10 Reasons Why German Shepherds Attack, And How To Stop It

German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. They are also one of the most loyal and protective breeds.

However, German Shepherds can also be aggressive and the chief reason for their aggression is typically fear or mistrust of people. Other than that terrifies them, they may attack if they feel their territory is being threatened or if they think their pack is in danger.

In this blog post, we will explore 10 most common reasons why German Shepherds attack. So let’s explore without any further delay!

Why German Shepherds Attack And How To Stop It

1. Lack of socialization:

German Shepherds who do not receive enough socialization may become aggressive.

Socialization is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for German Shepherds because they are a breed that is naturally protective.

Without socialization, a German Shepherd may become overly protective of its family and home, leading to aggression.

2. Fear

Dogs that are afraid may lash out in an attempt to protect themselves. German Shepherds are often bred as working dogs, which means they may be more prone to fear than other breeds of dogs.

If a German Shepherd perceives a threat, it may become aggressive in order to protect itself.

3. Territoriality

German Shepherds are very protective of their homes and families. If they perceive someone as a threat to their territory, they may become aggressive.

Why German Shepherds Attack

4. Possessiveness

German Shepherds may become aggressive if they feel that someone is trying to take something away from them that they consider to be theirs, such as a toy or food.

This possessiveness can lead to aggression if the dog feels threatened.

5. Dominance

Some German Shepherds may try to establish dominance over their owners or other people in an attempt to be the alpha dog.

This can lead to aggression if the Shepherd feels that its dominance is being challenged.

6. Separation Anxiety

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may become aggressive when their owners leave them alone. This is because the dog feels anxious and stressed when it is away from its owner.

7. Pain

Dogs in pain may become aggressive because they are trying to protect themselves from further harm. If a German Shepherd is injured or in pain, it may become aggressive in order to defend itself.

8. Too Much Excitement Around Other Dogs

German Shepherds are bred as working dogs and they are used to being the center of attention.

If there are too many other dogs around, they may become excited and aggressive. This is because they are not used to being around other dogs and they may feel threatened by them.

Moreover, if there are not enough people around to give them the attention they crave, they may become aggressive in order to get attention.

9. Unknown Health Concerns

German Shepherds are prone to a number of health concerns, such as hip dysplasia and allergies. If a German Shepherd is in pain due to a health concern, it may become aggressive.

Additionally, if a German Shepherd is not being properly treated for a health concern, it may become aggressive.

10. Previous Trauma

German Shepherds may become aggressive if they have experienced trauma in the past, such as being abused or neglected.

This trauma can lead to aggression because the dog may be afraid of being hurt again. Additionally, the dog may become aggressive in order to protect itself from potential threats.

Can A German Shepherd Dog Attack Its Owner?

The short answer is yes, a German Shepherd can attack its owner. But it’s important to understand that this is rare.

German Shepherds are not naturally aggressive dogs. In most cases, aggression in German Shepherds is the result of poor training, socialization, or neglect.

If a German Shepherd has been raised in a loving and nurturing home, chances are they will never show aggression towards their family. However, if a German Shepherd has been neglected or abused, they may be more likely to lash out in an attack.

The best way to prevent your German Shepherd from attacking you is to provide them with plenty of love and attention.

Give them regular exercise, train them properly, and socialize them early on. With the right care, your German Shepherd will be a loyal and loving companion for life.

What do you do when a German Shepherd attacks you?

Few things are more frightening than being attacked by a dog. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to defend yourself and minimize the damage.

If a German Shepherd is attacking you, try to stay calm and avoid panicking. This will help you think more clearly and respond more effectively.

If possible, put something between you and the dog, like a bag or piece of clothing. This will give you some extra time to react.

If the dog does make contact with you, curl up into a ball and protect your face and neck with your hands. Try to remain still until the dog loses interest and moves on.

Then, get to a safe place and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Although being attacked by a dog is a scary experience, it is important to remember that these incidents are relatively rare.

By following these steps, you can greatly reduce your chances of being harmed during an attack.

What Are The Warning Signs Of An Aggressive GSD?

1. Growling or Snapping

One of the most obvious warning signs of an aggressive German Shepherd is if they start growling or snapping at you.

