German Shepherds are big, strong dogs that can scare anyone, especially people who don’t know this dog breed too much. If you have little kids, babies, and newborns in your family, you may wonder “are they safe?”.
When you bring a newborn into your house for the first time, you want to introduce your baby to your German Shepherd in the right way.
If you are afraid that your German Shepherd could hurt your baby and kids, and you want to learn more about proper social interactions between little kids and dog, such as a German Shepherd, we have only one thing to say: don’t worry, we got you covered.
In this blog post, we will discuss how should you properly introduce your newborn or kids to your German Shepherd for the first time, or how to introduce your new puppy to your baby. The first weeks are most important if you want to create a wonderful friendship between your German Shepherd and baby. So let’s waste no more time, and jump right on the topic!
Are German Shepherds friendly?
Most of the new future dog owners and other people ask frequently this question and the simple answer is yes, they are! In fact, the German Shepherd is one of the most friendly dog breed out there. Many people believe that GSD is a dangerous dog because it’s too big, has big nails and teeth, his bite is strong, etc.
Everything of that is true, but their personality is completely different. German Shepherd can be dangerous, but only when they feel threatened.
German Shepherd is one of the most loyal dogs on the planet, and this dog breed has been proven that a hundred times. If you are worried that a German Shepherd isn’t friendly, and that he isn’t a perfect family dog, you need to change your mindset immediately.
If you buy or adopt a German Shepherd dog, your family will get a lifetime friend which will give his life to protect his owners, and believe it or not, the German Shepherd is very gentle with little kids and babies, so you don’t need to worry too much about this topic, but we recommend you always supervise your dog while he is with the kids.
Why German Shepherd is so gentle with babies?
German Shepherd is gentle with babies, belief or not. You may notice this, but German Shepherd has a different behavior when he is around babies. Dogs usually have a bigger interest in babies than adults, and scientists believe that this is because of the different smells of a baby’s body.
Some believe that the German Shepherd is so protective and gentle with babies because of their protective instinct from distant ancestors (wolfs). They will always try to protect the smallest and weak members of their family.
But this doesn’t mean that you should always trust 100% your dog. To create a lovely friendship between your GSD and kid, you need practice and training. Here are some safety tips on how to increase the safety level if you have a GSD and baby:
- Train your dog on how to act around babies.
- Never leave your dog alone with a baby.
- Monitor interactions and remove the dog if necessary.
Why German Shepherd can attack little kids and babies?
Unfortunately, there are some cases where German Shepherd has attacked babies and even killed them. To avoid this scenario, we need to understand first, why German Shepherd can attack little kids.
German Shepherd, and other dogs, usually attack when he feels fear and/or pain. This is almost always the reason why dogs attack, not only children but also adult people.
To avoid these, you need to teach your kids good manners at the same time while you training your dog. There must be balance.
No matter how well trained your dog is, always use the leash, and put on a muzzle when you for the first time meet your German Shepherd with a child or adult person.
If you German Shepherd is in pain because of some injury, be gentle with them, and you will always avoid problems.
You ask, we listen.
Every day we receive messages and emails like an “its German Shepherd friendly”, “it will my baby be safe if I get a German Shepherd dog”, “I think that German Shepherds are dangerous for my kids, should I sell my German Shepherd”...
We all want the best for our kids and dogs, and that’s why we must be responsible and start teaching them good manners from the first days. We know that this can be hard for you and your family, but remember, the more harder it is, the more rewarding it is.
Let’s answer shortly on all these answers.
Your baby is completely safe near a well-trained German Shepherd, what's more, your baby can get one of the best guardians on this planet. Most people believe that German Shepherds are dangerous for babies and kids, and this is absolute nonsense. A problem may arise when you skip crucial steps like:
- You didn’t train your German Shepherd at all or enough
- You didn’t keep a distance for the first time
- You are 100% sure that your GSD can’t hurt your kid
- You didn’t prepare your dog for the newborn
- You didn’t teach your kid good manners
- You often leave your kid or baby alone with your GSD
- You don’t walk, run, or do any activities with your GSD
- You are trying Social Media trends with your kids and GSDs
There are also other reasons why problems may arise, but these reasons are most common. Here we will share with you from our personal experience and the experience of other GSD owners, what should you do to build a strong bond between your dog and your kid.
You didn’t train your German Shepherd dog.
German Shepherds are the third-most smartest dog breed in the world, but they still need daily training. If you want to your dog be near your kid, you need to train your dog, but believe it or not, training a German Shepherd isn’t hard at all.
Make sure that your train your German Shepherd each day for at least 15-30mins. If you think that this is too much, then don’t buy a dog, and if you already have one, let someone adopt him.
If you believe that this isn’t such a big deal, then you need to read this article. These cases of a dog attack are pretty rare, but they can happen, and the best way to prevent this is to train your dog.
Your German Shepherd needs to be surrounded by the people, to meet new people, to have daily walks, obedience and agility training, etc.
Having a dog it’s a responsibility, and having a dog and kids at the same time is a big responsibility. Make sure that your German Shepherd has enough training.
You didn’t keep the distance for the first time.
When you want to introduce your newborn to your German Shepherd, or your new puppy to your kid, make sure that you do this slowly, and keep a small distance.
