German Shepherds are a popular breed for both homes and a variety of vocations. They are highly trainable dogs and can be taught to do a lot of things. Which is good if they have a tendency to bark quite a bit.
So, if your Shepherd barks more than you would like, the good news is that it can be trained to respond to your commands. Here is what you need to know in order to get your German Shepherd to stop barking.
How to Stop a German Shepherd From Barking?
Here we are: how to stop a German Shepherd from barking. The first step, which we will cover later, is to learn why they might be barking (and there are a few reasons). After that, there are a few important things to keep in mind when trying to get them to stop.
Don’t Yell, Hit, or Muzzle
When you shout or yell at your dog, all it is going to do is ramp up their stress. If they already have fear or anxiety, all the yelling does is amplifies that issue. There are also times when their barking is so loud, even yelling won’t do anything.
Don’t resort to harsh punishments. Any kicking, hitting, or shock treatments can increase their aggressiveness, and it’s just a bad way to teach your dog what you want it to do.
There are some pet owners who feel like muzzling might be the right course of action. But those collars and muzzles can be quite painful and should be an absolute last resort. Positive reinforcement, not negative punishment, should always be the preferred method.
Implement Some Training
German Shepherds are highly trainable dogs. They work in a variety of different vocations because of their ability to adhere to training. So it only makes sense that you train them to restrict their barking until they hear the “speak” command. On the flip side, there is the “quiet” command which will tell them when it is time to stop barking.
The key is to take them to an area where there are no distractions. Tell them to speak and keep doing so until they respond immediately. Reward any good behaviors with treats as this will train them to learn that when they do the desired action, they will get a positive response.
To train them on “quiet,” tell them to speak but then put a treat in their face and say “quiet.” When they stop, reward them. It will take time and repetition to get them used to this command. From there, it is about increasing the timing associated with that “quiet” command. The goal is that you want longer periods of “quiet” between the reward and praise.
Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Bark?
There are times when it can be a little difficult to pinpoint exactly why your German Shepherd puppy is barking. Before you can truly figure out how to stop a German Shepherd from barking, it can be helpful to know why they are doing so.
There are a few reasons why they may be doing so, and it takes some time to decipher just why they are barking. Just keep an eye out to see why they might be a bit wound up.
One of the biggest reasons your German Shepherd puppy may be barking is that it is excited. When the puppy anticipates something, it will bark to show that it wants it to happen. This can include excitement that you are home, or perhaps you have just pulled the leash down, indicating that a walk is imminent.
Nerves/They Don’t Know Better
Another major cause of barking has to do with being fearful or nervous about something. Maybe it is a response to a past issue, and the puppy barks because it doesn’t want it to happen again. Puppies might also be nervous about going somewhere, particularly to the vet or another place that they don’t want to go.
On the other hand, German Shepherds tend to bark more when they are young. They are a bit unbridled and definitely untrained, which means that they don’t quite know how to handle themselves yet. With time and training, they will find their voice when necessary and understand that they don’t need to bark often.
There is also the chance that your Shepherd is bored. German Shepherds are extremely active dogs, and they need a lot of attention, sometimes for hours each day. They need to get quite a bit of exercise, or they will get bored quickly.
When they get bored, they can not only bark but become quite destructive if they aren’t properly trained. They will do this in an effort to not only get more attention but also to stimulate them as well. If you feel as if your German isn’t getting all that much exercise, try to give it more. It can help to correct those behaviors, including excessive barking.
Finally, they may be barking because they are being protective of their owners or territory. They are very loyal, protective dogs, and if they feel as though there is a threat to those things, they will bark to protect it.
To stop barking when someone knocks, for instance, you would need to get them to look at you before they start barking. There are training methods to get them to adopt this behavior.
There are a lot of reasons why your German Shepherd might be barking. Part of the battle is being able to identify the reasons why they may be barking in the first place.
The good news is that with a little bit of training and a lot of positive reinforcement, you can get your German Shepherd to stop barking when you want it to.