Note:  This article is one of many dealing with every aspect of the German Shepherd Dog - breeding, training, bloodlines, famous German show winners, and a great deal more, that appear on the author, Dennis Fisher's website. Visit to see these articles.



Guard dogs: Can a German Shepherd be a good guard dog and also be good with children?


By Dennis Fisher





People thinking about getting a guard dog for their home often ask me this question:


 “Can a German Shepherd be a good guard dog and also be good with small children?


Before answering the question I want to know more about the home in which the German Shepherd is going to live, so I reply by asking this question::


“Do you intend keeping the dog confined in your back yard, or  will the dog be a house dog and companion for your children?”


I then tell them:


“If your main reason for wanting to get a dog is guard your property and the dog is not going to be a house dog, then perhaps the German Shepherd Dog is not the right dog for you.”


I go on to explain that I have been breeding German Shepherds for more than 40 years and although my dogs are all excellent guard dogs, I have never every experienced any problems with my dogs displaying aggression towards children.    The reason for this is because all my dogs, over the years, have been brought up with small children.  First with my own children and now with my grandchildren.


A German Shepherd is a remarkably intelligent, sensitive animal that thrives on human companionship, love and attention.  If the dog is left on its own and its main purpose is to guard the home, the dog will do this job satisfactorily.  But the animal will never develop its full potential.  In fact there is a distinct danger that the dog might become vicious. There is also a possibility that the dog may not be good with children.


A German Shepherd, brought up with the family and with children that has some basic obedience training, can prove to be completely reliable with children  and trustworthy in every way. It can also be a dependable guard and protection dog – an excellent dual purpose dog.


In recent times, with the huge increase of housebreaking, theft and violent crimes, it has become more and more necessary to have a reliable guard dog at your home.  A well-bred German Shepherd Dog, with a strong protective instinct, can prove to be an exceptionally good guard as well as a delightful companion for your children.


If you want a dog that will be a companion for your children and also a  good guard dog,

there are some important points you must consider before getting a German Shepherd Dog.


These are questions you must ask yourself:


1.      Will your dog be brought up in the family and play with the children?

2.      Are you prepared to take your dog for basic obedience training?

3.      Have you seen both parents of the pup you intend buying?

4.      Are you satisfied both parents have sound, stable temperaments?

5.      Does at least one of the parents – either the Sire or Dam - show signs of having a strong protective instinct?


This last question is very important.  It is an unfortunate fact that many German Shepherd Dogs being bred today lack the strong protective instinct that was once a very marked feature of most German Shepherd Dogs.  This applies to many top winning show dogs.


If you definitely need a good guard dog, in addition to one that is excellent with your children, there is no point in getting a sweet-natured, very friendly dog that is going to welcome every intruder like a long lost friend.


A good, well-bred German Shepherd Dog can provide you with the best of both worlds – an excellent guard dog and one that is good with your    It doesn’t necessarily have to come from show-winning stock, as long as it is well-bred and come from parents with sound temperaments. .


Before you buy your German Shepherd Dog pup try and find out as much as you can about the temperament of the pup’s Sire and Dam.   If at all possible, find out what you can about their  pedigree and bloodlines.   There are many knowledgeable German Shepherd Dog breeders who will be only too willing to provide you with the information you need.