I have owned and trained German Shepherds. They are brilliant companions in the sheath of working dogs. But that duality gives them an extra edge when it comes to being vocal.
So, do German Shepherds bark a lot? They do. They could bark at strangers, anyone touching you, other dogs in the home or animal outside, a bird perched harmlessly on the window pane, and more.
However, the good news is that they can be trained to be less vocal.
6 Personality Traits That Make German Shepherds Bark A Lot
Know what deep down their skin makes them bark so much.
1. Affection Toward Family
Family love: 5/5
In my 12 years of experience as a dog trainer, the one breed that has taken me by surprise when it comes to family love, it’s the German Shepherd.
I mean it’s a working dog, it should love its work more than the family, but I have my own opinions. They are certainly wrong.
They are first dogs, and then, they have an immeasurable love for their families. Maybe the breeders wanted dogs that could serve as working dogs as well as watchdog and companion dogs.
This is how much the breed confuses me sometimes.
One thing is for sure, though. If the dog senses anything that could potentially harm you in its mind, then it’s going to bark like it hasn’t in years.
Read also: Are German Shepherds good for first-time owners?
2. Not So Open To Strangers
Openness to strangers: ⅗
The breed isn’t as open to strangers as you’d expect it to be. Whenever I was to visit a client to train their shepherd, I’d approach with caution. I knew that it could be noisy and nasty if it sensed that I was a stranger.
So, I’d tell the owner to be at the door at the earliest. German Shepherds instantly start trusting the strangers that their owners are okay with. I knew that, too.
So, if your dog barks at someone knocking on your door before you went to answer it, know that it’s because it considers it a threat. You should better intervene.
I told you these dogs are working dogs, watchdogs, and companion dogs altogether. They are always on the watch for the harm that could rip their owners apart.
The squirrels in the trees could nibble at you or the cat might be here to serve its sinister plot. What about the mailman? Isn’t he here to take you away with him?
These things and more keep your dog on alert 24/7. Your dog needs training if it’s this vigilant, which it will be without training, and barking incessantly at mediocre things.
4. Needs To Be Physically and Mentally Stimulated
Physical and mental stimulation needs: 5/5
Being working dogs, they have energy that could last forever if you don’t intervene. I always advise the owners to tire the dogs out so that their untapped energy could not give rise to unwanted behavior.
You could play with them. My favorite is tug of war because no game stimulates them as much as this one.
Besides that, do give a job to the dog. They are working-class, so they do need something to do even if that means rocking your baby.
5. Loves Prey
Prey Drive: ⅘
The German Shepherds have hound genes. So, they got to hunt whenever nature compels them to do so. They could bark at the game first and then chase the heart out of them.
I’ve seen many owners take these dogs to hunt. You could give them this job and they’ll most happily please you.
But that sometimes becomes cumbersome for the family. The dog may start barking at every moving thing. Even shadows.
6. They Do Everything With Zeal
Some dogs are indifferent to the jobs you assign them. They are cats inside the dog coats. But there are some dogs such as German Shepherds that do everything with unfounded vigor.
Their relentless energy when coupled with the zeal they have to please you produces the perfect ingredients for barking. After all, the dog wants your attention and this is by far the best way to get it.
If your pooch is barking constantly, it may want your attention. It may want you to praise it for the trench it has dug out in the backyard. Of course, that’s not praise-worthy but what does a dog know?
What Age Do German Shepherds Bark The Most?
German Shepherd puppies below 4 months become vocal. They start with whining, yipping, and plenty of grunting. After 4 months, they start barking. That’s the time when you may want to put earplugs in. They are the most vocal then.
Can German Shepherds Be Trained Not To Bark?
Yes, they could be trained not to bark. However, that’s not easy. Once the dog has found his vocals, containing them becomes somewhat of a challenge. I use auto bark collars that are intelligent enough to not go off on another dog barking.
They have three modes and I make sure only the vibration has been selected. For that, I may even use ordinary shock collars. The stimulation only comes when the dog barks unnecessarily. Otherwise, it’s allowed to bark at dog things.
Why Do German Shepherds Whine So Much?
Whining is natural for a vocal dog. German Shepherds’ shepherding roots make them whine to get the owner’s attention. They could mix whining, barking, and howling in a spree to tell you that something’s wrong with whatever job you’ve assigned to them.
Do German Shepherds Bark At Night?
They most certainly do. That’s when their inner hounds resurface. Nighttime is when dangers are lurking, so if your dog senses anything strange happening (in the dog’s language), it may start barking incessantly. I may allow that because that’s the least Shepherd thing a German Shepherd could do.
Do German Shepherds Bark A Lot – Conclusion
They bark a lot. They have been termed as one of the vocal breeds. If I were to put them parallel to another breed with ear-deafening vocals, it’ll be Siberian Huskies.
However, you could train them to bark less, no matter how daunting that may seem.