Will a German Shepherd Attack its Owner?

Although German Shepherd is a breed primarily known for its aggression, reactivity, and fighter capabilities, other features they are famous for include loyalty, obedience, and well-loved family interactions.

When even the famous Kennel Club experts claim that German Shepherds are well-behaved, look and behave aggressively around spies but are down and obedient among families, how is it even possible that they can turn on their owner’s family.

That notion is quite famous among local pet owners, and if it’s a commonly known fact, there must be some science or points behind it.

Is it possible?

If no, where did the notion come from?

If yes, why are they still adored as family pets?

There’s always a second side of the story, and this article explains what you can do to let your German Shepherd be friendly and safe around your family and what training can help you figure out the situation.


Are German Shepherds Dangerous?

That question is probably the most frequently asked question when someone decided on buying a German Shepherd either for security purposes or as a family pet.

We have to admit, the first look and the first impression of a German Shepherd is enough to scare us to death. This breed is a symbolic representation of security, defense, fighter situations, aggression, and bloody fights.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that German Shepherds can sometimes be quite dangerous dogs, depending upon the situation. They are used for herding any kind of livestock, but they do have remarkable aggression tendencies that need to be monitored closely.

Nutrition, the owner’s time and care, the training techniques followed, and the overall brought up majorly influence a German SHepherd’s dangerous-turning aggressive behavior. It’s all in the handler’s hands!

Can a German Shepherd ever attack its owner’s family?

The top line of the story is if they are taken care of and trained correctly, it’s rare to happen, but there is a probability of attacks under certain conditions.

Among other breeds, German Shepherds are less likely to attack their owner or their owner’s family. Still, the reported cases portray a different story, and evaluations lead to the facts that may trigger a German Shepherd to attack its beloved family.

Attacking its owner is not a dog act so far until or unless there are certain aspects like genetic or environmental factors that urge this poor soul to do so.

Here are the reasons that may urge a German Shepherd to attack its owner;

  • Temperament:

Pedigrees are probably being so mishandled that they lead to severe outcomes like temperament issues in dogs. Just because of poor pedigree practices, some German Shepherd Breeds are more likely to possess a short temperament, and unfortunately, it’s passing through the generations.

To nullify the destructive impacts of poor breedings, many organizations are actively working on German Shepherd’s traits worldwide. A well-bred Pup will be less likely to show unnecessary aggressive behaviors and won’t ever attack its owner probably.

  • Training:

The training is probably the prime factor that directly influences the dog’s behavior despite breed and genetics. Even if the genetics show the tendency of aggression and ultimately attacks, the issue can be resolved by putting the right effort into training.

Proper training can directly mask a dog’s tendency to attack its owner, and for this, you can opt for different Obedience Training Techniques available on the internet.

A more aggressive breed like a German Shepherd must put great effort into its training to connect more and obey more to reduce the risk of owner attacks ultimately. Read more guide

  • Behavior Understanding

Just know that German shepherds are Alpha or the Dominating Breeds who love to roar and rule. To avoid their massive aggressive behavior, you must take a host of the Alpha Seat with your dog from a young age.

Killing its dominance is far most crucial if you’re planning to pet this breed for your home. This practice will keep his Alpha Instincts down, and it will be less likely to be dominating or attacking the owners.

  • Home Environment:

The life your pup gets inside the home directly masks its behaviors. Its affinities of attacking its owner majorly depend upon the way it gets treated inside the house. They are intelligent and can sense extreme love, affection, and carelessness so far.

Further, this breed is always full of energy, and thus they require daily exercises to burn off their energy. In situations where these high-energy dogs don’t get enough exercise and burn around, they turn that energy into irritation aggressiveness, ultimately leading to attack tendencies.

Least socialization with other pets and humans may also lead to mood swings and aggression for humans triggering the attack.

  • Medical

German Shepherds look like monsters but are angels by heart, and they are as sweet as any other breed. They do have some aggression issues that may turn them on towards their owners, but that may be due to any underlying medical condition.

Brain tumors, neurological disorders, infections, inflammations, or other chronic diseases may put your pup in pain and may force them to behave like they never wanted to do.

  • Abuse

Abuse is poisonous and can be fatal for families and kids if a dog suffers this. The abuse can be intentional or unintentional. Chances are, someone from the surroundings is willingly abusing your dog to let it be violent.

In the other scenario, a dog may presume its owner’s training hits, hurts, and punishments as abuse, and thankfully, it’s a rare case.

GSD Attacks – Breaking the Myths

Although the “German Shepherd Attack” notion has taken over the world by storm, the scientific and non-profit organizational data reveals the notion is just a hyped myth. The studies that focus on dog bite victims mention that the GS or its breed’s victims are even less than 2% of the overall cases.

Certain other breeds are much more severe for their aggression, fights, and attacks like a pit bull. That means GSDs aren’t anything exceptionally aggressive and attackers in nature; they just need proper care and training to mask their behaviors.

Our Takeaway:

Sure, the German Shepherds have hard looks outside and can be well-trained for security and safety purposes; we feel they still have the heart of a small, cute puppy.

It’s not common to see a German Shepherd attack its own family who feeds him and takes care of him until and unless there are specific reasons behind this. Work on the trigger factors and train him well to avoid such bad incidences.