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A German Shepherd dog barks to express his feelings and what he/she wants from the owner, but sometimes this barking behavior exceeds the level which is considered normal.
This is when this excessive barking behavior needs to be stopped. BUT HOW????
How can you stop your German Shepherd dog’s incessant barking problem? Let’s understand the reasons behind your GSD dog’s excessive barking…
1. Breed-Specific Function
2.Protecting their Territory
3.Alarmed or Startled
4.Saying Hello and Playing
5.Asking for Attention
Before you implement something to stop your German Shepherd’s excessive barking problem, it is extremely important to understand the reason due to which your dog is barking non-stop.
Here are 7 steps you need to follow to stop your German Shepherd’s barking behavior once and for all:
FIND OUT THE CAUSE OF YOUR GERMAN SHEPARD’S BARKING: Mostly German Shepherds that bark at strangers are being territorial. Territorial barking usually occurs because your dog is fearful and views strangers as potential threats. The dog’s natural instinct is to defend his territory, so they often bark when they detect strangers in familiar locations like their houses and their yard.
Some German Shepherd might also bark at strangers to alert their human companions of a potential threat. Dogs that alarm their human companions of potential threats may sometimes even bark at strangers, even when they are not in their house or yard. A German Shepherd may also bark when he sees strangers in the park, on the street or any other unfamiliar location.
DO NOT YELL OR SHOUT AT YOUR GERMAN SHEPARD FOR BARKING: If your German Shepherd is barking at strangers because he is scared or anxious, shouting at him will only add to his stress. Instead of shouting at him, you should train him to respond to strangers in a proper manner and to only bark when necessary.
DO NOT DEPEND ON A MUZZLE TO STOP YOUR GERMAN SHEPARD FROM BARKING: Some dog companions may attempt to use a muzzle to conceal their dog’s barking. Most times, dog companions use anti-bark collars and muzzles as a method of punishment for their dog. The use of anti-bark and muzzles should be a last resort because they are not as effective in training the dog properly and they can result in behavior problems.
TEACH YOUR GERMAN SHEPARD THE “QUIET” COMMAND: This command will teach your German Shepherd that he is allowed to bark when he sees a stranger in the house until you say the QUIET command. The dog will not bark more than three to four times and then stop when you calmly say the QUIET command.
Teach him this command when a stranger comes to your house, for instance, a delivery man. Allow your dog to bark three to four times and then stand over him and say the QUIET command.
Then go to your German Shepherd and gently hold his muzzle closed with your hand, then say the QUIET command once more. Release the dog’s muzzle and move back away from him.
Then, call him away from the door or window by saying his name and using the HERE command. Then use the SIT command to make your dog sit and reward him with treats and praise. If he still remains quietly in his sitting position for the next several minutes, reward him with many more treats and lots of praise until the stranger is gone.
However, if the dog starts barking the moment he is in a sitting position, repeat the sequence again and do not reward him until he sits and remains quiet.
If you feel uncomfortable holding the dog’s muzzle or if you feel like you might scare him if you do so, try the QUIET command without holding the dog’s muzzle.
TRY THE “QUIET COMMAND WITHOUT HOLDING YOUR GERMAN SHEPARD’S MUZZLE: When a stranger enters your house, allow your German Shepherd to bark three to four times, then move towards him and say the QUIET command.
Encourage him to be silent by rewarding him with treats and praise. Repeat this procedure frequently over a period of several days until your dog starts understanding what the QUIET command means. Your dog will stop barking at strangers once you say the QUIET command.
After many days of practicing the QUIET command, increase the time between giving the QUIET command and giving the dog a reward.
Say the QUIET command and wait for at least two seconds before rewarding the dog with treats. And then gradually extend the waiting period to five seconds, then 10 seconds, then 20 seconds and then 30 seconds.