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Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

Will a german shepherd attack an intruder? If your GSD is trained, then the clear answer is definitely yes. Your dog will ferociously attack the intruder. German Shepherd can go to extreme lengths to defend their pet parent and his home.

There are many cases where the dog would risk his life to save the owners. Loyalty is part of German Shepherds’ DNA.

Training a German Shepherd takes time and money. But it pays off later on, and then you love it. A German Shepherd with protection training can be of high value. A trained GSD can cost up to $250.000. A price tag that only shows how powerful and valuable a trained GSD is.

However, if your dog is not trained, or maybe still young, you may wonder if he’ll attack an intruder.

Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder? 1
Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

Breed Characteristics

  1. Female: 75-95 lbs.
  2. Male: 75-95 lbs. 

Height at Withers:

  1. Female: 23 inches
  2. Male: 25 inches

Other Body Features

  • Energy Levels: Average
  • Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
  • Ears: Upright ears (naturally)
  • The Tendency to Snore: Low
  • Longevity Ranges: 10-12 yrs.
  • The Trend to Drool: Low 
  • The trend to Dig: Low 
  • The Tendency to Bark: Low
  • Bred For: Herding, Guard dog
  • Social/Attention Requirements: Moderate

Coat Characteristics

  • Coat type: Double coat
  • Coat length: Medium
  • Coat Colours: Most colours, usually black, tan, brown etc
  • Grooming Requirements: Moderate

Club Recognitions

  • AKC Classifications: Herding
  • UKC Classifications: Herding Dog

The German Shepherd is an excellent proportionate dog. They are classified as single-coat, double-coat, triple-coat. German shepherd dogs should receive social and obedience training early to prevent aggressive behaviour.

Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder? 2
Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

Their head is broad and beautifully formed to look smooth and sharp. The ears are large and straight. The back is a little lower than the shoulders with bulky muscles, and the tail is hairy and has curves downwards. The coat is thick and rough and maybe black, tan, black and tan or grey. The skin should be tight and of medium length.

Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder if Untrained?

The short answer to this question is complicated, i.e., and it depends on the individual dog. German Shepherd is naturally protective. However, the dog may not attack the intruder as a trained dog. It will depend on your dog’s personality, temperament, and how connected the dog is to the home and you. Some dog breeds will attack the intruder, while others won’t do that. Even the same canine’s response could vary across different circumstances.

However, most untrained GSD dogs, from my personal experience, will do the bare minimum to protect you and the house against any threat.

If the Dog won’t Attack the Intruder, What Will He Do?

There are two scenarios:

1. The Dog Will bark

Not attacking the intruder doesn’t mean your GSD will stand still and watch. The GSD, by instinct, is mostly going to bark when he smells an intruder’s smell to let you know the stranger is in the house. You have to call the police if something wrong happens.

2. Will Scare The Intruder Away

In another scenario, the dog will bark, leap in, make noise, and scare the intruder away. Dogs bark at unexpected objects and sounds. They are easily distracted. In addition to that, German Shepherds are significant and could be scary to people with no knowledge about GSDs.

Most intruders will get scared when they see a big scary dog staring at them, even if the dog will not attack them.

Will My German Shepherd Protect Me Without Training?

If your German Shepherd is not trained to protect you, he is unlikely to protect you physically.

However, untrained German shepherds are very intelligent and known to protect their owners with everything they have. They also have a strong commitment.

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Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

When do German Shepherds Learn to Protect Their Owners?

GSDs (German Shepherds) usually protect what they think is theirs. What they believe is their property. Your dog will take action only when he sees you as his human and your home as his.

This is the case across all animals and mammals. Animals, including humans, protect what they deem their property. If the dog is new to the house or still a puppy, you should give him some time to feel at home.

Will my German Shepherd Attack Guests?

Generally speaking, German Shepherds are amicable and loving dogs to everyone, despite bonding with few people. While meeting your guests, strangers to the dog, an attack is improbable to happen. The likely scenario, instead, is your dog will lick the hell out of your guests.

GSDs are smart. They can understand the context of the introduction to the new guests and decide accordingly. If they don’t sense any threat, they’ll keep doing what they know best: being friendly.

When your family or friends visit, your GSD will probably be the first to welcome them with his tail asking to be petted.

How to Teach My German Shepherd to Protect Me?

Training your German Shepherd to protect you or the home depends on many factors.

One of them is: Where you live? If you live in a peri-urban area or in a neighbourhood where you may get intruders, We highly recommend investing in training your dog.

There are two options to train your GSD as a guard dog:

1. Paying For A Trainer

This is the recommended option for busy people with no budget constraint. You can hire a trainer to train your German Shepherd to guard your home and attack any intruder. Paying an expert to train your dog can save you a lot of time.

German Shepherd guard training can get very costly. But it is worth the price if we see the pros of professional dog training. At the ends of the day, you’ll have a highly trained dog that will ensure you are 100% safe.

2. Training Your Dog At Home

There is also the home training option for people with time or limited budgets, and you can train your dog at home.

It will require a lot of patience, practice, experience and time. You will have personally to train and reinforce the behaviours you want to see in your dog. It may be exhausting initially, but it is an excellent way to spend more time with your dog. And you’ll learn a lot about dogs along the way.

