German Shepherds are one of the most loving and affectionate dog breeds in the whole world which is why it isn’t surprising that they are also one of the more popular dog breeds not only in the United States, but internationally as well.
They are known to provide protection for those who they care about the most and are playful to the extent that you never get bored in their presence.
German Shepherds show their love by always being around you, tugging you playfully and even laying down on their back so you can give them a belly rub every once in a while.
Having them around you when you go out for your morning jog or that afternoon walk is a refreshing experience because they are very obedient and are known to master commands in just a short amount of time. This is why they are popular in the police and military as companions in service.
German Shepherds can be aggressive, however, even if you consider the fact that they are very friendly towards their owner and one of the most loving creatures on the planet.
While they are incredibly calm and know how to read social cues, they still have a little intensity that you will find in every dog. With this intensity comes a little hostility, especially if they are irritated, threatened or impatient.
How to tell if a German Shepherd is becoming aggressive
German Shepherds are known to have mood swings and bad temperament which they deal with on a regular basis. When you have a trained German Shepherd dog and you tell them to stop barking but instead of doing so they get louder, that is one of the main signs.
Here are some other signs of aggression to look out for:
- Your German Shepherd starts to bite furniture, chew on wires and does not stop when you tell it to.
- Your German Shepherd snaps and pounces you when you tell it to stop doing whatever it is doing.
- Your German Shepherd attempts to harm you or anyone in the house for seemingly no particular reason and even when not aggravated.
- Your German Shepherd’s usually playful bite becomes a lot more intense and they become angrier the longer their mouth latches onto you.
- Your German Shepherd chases other dogs or other pets around while barking instead of being silent.
Why do a German Shepherd become aggressive?
The cause of a German Shepherd’s aggression is different from case to case. We suggest reading the German Shepherd Handbook for a broader look at the actual causes of bad behavior. Some of the more common causes of aggression, though, are:
- The German Shepherd does not get enough exercise or is not physically stimulated enough.
- The German Shepherd feels too cramped in its living space or does not get to go outdoors very often.
- The German Shepherd does not get much attention even though it sees that its owner gives a lot of attention to someone or something else.
- The German Shepherd is neglected in terms of food, nutrients and water.
- The German Shepherd’s environment is abruptly changed either for the better or the worse.
- Assertion of dominance in German Shepherds
Sometimes it is easy to mistake the assertion of dominance for aggression when it comes to German Shepherds. Since they are a fairly large breed of dogs, they tend to want to be the dominant one in their particular territory.
If you do not keep a healthy relationship with your German Shepherd dog, they might feel like you are not equals. It is important to keep them in line when they become too dominant and to show that they are important when they become too passive.
To stimulate the feeling of dominance, it is suggested by many experts to train your German Shepherd dog to play tug of war and let them win and lose on purpose. A healthy balance between the two will make them realize that you are not above or beneath them which will make them see you as neither a threat nor a burden in their eyes.
German Shepherds can be easily misunderstood since they have a wide range of emotions and behavior. It is easy to mistake something else for aggression so it is important to know the many things there are to know about this wonderful dog breed.