German Shepherd with Children and Kids | Tips, Suggestions, General Thoughts | thegermanshepherd.org
German Shepherd with children and kids is a common topic surrounding this well-known and notable breed. Specifically, parents and other concerned individuals want to know if the German Shepherd is considered a safe and sound breed for children and kids. The answer is yes, but not without some important points that you need to know about. First and foremost, a properly bred, well-trained, socialized German Shepherd makes a wonderful family companion for children and kids. And because German Shepherd dogs have a natural protection instinct within their temperament, they make an excellent family protector and guard dog. But, as with any other pet, proper breeding and socialization is vitally important. Regarding socialization, its critical that your new German Shepherd dog (be it a puppy or even a rescue adult) be introduced to all family members, along with undertaking measures for properly socializing your dog with other dogs and other people. This means taking your German Shepherd to dog parks, walking them around your neighborhood and introducing them to people, and many other social activities that are considered ideal for socialization of your dog.
Moreover, its important to note that German Shepherd with children and kids also includes setting boundaries with your children, that is, making sure they understand that they need to be respectful of your new family member, which means not being overly physically aggressive, such as pulling, tugging on your dog, jumping on him or her, or any other type of activity deemed inappropriate. Remember, dogs have feelings too, and they also can feel threatened, scared, or in danger also, much like a human.
It's also vitally critical that children spend one-on-one quality time with your German Shepherd, as this will helping with bonding between them, and will also ultimately help with your German Shepherd's socialization. Ignoring your dog, much like ignoring a child, creates problems which can become difficult to overcome, so its best to start at an early age regarding socialization of your German Shepherd dog.
With that said, listed below are notable points regarding German Shepherd with children and kids:
1. Obtain your German Shepherd (be it a puppy, adult, or rescue dog) from a credible entity. This means asking the tough questions to ensure you are getting what you've asked for.
2. Set boundaries. Just as you don't want your German Shepherd jumping on your children, you don't want your kids doing things considered inappropriate to your dog, such as pulling or excessive tugging, jumping on your dog, screaming or yelling at them, etc.
3. One-on-one time is crucial. Let your children spend quality time with your German Shepherd, such as playing with a ball in the backyard, taking the dog for a brief walk around the block, etc.
4. Obedience training is a must. As early as possible (even at 16 weeks old), enroll your German Shepherd into formal obedience training classes. This will help teach your dog basic commands and instructions such as sit, walk, stay, heel, etc... This in turn will allow your children to use these commands while spending time with your new family member.
5. Patience and understanding is needed. Remember, children and kids can be an aggressive, rambunctious bunch, so its important for them to be respectful or your German Shepherd and understand that puppies are puppies, and that older rescue dogs come with their own set of issues also.