Mentally, these dogs are the very picture of stability. At times, described as having the “British” rather than “German” canine Temperament. By which it is meant that whilst both should have high stimulus threshold and pack mentality, the British temperament does so without desire to assert rank whereby the German temperament is unflinchingly loyal to its master but affords itself as superior to all others.
When raised appropriately, this makes them utterly trustworthy with children, often becoming self-appointed custodians. Spirited when at play or at work, they are otherwise calm, composed and easy going. Shows no sign of shyness, or of needless apprehension. Always demonstrates a high tolerance as well as a quick recovery from stress. Impeccable ability in discerning between general human activities from behaviour warranting suspicion or aggression. Possessed of a true ‘On’ / ‘Off’ switch resultant from supreme self-confidence making for a highly predictable and stable dog that has nothing to prove in responsible hands.
Strong balance of drives. Pronounced Pack and Fight drive, strong hunt, prey and defence drives. Level-headed, responds positively to stress. Switches between drives with little outward physical indication, which can require an expert eye to discern. This balance of drives does not foster the outward manifestation of aggression but should not be taken for granted as they will respond in kind when threatened, increasing their intensity in almost linear progression until the threat is dealt with.
Can prove diffident or rambunctious when young. This behaviour can be linked both to the maturation rate of larger breeds, as well as to environment and upbringing. Best developed in the hands of those that understand these differences, rather than those expecting to see similar behaviour to that exhibited by traditional working breeds such as the shepherd breeds.