Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
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.