Top 10 Things That German Shepherd’s Hate Most - GSD Colony Blog Post

Top 10 Things That German Shepherds Hate Most

German Shepherds are some of the most loyal and intelligent breeds of dogs, with a long history as working dogs. They make great guard dogs, police dogs, and family companions - but even these amazing animals have their limits!

In this article, we'll explore the things that German Shepherds hate. From loud noises to unfamiliar people or places, we'll look at what can cause distress in one of Germany's favorite canine breeds.

We'll also discuss how best to manage these situations, so your furry friend remains calm and contented despite feeling uncomfortable. We can ensure our four-legged friends get all the love they deserve with a little understanding and patience!

So, what things most German Shepherds don't like?

German Shepherds are known to be fiercely loyal, intelligent, and confident. However, like all dogs, certain things may cause them distress.

One of the main things German Shepherds don't like is unfamiliar people or places. As a naturally protective breed, German Shepherds may become wary or aggressive towards strangers, especially if they don't know them.

Socialization is key in helping German Shepherds adjust to different people and places. Early exposure to various experiences can help your dog become more confident and comfortable when faced with something new.

But that isn't all. There are more things that bother German Shepherds.

Here are the top 10 things that almost all German Shepherds hate:

  1. Hugging
  2. Staring
  3. Shouting
  4. Interrupting sleep
  5. Teasing
  6. Not letting your German Shepherd be a dog
  7. Leaving your German Shepherd for a long period
  8. Very strong fragrances and chemicals
  9. Changing their smell
  10. A tight leash


You may think, “This is not true. My German Shepherd loves hugging.” however, it’s the opposite. We, humans, understand why someone hugged us, but if we hug a dog, he has no idea what that means and what’s happening.

German Shepherds, like many other dog breeds, don't usually enjoy being hugged by their owners. While showing love and affection through hugs may be tempting, this gesture can be confusing and stressful for your pup.

Stop Hugging Your German Shepherd Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

Your German Shepherd may not understand why you’re hugging them or what the gesture means, making them uncomfortable and distressed. So, instead of hugging your pup, opt for other affection like belly rubs or head scratches.

By understanding these things German Shepherds don't like, you can ensure your pup lives happily and fulfilled without stress. You can help your furry friend adjust to different situations and people with patience and consistent training.

The study shows that hugging your dog can raise his stress and anxiety level. To find out more about this topic, check this article by Carlyn Beccia.


German Shepherds are highly sensitive creatures with an incredible sense of smell and hearing. As such, they can be easily overwhelmed by too much sensory stimulation. Staring is an intense form of this kind of stimulation, which makes dogs feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

Staring is an uncomfortable experience for many dogs, including German Shepherds. It's thought to be a form of sensory overload, as the intensity of direct eye contact can be overwhelming and perceived as threatening to some dogs.

Stop Staring at Your German Shepherd Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

This can lead them to become agitated and even aggressive to protect themselves.

German Shepherds should not be stared at or challenged in any way. If you must look directly into your pup’s eyes, do so with a soft expression and gentle voice.


German Shepherds hate shouting. Shouting is a form of communication that dogs can easily misunderstand. Dogs are naturally sensitive and respond to their environment differently than humans do. When a person yells, their voice carries far beyond what a dog may be able to comprehend.

This can cause them to become confused and frightened, leading to increased stress and anxiety levels.

Stop Yelling at Your German Shepherd  Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

It's not uncommon for German Shepherds to exhibit behaviors like whining, cowering, or running away when they're yelled at. To prevent this response, it’s best to keep communication calm but firm with your pup.

Interrupting Sleep

The other thing that German Shepherds hate is interrupting them while they sleep. German Shepherds, like all dogs, need plenty of sleep to stay healthy and happy. An interrupted sleep pattern can lead to grumpiness, irritability, and lack of focus.

To ensure your pup gets enough rest, creating a relaxed sleeping environment free from loud noises or distractions is important. If possible, give your pup space and allow them to fall asleep independently.

Leave Your German Shepherd to Sleep - GSD Colony Blog Post

When the bed is time, keep the noise level low and avoid speaking directly to your pup until they wake up naturally.

German Shepherds need a great deal of sleep to stay healthy and happy. On average, these loyal and intelligent dogs sleep around 12 to 14 hours daily, and puppies can sleep from 14 to 16 hours daily.

