How to Stop a German Shepherd From Excessive Barking?

Last Updated on May, 2022

“Your German Shepherd is such a nuisance” “Your dog is ruining our peace” “How do you live with such a loud dog?” 

Imagine hearing these daily? Only a dog lover will understand that these barks are common with German Shepherds. Like we talk nonstop, barking is the form of vocalizing for dogs. The sole purpose of getting a German Shepherd could be for security purposes or to have a watchdog, and constant dog barks are to be expected.

The real nuisance begins when your German Shepherd barks all the time. Barking can mean many things but continuous barking throughout day and night is intolerable. However, there are ways to overcome the German Shepherd barking problem. You will know everything you need to know by reading this article. So scroll down! 

German Shepherd Barking FACTS!

German Shepherd dogs are known to be vocal. Compared to other dogs, this breed will often let you know about their wants and needs. This dog breed is also energetic, driven, and the most adorable. 

The common age for German Shepherd dogs to start barking is when they reach 3-4 months. However, this breed will start vocalizing in 3-4 weeks.

Given the biological structure of a German Shepherd dog, it is natural for its bark to be a lot louder than any other dog. Experts say that a German Shepherd’s bark is louder than the sound of a moving truck. ( >_<)

Generally, a dog barks for many reasons, such as stress, boredom, excitement, protection, or even attention. It is always better to know why your German Shepherd dog is barking. 

Related: How to Train a GSD to be a Guard Dog?

Why Does My German Shepherd Bark?

German Shepherd Barking

Many reasons trigger your GSD. It could vary depending on your dog’s mood or the time of the day. Below is a list of possible reasons that might help you understand your dog better. (1)

Guardianship Instinct/ Territorial Protection

A German Shepherd dog will always be alert to what is happening around your house. The dog believes that it is his job to keep the family safe. German Shepherd dogs get alarmed for the slightest sound, moving vehicles, or even for tiny creatures like squirrels or birds in the garden.

They think all of these aforementioned are threats to his family members and himself. The first instinct is to chase the sounds away, resulting in the dog barking out loud! This undesirable behavior can be avoided by socializing your German Shepherd well.

Excitement

Dogs are generally cheerful animals. They do not know how to control their emotions. Sometimes the only way to express and let out the feeling of happiness is to bark. This type of behavior is seen mostly with German Shepherd puppies. 

If you experience the GSD’s barking whenever they see you, that is to say. They are excited to see you! You know how you scream and jump and hug when you see someone you like? IT’S THE SAME FEELING! 

Unnecessary barking can even be for a high-value treat or when they see a friendly dog. It is important to make your dog understand that it is ok to be happy but not to bark unnecessarily when it’s happy. This can be done by training him with the help of some yummy treats; eventually, the German Shepherd will learn to control its emotions.

Boredom

I know this will sound a little weird, but yes, your dog’s barking can be due to boredom. German Shepherds are known to be dogs with high energy levels. When they feel lazy and laid back, barking comes to the rescue. 

Boredom can result due to lack of attention. A tiny pat on the dog and a little playtime in the garden is what your GSD needs. A playful and busy dog is always a happy dog. 

Feeling Lonely 

Be it a puppy or a full-grown adult German Shepherd; they feel lonely if they are left alone in your living room. This feeling of loneliness can go from being just sad to intense levels of separation anxiety. 

Taking your German Shepherd on a walk or socializing more can help this condition. Don’t we all like a little company now and then? 

Anger or Anxiety 

German Shepherd dogs are prone to anxiety. Anxiety coupled with the feeling of fear will make your GSD bark or even bite, for that matter. Making a German Shepherd angry will make him feel nervous. 

Annoyance is also a reason to make a dog angry. Repeating actions that they do not like or engaging in activities that your GSD gets triggered can cause them to be annoyed. Annoyance often results in a dog barking to express his feelings. 

Worth reading: How to Stop a German Shepherd Puppy From Biting

Health Concerns

This is not a very common reason, but this could be one of the reasons. Sometimes dogs do tend to bark or howl in a painful way to let the owner be aware of the pain they are going through. The nuisance barking can be due to an underlying health issue.

This is often considered a common coping mechanism with any dog breed. 

Know Your German Shepherd Better – Body Language Guide 

gsd dog

Most dogs communicate by barking when they want to say something, but knowing their body language is an added point to understand your dog better. German Shepherd dogs’ body language is not so hard to read because they use their bodies to communicate certain messages. 

Looking Away From You

A German Shepherd will look away from you to tell you that you are in charge. It is a sign of submission. The dog knows that you are the boss! 

Biting Teeth Or Snarling

This is a sign of aggression against something. It could be a neighboring dog or a street dog, a cat, a stranger and the list goes on. Right after this, your German Shepherd will start barking nonstop. Knowing what is irritating and distracting him from that can stop unwanted barking. 

Head Low To The Ground And His Back End High

This means your German Shepherd wants to play. When your dog is in a playful mood, it is always wise to play with it or give a toy to him—not playing when he wants to can lead to a sad or lonely dog which would trigger excessive barking. 

