At what age did your puppy start barking at strangers entering your yard? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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At what age did your puppy start barking at strangers entering your yard?

And what is considered appropriate? Do your dogs bark when a stranger enters yard on its own? Do your dogs bark when a stranger enters home accompanied by owner? How do your dogs barking behaviours change as they age?

My puppy started barking at Amazon delivery people recently and I am not sure if I should be concerned (she is 4 month old). I.e. is this fear based or can protection traits show up this early? Also do GSDs generally bite an unknown stranger (delivery) who enters the yard when they are outside as well?

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Last edited by lonecat; 02-05-2017 at 09:32 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 10:23 PM
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It depends on how you raise them or socialize them. Mine doesn't bark at people. She's six months old. She stands alert and watches anyone that comes on the property. They stay back from her and wait for me to come over. When I met her mother, her mother never barked at me. She stayed alert and watched me. Her mother is a Czech import IPO 1. If there is no threat, I, personally, don't want her to bark at them, she can alert and watch.


When someone comes in the house with me she does the same. She watches them. After they're there she'll be friendly with them. I don't know if she'll always be friendly, she was very aloof and not interested in people when younger. But I don't have to worry about her biting anyone. I wouldn't want a dog that would possibly bite someone coming into the house with me.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 02:20 AM
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Debs dogs sound "exceptional?? Mine would watch if someone comes on to the property and would bark if they knocked on the door, Struddell anyway "my Boxer." Rocky seems to have a lower threshold, if he hears them coming up the walk he barks.

He's kinda of a "PIA" with that crap but we don't get a lot of drops in so ... whatever. As for biting ... no never happened and my dogs were never given the opportunity to attempt it. Granted a non threatening stranger was only at risk of being likced to death by my "Band Dawg and my Boxe" but they pretty much "never" in 10 years, were given the opportunity to interact freely with random starngers without me being "eyes on." That practice came in handy with my "GSD" becasue he was a threat.

I don't know your property but if your dog is not threshold trained?? Then they should not be in the front yard unobserved period! And even if they are any time not eyes on should be brief. And if you don't have a people "known" people friendly dog, then even brief is a no go.

Eyes on and train a "Down/Stay" and you'll be fine.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 03:02 AM
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Regardless of age, for any dog, alert barking need not fit in the categories of only fear or protectiveness. Sometimes it's simply alerting. At 4 months puppies are still very much in a curiosity and excitement stage - when I do this, that happens... both reactions from you as well as from the stimulus. It could also be fear but then I'd have to ask why you think that. Is it the type of bark? Body language? Past experiences?

Personally, I don't care for barking so no matter if my dog is fearful, protective, etc etc... one bark is enough and I have little tolerance for anything more unless the situation appears as a direct threat. I don't punish them, it's more like - cool, thanks, that's enough.

Gia rarely barked, Tilden has adjusted well to the 1 bark rule, Keystone will push the envelope to 3 or 4 but is responsive to 'quiet'.

None of my dogs bark at guests once I make contact or invite them in.

All were acquired between 7 and 10 months. Keystone is the only one who had a distinct change in his motives - somewhere around a year and a half.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Fodder View Post
Regardless of age, for any dog, alert barking need not fit in the categories of only fear or protectiveness. Sometimes it's simply alerting.
Good point it's kinda of a "Dog thing."

Rocky is more of a "PIA" then my others dogs usually four or more Barks ticks me off, enough to be annoyed but not enough to do anything about it. He gets a pass for his ability not to be a "tool" in public.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 06:09 AM
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mine is 14-15 month old,and still not barking..if some stranger come to the gate
he will lick him and try to give him hand crossing the gate...
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 08:07 AM
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I think delivery people in general are a special category because unsupervised the dog can sort of self reinforce by barking at them and then the person retreats qnd the dog feels like they chased them off and feels empowered so it can escalate. So when my dogs announce a delivery I say thanks for letting me know and shut it down, I don't want them going bru ha ha u til the guy leaves. I also don't want the delivery people to feel unsafe thinking my dogs are out of control or I am not supervising them.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 10:52 AM
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Luna is 5 months she greets everyone warmingly who I invite in the house. As did Max at that age. She will bark if she is the backyard and sees people walking down the private block off in a distance. I call her in right away. I had taught Max the same no barking at people passing by. Max now 2 years he will bark at delivery people who are outside. I do shut him down and never incited him to bark as a pup he could easily get carried away- I felt. If delivery people have to come inside I will leash Max or put him away. When I shutdown Max down like I did this morning the oil man who was delivering oil in our backyard - Max will look at me constantly and he will be quite as a mouse but asking to go outside in the backyard with a look of trouble on his face. Sometimes I think he thinks he is smarter then me.
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Last edited by Jenny720; 02-06-2017 at 10:57 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonecat View Post
And what is considered appropriate? Do your dogs bark when a stranger enters yard on its own? Do your dogs bark when a stranger enters home accompanied by owner? How do your dogs barking behaviours change as they age?

