I just wanted to know how to make a German Shepherd less aggressive, so it doesn't bite and snap. These dogs are around 1 to 1.5 yrs old. And they're owned by most of my friends. Most of these GSDs snap at people for no reason at all. They even do it to their own masters. Whenever my friends and I try petting one of them, they snap at us and start barking. They do this to everyone they see. And bark a lot. What should I do so the dogs trust me and stop snapping at me? I try not to provoke the dogs, but they're always aggressive.

Please help me. Thanks!

  • 1
    Welcome to pets.SE :) I am caused to say "like every other dog too" So you could browse the solved questions here for "dog training stop agression" until there may be a GSD specialist to answer what is special in training this breed. They were former working dogs, so they could be more smart (in the good, but also in the bored kind of way) Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 4:47
  • 1
    Ok thanks for the advice! Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 5:01
  • 1
    Are these working dogs like on a farm or are they house pets?
    – SerenaT
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 8:04
  • 1
    German Shepherd dogs are a breed of "working dogs", that means they have a lot of focused drive and energy that needs to be utilized in appropriate manner, or else they could develop psychological and behavioral disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maybe behavior of these dogs is a result of them not having opportunities to spend their working drive.
    – lila
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 0:49
  • @SerenaT they are house pets. Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


If you are not the owner of these dogs, there is not much you can do.

There are many potential reasons for this kind of aggression. The dogs could have been socialized in a bad way, they probably received too little training and if dogs are left to themselves without regular human contact - either because they are guard dogs or live only with other dogs - they simply don't know how to properly interact with humans.

The way you describe them - they snap and bark at anyone, even their owners - makes me assume they are guard dogs who live outside all the time. This often leads to extreme guarding behavior, because it's the only thing the dog knows and there's nothing else to do. The snapping is a very clear warning sign that they don't want to be touched. Please don't insist on petting them or they might actually bite you. And don't try to touch them when they are eating, they might think you want to steal their food and bite you.

One thing you can try is having a few treats in your pocket. That could be regular dog food, dog biscuits or even dry bread. When you visit your friend, act as if you ignore the dog, but hold one of those treats in your hand for the dog to take. After a minute or two, you can hold another treat in your hand, but ignore the dog when he takes the treat. That way he connects you with something positive and likes you more. You need to repeat this several times to become friends with the dog. And this is no guarantee that the dog will allow you to touch him.

  • Ok Thanks! I'll try with treats. Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 2:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.