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Luna is just over 3 months old, when she is around my niece and nephews she is very gentle considering her age, she jumped on the two little ones but no nipping or biting she just got hyper and jumped pushed them over they where fine. When she is around other dogs she is very calm, at our puppy class there is a golden puppy that loves her and she love her back, they play and Luna allows the golden to win the wrestling matches, with our older golden who is about 14 months old Luna will sometimes go ham on her. Do puppies know a baby is a baby and is that why Luna was so gentle with the little ones? why does she go ham on Angel but will let the other golden win (most of the times)?
 

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Most dogs possess an instinctive knowledge of such things. We assumed because of Shadows skittish personality that she would be horrible with children but when my step daughter had a baby we figured we needed to work on it. She loves kids! Was absolutely enthralled by this little creature and would get mad at us when he cried. She seems well able to identify not only children but dogs who are less capable.
I believe you will find that it is an old instinct that goes back to pack life. Unlike some animals, packs of canines tend to honor their oldest and youngest members. Taking care of them much as humans should. Old wolves don't get driven out usually they opt to go when their time is near.
 

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@Sabis mom nailed it, IME most dogs just KNOW, and respect certain boundaries. On the flip side of that, they all seem to pick on more timid individual dogs, which I personally believe is a teaching, not a bullying, thing. I've seen many many many instances of this, and always the poor bullied pup comes out of that more confident and resilient. Letting that happen is most often more trying on the owner than the puppy...but, what do I know LOL! At any rate, with little humans I would suggest CLOSE supervision. Puppies don't mean to knock them over, but can and it is a good training moment...just always stay close.

I know a guy, member of this forum, whose daughter is maybe 6, and he's successfully raised a puppy with her, and I've never seen that boisterous pup nip at that kid even once. She follows the kid everywhere, but doesn't jump or bite or anything else...it's not unexpected of a GSD pup, but it's not automatic either...takes some teaching. Just teach what you want to see, don't correct for stuff your puppy can't know
..teach them and reward good behavior!
 

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I brought Sabi home when the kids were 3 and 5. We did nothing. Unless things were out of hand they sorted it out on their own. I supervised but seldom interfered and that pup was devoted to those kids. She was at my sons side, partaking in his adventures and even digging on command to provide new roads for his trucks. She shared snacks and secrets with my step daughter and got to play dress up. As an adult dog she adored babies of any species, and as a young man my son has a love and respect for animals that makes me proud while my step daughter has a rare sense of compassion not often found in girls her age.
Were there bumps and scrapes? Absolutely, but as they grew they bonded, learned and developed boundaries. Win, win.
Anytime I see active aggression towards children in any dog it makes me wonder. To my mind it is a violation of the natural order. Being pack animals they ought to have a natural tolerance and caring for pups/kids. And they should instinctively show deference to the oldsters as well. A pack would be short lived if it's members harmed or killed pups and with few exceptions all canines live in packs, though some vary in structure and size.
Although most dogs revoke the "puppy license" shortly before 6 months, human children seem to hold that "license" until somewhere around 5 years old at which point they become subordinate pack members and it is around this age that you often see the hazing start. Dogs don't assault other pack members they play head games, again no benefit in harming each other. A nip or a shove, stealing coveted items or food, stalking, excluding and disrupting rest are all common. There is no harm intended, rather they are jockeying for position in the lower ranks and teaching lessons. Alphas do not interfere in these issues, because they are of no consequence.
Children under 5 seldom have issues with dogs, children between 5 and 10 often do. Understand though that there is only 1 alpha pair in any pack, and the position is not negotiable. Below that you have a beta who is most often an adult daughter or a sister and often acts as a babysitter. The omega position is not static, nor at any positions in between. This keeps things fair and conflict free. To keep children out of the line of fire they need to learn basic commands and respect for the dogs.
People talk about rank drive in dogs but really they are only jostling for lower positions. Alphas that bully into the position are generally ousted quickly and often permanently. Fighting within the pack is not cool. It weakens the hunting ability and jeopardizes the entire pack.
And sorry guys but if y'all get to thinking that alphas are males, consider that the female picks her mate, not the other way around. Just like humans. Lol.
 

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You nailed that one perfectly. Athena didn't grow up with seeing kids as much as Luna will or Angel will but Athena was beyond gentle. She would always sniff everyone who came inside our house and with kids they could tug on her tail and ride her like a horse when she got tired she went to her crate and I told the kids DO NOT bother her in the crate. Two incidents stuck out to me with Athena. First one we where walking in our condominium and we went towards the small field they have and we turn a fence and a baby maybe a few months old was on a blanket with its mom. Athena immediately laid down next to the baby and I almost fainted she did it so fast that when I went to pull her up I feared waking the baby, the mom must have had dogs because she was fine with it. For the next 10 mins Athena watched over the baby the mom went to pick it up and Athena gave her a eye like what in heck you doing. Second incident was years later we moved to Ma and we had a nasty snowstorm and my neighbors toddler was outside she stood maybe 2 and a half feet tall and we had gotten 19 inches of snow. Athena kept going to the back of the house I kept calling her back to me, after the 4th or 5th time I tapped her nose and told her no more, 99.9% of the time she will knock it off, well she didn't do I went back there and she was watching the baby play in the snow, Athena made a path for her to walk thru as well. Angel our golden is just gentle all around, Luna for a puppy is gentle as well, i love how they just know.
 

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“Do puppies know a baby is a baby”

My Xiao Mei did, she was so gentle with babies and toddlers. The very littles could do anything to her and she would tolerate it, occasionally lick them but never even get up to move away. My friend’s 2-yr-old once stuck his finger gently into her ear as he was laying on her cuddling, and she just sighed. Older kids, though, did not get away with anything. And if she could manage it, she would steal their ice cream. So she knew the difference.

My current boy, Beau, gets extremely excited around babies, clearly a rough accident waiting to happen. He doesn’t look like he wants to hurt them, but he can barely contain himself around little ones, jumping and shoving and carrying on no end if I let him. Not even close to gentle. He hasn’t a clue.
 
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