How Vocal are German Shepherds? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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How Vocal are German Shepherds?

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.

I am interested in owning a German Shepherd as my next dog, I have always had Bernese mountain dogs but have Decided I would like a change, so I have experience of big powerful dogs.

Everything I have read and seen ( I went to crufts this year) about the breed is perfect for except for one thing , barking.

I have read that they are a very vocal breed who bark at every little thing and you can't train them not too. But at crufts I was told that they only bark if they hear something or see something and that there is always a reason for them barking and you can train them with a cue to stop barking.

I want to ask which is true that they bark at everything and you can't train them or that they don't bark for no reason and training can keep barking in check?

I ask as my neighbors are not dog people and don't like dogs who bark all the time so I have to make sure that any dog I have is either pretty quiet or can be trained to stop barking on command.

My Bernese were quiet dogs they only bark if someone came to the door or if they saw something \heard something or if they got excited but a simple quiet command meant they were quiet when told.

I would be cery greatful for any advice.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:12 AM
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It really depends on the dog in my opinion. I have raised 7 different German Sheperds and can tell you they are incredibly smart and can be trained to not bark. However, I have had very vocal sheperds, and shepards that were almost silent. It's just thier I individual personality and also how well they are socialized.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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I fogot to mention when i say vocal i mean in the house, being vocal outside or in the car is not an issue , i mainly want to know how vocal they are in the house if they are a well bred GSD, Well socialized and well Trained?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 07:54 AM
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They can be very vocal but not necessarily barky? I had one that only really barked if he were tethered in the yard. In the house he was very quiet. My big-boy will bark in the yard if there is something going on. If he see something unusual when we are out and about he might bark a bit to test the anomaly but not for long, When we are play wrestling with us or he comes to give us kisses to get out attention he makes noises like a wooky. It is a deep and warm sound.

My gal-dog is more vocal. When we go out for the last walk of the night she barks at the dark. She may sit at the fence and "bip-bip-bip" to see if someone will come out and entertain her. If my big-boy barks she will bark to back him up. If we are out man-trailing she will bark when she finds someone and out on regular walks she will give a bark to say "I see you". When we are doing tricks she may talk to me as if discussing things.

I've taught my dogs to bark on command and to "tell me a secret". I taught one dog to count to five by barking.

If your real concern is annoying your neighbor with barking, you shouldn't have a problem if you choose a confident dog or any breed. The noisy ones tend to be the ones with separation anxiety. They bark when left alone for long periods of time.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:20 AM
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Still depends on the dog - inside or outside. My female makes all kinds of noises grunts, whines, groans, squeals, etc. She loves to talk. My male on the other hand, will sometimes make little whining noises to let me know he wants something or he'll make the "whale noise" when he jaw spars with my female. Aside from that, he's relatively silent. Both are "well bred/socialized/trained" I think (or as well trained two young dogs can be). My female's sire is a talker - so it could be genetic. My male's sire is a barker when excited (playing) and I do see that often, but not normally in the house.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:06 AM
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nobody has mentioned it yet, so i will.
the vocals include incredible noises made while yawning, or whining with a seemingly infinite combinations of tones and cresendos, from low basses to high notes approaching ultra sound... overtime you'll learn what some mean, but when gsd folk say they're vocal, they mean they talk, like a lot.

just sayin, vocals mean singing, howling, and oh yeah, barking!

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:19 AM
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My first shepherd lived in an apartment building for the first few months I had her. She only barked if someone knocked on the door. She didn't bark when the hall was being vacuumed, or when the mail came flying in through the mail slot.

When I moved to a house, we had a neighbour who wouldn't let his German shepherd in the house. They were very wealthy, and I guess they didn't want the dog shedding on their furniture. The dog was confined to a shed in the back yard. I was pruning my apple tree for several hours one spring day. The dog never...stopped...barking...the WHOLE TIME I was outside!

No doubt he was lonely and bored. I wrote an anonymous letter to the owner, telling him what had happened and suggesting the dog wouldn't bark so much if he got more attention.

So, in short, as people have said, it depends on the dog and depends on the circumstances. I currently have an older female that barks a lot when she's outside. She wants to check out the neighbours' dogs: it's like 'Here I am, who else is out here?" In the house, she's quiet unless she hears noises nearby, but she just barks briefly then shuts up. For instance, two days ago, a neighbour had a Bobcat doing work on his driveway, and she barked at first to let me know Strange Noises were happening, then stopped after a minute or two. If they made a particularly loud noise, she might bark again for a bit, then stop. She's a great watchdog, and sleeps leaning against the door to the house most nights, and will kick up a terrible ruckus if anyone tries to come in.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:28 AM
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Luna is very vocal with the feral cats outside or anyone walks by our yard. The cats do taunt her as they roll around in the street getting some sun. She goes nuts. I call her in as not to torment anyone or fuzzy beast and she comes right away - max is the henchman if I sound angry and luna enjoys the Chase and attention from him. she really does likes to bark out in the yard -I think her eyeballs will pop out. Other then that she is not they vocal. Max is vocal with me if he wants to go out and very expressive.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:09 AM
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As many have said, the spectrum of barking in the GSD breed appears to be wide. In our case, we have been blessed to have a 15 months old, that has not bark once in 6-7 months. He is attentive and does not back down from a challenging situation (other dogs longing on their leach, strangers approaching our house, prey instincts etc.), and adopts a serious posture when an unknown person or situation comes to our door. Perhaps barking will ensue with more maturity in the future, but, as of now; if we have to choose between lots of barking and little to no noise, we are very happy with the latter.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:17 AM
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How busy/active is the neighborhood around your house? I think barking can vary between dogs but also a noisy/active environment can stimulate a dog to bark , (for instance if lots of pedestrians/strangers walk by your yard or a window where the dog can see them). When we had our first GSD, we lived in a house with a fence that backed up to a road where there were lots of walkers, bike-riders, ect, and the dogs would rush the fence barking whenever anyone walked by, particularly if they had dogs. We always called them in, but I could see how that might annoy some people.

If your location is fairly private, or if you have a privacy fence, I think you'll have an easier time keeping your GSD quiet. We moved out to to the country with some space and privacy and the GSDs only bark when something out of the ordinary happens, like a car pulling up in the driveway (which I appreciate).
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