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Thread: GSD playing rough with kids

  1. #1

    Default GSD playing rough with kids

    My husband and I have a placid GSD with an amazing temperament; he is well trained. He does play rough with our other dog but today my gorgeous nephews (aged 6&8) were over and the whole family was playing football on an oval when my GSD decided he also wanted to play. He mouthed my 8 yo nephew, almost in a tackle for the ball. There was no growling, he honestly thought he was playing and didn't do anything wrong. I was in total disbelief because I've never seen him ever behave roughly with humans. My nephew had marks from his teeth (no skin broke) and thankfully believes that he's football skills are so good that even the dog was tasked with trying to stop him but I'm very concerned and want to do the right thing as a responsible owner. We don't have kids so he doesn't have training on child friendly behaviour and I'm mortified! I'm a new GSD owner (he's 4 and he's our first GSD) and have sought lots of advice on training and raising him well and am tempted to have my mum babysit him when the kids come over so he's never in that situation again. Any advice on how/what to do is appreciated!!!

  2. #2
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    Your boy just wants to be part of the family fun especially when it comes to balls and doesn't realize he could accidentally hurt a young child.

    GSDs love kids but because of their size can knock them over...so we teach them (both kids and GSDs) how to behave around one another from a young age.

    As your boy hasn't been around kids before...it's time to teach him. When the whole family is playing football in the backyard keep him on a lead next to you so he can be part of the fun without any accidents...if he does something you don't like say "No" and gently pull him back...as GSDs are a very intelligent breed he'll soon learn and don't forget to teach your nephews how to behave around him too.

    You should never let your dog run around on an oval without a lead...doesn't matter how well trained he is...keep your dog safe at all times.

    As for play bitting and being rough with humans...welcome to owning a GSD...it's normal and what most do but it's up to you to teach him what is acceptable. Your boy sounds very normal to me and I'm sure he loves you very much...don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    My GSD Rex who is 12 yrs old never chased balls or wanted to play bite and has always been very calm...however my GSD Tara who I lost to cancer aged 8 yrs and Chloe now 3 yrs...both hyperactive loved to chase balls or me and love to get wrestled resulting in me getting plenty of play bites and some drawing blood (skin deep) because they get a little carried away...but that's my fault. I hope this has helped you a little...can we see a pic of him.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  3. #3
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    Hi Myboygambit

    based on your post here - I think you've had your dog since a puppy and he's now 4 yo? But not very experienced with children?

    http://www.dogforum.com.au/german-sh...tml#post209845

    Like some of the others have said - it's probable he mistook the child for a dog and he was a bit excited. If he'd really wanted to hurt the kid - the kid would now be in hospital. So your dog has pretty good "bite inhibition" but it's probably not worth repeating the experience.

    The way I look at it - any behaviour I don't want my dog doing - I go interrupt it, call her away... eg I would not want her chasing the ball in someone else's game of footy. She's had a bit of practice learning to leave runners and footballers and footballs alone - because we often walk at a football oval and there is also one next to a hockey field I sometimes take her to. She doesn't get off lead while there is a game of hockey or football in progress because I'd be mortified if she joined in.

    She has shredded a few footballs. She cuts the laces and pulls the bladder out and then beats herself up with it. Funny to watch but I'm really clear on which are her footballs and which are not. Dogs can actually do that.

    So for now, I think if there are kids running around, your dog needs to be on lead. You can have a go at training the family - but in my experience - this is pretty much impossible. My niece and nephew know they are not supposed to run around squealing in front of dogs they don't know well, but they can't help themselves. Fortunately for them, my dog doesn't like the noise but she does like chasing and when she was very little she did nip the occasional ankle - and then spent the rest of her exercise session on lead.

    What I really don't like to see is the owner of a dog who lets it repeatedly chase and nip runners and steal balls. The clearest way to send a message that it's not ok - is to be as consistent as you can - put the dog back on lead - end the fun immediately or sooner. I don't bother saying things like "no" because I never really taught her what that means. She figures it out, that chasing other people => on lead time...

    Hopefully Nehkbet will be in and offer some advice too. She knows what she's talking about. I only know my dog.

    as with all things internet - you need to make your own choices about what advice you follow and what you ignore.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 04-06-2015 at 08:26 PM.

