Are you looking for a dog that is good with kids and wonder, are German Shepherds Good With Kids?
Well, if that is so, then you just landed on the right page. In this article, you will learn a lot of things about German Shepherds and if they are good with kids.
Are German Shepherds good with kids?
To adopt a dog, you first need to do a lot of research in finding the perfectly suited breed.
German shepherds make great police dog or guard dog, so are they okay to be introduced to your baby? First, I will briefly describe the German Shepherd breed and then we’ll go on with the real questions.
German shepherd dogs are very noble, diligent, and intelligent dogs. The breed standard of loyalty is remarkable. Their large size, streamlined, and athletic build-up gives them extra strength and agility. They make great service dogs as well as excellent herding dogs. So basically, a German shepherd is an ultimate guide dog.
Obviously, they also make fantastic family dogs in the right homes. During their life expectancy of 7 to 10 years, they tend to be highly friendly. Filled with the qualities of high playfulness, high trainability, amazing energy level, etc. German shepherds can be a perfect breed for you and your baby.
Are German Shepherds Good with Infants?
German shepherds are highly pack oriented and therefore see family as a cohesive unit. They are known to protect their families, including infants. Since they are excellent family dogs, they tend to accept newborns easily and are good with infants.
Nevertheless, some breeds like the Golden Retriever or Miniature Schnauzer are inherently better with infants, and are therefore more liked in popular culture.
But, GSDs can be as good as them if trained properly. They are powerful and loaded with athletic qualities like speed, strength, etc. So, they can be aggressive and even, sometimes, dangerous.
As GSDs keep their ancestral wolf character, they are more unpredictable than other breeds. Still, most owners and experts will tell you that they are good with infants.
This depends on their training and socialization.
If a German Shepherd is socialized from an early age, then he will never be aggressive.
How Do German Shepherds And Babies Relate?
A German shepherd dog’s behavior with babies can be friendly and protective, or it may not be so. It depends on- the dog, the baby (yeah, you heard that right), and most importantly the training.
The earlier you start the training, the more success you going to achieve.
First, it largely depends on how the personality of the dog is built.
It actually depends on how much training and socialization a German shepherd undergoes during his early life.
Whenever you ask about the behavior of GSDs with babies, you should also think about how do the children relate and behave with them. Well, no dog can tolerate being pulled by the ears all day, or the tail.
Simply put, if a baby doesn’t behave with a dog properly, then the dog is more likely to tell him that! I would tell you if you annoy me, but dogs can’t speak like parrots or us, so they growl or bite.
I’ll tell you what, I used to visit my friends’ home every summer during my teen years. Two opposite-sex GSDs would welcome me there. The female one was quite nice and we played together.
But, as far as the male alpha was concerned, he would bark at me all the time I was there. Obviously, he was being protective of the rest of his family and familiar faces.
So, what I have learned from my personal experience is that GSDs are great with the babies they know, but not so well with strangers.
But then again, it all depends on the training that the shepherd has received.
Children are very unpredictable and so the dog may sometimes react in a way that can harm babies.
How Does a New Baby Influence Things?
Look, GSDs are usually a bit hyper and get very excited to see their owners. They are also jumpers and jump up in excitement. They love their owners and want all their attention, it’s the breed standard. A new baby can influence things badly, if you don’t take necessary precautions. So, the way a German shepherd reacts to the addition of a new baby to your family is a matter of concern.
Some Important Things:
I highly recommend offering your German shepherd some specialized training when a new baby arrives. Because, I am sure you don’t want the dog to think that he ranks higher than the baby in the pack. Never let the German shepherd think that he is the pack leader.
Also, you need to keep his territorial nature in check. So, if someone visits you, make sure they pay some attention to the dog as well to not let him feel he’s been left out. Moreover, bring the baby’s blanket from the hospital beforehand to help the dog get used to the smell. This will help him to understand that the baby is a new member of the pack.
Also, you should let the dog sniff the baby. Plus, you should let your dog get used to his personal space, so that you can spend time with your baby.
If your dog is overprotective, then it can be a real problem. The dog will not be able to tolerate you attending the baby more than him. This can trigger irregular or aggressive behavior. If you aren’t able to handle it by yourself, then seek professional help. I assure you after proper training, you won’t have another issue. Once the baby and the dog get to know each other well, they’ll just be the best of friends. The dog will protect the baby like he protects you. And he will start to think the baby is another pack leader.
How To Introduce Your Baby To Your Dog?
