10 Key German Shepherd Behavior Problems

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Amongst the most challenging german shepherd behavior problems are biting, digging, door dashing, jumping on people, excessive barking, chewing, aggression, and even more.

Let’s cover those in details and try to figure out how to fix it.

#1 Chewing

One of the worst things that can happen to dog owners is having their favorite shoes, bag, or sofa chewed to pieces by their pet. It usually starts as a way to alleviate gum pain when German Shepherd puppies are teething, but it can become a lifelong habit if it’s not corrected early on. You can learn everything about German Shepherd teeth and how to deal with the breed’s teething in our guide here.

#2 Biting

Biting is similar to chewing; it begins when a puppy goes into the teething phase and can be carried into adulthood. When this happens, your dog might nip you on your hands and feet or bite other people and animals. Having a GSD with a biting problem can be dangerous since those dogs have strong jaws that produce a large amount of force.

Pro tip:

How to train a German Shepherd puppy not to bite?

If your German Shepherd bites you, you may try this trick: pull your hand out of him after that and tell him “No.” Then walk away and stop playing with him.
And he loves to play. By repeating this ritual, you’ll make him associate biting with no-play.
Consistency is crucial for this training, though. You will need to repeat the method you prefer several times before you succeed in stopping your German Shepherd from biting. And don’t forget to treat the pup if he does the right things. We suggest using these power bites by Merrick. Those are made from real meat and German Shepherds, in particular, seems to like it a lot. And the have Glucosamine added. Check our guide why it’s so important.

#3 Jumping on People

If you say “Aww” when your German Shepherd puppy jumps up on people’s legs, it’s time to stop. This makes him think that this negative behavior is acceptable and encourages him to continue this bad habit as he grows up. Over time, he’ll become a muscular, full-grown GSD who loves jumping on your visitors and giving them a fright.

Pro Tip:

How to stop German Shepherd from jumping over the fence?

Boredom is the main reason why jumping is happening. German Shepherds are the breed that craves to be around his family and play. These dogs also require physical and mental exercise daily. Just being out in the yard does not offer them any organized physical activity or mental exercise. It’s a boring thing. Outside the fence, there are more new things-other animals, yummy things to sniff and stuff to see. That’s why they’re running away.

If you want to ensure the safety of your pup, create a suitable dog kennel with a roof. Or if you don’t want to imprison them and prefer to keep the pet free and happy, it won’t be a bad idea to sign up for an obedience class.

#4 Digging

A German Shepherd who loves to dig can wreck your garden in just a few days. He can also put himself at risk especially if he would dig under the fence and escape out into the street. Digging can be caused by many reasons — for instance, your dog might be bored and/or want to get your attention — so it’s best to understand why he likes to dig before you address the issue.

#5 Door Dashing

Sometimes they try to run out of the door as soon as it opens — it’s one of the most common German Shepherd behavior problems. That can be dangerous since they can knock over the person who is opening the door and escape out into the street, where they can hurt other people or injure themselves.

#6 Excessive Barking

That can happen when your GSD hears strange noises, feels threatened by someone or something, or sees a person entering your property. It can also be brought about by separation anxiety, a desire to get your attention, and feelings of loneliness and isolation. Each cause requires a different approach so, before you can solve your pet’s excessive barking issue, you first need to know why he feels the need to bark for hours in the first place.

#7 Disobedience

German Shepherds are naturally self-assured and independent, and they find it easy to disobey their owners. That can be a huge problem; after all, who wants to have a large, active, and muscular dog who doesn’t ever listen to them? To avoid this issue, you need to show your dog that you’re the leader in your pack and that he should submit to you. GSDs respect authority and will want to follow your instructions.

#8 Dominating Behavior

GSDs are born to be the leaders in the pack. So, when you get one, he immediately thinks of your family as a pack and instinctively wants to become the alpha. You don’t want this to happen, though, since this makes your pet think that it’s acceptable to bite, bark excessively, and even charge at you and your loved ones. You have to firmly establish on day one that you’re the leader and that your dog should respect you.

#9 Aggression

Aggression comes naturally to German Shepherds; this is what makes them great police dogs. However, this behavior has no place in a home. Signs of aggression include chasing other pets while continuously barking, snapping at you when you try to correct his behavior, and growling at you when you attempt to touch him.

#10 Over-Protectiveness

German Shepherds, as mentioned above, are pack animals, and they make it their duty to protect the bag. So, when your dog feels like you or your family are being threatened, he will do his best to protect you from the threat — whether it’s real or not. That can mean snapping at the mailman or charging at the people who visit you.

Fixing German Shepherd Behavior Issues

It’s not easy to solve all the problems at once, but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With enough patience and effort, you can help your dog correct his negative behaviors and transform into a well-mannered pet. But if you interested in further reading on the topic we’d suggest checking out this blueprint for GSP training. The information is very specific in technique and theory, and there is a thorough background on the history of the German Shepherd Dog, as well as modern standards and practices. So, for any German Shepherd’s owner, it will be an immense help on training the pup.


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