Do German Shepherds Need a Lot of Attention?

Do German Shepherds Need a Lot of Attention

German Shepherd is an adorable and affectionate breed. However, because they can form an intense bond with their owners, they possibly will need a lot of attention. Keeping a German Shepherd is no less than nurturing a human baby from constantly walking behind you to clinging to you for the entire time.

Because German Shepherds are entirely dependent upon their owners, one should be really thoughtful before adopting them. Until and unless you cannot promise them enough time, love, and efforts, this canine royalty, if definitely not for you.

In this article, we take a look at how much attention does a German Shepherd needs. How much time you should spend with them and what to do if you don’t have much time for them? Do they get attached to their owners and why do they need lots of attention?

Article Published on 12th November 2020 » Updated on 15th January 2022

aditi chef editorWritten By Sergey Uhanov Certified Veterinarian.
Sergey Uhanov is a certified veterinarian for dogs over 10 years, breeding 3 dogs. He loves dogs and has his own pet clinic in Israel. He likes to help other people with their dogs by sharing his experience and knowledge.

Who do German Shepherds Need a lot of attention?

German Shepherds, by nature, are super affectionate dogs, which makes them want a lot of attention. This is one of their standard characteristics, and no amount of training can change it (unless one is being harsh).

With someone who has a really busy lifestyle, German Shepherds suffer from separation anxiety. They even dislike being alone for a few hours, though if they sense that their owner is eventually coming back, they will try adjusting to the schedule.

However, with owners who are out of home for up to 6 or 8 hours daily, Shepherds with them will start feeling alone.

Are German Shepherds Clingy?

German Shepherds, by their designed nature, want to be with their human parents all the time.

They won’t jump or lick you necessarily, but even sitting beside gives them a sense of love and satisfaction.

They are not clingy by nature; however, some clingy owners can turn this habit in their Shepherds.

For example, if you are always cuddling, kissing, and petting your dog, he will give and expect the same behavior from you always.

This, in turn, can make you feel that your Shepherd is being extremely clingy.

How much time do I need to spend with my German Shepherd?

For the fact that German Shepherds need attention, you don’t have to stick them all throughout the day. Remember, the more you will make your dog clingy, the more they will become one.

For example, parents of young kids often hold them in arms out of love or out of new excitement. However, this habit of yours makes the kid stubborn, and they refuse to leave your lap with time. It can further become annoying and difficult for parents to control.

The same goes with dogs, especially Shepherds. If you give them more time and attention than required, they will become habitual. And if any day in the future, this graph drops, your dog will suffer from separation anxiety, stress, and even pet depression at times.

However, with the right management, you can provide your dog with enough time. And here enough means, not less and not more.

Here is how it goes,

  1. Half an hour to 45 minutes Morning Walk.
  2. Half an hour evening walk.
  3. Some evening playtime.
  4. A few minutes of cuddling and patting time while you both are home.
  5. A weekend outing, maybe a small hike, a swimming session, or so.
  6. Along with all of this, follow your basic responsibilities that include feeding, cleaning, bathing, grooming, etc.

Do German Shepherds get attached to one person or the entire family?

German Shepherds are loving dogs, and thus they will get attached to whosoever behaves gently towards them. So even if they are in a big family, they are going to bond with everyone.

However, Shepherds or other dogs commonly are more attached to their chief caregiver. So it can be anyone who gives them more cuddles, cares for them more, basically is a little more loving than all others.

How Much Attention Does a German Shepherd Puppy Need?

Puppyhood is by far one of the most time-consuming phases of any dog. As a pup, dogs need more time, attention, love, and care. Also, because it is one of the crucial training times, owners automatically tend to spend more time with their dogs.

From potty training to housetraining and socializing, there is a lot of effort while nurturing a German Shepherd puppy. This is also one reason why several individuals opt for an adult German Shepherd rather than a pup.

Simply because nurturing a dog baby is no less a task than nurturing a human baby.

How Much Attention Does an Adult German Shepherd Need?

An adult German Shepherd will need a little less attention than puppies and also the mode of attention with the changes. Once a Shepherd crosses his puppyhood, their need for physical exercise also increases.

You need to give them an hour or even two of physical and mental stimulation every day. And mind it, this session does not only include a walk. Along with that, playing fetch, running with the dog, playing mind games, puzzles, etc., are needed.

So while you burn their physical energy, make sure you are also working on their mental engagement, especially through games.

How Much Attention Does an Old German Shepherd Need?

Again, once your German Shepherd touches the graph of old age, the mode of attention changes for them. Here they might not ask you for more cuddle or a long play session.

However, you have to look after their health and wellbeing, far more than for puppy and adult dogs. Old dogs tend to suffer from several physical ailments; thus, dog owners need to ensure the right diet, medication, and care.

Some dogs at this phase of life also lose their eyesight; thus, dog owners here have to be very careful with handling them. Your oldie now will sleep more and will less likely want to play, exercise or even go for a walk.

Hence, instead of forcefully taking them for the same, take cues from them and react accordingly. Also, if your dog looks more tired and uninterested in an outing, allow them to rest.

What Kinds of Attention Does a German Shepherd Dog Need?

As discussed above, the need for attention in German Shepherds changes with their age.

However, despite age, there are a few things that your Shepherd will always need from you.

  • Walking and Playing

Regardless of their age, dogs need some daily time for walking and playing.

Unless your dog is physically unfit, avoid skipping their walk hour, even if it is just for pooping and peeing.

  • Basic Grooming

From brushing their teeth to combing their coat, cleaning their eyes, ears, and paws, there goes a lot of work with dogs.

But, regardless of their age, there are certain things to look after that owners should never avoid.

Basic and daily grooming not only makes your dog look good but also makes them feel fresh and energetic.

  • Cuddles and Patting

German Shepherds are known to be those attention-seeking dogs, and no matter what age they are off, this habit never changes.

Despite growing out of your lap, they will still want to sit over you to feel that warmth.

Some belly rubbing to patting and a few cuddles a day, there are a few things they will never grow bored of.

Wrapping up

For the right individual with enough time, German Shepherds are by far one of the best pets. Before bringing them home, do make sure that you have enough time and love to provide.

If you are a working individual, you can still pet a German Shepherd knowing your family will look after them. However, if you spend fewer hours of the day at home and more at work, German Shepherd is not for you.

Instead, go for breeds like Basset Hound, Shar Pei, Greyhound, and Maltese. Such breeds love staying on their own and ask for the least attention from their owners.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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