OP, your dog is beautiful. You have to do what is right for your family and what is right for your dog. If after careful consideration, you feel it best to give him up, please find him the best possible forever home. I completely understand the feeling of being overwhelmed. We have all been there. I just want to weigh in, on what others have said.
I agree with llombardo. Kids are very resilient and pretty tough. Many of us have raised kids and large dogs. I brought a 2 year old GSD directly from the shelter, into my home with my three kids. (Crazy, I know.) My youngest child was 2 years old - and had birth defect. That dog adored my kids. She was so careful around my 2 year old and never once knocked him down - even though she was somewhat clumsy, under normal circumstances. As Selzer stated, I too am surprised that your dog would not be gentle enough. Unless he shows any dislike toward children, his size would not be much of a concern to me.
Children and dogs always need to be carefully monitored. I don't think he would always have to be segregated, but I don't think it would kill him to spend some time confined to another area. Sometimes things aren't optimal. A few years ago, my elderly mother had a medical emergency and needed to move into my house. My large dog, Shelby, was about 6 months old. She was very sweet, but she was a big baby with a lot of energy. It was a risk that she could cause my mother to fall. I frequently confined Shelby to the kitchen and sometimes crated her. I did not have much time to play with her and training fell to the wayside. It was totally unfair to Shelby. Perhaps I was selfish, but I never once considered giving her up. Sure it sucked and sure I wish things could have been different. It was, what it was. Shelby survived. My mother was able to go back home after a few months. I could not have rehomed Shelby.
You have a beautiful adult dog, who looks to have some nice training on him. I found an adult dog and children to be much easier than a puppy and children. (Potty training kids and housebreaking a puppy.) No way. Your kids and dog will both mature and things will get easier and not so overwhelming. You let this dog go - when is the right time to get another dog? Wait until the kids are how old? But then if you have more kids - wait some more? Or never have a dog again? There will probably never be a good time. (That's what I told my daughter about getting a horse.) All I'm saying, if you really love this dog, and want a dog, don't let go of the best option you have for a dog with your kids. Think about it.
Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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