How To Stop Your German Shepherd From Barking
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How to Stop Your German Shepherd From Barking

My family has a German Shepherd named Jake. He is almost a year old and weighs close to 100 pounds and he is a very important part of our family. Our family consists of my husband and I and three beautiful children, ages 8, 10 and 13. Jake became part of our family just after Christmas of 2012. Over the last few months he has learned a lot, but he does have one annoying habit.....he loves to go outside and bark at night. He is pretty quiet during the day, but as soon as its dark his hair stands up on his back and he commences to bark, not continuously, but enough that it does become a annoyance.

We have wireless fencing around our yard, so he is free to roam inside of his safe zone. Thankfully, we live out in the middle of an old cow pasture and our nearest neighbors are my sister and her family and my parents, both of which have German Shepherds of their own.

I can't blame Jake to much, barking is the natural way for him to articulate his feelings, but it shouldn't become a nuisance. Barking is part of a dogs gene pool and some barking is healthy for your German Shepherd. It helps to relieve tension. However, at times Jake's barking does get out of hand.

There are a number of reason why your German Shepherd barks and in order to conquer the barking problem its important to know these reasons. Your GSD (or any dog) may bark because he is ill, he may be in pain and be trying to tell you, he may be angry, excited, scared, hungry. Your dog may need to go outside or be seeking attention or he may be trying to alert you of an intruder. Its entirely impossible to stop your dog from barking nor should you try, but it is possible for you to control when your dog barks and for how long. You will need to identify the reasons your German Shepherd is barking and in most, but not all cases you can then remove the cause of the barking.

When your dog begins to bark you need to take a look at their surroundings to try to determine what is causing him to bark. Is he hungry, scared or excited? Is there an animal or an intruder trying to come into his territory? Maybe he has noticed something that he sees as danger, but you don't. Is he ill or hurt? When you start going through the “list” of reasons your dog may be barking you can rule out certain causes.

When it comes to Jake our German Shepherd barking, I asked myself a few questions to try and determine the cause of his barking. I thought about what time of the day does Jake bark the most?.....Can I tell what he is barking at?.....Has there been a specific noise or “trigger” that made him start to bark?..... Jake usually barks at night. Don't get me wrong, he does bark during the day at times too, but at night the duration and intensity of his barking is longer and harder. Since we do live out in the country we can hear Coyotes howling all around us. I am pretty sure that the Coyotes are the culprit. We put up a trail cam and we were able to get pictures of a Coyote close by behind our house. I am pretty confident that Jake feels that the sound of the Coyote is a threat and that is what makes him bark. He wants to protect his family and keep them away. Knowing this, it's hard to be annoyed at his barking! During nights when the whether isn't so nice and the Coyotes are probably farther into the woods, Jake is quiet. He can't hear them and doesn't feel like they want to intrude in his territory.

Please don't yell, kick or treat your dog harshly to make him stop barking, instead try to make your dog feel at ease in his enviroment. If you can, remove the cause and not the symptom. A German Shepherd is a highly intelligent breed and can learn very quickly. In our situation with Jake, we can't remove the cause, since we really can't get rid of the Coyotes, but we can train him to using dog commands using positive reinforcement. A German Shepherd can be taught to bark when told or to be quiet when told. It may take some repetition, but it won't be long. If you can't eliminate the cause of the barking, with the proper training, you can control barking on command and your German Shepherd will still alert you if he feels danger looming.


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