Of course, it’s understandable that if you are going to have a baby, you are both excited and at the same time, a bit worried about introducing your dog and baby to each other. Well, the important thing to remember here is the newborn is an acquaintance to you, but a total stranger to your dog. But, with good planning, you can create a better bond between your baby and your pet dog.
Make sure you do the following:
First, teach your dog basic lessons before your newborn comes home such as not to jump, rather to sit down and stay when asked. Try to develop a solid connection so that he comes to you whenever you call.
Make good changes to your dog’s routine as well, such as change when the dog sleeps or where the dog walks before the baby comes home so that you have him well prepared. Also, you should not play too much with your dog or give him extra attention just before the baby comes home. If you do this, the dog can later become jealous of the baby!
Play recordings of various baby sound in your house. This will help your dog prepare and adjust to a newborn baby in advance. After the baby is born, bring home the baby stuff and first, let your dog smell the articles. This will help your dog to get used to the scent of your baby.
Before the baby arrives you should make your dog stand at a certain place. Also, first, feed your dog a full meal. So that when you arrive home with the newborn, the dog doesn’t jump on the newborn in excitement. Many owners also suggest that you should take the dog on a long walk before letting him meet the newborn so that your dog is low on energy and submissive.
Lastly, when all the above is done:
After a few days, allow the dog to sniff the baby while controlling him on a leash. Remember to offer your dog plenty of attention even when the baby is around. This would prevent the development of any jealousy in the dog. When your baby begins to crawl, make sure he/she doesn’t pull on the dog’s ears or tail. Lastly, again, make sure you never leave a German shepherd all alone with your baby, no matter how loyal.
How To Know If A Shepherd Can Be Dangerous To Your Child?
Some GSDs can be particularly aggressive towards unfamiliar faces, like a newborn. So, it is important to look for certain characteristics to determine if a GSD is aggressive:
- Showing tension around children
- Lacks interest in activities
- Shows almost no reaction to affection
- Barks aggressively at other pets
- Whines or cries around children
If you find these characters in your GSD, then he is most likely to be aggressive because of improper training and lack of socialization. So, it is better to let that dog be a career animal. GSDs are otherwise caring dogs who are okay to be the best friends of your baby.
In fact, GSDs are one of the large dogs and best dog breeds, and that’s why they are one of the most famous breeds around the world.
So, look out for the above-mentioned signs in your German shepherd if you have an infant.
If the signs are obvious, then the dog needs training that only police or military can offer. It is also suggested that you should never leave an infant alone with a German shepherd, no matter how loyal.
This is suggested for the safety of the infants, because GSDs are huge and powerful dogs and sometimes can be clumsy, not realizing their power. So, an infant can get hurt in such a scenario.
Can Dogs Have Jealousy Issues With Babies?
Yes, GSDs can get real jealous sometimes. This is because they share a strong bond with their owners.
A dog can be sometimes jealous due to certain reasons. The jealous dog sees other humans or pets as rivals because of the extra love you show towards them. Especially in the case of parents, caring for an infant can trigger jealousy in the pet dog. A jealous dog may attack the infant or another coming close to you. He pushes another pet away so that he can get more of your undivided attention. He is also afraid of losing your love if you become close to another pet.
This jealous behavior, however, can be changed to friendly behavior once you know why your dog is acting this way. Jealousy, if not corrected, can also turn into aggression. Your German shepherd does not want your love for him to change. So, if you start giving someone else more attention, your dog can become really jealous and ultimately aggressive. So, you need to understand that a newborn baby, a new home, a new roommate, a new pet, all can affect your dog’s life.
How To Know If A GSD Is Jealous?
Certain signs can indicate if your dog is jealous:
- A common sign of jealousy is that your dog tries to prevent someone from reaching to you by blocking him/her with his body.
- A jealous dog can also limit the movements of other pets to stop them from getting to you. But, it should be noted that GSDs are naturally a herding breed, so sometimes this behavior can be normal.
- Aggressiveness and possessiveness can also be the signs of jealousy. If your dog acts aggressively when some other pet or person reaches to you, then it can be due to jealousy.
- A jealous dog can also try to hold you back from your partner.
How To Stop A Shepherd From Being Jealous Of Your Kids?
You should know that it can be challenging to stop him from being jealous. First of all, you need to show him that his jealousy is separating you two even more physically. Further, you should teach him to go to his place and enjoy some time alone.
Also, you should keep your dog away when you are with your baby or other pets and animals. Because, if you let him witness your love and affection for others, it may worsen the condition. So, allow him to be in his personal space while you are with your baby or other pets.
