Dogs are considered the most loyal beings known to humans. No matter what the situation, these little partners will always protect you. Out of all dog species, the German Shepherd is well known for its intelligence and aggression.  

German Shepherd Picture

That’s the reason they can be molded into guard dogs. The good thing is that your German Shepherd also has the potential to be a guard dog. All he needs is training! 

You can easily train your GSD as a guard dog, but feeding the best dog food German Shepherds won’t do the trick; you need to guide them through the process to get the right results.

Do you want to know how to train a German shepherd?   

Is the German Shepherd a Good Guard Dog? 

For centuries, people have kept dogs as pets. In fact, both humans and dogs lived and evolved together for years. Earlier, the parameters of a good pet may have depended on its hunting capability or its ability to control sheep herds. But nowadays, a good pet means a less aggressive pet. 

Out of all dog species, the German Shepherd is one of the most popular. It is the first priority of pet lovers. This species is known for its high temperament and is often used as a guard dog by the military.

You may be shocked to know that the German Shepherd isn’t natural; In fact, it is a result of a hybrid developed by Max Von Stephanitz in 1899.     

First German Shepherd - Horand

Horand was the first German Shepherd. The German Shepherd was initially a herding dog species used by farmers for herding sheep. 

  • The average height for a male dog is 60 cm, whereas, for a female dog, it is 55 cm. 
  • A grown male weighs around 30 kg, whereas a female weighs 22 kg. 

Alastian and Shepherd are some of the other names for German Shepherds.

There are different categories of German Shepherds on the basis of color:

  • Saddle Black and Tan Coat
  • Black Mask and Sable
  • Solid Black
  • Bi-Colour
  • Long-haired Black and Tan

For now, enough about Cynology!

From all the facts about a German Shepherd, it is clear that this species is the most suitable one for a guard dog. You don’t have to worry about how to train a German shepherd. With the right training plan, you can easily convert your German Shepherd into a guard dog, but you should know what type of guard dog you want your German Shepherd to be.

Types of Guard Dogs

We can divide guard dogs into three categories; let’s have a look at each of them. 

Sentry Dogs

German Shepherd Sentry Dog Picture
  • They are almost similar to attack dogs in nature; the only difference lies in the amount of human supervision. 
  • They can attack when needed to keep intruders away. Most sentry dogs are used on farms. 
  • They are highly intelligent and confident.


German Shepherd Watchdog Picture
  • Their main role is to alert the owner at the time of a robbery.
  • They are not highly aggressive dogs; they usually just bark at the intruder but never attack first.
  • They do not require special training as their main role is to alert everyone, not attack. Any dog, even a small one, can become a watchdog.

Attack Dogs

When it comes to attacking dogs, German Shepherds are the first priority. They have all the qualities of sentries and watchdogs.  

German Shepherd Attack Dog Picture
  • They are also used in the subways for security and in the police’s special bomb detection squad.
  • They are dangerous, not meant to be kept as pets.
  • There are special German Shepherd protection training programs in the military for the training of these dogs. 

Some people are curious about how to train a German shepherd to attack, so you don’t have to give your dog separate training for that. 

Attack dogs are able to distinguish between friend and foe. 

They’ll defend you and attack someone if they find that person a threat to you! Keep in mind that we are not referring to military dogs, as there is a separate training method for them in the military. These tips are for non-military purposes.

We divided your German Shepherd’s training program into two parts:

  • Basic Training For Guard Dogs
  • Advanced Training For Attack Dogs

Let’s One by One Discuss Both of them!

Basic Training For a German Shepherd to be a Guard Dog

This is the First Step! 

This training is necessary for all German shepherds if they want to become guard dogs. Without basic training, it would be very hard for the dog to master attack mode.

Start From Birth

You’ll be surprised to know that the pattern recognition ability of an adult German Shepherd is equivalent to that of a 10-year-old kid! So you just need to develop a dedicated approach to your dog’s training. With a good training plan, your dog can be fully trained within a couple of months.

German Shepherd Puppy

The ideal age for training a German Shepherd Puppy is 7-8 Weeks. If you start training your dog at such an early age, he will definitely become disciplined later down the line. Just start playing with your puppy, and walk the dog daily if possible. 

