Barking 7 month old White Sheperd - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Barking 7 month old White Sheperd

Hi
We have a 7 month old male White Shepherd, Xander.
We bought him from a breeder who said he was well socialised but we have a problem with him barking.
We put him through puppy training when he was younger.
Unfortunately, our neighbour (we call her Cruella De'Ville) has always hated our dogs and came over to my Husband and told him she would take Xander while he was at work and kill him if we didn't stop him barking.
Now it is the usual story that the barking (whether real or imagined in her sick mind) only takes place to the degree she states when we are not home.
We booked him into a 2 week bootcamp for dogs and the trainer said that the White Sheps were known for this as they are bred from a recessive gene of the German Shepherd and used to be drowned at birth...how gruesome. About 30 years ago their gentler nature and beauty made them become popular and the breed took off.
He says our pup's barking is a result of severe anxiety....this may be true as he is very timid and wary around people he doesn't know and other 'larger' dogs...doesn't have a prob with smaller dogs. He has been with us since he was 6 weeks old and has lived with our two Cavvies and the occasional visit from my Daughter's dog - so he has always been with other dogs.
This trainer also said that regardless of their vaccination program - puppies should be taken to dogs parks and the like from 6 weeks of age - he says if you wait till they are fully vaccinated (which is what the Vet says) it is often too late and makes socialisation difficult.
Now, we are not novices with dogs as we also foster Police Shepherds from 8 weeks till 14 months and have never had this issue even abiding by the quarantine period. Although Cruella has always complained - even taking her complaint to the Police!!!!!
I know the obvious solution is somehow getting rid of her - but as that is unlikely, we have to find a way to keep the barking to a min to keep Xander safe from her threats.
We have advised the Police of her threats - but I don't think that would stop her if she wanted to carry it through.
We have tried the bark collar - it worked for awhile - but now he just barks through it. After being away, he was better, but when a group of people stopped out the front of our house with their dogs - he started again and kept if up all day. Seemed to have broken whatever good was done.
Do we try anti anxiety meds....do we resort to getting de-barked?
We are lost but don't want to have to lose him because of this.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is your dog barking from inside, or outside of the house? Are you in a single family home, or do you share walls with your neighbor? When dogs bark non-stop, it can be quite annoying. Your dog may have separation anxiety. Color of the dog has nothing to do with separation anxiety. Do you crate her, when you go out? You should crate her where she cannot see out the windows. I have found that playing a radio helps to calm an anxious dog, when left alone.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi and thanks so much for you response.
We live in a house and the neighbours are to the back of our place and the dogs are at the front - so our house blocks alot of any noise.
Our 3 dogs live outside so the barking is outside.
We have always had more than one dog as I don't believe it is fair to ever leave a dog on it's own so I can't understand that side of the anxiety.
There are other dogs in the area that bark and we live on one of Brisbane's main and noisiest roads.....I just don't understand this woman.
I hadn't heard of crating before I looked on this site - so I am not sure what you mean.
I can't imagine being able to get him into the crate on my own.
Can you please explain how they work and size etc.
I do close the gate to the deck when I go out so that the dogs are confined to that area and so they can see inside the house...I leave the curtains open.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard wonderful things about thunder shirts.
Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment

German shepherds are generally quite attached to their owners and want to be with them all the time.

We used to have all of our dogs outside too. That worked until we got a golden retriever. Goldens do NOT do well as outside dogs at all. She was a nightmare until we brought her into the house with us. Then she suddenly became a truly wonderful dog. She just needed her people.

GSDs need their people too and do much better inside than outside.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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German shepherd dogs are natural barkers. I know if I left mine out side while I was not home he could easily turn into a nuisance barker. I will not let this happen so I keep him in doors. Especially when I am not home. I don't' mind him barking at the window at passers by but I just don't want him out side barking non stop. While inside the house he usually just finds a comfortable place to curl up and sleep until we get home.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know they're alot more experienced people here than me, but I want to put this out there since it's something i'm working on with Barack.

Have you taught your pup to Bark on cue?

From what I've researched, if you teach and reward your dog/pup for barking on cue, they are less likely to bark when they're not being cue'd/rewarded. The theory just made sense to me, so I've been training Barack to bark on cue, in hopes that when I'm not around he won't bark unless it's an actual alert/warning. So far the neighbors say they've never heard him make a fuss when i'm not at the house, but he's still young, so only time will tell if this training will pay off.

Again I'm just putting this put there cause it made sense to me, and could be effective.
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