Do German Shepherd Drool? Causes of Drooling

Chosen for his guarding activities and instincts, prospective owners want to know about the drooling tendencies of German Shepherd dogs.

German Shepherds are not a dog that is known to drool excessively or at all!

Each dog varies slightly and this drooling tendency is seen in some dogs. There are several reasons behind a drooling German Shepherd. 

Dental issues, motion sickness, upset stomach, disease, heatstroke, etc. are the leading causes of drooling in German Shepherd dogs.

Sometimes the drooling is temporary while other times it is more or less permanent if you do not get vet treatment. 

In most cases of drooling from a non-drooling dog breed, the cause of drooling is what you should address first. Solving this mystery will solve your dog’s problem of drooling! 

Do German Shepherds Drool A Lot?

Cleaning up drool is a messy job and time-consuming job that you do not want to sign up for!

So, it is understandable if you want to know the drooling tendencies of a German Shepherd. That is before you commit to getting one and adding it to your household! 

The German Shepherd is not a dog breed that one commonly associates with heavy and excessive drooling.

But, all dogs may drool to some extent. There are those special instances that will make any dog drool! 

Just the sight of a treat or the smell of food can be enough to trigger the senses of a dog and his drooling.

Or maybe he has a dental issue relating to a tooth or mouth injury causing a wet drippy mouth! 

In these cases, a drop or two of drool every once in a while is nothing to worry about. But, if you know your dog is not a regular drooler, an extra vet visit will do no harm! 

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Natural Drooling

When it comes to drooling, many people think that all large dogs drool while small dogs do not drool.

According to this perception, German Shepherds should drool quite a bit, right? But, this is a false way of trying to predict how bad a dog drools. 

German Shepherd dogs are not over-excessive droolers by nature. On any given day, they will not drool for no reason.

Some circumstances may make your German Shepherd (or any dog for that matter) drool a bit! Situations that will cause a German Shepherd to drool are:

  • Waiting for a treat or his meal (or perhaps he is just watching you eat) 
  • Drinking a lot of water in one go 
  • Your dog has just had an excessive exercise in the hot sun 

All these reasons qualify as natural reasons for drooling. But of course, there are other reasons for drooling that have a link to poor health, injury, emotional stress, or toxic objects.  

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Unnatural Causes Of Drooling In German Shepherd Dogs

If you know your dog is not a drooler but he suddenly starts excessively drooling, it is concerning!

In this case, you have to figure out the cause before you can find a solution to the problem. Here are some common causes of unnatural drooling in German Shepherds. 

See what the drooling means according to AKC drooling types.

Foreign Object Stuck In Mouth

Dogs are mouthy animals and love to put anything and everything in their mouths.

At some point, these objects will wedge themselves in your unsuspecting dog’s mouth if he chews on them long enough. 

This creates a problem as it will be painful, and can cause excessive drooling with the possibility of bleeding!

Have you noticed this happening suddenly? Take the time to observe your dog’s mouth.

If you notice bleeding, and an object that is stuck, take your German Shepherd to the vet immediately. If the object is small and you have prior experience with such situations, you can remove it gently. 

Perhaps the chewing has something to do with teething. Read about Teething in German Shepherd Puppies.

Mouth Injury 

Leading on from the previous point. The object that is stuck or you have just removed may have caused a few problems while it was there.

In many cases, these foreign objects tend to initiate an infection! 

This basically is due to bacteria that may have been present on the object before your German Shepherd got hold of it.

If left without any treatment these infections can become severe. To avoid this, once removing any objects from the mouth, wipe the area with hydrogen peroxide. 

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay and gingivitis in dogs can lead to drooling and foul-smelling breath! Regular vet checkups can help to prevent and treat cavities before they consume the entire tooth.

But, this is not enough to guarantee good teeth and gum health. To maintain and preserve your dog’s teeth, you, his owner must do your part.

You should be consistent and make sure to brush your dog’s teeth with pet-safe toothpaste at regular intervals.

This helps to remove bits of food from between teeth (the cause of tooth decay). 


Are you keeping track of how long your German Shepherd spends in the hot sun? If not, you should start now! He could easily stay too long in the sun and develop heatstroke. 

One of the obvious signs of heatstroke is excessive drooling occurring rapidly in combination with panting and fatigue.  

Treating heatstroke requires you to immediately cool down your dog. This means pouring normal temperature water over his body and giving him lots of water to drink.

Symptoms should subside in a short time, but if they don’t, consult a vet without delay. 

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is another health issue that can have drooling as a symptom.

