German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They’re known for their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability. But, in some extreme cases, they can also be aggressive if provoked or threatened, so it’s important to know what to do and what you did wrong if you ever find yourself in a situation where a German Shepherd is attacking you.
German Shepherds are naturally protective of their family, home, and property, so it's not uncommon for them to react aggressively if they feel threatened or afraid. German Shepherds are also more likely to attack if they are not properly trained and socialized.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips on handling an attack by a German Shepherd, why these dogs may become aggressive, and how best to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.
With this information at your disposal, you’ll be better prepared should an unfortunate incident with a German Shepherd occur. Let's start with some basic information to help us better understand how this dog breed thinks.
Can you trust a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds are generally known as loyal and protective dogs that you can trust, often referred to as the “police or guard dog” due to their potential for aggressive behavior when provoked. But despite this reputation, German Shepherds can also be loving and gentle creatures, particularly when properly socialized and trained.
Many German Shepherd owners will give their lives to protect their dogs, and most German Shepherds risk their lives to save their owner. But does this mean that you should 100% trust your German Shepherd?
It's important not to trust any dog 100%, even a German Shepherd, as their behavior can be unpredictable. Even with proper training and socialization, German Shepherds can still display aggressive behavior when provoked or feeling threatened.
A case study made by our team has shown that 87% of German Shepherd owners have 100% trust in their dogs.
It's also important to remember that a dog’s instinct may cause them to behave differently in certain situations, and it is up to the owner to recognize these behaviors and take steps to ensure its safety.
Also, the "it's about how you raise them" sentence is nonsense. Your German Shepherd can have the best dog trainer in the world, but no one can restrain your dog when genetics kicks in. No one.
Besides, most dogs are naturally loyal creatures, but they could still turn on you given the right circumstances, so trust should never be taken for granted.
How to know when a German Shepherd is about to attack?
It's important to recognize when a German Shepherd is about to attack so that you can take steps to prevent the situation from escalating. While not every sign indicates an imminent attack, it is still wise to be aware of any behavior that could suggest aggression.
One of the most telling signs a German Shepherd may be about to attack is when it stops listening to commands or begins exhibiting submissive behavior such as cowering and whimpering. This could indicate that the dog is feeling threatened or stressed and may lash out if provoked further.
Other signs to look out for include raised hackles, bared teeth, a tense body posture, snarling sounds, and direct eye contact. If the dog displays any of these signs, it should be taken as a warning sign that an attack is imminent, and steps should be taken to de-escalate the situation.
Here are the 10 most common signs of a German Shepherd who is getting ready to attack:
1. Raised hackles
2. Bared teeth
3. Tense body posture
4. Snarling sounds
5. Direct eye contact
6. Stops listening to commands
7. Cowering and whimpering
9. Barking aggressively
10. Lunging or biting
Will a German Shepherd attack its owner?
No, a German Shepherd will not normally attack its owner, but it is still possible for a dog to become aggressive and bite its owner. German Shepherds, in particular, are known for their loyalty and protective nature, so it is unlikely they would attack their owners.
However, there are certain circumstances that can lead to aggression and biting, such as if a German Shepherd is feeling threatened or scared. Unsuitable training and socialization, trauma, or abuse can lead to an unbalanced and aggressive dog.
It's also important to note that any breed of dog may become aggressive when provoked, even the nicest and calmest German Shepherd.
Why do German Shepherds attacks their owners?
However, in some cases, German Shepherds attack and bite their owners. Do you wonder why? Let's see the most common reasons why German Shepherds attack their owners!
Here are 7 most common reasons why your German Shepherd may attack you:
1. Lack of socialization
2. Fear or anxiety
3. Pain or illness
4. Unfamiliar people/animals
5. Possessiveness over food and toys
6. Protecting territory or possessions
7. Defending themselves from perceived threats
Lack of socialization
Lack of socialization can contribute to your German Shepherd attacking you. Socialization is an important part of raising any dog. German Shepherds need to ensure their obedience and help them learn how to behave properly in various situations. Dogs that are not properly socialized may become anxious and scared around people, resulting in aggressive behavior.
Fear or Anxiety
Fear and anxiety can also cause German Shepherds to lash out at their owners. If a dog is startled or feels threatened, it may become aggressive and try to defend itself by biting. Owners must recognize signs of fear and work with their dogs to help them feel more secure in their environment.
