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Are German Shepherds Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

Training With Your Aggressive German Shepherd

How to overcome your German Shepherd’s aggression towards other dogs and people

If you havent already started, you should include positive reward-based training with your dog.

This means you use rewards, such as treats, toys, or praise, to encourage your dog to respond and behave the way you want. It also gives you some options when youre out on walks and need to get more control over your dog.

Not only does training give you a more reliable dog, but it gives your dog a way to help ease their stress and to bond with you in positive ways.

Use a scientifically-based dog training program that you can use from the comfort of your home. The last thing you want to do is throw your stressed GSD into a class full of other dogs if theyre showing aggression to other dogs.

So, start small with at-home training thats fun and proven to work on behavior issues, like this inexpensive program called Brain Training for Dogs thatll walk you through step-by-step obedience training.

I know its difficult to bond with an aggressive German Shepherd, and training should be included in your daily work so that you can feel closer to your dog. One-on-one home training with your dog helps you to feel more confident with your dogs behaviors later when out on walks or in public.

Your aggressive German Shepherd might also benefit from these scientifically proven German Shepherd enrichment ideas. These activities can not only increase your bond but help your GSD to focus on you more and provide them healthy, safe outlets for their energy.

Fear Due To A Lack Of Proper Socialization

Properly socializing a German Shepherd while he is a puppy is one of the most, if not the most, important things that you can do to ensure that he remains calm and holds an even temper towards new situations.

These include new dogs, cats, people, or just about any animal for that matter.

Socializing a dog essentially means that you are taking the time to acclimate your dog to other people, animals, and situations. By spending time in new and unfamiliar situations and alongside new and unfamiliar people and animals, your dog begins to understand that these things are just a part of daily life.

The other side of familiarity is fear. Fear leads to aggression, which is what a dog will display towards other dogs if it has been properly socialized from a young age.

Unfortunately, many German Shepherd owners, especially first-time GSD owners, overlook this essential process.

It is very easy to get very wrapped up in loving your GSD puppy. The hours can just seem to pass by as if time doesnt exist when youre busy spending time playing all sorts of fun games with your GSD puppy.

While playtime is all well and good, and also an essential activity to engage in with your puppy, you need to strike a proper balance between play and training. And make no mistake, socialization is training.

What they fail to see is that there is a definite reason and that reason is a that they have neglected to take the time and effort to properly and effectively socialize their dog.

What Training Techniques Should We Avoid

If you are advised to do any of the following, run far, far away from that trainer:

  • Leash corrections
  • The dog already fears and dislikes other dogs. Causing additional pain and discomfort whenever he sees another dog only compounds the feelings of frustration, fear, and hatred. The correction may suppress the behaviour but the emotional attitude the dog has continues to slide into deeper frustration and hatred of dogs on leash. The dog has also not learned any desirable behaviour in its place .
  • Spray bottles or citronella collars
  • Many dogs fear spray bottles or citronella collars, so these softer aversives should not be used for the same reason. Conversely, many dogs do not care about getting water in the face, rendering them useless. In both cases, the dog has learned nothing.
  • Physical violence
  • You may suppress the behaviour but you have also put yourself at severe risk of being bitten.
  • A dog learns that humans are dangerous, and hands are dangerous you are creating a fear-biting dog.
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    What Can Cause A German Shepherd To Be Aggressive

    Below are a number of things that can cause a German Shepherd to become aggressive. I have written more about what can cause a German Shepherd to become aggressive and what to do about it in this post.

    Insufficient training

    German Shepherds are a working breed so they tend to do best when they are given training and direction. When they are not given training, they will not know how to behave so they will behave the way they feel like behaving and they will be less likely to respect their owners.

    This is why it is important to give them a lot of training especially from an early age.

    One way to train them is with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where desired behaviors are encouraged by rewarding the German Shepherd when it shows signs of displaying them.

    I would also recommend that you follow the training tips outlined in this book so that you can keep it well behaved in many different scenarios.

    Also, something to consider is that many people think of German Shepherds as being aggressive due to them being used extensively in the police and military.

    However, a key reason they are used in the military is how well they respond to training. Those German Shepherds have been trained to be aggressive and make the German Shepherd breed seem much more dangerous than they actually tend to be.

