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Hello, so I have a 4 1/2 month old german shepherd who's the sweetest. We've gone on walks/hikes where he's seen some children but other than that hasn't had much exposure. I brought him to a family event where children were going to be. He would do his protective bark every time a child would run. He was okay with children walking past hime and talking to one another but once they started playing he barked and somewhat tried to run towards them.
Of course I did not let him run towards them to see what he would do because I was too afraid to see what would happen.
Does anybody have any advice on how to get your dog to be okay with children running around. I don't want to seclude him anytime I know there will be children, I want him to be able to interact with children because he loves doing it with people.
Thank you!
 

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GSD's are herders very movement orientated thus excitable .... He was ok with children under calmer situations and he is a pup who has limited life experiences. These are the situations that guidance and maturity will be needed. If it was my GSD pup I would think he was normal for that age and experience of being excited and nothing more..
 

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With Quill he saw my young cousins when he was about 10 weeks old (and would of course run after them and get way too worked up because he was a baby and they were little kids who had a very hard time remaining calm around him). He then didn't really interact with kids again until he was just a bit over a year old, but he's amazing with kids now.

When he saw my cousins at ~ 1 year old, he was still too wired first thing in the morning and one of my cousins was afraid of dogs so would run whenever Quill was running, which just amped him up more. To fix that I would keep Quill on a leash in the mornings until finally my cousin realized Quill was loads of fun (they had a blast making Quill do his tricks because Quill listened perfectly to them). Then it was easier to explain to the boys that Quill was still basically a little kid too and he just wanted to play, so they needed to as calm as possible around him.

Now Quill is great. He plays tug of war with my 5 year old nephew who Quill could easily drag around the house, but Quill tones down his game to a level where he and my nephew can actually keep a game of tug going forever (Quill loves that the little kids have endless energy haha!). He even is careful around my 1 year old nephew, and when he's crawling around, Quill will just plop down in front of him and try to give him kisses. I still keep a close eye on them because it's definitely still possible Quill could get too excited, but so far, he's done great.

Anyway, long story short: I'd recommend maybe trying to explain to kids he's still young and try to have them interact calmly with him, and if they are going to be rowdy/racing around and the pup is getting worked up, tether the dog to you so he can watch, but don't let him interact when the kids are worked up and he's worked up. He'll eventually get to a point where he isn't getting so completely excited by kids racing around, but right now he's young! Of course he wants to race around when there is that much energy in the room.

He doesn't have to be smothered by kids to be good with them. He just needs to have positive interactions, and right now, just watching them calmly while they play should be rewarded.
 

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GSDs are herders, so it is not abnormal for them to want to chase fast moving children. I told my dog to "leave it" and rewarded him for ignoring running children. I also made sure he had a safe place where the kids were not allowed to go so he could always be alone if he wanted to.
 
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