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Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much and How To Stop It


Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much and How To Stop It |

All dogs bark, except for the Basenji. Just like words are our main way of communication, barking is your dog’s way of communication, and while it may not be as complicated or sophisticated as our words, your german shepherd barks still have meaning, it’s up to you to understand what they mean. 

So, why do German Shepherds Bark so much? They bark to communicate something to you. They can be warning you of an intruder or want your attention directed to something they consider a threat, or they may be just bored and want to play and spend time with you. 

A dog that starts barking and just never stops is a sign of separation anxiety that will need more training and maybe even a professional to make sure the issue is handled right. 

However, sometimes you just need some peace and quiet, and a barking German shepherd can make this peace and quiet quite a difficult thing to achieve. That’s why you should understand why your dog is barking and how to make this barking stop when you want to. 

Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much and How To Stop It |

Why Do German Shepherds Bark? 

why do german shepherds bark so much

There are many reasons why a german shepherd could be barking:

Protective. Your german shepherd usually barks excessively when other german shepherds or animals come close to their territory. Your dog uses barking as a defending method when they sense a threat gets closer.

Fear. When your German shepherd is afraid of noise or any object that looks unfamiliar, they bark. This happens anywhere even outside their territory. 

Loneliness. If you leave your german shepherd alone for long periods, they may get separation anxiety. In this case, they often bark excessively because they are unhappy. 

Play. Usually, german shepherds bark when they greet people or other german shepherds. This is a kind of happy barking accompanied by tail wags!

Seeking attention. german shepherds want to pay attention to them, so they simply bark. Sometimes they want to go outside, play, or give them a treat. 

Barking is the only language that german shepherds use. In other words, barking is their vocal communication which means different things. 

Barking is natural, but barking so much that there seems no end to the barking is a sign of poor dog training and maybe even a behavioral problem. If you think your german shepherd barking is excessive, you should consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to make sure the problem is handled correctly. 

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Types of Dog Barks: 

Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much and How To Stop It |

possessive/Territorial:

When a dog smells an alien scent at his place, the first thing that happens is to become protective and alert from this newcomer. Whether it is a person or an animal, your dog will consider, whatever comes to his territory, as a threat. The closer it will come near him, the louder his barking will become. Aggressive acts may also occur if this situation is not contained.

Tension/Terror:

Any weird noise or item that grabs the dog attention can cause the feeling of unease and anxiety to your dog. This kind of action is not limited to the dog’s house or familiar places.

Boredom:

Sitting alone for a long time, even at the house yard, is not very amusing for dogs. Your dog gets bored and sad about staying alone for a long period of time, sitting alone is not one of the dog’s traits. Dogs love living in packs so being alone for a long time making them look for something to do, AKA barking.

Grabbing attention:

When your dog is trying to convey a request to you like wanting something, desiring a treat or want to spend some time outside he will likely use barking as a way to communicate.

Saluting:

Barking at this situation may be the sweetest thing ever for a dog owner. Along with a wagging tail and sometimes excited jumping.

SAD- Separation Anxiety Disorder:

Dogs with this disorder have a lot of symptoms barking repetitively and loudly is one of them. They tend to pace a lot, eliminate indoors, become destructive and do repetitious movements like pacing in circles or running along a wall. Dogs with SAD may keed howling for hours due to their frustration of being left alone.

How to stop german Shepherds Barking? 

There are several techniques and methods the can help stop your german shepherd barking. Some of them can be very successful, but you can’t expect results overnight. This can take a lot of time and practice to change your german shepherd’s barking behavior.

Don’t Reinforce the Behavior

 You may offer a reward or treats to your dog when they bark, you should stop. You shouldn’t make any opportunities to allow your german shepherd to continue the barking behavior.

If you find your dog barks at people or animals when they pass by the living room window, you can manage this behavior by closing the curtains. 

Neglect the barking. 

You should ignore your german shepherd’s barking. These means don’t give them any attention while they are barking. They will continue barking if you talk to them or look at them. These consider a reward that makes them bark more. If you continue to ignore their barking and they finally quit, you should praise your dog. 

You have to wait as long as it takes and be patient. If you get frustrated and then you yell at them or make them stop crying by anyway, they will bark more the next time.

