10 Key German Shepherd Behavior Problems

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When people think of having a pet, they usually consider getting a German Shepherd. This isn’t surprising since German Shepherd dogs (or GSDs) love being around people. They’re also highly intelligent and can be trained to become obedient and well-behaved pets. But if they’re not properly trained, several German Shepherd behavior problems can be developed that will cause endless headaches to pet’s owners. Here are some of these behavioral issues:

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.

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.

Jumping on People

If you saw “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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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