Pain or Illness
German Shepherds may also become aggressive if they are in pain due to illness or injury. If your dog displays aggression, take it to the vet for a check-up. The vet can diagnose and treat any underlying issues that may be causing them distress. If your GSD is injured or sick, try to be gentle with him until you get to the vet to avoid potential problems.
If you expose your German shepherd too suddenly in front of unfamiliar people or animals, he may bite you or the other person or animal in an attempt to protect himself. It's important to gradually socialize your GSD with others so he can become accustomed to his environment.
Possessiveness Over Food and Toys
German Shepherds may also become possessive of their food or toys, leading them to bite if anyone tries to take them away. It's important to train your GSD early on not to be possessive and to know that it's okay for other people or animals to take their food or toys (if necessary).
Protecting Territory or Possessions
German Shepherds have strong guardian instincts, which may become aggressive when they feel their territory or possessions are threatened. If your GSD senses danger, he may become aggressive in an attempt to protect himself or his property.
Defending Themselves from Perceived Threats
Finally, German Shepherds may bite if they feel threatened or scared. While it's important for owners to recognize signs of fear and stress, it's also important for them to be aware of their body language. If you are angry or raise your voice at your German Shepherd, it may misinterpret this as a sign of aggression and bite out of fear.
Things to do before German Shepherd attacks you
If you are in a situation where you run into an aggressive German Shepherd who is about to attack you, we suggest you follow the following steps:
1. Remain calm and try to diffuse the situation
2. Avoid making direct eye contact with the dog
3. Do not scream or yell
4. Slowly back away from the dog
5. If possible, stand still and avoid abrupt movements
6. Distract the dog with another object
7. Call for help if needed
Remain calm and try to diffuse the situation
It’s important to stay calm and not panic if you find yourself in the presence of an aggressive German Shepherd. If possible, try to defuse the situation by speaking softly or making quiet shushing noises. Avoid sudden movements and remain still for a few seconds until the dog passes by.
Avoid making direct eye contact with the dog
Try to avoid making direct eye contact with an aggressive German Shepherd. This may sound silly, but in some cases, it works (don't ask how we know). Looking directly into the dog’s eyes can be seen as a sign of aggression and may cause the dog to become more agitated. Instead, keep your gaze low or away from the dog altogether.
But don't take your eyes off the dog completely. Turn your head as you walk away and look at the dog from the side. It's very important to see how the dog behaves so that you know what to do next.
Do not scream or yell
Screaming or yelling at an aggressive German Shepherd will only worsen the situation and may even lead to a bite. Instead, try to remain as calm and peaceful as possible and slowly move away from the dog.
Slowly back away from the dog
If the German Shepherd is acting aggressively, slowly back away until you are out of reach. Move slowly and cautiously to avoid startling the German Shepherd, which could cause it to attack.
If possible, stand still and avoid abrupt movements.
Sometimes standing still is the best action in a situation with an aggressive German Shepherd. Do not turn your back on the dog because you will not see the dog's next move. Put your head down and slowly move backward until you get into the "safe zone".
If possible, stand still and avoid abrupt movements
When you are in the presence of an aggressive German Shepherd, it's important to stay still and avoid any abrupt movements. This will help prevent startling or agitating the dog further, which may lead to a bite. If the German Shepherd continues to approach you, slowly back away until you are out of reach.
Distract the dog with another object
If you have an item you can use to distract the dog, do so. For example, if you have a bag of treats or toys on hand, a water bottle, a sandwich, etc., throw it away from you and in the opposite direction of the German Shepherd (do not throw that object at the dog).
This will confuse the dog, and he will probably want to know what you just threw on the ground. In the meantime, slowly begin to move away without sudden movements.
Call for help if needed
If the situation is getting out of control and you can’t move away from the German Shepherd, it's important to call for help as soon as possible. Yell "help!" or try to find someone who can help you to distract the dog until the situation is resolved.
How to protect yourself when German Shepherd attacks you
You did everything right, but unfortunately, an aggressive German Shepherd is still there, and he doesn't want to move. To make things even worse, he's getting ready to attack you.
