What Are Characteristics Of German Shepherds That You Must Know
The average German Shepherd is 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs 75 to 95 lbs. There are two main bloodlines of German Shepherds: the German and American, and they both vary slightly in size and build.
German Shepherds can make themselves acquainted with almost any living space as long as they are well exercised. However, due to their physical size and the amount of hair they shed, a house with a yard for sufficient exercise would be perfect for this dog breed.
German Shepherds are very defensive of their families. Their alert and reticent personality make them exceptional guard dogs. They are territorial, can be possessive, and have a strong prey drive, so the boundaries and expectations of behavior around children need to be clear. Theyve got a reputation for being excellent watchdogs and should never be chained or tethered to stand guard. It leads to frustration and aggression.
German Shepherds are faithful, courageous, dependable, intelligent, and to some extent, aloof. They are intensely focused on their leader and not instantaneously pleasant with people who arent a part of their inner circle.
German Shepherds have bodies that are intended to defend them against harsh environments, but they are more susceptible to overheating as they are double-coated dogs. A colder temperate location is better suited for their bodies. The breed also needs ample exercise.
Watch this video below about German Shepherds.
Teach Your Dog To Quite
Alternatively, you can also use tool like collar or ultrasonic bark control to help curbing your dogs excessive barking behavior.
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The Root Of The Behavior
As their name suggests, German Shepherds were bred in Germany to be working dogs. They spread to other countries from there, where in addition to guarding, they were used in organized professions such as police work and search and rescue missions. One of the qualities that made them desirable as working dogs was their sense of smell and protectiveness. Whenever they were out guarding and herding, they would smell predators from miles away and bark to signal their approach. They would also bark whenever sheep strayed from their flock. This brings us to one of the reasons why your German Shepherd;is very vocal; he smells people and animals from afar and barks to warn you and to keep them off. His loud voice is his weapon and it works very well to keep away intruders.;Besides his breeding, your German Shepherds wolf ancestry also has a part to play in his behavior, especially when it comes to sounds like howling.;
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Should A German Shepherd Be Taught Not To Bark
No.; Barking is a necessary tool for any dog, including the German shepherd.; Barking helps a dog regardless of breed communicate needs, wants, thoughts, feelings they may have.; Barking also expresses their knowledge of situations or issues that arise in their immediate environment that they want to make you aware of.
With proper training and daily reinforcement, the German shepherd will learn what is expected of them regarding barking and other noises.; They will apply this training and bark when they find it appropriate.
Why Do German Shepherds Bark
There are many reasons why a german shepherd could be barking:
Protective. Your german shepherd usually barks excessively when other german shepherds or animals come close to their territory. Your dog uses barking as a defending method when they sense a threat gets closer.
Fear. When your German shepherd is afraid of noise or any object that looks unfamiliar, they bark. This happens anywhere even outside their territory.;
Loneliness. If you leave your german shepherd alone for long periods, they may get. In this case, they often bark excessively because they are unhappy.;
Play. Usually, german shepherds bark when they greet people or other german shepherds. This is a kind of happy barking accompanied by tail wags!
Seeking attention. german shepherds want to pay attention to them, so they simply bark. Sometimes they want to go outside, play, or give them a treat.;
Barking is the only language that german shepherds use. In other words, barking is their vocal communication which means different things.;
Barking is natural, but barking so much that there seems no end to the barking is a sign of poor dog training and maybe even a behavioral problem. If you think your german shepherd barking is excessive, you should consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to make sure the problem is handled correctly.;
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They Are Anxious Or Stressed
Sometimes our German Shepherds will bark when they are overcome with emotions. Similar to you and I, our Shepherd pups can become anxious or stressed from many different aspects in their life.
Whether you have just moved to a new home, brought a new dog into your home, are away from home more than usual, are taking a trip to the vet, or any other major shifts in your daily life; our German Shepherds can struggle with these changes and be more vocal as a result.
If you fear that your dog is experiencing anxiety during a certain experience, you can limit their struggles with this soothing licking mat.;
These mats work in quite the opposite manner as a snuffle mat. Instead of promoting mental activity, a licking mat reduces it very similar to you and I meditating!
