Are German Shepherds Cuddly? (Solved!)

The German Shepherd is an intelligent, hard-working, medium to large-sized dog.

For decades, this breed has been known and valued for their loyalty, obedience, devotion, and the protection they offer to their owner.

German Shepherds were originally bred in Germany in the year 1899, for the purpose of guarding and herding sheep, valued for their alertness, strength, and courage which made them perfect for this role.

More recently, these alert, smart dogs have been used to work in partnership with humans in crime, tracking, and military operations.

However, German Shepherds are not only fierce and fearless working dogs, but can also be wonderful, loyal family pets that will give their owners unconditional love and will protect them at any cost.


Are German Shepherds Cuddly?

In most cases, German Shepherds dogs do enjoy cuddling.

They do it because it’s a stress-reliever, it makes them feel safe and relaxed, to show their love and affection, and because it brings them closer to their owners, family, or friends.

Despite being a fierce protector and guardian, German Shepherds tend to show their cuddly side with people they trust and will enjoy cuddling or snuggling up on the couch with them.

German Shepherd dogs form a very strong and unbreakable bond and attachment with their human companions and family, therefore they will love to cuddle with them.

This is because through this sort of physical touch they will be able to display their affection and love.

However, the majority of German Shepherds are very reserved and wary of strangers and people they are not familiar with.

And that is why they mostly enjoy cuddling with family members and will keep away or aloof of people they do not know.

Why Does My German Shepherd Not Like To Cuddle?

Dog’s Personality And Temperament

Even though most German Shepherd’s that trust and love their owner will want to cuddle with them, not all German Shepherds are the same, and some simply do not like to cuddle.

This does not mean your German Shepherd doesn’t have love for you, but rather that they are just more aloof as of nature or don’t show their affection openly. 

However, apart from an individual dog’s personality and temperament, there are other factors that could contribute to a German Shepherd not liking to cuddle with its owner.

Other Reasons

This could be that it had bad previous experiences with cuddling if the German Shepherd has been adopted from a shelter.

For instance, it could not be socialized properly as a puppy, had lived with owners that had neglected it, mistreated it, or it has been hugged too tightly by little children in the past.

If your German Shepherd dog used to love cuddling with you, but has suddenly stopped, there may be various reasons for this.

The dog could be injured and in pain, and cuddling with it could cause the sore place to hurt. 

The dog could also be sick, or suffering from depression caused by a certain factor like the death of a family member or another change, in which case it should be taken to the vet for treatment.

Sometimes as dogs grow older, they make become more tired and will need more rest, and may not want to cuddle as much as they used to when they were younger.

Are German Shepherds Affectionate?

German Shepherds are not just outstanding guard dogs, but they are extremely affectionate and gentle towards their owners and household members.

However, the majority of German Shepherd dogs will grant its affection and love solely to its family members – people they trust and have formed a bond and attachment with.

To strangers, a German Shepherd will not show such great affection.

They will be more cautious and wary around them, or even keep aloof of them or avoid them completely. They might follow their owner to protect them at times when there is a stranger present.

They will be more reserved and not very open to affection as with family and people they are already familiar with.

Are Male Or Female German Shepherds More Affectionate?

Female and Male German Shepherd by Orizan (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Even though it all comes down to the individual dog, when it comes to picking a male or female German Shepherd regarding their levels of affection, usually females tend to be more affectionate.

Often this is due to the fact that many male German Shepherd dogs are more territorial, and they prefer to protect and guard their family and property.

Male German Shepherd dogs are also more aloof, and tend to be more aggressive toward strangers.

This is not always the case, however, when considering to getting a German Shepherd for a family, especially with younger children, it is better to get a female.

This is because females tend to be more affectionate and gentle, and, further, they are family-oriented of nature, and good with children – and will protect them and look after them.

How To Get Your German Shepherd To Be More Affectionate?

Some German Shepherd individuals may naturally be less affectionate, or, if adopted, they could refrain from showing affection after previous mistreatment or neglect. 

If its previous owners had not looked after it properly, a German Shepherd may find it hard to trust someone again.

In this case, how can you get your German Shepherd to be more affectionate toward you?

This can be done by positive reinforcement training, so basically rewarding your dog when it displays signs of affection or a behavior you like.

Your German Shepherd dog will not only want to continue showing affection because they know they are going to get a treat, but also because they see that it makes you happy and that they are pleasing you.

German Shepherds are incredibly fast learners and are easy to train, so they will quickly recognize what behaviors they display that you favor.

