The bark of the German Shepherd is probably one of the best home security systems on the market and definitely something to deter an unwanted visitor or thief arriving at your home. So your German Shepherd barking can indeed be a positive attribute. German Shepherd barking is very normal. It is their way of communicating.
If however your German Shepherd’s barking continues and goes on and on it can become a real problem for you.
Why is your German Shepherd Barking?
It is important to understand some of the reasons why your German Shepherd barking has become consistent and a problem. Below are some reasons why your German Shepherd barking may have become a problem.
- Your German Shepherd may not be getting enough exercise. German Shepherds are large dogs that require regular daily exercise. Make sure your German Shepherd is well exercised daily.
- Your German Shepherd may be barking because he is bored. German Shepherd’s are intelligent dogs and they need stimulation to prevent them from getting bored, you can combine this stimulation with exercise, such as playing fetch with a ball or stick
- Your German Shepherd may be barking to seek your attention. Even if the attention they receive is bad attention it is still better than no attention in their mind. This attention seeking barking may be because your German Shepherd is lonely, so make sure that he is not left alone for hours on end, as a lonely German Shepherd will start to bark for attention.
- Your German Shepherd may be barking in response to something or someone outside. This could be another dog or someone approaching the house. If you have moved into a new area, it is a good idea to explore your new surroundings with your German Shepherd so he understands and gets used to and familiar to what is around him.
When your German Shepherd refuses to stop barking, you need to first determine if the behaviour is warranted. Nine times out of ten, it’s excessive and can be controlled. If you decide that your German Shepherd’s barking can and should be controlled, ask yourself these three questions.
- When does your German Shepherd bark?
- What is your German Shepherd barking at?
- Does your German Shepherd have a specific trigger?
If you determine that your German Shepherd is barking because he wants to protect his territory or is simply alarmed by something, you cannot simply yell at your German Shepherd to stop him from barking. Negative reinforcement for territorial barking should be avoided at all times because it can often lead to biting or aggression in other forms. Your German Shepherd doesn’t understand what you’re trying to tell him. He may stop the barking, but the territorial issues are still there.
Instead, you need to create a situation in which your German Shepherd will not feel that territorial urge to defend himself. This starts by taking control of your household. Be the Alpha Leader of the pack and show your German Shepherd that you are the one in charge of protecting that space.
In essence there are three things that you can do to help stop your German Shepherd Barking:
1. Don’t Ever Reward Barking.
Your German Shepherd will bark because it gets him what he wants. So never give him attention, food, or let him outside. You must just totally ignore him when he is barking. You must reprogram your barking German Shepherd so he doesn’t think of barking as a way of communicating.
2. Have a quiet command as part of your important training regime.
To begin training your German Shepherd this quiet command you need to distract your German Shepherd when he is barking by calling him and giving him another command such as “sit” Once he’s sitting, he’ll stop barking – and when he’s quiet, IMMEDIATELY say “Quiet”, then praise him, and give him a treat. This method is sometimes to referred to as teaching your dog to speak.
3. Still allow your German Shepherd to bark.
Let your German Shepherd have a few good barks before you begin the giving the “Quiet” command. Be sure to reward your German Shepherd and make a big fuss over him whenever he’s quiet. Your barking German Shepherd will realize that he’d rather be a quiet German Shepherd.