There are many reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs. It may be as a result of dominance related issue between your dog, or it might be a trigger which was never properly handled from puppyhood – for example a panic attack with a different dog. Whatever causes your German Shepherd’s aggression, however, you need to address it as soon as you possibly can. The results of prolonged aggression could be not only scary, but dangerous too.
The Source of German Shepherd Aggressive Behavior
German Shepherd aggression can begin as young as About six weeks of age, an important age when a puppy ought to be socialized along with other dogs and given the necessary training that keeps them from biting others. This period of socialization lasts until the dog turns 14 weeks of age and can extend even further beyond that.
This means several things. First, never take a puppy away from its litter before 8 weeks of age. Never use harsh discipline with the puppy between 8 and 10 weeks and ensure your dog is extremely gently treated for the duration of that time. Hitting, yelling or other harsh punishments in a early age can breed aggressive behavior in German Shepherds with time.
German Shepherds will need to have been properly socialized with people along with other dogs when they have reached 14 weeks to prevent any future aggression issues.
Actual aggression could be triggered by a variety of factors. Heredity and genetics are certainly factors – some breeds can be more aggressive than others – but it’s by no means a tough fast rule. Additionally, dogs which have not been neutered or spayed tend to be more vulnerable to aggressive tendencies.
Undoubtedly, however, the most important factor in creating aggressive behavior in dogs is their environment. A German Shepherd which has poor living conditions, harsh masters, no socialization, or that has been frightened or attacked by another dog is far more likely to be aggressive as it ages.
German Shepherd Aggression can grow from the need to have to establish a pack pecking order. Biting, posturing, and other aggressive tendencies in many cases are the result of a dog testing for dominance. You will need to establish dominance at a young age and maintain that position throughout the dog’s adolescence to ensure it doesn’t get a chance to consider and take charge of the household.
Stopping and Controlling Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
If your German Shepherd exhibits aggressive behavior after 14 months of age, when it has reached sexual maturity, especially after it has been altered, you should address the problem immediately. First, be sure you have established yourself as the pack leader. Don’t reward your dog for aggressive behavior, even when it is scared (especially in this case).
Train your pet to respond to your commands, control feeding and walking times, and ensure your dog has a strong leader in the house. Should you defer to the dog or let it take liberties in your home, it will exhibit stronger aggression toward others.
If your German Shepherd is defensive-aggressive, they might strike out at a part of fear. These dogs may not have been properly socialized. In many cases keep them away from small children (that they could see as direct threats) and attend a training session or behaviorist who can slowly acclimate the dog to differing social atmospheres.
Aggressive behavior in German Shepherds has become a problem that many owners have, but it could be controlled, even while your dog gets older. If your aggression ever advances to violence, consider getting a professional to intervene before someone gets hurt as well as your dog is held accountable.