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.
Recommended Reading: When To Start Training Your German Shepherd
Step 1: Understand The Cause Of Your German Shepherds Barking
The first step helps you determine why your GSD is barking and then address the underlying issue rather than reprimand the behavior.
Top reasons your dog might bark at unknown people might include:
- Trying to greet the person but having poor greeting manners.
- Showing territorial behaviors, like protecting their home or yard.
- Exhibiting fear of a strange person they arent familiar with.
- Seeing strangers as potential threats.
A Shepherds instinct is to defend their family and home. So, they often bark when they notice strangers near their home or yard to protect and alert.;
They warn their families to threats by barking at people, even when they are not near their home or close to their yard yet your dog hears them.
Dont worry that you may ruin your dogs keen watchdog abilities by training them to not bark. Your dog will still remain watchful and aware of dangers, even if you discourage excessive barking.
The goal is to help them understand the difference between non-threatening objects and threatening objects. If you think your GSD is becoming aggressive, then read up on deterring aggressiveness in your German Shepherd.
How To Reduce Barking
A German Shepherd will typically bark as often as its owner allows, or in other words, how much it is trained to bark.
Barking can still be an important tool for German Shepherds. Many policemen or other servicemen train their German Shepherds to bark when it senses drugs, danger, or anything else it may need to alert others about.
German Shepherds take time to train, but they are intelligent and able to pick things up quickly, so long as training is consistent.
There are a few things to try when training a dog to reduce its barking. One method is to train it to bark on command and from there to stop barking on command.
To do this, get your dog energized and excited so that it barks. The open and close one hand as if your hand is speaking, and say the command word, such as speak to your dog. When your dog barks, give it a treat. After it starts to get it, dont reward it for barking more than once so that it understands you only want one bark.
After your dog understand what your command and hand signal means, you can now do the opposite. Get your dog energized and excited again, and get it to bark. Put your hand in front of its face so that it sees, and make a sign for quiet while saying the word quiet, or stop, or whichever command you choose.
Once your German Shepherd stops barking, reward it with a treat. Eventually, it will understand what both of your hand signals and commands mean, and it wont bark when you dont want it to.
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Why You Need To Invest In Training
Whether you hire a personal trainer, enroll in dog school, or handle the training by yourself, doing so is vital to creating a healthy relationship between you and your German Shepherd dog.
Failure to take time to train your dog can lead to: ;;;
- An increase in behavioral issues such as aggressiveness or violence
- Lower sociability
- Extreme stress and anxiety for your German Shepherd
Training your dog, however, will:
- Help him develop a well-balanced temperament
- Make him more sociable around other animals and humans
What To Do About Your German Shepherd Not Barking
If you want to get your German Shepherd to bark more then there are a number of things that you can do which I will mention below.
If you would like some more tips on how to train your German Shepherd, take a look at the .
Give it time
If your German Shepherd has not had much time to adjust to its new surroundings then its probably not feeling comfortable enough to start barking. If this is the case then you can wait a few more weeks to see if it starts barking as time goes by and it starts to get more comfortable.
Make it comfortable
If you think that your German Shepherd is not feeling comfortable then you can help to make it feel more comfortable. You can do this by giving it treats to play with, taking it out for walks and giving it lots of attention.
Make sure it isnt a medical problem
If you think that your German Shepherd might not be barking due to illness then you should take it to a vet and find out. If you find that it isnt ill then try the method below.
Train it to bark
If you want your German Shepherd to bark more then you can try training it to bark more.
To do this have some treats that the dog loves in your hands, give one of them to the dog so that it knows that you have them then keep the other just out of its reach until it barks and then give it to it.
Youll probably find that it wont just begin to bark straight away so start out by rewarding slight growling and then gradually require more and more until it starts to bark.
>> Is It Good That My German Shepherd Is Calm
It is not bad that your German Shepherd is quiet. Maybe its just the dogs nature. It has such genetics that it does not bark a lot.
I think it is good because random barking will not give you any hints of danger, you know it barks a lot.
