German Shepherds might seem to have the same general appearance. However, some of them are working…
If you have heard a GSD bark, you’ll know that German Shepherds have a loud thunderous bark. Barking is just a way for our German Shepherds to communicate with us. However, if you’re thinking of getting a German Shepherd you may wonder… do German Shepherds bark a lot?
This article will provide the answer to that question as well as discuss some of the reasons dogs bark.
Do German Shepherds bark a lot?
Generally, yes! Although it depends on the individual German Shepherd; some German Shepherds bark a lot while others hardly bark at all. However generally, German Shepherds are a very vocal breed and normally, they will bark more than some other breeds.
When do German Shepherd puppies start barking?
German Shepherd puppies can start making little yelping sounds as early as 2 weeks of age. Most German Shepherds are capable of barking at around 7-8 weeks of age, but some won’t actually start barking until a few months later.
Why do German Shepherds bark?
German Shepherds bark when they are trying to communicate something. There are many reasons your German Shepherd could be barking, some of those reasons are as follows:
- To alert you of a stranger outside
- The doorbell rang
- To gain your attention
- They sense a threat
- They want to play
Let’s go into a little detail about each one of these reasons.
Barking to alert you of a stranger outside
One of the most common reasons any dog barks is to alert us of someone they don’t know walking around near their dwelling. German Shepherds can be protective over their house and their family, so they want us to know when there is someone nearby that is a stranger.
Barking because the doorbell rang
Another common reason why dogs go crazy barking is because the doorbell rang. Dogs have learnt to associate the doorbell sound with someone (sometimes a stranger) being at the door. Thus, when the doorbell rings they immediately start barking to let us know someone is at our place.
Funny story about my German Shepherd and the doorbell. One time we were taking a road trip to visit my mother, and there was a commercial on the radio that had a doorbell ringing. Allie immediately went to barking!
I thought it was hilarious because she didn’t know that doorbells don’t exist in a vehicle and there was no stranger at the door. She just learnt to associate the sound with a potential visitor even if that sound occurs in the car going 70 miles per hour .
Barking in excitement
Another common reason dogs bark is because they are excited. This is why when their favorite person or doggy friend comes over, they go to barking like crazy because they know playtime is coming. Since they don’t have words to communicate their excitement they bark.
Barking due to boredom
German Shepherds can also bark because they are bored. If you are busy and haven’t had much time to play or exercise your German Shepherd, they will often find things to do to keep themselves entertained. That could include barking at everything they see outside or just barking to try and get you to notice them.
Take your dog for a nice long walk before you get busy, I bet you’ll find they’ll be less bored and bark less. A tired dog is a quiet dog!
Barking to gain your attention
Another reason German Shepherds bark is to gain our owners attention. Sometimes we get busy, and don’t give them as much attention as they may want, or other times we may be sleep and they want us to wake up. Dogs learn that we usually pay attention when they bark, so when they want our attention and they can’t get it in other ways, they will bark.
Barking because they sense a threat
GSDs will also bark if they sense something or someone that is threating. This is also why they bark when they see a stranger outside, or someone rings the doorbell, they don’t know if that person is safe or a threat to their family.
Dogs also have a good sense of judgment for bad situations and people with bad intentions, so sometimes they bark at times when you may not sure why because they sensed a threat from someone or something.
Barking to get you to play or go outside
German Shepherds are playful dogs. Have you ever noticed that if you have your dog’s toy and are playing with them, sometimes they let out a bark? Or it’s time to get outside and they start barking? Our dogs get so excited when it’s time to play or when they want to play or go out for a walk, so sometimes they will bark to let us know they are ready for fun!
How to stop your German Shepherd from barking too much?
One of the best ways to teach your dog how to control their barking is actually to train them how to speak on command. Once they have learned how to speak on command, you can also teach them the quiet command which will get them to stop barking on command.
Check out my article on teaching your dog to speak and quiet to learn more.
How to tell if your German Shepherd is barking aggressively?
You can usually tell if your German Shepherd is barking aggressively, by the tone of their bark, their body language and the situation.
The tone of an aggressive bark will typically be lower in key and your GSD will be more intently focused on the target they are barking at. Additionally, their body language will be stiff, the hair may stand up on their back scruff and they may even growl or show their teeth.
Sometimes you can also tell if your GSD is a barking aggressively by the situation. If it’s a situation where they are normally barking out of excitement, like when someone comes over that they like to play with, they most likely aren’t barking aggressively.
However, if it’s a totally new situation where your dog doesn’t normally bark, and they are presenting all of the symptoms above, then they could be barking out of aggression.
Check out my article discussing whether German Shepherds are aggressive, you may be surprised to learn that aggression is often misinterpreted.
German Shepherds being a vocal breed can definitely bark more than other less vocal dog breeds. However, it is important to remember that barking, like whining, growling, and howling is just one of the ways German Shepherds communicate with the outside world.
Depending on your living situation having a chatty dog breed is definitely one of the things you should consider before getting a German Shepherd. Also, remember that good training is the best way to quell barking that becomes too excessive.
Does your German Shepherd bark a lot? Let me know in the comments!