    Previous owners mistreating it

    People being aggressive towards it

    Being too emotional with it

    A lack of exercise

    A lack of socializing as a puppy

    How To Stop A German Shepherd From Barking At Other Dogs

    Are German Shepherds Aggressive Dogs [Yes &  No]

    So, now you know why your German Shepherd barks at other dogs, how do you stop it?

    To stop your German Shepherd from barking at other dogs, distract him with treats BEFORE he starts to bark. Work on obedience training and positive reinforcement and encourage him to focus all his attention on YOU. He will quickly learn to stop barking before he has any contact with other dogs!

    Training a dog isnt something you only work on during puppyhood. In fact, you should work on training your German Shepherd for at least a few minutes every single day, even once he reaches adulthood.

    When your German Shepherd gets a little too excited when he sees other dogs, he might impulsively bark at them. The best way to handle these situations is to distract your German Shepherd with food or treats, offer positive reinforcement, and enforce obedience training.

    The best time to correct unwanted barking is BEFORE it occurs!

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    How To Introduce Two Female German Shepherds

    If you are set on having two female German Shepherds living together, there are a few things you can do to try to help them get along.

    However, keep in mind throughout the process that if the methods do not work, it isnt your fault. Some female German Shepherds will have a strong enough desire for dominance that they will not settle with letting another female dog live with them.

    Here are a few steps to follow:

    • Evaluate your current dog If you are still in the process of considering adding a second female German Shepherd to your home, you will want to evaluate your current female German Shepherd and how you think she might handle having a second dog in the family. Think about your dogs personality, history of behavior, and ability to be trained. If she already shows signs of aggression, has difficulty following commands, or being trained, then it might not be a good idea to bring another dog into her life.
    • Picking the dog If you feel your female German Shepherd will do well with another female companion, then the next step is selecting your second dog. Try to find a German Shepherd that has been socialized and has a similar personality to your current female. If you have an outgoing, energetic dog, look for a puppy that is also outgoing and energetic. Talking to the breeder about each dogs personality can help you in selecting one that will match your dogs temperament. To help you with this, check out my complete buyers guide on how to buy a German Shepherd.

    Are German Shepherds Good With Other Dogs At Home And Outside

    September 16, 2020 By Meg Austwick

    Are German Shepherds good with other dogs?

    Many studies into canine aggression have stated that German Shepherds score higher than average for aggression towards other dogs.

    Socialization as a puppy is the best way to ensure an adult German Shepherd is good with other dogs.

    However, if youre bringing a new puppy home, either a GSD puppy to another dog or another puppy to your current GSD, you should introduce them in small steps.

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    What About Older Dogs

    Are German Shepherds good with other dogs if they havent been socialized well?

    If you adopt an older German Shepherd, theres a risk they wont have been socialized very well as a puppy. Luckily, this doesnt mean they wont get along with other dogs.

    Socializing an older dog is possible, it just takes a bit longer than it does with a puppy.

    Small steps is key when socializing an older dog. First you might want to let him watch other dogs from a long distance away.

    You can slowly reduce this distance, as long as your dog continues to be comfortable.

    Take a look at this guide for more tips on socializing an older German Shepherd.

    How To Help Your Dog Get Along With Other Dogs

    German Shepherd Learns to Overcome Aggression towards other Dogs

    Whether or not you have or plan to have other dogs at home, its critical for your German Shepherd to behave properly towards other dogs. Although making friends with other dogs would be good for them, its not absolutely essential.

    Whats important is that, when they do encounter other dogs, they dont suffer from excess nerves and anxiety that could lead to dog-directed aggressive behavior.

    Here are some of the most important things you can do to help your dog get along with other dogs:

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    Are German Shepherds Good With Other Dogs

    The German Shepherd is an incredibly social breed. They dont enjoy being left alone and prefer to spend all their time with their family. In the household, its common for them to become attached to their humans. But are German Shepherds good with other dogs?

    German Shepherds are generally good with other dogs. However, because they are an intelligent working breed, its not unusual for them to be somewhat aloof when encountering dogs for the first time. But once another dog has gained their trust, its easy for them to become fast friends.

