Top 5 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd is Lazy – We love german Shepherd

Top 5 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd is Lazy

German Shepherds are generally very active and highly energetic dogs. They need 2 hours of exercise every day. They aren’t considered a lazy breed.

So, Why is your German Shepherd is lazy. The reasons are old age, diet, illness or injury, depression, and lack of exercise. As for German Shepherds puppies, the reasons also include illnesses, a calm personality, and hot weather.

Why is your German Shepherd lazy?

1.) Age

Your German Shepherd may be lazy due to the natural process of aging. This happens whenever your dog grows in their age.

Old age causes your German Shepherd to be less motivated to move.

The main cause of them becoming lazy is that they experience body fatigue. As they are young, they can move easily.

However, when they age, having too much movement will hurt their joints limiting their mobility.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t need any exercise rather they will need low-intensity exercises at a short duration.

You can walk your dog shorter walks at a slower pace so they don’t get hurt.

If your dog seems doesn’t get up easily or has trouble getting any exercise, go to the vet because they can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to ease stiffness.

2.) Diet

Your German Shepherd may also be lazy due to their diet. Their laziness in their behavior is obvious when there is a change in their diet.

It happens when they are eating too much or eating the wrong food. So you got to make sure that your German Shepherd eats the proper diet.

To know what to feed your German Shepherd when they are puppies so they can grow healthy, check German Shepherd Puppy Diet Guide.

3.) Illness or injury

Your dog may also be ill or injured that they don’t have the energy to stay active.

You will know that they are becoming lazy due to an illness or injury when they suddenly don’t want to move and find it hard to do the activities that they once did.

Other behaviors to look for including your dog crying or becoming aggressive.

You can also look for symptoms such as vomiting, limping, or becoming tired when waking up.

If this is the case, the best option is to take your German Shepherd to the vet so they can treat them from any underlying condition.

4.) Depression

Your dog may also become lazy when they are depressed. This is more likely to happen when your dog has lost their dog parent or a companion animal.

Other causes include moving into a new home, a dramatic change in your dog’s schedule such as a dog parent working too long, or a family member who passed away.

If you want to be sure that your dog is depressed or not, check the following symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from all activities
  • Inactivity
  • A change in sleeping and eating habits; eating too much or too little
  • They don’t participate in things that they love

5.) Lack of exercise

A German Shepherd is a highly active dog who needs to have exercise daily. If they don’t get the exercise that they need, they will become bored and lazy.

They won’t be highly active or excited anymore. Therefore, you need to provide them with daily exercise.

Here are the signs that your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise:

  • Weight gain
  • Destructive behavior
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Stiffness and low stamina
  • Hyperactivity
  • Barking and Whining

So, how much exercise should German Shepherds get? For adult German Shepherds, you need to provide them with 2 hours of exercise.

As for German Shepherd puppies, you will need to add 5 minutes for each month per age.

To know more the different exercises that a German Shepherd needs, check How Much Exercise does your German Shepherd Need?

Why is my German Shepherd puppy lazy?

A German Shepherd puppy can become lazy because of illnesses, having a calm personality, hot weather. As well as the same reasons as the adult German Shepherd.

1.) Illnesses

Your German Shepherd puppy may have illnesses that cause them to become lazy such as:

  • Infections such as distemper and kennel cough
  • Metabolic diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, and liver problems.
  • Medications such as a newly prescribed drug or flea or worm product
  • Poisoning from toxic foods such as onions and garlic
  • Tumors, trauma, and pain

2.) A calm personality

Some German Shepherds puppies are born with a calm personality. This calm personality causes them to not be highly active so they don’t tend to move around a lot.

3.) Hot weather

When the weather has too much heat, your German Shepherd puppy may become very lazy.

They usually won’t move around a lot because the heat causes them to feel really hot that they may suffer from a heat stroke.

So, to prevent this from happening, it is better to make sure that they have access to shade, water, and cool areas.

How to keep your German Shepherd active?

1.) Provide them with physical and mental exercise

If your German Shepherd is unmotivated and lazy, you got to pay attention to them. You got to provide them with the physical and mental exercises that they need.

