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Do German Shepherds Turn on Their Owners?

One of the main goals of people when adopting or buying a new dog is to make sure they choose a breed that is not aggressive, dangerous, or turns on them. Let’s talk a little about German Shepherds.

German Shepherds are large animals that have a formidable bearing. They are the second most popular dog breed, according to the AKC. They are characterized by being loyal to their loved ones, especially their owner.

Do German Shepherds Turn on Their Owners

They are very energetic and love to perform physical activities and various tasks like herding, protecting their properties and members of their human family, etc.

Many German Shepherd owners think that these dogs will turn on them because they can be intimidating and show aggressive behaviour at times. We must first clarify that these dogs are not aggressive by nature unless they are specifically trained to be dangerous and do not receive the proper education.

German Shepherds are extraordinary companions that will be faithful and loyal to their owners as long as they are adequately trained and socialised. For that reason, it is unlikely that such a dog will turn on you unless provoked.

Most German Shepherds tend to be affectionate, friendly, and loyal, especially to their owners, so it would be very rare if they turned on them. In fact, the American Kennel Club has ranked them as one of the best family pets.

Does that mean that no German Shepherd will turn on its owner? No! Obviously, there are always exceptions that are caused by certain situations. For example, German Shepherds can be aggressive when their owners treat them poorly.

Why Do People Think That German Shepherds Turn on Their Owners?

Many people are afraid of German Shepherds, especially because they are intimidating and large in size. However, that does not mean that they are dangerous animals by nature.

Although the cases of bites of German Shepherds are numerous in countries like the United States, they are not dogs that are characterized by this type of behaviour unless a particular situation triggers it.

Actually, the cause of this thought is a misunderstanding. Many people want others to think that this breed is dangerous and aggressive, but that is wrong. In fact, the German Shepherd is one of the most loyal dogs you can find anywhere in the world.

Keep in mind that any large dog breed can have occasional aggressive behaviour caused by a specific circumstance. Therefore, if a German Shepherd turns on its owner, it is vital to look for the triggering agent to understand why it behaves in this way since it is not normal.

Reasons Why a German Shepherd Turns on Its Owner

We have already said that it is rare for German Shepherds to turn on their owners, but it can still happen depending on various factors. Some reasons are:

Lack of Training

One of the requirements for a German Shepherd to behave properly and be a more loyal, friendlier, and happier dog is to train it. An untrained dog may want to do what it wants and display inappropriate behaviours.

If you don’t educate your German Shepherd, it could turn not only on you but also on every family member, including the children. It is essential to train it and prevent it from having bad habits that can cause problems for the whole family.

Poor Socialisation

Socialisation is important for the German Shepherd to get along with its owner and learn to behave well. That will teach the dog to act correctly not only with people but also with other animals.

If you don’t socialise your German Shepherd from an early age, that could affect its future behaviour causing the canine to develop aggressive tendencies even towards its owners.

Protective Instinct

German Shepherds are dogs that hate when other people or animals come near their resources. We have to remember that these canines are characterized by their protective instinct.

A German Shepherd could act aggressively towards its owner if he tries to take its belongings. You cannot allow your pet to develop this type of behaviour as it will be difficult to correct later. That is dangerous as it will not only turn on you but could lash out at any other family member who gets close to it.

Little Attention

German Shepherds need to receive enough attention so that they can form strong bonds with their owners. That includes feeding them every day, providing them with plenty of exercise, training them, etc.

If you don’t provide all of those things, your German Shepherd won’t see you as its special person and could act aggressively towards you.


Many people with strong temperaments and little patience should not have a dog of this type. There are many bad dog owners who punish their German Shepherds for different reasons.

Regardless of whether your German Shepherd develops bad habits, physical or verbal aggression is not the solution since the only thing you will achieve is to make your dog feel afraid of you, and in response, it will turn on you.