Can German Shepherd dog attack its owner - GSD Colony blog post

Can German Shepherd dog attack its owner

You want to get a German Shepherd dog, but you heard or read somewhere that these dogs are very big, and dangerous, and that they can attack their owners?

Maybe you are not sure that this dog breed is a perfect choice for a family dog, because of its big teeth and strong bite? If you want to know will a German Shepherd attack its owner or family member, then you are in the right place!

This topic is very popular, and everyone wants to know whether they should feel safe next to their German Shepherd dog, so let’s waste no longer time and start discussing this topic!

The short answer is yes, German Shepherd can attack their owners, family members, or any other person or animal, but this doesn’t mean that they are aggressive dogs. 

German Shepherd dog attack its owner

On the contrary, the German Shepherd is a very friendly dog, an unbelievably good family guardian dog, and they really, really, love kids. So, why then people are scared of German Shepherds?

The "aggressive" look of a German Shepherd dog.

Before we continue, let’s clear some stuff. Most people who think that German Shepherd will attack them as owners don’t know too much about this dog breed. When we say “too much”, we mean on the relationship between a German Shepherd and its owner.

Most people are afraid of the German Shepherd because of his look. The look means nothing. Yes, they are big, fast, and strong dogs that can kill adult people. And that’s the reason why most police officers, soldiers, or any other special forces, get these dogs to train them and use them in their missions and jobs. The other reason is that they are too smart.

If you’re are a bad person who doesn’t care about dogs, people, or any other animal or nature, the chance is pretty big that you will be attacked by a German Shepherd or any other dog that you get. They are one of the smartest dogs on this planet, and they can easily recognize who’s a “bad boy”.

Can German Shepherd dog attack its owner? Scary looking German Shepherd.

You’re scared of German Shepherds because of their “scary” look? Don’t be! Trust us, they are so lovely dogs, which will care for you like no other person, but if you treat them badly, know that they can attack and hurt you. Just be a good dog owner who cares about your dog, and you will get a lifetime partner!

The reasons why German Shepherd dogs can and will attack their owner.

Now that we have learned that a German Shepherd will attack you only if you are a bad guy or a bad dog owner, let’s see some specific reasons why this dog breed usually attacks its owners. 

There is always a reason why German Shepherds attack their owner, it’s not just because “oh, they are dangerous dogs”.

The main reasons why German Shepherd usually attacks their owner is the bad history of their parents, bad environment, trauma, territorial aggression, injury, and fear. Let’s now talk of each reason separately.

<insert image of black-white German Shepherd>

Bad history of parents of German Shepherd dog.

Sometimes, it’s not just our fault. Unfortunately, some dogs are not raised and cared for properly, and this can cause negative consequences. German Shepherd with parents who have a history of benign aggressive tends to be “initiated” to an environment when they may not be suited for the environment. 

And that’s why is important to know the history of puppy parents before you buy that puppy. This is the reason why most purchases go wrong. Don’t rush, and inform yourself well before you get a new puppy.

Your German Shepherd is in a bad environment.

The environment plays a major role in dog behavior. A bad environment can cause a seriously big problem for dogs like aggressivity or depression. According to the Toronto Star article, the dog’s environment has the biggest influence on their personality, and we agree with that. This is the truth, and the proof for that you can find almost everywhere. 

So, what’s the difference between a good and bad environment? All of these items make a bad environment for your dog:

  • Living in the cold or wet place
  • Living in a family in which no one cares about the dog
  • Don't have regular opportunities to go to the toilet (or outside)
  • Doesn't have too much space, or live in a small place without any regular exercise
  • German Shepherds are intelligent dogs, and they can bored and you should avoid this

This is something that you can change. There are many other things that make a bad environment, and you should explore more about this topic so that you can build a good environment for your dog.


As every person, a German Shepherd can also have some trauma if we “cross some boundaries”. The most common traumas German Shepherds face are bathing, yelling, playing with your dog the wrong way, and strangers. 

Most German Shepherds don’t like bathing, and we must realize that. You must be careful how you bathe your dog, otherwise, he can get serious trauma from bathing. Don’t yell on your dog to stay calm, or exert any kind of pressure on him. The best practice is to join your German Shepherd in a bath, and he will realize by the time, that bathing isn’t scary at all! You can also use some treats, but the best way to calm your German Shepherd during bathing is with a silicone mat and peanut butter.

If you’re yelling at your German Shepherd you think that he will realize what you want? No, in that way you can only traumatize your dog and he will start to be afraid of you. Be patient and consistent, and you can learn your dog basically everything! 

Be careful how you play with your German Shepherd. Some “games” are just bad for our dog, and he simply doesn’t like them. If your dog loves to play this game, he will continue to come to you and ask for more, but if you see that he is refusing to play with you your game, this is a good indicator that he doesn’t like this game. You want also to be very careful if you have little kids around your German Shepherd because they can realize fast as we can what our dog loves, and what he hates.

And finally, but not least, be careful how you introduce your new friends to your German Shepherd dog. Most of the German Shepherds care about two things, their family and food, and everything else they can see as a treat.

Can German Shepherd dog attack its owner? German Shepherd dog with trauma.

Territorial aggression.

The main factor that can cause territorial aggression in German Shepherd dogs is lack of early socialization, sexual maturation, environmental factors, inbreeding, pack mentality, or underlying medical conditions. If your German Shepherd dog has territorial aggression, this doesn't mean that he will surely attack you. Territorial aggression displays may range from barking and growling to lunging, chasing, and biting.


Of course that we want to protect and save our German Shepherd if we see that he is injured, but does he know that? If your German Shepherd doesn’t trust you too much, then there is a great chance that he will bite you if you try to touch them while he is injured. 

If you see that your German Shepherd is injured, be careful and gentle, and of course, as soon as possible visit our local vet.


The main reason why German Shepherd dogs develop fear from their owners is: 

  • Dog is "shy"
  • Owners hit the dog
  • History of physical abuse
  • Aggressive dogs are around
  • Owners are stressed or fearful
  • Owners accidentally hurt the dog
  • Owners raise their voice or scream
  • Negative punishment during training

When your German Shepherd is scared of you, this doesn’t only mean that there is a chance that he will attack you in order to protect himself but also becomes increasingly difficult to train, groom, and feed your dog.

But you’re not that type of dog owner, right? Just be gentle to your dog, and patient while you train your German Shepherd, and he will show his loyalty like on one person!

My German Shepherd has been attacked me, what should I do?

First of all, don’t try to give him back by punching him or punishing him. Once the attack is over, get yourself, your friends, or family members and just go, and ask for help. Check yourself and make sure that you have no serious injury, and if you have, call an ambulance. You also want to make sure that your dog is in a safe place where he can’t escape or hurt someone else. 

You can also do these 7 things right after dog bite.

Can German Shepherd attack its owner - GSD Colony

There is probably a good reason why your German Shepherd has attacked you. 8 of 10 dogs owners are guilty because their dog has been attacked them. 

When the situation calms down, we suggest you find a professional dog trainer, so that he can help you rebuild trust between you and your German Shepherd.


German Shepherd dogs are very friendly dogs and awesome family guardian dogs. If you have been attacked by your German Shepherd, don't get us wrong, but there's a good chance you did something wrong.

They are very smart and loyal dogs, and you should be happy if you have a German Shepherd dog, not scared of them! Work on your relationship with your dogs, every day, and don’t say “oh, but I don’t have enough time”.  30 minutes per day is enough to work on trust with your German Shepherd, and once you built trust and perfectly trained them, he will bite other bad guys and dogs, in order to protect you and your family. 

They are our friends, not slaves. Love them, and love will be returned to you.

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