German shepherds have become a sort of icon in the dog world. They are known for being fiercely attached to their owner and family. But are German Shepherds good with other dogs?
In general, German Shepherds are good with other dogs. German shepherds are highly intelligent and protective, and so they often are wary of new dogs being in their space. However, once they become accustomed to a dog and gain their trust, they can become good friends.
They are friendly to other dogs. However, it is possible that they do not get along with certain dogs but are accepting of others. If this is the case, it is important to understand why your Shepherd may be acting in this way.
If you try to understand your dog’s behavior, you can learn how to control them and keep your dog and others comfortable.
Traits of a German Shepherd
German Shepherds are intelligent, fearless, easily trained, alert, non-hostile, and loyal. They are not typically timid or shy and so are known for being an approachable breed.
Depending on their training and socialization, they can have guarding and territorial tendencies. For this reason, they may be wary of unfamiliar animals and strangers. They are used to their immediate family and could view any new people or animals as a threat.
Despite these characteristics, German Shepherd can be friendly dogs. However, to train your german shepherd dog to be friendly is a process that must start when they are a puppy or when you bring your new friend into your home.
Why A German Shepherd Could Dislike Other Dogs
Some German Shepherds do not like other dogs in general. On the other hand, some are friendly with certain dogs but aggressive towards others. Here are some possible reasons your dog may be showing aggressive tendencies:
Your GSD Is Afraid
German Shepherds that have not been socialized properly and are not exposed to different environments may have a lot of fear. They may be scared by loud sounds, new smells, and unfamiliar locations. This can result in your dog being skittish or on constant alert.
For these reasons, if your dog suddenly comes across another dog, they may react negatively. They could be afraid of the dog or the situation and so channel their fear into aggressiveness.
German Shepherd’s Protective Nature
It is in a German Shepherd’s nature to be protective. They are especially protective of their family. They can also be very territorial when it comes to their food, toys, or spaces.
If they think that a new dog will take away these things they love, they will react aggressively. Your dog may snarl or growl at a new dog if they come too close to you or their belongings.
They also are guard dogs and so would be watchful over the things they love. If another dog gets too close to these, the Shepherd may try to chase them away.
Your GSD Is Scarred By Past Past Experiences
If another dog has attacked your German Shepherd in the past, they are likely to be aggressive. This could cause them to distrust all or some other dogs.
Most commonly, they react negatively to dogs of the same size or breed as the one that they had an unpleasant experience with. They have a good memory and are very intelligent, so they could hold on to the trauma from an attack for a long time.
Your German Shepherd’s Personality
No two dogs are the same. Each dog has a different personality that is affected by their upbringing, training, and interactions.
If your dog grew up around other dogs, they are more likely to be friendly.
Some dogs prefer humans over other dogs. Some who have grown up with other dogs might still dislike them because they feel like their owners gave the others more attention.
However, German Shepherds do not like other dogs in most cases, but they still tolerate them. They act indifferent towards other dogs but are not aggressive.
Your German Shepherd Does Not Get Enough Exercise
German Shepherds need at least 90 minutes of exercise per day. If your dog is not getting the required amount of exercise, they may have pent-up energy.
If a dog cannot release its energy in positive ways, they will behave badly. German Shepherd’s that have not been active enough can release their pent-up energy by being aggressive and irritable.
This would make them react suddenly and aggressively towards anything that they may see as a threat.
Your GSD Is Being Left Alone For Too Long
German Shepherds enjoy company. They like being with their family and being active with them. If the dog is left alone for too long, they may be aggressive.
German Shepherds need engagement and activity. It is essential to their happiness and good behavior.
How To Help Your German Shepherd Be Good With Other Dogs
There are steps that you can take to ensure that your dog is friendly towards other dogs. Their socialization and training are very important, along with your own behavior towards them.
It is much easier to train a puppy to be sociable. However, if you are adopting a new pet or are wary of your dog’s behavior, there are things you can do to negate their aggressiveness.
