Are German Shepherds Known To Be Aggressive?

Are German Shepherds Known To Be Aggressive?

German shepherds are known to be ever serious, vocal, big, and fear-provoking, but are they aggressive?

German shepherds are not naturally aggressive, but they can be under different situations. It will also depend on the individual dog, just like humans some are aggressive while others are not.

Below are the types, signs, reasons, and remedies for aggression in German shepherds.


Types of German Shepherd Aggression

  • Predatory aggression
  • Sex-Related aggression
  • Redirected aggression
  • Pain-Elicited aggression
  • Defensive aggression
  • Fear aggression
  • Food aggression

Signs of an Aggressive German Shepherd

Non-Stop Barking 

If you have trained your dog but he continues barking uncontrollably even after the stop command, that means that he has become aggressive. Sometimes GSDs bark continuously when they are anxious, but if you order them to stop and they bark louder, that means they are being aggressive.

Chasing and barking at other animals

Your dog can bark and chase any animal that is in his sight, be it cows, cats, horses, or other dogs. Do not mistake this as playing. Know the best way to stop it for the sake of the peace of other animals.

Chewing of furniture and your properties

German shepherds are curious, they can bite anything they come across be it your shoes, carpets, or furniture. If your dog is aggressive he will continue chewing whatever is in their mouth even after ordering him to stop.

Growling and Nipping as Soon as You Touch Him

At no time should your GSD nip or growl at you once you touch them. This is a indication that he does not trust you enough. If the problem is not solved earlier it might get out of hand.

Growling and barking when you have food

This is the most challenging type of aggression in dogs. It happens when you are eating and your German shepherd can’t stop barking and growling. Sometimes, he can even dive for the food in your hands.

Why are Some German Shepherds Aggressive?

Lack of exercise

If you do not adequately exercise your German shepherds mentally and physically, they will become aggressive. German shepherds require a lot of exercises as they are active dogs. They need at least one hour of thorough exercise each day and walks. You should also buy play toys for them.

Protective Nature

German shepherds were bred for herding, and being protective is in their genes. If they notice strangers, they see them as a threat to the owner and they become aggressive to keep them away.

Resource guarding

Your dog might be guarding his favorite toy or food. If you happen to take them away, they growl to stop you.

Lack of Socialization

You should socialize your dog with people other than your family members. You should take him to your neighborhood or the park. This will make him stop seeing others as a threat or jumping on them.

Make sure that your GSD is introduced to other animals. He should only get aggressive if the animal in question poses a threat to him.

It is also of great importance if you familiarize your dog to various places. Take him with you whenever you go swimming, hiking in the forest, just anywhere that you go.

Introduce him to all types of sounds like motorbikes, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc. You should do all these introductions at an early age.

When in Pain

If your GSD is in pain, he will be very aggressive. This is mostly if you touch the aching part. You should check for any injury in their bodies and take them to a vet.


If a GSD has been repeatedly abused, it will be difficult for him to remain trustful to human beings. He will always be aggressive whenever he is in fear or feeling cornered.

Remedies for Aggression in German Shepherds

See a Vet

A vet will do all the required tests. If the aggression is caused by physical pain, he will prescribe the best medication.

Visit a Dog Behaviorist

A dog behaviorist can help change a dog’s behavior. He/she can identify the specific cause of aggression and the best way to end it.


Regular training will help reduce aggression in German shepherds. If you don’t know how to do it, seek help from professional trainers.

Early socialization

Socialize your dog at an early age to avoid drama in the future. Make sure he not only socialize with other people but also other dogs, places, and sounds.


It is not acceptable to generalize that all German shepherds are aggressive. If yours is aggressive, you must know the possible cause. You should never return your dogs’ aggressiveness with hostility, this is because he might be seeking attention. If you show him that aggressiveness will earn him your attention, it will worsen. You can also neuter him to reduce the sex drive aggressiveness.

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Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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