GSD's good with small kids? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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GSD's good with small kids?

Hello I am divorced and have a small child (2 years old).
The child does not live with me, but visits me very often.
My question and/or just more of a reassurance is the German Shepherd Dogs, if socialized with children and other dogs, should be just like any other dog? There is a stereotypical "that dog is going to kill the kid!" type panic around my family when I talk about getting a pup. This is just a "lets here from people who own them" type thing.


I am just worried (because from what my family has basically been yelling at me) if I get a GSD, It will harm my child.
Do any of you own GSDs and have small children? how are they with children, and what can I do to further socialize my dog?

Last edited by Im1snell; 05-07-2016 at 02:34 AM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 02:53 AM
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Hello I am divorced and have a small child (2 years old).
The child does not live with me, but visits me very often.
My question and/or just more of a reassurance is the German Shepherd Dogs, if socialized with children and other dogs, should be just like any other dog? There is a stereotypical "that dog is going to kill the kid!" type panic around my family when I talk about getting a pup. This is just a "lets here from people who own them" type thing.


I am just worried (because from what my family has basically been yelling at me) if I get a GSD, It will harm my child.
Do any of you own GSDs and have small children? how are they with children, and what can I do to further socialize my dog?
We never had problems with our GSDs with OUR family kids, somebody else's kids weren't a guarantee and we always separated.

Please don't put nurture ahead of nature unless you are a really skilled trainer or work, a lot, with one. A dog's genetics have far more to do with the adult dog's behavior when raised by JQP.

If a dog is genetically dog aggressive, socialization with other dog's won't have much of an impact. Other types of dog aggression, like leash reactivity and fear aggression, are something often brought on by the owner, but not always.

I would not be so worried about socializing your dog to be good with children but rather doing your research and buying a German Shepherd from a reputable breeder that produces stable dogs. You can fix a lack of socialization, you can't fix bad genetics.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 03:12 AM
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I'm in a similar situation. I limited my dog with contact with my daughter from 2 mos old till just recently at 5 mos old. He was crated, leashed to me, or gated away from her. My focus was shes not a play toy/companion. Now, I pick her up, get home, let him out of the crate and go right outside with the chuck it. He will chase for 20-30 minutes while she plays outside. He is not allowed to go over to her. I distract and will give a stern no. She also is not allowed to touch him or interact until he's got his puppy crazies out. Once he has burned off some then she is allowed to say hi.

They are not allowed alone together. She's also learning no, instead of screaming and running. I'm currently at the point where I don't need to constantly be on either of them and she's getting some puppy time. Still no playing. She's mine to him and he's mine to her.
The worst that has happened has been him running and knocking her down when he was focused on a ball, and she was practicing her backwards walk all the way across the yard (apparently strangeness is inherited....).
I do not trust either of them and am super vigilant.

A gsd will never be just like other dogs. They are not as good with kids as some other breeds. But they are very loyal. Raised right, trained right, good genetics from a good breeder, then you won't have any issues.

Oh, want to add. There is no teasing, climbing or pulling from either allowed. They are not allowed in the same room if either of them are eating. They do not bother each other if they are sleeping.

Feel free to PM me if you ever have any questions.

You do not ever want to send your child home with a mark from any rambunctious puppy of any breed.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im1snell View Post
Hello I am divorced and have a small child (2 years old).
The child does not live with me, but visits me very often.
My question and/or just more of a reassurance is the German Shepherd Dogs, if socialized with children and other dogs, should be just like any other dog? There is a stereotypical "that dog is going to kill the kid!" type panic around my family when I talk about getting a pup. This is just a "lets here from people who own them" type thing.


