Are German Shepherds naturally protective of their owners?

Do German Shepherds Have a Natural Protective Instinct Towards Their Owners or Are German Shepherds naturally protective of their owners?

German Shepherds naturally protective

No, they are not all protective. In fact, there are many very fearful and nervous German Shepherds due to poor breeding practices. Since many people do not understand dog body language, many fearful dogs are called protective. This is because they see a stranger, get scared, and start barking to try to bluff and get the stranger to leave. This is kind of like hearing a strange noise in your house, picking up a knife and yelling that you have a gun. You are trying to scare the person before they fight. If you were being chased by a person, you would probably run away rather than stab the person unless the person caught you.

Truly protective GSDs may bark to warn, but if they know there is no threat, they may not react at all. They are supposed to be intelligent dogs that can judge whether or not there is a threat.

One of the most important indicators of whether or not a dog is protective is the fact that it calmly puts itself between you and the threat. Trying to bite anyone who approaches you is resource guarding, not protection. But seeing a suspicious stranger and doing nothing more than watching him and moving so that he is between you and the stranger is a sign of protective behavior.

If you bite a family member who is known to have gotten too close, your dog is an untrained jerk, not a protective dog, unless the family member is trying to hurt you.

In summary

True guard dogs wait to attack until they see if there is a real threat. However, people also breed fearful dogs because they have a more noticeable reaction.

In the bites you see except in police dog situations, the dog is trained to attack the “sleeve” (biting glove) like a toy to pull. Thus, the dog is more often playing a game than actually attacking the person. As such, dogs are very often bred for their prey instinct rather than their protective instinct.

And some are bred for a very friendly character, more like a Labrador. So it is impossible to tell if they would protect you unless you were actually attacked.

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