Do German Shepherds Bark A Lot? Reasons For It

When you live near lots of houses and have neighbors that hate noise, owning a German Shepherd can be an issue. So you would question, do German Shepherds bark a lot?

Yes, German Shepherds like any other dog can bark excessively!

Several reasons responsible for the extra barking include underlying health issues, lack of training, excess energy, a show of emotion, etc. 

Read on to find out more about why German Shepherd bark and solutions to help stop it. 

Why Do German Shepherds Bark A Lot?

If left without training, their barking can become a nuisance for everyone.

There is no one reason but many for German Shepherd barking and your task is to find out what the reason is. 

Here are possible reasons why your German Shepherd may be barking a lot. 

1. Boredom 

Dogs get bored quite easily. Especially if it is a working breed like the German Shepherd.

Their ancestors would herd and protect livestock and today’s line have the role of guard and companion. 

So, you could easily see how a German Shepherd could get bored. Staying busy all day long is in their genetics!


Providing toys is not enough to occupy your dog. To stop boredom barking, you must from a young age teach your dog how to entertain himself.

Having your attention all day long is not a solution to this problem as it is not realistic for working people.

However, in addition to toys, you must also give your dog adequate quality time and playtime in the backyard.

Failure to do so will lead to more issues relating to disobedience. 

2. Lack Of Training and Socialization

Owners of poor-quality German Shepherds from a puppy mill or a German Shepherd shelter may suffer from this problem.

Dogs that have not been through the training system from puppyhood could exhibit barking due to lack of training. 

Likewise, puppies that have been taken away from their mother and litter too early could develop barking due to lack of socialization.

Socialization within a litter is important as they learn to be social towards other dogs as well as important qualities from their mother.


To prevent this type of barking, ensure that you train your dog. Whether you adopt an adult or a German Shepherd puppy, you have to put in the effort to train him.

Even if he has already been trained by someone else, your desired behavior and training could differ from the training he has received. 

3. Health Issues

Just like humans, dogs feel pain and suffering too. There is a range of illnesses that can put your German Shepherd through pain.

He will understandably voice his pain to you by barking at you to get your attention. This type of barking can be associated with reduced mobility in your dog. 

Dogs old and young can be suffering from a disease and it is important to watch your dog’s activity levels.

Certain things can tip you off whether the dog is ill or not, be aware of them. 


To avoid health issues that can end in your dog suffering, keep routine and regular visits to your local vet.

Monitor your dog’s sleeping, eating, and activity patterns to pick up any changes that are out of the ordinary. 

4. When Under Threat

A German Shepherd that is under threat will start barking immediately! This could be a tactic to scare away the threat. It can also act as a warning sign that the person/animal should leave or stop what they are doing. 

If the threat does not subside, don’t expect the barking to stop either! Dogs are very protective of their owners, even more so for the German Shepherd who has high protective instincts. 

This dog breed definitely barks more than other dog breeds. You can tell the difference if you are a household that contains an assortment of dog breeds. 


German Shepherd dogs are instinctively aggressive due to their guarding instincts. But, barking at the mailman or neighbor every time is not acceptable!

You have to take your dog to public places from puppyhood. Letting him see people and other dogs can curb aggression.

Training is essential for this dog breed since biting incidents are a reality. 

5. Communication

Just as humans communicate with their voices, dogs communicate with their bark, groans, and growls.

They might want to communicate with their owners or other dogs that they can hear barking.

This could occur throughout the day but especially at night. Dogs are highly active at night and choose to be most vocal then.

Is your German Shepherd barking at night? Find out why dogs bark at night.

6. To Show Emotions

An unsettled German Shepherd has no other way to bark to show that something is not right.

Barking to get your attention will be common if your German Shepherd is suffering from a range of emotions.

These are common emotions a dog can feel, anxiety, fear, excitement, and loneliness. 

7. Anxious/Afraid

A dog that is afraid and going through anxious feelings will bark out of fear. It is almost a reflex for dogs to bark to show their emotions.

But, most owners will eventually learn what each bark means. 

Just because a German Shepherd is large and oppositive, doesn’t mean he is not afraid of anything! Anxiety and fear will be especially common in a German Shepherd puppy.

But even in adulthood, some instances can cause your dog to become anxious. 

Perhaps you are moving to a new house, a family member is moving out, or another pet is joining the family.

