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Why Is My German Shepherd So Protective Of Me

When Is It Overprotective

So you want a Protection Dog…German Shepherd Man explains

Protection is fantastic. The GSD that mingles with the family while keeping its eyes and ears open for possible threats is doing exactly what it is predisposed to do. GSDs that come from a reputable breeder will be protective but not overprotective and certainly not aggressive. So where is this fine line?

A GSD that is overprotective is unable or unwilling to correctly identify a threat. It usually behaves that way with one specific member of the family.

  • Early signs of overprotection are when the dog starts to position itself between that person and anybody else that tries to approach, even other members of the family. If it also growls, there is no doubt it is overprotective.
  • If it has no respect for your personal boundaries by jumping, nudging, climbing all over you in spite of your commands not to, it is overprotective.
  • Overprotective dogs are often said to be resource guarding you are the resource that provides it with everything it needs and so its protection of you becomes possessive. This behavior is complex and should not be allowed to develop into overprotectiveness.
  • Territorial marking inside the house by urine and even feces is a danger sign, especially if it has been properly house trained and knows its supposed to go outside.

What Does It Mean If My German Shepherds Temperament Is Alert

A dogs temperament can mean a number of things.

If your German Shepherd is alert, it could mean they perceive there is a threat or something exciting nearby.

For example, a German Shepherd may become alert and excited inside your house when they think a member of the family is arriving home from work. They might stretch and way their tail and sniff at the door if this is the case.

On the other hand, a German Shepherd might be alert, tense, focus their eyes, growl/bark, bare their teeth, and charge + a number of other aggressive traits if they think a threat is nearby.

The behavior doesnt have to be to either of those extremes, it came be somewhere in between too.

Each dog is different.

They Allow You To Hug Them

The act of hugging dogs became controversial because a casual, observational study revealed that it gives dogs anxiety. Indeed, dogs may not like hugs because it practically immobilizes them and makes them feel unprotected. But, many dog parents especially those with German Shepherds would attest to the fact that their pups enjoy hugs. At the very least, dogs will tolerate hugs when they come from people they trust and love.

When your GSD allows you to hug them, check for signs of distress, including folded-back ears and half-moon eyes. If you dont see any, youre free to take it as a sign of affection.

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Make Your Dog Work For Affection

You cant help but smother your dog with love every time hes within petting distance, but that isnt always whats best for him. Hell start to feel entitled to your attention, and thats part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a work for it program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways.

Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If hes excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else.

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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 their 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.

What Are Your Dogs Triggers

Triggers are immediate actions or behaviors that increase or begin the act of aggression in your dog.

Determine what sets off your dog by watching their body language signs listed above and noting their environment.

Some triggers include:

  • Threatening behavior from another dog or person

Keep track of triggers so you can work with your dog to lessen the behavior.

Once you determine your dogs triggers and understand your dogs body language, you can help your German Shepherd become less aggressive by keeping them away from those triggers.

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Year Old German Shepherd Growls At Me

From under the desk, he’s always in eyes view…

the look he gave me after i tried to pet him.

I have a 3 month old german shepard mix. He is very calm, even stays laying down when a visitor walks in, he is housebroken and knows basic commands . I also have two children, 4 years old and 19 months. My kids like to run around a lot and the puppy will run right along with them and bite. He sometimes bites and starts to tug at them. I try to stop him by saying no and mimicking a biting effect with my hand in a claw motion. He seems to do it when he gets excited and there is a lot of movement around. I wanna stop this because he does pierce the skin at times. I know he is teething but he only seems to bite the children, even if they don’t pay attention to him, he will come up and bite them. Can anyone help?

German Shepherd Dogs Are Known For Their Versatility

Will My German Shepherd Protect Me Without Training?

