Why Do German Shepherds Groan When Lying Down? Potential Causes & Solutions

Why do German Shepherds groan when lying down
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German shepherds are big dogs with noble, diligent, loyal, and clever temperaments. GSD is known as one of the “vocal” dog breeds.

If you keep these dogs, sometimes you may notice they groan, but you don’t know the exact reasons. Why do Germans Shepherds groan when lying down? 

If you want to learn more potential causes for this breed’s behavior and solutions, it’s time to dive into the article. Let’s scroll it down to discover more!

Why Do German Shepherds Groan When Lying Down? 

There are many reasons for making your German Shepherds groan when lying down, like attention-seeking, stretching, excitement, anxiety, or pain. 

Let’s jump into the causes of making your pets groan when they lie down. 

They Seek Your Attention.

German Shepherds may not only nudge towards your palm to be petted, but they may also moan about being noticed.

Because dogs are unable to communicate like humans, they will use their languages to communicate with their owners by barking, moaning, or whining.

Sometimes what they’re trying to say seems to be that they seek attention and affection from the owners.

If you don’t give them enough care or attention, they may lie down near you and moan as a way of complaining.

They want your attention

They want your attention.

They Are Stretching.

German Shepherds sometimes moan when they stretch. This behavior is widespread after they wake up in the morning or take a nap. 

Some dogs may moan while stretching out their back legs. It is much the same as human stretching behavior after waking up in the morning. 

This dog breed is vocal. Some dogs moan when they wake up and begin their day. 

They also enjoy letting their owners know what they’re up to, even when just stretching.

They Are Excited.

Another reason German Shepherds moan is that they are excited. These canines may groan and growl, howl, or bark when excited.

If you own these dogs, you’re undoubtedly aware that they’re high-energy dogs who get excited quickly.

When they become excited, they need to let this energy out!

Some German Shepherds tend to bark more often than others, though some may often groan to show their happiness.

It is most likely the cause of your dog groaning while engaging in a behavior that excites them.

They are excited.

They Are Anxious.

Despite their strong demeanor, German Shepherds may be worried and anxious inside.

When your canines are frightened about new objects or situations, they may groan.

Thunderstorms, for instance, are unpleasant or even frightening to several dogs.

Hence, if you see your dogs moaning if there is a thunderstorm, it’s most likely because the storm is causing them anxiety and nervousness.

They are anxious

They are anxious.

They Feel Hurt Or Painful.

If you notice your dogs groaning a lot while lying down or moving around, they might feel hurt or painful due to disease. 

Health problems are inevitable in German Shepherds. Below are three common medical issues in this breed you should know:


Panosteitis, or growing pains, may be as painful for puppies as for children in humans. Larger dog varieties are more susceptible to this illness.

Panosteitis often referred to as pano in canines, is an uncomfortable and painful ailment that happens when a dog’s bones expand more rapidly than they are able to adapt to.

Your canines display distress by moaning and groaning while lying down.

The most noticeable sign of this illness, Panosteitis, is dog moaning. 

A puppy hobbling or dragging one leg over the other is significantly more probable. 

When you touch its painful limb, it may yip or howl.

This problem can afflict any puppies, mainly the German Shepherd breed until they reach adulthood, about the age of two.

Luckily, this disease will stop developing seriously when your puppy reaches adulthood. 


There may be more reason for worry if your pet does not have a habit of moaning when it lies down and develops the behavior as it gets older.

Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage cushioning a pet’s joints wears down significantly with time.

This disease makes even the simplest motions unpleasant, which is upsetting and baffling for dogs that have always been active.

Even simple tasks like lying down and getting up become increasingly tricky in older dogs with joint discomfort.

Groaning is a sign; although it is not the most concerning, it is with increasing discomfort.

Hobbies that seemed simple, such as playing catch or walking upstairs and downstairs, now require a lot more effort.

You’ll also observe your pet licking, gnawing, or biting at any joints irritating it.

Health issues in this breed

Health issues in this breed


One of the most common medical causes of dogs groaning when they lie down is ascites, also known as fluid buildup in the belly.

The trapped fluid makes your German Shepherds vocal while lying down. 

It’s because your canines have to struggle to feel more comfortable.

Breathing problems and frequent vomiting might result from pressure on their lungs and belly.

Most dogs prefer a nice belly massage. If your pet begins to withdraw from your affection, it may be suffering from this health problem.

Why does the fluid accumulate within the body of a dog? Accidental accidents, such as running into objects or fences while intense play when they are puppies, can lead to this issue.

Other illnesses that cause ascites in older dogs include renal or liver impairment, cancer, and heart problems.

Go to see your veterinarian if your pet’s stomach suddenly becomes large or distended.

If you want this learn more about this illness, you can refer to this video: 

Why Do German Shepherds Have Such A Loud Voice?

German Shepherds are so vocal that they try to communicate with their owners by groaning, barking, and whining.

These dogs may be vocal for various reasons, ranging from instinct to training.

If you are curious about the vocal voice in this breed, the following reasons will give you in-depth explanations: 

They Are Herding Dogs.

German Shepherds were trained to become the most robust working dogs globally.

They are sheep herding dogs, as their names suggest. These canines used their voices to steer sheep to wherever they wanted to go by barking.

If a sheep begins to wander away from the herd, they will bark and howl even louder.

This canine breed has retained its herding nature throughout history, even seeking to shepherd its family at times.

They retained their vocal features whenever they needed to make noises and bark to herd the animals.

They are herding dogs

They are herding dogs. 

They Are Service Dogs.

Because of their sensitive noses and protective instincts, German Shepherds frequently work with the fire and police services.

These dogs have to communicate with their owners using their voices in this task.

These dogs must be pretty vocal on their duty, whether that’s barking to alert their owners to intruders or moaning whenever something horrible might happen.

Even when they’re not service dogs, they have evolved to that mode of communicating and remain vocal.

They are service dogs

They are service dogs.

Their Ancestors Are Wolves.

German Shepherds have a solid connection to the wolf origins. Among the dog breeds, these dogs have the closest relationship with wolves.

Wolves are very vocal. They will howl to communicate with the others in their family.

Wolves passed down this instinct to their descendants, German Shepherds, in domestication until modern days.

Their ancestors are wolves

Their ancestors are wolves.

Is Your Dog’s Groaning A Cause For Concern? 

The short answer is no! It is just a way for your pets to communicate with their owners and other fellows. 

If your pet groans very often, nevertheless, you should investigate further to check whether something is not okay.

When deciding whether or not to be concerned about your dog groaning, keep the following factors in mind:

  • What makes your pet groan? The conditions around your pet’s behavior might help you find out what caused it. Are they nervous, excited, or just getting up?
  • Does your pet moan occasionally or frequently? The groaning frequency is vital in deciding if it is an issue or not.
  • It is very typical for a dog to whine on occasion. If it groans all day, perhaps it is in discomfort, or something is disturbing it.
  • When moaning, how does your dog act? Notice its behaviors and reaction to know if it’s anxious, excited, or painful. 
  • Groaning is normal in this breed

Groaning is normal in this breed. 

In A Nutshell 

This article has eventually got to the bottom of your headache question: Why do German Shepherds groan when lying down?

They may moan if they are excited, anxious, painful, or seeking attention. Sometimes, groaning is a habit after your pets wake up in the morning. 

Although groaning in this breed is normal, you should still care for your pets if they moan more often. If it is the case, they might encounter some common health issues in dogs. 

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading!


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