How to calm an aggressive German shepherd? [Experts Guide]

 The bond between you and your German shepherd may be full of love and joy. So it is rare for you to be fond of the destructive energy of your four-legged friend which unleashes occasionally.

Every dog has a different level of hyperactivity. They need regular gameplay and exercise which is a work of complete focus and concentration.

It is a must to know for you that your GSD most probably not respond directly to attempt to get calm. Being calm needs regular interaction and training, it is a learned behaviour.

So, what are the reasons your German shepherd is showing aggressiveness?

What makes a German shepherd aggressive?

It will be easy to calm your German shepherd down when you know the exact reason behind your dog’s aggressive nature. You need to figure out the best way to stop aggressive behaviour.

There are some causes of the aggressive nature of your German shepherd.

Injury and illness – your German shepherd can show some aggressiveness when he fell ill or got an injury somewhere on her body. If your dog was always so calm and of good nature but suddenly he started snapping, growling, or biting on you. It may be because of an illness, disease, or injury.

Possessiveness – is another language we can say resource guarding, occurs when your german shepherd is possessive about something. It can be his favorite toys, food, or any other object he likes.

A dog that has this problem may growl if someone comes near to his favorite belonging or will show aggressive nature when anyone gets too near to his food or chewing toy.

Dogs are much possessive about their territory, so when a stranger steps into your home, with this nature your dog can bite him.

Fear – It is easy for a German shepherd to develop aggressive behaviour if he feels fear. The dogs always exhibit an aggressive nature when they feel that they are in danger and they cannot escape from it, so they feel the need to protect themselves.

Frustration – frustration is a cause of aggression even for humans. For dogs when he did not get what he wants or he spent a lot of time tied up or restrained on a leash can easily cause frustration in dogs which makes them aggressive.

These are some reasons behind the aggressive nature of a German shepherd. You need to know what makes him aggressive. Only after that, you can find a way to calm him down.

Now after finding out the reasons, how can we calm down an aggressive German shepherd?

How can you calm your German shepherd?

After getting aware of the reason for the aggressiveness of your dog, you can control their behaviour by changing their routine and habits.

How do you control a German shepherd’s aggression?

These are some good ideas to calm their behaviour:

  • Regular Exercise – Daily exercise is the key to all the health-related solutions for humans as well as dogs. The more energy your German shepherd burns the better his state of mind and he will show less aggression. In daily routine, you can include

Daily walk at least twice a day

Let him play outside in the park or on open ground.

Read more: How much exercise does a German shepherd need?

  • Socialize your German shepherd – if your German shepherd is a puppy then it is better to socialize him from an early age. Take him to the park and let him play with other dogs. It will be better if you encourage him to interact with other people too. This will help him to be calm with his growing age.

Other than that you can also consult with your vet for enrolling your German shepherd in a socialization class.

  • Buy your dog a treat release toy – To engage with the toys the treat release toys are really helpful. They are good to make their mood hyperactive. But choose a proper size and material (like rubber) toy which is appropriate for your German shepherd. Also do not forget to wash that toy regularly.
  • Avoid triggering situations – These kinds of situations can cause your German shepherd to react hyperactively. It could be anything, like any stranger in the house, changing their living area, loud noises, and crowded areas.

You need to know what situations trigger your dog and make them react aggressively.

If you want to treat your German shepherd medically then first this is very important to consult with a professional. Do not try to attempt on your own.

Frequently asked questions

Can a German shepherd be aggressive?

Yes, they can be aggressive. The behaviour of a German shepherd is all depended on how you raised him. If your GSD is a well-socialized dog then there are only a few chances of him being aggressive by nature. The German shepherd is not as aggressive a breed as Pitbull or Rottweiler but they are more likely to bite any stranger than a Labrador retriever.

What is considered an aggressive German shepherd?

The behaviour of dogs is connected with the changed behaviour of mood from the regular mood. It can be an attack on someone, still and rigid, growling, snarling, nipping, biting, lunging, or baring teeth. Any of these changes are enough for you to know about your German shepherd’s aggressive behaviour.

Is German shepherd aggressive to their owners?

Only in some rare cases where a well-trained and socialized German shepherd bites his own owner or anyone else. German shepherds are not aggressive dog breeds. They can be mouthy which means they like to chew and lick but biting is rare in cases.

At what age German shepherd gets aggressive?

When the age of a German shepherd pup is around 4 to 7 months old then can be aggressive at that age. And that age you should be active and train your dog to behave properly. The aggressive nature can escalate when they grow older as sexual maturity arises and hormones fluctuate.

Why is my german shepherd suddenly aggressive?

The breed of German shepherd is very possessive and territorial about their personal space. If they feel like someone is trying to control him or invading his territory this can lead to an aggressive outburst. This is enough for them to show sudden aggressive behaviour.

Is German shepherd aggressive to strangers?

The German shepherds are mostly trained by security forces or for herding. So it is in their nature to react to something unusual. It is normal for them to show aggressiveness towards strangers until you teach them how to behave with strangers.

At what age do German shepherds calm down?

4 to 6 years is the age where you can see the change in aggressive nature of a German shepherd but not completely. Each dog has different nature, so it takes earlier for some and later for others to calm down. It’s only a matter of time.


In this article we discussed the aggressive nature of a German shepherd and how can we control the aggressiveness of a German shepherd. The German shepherds are very human-friendly dogs and it is up to you to teach them to be one.

Hope you liked this article. If you have any questions regarding the nature of a German shepherd feel free to ask in the comment section below. Also do not forget to give us feedback.

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