Friday, February 12, 2010

How to handle an Overly Aggressive German Shepherd Dog

If you are a lover of German Shepherd Dog breed, chances are that you have always liked to meet new German Shepherd owners and mingle with new dogs. By doing so, I am sure that you have, at least once in your life time, met shepherds with strange behavior. Overly aggressive German Shepherd Dogs are menace to not only the owners but also the other animals and friends of their owners they meet. The fact is it’s due to the lack of knowledge of the owners that many shepherds become aggressive. Well, aggression is a genetic trait that stimulates the protective drive of the breed. Over aggression in German Shepherd Dogs is a psychological imbalance and a serious fault in the breed, being a deviation from the standard of GSD behavior.

Now this topic is all about tips and tricks to handle an overly aggressive German Shepherd Dog. The piece includes some points that may help you make your German Shepherd Dog learn good habits. The process of teaching should start at the very young age, but since most dogs start displaying aggressive behavior in the later age you need to be well equipped with the technical know-how of teaching good things that can be applied at any point of time in his/ her life. Remember German Shepherd Dog is a very intelligent breed and has the tendency to please their master. This is a very important thing to understand. Make your dog please you and show that you are pleased when he shows desirable behavior. Most GSD owners, I have come across, cannot understand how to get their overly aggressive shepherds to learn good habits. Dogs are not humans and understand things in a very different ways. So often, when an untrained trainer is training your German Shepherd Dog he is actually contributing to the behavioral problem, thereby making them worse! My first tip to solving this problem is to find the right trainer, who knows how to communicate with and train a German Shepherd Dog with all full proved techniques.

Here are four German Shepherd Dog training tips to give a try before making the decision to have them put down.

1. Most important problem area: Unscientific breeding is the most important problem area that needs to be spared a serious thought over. Overly aggressive German Shepherd Dog all through his life shows warning signs that it is not like the other friendly canine companions. Choosing the right German Shepherd Dog breeder is very important. Both the fear based aggression and dominant aggression are due to poor breeding, while territorial aggression and predatorial aggression in German Shepherds are normal and desirable to a certain degree.

2. Training sessions: To start off with you need to boost up the confidence and make your dog feel the sense of security while setting the training session. Overly aggressive German Shepherd Dogs usually have some kind of fear psychologically week with low degree of hardness trait in their character. With lack of confidence and psychological resiliency to unpleasant and strange situations you cannot solve such behavioral problems. I would suggest you to create a perfect environment around the training zone. You can invite a few friends of yours whom your dog knows well. With the gradual passage of time you can invite a stranger along with your friends and go on for stroll in the park with them and your dog. Gradually increase the number of friends and stranger. This is a very important socialization technique and should be a slow process. By making slightest haste in this you may unknowingly contribute to your shepherd’s behavioral problem instead of solving it. This will pull down his stress level and make him feel comfortable.

3. Mingling with other dogs: Most aggressive dogs cannot tolerate other animals within their vicinity, which makes them show aggressive behavior towards them. This problem in the German Shepherd Dog personality can be solved, though not a very easy task. Mingling session has to be at as soon as possible. Keep your dog on the leash in a region having a few other more confident and calm dogs. Hold the leash tight and as soon as he shows signs of aggression, just give him a jolt with a sharp “NO”. Repeat it whenever he shows signs of anger. Keep a constant eye on him and you can predict how he will be behaving on a specific situation a few seconds prior to he actually shows the aggression signs. As soon as you can predict his behavior, give him a jolt with a sharp “NO”. It will take a lot of time to socialize your German Shepherd Dog with other dogs. You need to be patient and consistent and handle him correctly.

4. Keep your dog away from other aggressive adult dogs: Remember dogs are pack animals and they live a pack life. Their specific behaviors are usually the resultant products of staying together within the pack, which is very natural. If they do not consider their owner as the pack leader they will take it upon themselves to become the leader of the pack which tourn out to be quite detrimental. If you have a new addition to your kennel, keep the new dog or puppy away from the other aggressive members of your kennel. Studies have shown that dogs and puppies that are in contact with the other aggressive mates usually become aggressive as times pass by. Get the new dog surround with cool tempered, confident, well mannered, playful dogs with positive behavioral traits.

To conclude with I would like to say that your aggression towards the dog will never solve the problem of aggression your dogs. So don’t lose your cool on your dogs. You have to be patient and tactical enough to handle a overly aggressive German Shepherd Dog. A German Shepherd Dog who have been battered can turn out to be overly aggressive at to humans. Here's how to help battered German Shepherd Dogs regain confidence.

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Amila Kanchana April 9, 2010 at 1:06 AM  

That was a good informative post,thank you for the links too.

Anonymous ,  January 15, 2011 at 7:03 PM  

I thought the article was very informative. I have an aggressive shepherd, it's mostly fear aggression. we have tried everything and can not break her of this habit and I am not sure what else to do. We have 2 shepherds and can not let them together at all. they had one big brawl almost 2 years ago and they can not be together without fighting. I have had other dogs here and she somewhat tolerates them but I do not trust her at all. My son brings his dog over which has the greatest personality and she will nip at him and she is overly jealous of him. any suggestion?

