It is normal for people to think that dogs designed to protect are dangerous. There are certain guard dogs that can be aggressive and even attack intruders who threaten your home and loved ones, but there are other types of protective canines that only bark to alert their owners of a potential threat.
One of the dogs that stand out for its protective instinct is the German Shepherd. These animals are very loyal to their loved ones and can be aloof from strangers as they may see them as threats.
Also, they are intelligent dogs that can quickly learn any command and skill. Generally, they are not difficult to train.
Just because German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs does not mean they are dangerous. Unfortunately, this breed has gained a bad reputation due to many people using them as police dogs.
Obviously, the German Shepherds used for this job are trained to be intimidating and show certain signs of aggression. However, German Shepherds have the qualities to make good family pets if they are properly trained and educated.
German Shepherds Are Not Dangerous Dogs
You have to keep in mind that most German Shepherds are not naturally dangerous dogs as they were not bred for jobs that encourage aggressive behaviour. So why do many people think these dogs are so dangerous?
German Shepherds were originally bred to be herding and guard dogs. Over the years, they have further developed their skills as protective canines, leading them to be more courageous and imposing without being aggressive.
Keep in mind that they can easily develop aggressive tendencies if they are not properly educated. As we have said, many people train this breed to be aggressive in order to easily chase off intruders.
Since most German Shepherd owners do not need a guard dog, then they will have an excellent family pet that is calm, loving, and protective with proper training.
Can My German Shepherd Be Dangerous?
A German Shepherd can be dangerous as long as they have not received the proper education and a good lifestyle. It will not be born with this behaviour but could develop it depending on different factors and situations.
A German Shepherd can make a good pet. It forms strong bonds with its loved ones and offers them all its love. It is very rare for a dog of this type to be aggressive towards its owners or members of its human family.
In case your German Shepherd develops this type of behaviour, it will only be aggressive towards strangers and animals that are not part of its family.
Some reasons why these dogs can be dangerous and aggressive are:
Lack of Socialisation
This is one of the most common reasons a German Shepherd can become aggressive and potentially dangerous. As we have already said, this breed was originally bred not only to be a herding dog but also to protect property and people.
If they are not properly trained or educated, they can start to develop aggressive behaviours, especially towards strangers.
That is due to their protective instincts. They will want to protect their loved ones from any threat or intruder, no matter if they have to resort to violence.
German Shepherd Fear
Bad experiences can cause fear to invade the body of these animals, causing them to respond aggressively. If you have adopted your German Shepherd from an animal shelter, it is possible that it belonged to another family that used to mistreat it.
Obviously, any type of physical and verbal punishment could traumatize any dog regardless of breed. Depending on the severity of the situation, your German Shepherd could try to attack you just by getting close.
Similarly, a German Shepherd can become frightened by hearing strange loud noises caused by police sirens, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc.
German Shepherd Protective Instinct
This is another of the most common reasons why German Shepherds can behave aggressively, especially towards strangers.
These dogs are very loyal to their owners and members of their human families and will protect them from any danger. Many people train these canines to be aggressive when dealing with a threat or intruder.
Recommendations for Training Your German Shepherd
The first thing you should do when adopting or buying a German Shepherd is educate and train it correctly. The best time to train a dog of this type is when it is young, so it is advisable to acquire a puppy.
You should socialise your German Shepherd as soon as possible. Gradually expose your pet to other people, animals, children, new places, vehicles, etc.
The idea is to ensure that the interaction between your dog and everything we have mentioned is positive. You should always reward your German Shepherd for its good behaviour and never verbally or physically punish it as the results will be negative.