Common German Shepherd Behavior Problems

common german shepherd behavior problems

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Do you have a German Shepherd? If so, you’re not alone – German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds. But as any owner will tell you, they can also be some of the most challenging. From incessant barking to destructive chewing, German Shepherds can be difficult to live with at times. 

What are some common behavior problems in German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are an incredible breed of dog, with great loyalty and protectiveness. However, like all dogs, they may present some behavioral issues if not properly trained from early on. 

Some common behavior problems associated with German Shepherds include barking too much or at the wrong times, digging in the yard, destroying household furniture, and jumping or biting inappropriately. 

To help curb these behaviors and ensure a safe and loving environment for both your dog and your family, it’s important to provide them with training sessions regularly. 

That said, German Shepherds should not be seen as aggressive or dangerous animals – they simply need to be taught how to behave properly. With the correct guidance and lots of love and patience, you can have a happy pup!

How can you stop a German Shepherd from biting or nipping?

If you’re worried that your German Shepherd’s nipping and biting might get out of control, don’t worry! There are a few simple steps you can take to help them learn to control their impulses. Firstly, it’s important to show your dog that they won’t be rewarded for the behavior – if they start to nip or bite, walk away and avoid giving attention until they settle down. Secondly, consistent obedience training will help them understand instructions and commands in various contexts. 

Lastly, depending on why your dog is exhibiting this behavior (could be anything from boredom to fear), you’ll need to address the underlying issue head-on with positive reinforcement – lavishing them with praise for appropriate behavior. Incorporating these tips into your routine should result in better-behaved pooches in no time!

How can you prevent a German Shepherd from jumping on people?

Keeping your German Shepherd from jumping on people can be challenging, especially for those who are new to dog ownership. The best thing you can do is to practice consistency and enforce ground rules. 

Training a dog takes patience and dedication, and as the owner, you should begin exercises that will teach your pup how to respond when visitors come over or when you meet someone unfamiliar. 

Through regular commands and positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, you can help discourage jumping while preventing it together through obedience training. 

Establishing simple routines will also help, such as having your pup sit whenever someone enters the house or not allowing rough play where jumping is involved. Being mindful of your dog’s behavior is key to preventing any unwanted interaction with strangers.

What can cause German Shepherds to become aggressive?

German Shepherds are naturally protective of their families, but they can become aggressive if not trained properly. Aggression can be caused by fear and stress, especially if they are left alone too often or experience trauma. 

It can also be a result of poor socialization, as German Shepherds that haven’t been exposed to different situations or environments early in life may not have learned how to interact appropriately with other animals or people. Health problems like pain and hunger can also be contributing factors to aggressive behavior. 

Knowing the warning signs, such as growling and drawing back the lips, can help you quickly address any issues before the aggression escalates. Training and providing an environment where your German Shepherd feels secure is key in preventing aggressive behaviors.

How can you train a German Shepherd to stop barking excessively?

Training a German Shepherd to stop barking excessively may seem like a difficult task, but with the right approach, it can be done. Consistency is key and setting expectations for the dog upfront – for example, when barking is acceptable and when it is not – helps ensure good behavior. 

Interrupting the barking when it occurs and trying to reduce unnecessary environmental stimulation can work together to build better habits. Also, establishing an appropriate outlet for alerting you of any potential danger such as consistent walks or playtime can help too. 

Rewards are also always recommended (not just a treat but also lots of positive reinforcement) which should help your canine companion learn how to bark less if calls for attention or protection occur.

What are some tips for socializing with a German Shepherd?

Socializing a German Shepherd is an important process for any responsible pet owner. The breed is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and outgoing personality, but it also has the potential to develop aggressive behaviors if not properly socialized.

To ensure that your German Shepherd grows into a friendly, well-behaved animal, introduce them to new people, places, and animals from a young age. Take them to outdoor spaces like parks or dog runs to meet different people; this will help them get comfortable with novel environments. 

If they’re scared at first, don’t force them: let them take their own time getting used to the new sights and sounds. Additionally, positive reinforcement training is key – reward your pup for good behavior and accomplish training goals slowly over time with short sessions so as not to overwhelm them. 

With patience and consistency in socializing with your German Shepherd, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal friend who loves participating in all sorts of activities with you!


All in all, German Shepherds are great dogs. They make wonderful companions and are very loyal. However, like all dog breeds, they come with their own set of behavior problems. The most common ones are listed above. But don’t let that discourage you from getting a German Shepherd! With a little patience and training, you’ll be able to overcome any issues.

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Doug Burke

Doug Burke

We love Frank, our German Shepherd - he's basically part of the family.
But you know how it is - there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here's what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

About Me

We love Frank, our German Shepherd – he’s basically part of the family.
But you know how it is – there are challenges and questions that every dog owner faces, so here’s what I discovered about German Shepherds while raising him.

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