Things were different when I was a kid, and I hate to admit, that was longer ago than it seems! Many families in our neighborhood had German Shepherd Dogs (GSD or GSDs). At that time many people let their dogs run free and it all worked out just fine......for the most part.
Two of the families of kids that were dear friends of mine, that lived in our neighborhood, Sue and Gail. They were not the only that had loose GSDs in our neighborhood growing up. Sue and Gail's dogs stayed for the most part right on their front porches. I am sure this kept the Door To Door Salesmen away too. When however a child, usually Sue or Gail (note, these were separate families with different dogs) left the yard, the GSD's were right behind them. Many many many days at my house a GSD was laying on our patio waiting for it's child to come back out, and then the GSD would follow her to the next destination. My mother was not crazy about this, but was a home (stayed in the house) kind or person anyway.
Sue's German Shepherd Dog, Heidi, was the second dog her family had after moving to our neighborhood. The first "came with the house". He was a Terrier of some sort (probably mixed), named Terry, and he too, sat or laid on the porch waiting for Susan or another of the four children to come out so he could walk with them....or run behind their bikes.
Sue and I were very close friends from childhood when they moved to our neighborhood through and past High School. Heidi, Sue's GSD was such a great dog and she lived many years. Heidi was also a housedog, but stayed in the rooms where her people were....as GSD's tend to do. Heidi had some sort of stomach problem so the family, some times me, would cook Heidi 1/2 pound of ground beef and 1 cup white rice each evening for her meal. I think those ingredients were mixed in with her dogfood, but it was a lot of years ago and I just can not remember. What I do remember is how cute that dog was waiting for the family (and many times I was there too) to finish eating and her meal cooked. Heidi was always polite and a lady. Heidi was very well behaved.
GSD's are such great dogs when the family lost Heidi, they bought another and named it Elsa.
Gail's family dog was named Gretchen. Gail had two sisters, but they were older and usually left in vehicles back when Gail and I were still on foot and riding bikes. Gretchen usually followed us.
Other families in our neighborhood when I was growing up that had GSDs: Carol had Kiya, Florence's family had two GSDs that they talked to in German, Clay's family had a couple of GSDs (one at a time) that also followed the kids around....
As I said there were several families that had GSDs in the neighborhood I lived in as a child.
When my own sons were old enough to start leaving alone at home for those short trips that parents do when that day comes to start teaching your child to be home alone, I was glad our GSDs were adults at the time. My sons thought they were there alone, but I knew how safe they were. In fact when our family moved across town and started taking loads of our items from one house to the other we had one of our older two sons stay in one house and our other son stay at the other house. One son was there with our GSD and the other was at the other address with our Alaskan Malamute.
GSDs are not only babysitters for children, the breed, as a whole, has the attitude and the breeding, for the dogs to feel as Shepherds for any person they love, young or old. Being a babysitter, or guarding their family, all members, no matter their ages, is all part of who GSDs are.
And For The Stupid People That Might Misunderstand The Meaning Of This Page!, OR Those That Would Like To Blame Me For Their Poor Parenting!: NO! I am sure NOT suggesting that a German Shepherd Dog would be a 'baby-sitter' for your child. What I am saying....GSD will look after their family, on their own, without being asked to. If I Have To Say It: NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE WITH A DOG.
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:20:15 -0400