Your Dog is smarter than you think; just give him some time. It may take a week for your dog to remember the pattern, and he will develop a new habit. They can easily remember all the steps if they are repeated enough times daily.

  • Try singing a song or making a unique noise for different tasks. 
  • You can also use a whistle for the same purpose. 

Reward Training

This method is used by experts to train military dogs. Every year, thousands of German Shepherds join the military as guard dogs on a large scale, so this method is 100% effective for this breed. 

All you have to do is add small rewards at the end of each task. It would be a piece of cake if you already divided each task into steps; just add small rewards at the end of each task. You can add special dog food as a reward. 

German Shepherd Eating Cookie

It is almost the same way we learned a lot of things from our parents.

  • Don’t think that your dog is just an animal; treat him like a child. 
  • Spend time with him and give him rewards in the same way that parents give to children.
  • There is no need to punish the dog initially, but using a high-pitched voice is enough to correct him when he does something wrong.

Socialization of Dog

Dogs are social animals! 

They spent centuries living in the wild with their groups. Most of the dogs are used to living in the wild with other dogs. Socialization is in their DNA; we can’t expect good behavior from them after isolating them from their group. 

In order to train a dog, he must be exposed to tons of strangers and dogs. As with humans, dogs also understand the behavioral patterns of different individuals, so socialization is a must. 

A Group of German Shepherds

Keep in mind that walking the dog certainly does not fall under the category of socialization. In the United States, there are various dog socialization clubs where you can socialize your dog for free. 

  • Try, just for one day, to leave your dog with a friend. 
  • It may seem like a harsh way to train your dog, but it shows tremendous results in the long run. 
  • It reduces the dog’s anxiety and makes him more adaptable than before.

Dog Toys

Dogs love to play with toys. As humans spend their childhood playing with toys, a dog also needs toys in his childhood. By using these toys, you can decrease your dependency on the dog and provide him with an environment where he can enjoy himself. 

This part is one of the most important, and it needs to be deliberately implemented in your training program.  

A Dog Playing With a Ball

There are tons of toys on the market that are exclusively available for dogs, but our team selected the best-suited toys for German Shepherds:

Spend Time With Dog

Before you train the dog, you have to first understand him. There is only one way to understand your dog, i.e., spending time with him deeply! 

A Man Playing With German Shepherd
  • Go for a walk, bring him on daily vacations, celebrate his birthday, or go for a long drive with your dog. 
  • Try to understand his words; speak to him as you can. These steps may seem small, but the integrated result of these steps will be massive. 
  • It would be hard for your dog to obey your commands without analyzing your behavior. So give him an opportunity to understand you and develop a strong bond. 

Obedience Training 

Teach your dog some of the basic commands like sit, stay, and run.

A Man With German Shepherd

It could take a week for the dog to get used to your commands. As we discussed earlier, you can also use different voices for different commands; this will make it easy for the dog to learn the patterns, and ultimately, you’ll get better results.

Food Habits

Sometimes dogs show aggressive behavior while eating, indicating that there is something they don’t like in the food. In cases of food aggression, try changing the brand of dog food. 

Each dog has a unique taste, so try to give your dog his favorite food. 

Don’t worry; we simplified things for you. Click to purchase the best German shepherd food. Check out our review on Sundays for Dogs to know about a healthy meal for your GSD.

 German Shepherd Eating Food

# Pro Tips

  • Avoid touching your dog, especially when he is enjoying his meal. It is true that touching is a great way to develop confidence in your dog, but most dogs don’t want to be disturbed while eating.
  • Try Hand Feeding: To develop more confidence in your dog, try removing the bowl and starting to feed him with your hands. This builds trust and reduces the dog’s anxiety.

Advanced Training For a German Shepherd to Be an Attack Dog

As your dog has now completed the basic training, it won’t be hard for him to learn this advanced training. Luckily, the steps are not completely different; in fact, most of the facts are the same.