Tail Positioning

A German Shepherd’s tail will tell you many things. If your GSDs tail is very high, it means that your dog is very excited, on alert, or even a sign of dominance. It especially shows that he is in charge of the house to other animals or dogs. With this tail position, GSDs often bark out loud. 

Tail hanging down means that he is relaxed and chilled. Nothing bothers him, so you know you should not aggravate him by annoying him. 

Tail raised and wagging fast; we all know what this means. This means they are very happy and excited to see someone or feel in a specific way.

When your GSDs tail is stuck in between the legs, he feels scared—often coupled with a lot of barking.

Fear can cause your GSD to feel very uncomfortable, so you might want to change this feeling for him before his barking worsens.

Licking Lips And Flapping Tongue

Basically, what this means is LEAVE ME ALONE! Just as much as how playful GSDs are, most adult German Shepherd dogs like to have some me-time. If you see this body language from your dog, just know to give him some space.

Laying Back With Tummy Up

If your German Shepherd is lying on its back with the tummy up, it asks for a little rub on his tummy. This is mostly to soothe itself to sleep, or your dog is just having a moment so let it enjoy the time.

How to Stop a German Shepherd From Barking?

This is the star question of my article. I understand no matter how much you love your pet, the undesirable barking of the German Shepherd will most likely ruin your peace. 

There are many ways to overcome the German Shepherd barks.

This involves a lot of patience and training. Obedience training must start at a young age. This way, you can always get rid of your German Shepherd’s destructive behavior. 

First things first, stop praising when your German Shepherds bark. They are obedient dogs. Chances of them listening to a simple no are high. 

If your barking German Shepherd stops barking, praise them with a high-value reward. The dog will know that not barking is a self-rewarding behavior. 

You could get the help of a clicker to train your dog. Clicker commands are easier to follow in dog training. 

How much training is required to train your dog will depend on each dog. Some German Shepherds are fast learners born with calm behavior, whereas some are born with notorious genes. 

Another easy way to stop barking behavior is to ignore the barking. It’s mostly because German Shepherds use a lot of energy to bark, and they get tired after barking for lengthy periods. 

The German Shepherd will eventually understand that barking does not do any good when you ignore the barks.

Easy Steps to Train Your Dog 

Training a GSD

German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs. They understand simple commands even when they are puppies. It is always better to use positive reinforcement training methods. Your furry friend’s favorite treat is going to be your best friend.

Training sessions should start in the morning or evening, a more quiet and peaceful time. 

Find the root cause for the excess barking of your German Shepherd. It would help if you started by triggering his undesirable behaviors. When the dog starts barking, you should command it to stop barking. 

Once the dog stops the barking, make sure to give it a treat.

The next step is desensitizing your dog to whatever triggered its barking. When you see your German Shepherd being sensitive to a particular thing, desensitizing it can stop or reduce the barking next time. 

Get your German Shepherd to get used to it very often. For example, suppose your dog is sensitive to moving cars. In that case, you can take him on walks and give daily exercises to familiarize your dog with moving cars. 

It is important to provide this mental stimulation at least every other day to effectively train your dog.

Common Mistakes to Be Avoided When Training Your German Shepherd’s Barking Behavior 

It is best to avoid shock collars or e-collars in dog training. Negative reinforcement methods are always discouraged because they inflict pain or suffering. Using shock collars or e-collars on your German Shepherd could make them more aggressive. 

Do not opt for surgical methods which involve removal of the larynx. It is sad to see dogs go through painful surgeries and be voiceless just because barking is a nuisance. How selfish! 

Muzzles are not advisable in training dogs. Dogs by nature are animals who need to bark. Using a muzzle and restricting his barking is almost equal to violating a dog’s fundamental right! I mean it! 

Finally, stop punishing your German Shepherd just because it barks. Accepting the behavior and correcting the dog’s mistake is what matters. 

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Doesn’t Bark

German Shepherd Dog laying down

There can be several reasons for this. The first step is to make sure that it is not a medical condition. If that problem is cleared next is to see if the GSD is feeling comfortable enough. If being uncomfortable is the reason, give it some time to familiarize itself.

Sometimes aging can be a reason for your GSD to not bark. With age your dog’s hearing declines thereon they will not react to little sounds that used to bother them.

Another very common cause is the dog’s personality. Dog’s are are different from one another. The level of barking differs from the type of personality. 

FAQs!

Final Thoughts

German Shepherd barks are a problematic issue worldwide with all German Shepherd owners. Not only barking but GSD owners encounter other undesirable behaviors. 

It is always fair to think from a dog’s view and understand why your dog’s barking—understanding your dog by spending time.

Unsocialized dogs will take their time to stop excessive barking. In contrast, puppies trained from smaller days will pick up training methods proactively. 

Even though the German Shepherd barking problems are unbearable they are amazing watchdogs.

When your dog stops barking unnecessarily and progresses through its barking problem, make sure to appreciate your GSD. With appreciation and so much love, you can bond better, which will ultimately result in living a stress-free loved life with your German Shepherd Dog! 

REFERENCES:

  1. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-causes-dogs-to-bark-excessively/

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