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What Age Does A German Shepherd Become Aggressive

Are German Shepherds Dangerous Dogs

At What Age Will Your German Shepherd First Get Aggressive

For the most part, German Shepherds are very loyal and loving companions. They make excellent watchdogs because of their size and strength. Most often, the reason why a minority of German Shepherds exhibit dangerous behaviors is because of mistreatment by the owner.

If you have a German Shepherd, the first thing to understand is that they are very protective by nature. If you tell your dog that someone is not to be trusted, they will defend you accordingly. For this reason, it is imperative that owners take responsibility for how they raise their pets.

At What Time Do Gsds Calm Down

Though German Shepherd dogs are energetic and active, theyll usually relax as they grow more mature. Thiss a gradual process, so you need to train them while they are still small.

If the German shepherd of yours is now not so relaxed, you need to look for the reasons why your dog is not calm and then deal with it.

How Long Should My Dog Eat Puppy Food

When should I switch from puppy food to adult dog food? Once puppies have reached 90% of their expected adult weight, they should switch from a growth diet to one thats suitable for maintenance. Small breeds may finish growing by nine to 12 months for large breeds, expect 12 to 18 months.

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Aggression Problem & Solution Help Chart

Avoid punishing unwanted actions from your dog.

Leash corrections and punishment-based techniques dont address the underlying issues. They rarely dont sustain long-term benefits and are very short-lived. Instead, use positive reinforcement that promotes and rewards desired behaviors.

Here are some problems and solutions to help prevent your German Shepherd from becoming aggressive.


Do German Shepherds Get Aggressive With Age

What Age Does a German Shepherd Become Aggressive

Many dogs do not come into their full personality until they end puberty and develop aggression at this age. However, German Shepherds commonly receive training early and develop aggression concurrently. The ages between six months and a year can be almost as critical for a GSDs socialization as the early puppy weeks.

Read Also: Training Your German Shepherd Puppy

Do German Shepherds Personalities Change As They Get Older

As dogs mature, especially dogs who have not been spayed or neutered, they develop less tolerance for things that might not have upset them as younger pups. Unaltered dogs also have hormonal surges that can affect their excitement levels. So while the dogs overall personality likely stays the same, its tolerance for other dogs and for events that might not have bothered it as a puppy goes down. This often translates into a German Shepherd who dislikes other dogs starting around 2 to 3 years old. It sometimes means extra sensitivity to strangers starting at around 2 years old, as well.

A scary or unwanted experience during the puppys sensitive periods can permanently alter the puppys personality, at least under those circumstances. We once had an otherwise-friendly-with-everyone male German Shepherd who was traumatized by a veterinarian at 8 months of age. He barked, lunged and growled at that veterinarian every visit thereafter, to the point that we ended up switching vets. Even then, it took years of training and behavior modification for him to quietly accept an examination from the new vet.

How To Train A German Shepherd For Aggression Control

Make sure you train your German Shepherd from an early age. Older German Shepherds can still be strongly trained, but it takes more time and effort to first untrain them of any unwanted habits already acquired.

  • Your German Shepherd must recognize that you are the alpha dog . Make sure youre acting like an alpha from the very first day that he joins your household. If you dont, then you may experience resistance at first when trying to assume that role.
  • First, wear a protective bite sleeve that covers your arms. This will keep you from bite injuries.
  • Never use humiliation, hitting, abuse, or rough corrections when dealing with aggressive behavior.
  • Teach your GSD the word attack. Tell him to sit then tap his face using the glove on your arm. This will annoy your GSD and he will attack the glove. As soon as he attacks, say the word attack. Reward him by giving him treats.
  • Repeat this process until he understands the word attack. If he attacks your gloved arms when you say attack, it means he already knows the command.
  • Always reward good behavior during training. This is called positive reinforcement training and recognizes that most dogs especially intelligent ones like German Shepherds respond very well to encouragement and rewards. Harsh corrections such as loud angry voices, hitting or humiliation results in the dog switching off and not being able to learn.
  • Final Words

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    A Strong Intelligent Breed

    The German Shepherd breed is an intelligent, athletic, and strong breed. This is why they are used as police dogs, bomb detection, guard dogs, therapy dogs and family pets.

    This is a strong breed both physically and mentally. The problems start when owners do not recognize these traits and they land up with a mixed up, aggressive German Shepherd.

    Start training early to avoid aggressive behavior

    Unmotivated 6 Month Old German Shepard

    At What Age does A German Shepherd Become Aggressive? When do GSD’s Calm Down?