If your German Shepherd is not familiar with traveling by car (or any vehicle), he is likely to get motion sickness. Although very common in German Shepherd puppies, older dogs can also experience it. 

You can confirm the drooling is due to motion sickness by witnessing your dog’s symptoms when he is in the vehicle to when he comes out.

If the drooling ceases once he exits the vehicle, it is motion sickness. 

Upset Stomach (He has eaten something he should not have!) 

While biting and chewing items, small portions can find their way down the throat and into the stomach of your German Shepherd. In the majority of cases, these items just pass out.

But you cannot rule out the chances of these items your dog ingests creating an upset stomach. 

It is possible these things have poisons or chemicals that just don’t agree with your dog’s digestion.

Consequently, you must try to find out what the item was and make sure that your dog can never find it again! This could be tough but you will be saving your dog from suffering. 


Another way your dog could end up drooling is if he has a disease, specifically one that affects a vital internal organ.

This may be seen at any age and can directly affect the overall health of your German Shepherd dog. 

Keeping up with regular vet visits and testing should be enough to catch any potentially alarming health concerns.

But if you have been slacking, you could be putting your dog at unnecessary risk of organ diseases.

We urge you to start taking vet visits seriously if you want to prevent drooling and illnesses. 

Contact With Toxic Or Poisonous Compounds 

Usually, the objects dogs come in contact with are just dirty or have germs that can cause an infection.

But in rare occurrences, your dog could find the wrong objects that could be poisonous or toxic! 

Contact with such items will cause reactions. A lot of drooling and vomiting are symptoms that your dog made contact with such an item.

The excess drooling is a sign that the body is trying to break down the substance.

Noticing these symptoms in your dog calls for immediate action, take him to the emergency room of a vet. 

Upper Respiratory Infection 

Has your dog been socializing with a lot of dogs before his drooling became an issue?

If so, he could have gotten an upper respiratory infection from one of his furry friends. This is exactly why you should keep an eye on your dog’s friends! 

Diseases easily pass from one animal to the next.

Also, if you are sure that your German Shepherd has an upper respiratory infection, a vet will be able to diagnose and treat the issue. Keep to the medication and vet’s advice and it will resolve. 

Once your receive confirmation that it is an upper respiratory infection, keep your dog indoors away from other dogs.

You should wash your hands after interacting with your dog as the infection could use your hands as a vehicle. 

Emotional Stress (Separation Anxiety/Excitement)

Another odd cause of drooling in German Shepherds is emotional stress, being too happy or sad can initiate drooling.

It is said that the more intelligent a dog is, the more sensitive he will be to changes.

That said, German Shepherd dogs are more prone to developing separation anxiety when left alone. 

Drooling is a sure sign that a dog is suffering from separation anxiety. This symptom in combination with barking or whining can be a portrayal of sadness and grief. 

Not every German Shepherd will develop separation anxiety when left alone. It differs from one dog to another and the exact trigger that causes it is unknown.

If your German Shepherd is prone to developing separation anxiety, make efforts not to leave him all by himself!   

Over-excitement can also cause a dog to drool! Getting ready to go out, or getting a special visitor? Expect your dog to drool a bit as he is super excited and happy.  

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What To Do If Drooling Starts Unexpectedly?

So, if your German Shepherd starts unexpectedly drooling, what should you do? 

First, ask yourself if your dog is a natural drooler? If not, when did the drooling start? Sometimes it’s just a case of your dog getting his mouth hurt, excessive exercise, or drinking water. 

In the above cases, the drooling is temporary and usually will resolve in a few days.

But, other scenarios that cause excessive drooling might not resolve fast and will require medical attention.

Disease, mouth injuries, dental issues, and heatstroke are more serious issues that cause excessive and random drooling in German Shepherds.

There are no two ways about it, any of these causes will require you to visit a vet as soon as possible! 

If it is heatstroke, you will have to act fast with a few life-saving actions. Pour water over your dog.

Next, give him lots of liquids to drink and rehydrate him. The symptoms should subside soon, consult a vet immediately if they don’t.

No delays or else your dog could suffer further with more symptoms and damage. 


Do German Shepherds smell? 

German Shepherds are not overly smelly as some people may falsely claim! All dogs have that naturally doggy smell and if you cannot handle it, dogs aren’t for you. Each dog has their own distinct scent and the German Shepherd is no exception to the rule. 

What causes sudden excessive drooling in German Shepherds?  

Sudden and excessive drooling can be a cause of oral infections, mouth irritation, and injuries, or even disease in the body. If you cannot find the cause by looking into his mouth, you should involve a vet. 
You might not find out the actual cause until a vet assesses your dog and even runs some tests on him.