This is usually a sign that they are feeling threatened or uncomfortable and want you to back off.

If your dog starts growling or snapping at you, it’s important to try to remain calm and avoid making any sudden movements.

Instead, slowly back away from your dog and give them some space.

2. Baring Their Teeth

Another warning sign of an aggressive German Shepherd is if they start baring their teeth at you. This is a very aggressive gesture and is often accompanied by growling or snarling.

3. Hackles Up

German Shepherds have a line of fur running down their backs that is known as the “hackles.” When a dog’s hackles are up, it means that they are feeling threatened or angry.

4. Lip Licking

Lip licking is another common sign of stress in dogs. If your German Shepherd starts licking their lips excessively, it means that they are feeling anxious or intimidated.

5. Stiff Body Language

When a dog is feeling aggressive, their body language will often become stiff and rigid. They may also hold their tail low or tuck it between their legs.

6. Yawning

Yawning is another common sign of stress in dogs. If your German Shepherd starts yawning excessively, it’s a good indication that they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened.

7. Avoiding Eye Contact

Avoiding eye contact is another common sign of stress in dogs. If your German Shepherd starts avoiding eye contact with you, it means that they are feeling intimidated or scared.

How Do You Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Aggression Toward Other Dogs?

There are a number of things you can do to help stop your German Shepherd’s aggression toward other dogs.

Understand The German Shepherd’s Personality And How To Best Work With It

German Shepherds are a breed known for their strong personalities, and they can be quite territorial when it comes to other dogs. While some German Shepherds may act aggressively toward other dogs, others may merely show signs of dominance.

If you’re looking to adopt a German Shepherd, it’s important to understand their personality and how best to work with it.

There are a few things you can do to help make your German Shepherd’s environment more calming and friendly for other dogs.

First, Crate training your German Shepherd can be a great way to teach them that the house is their territory and that they should not aggressively pursue other animals outside the home.

Second, make sure your German Shepherd is receiving proper nutrition and exercise so that they are mentally and physically healthy.

Finally, be patient with your German Shepherd – they may take some time to learn how to be around other animals peacefully.

Establish Rules And Boundaries And Discipline Your Aggressive German Shepherd

If your German Shepherd is displaying aggressive behavior toward other dogs, there are a few things you can do to try and establish rules and boundaries.

First, make sure you have a good understanding of the breed’s natural tendencies.

For example, German Shepherds are powerful dogs with a strong prey drive, so they may be more aggressive when around other animals they perceive as prey.

Additionally, it’s important to establish clear rules and boundaries for your German Shepherd.

This will help him understand that certain behaviors are not acceptable and may result in punishment.

Finally, be consistent with your disciplinary methods. If you use physical punishment (hitting, shaking), make sure it is effective and done sparingly.

Use Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to getting your German Shepherd to stop aggression toward other dogs, the first step is to understand why he may be doing this in the first place.

If you can identify any underlying issues that are causing your dog to lash out, you can start addressing them in a positive way.

One of the first things you can do is try using positive reinforcement when your German Shepherd is behaving politely around other dogs.

When he’s sitting, for example, offer him a treat if he does not show any signs of aggression. This will help him learn that good behavior leads to rewards, which in turn will make him more likely to engage in it in the future.

Apply Desensitization Training

One way to try to get your German Shepherd to stop aggression toward other dogs is through desensitization training.

During this process, you gradually increase the intensity of the stimuli (the thing that makes your dog react) until it becomes less reactive.

Over time, your dog will learn to handle these situations without becoming angry or fearful.

If you’re considering desensitization training as a way to calm your German Shepherd down, be sure to talk with your veterinarian first.

There are many factors that can go into determining how well this approach will work for your particular dog.

Provide Plenty Of Exercise

German Shepherds are energetic dogs and need plenty of exercise. Provide your German Shepherd with a large backyard or arena to run in, preferably one that has a fence around it so the dog can’t escape.

A tired dog is less likely to become aggressive or territorial. Providing them with plenty of stimulation, such as a daily walk or jog, will also help keep them from becoming angry or destructive.

Make sure you take your German Shepherd for walks every day and let it play with other dogs nearby.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Socialization

One of the most important things you can do to help prevent aggression against other dogs is to provide your German Shepherd with plenty of socialization.

