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German shepherd dogs, commonly known as Alsatians, are an amazing breed of dogs that are very popular for their fierce looks, intelligence, confidence and loyalty.
A male German shepherd is not over 24-26 inches, and a female German shepherd is usually 22-24 inches. These dogs have a life of a maximum of 10 years and weigh 65-90 pounds (male) and 50-70 pounds (female).
Although they look very agile and aggressive, they are quite soft and gentle from the inside once you get close to them, love them, take care of them and provide them all the mental and physical stimulation that this breed needs.
They are energetic and always need some physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and satisfied.
They are big and muscular dogs that are extremly popular for their character.
They are confident, playful, energetic, kind, loving, protective and loyal to their owners and their families.
These dogs may seem very aggressive to the strangers and they are aggressive to the strangers and other pets if they are not trained properly but with sufficient training, their aggression and anger can be controlled and minimized.
Since these dogs are extremely intelligent, smart and adaptable training them is not that hard and they learn quickly but you need all the necessary tools, strategies and techniques to get started.
If you own a German shepherd that is still a puppy and is only a few months or years old then it is easier to train him to be less aggressive because the habits have not been developed yet. This means within 2-3 weeks you can train the puppy completely.
Older dogs may take longer to train because the aggressive behaviour patterns have been practised for a long time. So it takes a bit longer to break those aggressive habits. However, with consistency and a positive attitude you will be able to train the older dogs within a few months. In this article, we will see how to successfully train your dog to control his aggressive behaviour.
Make The German Shepherd Control His Aggression
German Shepherds may behave aggressively for a variety of reasons that is why it is crucial to figure out what causes the aggression to begin with.
Once the cause or the problem is identified, steps can be taken to mitigate and control the aggressive behavior accordingly.
These dogs may feel aggressive if they get confused, scared and uncomfortable with something.
They may also get aggressive if they are in pain or discomfort that is why it is crucial to get your dog checked by the veterinarian in the beginning.
It is important to be observant and notice the changes in the body language of your dog to figure out the cause of his aggressive behaviour.
A changed body language and attitude of your dog means that something is causing him fear, confusion or discomfort. This could be identified if he barks too much, growls too much, yawns excessively, shows his teeth, keeps changing his body posture and in worst case if he bites.
A dog may get uncomfortable and scared if he is always kept alone and not given a chance to socialize with other people and other animals.
When they are always kept aloof they get scared of people and other pets and to defend themselves they resort to aggressive measures such as growling and barking. Let’s look at the different ways to train the German shepherd to control his aggression:
The Basic Training
Foremost your dog needs basic training which should be started as early as possible. This includes signing the dog up for some basic, introductory obedience classes where he is taught how to be obedient to his owner.
In these classes, the dog will be able to socialize with other people and other pets which will ultimately teach him the ethics of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Apart from these classes as an owner, it is important that you train him to be obedient at home too by giving him small obedience commands such as “Sit down”, “Stand” and “play” etc.
When your dog becomes more obedient, you will have greater control over him and he will become less aggressive and more submissive to you and in general. One thing that you must take care as an owner of such a dog is to always stand ahead of him when meeting new people. If you will let your dog stand ahead of you, then it will make him believe that it is his responsibility to protect you. This will make him protective and increase his aggression.
When your dog stands behind you, it gives him an impression that everything is okay and you are safe and in control. As discussed above it is very crucial to make your dog socialize with others but it is important to keep a check on his feelings and behaviour. If he feels tensed and his tail drops, then it is important to ask those people or pets to stay away because his privacy should be respected too.
Hence, in the beginning, these social meet-ups should be kept very short to make the dog okay to socialize first. Every time your dog behaves well, it is important to appreciate him by positive words and by giving some small rewards such as food or toys.
The Deterrence Training
It is important to provide your dog with a safe place to go to especially if he is a puppy because just like humans dogs get tired, annoyed and frustrated too and need some privacy and time to be okay and to feel safe.
This safe place could be anything his kennel or a bed. When your dog gets aggressive, it is important to spray water on his face from a spray bottle to cool him down and to give him the impression that aggressive behaviour can lead to negative results.
You need to keep him calm and do not involve him in a lot of sports as it can get him tired and irritated. The owner should ensure that children do not tease him and do not mock or laugh at him as it can cause him to be aggressive and short-tempered.
Lastly, to reduce his aggressive behaviour, you can purchase a deterrence collar from online or any store. This helps to keep your dog’s aggression under control to a great extent and reduce the chances of destruction that could be caused by the dog’s biting.
To control the aggressive behavior of your dog, there are certain things that need to be done in routine.
One of which is exercise. Since he is a big dog, he has a lot of energy in him. When you take him out for a long walk and play games with him, he will burn that energy and get tired. When the dog is tired he is calm and gentle and is less likely to be aggressive.
Sometimes these dogs are aggressive because of too much energy stored in them, which they take out by being aggressive and angry. Another thing to do is to play a tug of war when the dog gets aggressive to take out his aggression in a healthier way.
Sometimes your dog may not be aggressive because of any fear, discomfort, energy stored in or pain. Sometimes he might get aggressive and bark because he needs attention. Here, two things can be done. Either you provide him attention to calm him down or you get cold to him to show him that he will not get what he wants by being aggressive.
German Shepherds are strong and fierce and so you must never punish them as they can harm you if angered or teased a lot. Hence, the best way to deal with them is by always being kind to them, by encouraging them with positive words, rewarding them with things such as food and toys, loving them, relaxing them and stroking them.
German Shepherds are big, strong and intelligent dogs that have proven to be man’s best friend as they are very loyal, kind and protective. With the right training and strategies, these dogs are fun to take care of, and they improve the lives of their owners to a great extent.
The above mentioned tips and techniques can provide a great deal of help to all the dog owners with German shepherds worried about the aggressive behavior of their dogs and also to the potential owners who are looking for German shepherds to adopt but are scared and puzzled if they will take care of their aggressive attitude.
The training may seem challenging at first but with consistency, commitment and positive approach it will not only get easy day by day but also interesting and fun.