This can vary depending on age, breed, size, and activity level, as well as other factors such as stress levels or changes in routine.


German Shepherds also hate being teased or played with too roughly. They can take games of fetch and tug-of-war too seriously, so it’s important to be gentle when playing with them.

Teasing can also cause a negative reaction if your pup doesn’t understand the game or is anxious.

Stop Teasing Your German Shepherd Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

It’s not everything a game to our German Shepherd dog. Teasing your German Shepherd dog too frequently can increase his aggressiveness and reduce his trust in you.

Imagine someone constantly tickles your ears, touches your food, runs towards you and yells, touches your favorite things, does not allow you to finish the meal, etc. It's not cool. Stop teasing your German Shepherd and allow him to enjoy his personal space and peace.

Please pay special attention to the children while playing with your German Shepherd because children can be extremely tough towards dogs.

Not letting your German Shepherd be a dog

We sometimes forget that our German Shepherd is a dog. Dogs love to smell trees and bushes, jump into the mud and roll, sniff other dogs’ butts, roll in the grass, bark, and many other things.

Such behavior may seem strange and unusual to us, but it's entirely normal for our German Shepherd dog. Therefore, allow your dog to be a dog.

Let Your German Shepherd to be a Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

It is essential to give your dog enough space and freedom to explore, play, and satisfy their curiosity. Don’t be too strict with them or try to control their behavior—it can lead to frustration and fear. Instead, provide positive reinforcement when they display desirable behaviors to encourage good habits.

Leaving your German Shepherd alone for a long period

German Shepherds hate being left alone for an extended period. Dogs are social creatures who need companionship, and leaving them alone for too long can lead to isolation, boredom, and loneliness.

This can manifest in barking and howling out of frustration or anxiety, restlessness, and destructiveness. To prevent this, ensure your pup has plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied while you're away.

Don't Leave Alone Your German Shepherd - GSD Colony Blog Post

German Shepherds should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time. They may experience loneliness, stress, and boredom any longer than that. To ensure your dog stays happy and healthy, it’s best to provide plenty of companionship and activities to keep them occupied.

Suggestion: Can German Shepherds actually be left alone?

Very Strong Fragrances & Chemicals

German Shepherds have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell that far exceeds that of humans. This means they can detect even the slightest trace of a scent and can be overwhelmed by strong scents, such as fragrances and chemicals, which they hate.

Dogs are very sensitive to odors and smells, so avoiding a particular scent by running away or trying to hide is not unusual.

Avoid Strong Smells on German Shepherd Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

Since strong fragrances and chemicals can be irritating, dangerous, and even toxic to your pup, it’s best to avoid using them around your German Shepherd. This includes perfumes, scented soaps, heavily-scented cleaning products, air fresheners, essential oils, and chemical-based insect repellents.

If you must use them, keep your pup away from the area where they are being used and ensure plenty of fresh air is circulating in the room. This will help reduce the intensity of the odor and minimize its impact on your pup.

Fact: one of the most hated scents among dogs is citrus.

Changing their smell

German Shepherds have an incredibly powerful sense of smell, far more sensitive than humans. The world is made up of smells, and dogs use their noses to investigate, explore and orient themselves in their environment. By recognizing different odors, dogs can differentiate between people, animals, and places.

Also, they like their smell, no matter how much they stink to us. Once you bathe your German Shepherd, he'll lose that "dog smell" and start rolling over in the dust to regain his scent.

German Shepherd lost Dog Smell - GSD Colony Blog Post

Should we stop bathing our German Shepherd and using shampoos? Of course not! Avoid bathing your dog too often, and your pup will be fine!

Suggestion: How often should you bathe a German Shepherd?

A tight leash

German Shepherds hate tight leash because it restricts their freedom and movement. It prevents them from exploring and causes physical discomfort as they struggle against the tension of the leash. Not only is this uncomfortable for them, but it can also become emotionally stressful if they continually try to escape and cannot do so.

A tight leash makes it difficult for your pup to sniff around, an important way to explore their environment. Therefore, keep the leash loose while training and walking your pup. This will make their experience much more enjoyable and allow them to explore freely.

Don't use a Tight Dog Leash on German Shepherd Dog - GSD Colony Blog Post

Also, use a comfortable collar or harness that won't cause any harm to your dog. Make sure it fits well and doesn't rub or pinch their skin.

