Reward Your German Shepherd For Calm Behavior
While the previous few sections covered specific ways to neutralize aggressive behavior and keep it from emerging, they all feed into this stage. Regardless of why your female German Shepherd has been aggressive, you must encourage her calm demeanor by using positive reinforcement such as giving her treats or a favorite toy for calming down.
After two weeks of doing this, youll soon notice that your doggo starts connecting the reward with her good behavior. While you can continue to do this till the aggressive behavior is eradicated, it is advisable to take the step listed below as it has more practical utility.
Other Reasons Your German Shepherd Is Becoming Aggressive
There are many reasons that your GSD reacts with hostility. Most commonly, these behaviors have underlying issues and need addressing before they become uncontrollable.
An aggressive German Shepherd needs an entire training program to adjust her behaviors to function in socially acceptable ways. But you must first understand the basis for your dogs reactivity.
The following chart explains the different ways aggression shows in dogs and the behaviors you might expect.
Signs That Your Female Gsd Is Aggressive Due To Her Heat Cycle
If two or more of the following apply to your German Shepherd, then sexual aggression is likely to contribute to the problem.
If your dog has gone in heat twice already, spaying is not recommended, and you can use other strategies to neutralize her aggression. You can learn what to expect when your GSD is in season in this article, German Shepherd First Heat and Cycle.
Your Dog is Significantly Older Than Six-Months of Age
German Shepherds go into heat for the first time from six months to 12 months of age. Before this, they arent sexually mature enough for their reproductive hormones to contribute significantly to any behavior. But if your dog is older than six months, you cannot rule out sexual frustration as a part of the problem.
Your Dog Pees a Lot
Female German Shepherds urinate a lot more when they ovulate. This is often accompanied by other urine-related behaviors, including but not limited to:
- Sniffing male dogs urine.
- Licking urine .
- General indifference to soaking in their own urine.
Your Dog Grooms Her Sexual Region
If your German Shepherd constantly licks her vaginal area, then sexual frustration is apparent. She might not hump things or get visibly excited upon being touched, but that does not mean she isnt going through a phase of sexual aggression. It can be challenging to see this if your dog barely socializes with other dogs. The dynamic between your German Shepherd and other dogs will make it clearer that shes in heat.
Theres Vaginal Discharge
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At What Age Does A German Shepherd Start Guarding
Thats not exactly how this works. There isnt an age that your German Shepherd will suddenly decide that they need to guard the house. Dogs are born with innate instincts and behaviors including territorial behaviors.
All German Shepherds will display territorial behaviors from their birth. These are innate instincts. A little German Shepherd puppy is going to be at least somewhat wary of strangers. They probably wont be as friendly or cuddly as other breeds that simply isnt how they work.
However, that doesnt mean that a tiny puppy can guard your house, of course. A small puppy isnt going to do much against a home invader. That doesnt necessarily mean that they wont try, though.
It will likely take a least a year for a German Shepherd to get large enough to actually be intimidating. Before this time, these dogs will likely be too small and puppylike.
However, it can take up to two years before a puppy is full-grown. You likely shouldnt plan on them guarding anything until they are at least close to being fully grown.
The instincts will be there from birth, though. They dont just kick on someday.
Still, many dogs will become more territorial around puberty, though this isnt always the case.
At What Age Do German Shepherds Become Aggressive
According to many experts, aggression in German Shepherds usually appears when the dog is about 6 months of age. At twelve months, most puppies are considered full-grown, and you will begin to see their personalities come out more and more often.
If your German Shepherd is showing signs of aggressive behavior, then it is important that you manage them properly from the very beginning.
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Training Goal #: Crate Training
This is also a good time for crate training, which Adams recommends as well. GSD trainer and dog sports enthusiast Alexa Hagood, LVMT, agrees: Crate breaks, even when brief, can help the puppy become acclimated to going in the crate and having some alone time. She notes that this can help reduce the risk of a puppy developing separation anxiety, and recommends beginning with using the crate for feeding times , and at times when the owner needs to do daily chores.
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Gently Antagonize Your Dog
Wear protective gear. Raise the arm that is wrapped up and wave it in front of your dogs face, gently nudging their nose as you do so. Do this long enough and this should antagonize your dog, causing them to bite you on the arm. When they do this, shout the Attack command.
Dont let your dog bite you for too long. Give them the Stop command so that let you go. Praise them for their response with treats or affection.
