Are German Shepherds Naturally Aggressive
Many German Shepherds do display a naturally-high level of aggression.They can absolutely make loyal and loving pets. However, problems canarise with German Shepherd attacks and biting incidents when the dog isnot trained properly.
It should tell you everything you need to know about the aggressiveinstincts of a German Shepherd that this breed is preferred for police andmilitary use. In these roles, controlled aggression is encouraged. Manymale police dogs are not neutered so that their natural aggression may bemaintained and harnessed.
German Shepherd violence can come from two sources. Naturalaggression, which arises due to a lack of proper training, and aggressionon command, where owners train the dog to attack when ordered.
They’re Exploring With Their Mouth
All puppies, regardless of breed, go through a stage where they will explore the world with their mouths. Puppy nipping is completely normal behavior most puppies go through. It’s similar to the mouthing period babies go through when teething. However, in German Shepherds, the behavior may be more pronounced and more intense than in some other breeds of puppies.
Things To Consider If Your German Shepherd Attacks You
If your German Shepherd attacks you, it is important to consider several factors to understand what could have triggered the attack. You should consider when the dog started attacking. If a dog attacks you once, it was probably feeling threatened or simply resource guarding. If it attacks frequently, it might be a case of mistreatment or injury. You might also have trained the dog to be aggressive.
You should consider whether your German Shepherd becomes aggressive under certain circumstances. For instance, the dog only attacks when eating it is mainly a case of resource guarding. However, if the aggression is frequent, you should be concerned.
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What Age Does A German Shepherd Become Aggressive
GSDs can start becoming aggressive about 6 weeks of age, one of the most critical age in a German Shepherd puppys life. To avoid aggressive behavior problems, its very important not to separate him from his mother and littermates before 8 weeks of age. He needs the security and sense of belonging that his family gives. Start teaching him bite inhibition to prevent biting problems. Its also crucial to expand his socialization to other dogs or animals and other people. Remember to be gentle and avoid punishing him harshly.
Here Comes The Big Dog How To Deal With A Charging Snarling German Shepherd
Fear is your biggest enemy and the one thing that will ultimately be your undoing if you ever find yourself coming face to face with a German Shepherd thats charging toward you at full speed and making more noise than an F-4 Phantom. Just because the dog is pounding in your direction at full volume, it doesnt mean that hes going to attack you.
He may be defending his territory and warning you to stay away from it, in which case, simply turning around and walking away might be enough to calm him down and defuse the situation. It might be, but then again, it might not be. And if it isnt, youll need to follow a few simple rules to try and get away from the dog and minimize the impact of the attack that he may or may not decide to make.
Dont Panic Fear is a biological magnet for a dog, and the more frightened you are, the more theyll be able to sense it, which will make you a more attractive target. As difficult as it might be, youll need to try and remain as calm as possible and not panic. Try to control your breathing.
Focus on slow, deep breaths, which will slow your heart rate and help you to control the inevitable adrenaline rush thats part of the fight or flight response. The less you panic, and the less frightened you are, the less interest that the dog will have in you, and the less inclined it will be to attack you.
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German Shepherds And Their Natural Instincts
As a dog breed thats been prized as a protective member of the family, German Shepherds have been trusted with flocks of livestock, kids, and families for centuries. Theres a reason for that German Shepherds are among the most intelligent dog breeds and can learn and recognize commands very quickly.
German Shepherds will try to intimidate a potential threat, whether they perceive that as a threat to themselves or their owners. This generally manifests itself as barking and other aggressive behavior.
However, German Shepherds will not typically attack an intruder or potential threat unless that person is physically harming their family, or unless the dog has been specifically trained to recognize and attack potential threats. Of course, some individual dogs are more aggressive than others, so it depends on your dog.
Are Male German Shepherds More Aggressive
Yes male German Shepherds tend to be more aggressive than their female counterparts. Male GSDs are more aggressive because of their territorial problems and dominant behavior. Compared to a neutered male GSD, an intact male tends to mark his territory more because of his higher testosterone levels.
They Were Raised In A Poor Environment
In some cases, the excessive nipping may be an indication of a puppy raised in a very poor breeding environment, where the puppy didn’t get a chance to learn the ABCs of bite inhibition with his littermates and mom and the breeders did little about it.
Some of the worst cases of poor bite inhibition are often seen in puppies removed too early from the litter or singletons. In some cases, the biting may be genetic, due to a poor temperament and weak nerves.