Other things that German Shepherds hate

Are these things the only things that German Shepherds hate? Unfortunately not. These are just the most common things that usually all German Shepherds hate.

Here is the list of other things that German Shepherds also hate:

  1. Changing your routine too frequently
  2. Not giving them clear instructions
  3. Not letting your dog chew
  4. Use aggression toward your dog
  5. Punishing
  6. Same meal
  7. Not enough exercise
  8. Lack of attention
  9. High temperatures
  10. Distraction while eating

Changing your routine too frequently

Changing your routine too frequently can be extremely difficult for German Shepherds because they thrive on consistency. Dogs are creatures of habit and greatly enjoy the structure and predictability a consistent routine provides them with.

When their routine changes, it is often difficult for them to adjust and understand why these changes occur.

This can cause them to become anxious, stressed, and even aggressive. So, if you must change your pup’s routine, ensure they are gradual and don’t happen too often.

Not giving them clear instructions

When training your German Shepherd, giving them clear and concise instructions is important. Vague commands can be confusing and cause them to become frustrated or even aggressive.

Your pup needs to understand what you are asking them to do for the training process to go smoothly. Give them detailed instructions on what to do, and avoid using mixed signals or body language that could confuse them.

Also, reward your pup when they do something right. This will help reinforce the desired behavior and motivate them to keep learning.

Not letting your dog chew

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and they should be allowed to do it within reason. German Shepherds enjoy chewing on things such as rawhide bones or chew toys.

It helps release pent-up energy, prevents boredom, and relieves anxiety. Therefore, provide your pup with various safe chew toys to keep them occupied.

Also, don’t punish them for chewing on things they shouldn’t, as this can cause more harm than good. Instead, redirect their attention to an approved chew toy and reward them when they use it.

Using aggression toward your dog

Aggression or harsh words can harm your pup's mental health. German Shepherds are smart and need positive reinforcement to learn new skills or behaviors.

Aggression only confuses them and can even lead to aggression from your pup in return. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards or praise when your pup does something right.

This will help them understand what you expect from them more effectively.


Punishment is not an effective form of training for German Shepherds and should be avoided at all costs. Punishment can traumatize your pup, making them fearful or aggressive.

It can also teach your pup to distrust you, causing them to become distant and uncooperative. Instead, use positive reinforcement to teach your pup what behaviors are acceptable and which ones they should avoid.

Same meal

Providing the same meals daily can cause your German Shepherd to become bored with their food and even stop eating.

To keep them interested in their diets, try mixing it up by offering various types of protein, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates.

This will ensure they get all the nutrients necessary for a healthy diet while providing some variety.

Not enough exercise

German Shepherds need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Allowing your pup to play games like fetch or tug-of-war, go on walks and hikes, or participate in agility exercises can help keep them active and tire them out.

Also, try to give them at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily to prevent behavior issues due to boredom or excess energy.

Lack of attention

German Shepherds crave companionship and need their owners' attention to stay happy and healthy.

Providing them with regular affection, belly rubs, playtime, and activities can help strengthen the bond between you and your pup.

Spending quality time together can also keep them from becoming destructive due to boredom or anxiety.

High temperatures

German Shepherds can easily become overheated in hot weather, as their thick fur coats cause them to retain more heat.

Therefore, take precautions limiting exposure to high temperatures and provide them with shade, plenty of water, and rest breaks outdoors. Also, consider keeping your pup cool indoors during the summer months.

Suggestion: How to keep my German Shepherd cool in summer?

Distraction while eating

German Shepherds can be easily distracted while eating, which can cause them to choke, overeat, or not eat at all.

To avoid this issue, ensure the pup is in a quiet, comfortable area that won’t be disturbed. You should also remove any toys or treats that tempt them away from their meals.

Eventually, always feed your pup at the same time each day to create a regular eating schedule. This will help them get used to the routine and minimize distractions while they eat.

What noise do German Shepherds hate?

German Shepherds usually dislike loud, sudden noises like fireworks or vacuums. They also don’t respond well to high-pitched noises like alarms and sirens, which can cause stress and anxiety.

Related blog post: How to keep German Shepherds calm during fireworks?

To keep your pup calm, create a peaceful environment with minimal background noise. If possible, avoid exposing your pup to loud sounds whenever possible.

What smell do German Shepherds hate?

German Shepherds are known to have a very acute sense of smell, and they hate certain smells more than others. Strong fragrances such as perfumes, scented oils, and air fresheners can irritate their sensitive noses.

