How to Train a German Shepherd to Attack: Owner Defense, Training Age, and Useful Advice

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German Shepherd

Popularity: №4
Origin: Germany
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Owner Defense

One of the most important and main things why people get large dog breeds, such as Labradors and German Shepherds, is because those dogs can defend the owner when needed.

They are agile and athletic, have great reactions and loyalty, and will do anything, even risk their lives, just to keep their best friend for the whole life safe and sound.

Although it is mostly the case, in order to activate that ability, you will need to train your pet. In this case, it’s a German Shepherd. Thankfully, they are one of the easiest dogs to train, as they are not stubborn and are extremely intelligent.

Training Age

Firstly, it is important to mark the age at which you are planning to train the Shepherd. It doesn’t have to be too late, nor it has to be too early. On average, the best possible time to start training is when the puppy’s age reached 3 or 4 months. At that point, the young dog will clearly understand the commands, as it won’t have to worry about other things.

If you start too early – the puppy will have another thing to worry about, other than socializing and exploring the environment. But in case you miss the fitting moment, it will be much harder to re-educate an adult Shepherd to actually listen to you.

Be cautious! For some breeds, missing the best time often means missing training possibilities as a whole.

Attack Command

The “Attack” command is probably one of the most dangerous yet defensive commands you could possibly tell your Shepherd. Probably every K-9 and army German Shepherd unit knows this command. And when it’s used – that person, on which the command has been targeted will have to hope for the best, as outrunning a trained dog nowadays is not a simple task…

Warning! If you train your pet to use the “Attack” command, be sure to use it only when you, your dog or your family is in a 100% danger, otherwise it may be considered a punishable law violation.


Thanks to the defensiveness, very high intelligence and loyalty of German Shepherds, teaching them the “Attack” word is relatively easy. You just have to “kickstart” the dog, and it will figure out the rest. Also, you probably shouldn’t really be afraid of a German Shepherd attacking yourself or your friend accidentally, as your friends – are its friends as well.

Additionally, the “Attack” command is also a “failsafe”, to prevent your dog from attacking just a random stranger. And that is a very common problem in countries, where dog training is not (or rarely) performed. There were many cases of random dog attacks in history.

How to Train?

First things first, you have to always remember this: You don’t need your dog to be trained aggressively. It is a very bad thing.

If it lives in an aggressive environment, then it WILL be aggressive. Alternatively, teach them in a kind environment, and they will only attack if completely necessary. Yet again, you shouldn’t make that environment too friendly, or the dog won’t attack at all.

Second of all, you may (and possibly should) get advice from a specialist/breeder. Possibly even get them to help you with training. After all, those people work with dogs as their job, and teaching one to perform a command is their daily routine.

Thirdly, because this command is very dangerous.

It’s recommended: to train your Shepherd to stop the attack prior, to fully attacking.

This will prevent any accidents from happening, and also will train your dog to obey even more (often halting/starting an attack will develop its reflexes).

And finally, thank you for reading, and we wish you the best of luck with training your dog.

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Author of Silvia Brown
Written by Silvia Brown
Glad to see you, my friends! I started this blog several years ago as a hobby and continue to write articles about dogs.
I'm a dog lover and the proud owner of two wonderful dogs: French Bulldog Maya and Beagle Tom. It's been more than 10 years since I had a dogs and worked closely with them. I've raised four dogs throughout my life and have experience assisting in the births of two dogs. At least once a week, I volunteer with friends at a dog shelter AMA Animal Rescue and Animal Care Centers of NYC in NY.

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