Training Your German Shepherd To Be More Protective
Even though German Shepherds naturally display protective behaviors towards their families, you may or may not be certain if theyll intervene if youre in actual physical danger. If thats the case, youll probably need to enlist the help of a professional trainer.
If you want to train your dog to protect you and your family, its best to start when the dog is young. The important thing to remember is that you want to train your dog to be protective and confident, not aggressive. Your dog is also not learning how to attack, but rather to protect, guard, and immobilize.
Since German Shepherds are naturally protective, its usually unnecessary to train the dog to be protective. It already has those instincts. Rather, training is intended to help the dog learn to identify friends from threats. Otherwise, it might feel the need to intervene when your childs friend is over at your house playing together.
Can We Encourage Such Behavior In German Shepherds
Nearly it is easy to recognize the way of communication in almost all breeds of dogs. As we humans communicate yes or No to certain things, dogs bark. Similarly, the tail wagging of dogs indicates happiness, and the showing of teeth is aggression. Head tilting f German at maximum times determine its curiosity. Such curiosity can be to communicate with you or trying to view or listen more perfectly. Experts also say that this breed of dog can understand the language of humans to some extent and tilt their heads to understand even better. An ear infection is also one of the possible reasons behind the head tilting of these dogs. So it is not a problem in encouraging such behavior in dogs as through this means you can understand what your dog needs. This will make the bond between you and your dog even better.
Most Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems
Before we dive into the most common behavioral problems associated with German shepherds, I think its important to look at where the breed has actually come from.
Over the last century, German shepherds have been used for tracking, search and rescueespecially for the police and protection and guarding. So, its no surprise that a lot of the issues are in this exact area.
They have been intentionally bred for traits such as fierce loyalty, intelligence, and strength.
This leads to one of the first common problems for German shepherds, which revolves around aggression and the need to protect. Its very possible that an untrained German shepherd would be likely to bark or lunge at other dogs or people, especially on his own property.
Its not at all that this type of dog is being mean or nasty. In fact, from the dogs point of view, he believes hes just doing his job of protecting his family or territory.
Its a very, very common problem, and, at the end of the day, it is what the German shepherd has been bred to do a lot of the time.
The good newsthis behavior can be untrained. Or even better yet, if youre working with a German shepherd puppy or a young German shepherd, you can easily avoid this behavioral problem. And in case you are wondering, this does not automatically mean, that if you ever really do need help, that they wont rise to the occasion!
Once again, with some basic training and a good sturdy harness, this behavior can be easily prevented.
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Why Do German Shepherds Howl
Most people will associate howling with the wolf-like Siberian Husky. You may realize that German Shepherds look like wolves but did you know your German Shepherd also manifests this wolf-ancestry behavior once in a while?
Usually, howling is a form of communication that dogs will use with you and other dogs outside their usual barking, groaning, or whining. And unless it is incessant, you have a normal dog, and you need not be worried.
Here are some reasons your German Shepherd will howl:
- You have not had time for him all day, and hes looking for attention.
- Hes sensing some danger, and he wants to warn you about it.
- Another dog in the neighborhood is howling, and he is responding as the pack dog that he is.
- Hes reacting to high-pitched sounds like an ambulance siren.
- Hes alone and lonely at home and suffering from separation anxiety.
- He has medical issues that are causing him pain or itching, and he wants you to know and do something about it.
History Of The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd dog breed was born from efforts to create the perfectworking dog.
In the 1850s, dogs of all different types were being bred in Germany toherd sheep and protect flocks from predatory animals. Breeders across thecountry were trying to promote the best shepherding traits in these dogsand succeeded in creating new breeds of effective working dogs.Eventually, efforts were launched to control the breeding process.
This is when former cavalry captain and veterinary student Max vonStephanitz set out to develop the perfect herding dog breed. At an 1899dog show, Von Stephanitz came across a dog which had the traits that hewas looking for and bought it.
Von Stephanitz called his new dog Horand von Grafrath. He declared Horandthe first of a new breed named the German Shepherd Dog , and founded a group called the Society for the GermanShepherd Dog.
Horand was then used in a comprehensive breeding program aimed at refiningthe German Shepherd. He was bred with desirable dogs owned by fellowmembers of the Society for the German Shepherd Dog to forge a breed whichmatched Max von Stephanitzs vision.
Von Stephanitz and the society continued with their breeding mission for35 years, through several generations of puppies. All German Shepherdstoday share a genetic link with the fourth generation of German Shepherds Horands great grandchildren and Max von Stephanitz is credited as thecreator of the breed.