    Shepherd is Tuffer and mastif/lab is Brutis

    I have a 6 month old pure bred male German Shepard. He is very smart and energetic but I can’t seem to get his attention. He is not food motivated to reward with treats. He is not toy motivated nor does he care if you pet him, cuddle him, or just give him a pat and say good boy. He loves to play fetch and he will come drop the ball for you but we just can’t seem to get past that. I took him for a walk, along with my 2 year and my 7 month old in a stroller, he was tied to my waist so he would have to pay attention to me instead of his surroundings but when we stopped and my son was watching a squirrel, two people came walking down the trail and my dog went crazy. He saw the people coming so it wasn’t a surprise and we calmly said hi to each other. He jumped up as far as he could go and aggressively barked at them till they were past us. They commented, thankfully you have him on a leash, and kept on their way. I don’t in any way want an aggressive dog and with a 2 year old and baby I can’t always be outside dragging him around. Any suggestions?

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    Quick Answer: What Age Does A German Shepherd Dog Stop Growing

    Like many large breeds, a German Shepherd dog is not considered fully grown until they are about 18 months old. Female German Shepherds continue to fill out until they are around two years old, while the male German Shepherd growth rate continues until they reach two and a half years of age.

    Is Aggression In A German Shepherd Puppy Normal

    The first question thats worth asking is whether aggression in a german shepherd puppy is normal. And, to be honest, a certain level of aggression is normal during your pups growth, and a lot of the time the aggression will only be play aggression.

    As well as this, there may be behavioral issues that you have to work through with your dog too. Thats one of the reasons its so important to follow a good training program!

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    How To Tell If Your German Shepherd Puppy Is Playing Or Being Aggressive

    It can also be hard to tell whether your German shepherd is playing or being aggressive. As theyre growing up they may be a little bit rougher than they should be, as well as not understanding social etiquette properly yet.

    Fortunately, there are a few ways you can differentiate between the types of behavior theyre displaying. Here are some of the things to look for.

    Theyre Bowing

    When puppies or dogs play, they often bow and wait for you to start playing before they pounce. If youre not sure what this looks like its when they press their chest to the floor and stick their bum in the air.

    If you notice this when theyre being aggressive then the chances are they just dont know how rough theyre being. In the early days, theyre not going to have bite inhibition , so they may end up biting you too hard.

    Growling When Youre Playing

    Not all growling is bad, some growling is merely play growling. For example, my dogs always growl when theyre playing tug of war, but theyre not doing it in an aggressive way. The way to tell if the growling is aggressive or not is to see what the rest of their body is doing.

    If theyre wagging their tail, jumping around, or bowing, then the chances are that theyre not growling in a malicious way.

    Nipping And Biting

    Fortunately, nipping and biting isnt always a sign of aggression. It can also be another sign that your german shepherd pup is trying to play.

    Let Your Dog Learn Basic Commands

    What Age Does A German Shepherd Become Aggressive ...

    Basic commands like come, quiet, and speak will help grow the guarding instinct of your German shepherd. Let the dog learn when its right to bark and when to stop.

    When teaching this dog basic commands, let the training sessions become short- we dont want the dog to become bored with them. Above all, this dog intelligence and its love for pleasing will help all training sessions become smooth.

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    Children And Other Pets

    If they’re well-trained and have had plenty of exposure to kids, especially as a puppy, a German Shepherd is a great companion for children. In fact, some say they’re a cross between a babysitter and a cop, both gentle with, and protective of, the children in their family.

    This is a big dog, though, capable of mistakenly bumping a toddler or small child. True to their reserved nature, they’re not tail-wagging friendly with kids they don’t know, but they’re generally trustworthy.

    The German Shepherd can also live peacefully with other dogs and pets, as long as they’re taught to do so from puppyhood. Introducing an adult German Shepherd to a household with other pets can be more difficult if the dog isn’t used to getting along with other dogs or cats. You may need to hire a professional trainer to help, or get advice from the rescue organization if that’s where you acquired the adult German Shepherd.

    Why Is My Dog Being Aggressive All Of A Sudden

    1 Your suddenly aggressive dog may have an injury or an illness thats causing major discomfort and stress. Some possible causes of pain include arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations. Other illnesses may affect your dogs brain, leading to seemingly unreasonable aggression.

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    Aggressive German Shepherd/ Doberman Pinscher

    My husband and I just got a 1 year old German Shepherd/ Doberman Pinscher mix and she absolutely adores us and respects us fairly well. Our problem is that she is extremely aggressive and vicious towards visitors and she wont listen when we tell her it is ok. She appears to be trying protecting us but we are not sure. We want her to be a good guard dog but also to accept the people we allow to come over. What are your suggestions?

    Are German Shepherds Naturally Aggressive


    It depends on what you mean by aggressive. These dogs are naturally territorial and protective. They were bred to protect herds of sheep and were then utilized for military and police work. Their protective instincts are still with them today, as they are commonly still used as guard and protection dogs.

