We had a dog growing up, a bullmastiff, who would drool all over the place. It was kind of nasty and I remember that if you were going anywhere in a hurry after he was done drinking some water you’d end up on your butt because you couldn’t help but slip on it.
Whenever he took a drink of water he’d end up putting it all over the floor in the kitchen, and it would still be dripping out of his mouth by the time he got to the living room where his bed was.
All dogs drool to at least some degree, but some are able to keep their drool in better than others. This blog is about the German Shepherd in particular, so we answer questions about that dog breed the most.
Do German Shepherds Drool?
Yes, they can but they are generally not known as being excessive droolers, meaning that the German Shepherd drools far less than other dog breeds. Any dog has the capability to drool, but German Shepherds usually will only drool under certain circumstances like excessively large jowls (lips), or under a medical condition.
Let’s take a deeper look:
What is dog drool?
Dog drool is, simply put, just saliva. You know, spit. Drool is the term given to this saliva when it is seen coming out of the dog’s mouth, sometimes in big, sloppy drips that can be off-putting for the first encounter.
Your dog’s saliva helps aid in the digestion of food, and helps aid in lubricating the tubes on the way down to the stomach. And in fact, the digestion process technically starts in the mouth as their are enzymes that start to break food down.
In addition, saliva helps the mouth stay moist which is more comfortable, helps keep bad breath at bay, and helps aid in the chewing process.
Your dog’s saliva is an important part of his ability to function as a dog, and if your GSD does drool it isn’t his fault and it’s not wise to be angry over it because he cannot control it.
And in fact, if it’s a newer thing for an older dog, it could signify a problem.
Medical Conditions and Drool:
Drooling can be an indicator that there’s something medically wrong with your German Shepherd if it’s just happening for the first time and you’ve got an older dog who has never really drooled much before.
If your dog has been known to not be a drooler for the time you’ve had him to date, and then starts drooling a lot, there may be something wrong that you might need to get checked out by the veterinarian.
I won’t go into much detail here because it’s not my goal to give medical advice. This is a good place to start that highlights some of the stuff that could be going on with your GSD.
There are mild causes to more severe causes and any of them should be checked out.
Of course, if you have any questions about your dog’s health giving your doggo’s doc a call is always a good idea.
Food and Water can Cause Drool:
In an ideal world, your dog will find the water bowl, slurp up some water until she’s done, and then move on leaving everything all tidy.
But, we live in the real world and dogs make a mess, especially when drinking water. After they’re done, any water that hasn’t been swallowed will either somehow magically work its way down into the dog’s innards, or will fall out of its mouth, usually to the surrounding area and floor.
Ultimately, all dogs spill some water when they’re done drinking. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done about this, but the above-mentioned bullmastiff had his own towel that we’d wipe his face with whenever he was done to try and limit it. So, I suppose that’s an option (though you probably won’t get all of it because even though we wiped his face he still managed to drool everywhere).
Drooling can seem intensified after drinking water or eating because both of those tasks can kick the salivary glands into high gear. Think about it, if you’re actively swallowing food, it triggers the saliva to come forth to help aid in that swallowing, and, as discussed a few moments ago, even helps start the digestion process.
And, for dogs, even the thought of eating can cause this salivation. If you ever see your dog licking his lips when you’re getting food ready, it could be because there is an extra amount of saliva beginning to form that he’s just doing a good job of keeping inside his mouth.
Some dogs are better suited to keep this drool inside of their bodies based on the shape of their lips.
What your dog does with this saliva will depend largely upon how big his lips are, and how well they retain water and saliva.
Drool and Jowls:
Yes, dogs have lips. Sort of. Their lips are a little different than our lips are, but they are still lips.
The term jowls basically refers to the loose section of lips around the dog’s mouth (bottom jaw). All dogs have jowls to some degree, but some dogs have bigger, looser jowls that tend to let more drool out.
Our big German Shepherd, Jumbo, used to drool a bit because he had big, sloppy jowls for a German Shepherd. This is usually not a characteristic of the breed, but neither is being 110 pounds and skinny (he had bad hips and our vet had us keep him slim).
Everything about this dog was massive. His head was huge. His feet were huge. His bones were huge. And, of course, his jowls were also huge. That’s why we called him Jumbo. He was a big, German-imported Shepherd (who was a rescue dog).
But the point is that because he had bigger, looser jowls it intensified his drool especially after drinking water.
You could always tell when he was done drinking water because there would be a trail to wherever he was off to, next.
But the thing is, even for his jowls being as big as they were, he generally didn’t drool all that much.
And our current 10 year old German Shepherd doesn’t really have drool that we can see at all. Obviously there’s the mess around the water bowl, but other than that, nothing.
Because again, this breed is generally not known to be a big drooler.
So, do German Shepherds drool?
While any dog can and will drool, they’re not known to be one of the excessive drooling dog breeds. And, if you have had your pooch for a while and it has never really drooled much, but it seems to be a hydrant overnight, chances are good that there is something medically wrong with the dog.
Always check with a veterinarian if you have any medical questions.
Can you stop the drool from happening?
You can try to wipe its face like we used to do with our bullmastiff, but that will only help so much if your dog is an excessive drooler. Other than that, there isn’t much I’ve found that you can do other than loving your dog for who it is.