  4. #4

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    you say you want to be a responsible dog owner, well you are not being one.

    thank god that kid never got hurt.

    you should buy a casket ticket that nothing bad happened, PLEASE STOP THIS IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR before a kid and your dog pay the price.

    simple just do not let your dog, any dog and especially a GSD play football with anyone especially kids that do not even live in your home.

    humans are supposed to be more intelligent than dogs right???

  5. #5
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    simple just do not let your dog, any dog and especially a GSD play football with anyone especially kids that do not even live in your home.
    Muttboy, a little bit over the top.

    I've seen plenty of dogs that are great playing football - but they've usually been playing with kids including ones that don't live in the same house - for their whole lives.

  6. #6

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    possibly but the OP made my heart race in a bad way as I progressed thru the post.

    first time gsd owner, no kids in the house usually just guests, possibly a dog bought as an older dog (not clear in OP) with who knows what history.....

    unless I know a dog and owner personally and over a period of time my default internet opinion would be if you are new to the breed don't let your gsd that has not been around kids play football with strange kids, call me crazy.

    jmo.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by muttboy View Post
    you say you want to be a responsible dog owner, well you are not being one.

    thank god that kid never got hurt.

    you should buy a casket ticket that nothing bad happened, PLEASE STOP THIS IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR before a kid and your dog pay the price.

    simple just do not let your dog, any dog and especially a GSD play football with anyone especially kids that do not even live in your home.

    humans are supposed to be more intelligent than dogs right???
    How is the OP being irresponsible ? OP hasn't been in this situation before because she doesn't have kids and is asking for advice...I call that being Responsible...some people would dump the poor dog in the pound claiming the dog had a behaivor problem.

    I've had two GSDs do the same thing...both girls. GSDs love kids and have to be taught not to be so rough with them which isn't easy...don't forget they are a herding breed so this is natural for them.

    What you mean when you say "do not let your dog, any dog and especially a GSD play football with anyone" ? I bought Chloe a soccer ball once and as soon as I gave it to her I heard ssssssss end of soccer ball...is this what you meant ( I doubt it ).

    How many GSDs have you owned ?.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  8. #8
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    I agree with what others have said. Our dogs (one of whom we lost to cancer last year) had never had much to do with children until we had our own, by which time both were 4 years old. The dogs were very quickly taught that there was to be no rough place around the children (if they were playing rough, they were both put in 'time out' on the deck) and, as one dog was a bit ball mad, we've always more or less avoided playing with balls (at least tennis ball sized - which was the size he played with), and if we did, we did so at the park. We tried to lock him on the deck whilst we played with balls, but I suppose he felt a lot like I do right now, with my kids eating two bazillion Easter eggs in front of me (I really don't need them), so we started taking them to the park instead for that sort of stuff.

    Of course dogs need to respect people etc. but perhaps there are some instances where, especially when a dog is older when introduced to kids, where we simply need to avoid certain circumstances.

    Since our ball mad boy passed away in September last year, we now have a 6 month old GSD X Malinois, who is the sweetest little darling with our kids. He did a not of mouthing to begin with (as puppies do, I suppose) and we had to teach him not to mouth on the kids, even though our 4 year old assured me he didn't mind. As much as we bought the dog for us (a dog isn't really something you buy for children aged 4 and 7, is it?), he has an extraordinary bond with both kids. But dogs will be dogs and children also need to be aware of boundaries. For example, our puppy, whilst quite a placid young man, is a complete, utter nutjob when it's feed time - screaming and crying and carrying on. At that time, I make sure the kids are inside and absolutely nowhere near him because even though I don't think he would intentionally hurt them, I can just see him jumping on one of them or something. This IS something we're working on, of course, and it'll get better in time. But for now, the kids steer clear.

    Sorry, I've kind of gone off on a tangent here, haven't I? What I'm trying to say is that I think you're doing the right thing, in seeking help on here. Your dog, I'm sure, is lovely :-)

    Cheers,
    Gen Y
    Last edited by Gen Y; 04-06-2015 at 08:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    The link to the post that says they got the dog as a puppy and have had it for four years is here...

    Black German Shepherd link to MyBoyGambit's post click here

    So while this dog is her first one - she's had it four years since puppyhood. So not all that new. She could have made the same mistake (not enough children time) with any puppy.

  10. #10
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    If you guys want to have a discussion about what is and isn't responsible breeding, please start a new thread and focus on the idea expressed not the human.

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