Does your black German Shepherd bark at everything? Are you looking for ways to help your dog learn boundaries and limitations?
Maybe you’re just wondering why German Shepherds tend to bark more than other breeds. We’ll cover all of this and more!
Why is your black German Shepherd barking all the time?
Black German Shepherds are a color variation found in the German Shepherds breed. While black German Shepherds don’t bark any more than German Shepherds in general, the breed as a whole is prone to becoming overly anxious and protective. If your black German Shepherd is constantly barking, it may need training, physical exercise, a vet check, or mental stimulation.
In this comprehensive guide, we will talk about why German Shepherds are prone to barking, and what you can do about it. This way, you can stop your black German Shepherd from bothering the neighbors and potentially driving you up the wall. Let’s get started!
What Makes German Shepherds More Vocal Than Other Breeds?
Why are German Shepherds so vocal? What makes them bark all of the time? If you own a black German Shepherd, you may be wondering this yourself. Below, we will discuss the answers to these questions and much more.
This article from wagwalking.com discusses why German Shepherd bark more than other dogs, and why it tends to be more noticeable. It explains why this breed seems more intimidating to strangers because of their stature and overall volume.
Knowing more about a dog’s breed can help you understand their behavioral tendencies. This great YouTube video talks about German Shepherds, their history, and what they are best known for!
German Shepherds are Comparatively Loud
According to recent scientific studies, German Shepherds are one of the loudest dog breeds around. In a test of 16 different breeds, they were rated as one of the loudest dog breeds out there.
This means that if your German Shepherd is barking, you’re going to know it. These dogs are loud! They’re louder than a running tractor, with a bark sound rating of around 86 decibels! So, if this dog decides to bark, everyone will know it.
German Shepherds Can Be Territorial
German Shepherds are also fairly protective dogs. This is likely because they were bred to do a job. Namely, they were bred to herd and protect livestock, which is why they are known as German Shepherds instead of German Waterhounds or Retrievers.
As a Shepherd breed, this dog will be protective of their family, their territory, or anything that they decide is their territory. This can be your yard, porch, home, or vehicle. When the dog notices a threat, they will start barking.
This article written by GSD expert Shannon Cutts discusses why German Shepherds bark more than other breeds and how their behavior may have to do with them feeling threatened or anxious.
Some German Shepherds Have a Lot of Extra Energy
Since German Shepherds were bred to work, they inherently have a lot of stamina. This stamina comes in handy when they are herding sheep, patrolling with law enforcement officials, or serving on the front lines in the military.
However, if your German Shepherd is spending most of their day in a kennel or on the couch with you, there’s a good chance they’re not getting all of their energy out. These dogs need to run, jump, play, chase, and generally exercise to burn off steam.
GermanShepherdsOwner explains that German Shepherds need more exercise than many other breeds do. They need at least an hour of exercise a day.
They were bred to be able to keep up with tough jobs, so they have to burn that extra energy off, or they will start acting out.
Because of Breeding, German Shepherds are Sensitive
This is a breed that has been bred for decades upon decades to key into things that go unnoticed by human beings. For example, they can hear the tread of a predator’s feet, smell an unfamiliar animal from yards away, and see in the dark.
Your black German Shepherd may see, smell, or hear, things that you can’t. As such, they will bark to let you know what’s going on.
This is what they have been bred to do, after all. There’s a good chance your dog is just looking out for you, no matter how frustrating it may feel.
German Shepherd enthusiast Joy Tiz discusses how to deal with the heightened alertness and sensitivity of a German Shepherd without crossing the line into over-reactiveness in an enlightening article that discusses the breed in-depth.
This is a Breed That Needs a Lot of Training
While German Shepherds are eager to please and are in many cases motivated by praise and affection, an untrained German Shepherd will pretty much do whatever he wants to. For your dog to please you, he has to know what you want from him.
The thing is, telling your dog to “hush” or “lie down” may not be the way to get him to stop barking.
Even though this is a smart pooch with a lot of loyalty and understanding, we assure you that your dog does not speak modern English fluently. He speaks fluent dog. You’re going to have to train him using dog language.
To learn some of the do’s and don’ts of training a German Shepherd, we recommend checking out alphatraineddog.com. There, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on what you should and should not do when training a German Shepherd specifically.
This Keenly Intelligent Breed Can Be Trained to Do The Wrong Thing By Accident
German Shepherds can be incredibly intelligent. Unfortunately, this means that you may have inadvertently trained your dog to bark. That’s right!
In some cases, the dog will decide that you have trained him to do a behavior when you in fact wish him to do the opposite.
Miscommunications like this can happen when owners are used to training a different breed, are unfamiliar with proper handling methods, or simply haven’t yet invested the time and energy into training their dog on certain behaviors.