Well, every German shepherd has a personal temperament and that is largely affected by the training they go through. If you pay attention and socialize your German shepherd properly, he will never be jealous of anyone. Basically, the problems arise due to the poor treatment of the dog.
Many owners don’t take proper care of their German shepherd and then complain about his abnormal behavior. If you take care of your dog with affection, there will be no problem with jealousy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is a German Shepherd the right dog for your family?
German shepherds are intelligent dogs and that’s why most of the police dogs or guard dogs all over the world are GSDs. But, they are incredibly good as family dogs as well. They will easily learn whatever you teach them. Moreover, they respect their owners and also carry a greater protective approach towards their masters compared to other breeds like a Golden Retriever, Welsh Corgi, Miniature Schnauzer, etc.
Proper training will make sure that your German shepherd loves, cares, and respects you. Plus, they are high on energy levels, so your buddy won’t easily get tired. As already stated, GSDs are extremely loyal and therefore, know how to serve their families faithfully.
Moreover, as they have a friendly nature, their behavior towards their family members is sweet. For strangers, they can be aggressive, but for known faces, they are ideal and wonderful companions.
2. Are German Shepherds Good With Other Pets?
Mostly, German shepherds are indeed good with other pets, maybe not as well as a Golden Retriever, Welsh Corgi or Miniature Schnauzer, but, it largely depends on the individual behaviour of the dog.
The behaviour of a German Shepherd dog itself depends on a number of factors. So, some of them can be quite aggressive towards other pets. And, some can be aggressive towards dogs of same-sex exclusively.
The top reasons that can make a German Shepherd aggressive are poor training and poor socialization. Moreover, apparently, some owners intentionally or unknowingly teach their dogs to be aggressive with other pets.
Well, every German Shepherd has a personal temperament and that is largely affected by the training they go through. If you pay attention and socialize your German Shepherd properly, he will never be aggressive with any other pet. Here’s a note, GSDs naturally tend to be dominant and therefore can try to dominate other dogs.
3. Is The German Shepherd The Right Choice For Your Family?
Yes, a German Shepherd can be the right choice for your family but, to make this decision, first, you should be well informed about a few facts.
GSDs are large breed, powerful, and muscular dogs. They were initially bred as working dogs, herding dogs, and guide dogs. The most notable quality of GSDs is their loyalty. They have a protective nature and ferociously guard their families and territories. Further, they can be quite aggressive towards unknown faces.
They can also face health issues related to breeding or genetics. A healthy lifestyle has to be adopted if you want your German Shepherd to stay healthy. So, you will need to groom him a lot, like brush his fur daily, maintain his oral hygiene by brushing his teeth daily, give him occasional baths, etc. So, if you are ready to do all these, then obviously, a German Shepherd is the right fit for your family.
4. How to Raise a German Shepherd to Be a Good Family Dog?
First of all, you need to socialize him from an early age. As a puppy, he will be greatly receptive, so it will be easier for you to familiarize him with strangers. Make him meet as many people and pets as you can. But, don’t rush into it, rather secure him to a leash and let him meet people and other pets slowly. This will make him understand that all strangers aren’t a threat and improve his behavior.
Offer him his favorite dog food and treats and toys from time to time, so he keeps enjoying the training. Train him as often as possible and for as long as possible. The more you train him, the more he learns. It is highly recommended that you should offer him some obedience training and teach him commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, etc. Obedience training will help you discipline him and also establish you as the leader.
GSDs are mostly friendly and caring.
They can be the ideal choice for your family if you train him the right way.
GSDs are rescue dogs, so they will guard their families and many regard them as the best (canine) protectors in the world.
They are known for their high energy, active senses, wit, courage, and affection they tend to show to their loved ones. That’s why they are now a part of popular culture.
But, still, questions arise about how well do they behave with children? As already mentioned, most of them cherish children. But some can also be aggressive or jealous.
So, only adopt a German Shepherd if he has been properly trained and well socialized.
If you get a puppy, then make sure you teach him to be as friendly as possible.
Remember, you need to be a responsible dog owner if you wish to adopt a German Shepherd.
Engage in daily exercise and play with them so they become more manageable.
Not only exercise but they need mental stimulation, else they get bored quick.
Take proper care of him and let him enjoy time with you as well as at his personal space. So, if you think that only a Golden Retriever or a Welsh Corgi or a Miniature Schnauzer can be good family dogs, know that you are wrong.