Repeat this process several times, yelling Attack every time your dog lunges towards you and bites you on the arm. They should receive a reward every time they bite you.
Can All German Shepherds Be Trained To Attack
Not every German Shepherd is a good choice to be trained for this role. There is some discrepancy in every breed and even within a litter. Proper training can help your dog to gain the appropriate skills, but temperament matters a great deal as well.
As previously stated, you should teach an aggressive German Shepherd to attack. They may not be equipped to reign in their emotions during a pivotal moment and may fail to obey your commands.
On the contrary, a shy German Shepherd will not be suitable for this role either. Socialization can help a wary dog to come out of its shell, but there is no guarantee. You will also have to cross further obstacles by teaching them the necessary attack skills.
When specifically looking for a dog to train to attack, keep an eye out for a dog that is calm, approachable, friendly, and intelligent. These are signs that your dog will be easy to bond with and ensure they are trainable. These are important traits for a guard dog.
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Confine Them In A Safe Area
In the case of an overly aggressive German shepherd, a good solution is to put them in a separate safe area whenever someone comes over to visit. For example, you can set up an invisible fence in your backyard where the dog cannot escape from and keep them there until they cool down.
You can also use a kennel for training purposes if you want to teach them how to be calmer. Of course, it is important that you do not use the kennel as a punishment tool, even though they are ideal for confining your dog in areas where they cannot get into trouble and learn how to behave properly.
Is German Shepherd Dog Naturally Aggressive
The German Shepherd breed is known for their aggressive temperament and tendencies toward dominance. In fact, The American Animal Hospital Association has identified German Shepherds as one of the dangerous dog breeds in the US. Studies demonstrate that this dog breed is an extremely aggressive dog, as proven by many documented attacks on people.
This trait is rooted in its DNA. German Shepherds are naturally protective over their family and territory. When they sense danger, their instinct tells them to attack the threat or escape from it as far as possible. This explains why some German Shepherds can be aggressive towards strangers or other dogs.
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Why Should You Put Your Dog Through Obedience Training
Attack commands are one of the last things you should teach your dog. To become a competent guard dog, your German Shepherd must first be obedient.
One of the reasons this is so important is because of the Stop command. It is easy enough to teach your dog to attack. Getting them to stop in the middle of an altercation can be an entirely different matter. You need your dog to be obedient enough to cease the attack the moment you say so.
This is why your dog should first undergo extensive obedience training. This is something you can tackle by yourself or hand over to a professional dog trainer. You should start on obedience from the moment you bring your puppy home.
You get to decide what commands you want to teach your pup, but it is a good idea to teach them the Stop command at a young age. This can be about anything stop while walking, stop before eating food, stop jumping on people, etc. The earlier your puppy recognizes this command, the easier it will be for them to follow.
Practicing similar commands such as Down, Off, and Come are also important as they can help you to establish greater control over your dog.
Wear The Protective Gear
You need to wear protective gear from the first lesson onwards. You are in uncharted territory and cant be certain how your dog will react. Consistently wearing your protective gear will ensure that you stay safe and that your lessons dont go awry.
For the first few lessons, make sure that your entire arm is covered and even most of your torso. Once you teach your dog to only attack certain parts of the body, you can wear less protection. In the beginning, safety is key.
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How To Calm An Aggressive Female German Shepherd
Now that you have learned the main causes that lead to aggressive behavior in your female German Shepherd, you can apply specific remedies to get her to calm down and chill out. In this section, Ill unpack different ways you can get your aggressive German Shepherd girl to calm down.
To calm an aggressive female German Shepherd, assert your dominance if she is territorial and disrupt her routine when resource guarding. Give her lots of attention when in heat, provide lots of exercise to relieve boredom and frustration, and reward calming behavior using positive reinforcement.
Concentrate on one trigger at a time!
Signs Your German Shepherd Is In Pain Due To Hip Dysplasia
While this is rarely discussed, one of the reasons your female German Shepherd displays aggressive tendencies is that she is in pain. While most sickness types lead to laziness and social avoidance, hip dysplasia is a joint issue that hurts your dog and angers her in the process.
X-rays can reveal it with certainty as experts will notice the ball and socket at the hip not fitting perfectly. Other symptoms may indicate the condition . If two or more of the following are evident, you should arrange a vet visit.
