German Shepherd Barking, Unsurprising, but Manageable!
German Shepherd barking should not really surprise anyone familiar with the breed. Why? The simplest answer lies in its intense loyalty and intelligence. German Shepherds, even as family dogs, take their job of guarding hearth and home and, especially, their people, quite seriously. Should they sense that something is amiss, via sight, scent, or hearing, and therefore, even the remotest threat to those they love, they will react. Since unable to shout a warning, they are going to do the only thing they can, bark loudly.
Some Background on the German Shepherd Breed
Although German Shepherds make great family dogs, they are, historically, one of the most versatile of all breeds. Perhaps due to their quick learning ability, they have served as livestock herders, sporting, sight, and service dogs, key responders on search and rescue missions, and as working, highly trained, police and military team members. Characteristic of any dog, the level of training determines expected behaviour. It is unlikely that German Shepherd barking would be problematic, for instance, where the discipline of extremely quiet, necessary in covert military operations, has been instilled. However, since most German Shepherds serve as family dogs, though highly capable of disciplined silence, they typically do not receive such rigorous, technical training.
German Shepherds Have Acute Hearing
Along with an extremely keen sense of smell, able to detect concentrations 100 million times weaker than humans, and eyes capable of seeing at a range of 270 degrees, as opposed to people's 180, their ears are yet another natural phenomenon. While commonly known that dogs possess far more sensitive hearing than humans do, German Shepherds have a particularly acute auditory sense, attributable to the shape and size of their ears. Shaped like radar antennae, their ears have eighteen muscles and are able to pinpoint sound from two different sources at once! German Shepherd barking, then, might almost be expected in the absence of formal silence training, given an active, alert dog.
How to Curb German Shepherd Barking?
Should German Shepherd barking become a nuisance, solutions exist. Since barking is as natural for dogs as talking is for people, it's best to concentrate on the most problematic circumstances and work on curbing those. Remedies include professional trainers or training classes and, more specifically, behavior modification seeking to identify underlying causes, such as boredom or lack of exercise. Additionally, training aids, such as no-bark collars, can be purchased; these use negative reinforcement to stop barking when it begins. First though, any medical or emotional issues, such as severe separation anxiety, should be professionally ruled out before personally attempting to remedy the situation. With patience and love, German Shepherd barking can be brought under control, keeping the breed's character and integrity intact, along with its place in the family.