    Its important to note, however, that individual German Shepherds could dislike or even become aggressive towards other dogs. Sometimes, theyre friendly to most dogs but not others. In those cases, its critical to first understand the reasons behind their behavior.

    Why Are German Shepherds Aggressive

    German Shepherds may be aggressive for many reasons. Theres no one-size-fits-all answer, it depends on your dog, their upbringing, their age, and their training history.

    According to Psychology Today, theres often a lifestyle factor that triggers aggressive behavior in German Shepherds. When you address these factors, you can influence better attitudes and mitigate hostility.

    Lets take a look at why your German Shepherd may be aggressive and what you can do to fix it.

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    Famous German Shepherd Dogs

    The first Seeing Eye Dog was a female German Shepherd called Buddy. She was at the start of the movement for using service dogs that began in the late 1920s. The Seeing Eye organization was founded in 1929, and German Shepherds were some of the first dogs to guide the blind.

    Strongheart, a former police dog in Germany, was brought to the United States in the 1920s, and he starred in many movies of the time. His presence in popular films led to the German Shepherd breed becoming more common in the United States.

    Possibly the most famous German Shepherd was Rin Tin Tin. During World War I, an American soldier, Lee Duncan, found a dog kennel almost destroyed close to a battlefield. He rescued Rin Tin Tin, then a puppy, and brought him home to the United States.

    Lee Duncan kept Rin Tin Tin, nicknamed him Rinty, and trained him to perform in silent movies. Rin Tin Tin became a national figure beloved by Americans, and his death led to national mourning.

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    Controlling Aggressive German Shepherd Behavior

    We hear a good bit about aggression in dogs and one of the breeds that often gets mentioned is the German Shepherd. Its important to note that aggression in the German Shepherd is not breed specific it is not a typical characteristic of the German Shepherd and is more likely related to poor training, lack of socialization and not dealing with the dominant personality of the German Shepherd.

    If you notice any signs of aggression in your dog, it is important to address them as soon as you can. Prolonged unaddressed aggression can become scary, out of control and dangerous.

    Traits Of German Shepherd Dogs

    German Shepherds are large dogs. They range from about 50 to 90 pounds, although they can be bigger. They usually stand about 22 to 26 inches tall. Females typically weigh less and are shorter than male German Shepherds.

    For a large breed, German Shepherds have a relatively long lifespan of between 11 and 13 years. They can seem rather skinny in the first couple of years, but they eventually fill out and grow more athletic and muscular. If you wanted to find out whether German Shepherds are stronger than humans, I certainly wouldnt be waiting until they are fully matured!

    German Shepherds are highly trainable, intelligent, protective, and energetic. These traits can be both good and bad. Due to their athleticism and intelligence, they are commonly used as police dogs.

    The breed is also extremely loyal and devoted to its owners, and due to this, they can sometimes suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. You can learn all about separation anxiety in this article, German Shepherd Separation Anxiety: Training, Help & Treatment.

    German Shepherds are not usually fond of strangers, but they will typically not be aggressive towards them as long as they are trained correctly. Because they are protective, especially males, they are often used by families as guard dogs.

    Though large, the dogs are particularly protective of children if they have grown up with them.

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    How Sociable Are German Shepherds

    Are they friendly with strangers?

    Most German Shepherds are reserved with strangers. As the breed’s national club says, a good German Shepherd has:

    “a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them.”

    As you might imagine, this can be a fine line to walk. Without proper guidance from the owner, a German Shepherd’s natural aloofness can morph over the line to suspiciousness, distrust, and even aggression or fearfulness.

    When you own an aloof breed, you need to socialize the dog thoroughly. This means a careful program of teaching him to pay attention to you and mind you in the presence of other people and other dogs. He doesn’t have to like them, but he must accept them.

    One thing I should mention: many German Shepherds who bark and lunge at strangers or other dogs aren’t being either protective or aggressive. Rather, this kind of reactivity can be the dog’s attempt to hide his own insecurities behind a blustering facade.

    There are also legal liabilities to consider when you acquire a German Shepherd. For example, your homeowner insurance policy might be cancelled or the rates hiked, because people are often quicker to sue if a “guard dog breed” does anything even remotely questionable.

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