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Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

How to train GSD?

A GSD should not be selected for training as a guard dog unless the dog is friendly, stable, has a clear attitude and mind, and is well socialized.

Steps to Train Your German Shepherd:

Step 1

Socialize your German Shepherd dog from the beginning. These GSDs need to have a clear understanding of what is expected and what is not so that they are not frightened and know when there is a real danger. To socialize the dog, keep them with you, and allow them to meet and interact with as many other people and animals as possible, always taking care to keep your dog safe from negative experiences. Canines of any breed are at risk of being embarrassed and frightened in a strange environment if they are not well socialized, and this can make a dog bite in fear or face something unusual.

Step 2

Get your German Shepherd dog into obedience sessions as soon as possible, and train your dog well with all the basic obedience tricks and tactics. Your German Shepherd dog must be obedient at all times, but control is a must if you want to train a guard dog. Although the purpose of training is serious, dogs should enjoy obedience and see it as fun. Positive reinforcement, the process of performing the right thing instead of punishing the dog, serves many purposes by teaching dogs obedience, bonding with their owners and having fun.

Step 3

Teach your German Shepherd dog to stop barking. If dogs don’t learn this, they can bark at anyone and anything that is not ordinary, which becomes a problem. Start teaching your dog to “speak” on command, and give a treat and a lot of praise for barking. Next, use commands such as “enough” or “quiet”. Give instant recognition and a small meaty treat when the dog is quiet. This training will eventually help you control your dog’s bark. German Shepherd dogs are intelligent and will usually learn quickly.

Step 4

Encourage your dog’s bark by announcing strangers to your home. You can create this feature by giving the command “silent” or “quiet” to see why the dog is barking. React positively when your German Shepherd dog alerts you to strangers or objects in the home. Your dog should not be distracted by neutral or friendly strangers you meet while walking.

Step 5

Make your dog vigilant at home by telling people that the dog does not know the act as if he is trying to get into your house or yard. When your German Shepherd dog barks, the intruder should look at the dog and then run away when you catch and praise your dog. Don’t let your pet chase the fleeing stranger. Praise your dog so much that it tells you that someone is in your area, and stop barking as soon as the person runs away. This strengthens the dog’s confidence.

Step 6

Have your German Shepherd dog walk around your property regularly to mark your territorial boundaries. Don’t allow your dog to bark at people who are outside your property. Don’t let your dog chase people under any circumstances.


The most crucial aspect of guard dog training is controlling, which asserts your role as a leader and comes typically from the time you spend with your dog in enjoyable activities, including obedience training. A GSD out of control and tries to be dominant can cause severe injuries and is far more of a severe problem than an asset.

Never try to train your German shepherds to be aggressive or to bite or attack people. Doing so may be illegal in many states, and you place yourself at risk because you will be responsible for injuries that result from an attack.


  1. Treats
  2. Collar
  3. Leash

Do German Shepherds Deter Burglars?

German shepherds provide security in many ways, so there are lots of other options. Dogs that look intimidating can also be excellent security. Let’s face it, and if someone thinking of causing mischief sees your substantial GSDs, they are likely to move along. We associate GSDs with police and prisons, a fantastic deterrent, even if your GSD is afraid of his shadow!

Research proves that burglars avoid breaking into homes with GSDs. 

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Will a German Shepherd Attack an Intruder?

For Protection Which is better, Male or Female German Shepherd?

Male GSDs are more territorial, which makes them more protective of your home and property lines. They will patrol your area regularly and keep a close eye on anyone trying to enter your property or home.

Those of you who already have a male German Shepherd will undoubtedly be familiar with the scenario you are sitting in and perhaps watching TV. Then you hear it; it’s a deep and low fall coming out of your GSD’s throat when it stares out the window at someone approaching.

This behaviour is expected in male GSD. They are well aware of their territory and boundaries and are always ready and anxious to protect and defend it.

Male GSDs are also more independent than female GSDs. When it is combined with their zeal to protect their territories, it sometimes goes astray. However, it is less likely to occur in trained German Shepherds.

A female’s GSD primary interest is not protecting her property but protecting her residents, i.e., protecting the owner and their family, not their property or area. If a threat is felt, the first instinct of a male GSD is to protect the site, and the first instinct of a female GSD is to ensure that the family is safe.

Both males and females will not hesitate to save your life and the lives of your family members, and the only difference is that the way they approach their pet parents is slightly different.

At What Age Does a German Shepherd Start Guarding?

German shepherds enter adolescence at about five or six months of age. Their teenage is long and continues until your dog is two years old. So, when they become adults, they start guarding the house property and its object along with you.

Many dogs do not reach their full abilities until they have reached puberty and become protective at that age.

Are Male or Female German Shepherds more Aggressive?

As we mentioned above, in general, male dogs are more at risk of aggression and territoriality. Female dogs are more sensitive and more comfortable while training. And while male dogs are often the most protective of their territory, females are more protective of their family members, including their human companions.

Which type of Dog Food can you Give to your German Shepherds?

