Is your German Shepherd barking all the time? Do you know why and how to stop this consistently frustrating behavior? We help you deal with it through this detailed guide.
Sensibly speaking, German Shepherd barking is a common trait of all dogs under this breed because it has been studied that this breed used to solely exist to be herders or guards.
This breed is a natural watcher and an all-around vigilant protector. Some pet owners have even taken the liberty to refer to German Shepherds as the breed to be “born barking”.
However, being the responsible pet owner that you are, you can’t just go and explain this barking behavior to your relatives and neighbors who are frequently annoyed, right?
You can’t be able to justify this behavior because even you are also getting slowly exasperated with this excessive behavior.
Because of this dilemma, you have now realized that it’s time for you to learn the causes of excessive German Shepherd barking and also to determine the tips to stop excessive barking behavior for good. Good for you! To get you started, here are four reasons for this particular dog breed’s behavior:
He’s not getting enough exercise so he’s easily bored
German Shepherds are one of the most athletic dog breeds around so they are used to getting a lot of physical exercise in order to keep up with their genetic make-up. Also, your dog is a highly intelligent one so he’s not used to lazing around your house all day.
Another cause of this is if he’s also frequently left unattended for a long period of time, he’s more likely to express his boredom through excessive barking.
To stop excessive barking, you should:
Increase the duration of his socialization, exercise and bonding activities.
Be sure to provide him with mental stimulation such as playing fetch, taking long walks in the park and participating in training sessions regularly.
Encourage him to communicate with other dogs by enrolling him in dog kindergarten classes.
Play hide-and-seek with him in order to stimulate him both physically and mentally simultaneously. You can start by hiding in places near him so that he won’t get too discouraged at first. You can then slowly increase the difficulty by hiding behind furniture or curtains.
Bring your dog inside your house if you always leave him outside so that he won’t resort to destructive barking just to be able to get your attention.
He feels a territorial urge to defend himself
Just like other animals, your German Shepherd has an innate need for establishing social rankings and behaving based on the position that they think they are in. Therefore, if you haven’t established yourself as being the “alpha” of the household yet, he may feel threatened because he may think that he’s the “alpha” so he should defend the home at all times.
Defending your home strictly means that he will resort to destructive barking once again.
To stop excessive german shepherd barking, you should:
Make your dog realize that you, the pet owner, are the “alpha” of the pack. Show him that you are the one responsible to protect your place.
Never yell at your German Shepherd when he’s barking to protect “his” territory. The approach using negative reinforcement will never work. Sometimes, he may even view you as a threat so he might exhibit aggressive dog behavior.
Every time you bond with your dog, roll him on his back so that his stomach will be exposed. This position that exposes your dog’s stomach is the submissive position for your dog. Making him do this position gives him the impression that you are the one in charge.
He wants you to pay more attention to him
If you scolded him during the start of his barking sessions, he may feel that he can only get you to scold him again if he repeats this behavior. Scolding is a form of paying attention, so even if it’s meant to be a negative reinforcement, some dogs such as German Shepherds may view it as a reward – as long as they get you to pay more attention to them, they feel that they’ve already proven their point.
To stop excessive barking, you should:
Never ever reward the excessive barking behavior: Your German Shepherd barking problem is from the fact that your dog thinks it’s alright to bark at you all the time because you’ll give him everything he wants. This is an incorrect dog mindset so you can correct it by never paying him any attention once he barks excessively. Ignore him so that he’ll eventually realize that barking constantly is not an effective communicating technique.
Train him to bark on command. Indeed, this sounds ironic since we’re talking about stopping barking behavior. However, what we want to stop is the destructive barking behavior. Obedient barking behavior is perfectly fine. Teaching him to bark on command decreases his desire to bark destructively – why would he bark destructively if he’s not going to be rewarded for his behavior?
He’s undergoing separation anxiety
If your neighbors complain that your pet barks excessively when you’re away, your German Shepherd may be suffering from separation anxiety. Remember that this particular breed is protectively and fiercely loyal to his owner, so he may be feeling anxious whenever he knows that he won’t be able to protect you because you’re so far away from him.
To stop excessive dog barking, you should:
Don’t give too much attention to your dog when you notice that he barks loudly upon your arrival. Instead, ignore him for about five to fifteen minutes after your arrival so that he won’t associate barking with attention.
If you used to give him a treat every time you return, refrain from doing so as well. This way, he won’t make too much of a fuss when you return, so he can be able to behave himself more properly.
If worse comes to worst and he’s still barking, try asking your veterinarian for medical expert consultation. Your dog may also be suffering from a medical problem, so it’s better to rule this possibility out as well.
Is your German Shepherd barking problem solved by these tips? Or do you have useful tips to add? Just talk to us by commenting below and sharing!
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