Do you worry about your German Shepherd barking at other dogs a lot?
Wondering how you can put an end to this problem once and for all?
If you are tired of your pooch yapping each time he spots other pups, then it is time to take action.
Fortunately, German Shepherds are smart dogs, and getting him to stop barking unnecessarily should not be an impossible feat.
Today, we’ll talk about the reasons why your German Shepherd barks at other dogs and how you can stop this behavioral issue completely. Let’s get started!
German Shepherd Barking At Other Dogs – Why It Happens
Before we address the issue on how to stop your pooch from barking at other dogs, let’s first identify the cause of the problem.
So why does this happen, anyway?
First of all, German Shepherds are highly protective of their owners. It is simply their nature, this is why they bark – they want to ward off potential threats as how they see it.
GSDs are also territorial animals. They are uncomfortable with seeing other dogs enter their territory. Even if these pups are simply walking by in front of your home, they tend to bark. It is their way of expressing their anxiety or feelings of being threatened.
As for other reasons behind a German Shepherd barking at other dogs, they may simply be excited and eager to play with them. They are communicating their enthusiasm to come near to that other pooch.
And lastly, German Shepherds that are not socialized well or untrained earlier in their life can also be quite vocal and bark a lot.
Read more: Are German Shepherds Hard to Train?
How To Stop A German Shepherd Barking At Other Dogs
Now that we know these reasons why your German Shepherd tends to bark at other dogs, how can you solve this problem?
Here are things you can do that always work when you want to cease the barking issue once and for all!
1. Distract Your Dog
If you think that your dog is about to bark because you spot some dogs ahead of you, be proactive by distracting your pooch.
Give him treats right away just before he barks. This positive reinforcement encourages him to not focus on the dog but on you.
When he gets trained to do this, it will help to stop him from barking at other dogs. Before he gets any contact with another pup, he will learn to put his attention solely on you. Thus, the barking will stop quickly.
2. Train Your German Shepherd Early
As much as possible, you should begin the training process early on in your dog’s life.
Puppyhood is the perfect time to start training your dog as this will help to strengthen the positive behavior.
We recommend that you spend a few minutes daily when training your GSD pup. Do this consistently until adulthood and once a desirable behavior has been reinforced.
3. Practice Positive Reinforcement
Another technique that always works when it comes to helping your German Shepherd to stop barking at other dogs is positive reinforcement.
Praise good behavior whenever you see it. The more praises you give for a job well done, the more your pup will continue behaving favorably.
For instance, you should tell your pup, “Good job!” when you observe him doing something good. You can also pet your pooch and give treats when he stops barking at the other dog.
Sure, you want to teach your pet what he should not be doing. Yet, you also should not hold back when he behaves accordingly. Always have a reward on hand and catch him doing good. This will reinforce your GSD to keep doing those things that led him to a tasty reward!
4. Obedience Training Goes A Long Way
A firm command is the way to go when teaching your pup to obey you and not to bark at other dogs.
When your pup begins barking excessively at another dog, tell him firmly to “Sit” or “Quiet”.
Keep training him to follow these commands and give treats or positive reinforcement at the same time.
This way, he can realize that he is not in control whenever he sees a dog and wants to bark. He will understand that you are in control and that obeying your commands will earn him a reward.
5. Know When And How To Give Treats
There is a way to use treats to stop excessive barking at other dogs. As we have mentioned earlier, it should be before he begins to bark.
But at the same time, you should continue giving treats as soon as your pooch stays quiet and stops the barking.
Eventually, your pet should be able to draw the connection between not barking and getting treats. So once the other dog has left, you can stop giving the treats. With practice, your pooch will realize that he earns his treats when he becomes quiet around another dog.
As for the kind of treats to give, you don’t have to make it too big. Just a pea-size piece of cheese, his favorite vegetable or fruit, or some meat should suffice. You can also go for store-bought treats, as long as they are healthy and wholesome ones.
When teaching your dog a positive behavior, giving rewards instead of punishment always goes a long way.
You don’t need to be cruel or harsh to your pup when he barks at another pooch. In fact, there may be reasons behind that, which you also need to understand.
Thus, it is not your dog’s fault; you only need to redirect his focus and show him a better way of handling the situation.
Never ever hit your dog for barking at another canine he sees. Harsh actions will only cause your pet to develop resentment towards you. He may also become scared and anxious, which adds another problem to an already existing issue.
So, practice firmness, consistency, as well as positive reinforcement to strengthen the behavior you want to see in your pet. Then, you can completely put an end to this barking completely!