Not to worry! In the next section, we will tell you how to fix this.
If you have any doubts about how smart your German Shepherd is, you may want to read this article from thesmartcanine.com. It explains that these dogs are one of the smartest breeds on earth!
What Can You Do About a Black German Shepherd Who Barks at Everything?
We’ve talked about why your dog may be barking at the top of his lungs all of the time, now let’s talk about how to fix it.
Luckily, there are a lot of things that you can do to teach your dog when it’s okay to bark, and when he needs to let your neighbors sleep.
You may want to check out this helpful guide from GermanShepherdCorner. It goes over some awesome tactics that you can use to stop barking problems once and for all.
Otherwise, here are some helpful tips that you can use to teach your black German Shepherd to quit barking.
1. Stop Encouraging Barking Behavior
The first thing you need to do is to stop promoting barking. While you may feel like you have done nothing to promote barking behaviors in your Shepherd, your dog might disagree.
This is a very smart pup! There’s a good chance that you’ve encouraged barking on accident.
German Shepherds can be trained to be quiet, there’s a lot of proof of this in police dogs, military dogs, and other working German Shepherds.
They tend to only bark when they have a reason to. Sometimes, your attention and interest might be enough of a reason.
Do you tend to go to the window to see what your Shepherd is barking at? Do you comfort and pet your dog when he barks? Do you offer treats to distract your dog from his barking mission? Well, these are all great reasons for him to bark. You see, he may have trained you!
To fix this, the next time your dog barks, react exactly how you always have. Then, examine yourself. What might you be doing to encourage your dog to keep barking? Are you soothing him? Petting him? Whatever it is, he might want you to do it, so stop.
2. Examine Your Reprimand Techniques
Dogs are pretty predictable. They have a set of canine rules, standards of behavior, and instincts. People, on the other hand, are much more difficult to understand. If you have been reprimanding your dog for barking in the wrong way, it’s easy to tell.
If you reprimand your dog for barking, and then the dog still barks soon after, your reprimand techniques may be off. Reprimands can be seen as a form of attention. Even negative attention still counts as attention in dog land.
For example, if you yell at your dog when he barks, he may think you are joining him in barking. In dog language, this can translate to, “my owner is barking with me, hooray!” You’ve got to learn to reprimand your dog in the right way.
A better option is to wait until your dog stops barking. Then, when he’s quiet and calm, offer a treat, affection, or a toy. He will start to make the connection that quiet calm behavior gets him more attention than barking.
3. Wear Your Dog Out During the Day
There’s a good chance that your German Shepherd is barking because he’s blowing off steam. In the same way that you come home from work and unwind with a glass of wine or watch a basketball game, your dog might bark because he likes it.
Some dogs are just vocal that way. They like the sound of their voice! It’s more a way that they can “do their duty” and burn off energy, but it’s the same concept. Barking feels good, right, and appropriate, so they bark.
When you allow your dog to get lots of physical and mental stimulation, he will naturally be more tired when you’re trying to wind down for the day.
So, be sure to walk your dog, play with your dog, and make sure that he’s getting a lot of physical and mental exercise.
4. Seek Training Advice from an Expert
This breed can be pretty intense. While they are highly trainable and very intelligent, they can also be very difficult to un-train. This means that it might be time to call in the professionals. Behavioral training courses can help.
Obedience classes can give you a wealth of insight into a dog’s mind. You’ll learn what sets your dog off and how to stop it.
Sometimes, working on training as a whole will help you eliminate bad behaviors. You’ll be able to set clear and consistent boundaries and communicate and control your dog better.
5. Check for Underlying Health Issues
Since German Shepherds can be naturally vocal dogs, it might be hard to tell if their barking is a behavioral issue or if something is wrong. In recent years, over breeding has led to various neurological issues in this breed and many other breeds.
If your dog has a neurological issue, anxiety, or something else, only a licensed veterinarian will be able to help. That’s right, dogs can have anxiety just like people. Your vet will be able to diagnose underlying issues and prescribe something to help.
6. Consider Using a Training Collar as a Last Resort
There are colors available that can be used as training tools to teach your dog not to bark. We recommend this as a last resort. If you can train and work with your dog, that should be done first. A vet visit should also be considered.
However, if you’ve exhausted every other option, a training collar may help. Some collars release an unpleasant owner when triggered by the vibrations of a bark. These collars are considered to be much more humane than shock collars.
Remember, never hit or scream at your dog, as this will not help, and can damage your relationship with your pup. Avoid purchasing a behavior modification collar or shock collar unless you’ve talked to your veterinarian or dog trainer first.