Yes the German Shepherds can be aggressive towards other dogs.

The behavior of this breed depends on the level of socialization and many other factors.

They are energetic and playful dogs, but certain actions may provoke aggressive behavior.

You might wonder: “Why is my German Shepherd aggressive towards other dogs?”.

Let’s dig deeper into the causes of the aggressive behavior of German Shepherds (GSDs).

Why Are German Shepherds Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?

  • Lack of Socialization
  • Overexcitement
  • Territorial Aggression
  • Health Concerns
  • Displaying Dominant Behavior

Lack of Socialization

Socialization of GSD should start at the age of 3-4 months.

This will provide contact with other animals from a young age.

The dog will soon learn that contacts are not a threat and should not be met with aggression.

It will also help with territorial predominance and dominant behavior.


German Shepherds are energetic dogs, and your pet’s energy may cause over-excitement.

If you’ve had pets in the past that were smaller, you may be accustomed to reduced activity levels. [1]

If the German Shepherd is your first dog, the same rules still apply.

Unless you have owned a large dog, you will underestimate the breed’s activity needs.

If a dog has too much-unreleased energy, even the most well-trained canine can get unruly.

Once this energy is spent, it will no longer defy orders or disregard protocol.

A simple method to safely channel this extra energy is to take the dog for a long walk.

Territorial Aggression

If your German Shepherd attacked a second dog, it’s possible that it went too close to a priceless item.

They may become aggressive because of some highly prized objects, such as:

  • You
  • Their bowl of food
  • A favorite lying area or bed for dogs
  • Another canine they prefer
  • Possible partners
  • Toys, such as bones and treats

Your German Shepherd can act aggressively or attack to defend these resources. [2]

Be cautious while bringing a new puppy into your home and letting it use your older dog’s food bowls or other areas.

Aggressive behavior from your old fluffy friend may result from this.

Health Concerns

When a GSD acts aggressively, some owners neglect to take them to the veterinarian.

This should be your first course of action, especially if it bites the other dog in the house.

To rule out any underlying medical or health issues, a vet visit is necessary if the dog is a sweet, well-behaved dog.

You might not realize that a happy pet who becomes angered or agitated is dealing with a health problem.

This could be a little injury or serious health issues that need urgent treatment.

Displaying Dominant Behavior

True dog domination, in contrast to the popular notion, is relatively uncommon.

But if it is dominating, it can try to dominate other dogs by acting violently. [3]

Some examples of dominance include:

  • Increased actions (even between dogs of the same sexes)
  • The dominant dog always wins in rough play
  • Chasing the other dog until they cower or display submission

Remember that not all German Shepherds are domineering and lack social skills.

They just lack the necessary social skills and act aggressively instead.

Common Interpretations of Aggressive Behavior

Fear or conflict-appeasing signals, or calming signals, frequently precede aggression.

To defuse social tension, these signals are provided as a means of communication.

Following are examples of body language that may be shown as hostility increases:

  • Squinting, twisting the head
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Yawning or lip-licking
  • Tightly pinning or flattening the ears
  • Getting into a crouch
  • Lowering the head or tail, or both
  • Freezing or stiffening
  • Growling
  • Snapping
  • Biting

Managing Aggressive Behavior in German Shepherds

  • Identifying Triggers
  • Train Obeying Orders
  • Desensitization Technique
  • Create a Reward System

Identifying Triggers

Your German Shepherd reacts to something when it misbehaves.

Training is simpler when the trigger is external (such as a stranger approaching). [4]

It is more difficult to prevent specific behaviors when the trigger is internal.

Internal stimuli can be difficult to detect.

So, you should identify any obvious outside triggers, such as “strangers” or “dog park.”

Alternatively, you should type “trigger unknown/vague.”

The latter should stand in for challenging-to-identify internal causes.

Train Obeying Orders

Your initial reaction might be to reprimand your German Shepherd for acting aggressively.

But doing so could make things worse.

Instead, you must learn how to discipline it by using the appropriate methods.

To show them that they can rely on you, discipline them in the same manner.

The easiest way to train a pet is to keep them on a leash at all times.

You should learn to steer them away from the source of their annoyance. [5]

Call them to you instead of screaming or shouting at them.

Desensitization Technique

You are powerless to control how your pet is affected by issues like aging and joint discomfort.

You may bring it close to external stimuli that could cause him to act aggressively.

Your dog might become aggressive and bark at other dogs at the dog park.

Barking at other dogs is very common in GSD.

As reason number 6, why dogs bark, we wrote territorial barking.

So, walks should take place at a spot where you can see the park but not so near that it will start growling.

Desensitizing him to the trigger, or acclimating him to the other dogs at the park, is what you want to do. [6]

Create a Reward System

You can stop and offer your German Shepherd loads of treats.

Do it after you’ve brought it close enough to a dog park that you know a few more steps will have him snarling.

The sweets may come with compliments and a calming tone.

You’re attempting to transform your German Shepherd’s unfavorable feelings into favorable ones.

This is called “the process of counterconditioning”.

Your dog views other dogs as an opportunity to earn a tasty treat rather than as something to be afraid of. [7]

It won’t likely get aggressive at this distance because it is already calm.

Don’t try to push your luck by attempting to stroll it farther.

The furthest border is adequate.

Steps You Should Avoid in the Training Process

Training mistakes can lead to German Shepherd attacking other dogs.

The following activities should be avoided as they will hinder your training.

In your home, don’t penalize a dog for acting aggressively against another dog.

Your dog will link the punishment to both you and the other dog.

Social bonds are damaged by this.

A few effective methods for training German Shepherds are explained by Cesar Millan.

Don’t let your dogs fight – let them settle disputes among themselves.

Your dogs are both potentially dangerous to each other. [8]

Don’t make your dog fail by doing this.

Never let your dog and the other dog be together unattended.

Especially if you keep experiencing problems with your dog biting the other dog.

Don’t assume it will only happen once.

If your dog is attacking other dogs, you don’t want to assume that this was a one-time incident.

Being reactive to other dogs is common in some GSDs.

This article will explain to you if dogs grow out of reactivity.

Are German Shepherds Aggressive Dogs?

Yes German Shepherds are aggressive dogs.

They can display aggressive behavior towards dogs of the same sex and size.

This depends on the level of socialization and territorial preferences of the pet.

To avoid it, identifying triggers and desensitization can help.

A person who dont have any skills in handling a dog.

Should not have a GSD as a first time dog.