German Shepherds are known for their fierce loyalty and great aptitude for training, but aside from being great companions do they make good guards dogs as well?
German Shepherds historically make well-suited protection animals. They are naturally sociable, loyal, hard-working, and vigilant dogs. These innate traits, combined with a loving and disciplined environment, can mold German Shepherds into good guard dogs.
This article will take an in-depth look into the traits your dog should have to become a good guard dog, and whether German Shepherds are cut out for the job.
Why do German Shepherds make good guard dogs?
German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of working dogs and reign supreme in keeping your family safe, according to Canine Journal. They are often used by the military and police force, but why are they the go-to protection dog in all these fields?
In general, dogs are loyal creatures that respond well to training, and German Shepards especially so. With the smallest amount of effort, you can teach them to do amazing things. Let’s look at some of the traits that German Shepherds possess which make them the prototypical guard dog.
- Eagerness to Work
- Protective Instincts
- Intimidating Stature
- Playful Nature
- Loving and Affectionate
- Observant and Vigilant
3 Reasons Why German Shepherds Make Good Guard Dogs
Although the phrase “guard dog” is often used to refer to any canine trained to defend property and, by extension, humans, guard dogs are specially trained to protect property and, as a result, people from invaders. There are some characteristics to look for when adopting a dog, whether it’s a puppy or an older dog, pure or mixed breed, that could indicate it will be a good guard dog.
The first thing you should notice is how playful the dog is. The dog’s eagerness to fetch or play with squeaker toys may indicate that he or she has the potential to become a good guard dog. Protection dogs are also devoted to you and your family and have a high level of intellect and concentration. German Shepherds, are known for these qualities and generally possess an impeccable work ethic.
While German Shepherds have the characteristics of a good guard dog by nature, the owner is ultimately responsible for the dog’s safety and well-being through proper training and socialization. We think dogs are the best for cuddles and warding off loneliness, but having one around who also makes you feel safe is a plus!
Some breeds are more alert, while others are better at taking down the enemy. As for German Shepherds, they do a little of both, which makes them ideal candidates for K9 officers, as well as family pets. What is it that makes German Shepherds good guard dogs?
1. German Shepherds Are Playful Puppies
German Shepherds are playful dogs who appreciate spending quality time with their owners, despite their intimidating stature and serious appearance. But, can a puppy’s cheerful demeanor predict future success as a guard dog?
Several canine intelligence tests can be given to dogs individually, and they do a good job of predicting how trainable a particular animal would be. Unfortunately, unless the dog is at least a year and a half old, these tests are not particularly trustworthy.
As a result, many scientists consider systematic differences in breeds as a predictor of trainability. While this is not a scientific fact, research reveals that dogs who enjoy interacting with humans are also the easiest to train.
While German Shepherd puppies were originally bred to work, they thrive when they are constantly exercised and given jobs to do. These two characteristics work well together to create a playful puppy and, as a result, an easily trainable guard dog.
2. German Shepherds Are Protective and Loyal
German Shepherds make good guard dogs because they are loyal.
German Shepherds are known for their fierce loyalty and are widely considered one of the most devoted dog breeds. These pooches are typically considered one-family dogs as they safeguard not only their owners but the whole family.
This loyalty comes from German Shepherd’s historical occupation as working dogs and their eagerness to please their owners. Consequently, they tend to respond well to training and can generally adapt to given tasks quickly.
German Shepherds make good guard dogs because they are protective.
Protective does not have to imply aggressive, contrary to popular belief. When they’re with their trusted human family, the best guard dogs can be the most devoted and affectionate of friends. German Shepherds also have the intimidating presence required of a good guard dog. The mere appearance of a huge dog can sometimes prevent an incident from occurring.
German Shepards are predisposed to these traits, which make them good guard dogs. Although all dogs can be trained to become protective and loyal, some breeds will take more work than others. A German Shepard’s natural inclinations make them a good option if you’re looking for a protection dog.
Guard dogs, on the whole, are eager to please their owners. They have a lot of enthusiasm and ambition, as well as a real desire to work. In addition, guard dogs must be able to concentrate on assignments and make quick decisions in high-pressure situations. German Shepherds make outstanding K9 officers, seeing-eye dogs, and military dogs because of this.
While it is critical for German Shepherds to get proper physical activity, they also require cerebral stimulation. This breed is extremely bright, with exceptional concentration and physical endurance. Putting them to work satisfies both their mental and physical needs.
Finally, we all know that, historically, German shepherds were bred for a single purpose: to work. Because of their incredible work ethic, they are constantly in search of something to accomplish to thrive. Work is essentially their reason for existing, and you are the most important job these dogs have.
3. German Shepherds are Vigilant and Communicative
German Shepherds make good guard dogs because they are vigilant.
Good guard dogs must be alert and able to stay on guard for extended periods. This necessitates a level of concentration and focus that most dogs lack. German Shepherds are noted for having high levels of concentration and alertness, as well as a high level of intelligence.
Furthermore, German Shepherds are capable of sensing human emotions such as grief, fear, joy, and hostility. They can also detect ailments like cancer and migraines using their noses, feel danger before it happens, sense when a woman is pregnant, and pick up scents of family members after periods of separation.
German Shepherds are not only aware of their environment, but they are also vigilant–they can sense unusual events. With the proper guidance, they can quickly become aware of changes in their environment and respond appropriately.
German Shepherds make good guard dogs because they are communicative.
Vigilance and watchfulness are meaningless if the guard dog is unable to communicate effectively. One of the many reasons German Shepherds make good guard dogs is their ability to alter their barks to meet the needs of the circumstance.
German Shepherds are known for their ability to detect a possible threat immediately and bark to alert their owners. They also know how to bark threateningly to ward off strangers and avoid a physical confrontation.
German Shepherds as Good Guard Dogs: Nature vs. Nurture
When reflecting on whether good guard dogs are born or made, the answer lies somewhere in between.
A dog’s temperament, personality, and behavioral tendencies are all passed down genetically. If your dog’s parents were fearful, for example, your dog is more likely to be fearful as well. Coat and eye color, for example, are almost entirely inherited. Your dog’s coat will not change from brindle to black and white no matter how much you teach him.
Temperament, unlike other features like eye color, isn’t completely heritable. In fact, it’s probably more like 40% genetics, 60% environment. This means how you socialize, raise, and train your German Shepherd can have a huge impact on your dog’s temperament and behavioral tendencies.
Dogs (like humans, bears, sharks, and every other animal) have genetic wiring that is predetermined. The size, form, coloration, and behavioral inclinations of a dog are all determined by genetics. It’s for this reason that we don’t see Huskies herding sheep or Greyhounds working as guide dogs.
It’s not that these dogs aren’t capable of doing the job — they are. Their behavioral traits, on the other hand, make particular tasks easier or harder to accomplish. Similarly, German Shepherds are naturally more likely to make good guard dogs than some other breeds since they are born with traits like loyalty and eagerness to work.
Furthermore, mere biology is not a definitive indicator of good guard dog status. Your German Shepherd’s genetic makeup works in tandem with how you train and socialize him to create a good guard dog.
German Shepherds naturally possess several traits that make them good guard dogs. Most pointedly, they form attachments with their owners that foster the innate drive to protect. Like all breeds, German Shepherds require proper training by a confident owner and early socialization in puppyhood to grow into good guard dogs.