A very beneficial exercise to do to your German Shepherd is to walk them in a park. If they are old enough, you can also take them on a jog.

As for mental exercise, you can train them basic obedience training and training classes. You can also give them toys to play with.

You can also play with them games such as fetch and tug of war.

2.) Give them a good diet

If your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough nutrients that they need in their diet, they will become lazy and less energetic.

Also, if they are not eating the right food, they can become overweight and lazy.

So, you got to provide them with a really good diet. A balanced diet should contain protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, fats, and water.

3.) Visit the vet

Your dog may also have an underlying problem such as depression, stomach worm infection, or uterine infection.

Another cause is that your German Shepherd may have nutrition deficiencies from an unbalanced diet that causes them to be lethargic and lazy.

Whatever the cause, your vet can actually find a way to treat your dog.

4.) Establish a routine

German Shepherds do well when they are on a routine. It lets your dog know what they are going to do such as the timings for their potty, feeding, exercise, and crate training.

When your dog’s brain is stimulated, they will look forward to their activities and your companionship.

What to do if your German Shepherd is lethargic?

When your German Shepherd is lethargic, they will stop doing the activities that they enjoyed.

Instead, they will lay down and won’t move much. A dog who is lethargic won’t respond to their name when they are being called.

The causes of lethargy in dogs may be similar to lazy behavior. However, there is a big difference. Lethargy happens when your dog is tired all the time.

While laziness is a behavior that can be changed when you take certain actions.

Reasons for lethargy

Eating something that made them sick

There are certain types of foods that can actually make your dog very sick such as onions and chocolate.

German Shepherds are known to be very curious so they can accidentally eat items such as plastic, cardboard, shoes, and many things.

They end up with upset stomachs that need immediate veterinary intervention.

You got to also make the place that your dog is safe from toxic plants because eating these plants can be life-threatening to them.

All these causes will make your German Shepherd lethargic.


If you have exercised your German Shepherd too much and above their endurance level, they will have sore muscles.

You will notice that your dog is lethargic the next day after doing a lot of physical activities.

So, too much exercise at a very short time can cause your dog to develop sore muscles.


Your German Shepherd may also have an injury that is causing them pain and making them lethargic and tired.

So if you want to know if your dog is injured, you have to examine their body for areas of cuts and swelling.

German Shepherds with long hair are good at hiding their injuries. If left untreated, small cuts can get infected.

Fear and anxiety

Your dog may be afraid or anxious that they start to stay in their place without moving.

The way that they interact with other people and dogs will also be less due to their anxiety.


Your German Shepherd may have an underlying medical condition that causes them to be lethargic.

Some of these diseases are kennel cough, cancer, diabetes, and Parvovirus.

All these diseases and conditions will require that you go to the vet; however, they aren’t life-threatening.

Signs to consider when your dog is lethargic

If your dog shows any of the following signs, it is time that you take them to the vet:

  • Prolonged lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea and vomiting that contains blood
  • Coughing and sneezing that is consistent
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours

The best action to take is to observe your dog for any signs of lethargy. You got to monitor their behavior and look for any additional symptoms of lethargy.

If they still feel the same for a long period of time, go to the vet immediately.

This is the best action to take so your German Shepherd gets treated from anything that they may have.

Related questions

1.) Do German shepherds sleep a lot?

Yes, an average German Shepherd sleeps between 12 to 14 hours of sleep. However, the varying amount of sleep depends on your dog’s activity level.

If your German Shepherd is a working dog, they will sleep less than senior dogs and puppies.

2.) Do German shepherds turn on their owners?

No, it’s a myth that isn’t true. German Shepherds are one of the most loyal and caring dog breeds.

Because of their loyalty and intelligence, they have been used in critical jobs in police and military, service, and therapy.

Even though there are instances where a German Shepherd may display aggressive behaviors, it mainly happens because of abuse or lack of training.


German Shepherds aren’t a lazy breed; however, there are some reasons that will cause your German Shepherd to be lazy. There are solutions to stop your German Shepherd from being lazy.

Share your experience. Is your German Shepherd lazy and what did you do to change this behavior?


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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