Instances such as these can cause anxiety/fear, and hence your dog will bark.

Sensing how to improve and accommodate your dog during such situations will dictate how to stop the barking. 

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8. Excitement

Barking can also be a sign of joy! You can witness excitement barking in German Shepherd puppies more than adults.

This is assuming you train your full-grown German Shepherd properly. 

Dogs easily get excited when getting a treat, playing with their owner, or even getting a visitor.

You can put a stop to this type of barking through thorough training from puppyhood.

9. Loneliness

Ever heard of Separation Anxiety? Your dog’s barking could be a cause of his favorite family member leaving him!

Or even a complete change of family could be what creates this sense of loneliness and loss. 

It’s tough to see someone leave the house, especially for the long term. But if you don’t want to hear your dog excessively barking about it, you have to comfort him.

But sometimes a dog can develop this condition even if you are leaving for work every day!

10. Too Much Energy!

Not getting your German Shepherd enough exercise? Expect him to use his extra energy up on barking and being destructive!

This is the last thing you would want and can cause real problems around the house. 

Furniture could end up with chew marks and nights could be full of excessive loud barking! Imagine what a German Shepherd with no exercise could do! 


Stopping your dog from using excess energy on barking is very easy. It is a must if you don’t want to deal with the negative effects the energy can cause.

All you have to do is make sure to get your dog enough activity every day.

Give your German Shepherd enough exercise and activity to make sure he is worn out at the end of each day.

This should make sure he spends the evenings sleeping and resting for the next day! 

Looking for a larger German Shepherd mix to add to your family? Check out to see if you will like the St Bernard German Shepherd Mix.

How To Train Your German Shepherd To Bark Less?

A certain amount of barking from your German Shepherd is tolerable. But, when it gets too much it becomes a problem for everyone.

Especially for neighbors that want to have some peace and quiet! So if you want to stop the barking you have to ask a question. 

Find the reason for the barking

So based on this, you can start tackling how to stop the extra barking.

Next, once you have managed to identify the reason for the barking, use positive methods to solve the problem. 

Be Positive!

Be reinforcing and wait for him to get it right. When he gets it right, give him a treat and praise him!

This breed is smart and it won’t be long till he understands why he is getting a treat. But sometimes even a treat is not good enough for these dogs. 

You have to produce a good incentive for them to behave and do what you want! 

Practice Constant Training

If you really want results, you have to work for them! Your German Shepherd can be difficult sometimes and they easily fall back into old habits if you allow them to.

You must be thorough and consistent if you want this to work out for both of you. 

What Not To Do To Get Your Dog Quiet

When it comes to ways to get your dog to stop barking, negative methods are not the way to go about it. Is this because they do not work? If anything, they will make your dog more stubborn and he will end up confusing him as there is no lesson to learn. 

  • Don’t hit or throw anything at your dog
  • Verbal abuse and shouting at him when he barks is ineffective
  • Avoid starving him and punishing him

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Is It Possible To Train A German Shepherd To Stop Barking Completely?

It is impossible to train a dog to never bark, and it is a foolish request actually! Besides, wouldn’t it be very odd to have a dog that does not bark at all?

Dogs need their bark to communicate with their owners as well as other dogs. 

The German Shepherd’s bark is one of its assets. It comes in handy to scare off people seeing as this breed is majorly kept as a guard dog.

You would agree that apart from physicality and instinct, the bark is what makes this dog effective at being a guard. 

It is possible to limit the amount of barking and instances that invite barking.

German Shepherd owners can do this through training that should commence from the time you adopt your German Shepherd as a puppy. 

Making sure you adopt a high-quality German Shepherd from the right breeder is also important to counter unwanted barking.

To make sure bad barking habits do not develop, puppies should have good parentage and should remain with their mother for a decent amount of time after birth. 

Do German Shepherds Howl?

The vocal skills of a German Shepherd are not limited to barks, they can whine, growl, and howl.

These dogs basically howl for the same reasons why they would bark. Except, at night, they can howl in response to some noises (sirens, other howls, or sounds).

There is nothing wrong with your German Shepherd for doing this. It is perfectly normal! 

At what age does a German Shepherd become aggressive?

Some aggression begins to show at the age of 3 months to 6 months. It then increases from 6 months to 2 years as the dog transitions from an adolescent to a mature adult.