Are german shepherds loyal? This is one of the questions you may be asking yourself before you purchase one. Or perhaps, you have one and you’re not sure if their behavior matches up with the general temperament of the breed.
In this article, you’ll find out whether german shepherds are loyal, what makes them loyal, what causes a lack of loyalty, if females or males are more loyal, and much more!
So keep reading to find out!
Are German Shepherds Loyal?
The short answer is yes, german shepherds do tend to be loyal. However, you shouldn’t rely on their temperament alone to create an unbreakable bond.
While they do have it built in to protect their owner, if they’re not socialized and treated properly, this drive can often be overlooked.
Why Are German Shepherds So Loyal?
German shepherds have been bred as guard dogs and herders. Because of this, they need to have a strong connection with their owner to make sure they’re doing their job properly. As well as this, they still have the built-in instinct of the pack inside them.
It’s ingrained into their DNA to be loyal to the pack and protect them so that the pack will look after them as well.
(Find out the important reasons you may not want to shave your german shepherd.)
Do German Shepherds Bond With One Person?
A lot of people think that german shepherds tend to bond with one person a lot more than the rest of the family. And to a certain extent, this is true. However, it always depends on the type of socialization your german shepherd has had, as well as their temperament.
As a rule of thumb, your German shepherd is going to be most loyal to the person who takes care of them. Specifically, the person that gives them food, trains them, and walks them.
But this doesn’t mean they’re not going to be loyal to the rest of the family either. They’re going to be loyal to every member of their family as if they were their own pack.
Sometimes the bond with a one person can be so strong, that even if two people give your pup a command at the same time, they’ll choose to listen to the person they’re most loyal too.
(Have you ever wondered if german shepherds make good guard dogs?)
Are Male Or Female German Shepherds More Loyal?
When trying to understand how loyal german shepherds are you need to take their sex into account. While both sexes are loyal, they’re loyal in different ways.
Males typically tend to bond with one person more over their family. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be loyal to their family either. It just means they’ll obey one person a lot more. As well as this they’re often more protective over territory and land than females are.
On the other hand, females tend to be a lot more loyal to the family as a whole rather than forming a close bond with one person while it will be there, it won’t be as strong). They’re also less aloof around strangers and tend to be friendlier towards children as well.
(Find out why your german shepherd is growling at you! And more importantly what to do.)
How Do German Shepherds Choose Who They’re Most Loyal Too?
Fortunately, it’s not hard to understand the choices your german shepherd makes when they’re choosing who they’re most loyal too (even though the choices are unintentional). Here are some of the common ways that increase loyalty in a german shepherd.
The Person Who Feeds Them
One of the most common ways to strengthen the bond with your german shepherd is to always be the person who feeds them. This way they’re going to see you as their provider and the leader of the pack. This, in turn, helps to form an unbreakable bond.
The Person Who Trains And Socialises Them (Especially When They’re Young)
This is probably the biggest factor in deciding who your german shepherd is loyal too. If you’re the person that trained them from a young age and socialized them, then the chances are they’re going to feel an insane amount of loyalty towards you.
During the first 6 months, your german shepherd is going to rely on you massively. Not just to provide for them, but to make sure they’re safe and comfortable. If you’re the person that has done this for them, then they’re never going to forget it.
However, if you want to make sure they bond as much as possible with you, then you need to make sure you’re training them in the right way. If your training is based on punishment, then they may end up fearing or mistrusting you.
However, if you base your training on positive reinforcement, then you’re pup is going to love you even more! A great training program is Brain Training For Dogs. Not only does it teach your german shepherd how to act appropriately at all times, but it does it in a positive way you’ll both love!
They Associate You With Positivity
And lastly, a german shepherd is going to be loyal to the person they get the most positivity from. (This is one of the reasons it’s so important to train them properly.)
However, it’s not just training. As well as that, it’s also the person who always takes them for a walk, the person that always has time to shower them with love and of course the person who feeds them!
If you’re this person then the chances are you german shepherd is going to have an incredibly deep bond with you!
How To Get Your German Shepherd To Be More Loyal To Your Family
If you’re reading this, then the chances are that your german shepherd is most loyal to you. While this is great and a massive compliment, it doesn’t have to be this way if you don’t want it to be. In fact, you can also increase the bond your german shepherd feels towards the rest of your family as well!
Here are some of the best ways!
Let Them Join The Training
First of all, you can try getting your family to train your german shepherd as well. When your family knows a few basic commands, your german shepherd will respect and trust them a lot more. And when you’re not around, they’ll even begin to see the other members of your family as their pack leaders!
Get Your Family To Feed Them
Another great way you can help your family grow the bond with your german shepherd is by getting them to feed yocur pup. When they feed them once again, they’re going to teach them that they can provide for your pup and that your pup can trust them!
This is a great way to get the bond between them to grow even stronger, and your german shepherd will become even more loyal towards them. And it doesn’t have to be dinner time. While not as effective, giving them treats will also increase the love they feel for your family as well!
(Want to know if german shepherds are easy or hard to train? Check out this article.)
Spend More Time With Your Pup
How much time is your family spending with your pup? If it’s not a lot then it’s no wonder your dog doesn’t have the same loyalty towards them as they do to you!
When your family spends more time with your dog, they’ll love them a lot more, especially if they’re stroking them or playing with them.
Take Your German Shepherd For A Walk
Nothing is going to get your german shepherd to love your family more than taking them for a walk! You know that your german shepherd absolutely LOVES walking, and especially being let off the lead.
Taking your german shepherd for a walk every day will increase the loyalty they feel to that member of your family in no time. And as a bonus it means you get a couple of days off from doing it!
Play With Them
Playing with a german shepherd is another way to increase the bond and loyalty they feel towards members of your family. Games like tug of war and fetch are great, but they’ll even enjoy playfighting as well!
Just remember, if you do play with them (especially play fighting) then you’re going to have to make sure that they calm down afterward. Otherwise, you’ll have a very hectic dog on your hands!
Give Them Lots Of Love
All of these show it, but the real take away is to make sure your family is giving your german shepherd lots of love!
Spending time with them and stroking them will let them know this, however, any of the things mentioned above will also show it as well!
Now you know that german shepherds are extremely loyal dogs. Males tend to be more loyal to one person, compared to females who tend to be bond equally with your entire family. However, it’s important to remember that both can be loyal to your entire family or one person.
More importantly, if you don’t put the time in and train and socialize your german shepherd properly, then they probably won’t have the same level of loyalty!
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