Children and Dogs – Mutual Respect

There is a special feeling when a parent looks outside and sees the family German Shepherd playing ball with the children, or their daughter is riding her bicycle and he is running alongside of her. The bond between children and dogs is special within itself.

I remember when my daughter was around six months old, and she was outside in her wind up swing asleep as I worked in the yard. Our German Shepherd, Ralph, was lying on the ground next to her. Her swing stopped and she woke up and started to cry, but before I could get over to her to wind up the swing, Ralph had gotten up and had nudged her to start the swing swinging. She stopped crying and he laid back down. When Lorena was born, I was concerned about having a German Shepherd with a baby, especially because Ralph was an outside dog that had not been around children. But from day one, he loved her and always did his best to be close to her. Even though he was a young energetic dog, he was always gentle around her. Ralph was truly a cherished member of our family, a few months later, he saved Lorena’s life when she managed to get her body through the bars of her baby bed. As she was hanging by her neck and barely able to cry, Ralph could hear her from outside and he barked continuously and scratched on the side of the house until he got our attention. Had it not been for Ralph, my daughter would have died before her first birthday. The above story is one of many that have happened to my family and me. This story in particular demonstrates the love and devotion that can be found in the German Shepherd Dog.

One common aspect that is of critical importance when you talk of dogs and children is RESPECT. The dog must have respect, which instills love and devotion for the children, but the children must be taught respect and love for the dog too. Children should be taught that dogs (as well as other animals) have feelings. They should be taught that dogs should not be kicked, dropped (as puppies), stepped on, hit with toys, ran over with bicycles, etc. In other words, basic respect for the feelings of another living being. Many times, young puppies are traumatized for life because parents have failed in the supervision of their children with the puppy.  So before you purchase a German Shepherd puppy, or any other breed for that matter.... think about this additional teaching responsiblity.  Children, like young puppies, learn very important traits when they are little that will affect their personalities and ideals for their entire life.

Please remember that my personal experience of forty plus years with German Shepherds … from growing up with them to raising my family with them and from training to breeding them … ALL OF THESE EXPERIENCES have taught me that the well bred German Shepherd ... bred for GOOD TEMPERAMENT, GOOD HEALTH AND INTELLIGENCE ...  will make an excellent family dog.  It should also be noted that the best family scenario is one based on RESPECT … respect for the feelings of others. Proper training of children as well as proper socialization and training of your puppy will help to make your German Shepherd Dog a treasured family member.



© 2003 Claudia Orum Orumhaus Kennels