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We Have a 11 mo old Gs who is unaltered. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old. He has been awesome with our 1 year old and 2 1/2 year old. But, last month Our 2 and 1/2 year old was apparently ticking him off one two many times and growled and snipped at out cheek! Last week, the 2 year old was in his face talking to him as 2 years olds do and without warning he opened his mouth and lurched at her. I love this dog, but i will not put my daughter well being in jeopardy anymore than i have. He has now just growled twice at her 2 times today and i am keeping him in the kennel the rest of the day. Is this beyond repair? Is this normal for a dog to think he is more important than a toddler? Is it because they are eye level? He never bats any eye at our 1 year old son, just doesn't like our daughter. With an extremely heavy heart, I think i need to give him to a family with no little children ASAP.
 

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I'm gonna just say I wouldn't mess with it with little ones.

There will be some who will come on and tell you to get trainers and behaviorists. Keep them separate. Crate and kennel the dog when the little ones are around.

I'm tired of these threads. You have a young family, get a dog you can trust and enjoy.
If you want a GSD then get someone who can find you a stable one with solid nerve

Otherwise look for a mellower breed. A good GSD is an awesome dog, a deficient one can be a pain to raise and worst case dangerous.
I had one when my children were little but it never did the things that I hear about on these threads.

Best wishes.
 

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Some might say to get a trainer
But
I don't think I would risk it with the little ones, If they can not be taught or kept from "Ticking the dog off" and stay out of his face then he needs to be somewhere else before something bad happens.
Keeping a dog seperated all the time from the family to keep the little ones safe isn't a real life for the dog.
 

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Any dog is going to have a limit. Any dog will need to be supervised with children and all children need to be taught what is and what is not appropriate to do with dogs. I know that little ones do things, like being "in his face, talking to him". Kids like doing that. But they really shouldn't do that with any dog.

I think the situation is totally salvageable. But the children need to have some restrictions placed on how they interact with the dog. I have raised two children with German Shepherds, and the dogs did a great job of dealing with them. The key is to really, really supervise closely and drill it into the kids that you don't bug the dogs. With my sons, I would let them pet the dog with me sitting right there, literally hands on with both of them. I let my boys help me mix food, and fill the water bowls and bucket. I let them toss the ball for fetch. The boys loved it and the dogs loved it. I would never have expected my dog to put up with my child bugging it, no matter how well intentioned the child was.

OP, I hope you're able to make the changes needed to make sure that dog and children are safe from each other. It can be a pain in the neck, but children aren't youngsters forever. And they can learn how to be more respectful of a dog's personal space.
Sheilah
 

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Your children come first. Your job is to protect them. Do not wait until the dog bites. He is warning you. Heed the warning. It is not fair for the dog to live in his kennel until everyone grows up.


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This may not make me popular but here goes,,,I realize a 2.5 yr old child doesn't know right from wrong, why would anyone allow their child at that age to 'tick off the dog'?
Or get in ANY dog's face?

Some feel children should be able to crawl all over the family dog and the dog should tolerate any and all behaviors from children. While there are many dogs who do tolerate it, there are many that aren't going to.

It doesn't make the dog "bad". But it does make for a bite waiting to happen and who pays? The child could pay, the dog will pay with it's life because it is a DOG.

With that, keep the dog and your young children separated, or supervise and redirect your child from 'ticking off the dog'.. Or find a home with no small children or someone who is going to be on top of situations like this.
 

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I agree with what everyone else has written.

Dogs have their limits. I was a brat to the beagle we had when I was in elementary school one day after school. He turned and bit my cheek, one puncture, had a slight scar for many years. On my 7 or 8th birthday, my mom invited a large group of kids over in our backyard. One of them randomly picked up my dog's ear and blew into it, our dog bit near the eye area, the kid required stitches. I was normally a really well behaved child, but as you can see it just takes one incident of being goofy.
 

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If you are unwilling or unable to make sure your young kids treat the dog with respect, then the dog needs to be rehomed. Your kids safety comes first.

Many dogs do not tolerate having someone in their face. Your dog is growling, which is actually a good warning, telling you he is uncomfortable with a situation. But if you do not step in and " have his back and remove the child" he will have no other choice but to harm your child. That is not acceptable.

If its not feasible, rehome the dog. Don't put their safety on the line. And wait until they are older and able to understand how to deal with a dog in a respectful before getting another.


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I agree with restrictions on how children play with animals, but how can you put those restrictions on a one and two year old child. Id find the dog another home, its not worth the risk to your kids. You dont want to look back and say only if...
 

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In real terms his pack status is higher and he is more important then your child, and thats a real issue playing out. Its bad that he does not get it. Your decision is sound in my mind, sure he could come around with a trainer and sure you could be dealing with stitches and scarring while your training works it out.

Could be nothing else happens again, your gut instinct is telling you to move that kid out pronto. Im going with your gut, with nothing else to go by. Try the breeder the ones worth there salt will help you place him, if you need help.... It always tough making decisions for the better of your pack, good luck to your dog, be as good a parent there as well and get him a safe home. Sorry no easy decisions.
 

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Children, as well as pups, need supervision and discipline.

I raised mine with GSDs but did not allow either dog or child to 'tick off' the other.

You need to teach your little one how to behave around dogs (yeah, I know, 2 1/2) and do not allow them to interact without close monitoring.

Every dog has it limits and every child is apt to tease.

It's up to you to be on top of the situation.

Never allow a child to be in a dog's face.
 

