Are German Shepherds good with kids?
[Our Full Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

It’s undeniable that German Shepherds are cute, cuddly, and one of the most popular dog breeds out there. With their kind heart and fierce loyalty to their caregiver, it isn’t surprising why so many people own these awesome pups’. 

Despite this, German Shepherds grow to be pretty massive dogs, possibly raising some questions about how good they are around small children. Due to their loyalty, German Shepherds may not be the best to keep around unfamiliar small children as they might see them as a threat. 

Stick around in this article to determine whether purchasing a German Shepherd would be the best decision for your family and what some crucial precautions might be before making the big decision!

German Shepherds With Kids- The Relationship

Your first impression of a German Shepherd probably relates to their large body, agile movements, and fierce loyalty. An adult German Shepherd can grow up to around 60-65cm in height, posing some serious questions about how they behave around small children. 
German Shepherds are usually good around small children due to their high tolerance, patience, and intelligence, but this doesn’t mean that your child will always be safe with your large pooch.

If your German Shepherd has not been appropriately socialized from an early age, it could possibly be a threat to children. On top of this, it is well-known that larger dogs and small children aren’t really a good mix because it isn’t always possible to stop accidents from occurring. 

Before we look at some more factors in deciding whether a German Shepherd would be good with your kids, rest assured that under the right circumstances, you could not ask for a better pet for your family.


Socialization is a pretty common phrase amongst dogs as it is a vital step in ensuring that they are friendly and good to keep around children.

With their large body and instinct to protect, it is super important to introduce your German Shepherd to children and other animals at a young age, so it becomes normal when they grow older. 
German Shepherds love to be in a family and have a tremendous sense of loyalty, which is why it is so important to introduce the German Shepherd to kids at a young age so they can bond and form a relationship.

Sadly, some puppy farms or pounds don’t socialize their dogs properly, which means it could be hard to form this relationship with kids, and the German Shepherd might even harm your child as they could feel threatened or afraid.

This is why you MUST go with a reputable breeder to avoid a German Shepherd that is not socialized and a possible threat to your children. 

Train your German Shepherd to be good with kids

For many people, the very reason they choose to buy a German Shepherd is due to how trainable they are and the fantastic things they can learn in such a short matter of time. 

Despite this, the seemingly endless amount of energy that comes with a German Shepherd puppy can possibly be overwhelming for a toddler and then go on to ruin their relationship.

This is why it is vital to establish boundaries between your pup’ and your child, especially while the German Shepherd is in the puppy stage, which usually lasts for around three years.

After that, your dog will be more mature and lose some of that original energy, which hopefully means they should now have a close relationship with your child. 

Older children can also assist in training your German Shepherd to be good with kids by treating them with respect and caring for them unconditionally.

The best way to get your pet to recognize this is by allowing your children to occasionally feed them, pat them, never irritate them, etc. As with any dog, it is also essential to establish yourself and your child as the owner or ‘leader of the pack’.

This is, so they ever act out or misbehave, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble with that due to the intelligence and wit of a German Shepherd.

The temperament of a German Shepherd

Despite their intelligent attitude, German Shepherds enjoy spending some time with children, although they can be a bit of a threat to non-family members.

Always stick by the golden rule and remember to keep your children supervised at all times when around your German Shepherd as to avoid any incidents. 

Patience is another virtue that comes with owning a German Shepherd, making them unlikely to suddenly snap or become upset when they start getting poked or touched by little fingers.

Due to their intelligence, they can also be trained exceptionally quickly, which means that they can become well-mannered and calm, making them perfect around kids.

It’s important to remember that they must be trained or socialized before learning these traits. 

They can also be kept healthy pretty easily as long as they are kept on a good diet and appropriately groomed.

On top of this, even adult German Shepherds have incredibly high energy levels, and it’s most likely that when playing with your dog, the children will tire first!

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Studies show

  • German Shepherds have an increased amount of aggression towards strangers as opposed to the other dog breeds. 
  • 82% of all dog bites that occur with a child familiar with the animal in question. 
  • You must train your German Shepherd to be able to tell the difference between playing and attacking other individuals not in your direct family.
  • You must introduce your German Shepherd to various settings and people from a young age so that it becomes familiar to them. When they get larger and more robust, they won’t attack anyone they don’t know, as it will simply be normal to them. 
  • Through socialization, your dog should be able to learn that not every stranger means harm. 

To sum all of this information up, as long as your German Shepherd has been socialized from a young age, then there should be little worry about them harming your children. Despite this, it is always safe to supervise any children when around a dog this large. 

Is a German Shepherd right for your family?- The Conclusion

Although German Shepherds do a lot of the work in making sure they are safe to keep around your kids, just remember it is a two-person job to guarantee this. Buying a German Shepherd may seem like a fantastic thing, which it definitely is. Still, you must recognize that it is a huge responsibility that needs a significant time and money commitment.

If you don’t think you have the time or finances to keep a large dog like a German Shepherd, then they might not be just right for your family. Keeping your children safe around your new dog will be up to you, so always take precautions before your child is mature enough not to do things that may agitate your German Shepherd.

As a family dog, there isn’t much of a better option than a German Shepherd due to their ability to stay loyal, loving, and exuberant personality and strength to possibly protect you and your family from a potential intruder. If you follow these steps, your child will hopefully bond with your German Shepherd, and their protective nature will give your child a new guardian.