Barking Commands

  • Encourage your dog to bark at visitors to your home to let you know they are there. 
  • Use a “Quiet” or “Enough” order to control the barking of your dog.
  • When your German shepherd dog alerts you to strange people or objects at home, respond enthusiastically, but do not let this behavior spread outside of the house. 
  • When you go for a stroll, your dog should be unaffected by any nice or neutral strangers you may encounter.
German Shepherd Barking

Fake Intruder

  • Take help from your friend for this step. Tell your friend to disguise himself as an intruder! Then tell him to breach into your house in front of the dog.
  • Build your dog’s attentiveness at home by having strangers pretend to be attempting to enter your house or yard.
  • The intruder should glance at your German shepherd dog as it barks, then run away as you hold and reward your dog.
  •  Do not let your dog run toward the escaping stranger.
German Shepherd Attack Training

Leash Training

  • Regularly trace the perimeter of your property with your German shepherd dog on a leash to determine its boundaries.
  • Never allow your dog to bark at people who are outside your boundary.
  • In no case should you permit your dog to chase people.

Difference Between a Guard Dog and an Attack Dog

                Guard Dogs                     Attack Dogs
They Are Family FriendlyThey Are Not Family Friendly
Can Be Kept as PetsCan’t Be Kept as Pets
Have Strong InstinctsNeed Special Diet
Intelligent and Competent Needs a Lot of Exercise

Remember that effective German shepherd protection training requires a thorough grasp of your dog’s behavior. Therefore, in addition to training advice, we’ve included certain behavioral patterns that can improve your relationship with your dog.

German Shepherd Behaviors That Are Important to Learn?

Training is a two-way process; first, you have to understand your dog completely, and then only you can expect good results. Without a proper understanding of a dog’s behavior, it would be difficult for you to learn how to train a German shepherd. 

Our expert team gathered some common German shepherd behaviors. By understanding them, you can train a German shepherd in a smooth way.

  1. Bad Breath
    It may be a sign that your dog is not well. A change in the breath of a dog may be a warning of a gastrointestinal infection. Sometimes a dog’s breath may smell like urine, which is an indication of an underlying kidney problem.
  1. Head Pressing 
    If your dog starts to lean against the wall most of the time, call your dog’s vet right away! It may be a warning sign of toxic poisoning or even a brain disease. Sometimes dogs try to press their heads to relax their muscles, but if your dog is overdoing it, something is wrong with his food.
  1. Circling
    Usually, dogs love to chase their tails. It is generally a good sign, which means that your dog is comfortable in the environment. If your dog is repeating the same thing many times a day, it may be a symptom of Idiopathic Vestibular syndrome, which, if left untreated, may cause brain tumors in dogs.
  1. Digging
    If your dog tries to dig up your blanket most of the time, it means that he wants your attention. Digging is an evolutionary trait of dogs that plays an important role in their survival. 

Usually, pet dogs replicate digging at night. Just give your dog proper attention and involve him in your conversations if your dog starts doing this on a daily basis.

  1. Yawning
    It is usually linked to sleep, but that’s not the complete picture. It may be a sign that your dog is feeling uncomfortable and stressed. Try not to engage in any kind of fight in front of your dog, as it is not good for his mental health.
  1. Sitting on Your Feet
    Most people misunderstand this as the dog trying to protect you, but actually, he is just trying to feel connected with you to be safe! Next, when your dog sits on your feet, just give him a gentle hand on his back.
  1. Belly Showing
    Well done! It is a good sign and a testimony that your dog is happy and feels safe around you.
  1. Tail Wagging
    It is a kind of yes in a dog’s language. Usually, it indicates a friendly nature. In fact, there are different types of tail wagging depending on the dog’s mood! But usually, it is a symbol of trust and happiness.

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Ans: Yes! They are highly intelligent and adaptable. With the right training plan, training a German Shepherd will not be hard.

Ans: German Shepherds are well-known guard dogs. It’s in their instincts, so all you have to do is follow a normal training plan for German shepherds. They’ll automatically transform into guard dogs.

Ans: Of course! Everyone wants to protect their loved ones. So if you have a strong bond with your dog, he will definitely protect you even without training.