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I agree with restrictions on how children play with animals, but how can you put those restrictions on a one and two year old child. Id find the dog another home, its not worth the risk to your kids. You dont want to look back and say only if...
I don't see why you can't? I have an almost one year old and a 6 year old. You teach them to respect the dogs right away. If my littlest crawls over to rogue while she's eating a bone or starts grabbing at her, I remove him. I only allow them to interact when I can supervise. It's not all that difficult. With that said, I would not allow my dog to nip at my Children either. I don't allow my dog to take toys or food out of the kids hands either. And they need to be respectful of their space and not run them over etc. If the OP does want to see if this can be worked on I would look into NILIF and find a good trainer. Never leave the kids unsupervised around the dog, if your not sitting right there with the two of them then they don't interact. And teach your kids what's appropriate behavior around a dog right away. Not getting in their face and continuously bugging if the dog tries to get away etc. if this is too much than please re home him now while he's young.


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i had a GSD when my children were 2 yrs old and 4 yrs old.
if he growled at them once or did anything that i thought was
inappropriate concerning my children he would have been gone
in a nano second. i don't mean i would have hurt him in any manner.
i mean i would have rehomed him in a nano second.
 

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Another opinion to add to the pile. The dog is showing good restraint based on the information the OP has provided. It's not the dog who needs a trainer, it's the kids. If you want a dog that your kids can interact with the way you describe, this one is not it and it is in everyone's best interest that he be rehomed now before things escalate.
 

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I agree fully that my children as well as the dog need appropriate training. I am constantly doing that. I am a SAHM so i am able to monitor all the activity between my children and dog. All my daughter wants to do is love and snuggle with her great big teddy bear dog. I limit it to a small hug and a few short pats on the head. Most of the time, my GS licks cheeks and lays on feet. I appreciate everyones feedback.
 

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We Have a 11 mo old Gs who is unaltered. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old. He has been awesome with our 1 year old and 2 1/2 year old. But, last month Our 2 and 1/2 year old was apparently ticking him off one two many times and growled and snipped at out cheek! Last week, the 2 year old was in his face talking to him as 2 years olds do and without warning he opened his mouth and lurched at her. I love this dog, but i will not put my daughter well being in jeopardy anymore than i have. He has now just growled twice at her 2 times today and i am keeping him in the kennel the rest of the day. Is this beyond repair? Is this normal for a dog to think he is more important than a toddler? Is it because they are eye level? He never bats any eye at our 1 year old son, just doesn't like our daughter. With an extremely heavy heart, I think i need to give him to a family with no little children ASAP.
Why would you let your daughter get into your dogs face when he's given everyone, including you, multiple warnings already? The dog growled. If he growls, even nips, he's got enough so that would give me a hint to keep a closer eye on my daughter.

It's not a stuffed teddy bear or a machine. It's a living being and every dog has a point where he wants to be left alone.

It has nothing to do with not liking your daughter, it's probably because she is continuously "harrassing" the dog.

I agree with Jamie. Kids can be taught from the very beginning to respect the space of the dog.
 

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I have to side with those who say rehome the dog. It has been my experience that you can never fully trust a dog who snaps at a small child because they just don't have that built-in "Babies get a pass" trait that other dogs often have. We've all seen dogs who have been climbed on, chewed on, and mauled by babies, puppies, and kittens and just keep smiling. You need that kind of dog.

And breed can factor into it but it isn't any sort of guarantee! There are "soft" dogs that want nothing to do with any kind of baby and GSDs, Mals, and Pit Bulls who are terrific with rowdy younguns.
 

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Why would you let your daughter get into your dogs face when he's given everyone, including you, multiple warnings already? The dog growled. If he growls, even nips, he's got enough so that would give me a hint to keep a closer eye on my daughter.

I believe you missed where i wrote that i watch all interaction. In my opinion (not my dogs) these interaction were not annoying or long enough to receive a growl. His growls are unwarranted. I do watch when my child is close to my dogs face. I watch his body language and listen for any audio suggestions he is upset. I love my dog, but not as much as my children. Of course i would not keep him for a second if i did not think my children and Charlie could learn they place in this family and respect each others space
 

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It would bother me of my child hugging our dog resulted in a growl or snap. I do keep a close watch as i said but I know for a fact that my kids could hug/kiss/pat her touch her feet, get in her face etc without an issue. Maybe this dog is just not the right dog for a family with little kids. Can I ask about his lineage. Is he a working, show or pet line?


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Why would you let your daughter get into your dogs face when he's given everyone, including you, multiple warnings already? The dog growled. If he growls, even nips, he's got enough so that would give me a hint to keep a closer eye on my daughter.

I believe you missed where i wrote that i watch all interaction. In my opinion (not my dogs) these interaction were not annoying or long enough to receive a growl. His growls are unwarranted. I do watch when my child is close to my dogs face. I watch his body language and listen for any audio suggestions he is upset. I love my dog, but not as much as my children. Of course i would not keep him for a second if i did not think my children and Charlie could learn they place in this family and respect each others space
My point is that your dog has given you multiple warnings that he's uncomfortable with the situation. If I know that my dog growls when my child is getting into his face than I won't let get my child into the dogs face any longer. Period!

If I am unwilling or find it unreasonable that my dog growls, than I would keep my child away from the dog and look for a new home.

Next time it might not just be a growl and stuff happens within a split second and most of the time, it's too fast for us to react.

I really don't get that type of mentality... and it makes me beyond angry.... his growls are not unwarranted, he is giving you a sign that he's had enough and restraining himself from going further and because you do love your child more than the dog I'd keep my child away from the dogs face, especially now that he's growled multiple times. As far as the dog is concerned, he's warned you and the child. :help:
 
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