The German shepherd is, essentially, a sheepdog, though it was bred to guard sheep and prevent them straying from a particular area rather than to herd them. Unlike clogs that were specifically bred to herd cattle, sheep-clogs have no need to be forceful or overly aggressive. They mostly bark and snap to get the sheep to do what they want them to.
If a German shepherd attacks a person, it will usually bite quickly and then let go. This method of attack is unlike that of the ‘bull’ breeds, which do not let go of their quarry once they have it in their jaws.
Although shepherds can be somewhat aloof and suspicious of strangers, they are very friendly to those they trust and make wonderful family pets, providing they are trained from an early age. A loyal and loving companion, the German shepherd is by far one of the most popular breeds — not only as family pets but as police dogs and guides for the blind as well.
Note: Like German shepherds, collies are sheepdogs, and in attack situations their approach is similar.