Another way to get your German Shepherd to be more affectionate would be from strengthening your bond with it.

This includes showing affection and love yourself, taking it out for walks, playing with it, and having lots of fun.

Your German Shepherd will associate spending time with you with happy moments, so they will want to be more affectionate toward you.

How Do You Know If Your German Shepherd Loves You?

As a dog owner, how do you know whether your German Shepherd dog loves you or not?

German Shepherds display their affection and love toward their owners and family in a number of ways.

The most apparent way a German Shepherd shows its love is by wanting to be in your presence and seeking attention from you, indicating it does not want to hide from you but instead trusts you and likes to follow you around and be with you.

They also do this because they want to guard you and protect you from any harm.

He Is Defensive

Being defensive of you when someone is at the door or visiting means that your German Shepherd loves you and wants to guard you and your family or property.

He Wiggles His Tail

Another way a German Shepherd shows it loves you is by wagging its tail and jumping on you when they see you, and becoming excited when you get home.

This implies that they are very happy to see you and that they have missed you.

He Lies On His Back

By lying down on their back and wanting you to rub their belly, German Shepherds show that they are comfortable and safe around you.

It means that they trust you, since this position is one which makes them vulnerable.

He Sleeps Near You

Another vulnerable position for a German Shepherd would be sleeping or resting near you, especially on its back or side.

If your German Shepherd sleeps or rests near you, it means that they trust that it is safe and comfortable being in your presence. They are content and relaxed around you.

When a German shepherd lean on you or against you, it will likewise show that it trusts you and knows you will support it.

He Wants To Play With You

A German Shepherd which feels comfortable and happy around their owners will also not refrain from showing that they want to play with them, bringing them toys and things to show they are a part of their pack and that they care about them.

It also shows that they want to have fun with you, and as well as that, they want you to have as much enjoyment as they do play with their favorite toys that they bring you.

He Noses You

If a German Shepherd noses you a lot, it means that they love you, because they want to smell your scent and thereby read things about you like your emotions, feelings, and health state.

They want to check up on you, and see if you are okay.

He Licks You

German Shepherds moreover show their love by licking their owners. This is a common display of love which they learn from puppyhood, and they use it for various reasons.

This includes to show their affection, just like giving a kiss, for communication, to show they want to be cared for and want attention, and as an act of submission.

By this they are implying that they respect your leadership in their pack. A German Shepherd that loves you will further make eye contact with you. 

He Often Seeks Eye Contact

By making regular eye contact with their owner, a German Shepherd dog shows that they love him and want to bond with him.

This is because by looking into their owner’s eyes, dogs release a hormone called Oxytocin, also referred to as the ‘Love Hormone’, which promotes bonding and a stronger attachment with their owner.

He Wants To Cuddle

A German Shepherd that loves their owner will also want to cuddle with them and will not mind be hugged or embraced.

When a German Shepherd is being hugged, it is, again, a vulnerable position for them, as they are unable to do anything or protect themselves.

However, by allowing their owner to hug them, a German Shepherd shows that they feel they are safe in their arms and do not fear any harm coming upon them.

He Burys His Head Into You

German Shepherds will furthermore nudge their owners as a sign of love and to seek attention. Whereas, when they bury their head into their owner’s, or rub themselves against them,

German Shepherds show their love not just by wanting attention, but by wanting to help their owners feel more safe and secure. 

He Sighs

Another way German Shepherds can show that they love you, is by sighing, for this means they are content and at ease near your and in your presence.

He Protects You

A German Shepherd that loves you will most definitely protect you and safeguard you.

They will not allow anything bad or any harm to come your way and will display their fierce loyalty and defense. 

He Obeys You

Finally, a German Shepherd that loves you will obey you and follow your orders.

By this you can be sure that they have full trust in you, want to please you, and that they respect your headship and position as their leader.


In conclusion, are German Shepherds cuddly?

Yes, most German Shepherds are, but they prefer to only cuddle and show affection to their owners and family, whom they trust.

They are more cold and reserved toward strangers, and will not be open to affection. German Shepherds show their affection in many ways.

This includes making eye contact, wanting to be near you, sleeping near you, showing their belly, playing with you, kissing you and nosing you.

They will also listen to your commands and will want to obey you and accompany you. They will be excited to see you, and could even bring you their toys.

Also, if a family is considering to get a German Shepherd that will be the most affectionate, a female would be better, especially for families with younger children.

Females tend to be more affectionate and sweeter, and they are family-oriented and will protect and care for children.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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