GSD,s and children - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Question GSD,s and children

I have a 13 month old GSD and she is very well behaved except one thing. when my grandchildren come over she is too excited with them. How do I teach her not to be more gentle with them. She is 40 kg of muscle
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 12:12 PM
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At 13 months old, she is a puppy herself, of course the kids are exciting.

It will be up to you to supervise and control your dog when the children are around. With on-going obedience training you will get her more responsive to you, and she will have other behaviours to fall back on (tell her to go to her crate, go to her place, stay, lie-down, etc) so she knows that even if the kids are running around with high energy, she needs to stay put. But this takes work and time.

Otherwise, you can keep her leashed to you to manage and control her.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:30 PM
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Another thing is rules for the grandchildren. When kids come over there is no running around, no throwing things to each other, no doing things that will naturally excite a puppy. Rules need to be fair to both the kids and the dog.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:46 PM
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They don't always mix. I had a GSD that just didn't care for children. He was happy to be somewhere else when children were around. I didn't have children when I had him so they were not the usual. When my niece was visiting or friends who had children, he was happy to be in another room away from the commotion.
My current GSD loves my children. She came into our life as a puppy. She was the typical land shark as a puppy and she needed a lot of consistency and boundaries as a puppy. My kids learned the rules as she did. At 15 months, she is great with them but she doesn't care for strange children in her space. So, that doesn't happen. The safety of my children and any other children come first. The dog will be a dog and accept the limitations you put on them. For example, if my dog is too excited, she doesn't get any attention. No attention until she's calm. My kids know this rule and they abide by it. Kids and dogs live in black and white. I try to make it all very black and white for everyone.
I've experienced a dog and it's awful behavior come between family members and it's heartbreaking. It happened in our family and the relationship will never be good again. I'm not saying that you are doing that, btw.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:55 PM
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It's going to depend on the dog. My youngest golden is a bouncy happy pup but he completely switches gears around kids, he becomes a sweet calm pup.

As far as the GSDs, they have always been very tolerant of all kids and love being around them. My youngest GSD spent time with the kids when I first got him. He was with them 24/7. They didn't see him for awhile and were on the nervous side with him. He likes to play fetch and on his own he learned to drop the ball and back up to give them the opportunity to pick up the ball and throw it. This simple gesture on his part eased all nervousness.

I will have grandkids soon enough here so it's very important that all my dogs remain calm and neutral toward kids. I actually get excited and can envision the kids growing up with the dogs. I hope that is how it works.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 03:08 PM
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Try to work with your 13 month old to sit and down on command from a distance. You may not always be right there to stop her physically, but need to be able to do it from across the room or across the yard. A stay is also needed to be made solid. If you can control your dog without being next to it, that will make a big difference when your grandchildren are there. If you're having trouble with this I'd look into some obedience classes.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb View Post
Another thing is rules for the grandchildren. When kids come over there is no running around, no throwing things to each other, no doing things that will naturally excite a puppy. Rules need to be fair to both the kids and the dog.
Agree completely.

There are children who will not be invited back to my house because they refuse to obey the rules in place for safety around dogs despite being asked/told multiple times. We may try them again in a year or two after they've grown up a little. These children aren't relatives, so there is no need for them to be at my house.

My dog is just out of puppyhood and is gentle with children by default, but I appreciate kids who listen and try to remember to follow simple rules. And I tell the kids clearly what I expect, so that I'm being fair. Some kids are great and even if they aren't perfect, they adjust as soon as they're gently reminded.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your advise. When she is here with my husband and I she is for the most part a very well behaved GSD, but yes still a puppy. I think its because she dosnt see children very much or have the opportunity to see them very much. I will start reteaching her the long sit and stay for reinforcement and hopefully that will help. I so want the children to be able to play with her and not have her bowl them over with excitement.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I have been looking for this kind of thing since she was about 12 weeks old as she has always been a very happy puppy and when she was little the kids were fine. But since she has grown into such a big dog it has become more of a problem. Only when she first sees them though, after about 30 minutes she just lays where ever they are and watches them, occasionally getting in the sandpit with them and trying to help them build. But she is very gentle with them then.

I have had 4 GSD's before I got Sasha and they are all very different. She has the most outgoing personality and I dont want to destroy that just get her to drop it down a notch or 2. Although I am looking forward to her 2nd birthday (every other GSD I have owned has calmed down after that) I still want to enjoy these puppy times I have with her. I dont work anymore and she is my constant companion (my child). She walks beautifully for me, and when i train her she does everything i ask of her. I have been unwell for a couple of months and haven't been able to put the time into her she deserves. I am feeling much better now and can get straight back into it. She did very well at all her obedience classes and its just the reinforcement that i haven't been able to do.

I am going to enjoy being able to bounce ideas off people who understand GSD's thank you everyone
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I must admit I think both my husband and I have taught her the behavior by getting her very excited when either one of us went out without her and then got home (particularly me). So its back to basics as you said ignore her until the behavior stops then greet her. Luckily GSD's are quick to learn if you train constantly. It will depend on how often I leave for the day as to how long it takes. Great advise thank you
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