Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs with Kids?

photo by Canine Weekly

German shepherds are strong and flexible dogs. They are loyal to their owner and obedient to every command you may give. But what kind of dog are German shepherd for kids?

Are German shepherds good family dogs with kids?

If you’re raising a German shepherd on your own, this question might be insignificant. But for big families, it’s a big deal. After all, no parent would want their kids to play with aggressive dogs.

Fortunately, German shepherds aren’t aggressive, but we still don’t know if that’s going to change if they get around kids.

So here we look at the question, “Are German shepherds good family dogs with kids?” in more detail and how you can make yes the answer.

Are German Shepherds Good with Kids?

In general, German shepherds are good with kids. They often tend to be calm and gentle, although sometimes they can be a bit too energetic for the children.

Some may have doubts about this statement, so let’s take a look at the reasons why German shepherds are good family dogs.

German Shepherds as Social Animals

Dogs are social animals. Of course, this includes German shepherds.

As a social animal, German shepherds often have positive interactions with other animals.

It is often misunderstood that being a social animal means only interacting with dogs or cats. However, the truth is that they consider humans as animals.

This is one of the reasons why German shepherds are good with kids. The other reason involves their temperament as a German shepherd dog.

An Overview of a German Shepherd’s Temperament

The core of German Shepherd Temperament is being loyal, protective, and obedient. Thus, they are perfect for guarding their owner’s kids.

They are also fond of smaller creatures, besides those that are moving in high-speed. For example, a cat is usually chased by German shepherds since they’re so quick and agile.

Since a child doesn’t necessarily move quickly, a German shepherd won’t be a threat. This is especially true when it comes to babies.

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Are German Shepherds Good with Babies?

Some may think that how German shepherds act around kids is also how they act around babies, but it’s actually different.

How a German shepherd acts in the presence of babies depend on how they were raised. They can be jealous. They can be protective. They may even act like they’re your baby’s mother.

Since infants aren’t that active, they are not seen as a threat by German shepherds. Either way, here are some pointers on what to do to make German shepherds good with babies.

  • Get your German shepherd used to the smell of the baby. This is often done right after birth. Simply let them smell the scent through the baby’s towel or other objects.
  • Since German shepherds are extremely loyal, they crave for attention. So instead of directing your attention to your baby alone, make sure your dog gets some of it too.
  • Set some boundaries for your German shepherd. You can do this by limiting where they can go, preferably where the baby often sleep, like the crib.

If you’re able to do these, you might even make a guard dog out of your German shepherd with babies, which leads us to the next topic.

German Shepherds as Working Dogs

German shepherds are known for their hardwork and flexibility. That’s why they are often assigned to tasks like search and rescue or guarding.

While you may think that these tasks don’t make a German shepherd a good family dog with kids, then you’re wrong.

Here’s a look at the three jobs that German shepherds excel in, besides being family dogs:

  • Guard Dogs: As previously said, German shepherds are protective. They are capable of detecting threats and are, therefore, great guard dogs.

Once they become familiar your kids, or even babies, they will put their life for the sake of their safety.

  • Search and Rescue Dogs: German shepherds, just like any other dogs, can find any human as long as they know their scent and is within the area.
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Since kids tend to play hide and seek in the unlikeliest of times, you’ll be having a hard time finding them. That’s when owning a German shepherd comes in handy.

  • Guide Dogs: German shepherds were the first breed to become guide dogs. In short, German shepherds are guide dogs for the blind.

If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry about your kids being lost inside the house. German shepherds are intelligent, and they know their way inside. They can even escort your kids from one end of the house to the other.

Obviously, if they’re able to handle these tasks, they are also capable of being good family dogs.

Despite all this, you still can’t deny the fact that German shepherds can sometimes get aggressive. In this case, you’ll have to learn how to train your German shepherd to be good with kids.

Training a German Shepherd to be Good with Kids

There are different things to consider when training a German shepherd to be friendly. While they are generally gentle dogs, they can be aggressive and reckless when not treated properly in their early days.

As such, remember to follow these tips as early as you can. German shepherds will be harder to influence as the grow older.

Obedience Training. The first thing you have to do is teach your dog basic things. Here’s a look at the essential commands a German shepherd should know:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Leave
  • Come
  • Follow

With obedience training, you need a leash and some training dog treats. Whenever they do what you told them to, give them treats. A leash is important for keeping them in check, although you shouldn’t be too rough with it.

If you’re successful with obedience training, you can control things immediately if anything ever goes south with the German shepherd and kids.

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Interaction. Make sure your German shepherd puppy is introduced to different kinds of pets, such as cats or even other dogs. This will help them understand that they shouldn’t always be alert with everyone.

There are places where pets gather, and this is where you should go. The only thing you’ll need is a leash so you can control your German shepherd if you think they’ll start being aggressive.

If you don’t leaving your house for the German shepherd to socialize, you can always adopt a new pet. I suggest having a cat if you’re up for the challenge of making a German shepherd and cat get along. Check out our German Shepherd and Cat article for tips on how to do this.

Give Him Lot of Attention. It is one of our instincts to grab hold of a cute dog and squeeze them as much as you want. The same goes with children. Your kids may take the first step by hugging your German shepherd. So what do you do?

You should get your dog used to this situations so they won’t think of it as a threat. The worst-case scenario is that they may harm your kid when startled.

However, once they get used to it, they won’t be startled by a simple hug.


German shepherd are wonderful beings in the way they get along with kids easily. Some people say that having a dog and a kid at the same time is a pain, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Having a dog just makes things easier for you when you have a kid. However, this can only be made possible if you can train German shepherd to be good family dogs with kids.

Hopefully, you’ve read this blog post completely and learned about how to train German shepherds as family dogs.You know that German shepherds make good pets, and you know how to handle them. Now, you’re completely ready to have a German shepherd for kids.

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