Whatever your living situation may be, it is important for your dog not to be aggressive towards others as this can cause issues in everyday life.
Begin GSD Socializing Early
German Shepherd puppies are much easier to train. Expose them to other well-trained and friendly dogs while they are still young. This will help them develop manners, social skills, and confidence.
Invest In Good German Shepherd Training
Spend time on their training and understand that it may be a long process.
Have your dog meet with other well-trained dogs in a controlled setting. Give them a lot of positive reinforcement and encourage them to associate good things with socializing.
Let their confidence slowly build so that they can behave well with other dogs.
Exposure Your GSD To Other Dogs
Even after your dog has been successfully socialized, you need to keep it up. Expose them to other dogs often so that they can stay comfortable and friendly. This would even allow your furry friend to have to have some fun and be active.
Ideally, you would want to expose your dog to other dogs with a variety of temperaments. This would allow your dog to learn and be more comfortable with any new dogs in the future.
Keep Your German Shepherd Healthy
German Shepherds need to have their minds engaged and their bodies active. Take your dog on walks regularly and get in the 90 minutes of activity per day.
Also, make sure that your German Shepherd does not get bored. Keep them engaged with activities, play dates, hikes, and more.
Make sure you spend a lot of time with your dog and give them lots of love.
How To Socialize A German Shepherd Puppy
If you bring a new German Shepherd puppy into your house, you should introduce them to other well-trained dogs. Do this slowly and work according to your dog’s pace.
Pick dogs that are friendly, well trained, and fully vaccinated. Introduce them to your pup and let them have playdates. This will help train your puppy through imitation of behavior. It will also help them socialize.
Typically, it would be best if you let them meet in neutral territory because dogs are very territorial.
You can also introduce your pup to other puppies. Let them play and bond together but keep watch over them. If you notice your dog is being aggressive, take him away for a while to cool down. Think of it as a sort of time-out.
Be firm with your puppy if this behavior persists. Train them with commands like “no” and “heel”.
How To Socialize An Older German Shepherd
If you adopt an older German Shepherd, getting them accustomed to other dogs may be more difficult. This will take some time, but it is not impossible. Train them slowly and steadily. See what the dog prefers but be firm.
You might want to keep other dogs away from yours for a while if they are aggressive. Let your German watch other dogs from a distance. You can slowly reduce this distance as time goes on.
It is important that you do not let any triggers upset your dog while doing this. For example, if your German Shepherd is afraid of traffic noises, only let them meet other dogs in a quiet space.
A good way to curb aggressive dogs is by using distractions. If you are introducing a new dog to your own, try using food as a distraction. You can feed them nearby or give your dog treats.
Can German Shepherds Live With Other Dogs?
If you already have a dog at home, would bringing a new German Shepherd be a good idea?
German Shepherds tend to be dominant, and they may want to assert this dominance over other dogs. However, they also love being active and having company. They love to play and run around all day. For this reason, having a play buddy could be ideal.
It is, however, important that you take some precautions before letting your dogs be together. An understanding is key to successful training and socialization. Here are some tips you can consider:
- Most commonly, a German Shepherd will be aggressive towards other dogs of the same sex. Because of this, if you have a male dog, you might want to bring in a female German Shepherd, and if you have a female dog, you can bring in a male German Shepherd
- It would be best if you first kept the old dog at a friend’s house when bringing in a new dog. Let the new dog become familiar with the house and then bring the old dog back. They are more likely to be accepting of the new dog if they are already in the home
- Supervise the dogs until they are fully comfortable. It would be a good idea to keep them in separate rooms while you are away so that they do not fight while you are not there to control them
- One of the dogs is dominating the other; you need to interject. Use commands like “no” and separate the dogs for a while if they get too aggressive
German Shepherds have great potential to be good with other dogs. Their playful nature and desire for company make them easier to socialize.
An aggressive Shepherd can play nice, but this involves a lot of training with positive reinforcement.
A balanced life for your dog plays a key role in their behavior. Exercise, activity, training, socialization, and affection are all important to keep your dog friendly and happy.