Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are German Shepherds Good for Guarding Goats?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

one year old German Shepherd female

German Shepherds are much loved in the United States and elsewhere for their intelligence, courage, loyalty, and hard-working nature. These handsome dogs make wonderful pets and are also widely used as guide dogs, therapy dogs, police dogs, military dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

While the German Shepherd breed may seem like the jack of all trades, this dog is not the best breed for guarding goats and other farm animals. This is because the German Shepherd has a high prey drive which can lead them to act aggressively towards the goats they’re supposed to be guarding. A German Shepherd put in charge of guarding over goats is likely to nip the goats too hard when trying to get them to cooperate.

It’s widely known that goats are somewhat stubborn animals. To the German Shepherd, stubbornness is viewed as a challenge and a challenge is something a German Shepherd won’t walk away from!

Most goat owners who use dogs to protect their livestock choose other breeds which are more suited for this type of work including:

Divider 1

The Best Dog Breed for Guarding Goats

Of all the dog breeds commonly used for guarding goats, which we’ve listed above, there is one breed that stands out as the best goat guardian. The strong and sturdy Anatolian Shepherd is a large and powerful dog with great agility. This dog is considered by many to be the best breed for protecting goats. Why? Because the Anatolian Shepherd has been bred specifically for protecting livestock against dangerous predators.

The Anatolian Shepherd is an intelligent, protective dog that’s happiest when working. While this dog is friendly to its owners, it’s not one to warm up to strangers, making it the perfect choice for protecting goats and other livestock.

german shepherd
Image Credit: adamkontor, Pixabay

Jobs German Shepherds Excel At

As a working dog, the German Shepherd is happiest when it has a job to do. While the German Shepherd makes an awesome family pet, this dog thrives when it’s active and given a job to do. We’ll cover a few of the jobs German Shepherds excel at.

  • Detection of Drugs, Bombs, and Human Remains: German Shepherds have a phenomenal sense of smell and a natural ability to track and detect. These brave, highly-driven, and intelligent dogs are often trained to detect narcotics, bombs, and human remains where they’re put in the line of danger daily.
  • Search and Rescue: German Shepherds make excellent search and rescue dogs due to their enthusiastic tracking ability and excellent sense of smell. Surely you’ve seen German Shepherd search and rescue dogs in action on the news when they’re helping their handlers find and rescue people in dire need of help.
  • Personal Protection: The German Shepherd makes an awesome protection dog for families and homes. These dogs respond well to personal protection training where they’re taught to bite and fight when presented with a true threat.
  • Military Support: The military uses German Shepherds to carry out extremely dangerous work including bomb detection, scouting, and apprehension. These military dogs work tirelessly and face hardships we can only imagine and they do it with finesse, pride, and dignity. Military German Shepherd dogs are true heroes in every sense of the word.

Divider 3


Even though German Shepherds don’t make the best guard dogs for goats, these noble dogs can do so much more. Not only do they make amazing pets, but they will also go to work for their humans and only ask for some praise and attention in return for all their hard work.

The next time you see a German Shepherd, think of all the things this amazing breed can do and pat that dog on the back if the owner says it’s OK to do!

Featured Image Credit: Lurin, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she ...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database