You are here:

Dogs/Why has my dog started growling at my kids


My 2 year old German Shepard recently started growling at my kids when they get near him.  I think it started when my husband got laid off work and started staying home with our 5 year old.  He's an outside dog during the day but comes inside when we are home and to sleep.  My husband thinks it's either he's jealous of me with the kids (5, 7, 10 yrs old) or it's a dominant behavior thing.  We've since started having my younger kids in charge of feeding him and practice giving commands and offering treats.  It started with my youngest 2 kids and he has now started growling with my 10 year old and recently with me!  He used to snuggle on the coach with me & the kids but doesn't do it anymore. Is it possible he is depressed?

This is a RED FLAG!!!!!!  He is trying to take over the running of your family and if you don't get a handle on this with a big dose of alpha (boss)  then one of your children is going to lose an eye or at the least have a face full of stitches.   Without correcting this behavior, you are promoting it.   NO TREATS  Do not reward this bad behavior or bribe him.   Get a prong collar and then keep him on it while you are at home with a leash on it. When he growls pick up the leash immediately and snap it sideways.  This is not the way a prong collar should be used, but in this instance you need something drastic.    Or get him a trainer to help you with this.  Two years old is when the personality of a dog is being solidified.  It is the time he will test you on your authority.   From now on, you will make him do things after you do them.  He sits and stays before you go out the door.  You eat before he does.  Before he eats he has to sit AND  down.  Down is a submissive position for a dog, he must do this from now on to be fed.  You have to become the pack leader, he is too big to let this go.  Make sure your children don't feed him unless he is in a down, rolling on his back would be better, but start out slowly.  I am sorry to be so harsh, but when children are concerned, I get very worried.  A neighbor's child was killed by his St Bernard.  The dog ripped the childs scalp off and killed him.  Shepherds are extremely loyal so when you get him under control, he will be your loyal friend for life.  He will protect you and your family and love you, so don't let this go, it is too important for your family and for your dog.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Nancy Perry


You can ask me anything on dog training, dog breeding, dog grooming. What type of dog you should get. Pertinent facts about different breeds. I am also specifically knowledgeable about terriers and the diets that help maintain coat excellence. I have trained and helped owners train their dogs.


I have worked in dog training for 35 years. I have been a dog groomer for 25 years..

Certified trainer with Petsmart Certified Groomer with Petsmart

Past/Present Clients
approximatedly 2 to three hundred clients since 1993

©2016 All rights reserved.