Also, they may dislike the scent of cleaning detergents and other chemicals. Avoid using strong fragrances or cleaning products when possible to keep your pup comfortable.

What do German Shepherds love the most?

German Shepherds love to be active and have a strong herding instinct. They are highly intelligent and eager to please their owners, so they thrive when given tasks or activities. They also love spending time with their family and bonding with them.

What do German Shepherds love the most - GSD Colony

German Shepherds love affection and need plenty of attention to stay healthy and happy. Regular exercise, playtime, and treats can help keep them mentally stimulated and create a strong bond between you and your pup.

Here are some activities that most German Shepherds will love to do!

  1. Run and exercise
  2. Herding activities
  3. Playing fetch
  4. Going for walks or hikes
  5. Exploring new places
  6. Chewing on toys and treats
  7. Swimming in water bodies
  8. Bonding with their family
  9. Snuggling up to their favorite humans
  10. Learning new tricks

Suggestion: The best things to do with your German Shepherd

How do you punish a German Shepherd?

Punishing a German Shepherd should not be done as it can lead to negative consequences. Instead, positive reinforcement and appropriate rewards should be used when teaching your German Shepherd new behaviors.

When the pup displays unacceptable behavior, redirection, and distraction are often more effective than punishment.

Also, providing consistent rules, structure, and clear expectations can help prevent undesirable behaviors from occurring in the first place. Positive reinforcement with treats or praise is an excellent way to reward desired behavior when training your pup.

    Frequently asked questions

    Do German Shepherds hate cats?

    No, German Shepherds do not typically hate cats. In fact, with proper socialization and training, they can get along very well with cats. Training a German Shepherd to interact positively with cats should start early in life and be reinforced through consistent rewards when appropriate behavior is exhibited.

    Suggestion: Are German Shepherds good with cats?

    It is important to take the time to introduce them to each other in a safe and controlled environment. Both the pup and cat should be supervised while interacting, as it is essential to monitor their body language and intervene if necessary.

    Do German Shepherds hate other dogs?

    German Shepherds do not typically hate other dogs. They can get along very well with other dogs with proper socialization and training. Socializing your pup with other canines at an early age is essential to ensure they are comfortable around them and develop positive behaviors.

    Taking them out in public is important to get used to other dogs, but it is best to start with one-on-one interactions before introducing them to large groups. Always supervise their interactions and intervene if they become too rambunctious or aggressive.

    Do German Shepherds hate water?

    German Shepherds usually do not hate water. Many German Shepherds enjoy playing in or around water and can make great swimming partners for their owners. However, like any breed, each dog has its own individual personality and preferences.

    Introducing your pup to the water is best to start with a shallow area such as a kiddie pool, beach, or lake. Allow the pup to explore and sniff around before introducing them to deeper water. Give your pup treats and praise for positive behavior in the water. Before long, they may even enjoy a swim!

    Suggestion: Do German Shepherds love water and water games?

    Do German Shepherds like to cuddle?

    Yes, most German Shepherds love to cuddle with their owners and family. They are affectionate pups that thrive on physical contact and special bonding time with their favorite humans. Cuddling can be a great way to reward good behavior or show your pup some extra love!

    Why do German Shepherds hate baths?

    Many German Shepherds do not enjoy baths, which can be overwhelming and uncomfortable. Dogs have a naturally oily coat which helps them to stay warm and repel water, meaning that they may not appreciate being excessively soaked in the first place.

    Further, many dogs don't like the feeling of being restrained while getting a bath, and this can cause them to become anxious.

    Do German Shepherds hate rain?

    No, German Shepherds typically do not hate rain. Many pups enjoy splashing around in the rain or playing with a ball or toy outside during light showers. However, depending on the individual pup and the rain conditions, some dogs may become anxious or fearful when it rains heavily.

    Suggestion: Do German Shepherds like rain?

    Final words

    German Shepherds are loyal, affectionate pups that can make wonderful companions. They can become your lifetime partners with proper socialization and training from an early age.

    However, it is important to remember that each pup has its own individual personality and preferences, so some may not be a fan of water or heavy rains, and that's fine.

    Don't force your dog to do something that he hates. Try to find a balance and do together things that you both like.

    Understanding your German Shepherd’s needs and wants will help you provide them with the best care possible and build a strong bond between your two!

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