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We’ve had 1 year old Bella for a week now. She’s been making great progress so far in our home. The first day we had her she hid in the corner & never wanted to come out. Now, she’s fitting right in. She was once timid & now we’re wondering if any experienced GSD owners can give us some advice in regards to how to properly manage play times in our home.

Since we’ve had her it’s been clear that her previous owners (a couple who had her since she was 9-10 weeks) did NOT socialize her from puppyhood until now. She told us that she was always “shy around kids” meaning when her grandkids came over she hid the whole time & stayed there. I’ve been doing research on GSD socialization & how it’s crucial to do so while they’re a puppy & we can tell that none of that was ever done. We feel like she let her hide in the corner every time her grandkids came & never brought her out & taught her or socialized her enough to show Bella how to interact with children.

When my daughter (she’s 2) & Bella are interacting it’s ALWAYS under my strict & vigilant supervision & each interaction is controlled by me. Bella so far has never shown any aggression or anything towards my daughter, in fact she does seem to like her already as she’s always trying to lick her face. My daughter on the other hand isn’t so fond of it & moves away & starts whining when she does & I’m unsure of the best way to proceed & handle these types of situations. When they’re both calm they both sit nicely together with no issues. My biggest concern so far is when Bella is playing she gets quite excited & my daughter gets excited seeing Bella excited, & then they both feed off that energy & Bella tried jumping on her thinking she was trying to play with her. We’ve also noticed that she does like to mouth things & tried mouthing her arm. Since then, my daughter seems more nervous around her & Bella doesn’t understand the boundaries that we’ve laid out (understandably so). The mouthing incident was also another clue that the previous owners maybe didn’t properly teach her or train her from puppyhood, as she seems like she still thinks she’s a puppy.

We understand that dogs have different instincts than humans & she’s only doing what she knows, so from this point forward we’re wandering how to socialize a GSD with children that was never properly socialized. She has been around children but that’s about it. From what we’ve seen so far, my daughter usually feeds Bella’s excitement so since then we’ve been monitoring & controlling the situations to prevent the jumping from happening again.
 

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For the time being the only interaction I would allow is Bella lying calmly nearby(on a leash)while your daughter is engaging in a calm activity.When your daughter is running and playing keep them separated by a baby gate.With your help they will gradually learn how to appropriately interact with each other.
 
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