The German shepherd has remarkable accolades like intelligent, brave, and exemplary guarding instincts.
Since the 1890s the German shepherd has translated from being a working farm dog to a family companion who is loyal and people-oriented.
So when does the German shepherd start guarding its loved ones? Is it when it’s a puppy or an adult? Let’s dive in to learn more.
At What Age Does a German shepherd Start Guarding?
The German shepherd guarding instincts will start manifesting when it’s 6 months. However, the dog will become a complete guard dog when it is around 12-18 months.
How Will I Know My German shepherd Has Started Guarding?
As the dog becomes turns 6 months, he will start becoming territorial. This dog will display its dominance over the other dogs, revealing its real talent.
Here is how you can know you have a guard dog –
- The German shepherd barks at strangers without chasing them.
- The dog is always keen and alert.
- The dog will scent mark the yard-shows any dog around it’s the leader ready to guard its territory.
- The dog will chase an intruder without cowering.
Overaggressive and Protective Guard Dogs
The line differentiating an overaggressive and a guard dog is thin. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which. However, for a dog expert, it’s easier to distinguish an over-aggressive dog and a dog doing its guarding duties.
How to Know an Overprotective Dog
Overprotective or aggressive dogs become much furious and display anger whenever someone or animal walks inside their territory.
The dog attacks anyone who tries coming near you- You will note this dog growls and raises the heckles when it’s about to attack.
The dog becomes anxious when you are away- Occurs if the dog has become over-attached to you.
Why Do German Shepherds Excel In Guarding?
Captain Max von Stephanitz created the German shepherds to become perfect working and guarding dogs. This captain had to research and breed lots of dogs to bring out this perfect guarding dog we have to date.
With that, your German shepherd’s guarding instincts all started with its ancestors, and it’s a trait deeply ingrained in its DNA.
How to Train a German shepherd To Become a Guard Dog.
If you want to make your German shepherd a perfect guard dog, follow these guidelines. However, you need to know the borderline; you may over-train your dog, and sooner or later, you will have an aggressive or overprotective dog.
Start Socializing Your German shepherd
Start socializing the German shepherd when it is still a puppy
Expose this dog breed to sounds and sights that will open up its mind. Socialization will help this dog know when to attack and when to walk away. It’s also at this point you may expose this dog to people and other animals.
All along, socialization will help build the confidence of the German shepherd.
Let Your Dog Learn Basic Commands
Basic commands like ‘come’, ‘quiet’, and ‘speak’ will help grow the guarding instinct of your German shepherd. Let the dog learn when it’s right to bark and when to stop.
When teaching this dog basic commands, let the training sessions become short- we don’t want the dog to become bored with them. Above all, this dog intelligence and its love for pleasing will help all training sessions become smooth.
Take Your Dog to a Dog Trainer or Obedience Class
Experienced German shepherd dog trainers will help grow this dog’s guarding instincts without making it overprotective or aggressive.
Have Regular Training Seasons Which Are Consistent
Consistent, regular training sessions will be important if you want to make your German shepherd a super guarding dog. Also, adopt the use of positive reinforcement during all training sessions.
How Do I Stop My German shepherd From Becoming Overprotective?
Sometimes if your German shepherd goes overboard in his guarding behaviors, follow the below measures to cut short that behavior you dislike.
- Ignore the dog whenever it displays such a behavior (The aggressive or overprotective behavior)
- Reward the German shepherd when it stops becoming overprotective.
The German shepherd will start guarding when it becomes 6 months old. It’s at this age the dog will protect its property and the people it loves. If not handled correctly, such a trait of guarding may go overboard, and in turn, the dog may become overprotective or aggressive. If you note your dog has such behavior, an animal behaviorist or training your dog will help curb the behavior before it goes out of hand.