The best practice for you to ignore the barking is putting your german shepherd in their crate and turn your back. The time they stop barking, you can praise them. 

Gradually, start with a few minutes of quiet then work up to longer periods. 

Make the stimulus less sensitive.

 Gradually make your dogs are used to whatever causes them to bark. Put the stimulus far away at a distance where your dogs can see without barking.

 Move the stimulus a few inches and treat your dog. Keep moving the stimulus closer while praising your german shepherd. 

If you follow these steps, your canine will learn that the stimulus leads to treats.

If you find out your german shepherd bark at other german shepherds of the neighborhood, treat your dog whenever any of these german shepherds come close to them. When neighborhood german shepherds disappear from the view stop feeding treats to your german shepherd.  

This process can take days and weeks before your german shepherd can understand and pay attention to you.  

The quiet command. 

It may sound a challenging method, but it’s really helpful. At first, you should teach your german shepherd to bark on command. What you can do is command your german shepherd to bark by saying “bark” or “speak”, then wait for them to bark. Put a tasty treat close to their nose to sniff it, so it’ll make them stop barking. Give them another treat as a reward when they stop barking.

Repeat the process until your german shepherd starts to bark as soon as you command them to. Once they learn it, teach them the quiet command. 

When you say “speak” or “bark” to your german shepherd and they start to bark, say “quiet” and treat them. 

It will take a lot of time, but, eventually, your german shepherd will be trained to quiet command. If you succeed to do that, practice the quiet common in distracting situations for example, when the doorbell rings.

Keep your dog tired. 

Allow your german shepherd to get exercise and physical training every day. If you succeed to make them busy and tired, they will be less likely to bark out of boredom.

Every german shepherd has its own walk requirements depending on their breed, age, and health. Your german shepherd may be able to take long walks or they can play with interactive toys. 

If you follow one of these stops barking in german shepherds methods, you should bear in mind these tips:

  • You should never yell at your german shepherd to make them quit barking, believe me, they will never do it by yelling. you should speak calmly and firmly but not yelling.
  • Try to keep your training sessions positive as much as you can
  • You and your family should be consistent in training. In order not to confuse your german shepherd, you should all apply the same rules of any method. In other words, you shouldn’t be okay with inappropriate barking and sometimes you’re not. 

Common Mistakes to avoid

Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much and How To Stop It |

Don’t yell

You have to not yell at your german shepherd. As they will not understand that this means that they should not bark. They will see it as a competition between you and them for who barks the loudest.

The best way is to use a calm and firm voice with commands, gesture, or look that signifies that your German shepherd needs to stop barking.

Don’t reward their excessive barking

Don’t give your german shepherd attention when they are excessively asking for it. An example would be if you are eating and your german shepherd wants you to walk them. Don’t give in. Instead when they do so, walk away from them.

Don’t comfort them

Some tough love is needed if you want your training to work and your german shepherd barking problem to go away. 

If your German shepherd is barking and you pet them and comfort them, you will reward them for barking which further reinforces the behavior. You have to talk in a calm but firm voice and give them a command, gesture, or look

Related Questions: 

Why Does my German Shepherd bark all night? 

Your german shepherd may be barking at night because they are not getting enough mental or physical stimulation during the day, because they are feeling neglected, or because they are sensing some danger.

Sometimes the dangers they can be feeling are just squirrels in the garden, but if your German shepherd starts barking to alarm you and you don’t address the issue, they will keep barking until they’re utterly exhausted. 

Your dog may also be barking all night because they are sleeping in an uncomfortable area or bed.

For example, if you leave your dog to sleep outside all night, they may be too cold at night to get some good sleep. 

Sometimes the barking could be caused by an underlying medical issue and they are in pain. In this case, you should definitely take them to the doctor. The reason you may be thinking that your dog is barking all night could be that you are at work all day so you don’t hear them barking at day. 

If your dog is barking because of a behavioral issue and not a medical one, you will need to go over some training and basic commands with them again or even consult a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist. A good idea would be to record your dog’s barking and send it to the professional in advance so they can tell you what exactly is your dog’s problem. 

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