We want to avoid sudden reactions when we introduce our newborn to our German Shepherd. Start slowly, step by step, see their reaction. If your dog or kid is upset, move your dog from your kid, and try to understand what’s happened.
You can’t build a strong bond between your kid and German Shepherd just like that, you need time and practice.
You are 100% sure that your GSD can’t hurt your kid.
We all know that man’s best friend is a dog, but should we give our dog all trust that we have? This is maybe hard to say, but we believe that giving 100% trust to your dog is bad.
We all love our furry friends, but even we have one of the smartest and loyal pets, we want our baby and dog to be under supervision. If you have a newborn, then we recommend you always be near your baby and your dog when they are together.
But if you bought a new puppy, and they are growing up together with you already “big kid”, then it’s okay to leave them sometimes alone, but make sure that your kid knows what he can do with a German Shepherd puppy, and what he can’t do.
You didn’t prepare your German Shepherd for the newborn.
Did you know that an ideal time to start introducing your newborn to your German Shepherd is before birth? Maybe you think that this is so early, but most dog owners start preparing their dogs before birth.
You want to teach your German Shepherd to enter specific rooms only if you permit him, and later you can easily say to your dog to get out of the room if you want.
If you are pregnant, believe it or not, your dog can smell it. Let your German Shepherd gently sniff your stomach, because their nose is the most powerful tool that they have. Once they sniff your stomach, we are sure that they will find out what it is about.
If your German Shepherd also loves to jump on you so that he can play, you need to teach your dog to stop doing that, so that he can’t hurt you or your baby.
You didn’t teach your kid good manners.
Your German Shepherd is a dog, not some toy. Most things can go wrong if your kid plays with your dog like he is playing with his toys. German Shepherd, and most other dogs, doesn’t love to anyone pull their tail, interrupt them while they are sleeping, put fingers into their eyes, mouth, and ears on the wrong way, etc.
If you’re just getting a puppy and you have already a big kid, make sure to teach them what he can do with a dog, so that later, they can be best friends.
But if you have a newborn, make sure to teach them from the first days good manners, otherwise, your German Shepherd will not like your baby at all.
You often leave your kid or baby alone with your GSD.
We understand how hard is these days to feed your family and pay all bills, and that everyone needs a job, but don’t forget about your loved ones.
You shouldn’t leave to much often your German Shepherd with your newborn or little kid alone. If you don’t have enough time to take care during the day of your kid and dog, we suggest you hire someone how can take care of them both.
If your kid it’s enough big and he can take care of himself, then it’s completely fine to teach them how to take care of your German Shepherd. These dogs should not be left alone for more than 8 hours a day.
On average, an adult German Shepherd sleeps 14 hours per day, so you can use this time while he is sleeping to complete your daily tasks.
You don’t walk, run, or do any activities with your GSD.
German Shepherd is highly energetic dog, and they need purpose, a job. You maybe heard this already before “happy dog is a tired dog”, and this is true.
German Shepherd needs to express their energy, and they can do this on the wrong when if you don’t play with them some activities. Not that long ago, we have been created an ultimate blog post, where you can find the most interesting activities which you can do with your German Shepherd dog.
If you don’t know which activities are the best suited for you and your German Shepherd, then we suggest you read our article and start exploring new things!
Lack of exercise for your German Shepherd can’t give you anything good, only problems. Make sure that you, or someone else, walks and trains your German Shepherd daily.
You are trying Social Media trends with your kids and GSDs.
This maybe sounds ridiculous, but some people can put their kids and dogs into uncomfortable situations, just to take a couple of good shots for their social media accounts.
Everyone has today at least one account on social media, but please don’t risk the health of your dog and kids just for some viral trend.
During the last couple of years, the number of accidents which are caused by social media trends is just increasing. Life doesn’t have replay, don’t risk their health and life because of popularity.
Now that we have been covered your most frequent questions, we find the answers to some other good questions.
When my baby can play with German Shepherd?
One of the best animal behaviors at this time, Nikole Gipps, said this:
"If your dog loves kids and is well-rehearsed inappropriate behaviors around children, it's okay to let your baby interact with your dog at an early age. It really depends on your dog's tolerance for children."
That is why training is so important. But on the other hand, if you are worried about can your baby get sick if she is near the dog, the is no one answer.
Your baby can get some diseases from your dog, and in most cases are allergies, but there are bigger chances that your baby will later have a strong immune system.
But here are some interesting facts. Recent studies have been proven that babies with dogs in their homes are much healthier than babies without dogs or any other pet in their house.
This is because babies which are around dogs have a better immune system, thanks to dogs.
If your baby doesn’t have any allergic reactions, and your German Shepherd it’s completely healthy, then it’s absolutely okay to let your baby near your German Shepherd from an early age.
You have probably already heard this quote somewhere “dog is man’s best friend”, but we want to modify this quote into this quote “a well-trained dog is a man’s best friend”.
Your newborn, kids, friends, or any other person can be completely safe near German Shepherd only if you train him, and also work on you.
Trust us, you will be amazed at how wonderful and smart this dog breed is, just please, work with them, train them, make them happy, and you will get a lifetime friend.