This means exposing them to a variety of different people, animals, and environments in order to help them learn how to appropriately interact with others.

Ask For Competing Behaviors

Competing behaviors in dogs come in all shapes and sizes. As a trainer, it is important to be familiar with the different types of competition so that you can help your dog achieve the behavior you desire.

One type of competition that is seen in many German Shepherds is aggression toward other dogs. In order to help your dog learn how to compete positively and peacefully with other dogs, it is important to teach them the following:

1. Respect other dogs as part of the pack

One of the most important things you can teach your German Shepherd is respect for other animals within their pack.

This means that they should not attack or try to dominate any other dog within their pack, no matter how much they may dislike them.

You must also teach them that they should not chase or bother any other animal outside of their pack either – this will help to keep them safe and prevent unwanted interactions with animals they don’t know.

2. Don’t initiate conflict

Another key thing to remember is that your German Shepherd shouldn’t start conflicts with other dogs on their own accord.

Whenever possible, you should avoid situations where one dog tries to initiate a conflict with another.

This will usually result in your dog getting into trouble.

Use The Right Walking Tools For More Control

One of the most common issues German Shepherds owners face is aggression towards other dogs.

This can be difficult to control, but there are a few things you can do to help.

One of the most important things is to use the right walking tools. A Kong ball or similar toy can help keep your dog entertained while you walk, which will help calm them down.

If your dog becomes aggressive, stop and give them a toy instead of trying to engage them in a physical altercation.

Consult A Professional Behaviorist

If you’re looking for a way to get your German Shepherd to stop aggression toward other dogs, consult a professional behaviorist.

They can provide tips and techniques that may help your dog learn new ways of interacting with other animals.

What NOT To Do For Your Aggressive German Shepherd

If you have a German Shepherd that is aggressive toward other dogs, it’s important to understand the steps that will not help to resolve the situation. In fact, many of these steps could actually make the aggression worse.

1. Ignore your dog’s behavior. This will only encourage them to keep up the aggressive behavior.

2. Reinforce aggressive behaviors by rewarding your dog with treats or attention when they display aggressive behavior. This will only encourage them to act out in order to receive rewards.

3. Try to “talk” to your dog in a firm but calm voice, even if they are displaying aggressive behavior. This will only angers them and they may react defensively or even become more aggressive.

4. Take your dog for walks on a leash only if it has been obedience trained and you are reasonably certain that he/she won’t display any aggression toward other dogs while walking.

Leash-walking will only further reinforce the idea that aggression is a good thing and can be rewarded with treats or attention from you.

5. Get angry at your dog or yell at them when they are being aggressive. This will only scare them and make them more likely to lash out in aggression.


German Shepherds are beautiful and loyal dogs, but they can also be aggressive. I hope after reading this article you have a better understanding of why your German Shepherd may be acting aggressively, the reasons why German Shepherds attack, and what you can do to help stop the behavior.

If you still have questions or concerns, please consult a professional behaviorist to help you work with your German Shepherd on this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are German Shepherds Naturally Aggressive?

The short answer is no, although German Shepherds are often seen as aggressive dogs, this isn’t necessarily true.

While they are bred to be guard dogs, German Shepherds can be gentle and loving if they are properly trained and socialized.

The key is to make sure that they are exposed to a variety of people and situations from a young age. If German Shepherds are not properly socialized, they may become fearful or aggressive.

At What Age Does a German Shepherd Start Guarding?

Most German Shepherds will start showing signs of guarding behavior between the ages of 8 and 10 months old.

However, some dogs may start sooner, while others may not start showing signs until they are a bit older.

Typically, it is around this age that German Shepherds reach full size and maturity, which may play a role in why guarding behavior tends to develop at this time.

Why Are German Shepherds Not Good Pets?

German Shepherds are not good pets for a number of reasons. First, they are notoriously aggressive dogs.

This is likely due to their history as working dogs. As a result, they have a natural instinct to be protective and can be quick to lash out if they feel threatened.

Additionally, German Shepherds are large dogs, and their size can be intimidating to small children or timid adults.

They also require a lot of exercise, and if they don’t get enough, they can become destructive.

For all of these reasons, German Shepherds are not good pets for most people.

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