If you need any job done, just ask your dog. GSD owners understand their dogs were developed as working dogs. In fact, the ideal German Shepherd has a body and gait suited to the hard work that is considered its primary purpose. This means your dog can excel at almost anything. From dog sports like rally, agility, scent work, therapy work, to service dog work, German Shepherds can do it all. The only thing holding your dog back is the time and energy you can commit to training. Its no wonder people always think your dog is a service or police dog.

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How German Shepherds Become Overprotective And How To Prevent It

German shepherds are natural guardians of their home and family. Bred to herd and guard their flock, these working dogs intelligent, brave, and confident. They are very active, high energy, and hyper aware of whats going on in their surroundings.

German shepherds are very loyal and form close bonds with their humans. They are happiest when hanging out with their people and love being a companion and the center of attention. They are also playful, affectionate, and loving.

Due to their strength, size, and personalities, German shepherds require training and socialization to thrive in their homes and be good citizens in their communities. Untrained shepherds that lack guidance can develop many behavior problems.

German shepherds are also highly adept of reading body language, being in tune with their owners emotions, and are intuitive. These traits make them amazing pets that are easy to train, a joy to be around, and awesome pet partners in life.

These same traits, coupled with lack of training, guidance, and leadership, have the potential to create dogs that are overly bold, insecure, fearful, or even aggressive. This is not normal behavior for a German shepherd and early intervention is the key to reversing it so the dog can develop into the happy companion it was born to be.

To prevent a dog from becoming over protective:

Please share this helpful info with your family and friends.

Make Sure He Gets Exercise

As a human, when you have too much energy, its possible it can come out in aggressive ways. The same holds true for your dog. Ensure that hes getting the right amount of exercise for his breed and size, and increase that exercise and play to help with his protective aggression if needed.

Take him on an extra walk a day or walk him for 30 minutes instead of 10 minutes. Run some extra sprints with him or throw the frisbee a little longer. Youll be surprised how much aggression he can burn off with just a bit more exercise a day.

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Teach Your Dog To Bark On Command And Be Quiet On Command

Teaching your Gsd to bark on command will help you to control him when to bark and when not.

For example, A stranger is trying to introduce in your house, and you want your german shepherd to scare him with barking.

If you have taught him to bark on command, then he will follow your command immediately.

34% of the Thieves interviewed by the police say that most of the time a dog inside the house makes them change the mind to go in.

Also, teaching your German Shepherd to be quiet on command is essential.

If your dog does not stop barking when you want, then it can become frustrating.

For example, a friend has come to your house, and your German Shepherd has confused him as a stranger, he will continue to bark because he will see him as a threat.

If you have correctly thought him to be quiet on command, then it will not be a big issue to calm him down.

Here is an article that explains you: how to train a German Shepherd to be guard dog

What If The Problem Is The Addition Of A New Person Or Dog Into The Household

Why does my German Shepherd snap at me? (With images ...

Quite often the addition of a new family member in the household can really get a dogs nose out of joint. The green eyed jealousy monster will often rear its ugly head when a new member of the household is suddenly in the picture. Your dog, who may have been behaving fine, suddenly resorts to being destructive, peeing in the house, resource guarding, growling at the new member, or just generally behaving really badly. Many people are at a loss of what to do with these behaviours.There are few things that you can do to make this time better and regain control of the dog.

Often when a new person enters the relationship, a relations dyad now becomes a triad. Your dog may see the other person as an interloper or a rival for your affection and attention. People usually try to address this issue by giving the dog lots of affection and attention when the person is not there, or in the case of infants, when they are sleeping. But this only reinforces that it is the presence of the person that CAUSES the dog to feel neglected or ignored.

So to fix this issue, give the dog treats and attention when the new person is there so they begin to associate the presence of the person with pleasant things. In the case of an infant, have the dog nearby and toss treats to it while you are feeding the baby or changing a diaper. You can also have the new person give the treats to help the dog to associate new positive feelings with the new person.

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How Much Does It Cost To Train A German Shepherd For Protection

If you are willing to enroll your German Shepherd in a training class, expect the average cost being around $120/hour in the US.

