Are German Shepherds good with kids? This is a very common question with people thinking about owning one of these magnificent animals. It is also a very important question because you want to make sure that your children stay safe and certain dog breeds are more aggressive than others. The most important thing to remember is that every dog is different with its own unique personality. Determining how good it is with kids, will depend on several factors.
German Shepherds Make Great Family Pets and if Socialized Properly can be wonderful with kids. They are the third most popular dog breed and are owned by many families all over the world. They are very loyal dogs and due to their calm nature are normally good around children of all ages. Nonetheless, German Shepherds can pose a threat to children without proper socialization starting when they are young. Their large size can also be a hindrance around babies and younger children.
Your dog will play a special role in your child’s life.
Quick story about my first dog:
The very first dog I owned as a child was a stray that just happened to walk up to my Grandmother’s cabin in Dahlonega, GA. I convinced my Mom into letting me keep her and the rest was history. Her name was Montana. She was a very sweet medium size dog and was black with a little brown around the eyes. She was the sweetest dog ever.
I spent many years with her growing up. She eventually had puppies of which only two survived. I named them Utah and Dakota. We gave them up for adoption. After years of living in the same house and the death of my Dad, we moved to a new house. Immediately after we moved in Montana disappeared. We never saw her again. We believe she was homesick and tried to make her way back to the old house.
What is Socialization of a German Shepherd?
Socialization is the process of teaching your dog to be comfortable around other animals, humans, places and things. The more relaxed they are around other people from a young age, the more relaxed they will be around your children and your family.
When Should I Start?
The best time to start socialization is when your dog is a puppy during the “sensitive period” which is between three and fourteen weeks of age. This is the prime time to introduce your new pup to new environments, noises, people, sights and smells. Although this period ends at around four months, we recommend continuing the socialization for the first year.
It is most important to get your new puppy use to children, men and strangers.
This is the most important factor when it comes to socializing your new puppy. Establish bite inhibition and a soft mouth before your new puppy turns eighteen weeks old. Puppy classes are the best way to accomplish this. Nothing can substitute your puppy being around other young dogs.
Tips for socializing your German Shepherd Dog
- Introduce them to new sights and sounds daily
- Introduce them to new people and children
- Take them on frequent walks
- Visit the dog park once they are comfortable
- Take them to puppy classes
A great goal is to make sure that your puppy is handled by 100 people before it is eight weeks old. This is recommended by Dr. Ian Dunbar in her article “Your Education About Puppy Education.”
The socialization of your new German Shepherd is one of the most important aspects of your dogs life. It will lead to your dog being more much more calm and relaxed around other people especially strangers.
Training Your German Shepherd and Yourself
In order to properly train your new German Shepherd you must first train yourself. You have already started because you are here reading this article. Do your research and learn everything you can about German Shepherds before making that purchase.
Many people looking to buy a new puppy are simply unaware or misinformed about that it takes to raise and train a new dog especially a German Shepherd which is highly intelligent and full of energy.
Preparation For a New Puppy
Be prepared for barking, biting, chewing, digging from your new puppy. They will also be marking your home with urine and feces. These are all normal behaviors but it is good to prepare.
Teaching your new puppy basic commands is a good start but we recommend getting some puppy training. It will help with commands and also teach them how to act around other dogs which is one of the most important things early on.
Does Size Play a Factor with German Shepherds and Kids?
The size of German Shepherds is an important factor to consider when deciding how good they are going to be around babies and kids.
German Shepherds can grow up to 26″ at the shoulder. That is over two feet. You can read in detail about their size in our article “How Big Do German Shepherds Get?”.
Young German Shepherds can be very playful and are full of energy. This is something to consider if you have a small baby or a toddler. They can tend to get clumsy and jump around due to excitement. This could pose a problem considering their large builds.
Your German Shepherd can definitely be trusted around your family and visitors but it would be wise to teach it some boundaries when it comes to babies and small children. You can do this during their training. If you are expecting a new baby, use a doll to simulate the baby in certain situations. This can prepare the dog for what’s to come.
The benefits of owning a German Shepherd when you have Kids
There are plenty of outstanding benefits of owning a German Shepherd when you have kids. Your children will love spending time with them and form a bond over their lifetime that will give them memories that last forever. There is nothing that compares to seeing a child’s face when you surprise them with a new dog.
German Shepherds will protect your children and your family. They are extremely loyal dogs and will fight to protect you or your loved ones. They are one of the best guard dogs out there which is one of the reasons they are so popular and used by Police and Military.
German Shepherds make great companions especially for kids. They are very friendly and loving dogs who will love spending time with your young ones. They are affectionate, cuddly, cute and furry.
German Shepherds have tons of energy and love to play. This will make it a great match with children and keep it busy at the same time. They need tons of stimulation and your kid is the perfect answer to the equation.
Do you have kids and plan on owning a German Shepherd?
Here are some tips if you plan on owning one of these amazing dogs!
- Find a puppy that is kept indoors and around other people: This will give you an advantage when it comes to socialization. Try not to buy a puppy from a breeder that has kept the puppy outdoors or in a kennel. It will make them harder to socialize if they have been further away from human contact. A puppy raised in a home is the ideal candidate.
- Spend time with potential candidates: If you plan on adopting an adult German Shepherd Dog we recommend testing several different dogs within your breed to make sure it is the right fit for your family. Spend some time with them and get to know them before making your decision.
- Do your research: Learn as much as you can about German Shepherd Dogs. The internet is full of valuable information. Spend some time reading about this breed. The success of your dog will depend entirely on how you prepare and the training and socialization we discussed earlier in this article.
German Shepherd Saves Seven Year Old Owner From Rattlesnake
In 2016, a rescue German Shepherd named Haus, jumped into action saving his owner, seven year old Molly. She was out back at her family’s home in Tampa, FL picking up dog toys when she encountered an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.
The Grandmother was standing in the doorway when she saw Haus jumping forward and snapping back three times. She walked towards Molly and Haus to discover that a snake was approaching them. Haus stood his ground and got in between Molly and the snake.
The family learned later that each time Haus snapped back, he was being bitten by the Rattlesnake. Haus was taken to the emergency veterinarian but sustained injuries. He was limping and bleeding from his leg. His condition got worse fast and soon after he was drooling excessively and could not even lift his head.
They originally thought he was bitten one time but after shaving his fur realized that he was bitten three times on his lower right front leg below the elbow.
DeLuca, Molly’s mother, credits the German Shepherd with saving her daughter’s life. The dog was given nine vials of anti-venom to combat the bite.
Haus is just one example of a Heroic German Shepherd jumping into action for their owner. They will lay down their life to protect and save your family!
Final Thoughts About German Shepherds and your Kids
While the answer can be complicated depending on your situation, we believe that the German Shepherd Dog is a great choice for your and your family if trained correctly and taught proper socialization with other dogs and people.
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