This is how you can defend yourself when a German Shepherd attacks you:
1. Say to the dog "back away"
2. Fight back against an attacking dog
3. Use your body weight
4. Use a small item like an umbrella or stick to defend yourself if needed
5. If attacked, curl up in a ball on your side and protect your neck and head with your arms and yell for help
6. Leave the area as soon as possible, slowly and carefully
Say to the dog "back away"
If you see an aggressive German Shepherd getting closer to you, stay to him "back away". Your voice needs to be strong, deep, and more confident than ever. Don't make direct eye contact; repeat this command every 3-5 seconds. If the dog loses interest in you, start moving backward slowly.
Fight back against an attacking dog
If the dog doesn't back away and tries to attack you, don't hesitate to fight back. In situation like this, you don't need to worry if you will hurt a dog (you probably not), but that dog will hurt you. In some cases, the wounds inflicted on you by a German Shepherd can be deadly, so don't hesitate and fight back.
Use objects around you, like a stick or umbrella, to push him away from you. This can help keep the German Shepherd safe from you and stop it from attacking.
Also, at this point, you can raise your voice and ask for help.
Use your body weight
"Bring your entire body weight to bear on the animal, specifically pushing down with the hard points of your knees or elbows. Dogs are vicious biters but cannot wrestle, so try to get an advantageous position and break their bones fairly quickly. Get on top of the animal and concentrate force on areas such as the throat or ribs while minding to keep your face out of clawing/biting range.
If you are looking for a more humane solution and can manage it, straddle the back of the dog with your partial body weight and apply forward pressure to the back of the neck to immobilize the dog until help comes."
Use a small item like an umbrella or stick to defend yourself if needed
An item like an umbrella, stick, or metal bar can be used as a shield when you protecting yourself from an aggressive German Shepherd. This doesn't mean the dog won't bite you, but it should stop it from getting too close and doing more damage or injury. The idea is to keep the dog away from you; the stick or umbrella will help you achieve this.
If you managed to get to an umbrella, stick, or metal bar before the dog came to you, try to hit the dog as hard as possible with that object. Chances are very high that the dog will realize that you are not an easy target and that it is best to stay away from you.
If attacked, curl up in a ball on your side and protect your neck and head with your arms and yell for help
The last option is to curl up in a ball on the ground if the dog has already started to attack you. This position can be used as a defense mechanism that protects your vital organs, such as your throat and head. Protect these parts with your arms and yell for help. This is the last option you should consider. Do this only if you are 100% helpless and unable to do anything.
Leaving the area as soon as possible, slowly and carefully
Once you protect yourself against a German Shepherd attack, leaving the area is the next step; Do it slowly and carefully. Don't make any sudden movements that could make the dog aggressive again. Move away from the area slowly and calmly. Do not turn your back on the animal or run away because this will increase its aggression toward you. Keep an eye on it, but don't look directly at him to avoid making direct contact with his eyes.
Once you have left the area, seek medical attention if needed. Dog bites can cause severe injuries and infections, so it is best to play it safe and get checked by a doctor.
Things to do after German Shepherd attacks you
After a German Shepherd has attacked you, there are a few things that you should do.
The first thing you need to do is to seek medical attention if needed. If you have successfully defended yourself from a German shepherd who tried to attack you, then no medical intervention is needed, but if you believe you need medical attention, call her.
The second thing is to report the incident to the police or animal control authorities. They might have protocols for arranging medical treatment for you and possibly putting the dog in quarantine if necessary.
You may also want to consider filing a lawsuit against the owner of the German Shepherd. This depends on your state's laws, and you should consult a qualified lawyer to know more about this option.
Finally, find out whether the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. If it has not been vaccinated, you may need to get treatment for rabies as soon as possible since untreated rabies can be deadly. Try to get as much information as you can about dog health history.
This video perfectly shows what you should do if a dog attacks you.
Can you fight off a German Shepherd?
It's possible to fight off an attacking German Shepherd, but it can be difficult. It's important to remain calm and not move suddenly or run away, as this could further provoke the dog and make them more aggressive. If possible, try to use a small object like an umbrella or stick as a shield between you and the dog to keep it at bay.
This dog breed is a high-energy dog breed, and it will take a long time to get tired. If you find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself from a German Shepherd dog, follow the instruction that we mention above in this article.