The price may sometimes vary depending on the quality of the training. A dog could undergo training for minor guarding or for high end protection.

Despite it being more cost effective to train your German Shepherd at home, there may be some things you wont be able to teach him.

Protection training classes usually offer basic to more experienced training for your dog.

This kind of training usually includes working on the following:

  • Basic obedience

They Want More Attention

Do you have an attention-hungry German Shepherd?

They couldnt get enough of your time. The rough houses, the play times, the training Those are simply not enough for them.

And so they follow you from room to room, hoping to get your attention. They would get any chance to be petted or snuggled.

Note: Do not give them what they want. Otherwise, theyll get used to it and continue asking for more.

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Work With An Animal Behavior Therapist

For people that may have complex psychological issues, a therapist can help to unravel the ball of yarn, so to speak. The same applies with your dog.

You may be surprised at what a professional dog behavior expert may be able to accomplish with your dog and you together.

So if you feel that your dog is aggressive, take a step back and do not get frustrated. Go through the proper channels, speak with your veterinarian, and speak with a behaviorist.

Chances are there will be a hopeful future.

How Do You Hone A Gsds Protective Instincts

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Unless they are expected to work in guarding roles, German Shepherds need not get specialized protection training. To hone and enable them to use their protective instincts properly, all they really need is obedience training and proper socialization.

Obedience training involves your dogs ability to follow basic commands like come and stay. But apart from knowing the commands, this involves establishing a means to effectively communicate with each other.

Developing this communication is important so that your dog listens and obeys even in unfamiliar situations. This will ensure that youre in tune with one another should you ever need protection from your GSD.

Socialization is just as important. Your German Shepherd needs to be exposed to different surroundings, people, and animals.

This is how they will understand what good interactions are like and what behaviors are appropriate. In time, this is also how they will learn what makes you uncomfortable and fearful.

At home, it is also important to expose them to guests. Allow them to be familiar with what its like when other people are welcomed. That gives them the knowledge they need to identify an unwanted visitor.

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Are All German Shepherds Protective

All dogs are naturally protective to a certain degree, and German Shepherds are no different. However, not all GSDs are actually suited for protection.

Individual dogs should be evaluated for guarding traits, which should be honed and directed properly. Additionally, these dogs are only likely to defend people, animals, and things they value.

Thus, if you expect them to protect you and your home, make sure you treat them well enough to see you as a valuable resource.

Your German Shepherd Has Separation Anxiety

So, youve had your German Shepherd since he was only a few months old. You spend every single day with him. Youve trained him, fed him, took him for walks, and played with him.

Over the months and years, your German Shepherd started to build an unhealthy attachment to you. Since hes entirely dependent on you and doesnt spend all that much time away from you, he gets incredibly nervous when you leave and this usually occurs within the first 30 minutes.

This is known as and can be the result of real stress in your dog. Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is known as one of the breeds most likely to suffer from this condition.

So, whats the difference between a clingy GSD and one suffering from separation anxiety? Although these are very similar, clingy dogs want to be around you when youre at home whereas a German Shepherd with separation anxiety really panics when youre not around.

Not much is known about why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, here are some of the reasons believed to cause it:

  • A major change in the dogs routine, e.g. moving house
  • He may have been abandoned in the past or mistreated
  • He suffers from his own stress and anxiety
  • He really just doesnt like to be away from you

Your German Shepherd might be so clingy because hes afraid youll leave him and never come back!

Once he is alone he may display disruptive behavior such as chewing on your wooden furniture. These are all signs that your dog is suffering from real stress.

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Seek Affection And Attention

Your German Shepherd may lie on or close to your feet to simply seek affection and attention. German Shepherds enjoy a warm cuddle and sometimes they can even become extra clingy.

If you are sitting at a chair tapping at your computers keyboard for an hour or two, your furry friend will take what he can of your closeness, hoping to remind you that he exists.


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