German Shepherds are energetic animals that have been bred from the beginning to protect livestock.
This has caused them to develop a strong protective instinct that has given them the natural desire to protect their home and family to the point of being aggressive at times.
The protective instinct of the German Shepherds, added to their large size and intimidating appearance makes many people think that these dogs are dangerous and that they could react aggressively through bites.
Can German Shepherds Bite?
The first thing you should know is the personality of these canines. German Shepherds have been characterized their entire lives by their loyalty and companionship with their owners.
They tend to form strong bonds with their human family members, which makes these dogs want to protect them at all times from any danger.
Depending on how reserved a German Shepherd is with strangers, it may develop a higher level of aggressiveness. That can lead them to bite people, especially those who are not part of their family.
Keep in mind that this breed is very intelligent, and with proper training, it is capable of detecting real dangers and knowing who it should really be aggressive towards.
Just because German Shepherds are aloof and sometimes aggressive towards strangers doesn’t mean they can’t display this type of behaviour towards their loved ones.
Factors that can trigger aggressiveness In German Shepherds
Fear is one of the common reasons German Shepherds tend to bite people, including their owners. This feeling can be caused by different factors such as thunderstorms, the sound of ambulance/police sirens, fireworks, or any other type of loud noise.
In these cases, approaching a German Shepherd is dangerous as it will feel threatened and could react by biting.
Pain is something that makes dogs vulnerable. When a German Shepherd feels vulnerable, it is normal for it to react aggressively to anyone who tries to approach it to treat its injury or discomfort, be it a veterinarian or a member of its family. That is why it is important to be careful in these cases.
When a German Shepherd is extremely excited about something, it will not be able to control itself. For example, if you’re playing a game with it that requires pulling or searching, it might end up accidentally biting you out of its excitement to play with you.
Sometimes they may tend to bite as a way of showing affection or asking you to play with them, but although this may seem adorable, keep in mind that their jaws are powerful, which will make bites extremely strong and painful.
How to Prevent a German Shepherd from Biting?
It is always important to take action when the German Shepherd is a puppy as, at that time, it does not have a fully developed bad behaviour. The most important thing is to provide socialisation training.
A well-trained and socialised German Shepherd should not display aggressive behaviour even towards strangers. You must consider the following for the training to be effective:
- Never use punishment or forms that involve physical or verbal aggression, as this will only produce negative results.
- Always use positive reinforcement. This method consists of rewarding a German Shepherd with treats and praise every time it correctly responds to a command.
- Take your German Shepherd puppy to the park so it can learn to interact and socialise with new people and animals.
Another way to prevent your German Shepherd from biting you or a family member is by forming a bond of total trust.
Remember that these dogs are extremely loyal to their loved ones and will never bite or show aggressive behaviour unless they are not fully trusted.
You should never mistreat your German Shepherd as this will make it afraid of you, which is a trigger for this behaviour that we have seen above.
In the same way, if you physically hurt it, you will cause injuries, and as we have said, the pain could make this dog react aggressively through bites.
Another recommendation that you should keep in mind is that you should never adopt a German Shepherd that has been mistreated.
A dog that has had these experiences is likely to be aggressive towards you, so make sure it has been properly trained and rehabilitated by a professional. You should always know the history of the German Shepherd you want to bring home before adopting it.