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Hey there, fellow GSD owner! You may have noticed your furever friend rubbing his face on you. But have you ever wondered why he does this?

It turns out there are a variety of reasons for this behavior, and we’ve got nine of them to share with you. 

So, sit back, relax, and get ready to learn why your German Shepherd is rubbing his face on you!

#1 Your GSD Is Trying To Steal Your Scent 

german shepherd puppy rub his face on a woman's face while she holding himgerman shepherd puppy rub his face on a woman's face while she holding him

Perhaps your German Shepherd is just trying to get closer to you, but maybe it’s more than that. 

Maybe he is secretly collecting your scent to create a giant, human-scented pillow for himself. Or, maybe he’s creating a scent-based clone of you to use as a stand-in for when you’re not around!

Whatever the reason, you can’t blame the pooch for wanting to be close to his favorite hooman!

#2 He Is Trying To Hide From His Imaginary Friend 

owner petting old german shepherd dog outdoorsowner petting old german shepherd dog outdoors

We’ve all had imaginary friends at some point in our lives, but what happens when your dog has one too? 

Maybe your German Shepherd is trying to hide from his imaginary friend by rubbing his face on you. Strange? Not to him! 

Perhaps by rubbing his face, or even staring at you constantly, your GSD is trying to introduce you to his invisible pal and is hoping that you’ll pick up on the scent. 

#3 Your GSD Wants To Assert Dominance

girl cuddling her german shepherd dog in the parkgirl cuddling her german shepherd dog in the park

While it may seem cute and harmless, your GSD rubbing his face on you can also be a sign of dominance. 

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Dogs have a natural instinct to establish a hierarchy within their pack, and by marking you with his scent, your GSD is trying to assert his dominance and claim you as his own. 

Keep in mind that, if left unchecked, this behavior can become a problem and lead to more serious issues such as signs of aggression!

#4 Your GSD Is Teaching You The Art Of Face Rubbing

woman and german shepherd dog cuddling on the couchwoman and german shepherd dog cuddling on the couch
Source: Pinterest

Your German Shepherd is convinced that you just don’t know how to properly rub your face against objects, so he’s taken it upon himself to teach you.

You may think he’s just being silly, but your GSD is dead serious about this. He’s even made a schedule for your lessons, complete with diagrams and step-by-step instructions. 

And if you don’t follow his lead, he’ll keep rubbing his face on you until you get it right!

Yeah, that’s how intelligent these pups are!

#5 Your GSD Missed You

little girl kissing german shepherd in his headlittle girl kissing german shepherd in his head
Photo: Pinterest 

Just like humans, German Shepherds can experience separation anxiety when their loved ones are away. 

When you return home, your GSD may be overjoyed and want to rub his face on you as a way to reconnect and show his affection. 

He might also be trying to get a whiff of your scent to confirm that it’s really you and to feel more secure in his environment. 

#6 Your GSD Is Trying To Communicate With You Telepathically

man and his german shepherd standing close to each otherman and his german shepherd standing close to each other

Who needs words when you have telepathy? 

Instead of making loud noises such as barking or howling, your German Shepherd is trying to communicate with you without using any sounds by rubbing his face on you. 

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Maybe he is simply trying to tell you about that squirrel he saw in the park earlier, or maybe he is trying to communicate his love for you in a more subtle way. 

#7 Your GSD Is Just Really Bad At Giving High Fives 

woman embracing her happy german shepherd dog woman embracing her happy german shepherd dog
Photo: Pinterest 

We all have that one friend who is just really bad at giving high fives. 

Well, maybe your German Shepherd is that friend. Maybe he is trying to give you a high five, but keeps missing and ends up rubbing his face on you or putting his paw on you instead. 

It’s okay, we still love these silly goofballs anyways!

#8 Your GSD Absolutely Adores You

german shepherd dog sleeping in the car embracing his owner's leggerman shepherd dog sleeping in the car embracing his owner's leg
Photo: Pinterest 

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best one! 

Your German Shepherd rubbing his face on you is one of the clear signs of showing that he loves you! 

Ugh, he just can’t get enough of your scent and wants to be as close to you as possible. It’s a sweet and lovely explanation that will make any dog owner feel loved.

#9 Your GSD Thinks You Have A Really Good Scratchy Surface 

Your German Shepherd probably thinks that your face or body is the perfect scratchy surface for him to rub his face on. 

Maybe he just can’t resist the urge to scratch that itch and you happen to be the closest surface available – especially if you have a day-old beard!

Either way, it’s important to remember that your GSD is not trying to annoy you – he’s just trying to scratch his itch!

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Nevertheless, I think it is time to use a good ol’ bristle brush (instead of your face) that will make your GSD kick when scratched! 

Final thoughts 

Well, we’ve explored quite a lot of reasons why your German Shepherd may be rubbing his face on you. 

While some may seem silly and humorous, others, like asserting dominance or separation anxiety, can be more serious and require attention from you and your vet.

Regardless of the reason behind your GSD’s face-rubbing behavior, it’s important to keep an eye on him and look out for any signs of discomfort or distress! We are responsible dog owners after all! 

And of course, don’t forget to just enjoy the silly moments and embrace the love and affection that your canine companion shows you in his own unique way.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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