens its body and stares at you.
- It starts to growl, snarl, or bark
- Wrinkle its nose, lift its lip and bares its teeth
Dog Language and Children
Young children often do not understand dog language. That's because they mainly look at the dog's head and not the entire body of the dog. As a result, they miss certain information and can misinterpret what they see. An accident is then in a near corner.
If your children are a bit older, you can look at the dog with them and point out what you see in the dog's posture, ears and tail. If your children are younger, teach them the ten golden rules for safe handling of the dog.