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Why Does My German Shepherd Keep Shaking His Head?

When a dog is constantly itching, pacing, or shaking his head, it can cause a concern to the owner. Dogs usually do a good job at showing that they are having a problem, but it is still up to the owner to realize the problem and to give their dog the proper help. 

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Why Does My German Shepherd Keep Shaking His Head?

A German Shepherd might constantly shake its head because of water being in the ear, irritation of the ear, an ear infection, or something might be in their ears. Identifying the problem can be as simple as checking out their ear or the problem can require a visit to the vet.

German Shepherds love being active and they also love being outside. A German Shepherd can enjoy taking a swim in a lake or pool with its owner during the warmer months to stay cool and refreshed. However, this can also cause water to get into your German Shepherd’s ears. 

Just like how people might shake their heads or jump around to remove water that has gotten stuck in their ears, a German Shepherd will shake its head repeatedly to remove the water. This shaking of the head is mostly harmless as long as the water gets removed from the ear in a proper amount of time.

If you find that your German Shepherd is still constantly shaking its head long after being in a body of water, you will want to get your German Shepherd checked up by the vet. That way the vet can check for the possibility of an ear infection from the water. 

Your German Shepherd’s Ears Are Irritated

Irritation can come from many things like stumbling across some poison ivy to general allergies. When your German Shepherd’s ears get irritated, they will shake their head a lot to get rid of the irritating feeling. This behavior might also be paired with scratching or rubbing their head against different objects. 

In this case, it is a good idea to get your German Shepherd checked by a vet. That way they can make sure that your German Shepherd isn’t actually suffering from an ear infection or pests in the ears. A vet can also give your German Shepherd medication or medicated products that can soothe the irritation.

Try to figure out any weird thing that your German Shepherd could have gotten into to cause irritation. Also, note any known allergies that they have. It is easier to assume that your German Shepherd got into a poisonous plant if they had recently been running around in a forest. 

Your German Shepherd Has an Ear Infection

German Shepherds have large ears. Maybe they aren’t as big as the floppy ears of a beagle, but the size of a German Shepherd means that their ears will be big as well. 

With big ears, dirt and bacteria have an easier time building up and causing problems. Improper care of the ears can make an ear infection much more likely for your German Shepherd. 

If you notice that your German Shepherd has been shaking its head a lot and hasn’t been outside, in water, or anywhere else that could bring a different cause for the shaking, it might be an ear infection.

When a German Shepherd has an ear infection, there will be other signs and symptoms that your dog will face. Watch for scratching of the head and ears, if their ears are red or inflamed, and any discharge coming from their ears. 

Your German Shepherd’s ears will probably have an odor and scabs within the ear from constant scratching. 

If these are things that your German Shepherd is facing, then you should take your German Shepherd to the vet as soon as you can. From there, you can get the proper medication for your German Shepherd to combat the ear infection. 

Your German Shepherd Has Pests

Again, German Shepherds are active dogs that like to be outside. With being outside, your German Shepherd is exposed to many different kinds of bugs and plants with some of them being harmful. 

In areas with tall grasses and untreated woodland, fleas and ticks can be a huge problem for different animals. If you live in an area with lots of different plants and tall grasses, make sure that your German Shepherd has the proper defenses against fleas and ticks.

Without the proper defenses, fleas and ticks can catch a ride on your German Shepherd and cause a lot of problems. These pests like to reside near the skin of a German Shepherd and inside the ear. This is because it is close to the blood supply of the dog and is also more hidden. 

If there are pests inside your German Shepherd’s ears, it will likely shake its head a ton to try to shake out the pests. Your German Shepherd will also scratch a lot and be in pain.

Whenever you are grooming your German Shepherd, do a close inspection of their ears to make sure there aren’t any creatures causing problems. If you find that there are fleas or ticks, you will want to get a flea and tick treatment and spend a lot of time doing a deep clean of your German Shepherd’s ears.

Your German Shepherd Has an Object in Its Ear

Sometimes an object can get lodged into your German Shepherd’s ear and cause hearing problems, irritation, and pain. Your German Shepherd will shake its head constantly in an attempt to shake out the foreign object.

It doesn’t take a lot for your German Shepherd’s ear to get blocked. A few pebbled from outside getting kicked up into their ear can cause a lot of problems. Pollen or other plant matter floating through the air can also get stuck inside your German Shepherd’s ear. 

Whatever the object is and however it got into their ear, any object in your German Shepherd’s ear needs to be taken out as soon as possible. If left in there for too long and depending on what the object is, it can damage the ear cannel and eardrum or your German Shepherd which can cause hearing problems. 

While it is possible to flush out the object on your own, it is highly recommended to go to the vet so that they can professionally remove the object while also checking for any infection or ear damage. That way if your German Shepherd has a secondary problem that it won’t be missed. 

What Is the Proper Ear Care for A German Shepherd?

Many ear problems that a German Shepherd can have can be prevented or minimized by proper ear care.

First, make sure that you regularly check your German Shepherd’s ears. Check for pests, any foreign objects, and signs of irritations. Making sure that their ears look healthy is a good way to make sure that they are healthy. 

Many pet stores have specific soaps that are meant for dog ears. Use these ear washes when you are bathing your German Shepherd or when their ears look like they need to be cleaned. 

Use this wash on a cotton ball, pad, or a very soft cloth and wipe all around the inside and outside of their ears. Just be careful to not go too deep into their ear to prevent causing more damage.

After every bath and ear cleaning, make sure to dry their ears completely so that wash or water doesn’t get stuck in there. You can then give your German Shepherd a treat after the cleaning to reward them. Having their ears looked at and scrubbed is not the most fun experience. 

If your German Shepherd has a lot of fur that grows around the ears, trimming that fur can prevent it from sticking into their ears and causing irritation. 

If you find any signs of an ear infection or another problem while cleaning their ears, don’t be hesitant to go to the vet to get their ears checked. The vet can always give you a good professional opinion about what is happening with your German Shepherd’s health.

Final Thoughts

All dogs shake their head from time to time, but when you notice that this shaking is becoming constant, another problem might be at hand. German Shepherds can be prone to many different kinds of ear problems from ear infections to pests. It is always important to have a good ear care routine for your German Shepherd to help prevent these problems from getting too bad.

If you notice something wrong with your German Shepherd’s ears, it is a good idea to take them to the vet to get the help that they need. A vet can help no matter what is the cause for all the head shaking that your German Shepherd is doing.

 As owners, it is important to keep your dog happy and healthy. With the ears being a spot prone to problems, it is important to keep them healthy so your German Shepherd can be happy.