    Therefore, these dogs arent going to be as friendly with strangers as other breeds. They are not Labrador retrievers in the least!

    However, that doesnt necessarily make them aggressive either. They are very calm family dogs in most cases, especially if they are socialized from a young age.

    They are not particularly more likely to bite than other breeds when properly socialized and trained. There is a lot of variation amongst German Shepherds, though. Some are more likely to bite than others. Much of this depends on the training, though genetics can play a role as well.

    If you purchase a German Shepherd as a puppy, we highly recommend purchasing them from a quality breeder. These breeders are likely to pay more attention to their dogs temperaments. Breeders are not going to breed a dog if they are overly aggressive and untrainable. Backyard breeders and puppy mills typically dont pay attention to these things!

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    Why Is My German Shepherd Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

    So, why is your German Shepherd aggressive towards other dogs? The most common reason is a lack of exposure to other dogs as a puppy since this is when they would normally learn how to interact with other dogs. Other reasons include dominance, overly enthusiastic play or protecting its territory or owner.

    Are German Shepherds Good With Kids

    German shepherds are generally known to be good around children of all ages, due to them being so calm and patient. However, a GSD that has not been socialized properly from an early age could be a threat to children. Additionally, larger dogs and toddlers may not always mix too well.

    As cuddly as a teddy bear to those that care for them and cold as ice to those that dont, German shepherds love friends, fun and food. Theyre not too fond of lazy days, and they definitely dont like knocks on the door. But theyre eager to please and even more eager to see whats hiding in the bushes.

    Recommended Reading: When Do German Shepherd Puppies Calm Down

    How Can I Make My German Shepherd Live Longer

    What Can You Do to Help Your German Shepherd Live Longer? #1 Get Regular Vet Care. #2 Maintain Your German Shepherds Weight. #3 Find a Reputable Breeder. #4 Feed Your GSD High-Quality Food. #5 Consider Supplements. #6 Give Your German Shepherd Plenty of Exercise. #7 Take Care of Their Teeth.

    Controlling Aggressive German Shepherd Behavior

    At What Age Does A German Shepherd Become Aggressive?

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    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.

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    How Do You Calm Down A Hyper German Shepherd

    You can calm down a hyper German Shepherd through physical exercise and mental stimulation. This could be in the form of short walks and play sessions. Other ways to calm them down include giving them a chew bone or puzzle toys.

    Sometimes dog owners fall victim to misinterpreting a dogs behavior.

    What they assume as a sign of happiness is actually hyperactivity. Thus, they end up rewarding and reinforcing unwanted behaviors.

    Did you know that being hyper could lead to aggressive behavior?

    More importantly:

    Aggressive Behavior In German Shepherds

    There are many causes of aggressive behavior in German Shepherds. It might be due to a dominance related issue between you and the dog, or it might be a trigger that was never properly dealt with from puppyhood such as an attack by another dog. Whatever it is that is causing your German Shepherds aggression, you need to address it as soon as possible. The results of prolonged aggression can be not only scary, but dangerous if not quickly taken to task.

    German Shepherds are intelligent dogs that are very strong and athletic they are used for guard dogs, police dogs, drug- and bomb-detection dogs, therapy dogs and loving family pets. German Shepherd owners need to know what theyre doing with such a strong breed of dog. Unfortunately many owners get a German Shepherd without having done their homework first. This is often where the problems start, and very sad, mixed-up, and often aggressive German Shepherds are at times abandoned.

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    Some Basics Of Aggression Training

    Make sure you train your German Shepherd from an early age. Older GermanShepherds can still be successfully trained, but it takes more time and effort to first untrain them of any undesirable habits already acquired.

  • Your German Shepherd must recognize that you are the alpha dog . Make sure youre acting like an alpha from the very first day that he joins your household. If you dont, then you may experience resistance at first when trying to assume that role.
  • Never use humiliation, hitting, abuse or rough corrections when dealing with aggressive behavior.
  • When hes behaving calmly, reward him with praise, pats, and a food treat.
  • Always reward good behavior during training. This is called positive reinforcement training, and recognizes that most dogs especially intelligent ones like German Shepherds respond very well to encouragement and rewards. Harsh corrections such as loud angry voices, hitting or humiliation results in the dog switching off and not being able to learn.
  • Make sure that all the family members understand the alpha status, on dog psychology, and dog communication.
  • It is important that all family members take a part in prevent him from becoming a one-man dog.
  • Training should begin at an early age. There is no minimum age for a German Shepherd to begin obedience training. The sooner the better Start with the basic commands like sit as soon as you get your German Shepherd puppy. Also start with house training as soon as you can.

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