My puppy started barking at Amazon delivery people recently and I am not sure if I should be concerned (she is 4 month old). I.e. is this fear based or can protection traits show up this early? Also do GSDs generally bite an unknown stranger (delivery) who enters the yard when they are outside as well?

Thanks,
Jack started barking at people approaching the house at around 5 months. After some training, at 10 months he now:
  • Barks aggressively at anyone coming up the walkway to the front door.
  • Will stop barking on command (at windows), and will add a stranger at the door to his temporary "friend" list if we greet the person warmly--if they have pizza, then he's extra friendly.
  • Will "gruff" at neighbors if they wander into the backyard, with the exception of our immediate neighbor on our right (we live in a townhouse)--it has taken us 5 months to get him to stop barking at all of our neighbors and bring it down to a "gruff". The immediate neighbor is accepted because her little girl would come up to our window and say hi to Jack (we eventually closed our drapes because that was getting weird). Jack likes little kids.
  • Barks at known friends/family who come up to the door, but turns into a puddle of excited mush the second he recognizes them.

At first, he barked at EVERYTHING strange. Doors closing, the neighbor dog coming home, cars pulling in and out of driveways, people talking to each other down the street, people and dogs walking down the street.

It has taken 5 months to establish who are our neighbors, what sounds are normal, who isn't likely to be a threat, that it's rude to bark hello at dogs while inside the house, and to listen to us when WE go to address a stranger at the door.

He's doing quite well. We still need to help him sit back and watch when one of us opens the door to answer it (meaning, on of us answers the door, and the other puts him in a sit and keeps him there). But as soon as the door is closed, or the person comes in, he's no longer worried about danger and is more concerned with whatever we received or the new exciting person in the house.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 04:22 PM
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Samson barked at someone entering our home for the first time Sunday (4 months 3 days old). Our daughter had been out of town with friends and busted in the door with 3 "strangers" behind her. He immediately barked, came to my side, and continued barking until I approached everyone and my daughter spoke to him. Monday morning the kid accross the street came in behind my wife and he did it again. Now, in both cases it was someone he doesn't know walking in behind someone in the family. Both times it was over pretty quickly once he realized there wasn't a threat.

Talking with his breeder 2 of his male littermates will also do this, but at least one of his sisters does not.

I have not seen him do this in the yard, but there haven't been any strangers in his yard either. There have been countless kids he knows, and no problems with any of them. Generally speaking, Samson is very chilled out and doesn't bark/show agression toward other dogs or people on or off leash.

I'm perfectly OK with him announcing his presence to strangers in our home within reason.

Our last GSD, Trouble, was more protective. She would bark at horses, other dogs (if she didn't know them), and anything in her yard that didn't belong. Once, the power company changed the time they read my meter. Trouble and our pointer went to the door while i was getting ready for work. I opened the door and let them out not realizing the meter man was in the middle of our back yard. Trouble took off to him and circled around him barking, hair on back up. Scared the heck out of the poor guy, but she didn't bite. Just circled him barking until i came out and talked to him.

She also jumped out of an open but screened window when she saw me petting another dog by the street. Kind of crazy, but she was a good dog.

Before my wife and i were married she lived by herself in a large, older home that had been cut into 5-6 one bedroom apartments. One night she had a knock on the door around 4 AM. She not very intelligently opened the door with just the security chain latched. On the porch stood a large man who demanded to use her phone. When she told him no and attempted to close the door he pushed it back open, and no doubt was capable of snapping the chain. Buck, the 40 LB pointer with 3 good legs charged the door barking and the man ran off. For this reason we do not mind Samson "announcing his presence" when someone enters our home...again, within reason.
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