German Shepherds love to be vocal but their barking can get out of control sometimes. From alert barks to demand barks, this natural canine habit can get very annoying if you don’t learn to correct it early on. Whether they see the mailman or hear a doorbell, it can get very frustrating to make them stop, along with the worry of bothering your neighbors.
But there are some solutions. Here are six ways to get your German Shepherd to stop barking. You will need to be consistent and patient. It can be hard to keep your dog from partaking in this natural habit.
1. Find The Source of Your German Shepherd’s Barking
This is the easiest way to get your GSD to be quiet. Simply try to identify the reason that they are barking and remedy it! It could be something as obvious as an animal they are chasing or a neighbor walking by the house.
Common Causes and Their Solutions:
Outside animals – Scare them off! Dog’s love to play chase. Your German Shepherd may just be going after a rabbit or squirrel in the backyard. This can get them very excited and vocal.
Mailman – They will soon pass, in the meantime shut any blinds, curtains, or shutters that let them see the person and pet them to settle them down.
For attention – If you are on a work call or busy with paper work and your GSD won’t stop barking at you to get your attention this means they are experiencing boredom. Whatever you do don’t respond to this act. Just ignore them. Soon enough they will tire of barking and go do something else. This teaches them they don’t get their way by barking. (This will also help reduce it.)
Neighbors dog – For this one it’s a bit harder because dogs have a strong urge to bark back at one another in a form of communication but you can try to prevent it. If your dog is barking at them outside, bring them inside and close off any ways outside (like a doggy door).
If they continue to bark at the other dog then shut your blinds, curtains, or shutters. If the other dog is still barking back then keeping your dog quiet after doing all this will probably be unsuccessful. Just try to distract them by petting them, calling them, or playing with them. After some time passes and they aren’t barking back at the other dog, boredom will set in and they will stop.
Tip – An extra tip to know when teaching your dog to stop barking is to never yell at them. To them it seems as if you are barking along with them.
2. Teach Your German Shepherd the Command Quiet
This is the most effective way to prevent your German Shepherd’s barking in the long run. Once taught it will be an easy quick way to keep your dog quiet, but don’t expect the training process to be quick.
The way to teach your GSD this command is the same way you would teach your dog any new trick. Every time your dog barks say the word quiet over and over until they eventually stop. Then praise them and give them a treat. Repeat this for the next few times until they stop right after you say the command “quiet”.
Once they know the command, stop giving them treats once they do it. You want them to be able to do the command without having to always get a treat. But to make sure they keep the command you should praise them afterwards with a pat and “good dog”.
3. Keep Your German Shepherd Occupied
A main reason for a German Shepherd barking is boredom. If your not giving your GSD enough attention, chew toys, or stimulating things for the mind like dog puzzles, they can get bored and begin to get vocal for attention.
It’s always good to play with them throughout the day but like said before don’t give in to their barking. It will form a bad habit.
4. Tire Your German Shepherd Out Physically
A sleeping dog is much quieter than a barking dog. So when you have the time you can take them outside and play athletic games like fetch, tug of war, or chase. After a while they will get tired and rest inside. They will be relaxed and less alert for things to get vocal about.
5. Hire a Professional For Your German Shepherd’s Barking
If you have tried it all and nothing seems to be helping this might be your last option. This will keep you, your family, and neighbors happy. This is a much easier route to get there. Don’t feel bad if you couldn’t succeed in teaching your GSD yourself, sometimes they can be stubborn and professionals have been training dogs way longer.
Hiring a professional trainer can range in price anywhere from $30 – $120 depending on the options you choose. They have in home training, private training, and group training. It just depends on how bad the problem has gotten with your German Shepherd.
6. Use A Clicker To Keep Your German Shepherd From Barking?
A dog training clicker is a tiny device with a button you press to sound a high pitched clicking noise. Clickers have seemed to help many people train their dogs. You can teach them to stop barking by doing the following.
Every time you see someone or something about to come by the window of fence, wherever you are simply click the clicker. They will be alarmed by the noise and forget to bark at the moving thing. If they didn’t bark give them a treat.
You have to make sure you click it before they start barking. If they bark then you click and they stop. This does not deserve a treat. They will think they are getting a treat for barking not stopping.
Is It Bad If My GSD Never Barks?
It really depends on your dog. Yes a quiet German Shepherd can be a sign of medical conditions but lets go over how you know if your GSD is not feeling well.
Past Events: Before assuming that your dog is quiet because they are sick, lets go over some other reasons they could not be barking. Dogs that were victims of abuse in their past can be much quieter than the average dog. This is because they are skittish and are more afraid to raise their voice.
Medical Conditions: Now let’s talk about the medical conditions that may be causing your German Shepherd to suddenly be quieter than usual. Laryngeal disease, chronic vomiting, metabolic disorders, respiratory conditions, or trauma to the larynx or trachea can all be reasons why your GSD isn’t barking. If your dog seems to bark a lot then suddenly stops then schedule a appointment with a local vet. Better safe than sorry when it comes to their health.
Other Reasons Your German Shepherd May Bark:
There are several other reasons that they may bark. Here are some of the most common ones.
Territorial/Protection: When in comes down to new people your GSD can get quite protective. They are pretty untrustworthy with new people or animals in their territory. This is why they may bark at strangers.
Fear/Alarm: A loud noise or quick sudden action can catch them off guard and frighten them or cause tension. This can lead to sudden barking.
Attention Seeking: Dogs always want attention, no doubt about it. But sometimes we’re just to busy to always play with them or pet them. They may get mad and bark to notion to give them more attention.
Separation Anxiety: Lots of dogs have separation anxiety including some GSDs. This is similar to the attention seeking. They always want to make sure you are safe and near them. When they are put in a crate or room alone they can tend to bark to get you to come back.
Boredom/Loneliness: This breed is highly active and needs mandatory exercise and an occupation to stay busy. It’s not good for them to get bored. This can lead to destructive chewing, digging, and wrecking of things.
Playing: GSDs often get very excited when they play and this causes them to bark. It’s there way of trying to communicate.
What Each Different Bark Means:
Believe it or not dogs make different barks indicating different emotions. People have always wanted a way to figure out how to communicate to dogs, so here are some keys to understanding the dog language.
Deep Barks: If they bark deeply, it means they are serious about something like an intruder or any sort of danger.
High-Pitched Barks: GSDs will usually bark very high when they are playing with a person or other dog. This just means they are having fun and are excited.
Single Barks: When they only bark once or maybe twice at something it means they are surprised or annoyed by something.
Multiple Barks: A large spree of barks means they are alarmed and immediately need your attention.
Non Stop Barks: If there are no breaks between each bark, this is more of a concern. This points out even more aggression in your dog.
Well now you have a bit more knowledge about your German Shepherd’s barking and six ways to get them to stop. Try these techniques the next time your GSD barks. And if they don’t work consider looking into the clicker or hiring a professional to help. And watch out for the different kinds of barks. Make sure you give your dog enough attention and play time throughout the day too!
I hope this article solved your dogs barking problems. You can find a training article here if your dog has some other problems you need answers to.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
Do you have any tips for new owners who can’t get their dog to stop barking? Let us know! We would love to hear about your personal experience!