When asked which breed of dog they find to be most loyal, the majority of people will answer German Shepherds. In addition to being extremely loyal, German Shepherds are also extremely intelligent (and loving). It comes as no surprise that the German Shepherd breed is a popular choice among families, as well as the police force. Many people will argue that German Shepherds are one of the best breeds of dogs for guarding out there and will often protect their own even if that means putting themselves in jeopardy.
The origin of this behavior
A dog’s temperament and personality traits are shaped mainly by their upbringing, how they were socialized, and how they were trained. With that said, A dog’s genes, breed, background, and the purpose that they were bred for will all factor into their natural instincts and behavior. Originally, German Shepherds were bred as working dogs, with their primary function to obey their owner’s command and serve a purpose in some way. The combination of intelligence and instinctual willingness to learn is what makes them such perfect dogs to train and work with. German Shepherds are obedient and work hard to please their owners. Since German Shepherds possess a stable temperament and easily bond well with their owners, they are much easier to train than other dog breeds. This is why German Shepherds are such a popular choice amongst those working in the public services whether it be in the police or military task force, or even helping people with disabilities.
As their name implies, German “Shepherds” were originally bred to herd and protect sheep from potential threats such as predators. Since they actually consider smaller farm animals as members of their pack, they can get very protective of them. Where most breeds need exercise and care to stay happy and healthy, German Shepherds need a clear mission and a purpose. These fantastic dogs will always try to do their best to make you happy but they can’t accomplish that without any clear instructions. Therefore, training at an early age is absolutely crucial in their development.
Though loyal behavior should be praised and encouraged, its important for the owner to understand what defines good behavior and bad behavior. Some German Shepherds have a natural tendency to become too protective of their owners. The best way to determine a healthy level of protection is first correctly identifying the signs of loyalty and the way your German Shepherd displays it to avoid accidentally encouraging it. A loyal and protective dog will guard their owner when a threat is present but will also be able to remain calm and non-aggressive at other times. If your German Shepherd is trained well, this really shouldn’t be an issue.
If your German Shepherd reacts will aggression and pulling whenever it sees anything is not a protective dog. It’s a dog that is just looking for trouble and is overly protective. Never encourage your German Shepherd to growl unless there is a justifiable need for it to do so – like a real threat. If your dog shows any of the mentioned behavior, it’s probably time for you to schedule a meeting with a professional dog trainer who will help you train your dog before their behavior becomes an even bigger problem than it already is.
Even though German Shepherds may have a slight edge over other dogs when it comes to loyalty, when given the proper training and care, any dog can become loyal. If you’re unsure whether adopting a German Shepherd would work well with your family, you may want to check out this article that I wrote.