Many might think of German Shepherds being tough and mean police dogs or guard dogs. The kind of images that German Shepherds have in media might make families wary of them and not want to have them as pets.
However, German Shepherds can make great family pets.
Are German Shepherds Good with Kids?
With proper training, German Shepherds are very good with kids. German Shepherds are naturally extremely loyal to their owners and therefore their families. They are very loving and will be excellent protectors and even playmates for your kids.
Under the tough exterior of the German Shepherd, these dogs have giant hearts that are full of love.
With their families, German Shepherds love to play and be around those that they love, so it makes sense that they would also be good with kids.
If you have kids that have a lot of energy and love to play around, a German Shepherd might be a good match.
These dogs have a lot of energy and also love to play, so having your German Shepherd and kid play under proper supervision can provide a great bonding experience.
Speaking of bonding, German Shepherds are quick to bond with their families and this includes the children of the family.
If you have a German Shepherd puppy and a young child, they will bond from a young age and become lifelong pals.
If you have a female German Shepherd, its maternal instincts may come out and show them to be protecting and loving of small children.
Your female German Shepherd will love your kids as if they were their own.
Are German Shepherds Dangerous Around Kids?
Any animal can be dangerous around a child without the proper training and care.
Some may think that German Shepherds are way too aggressive to safely be around children, but that isn’t true.
German Shepherds, like all dogs, need to be trained from a young age to become well-mannered and well-behaved dogs.
This training includes basic obedience training and socialization training. With these, they will learn to not be aggressive.
However, German Shepherds aren’t super aggressive on their own.
When there is an aggressive German Shepherd, most of the time it is because they were trained to be aggressive.
These dogs are incredibly smart and will pick up on new behaviors quickly.
However, that also includes picking up on bad behaviors. Proper training will prevent this.
The most danger that is presented to your kid from a German Shepherd is the possibility of your German Shepherd being too rambunctious around playing.
There is a chance for your kid to accidentally get knocked over while playing.
This isn’t intentional, sometimes the German Shepherd forgets that they have more strength than a small child.
If you are still worried about the possibility of a German Shepherd being too aggressive around your kids, female German Shepherds are known to be more gentle and less aggressive around children.
From there, a female German Shepherd may be better for you and your family.
Can Children be A Part of The German Shepherd’s Training Process?
German Shepherds need a lot of socialization training to prevent social anxiety, separation anxiety, and aggression around other people and animals.
Teaching your kids how to work towards training your German Shepherd is a good idea.
Not only will it teach your kids more about responsibility and how to interact with your German Shepherd, but it also allows your kids and German Shepherd to bond.
Don’t have your kids do any sort of complex training.
Instead, stick to the simple commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or some basic tricks such as “lay down,” and “roll over.” Letting your kids be a part of teaching your German Shepherd basic tricks is beneficial to the minds of all.
German Shepherds are very protective dogs and might pick up a tendency to people guard.
This is when a German Shepherd is highly protective of one person in your home, usually you.
This can make your German Shepherd warier around other people in the home and more attached to you than the rest of your family.
Having children and other family members be a part of the training process helps prevent people guarding from happening.
What About Other People’s Kids?
While your German Shepherd will be great around the kids of your household, they might be a lot warier of other children.
If your child has friends over, your German Shepherd might be cautious around the stranger but also very protective over the child.
Make sure to keep good watch over how your German Shepherd reacts to other people outside of the household.
Supervision is super important if your child has friends over so that you can be aware of how your German Shepherd acts around them.
Specific training can prevent any misunderstandings from happening between your dog and other kids coming into the home.
You can always block off a part of the house to keep your dog in with baby gates or doors.
That way your German Shepherd wouldn’t interact with any strangers.
Can Kids Help Groom Your German Shepherd?
German Shepherds don’t have an intense grooming process.
They only need to be bathed around every 2-3 months and don’t require regular trimming.
However, they do need regular brushing, especially around their shedding seasons.
Teaching your kids how to properly brush your German Shepherd will teach your kids how to properly care for a dog and be a whole family bonding experience.
Have your kids be a part of the brushing process and allow them to ask questions or try to brush your German Shepherd if they can.
German Shepherds should be brushed around once a week to help keep their shedding coats from getting all over the furniture.
A Few Cons of Having German Shepherds Around Kids
While German Shepherds make great family pets and are good around kids, there are some traits that these dogs have that can make them more difficult in the home.
German Shepherds Are Very Vocal
German Shepherds are known for using their voices as it has become an instinct for them.
These dogs will bark a lot to express what they want and will make other noises to communicate as well.
Barking dogs might scare some kids who aren’t used to it.
Barking can also be difficult if your child is still a baby and nap time is getting interrupted.
Barking and other vocalizations are instincts for German Shepherds, though they can be trained to bark less.
Proper training is very important for your family pets to have so that they can work the best with your family.
German Shepherds are natural herders and will not only want to herd you to where they want to go but also might try to herd your children.
A part of the herding process for German Shepherds is nipping at the ankles, which many children aren’t a fan of.
While nipping isn’t dangerous on its own, children might be thrown off balance at the action and can fall.
The herding instinct usually comes out when children are running around and playing.
Your German Shepherd might interpret this as sheep and livestock getting out of order and will want to direct your child in a direction.
Socialization can help minimize this behavior, but instincts can’t ever fully be trained out.
German Shepherds Are Excitable
These dogs are very excitable and might jump around and get rambunctious as a result.
This behavior might lead to a child being knocked over and your child won’t be happy about that.
This is mostly a problem for smaller kids that aren’t as strong as your dog.
German Shepherds don’t always realize their strength and a kid who isn’t expecting 70-80 pounds jumping around might be knocked off their feet.
Older kids won’t have as much issue with this excitable behavior, but it is still good to train your German Shepherd to not jump when they get excited.
While it is always important to go over all the pros and cons of a breed when wanting to adopt a dog, German Shepherds are great family dogs.
German Shepherds are great around kids as they are loving and loyal.
Whenever you bring a new dog into the home, training is the first thing that should be done.
Having a dog that has proper manners, especially around kids, will help prevent any accidents from happening.
Have your children be a part of the training process to help bond your German Shepherd and kids.
Any time your children and dog are together can be a good bonding experience and will help socialize your German Shepherd.
Remember to supervise whenever your kids and German Shepherd are interacting.
Accidents can happen that can lead to a child’s tears.
Watching over and learning your German Shepherd’s body language can prevent these things from happening.
Still, German Shepherds are amazing dogs and don’t deserve the bad images that they get on the media
These are loving dogs with huge hearts for their family so it is important to give them love too.