Barking German Shepherds

If your German Shepherd likes to bark, check out these tips on how to manage your dog’s barking problem.

By By Christina Cox-Evick | posted: March 28, 2012, 12 p.m. EDT

Buy German Shepherd Puppies German Shepherds like to bark. Dogs find barking self-reinforcing, meaning barking serves as its own reward. Barking burns energy while satisfying that German Shepherd Dog guardian instinct. Because of this, a German Shepherd who’s left alone for extended periods – particularly where he can view outside stimuli like squirrels, birds or people – will bark.

The best defense against barking is managing your German Shepherd’s behavior. Ample exercise releases excess energy. Living inside the home coupled with daily training and play sessions prevents loneliness. Limited time alone outdoors curbs nuisance barking, and privacy fencing or creative landscaping blocks visual stimuli.

When your German Shepherd barks, don’t yell at him. Though many owners fall into the habit of trying to out-volume their German Shepherd Dogs, the dogs ultimately turn a deaf ear.

In addition to barking management, you can also teach your GSD to turn barking on and off on cue, which gives you control. Jean Rodoski, owner of J-Mar Shepherds and a top-level obedience competitor, advises training the "speak” and "quiet” cues.

To train speak, catch your dog barking and say "speak,” then reward him with a treat. It shouldn’t take long for your German Shepherd to associate the cue with action and respond with a bark upon hearing "speak.” Likewise, the second your GSD stops barking, say "quiet,” and again reward him with a treat. Repeat this scenario until your dog quiets down on cue.

Excerpt from the Popular Puppies Series magabook German Shepherd Puppies with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase German Shepherd Puppies here.



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