Why Do German Shorthair Pointers Shake and Whine?

German Shorthair Pointers are a type of hunting dog, they have been bred over the years to be the top-dog when it comes to bringing down game. They are so because they have patience and an amazing sense of smell. Not only do these dogs have a natural urge to hunt, but their genetics predispose them for such tasks.

But there is one trait that these dogs suffer from that might cause some concern for dog owners – shivering and whining when anxious or feeling stressed. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this type of behavior, and offer some potential training solutions.

Why Do German Shorthair Pointers Shake And Whine?

Whining is a trait that German Shorthaired Pointers inherit from their ancestors. During their time in the field, these dogs used to whine if they could not find any game for a long time. This would then alert the handler so that he or she can search for more game in a new spot.

Today, this trait is still present in the dog and manifests itself alongside shaking when they are anxious or upset. There is an assortment of reasons that might contribute to this kind of behavior in German Shorthair Pointers (GSPs). These include:


Perhaps one of the most common reasons behind GSPs exhibiting this trait is anxiety. They become more anxious when they’re left alone for a period of time or if there are loud noises in the neighborhood. Perhaps it’s because these dogs were bred to be hunters so naturally they have a heightened sense of hearing making them responsive to any unfamiliar sound they hear.

Susceptibility to heat

Suffering from the heat is another common cause of GSPs behaving this way. These dogs are highly sensitive to high temperatures and can easily become annoyed when it’s too hot. Even worse, dogs who are hot tend to pant more which makes them even more anxious.

Excessive panting

In extremely hot areas, it’s common for dogs to pant and shake excessively since they lose a lot of moisture in their bodies. This is because panting is their natural cooling mechanism, and when it becomes excessive, their bodies get too hot. When this happens, they try to cool themselves down by panting, which also makes them more anxious. GSPs are known to suffer from this ailment quite often and as a result, they become anxious.

Skin Allergies

Another reason why GSPs whine and shake is because of irritation from skin allergies. To avoid this, dogs should be bathed regularly so they can tolerate the environment without sweating or panting. This is especially important for GSPs who have fur that’s prone to matting.

Crusted ear wax

GSPs might also suffer from ear mites and after suffering from these, they will shake and whine due to the irritation of the parasite. This leaves some dogs with crusty ear wax which is liable to cause them discomfort.


It is also a common trait of GSPs to become bored so when they don’t have anything to do, they will whine and shake. This is because these dogs are highly energetic and if they can’t expend that energy in some way, they will start to feel anxious. So, one way to deal with this is by making sure your pet gets some regular exercise. This is the result of years of breeding these dogs to always have a job. When they don’t have a job to do, they tend to get very restless, and an often act out in annoying or concerning ways.

How To Stop Your GSP From Whining And Shaking

If your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms, there are several things you can do to alleviate the problem. These include:

Regular Exercise

Since this is a very physical breed, it’s important that they get regular exercise so they don’t become anxious and start to shake. Now, you don’t have to take them running or anything like that (unless they’re particularly well-behaved and enjoy it). Instead, consider consulting their veterinarian about how much exercise your GSP needs. Usually one to two thirty minute walks per day is all it takes, along with some play time or mentally stimulating toys throughout the day.

Separation Anxiety Training

Another thing you can do to solve this problem is to bring them for some separation anxiety training. During the sessions, they will learn that they are not being punished and that they have nothing to worry about when you leave the house.

Puzzle Toys

There are also plenty of puzzles toys that will help your dog stay occupied and prevent them from becoming bored, thereby reducing their need to whine and shake. Puzzle toys are a great addition to exercise, because they provide mental stimulation that normal playtime can’t really match.

CBD Treats For Anxiety

If your dog appears to be suffering from generalized anxiety, one of the best things you can do is give them CBD treats for anxiety . These are usually made from hemp oil which is known to help reduce stress, anxiety and tension in dogs. And they’re totally legal and safe to use on pets.

Medical Care:

Finally, if the symptoms persist, have your dog examined by a veterinarian to determine if there’s an underlying medical condition causing their anxiety. For example, your pet may be suffering from skin allergies or ear mites that you might not be aware of. If this is the case, dealing with the medical problem should alleviate their symptoms as well.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, GSP’s use whining and shaking as a means of communicating a need. Whether that need is some new game to hunt, or a new game of fetch all the way to being uncomfortable from a health issue. However, as an owner of a GSP, I can say, they whine just because they want your attention and maybe a little cuddling. If you do ever expect any sort of health concern with your German Shorthair, please reach out to a licensed veterinarian to have your dog examined,.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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