11 German Shepherd Signs of Affection (Does My GSD Love Me?)

German Shepherds are iconic dog breeds and are notorious as their picks for the K-9 Unit. Police departments all over the country use German Shepherds because of their courage, confidence, and intelligence. (Even the Secret Service)

German Shepherds enjoy having work to do and are eager to please and obey commands. They are perfect for herding on a farm, apprehending fugitives, or sniffing for contraband. However, a German Shepherd makes a unique family pet, furry alarm system, and affectionate companion.

German Shepherd signs of affection
11 German Shepherd Signs of Affection (Does my GSD love me?)

German Shepherds can grow up to 26 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. This dog breed can live up to 10 years. This dog breed is notorious for its elusive behavior and can navigate high fences and outdoor obstacles.

German Shepherds can offer a family a lovey-dovey companion, and this dog type is happy to play with small children. However, German Shepherds are known for their roughhousing and horseplay, so small children may need to keep their distance until your family German Shepherd is calm and trained with children.

German Shepherds Are Affectionate Dogs

German Shepherds are notorious for taking down back guys, sniffing to find people lost in remote areas, and search and rescue teams. However, German Shepherds love affection. These dogs also love to please their owners and make them happy.

Sometimes, German Shepherds will do things to try and make their owners happy so that they can have affection. Additionally, obeying commands and instructions is a significant way that German Shepherds show love for others.

German Shepherd puppies are excitable and affectionate. They will likely jump up on you, wag their tail, and may pee when they get too excited.

German Shepherd beside his owner
German Shepherd being curious beside his owner.

German Shepherds Are Perfect For Families

German Shepherds are ideal for a house pet of a busy, outdoorsy family with a large backyard and a tall fence. This dog breed is open to strangers when they know the stranger is safe. Because of their semi-reserved nature, German Shepherds are perfect for letting the family know in the event of an intruder or alerting those nearby of danger.

German Shepherds are vigilant and will act as mother hens for young children, ensuring they are not wandering too close to water, pools, or open windows. Additionally, a German Shepherd can multi-task and remain vigilant while being playful.

German Shepherd and baby
German Shepherd looks after the baby.

11 Ways German Shepherds Show Affection

German Shepherds show affection in many different ways. Some ways may be easier to identify, but others may be more subtle. There are some tell-tale signs that your German Shepherd is giving you their uninterrupted devotion.

There are countless ways that a German Shepherd may be giving affection, and these may differ depending on each special dog. Look at our 11 methods of love expression for German Shepherds to see if your furry friend is giving you love without realizing it!

They Snuggle Into Your Lap

German Shepherds snuggle into your lap when they feel very affectionate. Snuggling up may mean snatching your belongings, phone, laptops, or books before your furry pal rests their body weight onto your legs. However, the warmth and tail wag are worth the sudden move.

German Shepherds may lean their bodies against yours while keeping their eyes peeled for dangers or intruders.

German Shepherd with owner
German Shepherd sits with his owner in the field.

They Nudge You With Their Snout

German Shepherds may nudge you with their wet noses or snout to grab your attention. This nudging may mean they want something specific like a treat, a walk, or a meal. Sometimes they want a pat on the head, or they could be gently reminding you that you are their favorite person and that they love you.

When a nudge is a declaration of love, your German Shepherd will usually nudge you and put their head down next to you or move their attention on to the next thing.

German Shepherd nudge owner
German Shepherd nudges his owner to show affection.

They Bring Toys and Gifts

Animals will often bring gifts to their owners and friends to show appreciation. Dogs are no different, and German Shepherds often bring their owners sticks, stuffed animals, or blankets when they want to show their owners affection.

A German Shepherd trying to show love to its owners may bring their favorite item to their owner or friend. Be vigilant about what kinds of toys your German Shepherd brings you. If it’s their favorite toy or blanket, they may be expressing their adoration for you.

German Shepherd plays with his toy
German Shepherd plays with his toy at the park.

They Wag Their Tails Constantly

Like many other dogs, a German Shepherd will wag their tails to show they are happy with your presence. This behavior will come with licking, barking, and sniffing. 

German Shepherd approach
German Shepherd approaching his owner.

They Follow Instructions

German Shepherds love having tasks to do and thrive on encouragement from a job well done. When your German Shepherd follows your instructions and obeys your every command, they are offering their love and affection for you.

German Shepherds will show you how much they adore you by obeying your every command consistently. Keep an eye on how often your German Shepherd is following your instructions to see whether they are showing you affection.

train German Shepherd
Owner trains her train German Shepherd.

They Lick and Groom You

Dogs are known to groom each other when they want to express their love or adoration for others. This grooming will extend to their human companions. Licking and grooming mean that they love you and they want to do something special for you.

German Shepherd licks wrist
German Shepherd licks his owner’s arms and wrist.

They Look You In The Eyes

Some dogs do not enjoy maintaining eye contact, but German Shepherds will be intense about keeping eye contact when they want you to know that they love you. Sometimes, a German Shepherd may also smile while maintaining eye contact to express their love and happiness at having you in their life.

two German Shepherds
Two German Shepherds lying on the grass after a training.

They Rest Their Head In Your Lap

A German Shepherd is vigilant and is constantly on the lookout to keep its family safe. When your German Shepherd decides to rest their head in your lap, they trust you to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. This act of calmness means that they love you and enjoy your presence.

German Shepherd sweet
German Shepherd rests his head on the owner’s lap.

They Smile When You Come Home

There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of walking inside to an excited and happy dog. A German Shepherd is no exception and will wag its tail and bark to show you how excited they are to be reunited again.

However, some dogs, including a German Shepherd, will smile at you in greeting. This smile is not to be confused with an aggressive showing of teeth or growl. When a German Shepherd smiles at you, it may accompany sneezing, which dogs will do to communicate that they are calm and happy.

German Shepherd smiles
German Shepherd smiles upon seeing his owner.

They Follow You When You Leave The Room

German Shepherds are loyal dogs that will never leave you alone when they love you – even in the bathroom! German Shepherds are hardwired to be on the lookout for danger, and part of their affection expression means keeping you safe, no matter where you go.

If your German Shepherd is following you everywhere, they may be trying to keep you safe because they love you or thrive on your company.

black German Shepherd
Black German Shepherd running.

They Try To Play With You

German Shepherds – like most other dogs – adore play time and are huge fans of roughhousing. German Shepherds usually love games of toy tug and chasing. However, German Shepherds are highly adaptable and will play nearly any game that you want to play with them.

A German Shepherd will roughhouse with you or nudge you to play with them when they want you to know they enjoy your time and are expressing their affection for you.

German Shepherd plays with a ball
German Shepherd hyper actively plays with a ball.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds have dozens of ways of showing you and your family affection. German Shepherds are one of the most affectionate and adoring dog breeds and are also intensely loyal. These dog breeds enjoy doing tasks and jobs.

They also love doting on their owners, bringing them gifts, and laying in the lap of a person they love.

There are many ways that a German Shepherd will offer affection and love to their owners, visitors, or friends. Loving expressions may mean wanting to play, give up their favorite toys, or follow you around the house, among many other signs.

Your German Shepherd may have special and unique signs that mean they love you, like looking into your eyes, climbing into your lap, or laying on clothing or materials that have your scent.

A German Shepherd is a perfect pet for a family looking for an affectionate, intelligent, and fun-loving dog.