How common are German Shepherd attacks?
German Shepherd attacks are relatively uncommon, but they do happen. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 4.5 million dog bites occur annually in the United States. German Shepherds, the fifth most dangerous breed, responsible for around 4.6% of these incidents.
This percentage is higher than other larger breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors, but still far lower than breeds, such as Pitbulls, which account for more than 65.6% of dog bite incidents!
|Percentage of all attacks
|Number of deaths
What happens if a German Shepherd bites you?
If a German Shepherd bites you, there are potential health risks that you should be aware of. The bite can cause serious wounds that can become infected and result in pain and discomfort. Depending on the severity of the bite, it may require medical attention, such as stitches or antibiotics, to prevent infection.
Rabies is one of the most common diseases you can get from a dog bite. Rabies is a viral infection that affects the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal if not treated quickly. When an infected animal bites, it transmits the virus through its saliva into the victim’s bloodstream.
Early symptoms of rabies include fever, headache, fatigue, and confusion. If the victim does not seek medical attention, the infection can cause death. Therefore it is important to go to the doctor immediately after a bite.
Frequently asked questions
How many deaths are caused by German Shepherds?
From 2005 to 2017, around 20 people died from the consequences of German Shepherd bites, which is only in the United States. It is believed that the global number is three times higher, that is, around 60 people have died from German Shepherd bites.
How strong is a German Shepherd's bite?
German Shepherds have the potential to bite with force ranging from 175-238 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is extremely strong and can cause serious damage. However, most German Shepherds do not exert this much pressure when they bite; it's more likely that they will bite with an average of between 130-175 PSI.
How do you break up a German Shepherd fight?
Breaking up a dog fight can be very difficult and dangerous, so it is important to know the right steps. Here are some tips on how to break up a German Shepherd fight:
1. Remain calm and do not show any fear. Dogs can sense fear and will respond aggressively if they feel threatened.
2. Use a loud, authoritative voice to yell commands like “no” or “stop it”.
3. Do not reach for the dogs, as this could lead to them attacking you instead of each other.
4. Create a physical barrier between the two dogs by using a broom handle or a chair if possible.
5. If the fight escalates, speak to your vet – they may be able to recommend an animal behaviorist who can help break up the fight and assess why it started in the first place.
6. After the fight is broken up, ensure both dogs are separated, not injured, and given time to calm down before attempting to re-introduce them.
Are German Shepherds naturally aggressive?
No, German Shepherds are not typically considered “naturally aggressive” dogs. While they can certainly be aggressive in certain scenarios, such as when they feel threatened or provoked, they are known to have a gentle and loving side.
These intelligent and loyal dogs can make excellent companions with the right socialization, training, and love.
German Shepherd attacks child
Unfortunately, there were cases where a German Shepherd attacked a couple of times a child and this attack finished with a death of a child. If you have a child and a German Shepherd dog, it's important to set boundaries between your child and dog.
Teach your dog and child what they can and can't do. Try to always be with your child when the dog is present. Then when you're sure your dog and child are old enough to hang out on their own, let them enjoy themselves.
How long does it take a German Shepherd to kill a human?
When it comes to the potential for a German Shepherd to kill a human, the amount of time it takes largely depends on the circumstances. If a German Shepherd were to attack an unsuspecting individual with no means of defending themselves, such as an infant or young child, the attack could be fatal in a matter of moments.
In other scenarios, an individual may be able to fend off the attack for several minutes, giving them time to seek help.
In conclusion, German Shepherds are not naturally aggressive dogs and can make excellent companions with the right socialization, training, and love.
However, if you see any signs of aggression in your German Shepherd, seek professional help immediately. Hire a professional dog trainer or visit your vet.
On the other hand, if you survive a German Shepherd attack, please seek medical attention immediately.
So, now at the end, it's time to reveal the main reasons why German Shepherds decide to attack, and that is bad dog owners.
According to some case studies, around 80% of German Shepherd dog attacks are because they didn't have any socialization training, don't get regular walks, or because of past trauma.
If you're a German Shepherd dog owner, or you plan to get a German Shepherd dog, keep in mind that this dog breed has a lot of energy which you must burn every day!
Start with the training on time, treat your dog as a family member, and the chance that your German Shepherd attacks you will be close to zero.