There are many types of homemade and commercial foods that you can give to your GSDs which include the following:

1.     Dry/Kibble

Dry food or Kibble is the most famous and economical type among all commercial GSDs foods. So, many owners select it for their furry friends. It also a long shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated. Dry food can also keep your GSD’s teeth healthy, as chewing dry food or Kibble helps reduce the build-up of tartar in canine teeth.

When choosing a particular dry GSD food, read the ingredients carefully, and select a brand that uses healthy and wholesome food as its main ingredient.

2.     Canned Dog Food

Most GSD likes wet or canned food. It has a long expiry life and is easy to find in any supermarket, but it can be expensive. This is definitely worth the cost for some owners, but not every brand of commercially canned food provides the nutrients with your pup needs, especially protein. The quality of canned food depends upon the quantity of digestible protein it provides.

Also, most canned food is about 75-78% water. The higher the amount of water, the lower the nutrient content, so your dog needs to eat as much as possible to get the value of the required nutrients to his body. If you decide to give your canine companion commercially prepared canned food, it is best to go with a type that is labeled “100% Completely Nutritious.”

3.     Home-cooked Dog Food

Some GSD owners are very conscious and want complete control over their dog’s diet. So, they cook their food for their pups. Home-cooked food allows the owner to know what his dog is eating and is confident that his nutritional needs are being met. Home-cooked food is time-consuming and expensive to feed your dog, but many owners find it worthy. Most owners consider this extra effort to bring peace of mind. If you decide to feed your dog home-cooked food, be well acquainted with canine nutrition so that you can be sure that your dog is not deprived of any essential nutrients

How do you get a German Shepherd to Trust You?

Time and place

A GSD at the start usually receives an unknown threat (environment, new place, feeding, sleeping etc.). So the dog needs to be reassured that the new person in her home is amiable and fun. To set it up, give the dog the time and space you need and discover that there is something good around you. Avoid confrontations, such as trying to befriend a dog, and where possible, you’re your dog come to you, either out of interest or because you want something tasty for your dog’s dinner.

Avoid Direct Eye Contact

In dog language, ‘staring’ is a challenge or a threat. By merely avoiding direct eye contact, you help keep things simple. Also, by eye-contacting, you make your German Shepherd suspicious

Brush on Body Language

GSD usually cover or licking his lips during stress (due to any stress, physical, emotional, separation, medical etc.). A dog that shows these signs needs time to get used to. Wherever possible, please respect it and use other tactics such as mental stimulation to get interested.

Classic Symptoms of Dog Anxiety Include:

  • Showing the belly
  • Raising a paw
  • Yawning
  • Turning the head and diverting his gaze
  • A worried expression
  • A lowered head and low ears
  • Lip licking

Reward Good Behaviour

You’ve done a great job of ignoring the dog, and this curiosity is fantastic. Your dog is attracted to you. It’s time to avoid your dog a little and move on. If they start to connect, reward them and praise them for gaining confidence before making a big fuss.

Keep it Routine

After the owner leaves, if the dog doesn’t have breakfast and a morning walk, then, in fact, its mood is off, creating a sense of insecurity. Dogs don’t like strangers, so make sure to keep the dog as usual. It provides a solid foundation on which he can learn to trust you. Always maintain and follow the routine strictly. Must give good commercial or homemade GSD food to your dogs.

Engage in His Interest

Make yourself more attractive to the dog, so he wants to be curious and friendly. Try to lie on the floor while watching TV, and let them come to you. Also, try to crawl around as this will increase his curiosity and encourage him to follow.

Exercise and Play

When appropriately trained, the dog has less energy to waste when it comes to feeling anxious. Of course, this could mean keeping the dog on a long line (for safety) and staying within its physical limits.

Plus, there’s nothing like a fun game other than bonding, and that’s something you can do inside, home or outside. It’s entirely your choice

Mental stimulation

A busy mind is less prone to mental distress. Make some strategies in your mind to turn the dog around, such as putting a favourite toy or hiding treat inside a cardboard box. Make sure the dog has puzzle feeders or chews toys and use them to the fullest when eating.

Train to Bond

Don’t skip fun training sessions by having fun and boosting their confidence. Start small, like asking a dog to sit down to eat, and then teach simple commands. Keep sessions short and use rewarding methods, as the goal is to build the dog’s confidence instead of mistreating them.

Avoid Accidental Reinforcements

It is human nature to appease a troubled animal. However, when you teach or hesitate a dog to show signs of fear and anxiety, you inadvertently retaliate and disapprove of their behaviour.

The best policy is to quietly ignore their panic and divert their attention from the toy so that you can appreciate their courage.

Do Police use Male or Female German Shepherds?

No, not all police dogs are male. There are female GSDs in service too. Due to females’ heat cycles, you will find a preference for males. Gender preference varies from one agency to another.

Final Thoughts:

GSD (German Shepherd Dog) is a protective and loyal companion. No matter if trained or not, your beautiful German Shepherd will do its best to protect you against any risk.

Once GSD senses that you are in danger, he’ll do the best to help you in any way possible. If German Shephard is trained as a guard dog, the dog gets smarter, more robust and fiercely attacks the threat source.