- Ears: Pointy and alert
- Life expectancy: 10 years
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What Could Cause A Gsd To Attack Their Owner
To not sugarcoat anything, its true that in the past, German Shepherds have attacked their owners
But why did this happen?
In nearly all instances of this happening, it was found that there had been some foul play on behalf of the owner, or a previous owner.
A German Shepherd that has received punitive training or subject to physical abuse, verbal abuse, violence, or aggression is more likely to attack an owner out of fear. This will be the same for any breed.
Establish Yourself As The Leader
You cant expect your German Shepherd to listen to you if you arent showing them that youre the boss. You want them to know who the alpha of the pack is, and this begins by taking charge from day one. The best way to do this, in my experience, is through consistency. This means making sure everything they hear from you is consistent and your actions are consistent. They should know what is expected of them and how they should act around you, your family, and other people.
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Why Do German Shepherds Nibble
Nibbling is the gentle bite your dog will make on your body, especially on your toes! This German Shepherd behavior is generally considered an instinctual behavior characterizing puppies of all breeds, especially during teething.
When young puppies play, you will have noticed that they will display behavior consisting of gently biting each other as part of the game. Your doggo can transfer this nibbling behavior to you or your furniture if no other puppies or pets are around, which is why teething toys such as the KONG Puppy Toy from Amazon are essential. You can even stuff it with treats or peanut butter to keep your GSD entertained.
But German Shepherd Dogs tend to bring this growing up behavior into their adult life. Naturally, newborn German Shepherd puppies will explore their world with their mouths before using their sight and smell. And it appears that this instinct is maintained throughout life for important reasons, as shown by some studies.
A study investigating the meaning and emotion associated with nibbling in dogs concluded that the behavior is not related to negative personality traits. Instead, nibbling has two functions:
Despite these facts, nibbling behavior in German Shepherds can also be triggered by several other factors:
Common Negative Reasons For Growling
According to Pet MD, when your dog growls its most often a warning to stay back. While sometimes this is due to aggression, in other circumstances it could be because they are scared.
Before growling occurs, there are normally other signals that your german shepherd isnt happy, and you should stop acting the way you are. Growling is one of the last stages of dangerous behavior. When the behavior is continued your german shepherd is much more likely to end up biting.
Some common reasons for growling include
If your German shepherd is remembering a bad time in their life which seems to be reenacting itself, then they will often end up growling.
This is a warning to stay away, as theyre going to defend themselves if they have too. While the situation your german shepherd is in may not be negative, they could have associated negative emotions with it at some point, if they were scared.
Theyre Guarding Their Resources
If your German shepherd sees something as theirs, and theyre particularly protective, then their growling could be because theyre resource guarding.
For example, if they growl when you try to take a toy from them then this is resource guarding. This most often occurs in dogs that have come from shelters and places where theyve been neglected.
However, some dogs are also predisposed to this kind of behavior.
Theyre Not Sure Whats About To Happen
With that being said, some german shepherds are naturally more cautious than others as well.
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Territorial Aggression When Other Dogs Are Around
If your German Shepherd attacked your other dog then your other dog may have gotten too close to a prized possession.
Some highly valued possessions that cause your German Shepherd aggression towards other dogs may be:
- potential mates
- or toys, such as bones, treat chews and any other prised toys around
Your German Shepherd may feel the need to protect these resources and become confrontational or attack your other dog.
Be aware of adding in a new puppy to your home and allowing it to invade your older dogs food dishes, beds, toys, or space, which can upset the older dog and cause a dog attack.
And, a female German Shepherd could become territorial and dog aggressive when shes given birth to puppies in order to protect her litter.
Punitive Training Vs Positive Reinforcement Training
- Punitive training is based on punishing the dog whenever they get something wrong.
- Positive reinforcement training involves only rewarding when they get something right and positively encouraging the behavior you want more of.
Punitive Training:Unfortunately, GSDs due to their capabilities, attract many unsavory characters that are not fit for owning a dog. Its these kinds of owners that use punitive training methods and abuse their GSDs in order to gain some kind of control over their purposefully-made aggressive guard dog. This is playing with fire.
Positive Reinforcement Training:In complete contrast, positive reinforcement involves no punishment and is by far the best way to raise an obedient, intelligent, friendly, and calm dog .
Positive reinforcement teaches German Shepherds that they are rewarded and praised when they follow commands and show appropriate behavior. And as GSDs have such a strong desire to appease, gaining their owners approval is everything to them. Making this by far the best strategy to train a GSD.
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