German Shepherd Information for Kids

Written by a.k. jayne
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German Shepherd Information for Kids
The athletic and intelligent German Shepherd dog is a popular family pet. (german shepherd image by Craig Stevens from Fotolia.com)

In 2009, the German Shepherd ranked number two on the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Dog Registration Statistics list (behind the Labrador Retriever). Its affectionate nature and high trainability make it a popular choice for families with children.

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History

Dating back to nineteenth century Germany, the German Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog, and its intelligence and athletic ability led to its subsequent use as a military, police and guide dog. German Shepherds such as Rin Tin Tin appeared in Hollywood films and increased the breed's popularity as a family pet, according to Animal Planet's website.

Personality

<p>Dogtime.com, a website providing breed information for prospective pet owners, notes that a German Shepherd is "gentle with, and protective of, the children in his family." They make wonderful companions for children, so long as they have been properly trained and socialised as puppies with lots of exposure to kids at parks and other public places.

Training

German Shepherds are an intelligent breed that needs obedience training. Training should start at an early age and include all members of the family, so that the discipline is consistent. Children can be taught how to give the German Shepherd commands such as "quiet" or "stay."

Care

<p>Dogtime.com notes that German Shepherds are nicknamed "German Shedders," because they shed all year long. Older children can get involved with grooming by helping to brush the dog at least twice per week.

According to Dogtime.com, German Shepherds love to chew. It is important to provide them with plenty of chew toys and bones so that the dog doesn't leave its mark on children's toys or other household items.

Considerations

While German Shepherds do have a good reputation as a family pet, Dogtime.com notes that because of its size, a German Shepherd could accidentally knock down a toddler or small child, so a younger child's interaction with the dog should always be supervised by an adult.

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