At what age do German Shephards start to have protective instincts?

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Utopia: what age do German Shephards start to have protective instincts?
My german Shepherd dog is about 5-6 months old and I was wondering when she will show some protective instincts?

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Answer by oldyogi
My dog was a shepherd/husky and was dingy until he was about a year old, and then he started being protective.

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  1. vail2073 says

    it varies from dog to dog. It has nothing to do with the breed itself but instead with genetics and temperament of the dog itself. Most GSD's start to show their defensive instincts earlier than their protective instincts. You see this when the dog is behind your fence and they bark at anything or anyone that passes buy. This usually starts at about 5-7 months of age. You should start seeing some of this soon if not already. The protective instinct of a dog doesnt start showing until 10 months or older. Know this, prey drive is linked to protective instincts but is not a huge contributer. Prey drive is innate in teh dog and brought out with play or training. The full fury of the protective instinct will not be there until the dog is mentally mature. THis could be as early as 18 months or as late as 4 years. Again, it depends on teh dog. I've seen dogs that are real "man stoppers" as early as 2 years old but i've also seen dogs that turn into "man stoppers" as late as 3.5-4 years old. Most dogs are born with a protective instinct but only to a certain extent is it noticable. The truth is, 80% of dogs, when placed in a situation where an attacker is walking towards them or makes a quick movement to them, will run away or back off. Only about 20% of dogs have the fight drive instantly kick in. What you could do, to help your dog develop its protective instinct and prey drive is to Prey drive exercises. You can go online and find these or go to a library and check out a Schutzhund training book. Most libraries have at least 2 of these books. The prey work helps the dog build confidence in itself in various ways from grabbing and item, to biting an item, to being comfortable with all four legs off the ground. If you decide to take training further into personal protection levels such as executive, family or property, you will need to hire a helper (aka a trainer) to do the bite work and work the dog. DON"T let anyone tell you that protection work on dogs is bad. The truth is, this has been proven by the way, that a well trained guard dog is more safe and reliable than a dog that has never been through ANY type of training at all. What type of guard/protection work you take them to is a different story.

  2. misbehavin165 says

    I think it varies from dog to dog.
    I have 2 males.One is now 4 and the other is 2.
    Got them both as pups.
    The 4 yr.old started showing protective behavior around 9 months give or take a month either way.But the 2 yr.old started at exactly 6 mos.
    We have a friend who bred german shepherds whose told us that he's had dogs that would'nt do anything until they were well over a year old.

  3. rita_alabama says

    Mine started about a year old. It takes them some time to have the confidence and maturity to be protective.
    It helps if you have them inside with you and your family, as much as possible, otherwise, they won't bond with you, and bonding is necessary for them to truly be protective.
    It's also important to obedience train. This reinforces to the dog that you are in charge.
    Be careful with a protective dog; mine started getting protective, and then I had to start putting her outside when I would expect strangers over, because she would bark and growl at them.
    I also had to worry about people coming up to the fence and not understanding that it's not a good idea to pet the Shepherd inside!
    It's essential that you socialize her to as many people as possible, that way she learns to tell the good people from the bad.
    Hope this helps!

  4. Jo says

    My German Shepherd dog did this at about eight months old. Before that, she wagged her tail at everybody. Dogs are naturally protective and I don't recommend "guard dog training" for any dog unless they are military dogs or police dogs. It is a dog's instinct to sense danger for their people and even the docile Golder Retrievers have been known to be valiant defenders if an owner was ever threatened. I'd say, don't worry about it.

  5. krystallovespitbulls says

    It depends on the situation!
    if somke stranger comes into the house with out you knowning then your dog will know what to do, Even just the look of a dog will make people turn the other way!! for a German Shepherd for it to be protective there has to be generations of bred protection dogs in order for your puppy to be protective!!

    Good Luck

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