Are German Shepherds Good With Kids? (10 Reasons Explained)

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Are German Shepherds good with kids? German shepherds are large dogs, so there are many people who question whether or not they are good to have around children.

The answer to that is, yes they are. There are naturally some caveats, but that would be so with anything one had around kids.

Reasons Why German Shepherds are Good With Kids

In this guide, you’ll learn about 10 reasons why German Shepherds are good with kids. With proper training, a German Shepherd could be the best friend your kids ever have. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

1. Gentle

Properly socialized as puppies, German shepherds are very gentle with children. They tend to tolerate things that would have another dog growling. That includes accidental pulling and the antics of babies who are learning to walk.

It is important to note that, though they are great with kids, it doesn’t mean that very young children should go unsupervised with them. Accidents can happen. 

2. Loyalty

German shepherds are among some of the most loyal breeds of dogs available. They will not allow strangers to get near the “puppies” of their pack.

This has both good points and an area of caution. Make sure to introduce the people you want to have near your children (and you) to your dog.

This can be done by voice, physical posture, and by allowing the dog to sniff the hand of your friend or relative. If the dog is particularly wary of strangers, have your hand on the other person’s to allow the scents to mingle.

3. Hearing

Remember the adage, “A quiet toddler is a toddler getting into trouble?” Your German shepherd will hear the mites getting into mischief. As long as food isn’t involved (they do love their snacks), the dog will let you know when you need to check up on the situation.

This has the drawback of the dog also knowing whenever you are getting ready to eat something. You can’t so much as open a cheese wrapper without your pet giving you the sad, brown eyes of a starving dog… even if he or she just ate.

4. Highly Trainable

According to WebMD, German shepherds are the third most intelligent dog. That’s why they are used for police work and other jobs that require the ability to learn the skills needed.

You can train your dog to let you know when the kids need you… whether the kids will agree with you or not. As for the kids, they can learn to do dog training with your help.

This is a valuable life skill, as well as a lot of fun for both kids and dogs. These dogs can do more than just sit, roll over and play dead. Some have been trained to competition levels by amateur trainers.

5. Entertainment Value

“Mommy, I’m bored,” is not often a phrase heard in houses with German shepherds. These dogs are naturally interested in playing and entertaining the kids. They love playing fetch, Frisbee, and romping in the great outdoors.

Even training sessions can be used for entertainment. A child and a dog can spend many happy hours learning neat new tricks. Try teaching the dog to salute, or do the army crawl. These are sometimes part of competitions.

Check this out: How to Discipline a German Shepherd Puppy the Right Way

6. Excellent Memory

If your older child likes to go hiking or other activities that could get them lost, a German shepherd is a good companion.

They can learn the paths that you or your children take on a regular basis and will be able to lead the child home should he or she get lost.

Because of their loyalty, they will also stay with a child who is lost or hurt. They are also good at tracking and doing some rescue work.

There are countless stories such as the one of Bruno, who helped save his eleven-year-old owner… and even started to drag him home.

7. Adaptable

For those who remember the tale of Lady and the Tramp, some dogs have a hard time adjusting to a new baby coming into the home.

This isn’t the case with German shepherds. They have an easier time adapting to new conditions than we humans do.

This isn’t limited to just an infant. Moving to a new home, changes in schedule, and having someone (adult or child) move into the home are also much easier. Whatever the change is, chances are the German shepherd will adjust faster than we do.

8. Watchdog

In these rather uncertain times, protecting our homes and families is a top priority. Most dogs are protective, but German shepherds go the extra mile. On top of that, they are likely to scare people off just by their distinctive looks.

If someone does manage to enter the home, these dogs will protect you and your family. That is their instinct. With some training, they may be able to take on the intruder. This may not be useful if there are multiple bad guys, but every little bit helps.

9. They Adore Children

German shepherds love children. It is best when the shepherd grows from puppyhood with them, although the instinct is still there. They also have an instinctive knowledge that they have to be gentle with the smaller tykes.

That does not mean that they will tolerate purposeful misbehavior. Children should be taught respect for the animals and to heed the warning growls when the dog has had enough of their antics. The dog may also take a tiny hand in its teeth as a warning but usually won’t break the skin.

10. Affectionate

While the dogs can be trained not to lick you to death, German shepherds are very loving. They like to cuddle and some may decide they are lap dogs. Given the option, they will gladly sleep on your bed… and likely take it over as they cuddle close. They aren’t small dogs.

They also shower affection on the children in the family. The dogs seem to know when a child is upset or in need of some special attention. They may lay down with their heads in the child’s lap, inviting petting and generally commiserating.


German shepherds are great family dogs. They are great with children and are very adaptable.

That’s why German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and in countries all around the world. If you are looking for a pet, these are the kind of dogs you may want in your home.

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns a Frenchie and enjoys working with and training her. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your dog happy, healthy, and active.

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