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7 Crazy Things That Are Perfectly Normal for German Shepherds

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on May 10, 2024

German Shepherds are the Swiss Army knives of the canine world—intelligent, versatile, and always equipped for any situation, whether it’s serving bravely as police dogs or loyally as family pets. Yet, beneath their regal and composed exterior lies a treasure trove of quirks that can be as baffling as they are endearing. Owning a German Shepherd means signing up for a life filled with peculiar habits, from having intense conversations with their toys to being overly dramatic about the smallest inconveniences. While these behaviors might puzzle the uninitiated, they’re just part of the daily routine for Shepherd aficionados. Let’s uncover the seven crazy but perfectly normal antics of German Shepherds that make them the delightfully odd companions dog lovers cherish.

1. The Great Vacuum Confrontation

For a breed that’s fearless in the face of danger, German Shepherds have a surprisingly contentious relationship with vacuum cleaners. The moment the vacuum roars to life, it’s game on. Your dignified protector transforms into a furry frenzy, barking at and sometimes cautiously pawing at this noisy intruder. This behavior isn’t just a display of their protective instinct; it’s a full-on mission to defend the household from what they perceive as a loud, moving threat. The spectacle of a German Shepherd ‘attacking’ the vacuum cleaner can be both hilarious and exasperating, especially when you’re just trying to clean the house.

2. Shadow Stalking Extraordinaire

Have you ever felt like you’re being followed? If you own a German Shepherd, you are. Known for their loyalty, these dogs take their role as companions to another level. They will follow you everywhere, from the bathroom to the kitchen, and yes, even into the shower if they can. This behavior is part of their desire to protect and stay connected to their favorite human. While it can be flattering to have such a devoted shadow, it can also lead to a few bathroom door collisions and the occasional trip over a four-legged follower.

3. The Nighttime Serenades

German Shepherds have a deep, resonant bark that can be effective for warding off intruders. However, they also use their powerful voices to sing you the songs of their people at the most inopportune times—like in the middle of the night. Whether responding to a passing car or a leaf blowing down the street, your Shepherd takes their sentry duties seriously, often resulting in a nighttime chorus that leaves you less than well-rested. This quirk not only displays their alertness but also their commitment to keeping you safe (and occasionally sleep-deprived).

4. Obsession with Fetch

Fetch isn’t just a game for German Shepherds; it’s a way of life. These dogs can turn anything into a fetch toy—sticks, balls, and unfortunately, items that are not meant to be thrown, like shoes or remote controls. Their obsession with fetching is linked to their high drive and need for mental and physical stimulation. Playtime is never just playtime; it’s a rigorous exercise in retrieval that can last until your arm is sore and your dog is, well, never tired.

5. Dramatic Reactions to Everyday Situations

German Shepherds are known for their dramatic flair. A slight bump on the head can lead to a series of sorrowful looks that would have you believe they’ve endured the greatest tragedy. Similarly, a delay in mealtime can unleash a bout of theatrical despair and mournful staring that can make any owner feel like a villain. These overreactions are part of their charm, showing how tuned in they are to their environment and their humans.

6. Toy Hoarding

Your German Shepherd might have more toys than they know what to do with but don’t expect them to share or even play with all of them. Shepherds often take up toy hoarding, where they protect and stash their toys in safe spots around the house. This behavior is a display of their natural guarding instincts, except applied to squeaky toys and chew bones. It’s not unusual to find a cache of dog toys under the bed or behind the couch, carefully guarded from real and imagined threats.

7. Herding Everything

True to their name, German Shepherds have an innate herding instinct that extends beyond sheep. They may try to herd children, other pets, and sometimes even adults by gently nudging them in the desired direction with their noses. This behavior can be amusing, especially when your dog decides to herd your guests from one room to another, ensuring everyone stays exactly where they think they should be.

Living with a German Shepherd is never dull. Their quirks bring laughter, a bit of frustration, and a lot of joy into the lives of those who love them. Each odd behavior is a reminder of their unique personalities and the special way they view the world. So, the next time your Shepherd decides to serenade the moon or save you from the terrifying vacuum cleaner, just smile and appreciate the wonderfully wacky world of owning a German Shepherd.

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