Lesley Kite ,  August 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM  

I have a shepherd who is 7 this year and he has suddenly started to be more aggressive, nothing has changed at home and this change in behaviour has both shocked and saddened me, my 5 year old daughter had a friend in the other day, she was just standing in the kitchen and he flew across the room at her with his hair up and ferociously barking, I shouted at him but he didn't stop, he went right up to her and was barking and shaking his head around by her legs; I actually thought he was biting her but luckily he didn't. today a different little girl was at our front door with my daughter and he flew for her, luckily I grabbed him before he could do anything. I am so disappointed in this change in him, specifically towards young children, now I don't know what to do for the best, I can't rehome him with this new problem and I don't want to have him put to sleep as I love him dearly but I am scared one day he may actually bite a child then the decision would be an obvious one but I don't know what to do for the best, can anyone offer advice? Is this a common occurrence? I also have a shepherd cross Labrador bitch; she has always been quite antisocial but she has never so much as barked at a child, she apparently sees the difference between child and adult but not him :-( so upset

Aringsburg August 1, 2013 at 10:51 PM  

@ Lesley

Sad to read your story. It is important to get in touch with a professional trainer or a behaviorist who can be the best person to guide you on the right track. Any delay in this will only worsen the matter. Socialization was not done properly during the young age.

The best you can do at the moment is keep your 7 year old child away or locked when there are kids (your daughter's friends) in your house. If there are hasn't been any change in environment or at your place, then it is important to see if he is having any health issues. Talk to vet. Do you remember if he was treated badly by any human kid when he was a puppy?

Putting him to sleep is the worst idea, and you won't do that. Do not talk about him to your friends and make this issue a news. Talk only to the people who are professionally trained in studying canine behavior and (professional) trainer.

chris ,  October 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM  

I have a German Shepard that will be 2 in Feb, she is very playful and happy for the most part. But when I try to socialize her she is very aggressive to the other dogs its un settling to me, after a while with the other dog she usually will play and get along but the first meeting is just a bit scary how can I solve this? I want her to play and have fun with other dogs. When I walk her she also pulls and im working on teaching her to heal, if there's another dog in the area her hair all stands up and she wants to be mean to the animal. how do I stop this? this my first German Shepard and I want to do the right thing for her. I am the 3rd owner for her. her first owner bought her as a pup and had to move so she couldn't keep her, so her mother took her and kept her on her farm with other animals and did fine. But she couldn't keep her, so I took her I had just lost my black I was looking for a dog to be my companion and friend. but I could use some tips thank you

Aringsburg October 21, 2013 at 8:48 PM  

@ Chris,

Thanks for sharing your problem with us. If she is not even two years then its much easier for you socialize her... I mean easier than those that are too old to learn new tricks. However, German Shepherds are quite intelligent to learn new things all through life!

Keep your dog's leash short while you meet other animals. Also ask the counterpart to keep their leash short. As soon as your dog misbehaves give her a slight jolt with a strong and sharp voice saying "NO". Things must be handled firmly and with confidence so that your dog considers your leadership. Socializing is a critical, continuous and consistent process... so keep on.

Please remember Reward Based training works too good with dogs. So as soon as she obeys your command give her a treat - tidbit that she likes - a piece of dog cookie may be!

As soon as you find any other animal that may approach her area (as you said), and you find that your dog has noticed it, start giving her the command NO, with faint, yet firm jolt with with her leash (get it shorten beforehand). As the animal approaches closer, stop walking further and make her sit quite. As the animal come closer and your dog makes an aggressive attempt, give her a firm jolt with the leash and say "NO"... with more firmness.

Anonymous ,  November 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM  

I have a 2 year old male GSD, he is not fixed. He has all of a sudden turned into a different dog. He is growling at me and my daughter. He does not growl at my son or husband. My husband seems to think that fixing him is the answer. I have had GSD my whole life and have never had a dog act like this. We had him in "school" when he was a pup and everything was fine. I know this is a serious issue and I hope he will calm down once fixed. Again, I have raised these dogs all my life and never had this happen before. Now I'm a little scared of him and I know that he knows it. Can he be "trained." Will fixing him help?

kyra ,  November 15, 2013 at 8:49 AM  

I have a 1.5 year ols GSD and he is agressive towards my 13 year old twin brothers but he is very polite toward me and my parents. They (being parents) want to give him away because of his attacks. Please give a solution because I don't want to give him away and I am emotionally very attached to him.

Ashley ,  January 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM  

I have a 1 year and 10 month old German Shepherd and he has been showing an excessive amount of aggression. This has become so frightening that he tries to attack my little sister plenty of times and tried to attack me twice. I am not sure how we can get him trained because he would try to attack anyone that enters my home or out on the street. Even his vets are scared of him. I just don't want to lose him because of his behavior. I'm really the only one that bonds with him most of the time. We don't know what to do with him sometimes. We even have two small dogs and they fight because my dogs is way too aggressive with them and they don't like it so we must keep the two dogs away from my German Shepherd. He knows some commands like: sit, stay, and down. But he never puts them to use around anyone. its terrifying to see him act this way when i have company over because they are even too scared to come inside. We need help with him.

lucinda July 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM  

my 2 year old GSD was brought up with other dogs but when i walk him he will bark and lunge at any dog or cat he sees...i have tried everything including expensive trainers who basically did nothing! i always correct him when he behaves this way and make him stay and lie until the other dogs passes but this is restricting my outings as a darent take him somewhere where another dog may be in very close vicinity..

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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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