While excessive barking in German Shepherds can be a troubling behavior, there is often a reason for this behavior, and your dog has multiple barks. Deciphering the meaning behind these barks is important, so make sure you pay attention to the different barks from your dog. Dogs will often have a specific bark when they are hungry, a different bark for when they are scared or trying to alert you of something, and a certain bark for when they need to go outside to relieve themselves.
However, if barking becomes an issue in your home, and if your dog is barking more than usual (or for seemingly no reason), there are steps you can take to help eliminate the behavior and find a little bit of peace and quiet again.
First you need to pinpoint the cause of the barking, based on the different types of barks that you have observed. Is your dog barking because you adopted a new pet and your German Shepherd feels as if the new pet is encroaching on his or her territory? If that’s the case, try to remove the new pet away from your dog, giving him or her plenty of space. Don’t allow other pets to eat or drink from the same food bowl as your dog, or to play with the same toys.
If your dog barks at sounds outside, other dogs walking by, or small children playing, you can calmly talk to your dog to help him or her understand that everything will be okay. You can also engage him or her in a game – try breaking out a favorite toy and helping your German Shepherd focus on something else for a while. Put on some music (not too loud) to drown out any environmental sounds that might be getting your dog riled up.
If your German Shepherd is barking constantly because they want attention or are demanding something (such as to go out for a walk or have their food bowl filled), it is important to make sure that you do not encourage the behavior. Once you begin honoring your dog’s “requests,” he or she will notice that this type of barking works for getting what they want. Try to ignore the barking, and eventually it can dissuade your dog from continuing the behavior. Make sure not to give in, or your dog will realize that you will eventually cave.
If you are having a lot of problems with your German Shepherd barking, and you can’t get them to stop the behavior, you can always get in touch with a certified animal behaviorist, an animal trainer, or your veterinarian, and he or she can work with you and your dog to help alleviate the problem.
Whatever you do, make sure not to use an electric collar on your dog for barking purposes – it is cruel, inhumane, and can cause fear and pain in your pet. Also, makes sure you never tie or fasten your dog’s muzzle – this is considered animal cruelty by most, and rightfully so. There are much better ways to deal with a barking problem, so check with your veterinarian for tips.