Question about problems with aggression as GSD puppies mature

by Brian

I have a question regarding raising a German Shepherd. I have 13 week old sable female and she's so sweet and confident and loves to play with everyone.

However, I was reading up on GSDs, and I've heard as they grow older they can test their owners with aggression, and stop listening as they go through different stages in their life as they mature.

This information started to make me worry, and I just wanted to know what I can do to calm any aggression tendencies. I got a GSD more for their intelligence rather than their ability to be a good guard dog so I wanted to know whats the best way to raise her.

I've been socializing her consistently, we go to the dog beach together, I take her to a large shopping outdoor mall where she can interact with adults and children. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Brian

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Jan 28, 2011
by: Nala

I am going through same phase, the so called teen age phase. It is a bit like a teenage kid, if you dont keep em busy they will end up getting bored and do stupid stuff.

Give them a job to do, like carrying a tennis ball while walking cuts down the pulling on my 12 month old GSD by 70%. A back pack with water bottles in is also good. But most importantly excise your dog!!! Both mentally both also psychically.

But just keep being calm, loving and dont tolerate bad behavior. Correct when necessary but dont over do it; a firm NO, a quick gentle pull on the leash should do it. Remember those teachers in school whom kept shouting with no one listening? No one had respect for them. But they ones whom where good teachers, and could say NO in one firm voice. Well you listened to those didnt you?.

Its the same with GSD, it is a very powerful animal whom needs rules and discipline or it will take matters in to its own hands...but best of all it is just a phase! Some days are bad, mine lost it around full moon, and some days they are good. Gee when I was a teenager I was the worst! :-) So keep calm, loving and show leadership...humans first, dogs last when entered a new space, home and so forth.

GSD is a great dog...just keep up the good work!

Apr 08, 2010
Your Doing Great!
by: Rich

Brian, you are doing great. Socializing can be very important. We have two GSD's. The male needs constant socializing. He is 3 now and if we slack off in the socializing department it shows.

Now our female just loves everyone and all other dogs (she is 18 months) and always has. We call her our Golden Retriever in German Shepherd clothes. Our socializing challenge with her is for her to learn that not all other dogs love her.

It took a lot of training to teach her not to jump up on people when she says hello and she is doing very well now restraining her urge to do so. So our two GSD's are at opposite ends of the personality spectrum but both require socialization.

On another note you must be loving yet firm with them so they know that you are in charge and look to you for direction. Have patience, they do go through times of testing the boundaries as they mature. This is normal.

A job for them is important for them too. We do agility, obedience and a little sheep herding. They need to work both mind and body. "Jobs" will keep them out of trouble.

Keep up the good work. You will have a great friend that will part crowds where ever you go.


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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.
Laura Page Warden

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website!