Reluctance to Climb Stairs
German Shepherds are very active and usually dont mind climbing stairs. However, because theyre large, theyre also at a higher risk of hip dysplasia. Latest statistics from The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals assert that 20.6% of German Shepherds suffer from this condition.
If your German Shepherd has hip dysplasia, youll notice her avoiding the stairs and pretty much any other activity that puts pressure on her hind legs. When this coincides with aggression, shes likely quick to anger because of the pain. This is in drastic contrast to aggression that comes from sexual frustration or boredom, both of which increase your dogs activity levels.
Hops When Walking a Long Distance
Weak Thigh Muscles
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What Are Common Aggressive Behaviors In German Shepherds
The following are some of the most common aggressive behaviors exhibited by German Shepherds. Keep in mind that it is very important to understand the reason behind the behavior so you can find an appropriate solution.
- Your dog barks at strangers and other people.
- They when someone comes up to them too quickly.
- They will snap at strangers and other people who come into the house without permission from you.
- Your dog is possessive of food, toys, property, or resources they feel belong to them.
- They are overly protective of their owner when they are walking with them in public.
- Your dog attempts to take control over the situation by barking and taking charge when there is a group getting together at home.
- The dog tries to dominate other people, animals, or children
- They will attempt to intimidate you into giving them what they want by growling and snarling at you.
- Your dog plays too aggressively with others without respect for their limits or boundaries.
Are German Shepherds Aggressive Fact Vs Fiction
The German shepherd dog has a devoted fandom of dog lovers around the world so devoted that this dog breed even has its own acronym, the GSD. The GSD is often associated with loyalty and bravery.
We picture Rin-Tin-Tin leaping across old Hollywood movie screens or K9 Apollo leading the way for search and rescue teams on 9/11. But the GSD also has a less pleasant association: Are German shepherds aggressive?
The truth about dog aggression is that it can affect any breed of dog, especially if the dog doesn’t get enough socialization from an early age. But there are dog breeds that are more prone to aggressive behavior because of their breeding or because of genetically inherited mental disorders, like rage syndrome, cognitive dysfunction, or hypothyroidism.
We’ll look at the risk factors and statistics surrounding German shepherd aggression. Plus, we’ll share tips for dog owners trying to prevent aggression in their German shepherd puppy or adult rescue dog.
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How To Train An Aggressive Female German Shepherd: Helpful Guide
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A well-trained female German Shepherd is a great companion I should know as I chose the breed for my first dog! Since German Shepherds are strong and intelligent, they also make excellent guard dogs, but sometimes they can get a little confrontational and zealous, whether a working or companion dog.
So if you dont harness this potential the right way, you may spend sleepless nights worrying about how to train your aggressive female German Shepherd
To train an aggressive female German Shepherd, you must identify the cause of her aggression, eliminate it, reward her for calming down using positive reinforcement, and gradually build her indifference to what previously angered or upset her. Be patient as punishing her will only undo any initial progress.
This article will help you discover a step-by-step strategy to train your aggressive female German Shepherd so that you can confidently take her out on walks and socialize her with people and other dogs without worrying about sudden outbursts of aggressive behavior. More specifically, you will learn how to:
- Find out what is causing the aggression
- Isolate and eliminate the cause
- Reward her when she calms down
- Set a calming anchor command
Why Are German Shepherds Aggressive
German Shepherds may be aggressive for many reasons. Theres no one-size-fits-all answer, it depends on the dog, their upbringing, age, and training history.
Theres often a lifestyle factor that triggers aggressive behavior in German Shepherds. But, when properly addressed, these aggressive actions can be reduced and even eliminated entirely.
Lets take a look at why your German Shepherd may be aggressive and what you can do to fix it.
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Using The Say Please Or Nothing In Life Is Free Technique To Regain Control
The Nothing in Life is Free or Say Please technique is a wonderful way to integrate control and order back into your German Shepherds life.
Its easy to integrate into your day and helps you to regain leadership status to help with your German Shepherds aggression issues.
In a nutshell, the NILIF technique means that for everything your dog wants in life they must perform a command that you give them.
You can make yourself more predictable to your dog by teaching them that rewards only come when he asks nicely with a calm behavior, like a sit. Your dog earns all rewards such as food, treats, praise, and affection by giving you the behavior you want.
Teach your dog the basic obedience skills to reinforce your expectations and use this obedience training in your daily routines.