I am just worried (because from what my family has basically been yelling at me) if I get a GSD, It will harm my child.
Do any of you own GSDs and have small children? how are they with children, and what can I do to further socialize my dog?
Lexi did not like kids. But she would tolerate them under supervision. I would never have trusted her with them, although she peacefully co existed with my son as a toddler.
Bud does not like kids, and Lexi was his aunt. He will actively avoid them and has run them over to get away from them.
Sasha, Buds mother and Lexi's littermate, did not like children but like Lexi would tolerate if needed.
Sabi adored children. All children, any children. She would seek them out, interact with them, protect them. I used to frequently get calls from neighbors to please take her inside as their children were in the yard with her and she would not let the parents have them.
Shadow, I thought would be terrible with kids. She loves them. Hunts for them. Watches them. Gets disturbed when they cry. She's a bit bouncy to be around little ones, but there is certainly no malice there.
If I was going to choose a dog to have around children it would be a GSD. I'm unsure why anyone would say different. As a breed they adore their families and I can't think of the last time I saw one that was actively aggressive towards a child.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 05:05 AM
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Asher adores my 8-month old...would cover him in smooches if I let him. Of course, they are 100% supervised ALL of the time. The only thing I would worry about is Asher getting too rambunctious and knocking the baby over or scratching him. I would suspect you'll be fine if you go to a reputable breeder, supervise the puppy with your kids (never leave them alone together), and put in lots of training time with the new pup. It would be very wise to take the pup to obedience classes with an experienced trainer. As a working breed, GSDs need a generous amount of exercise (both mental and physical). They can also be a bit mouthier (play-biting) than other breeds, so be prepared for that.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 06:39 AM
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All of my dogs love kids, especially the GSDs, more specifically my older male GSD. I tust them completely with kids, but I still supervise because I don't necessarily trust all the kids. Family kids are no problem at all, it's kids outside the family that don't necessarily know how to behave with a dog. Liking kids, allowing kids to run up to them with no reaction(other then kisses) is a must for any dog I have.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 07:22 AM
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All of my dogs love kids, especially the GSDs, more specifically my older male GSD. I tust them completely with kids, but I still supervise because I don't necessarily trust all the kids. Family kids are no problem at all, it's kids outside the family that don't necessarily know how to behave with a dog. Liking kids, allowing kids to run up to them with no reaction(other then kisses) is a must for any dog I have.
I trust not tust--I really do know how to spell--I swear
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 07:33 AM
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My daughter was 3 when we got another German shepherd. They grew up together, they loved each other and we never had any problems. My husband & I ALWAYS supervised EVERYTHING. He was a great, easy-going dog though.

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3 kitties, 1 goldfish, 1 parrotlet
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 09:09 AM
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Newlie is my first shepherd and he was a rescue. He had been found as a stray and ended up in a high kill shelter until he was pulled by a rescue group. We think he was somewhere between 1-2 years old when we got him.

It was very important to me that any dog I got be good around people, particularly children, since the kids next store had always come freely in and out of my yard. I asked a lot of questions and it paid off, Newlie is good with kids. The kids were also good with Newlie, they had always had dogs, themselves, and knew some of the basic do's and don'ts. The youngest one really had the knack. She was around 8 years old when I first got Newlie and it was so cute watching her making Newlie sit and that kind of thing. She looked so little and he looked so big.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2016, 10:05 AM
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I don't think it is an issue of GSDs not "liking kids" - it is an issue of so many poorly bred, nervy, insecure GSDs out there who are not 100% sound and having temperament issues! It is being willing and able to find a scrupulously honest, experienced breeder and being willing to wait and pay for the right GSD.

I had a lady call several years ago. She had a baby and wanted a GSD.....a working line GSD specifically, she had 'done her research' and wanted a good mentally and physically sound dog. Both she and her husband had had big dogs as children, and her husband particularly wanted a GSD again. She is an attorney, her husband a teacher, and she works in her mother in law's law firm. Lives on a couple acres in the country......many many pluses for a good home

I told her I did not breed often, that I had produced this kind of dog and even then, I was hesitant to place a puppy in a household with an infant. But that if she was willing to wait I would work with her. We spent quite a lot of time talking.

I had the L litter, only 2 puppies and I told her with only 2, it was unlikely either pup was going to be the right pup for her, I offered to help her find a pup elsewhere, but she wanted to wait. The L's were very intense and high drive - one went to a SAR handler and I have the other.....not pups that would have been easy with small children because of drive and intensity. They like kids, but full time with an inexperienced owner??? Still not the best match as it stands. But in the right homes. When the Ms were born, I had 7 females and knew from others having pups from the sire, that I would have lower drive, less intense pups in the litter.

Morgen has been a joy with the 3 year old from the start.....never mouthy, intensely bonded. Maddie would sit in the big dog bolster bed reading to the puppy until they both would fall asleep - no toys all over the house either because the puppy was now a full time occupation for the baby, which Mom said was a plus....this was a good child with the puppy - was taught to respect the puppy and be gentle. It works both ways.

What the buyer did NOT tell me, at the time of me delivering the puppy and a subsequent visit or two to check on things, was that she was having a second baby.....at last contact, Morgen is great with both the 8 month old and the nearly 4 year old and is inseparable from the kids....the ideal companion/protector dog that the buyer envisioned.


Morgen (GSD) with Maddie ~ about 5?6? months old



Morgen with Maddie ~ 13.5 months old



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Last edited by wolfstraum; 05-07-2016 at 10:10 AM.
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