But when it does not bark a lot but barks at certain times, you will sense that something is wrong. So I guess its a good thing.
How Do I Get My German Shepherd To Stop Barking
If you feel irritated because your GSDs barking is out of control, you want to make it stop. You can do it by first identifying the reason. Once you identified the reason, you can address the root of the problem.;
Here are the possible solutions:
- Guard GSD/Territorial GSD
If your GSD barks at your visitor, assure him that the visitor is not a threat. When you open the door and let your visitor come in, show youre friendly with the visitor. If your GSD stops barking, give him a treat. Repeat this until he learns to control his barking.;
If its not effective, teach him to be quiet on command. When your dog starts to bark, ignore him. When he stops, you say quiet then give him a treat. Repeat this process several times so your GSD can learn to become calm with strangers.
- Bored/Alone GSD
Aside from going outdoors for a daily run or walk, have regular training such as obedience training and agility training. Dont forget stimulating his mind by playing puzzle toys and mind games such as finding the treats around the room.
- Aggressive GSD
Start training your GSD at a young age. Put your GSD on a leash and go to public places like parks. Expose him to the company of other dogs. If he remains calm, reward him with a treat. If he becomes aggressive, stop praising him and ignore him. Repeat this several times until your GSD creates the connection and learns to stay calm whenever hes around with other dogs.
Here are mistakes to avoid:
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Barking To Getting Your Attention
Some dogs figure it out that when they bark a lot they get attention. These are 4 steps to deal with that problem:
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Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems And Personality Traits
Over the years working as a dog trainer, Ive probably worked with as many German shepherd dogs as any other breed.
Most often, they are an incredibly loyal breed, are devoted to their owners, and have really sweet and fun personalities. And so, to those of you who love the breed and wouldnt consider anything but a German shepherd in the future, I understand!
Yet, some people are terrified of them and feel they are dangerous dogs to own.
To those of you that are wary of German shepherds, I understand where you are coming from, too! First off, they are very large dogs and can come off very intimidating.
Second, their instinct to protect their family or property is strong and can lead untrained German shepherds to becoming very protective, aggressive, and scary dogs.
The keyword here is untrained, as any untrained dogregardless of breedcan have the same problems.
Over the last decade I really feel like Ive come to understand German shepherds and have personally fallen in love with this breed. Ive also realized that theyre so misunderstood due to poorly trained German shepherds often ending up in the news and how they are portrayed on TV and in the media.
For this reason, I wanted to write todays post in hopes that, if you are someone who fears this breed, are looking for help and direction with your dog, or you know someone who is wary of German shepherds, then this honest truth about this lovely breed might change your mind.
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Your German Shepherd Is Sick Or Hurt
While dogs have evolved to have many tools to communicate with people, talking in human words is not one of those tools.
So your dog has to resort to other ways to let you know if they are hurt or sick. One of those ways can be barking.
While barking may not be the way your dog chooses to let you know they are sick or hurt, if the barking doesnt appear to have any other cause, it is time to dig deeper.
The health issue may be external or it might be internal. For example, some dogs that are having dietary issues or hormonal issues might become more aggressive or irritable and bark more.
Mood changes are one of the primary signs that your dog may be developing an underlying health issue, and barking more is one of the primary signs of a mood change.
This is the right time to reach out to your dogs veterinarian to report what you are witnessing and, if necessary, make an appointment for your dog to be examined.
Check That Nothing Is Wrong
If your dog has juststarted to bark at night, this is sometimes a sign something is wrong. Thingslike dementia could cause the barking, and it is hard to use any of the othertips until you get this checked out. Always visit a vet and check your dog out forany potential issues before trying anything else out.
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Stop German Shepherd Barking Problems Once And For All
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German Shepherd barking can become a problem for a variety of reasons.
But as dog owners, we’d be unreasonable to expect our dogs never to bark.
Dogs are made to bark, it’s an essential method of communication that dogs can’t do without.
The trick is rather to get excessive barking under control.
Before we can work on how to get German Shepherd barking under control
Let’s first wrap our heads around the reasons why dogs bark.