German Shepherds and kids? Are German Shepherds good around kids? You may be asking this question after seeing tons of photos in the internet showing young children under the loving watch of German Shepherds. While these photos do confirm the amazing temperament and love German Shepherds have towards children, there are a lot of things you must consider first before getting a German Shepherd when you have little ones in your household.
Things You Must Do Before Getting a German Shepherd
Do not get a German Shepherd just because your kid says he wants one.
First of all, it is a bad idea to get a German Shepherd just because your kids says he wants one. German Shepherds are not advisable for novice owners and getting one solely because your child wants one is a disaster waiting to happen.
It is highly important to assess whether your household is very prepared psychologically and financially before welcoming one in your home. German Shepherds need a lot of exercise and social needs. They are prone to separation anxiety and amazingly loyal, therefore the people in your household must be willing to take on a lot of responsibility.
Teach your kid to respect dogs.
It is highly important for parents to teach their children to respect dogs. Make sure to establish rules like “no touching when the dog is eating or sleeping”. Even if a German Shepherd or any other dog is okay with being touched when he’s eating or sleeping, children might not be able to discern or determine if the dog is okay with that. This rule can change as the kids grow older and have better understanding of dog behavior. Some dogs may also become aggressive around running people so it’s important to tell your kid to avoid running and screaming frantically around your dog. It will also help if you can teach your kid what each dog body language means.
Teach your kid how to pet your future German Shepherd.
Some kids can get too giggly around dogs and this can spell trouble. Young kids may push or pull the dog’s tail or ears and could get hurt. This unacceptable behavior can make a dog fight back and attack your kids. To have a harmonious life with a German Shepherd or any dog, it’s a good idea to teach kids how to pet dogs the right way. You can use a stuffed toy for them to practice on. Tell them to be always gentle when patting the dog’s head or scratching behind the ears. Emphasize that actions that can potentially hurt the dog are not acceptable.
Introducing German Shepherds and Kids
After deciding to get a German Shepherd, you might be wondering what’s the best thing to do when introducing German Shepherds and kids. If you’re getting a German Shepherd puppy, then it’s going to be easy as long as the kids know how to respect dogs. When introducing German Shepherd puppies to children, let the pup sniff them fully. Tell the kids not to chase him and be patient in attempting to touch or pet the new dog. Do not forget to tell the kids to avoid too much rough playing with the pup as his body is still developing and too much physical activity can lead to the development of congenital problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Make sure to socialize the pup with other kids and dogs as well.
If you’re adopting an older German Shepherd, then it will be better to check his temperament and ask the shelter staff if he’ll do good around children. German Shepherds love looking after little children especially when they are being treated with respect. Do note that German Shepherd may knock over or jump on your child accidentally when playing. Dogs will be dogs and children will be children so it’s best to never ever leave German Shepherds and kids on their own.
German Shepherds also have the tendency to be mouthy especially when they are teething, so you might want to know how to deal with that as well. As herding dogs, German Shepherds may also try to nip or bite your children’s feet so make sure to call your German Shepherd out when he displays this behavior.
German Shepherds make good companions for children. German Shepherd dogs love looking after youngsters and would put their life in line protecting them. Despite the amount of love and loyalty German Shepherds can give, it is very important that each member of the household – especially children – learn how to respect German Shepherds and their boundaries.