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Discussion Starter #1
I am a first time GSD owner. I have had Schindler for 3 months. He is 2yrs old. The first 2 years of his life were spent in a fenced in back yard and he was only allowed inside during bad weather. I am wondering if that has anything to do with him not barking. In the 3months I've had him he has only barked a handful of times. Usually when he see an animal outside our fenced in area while he is outside. He has only barked inside the house once when my husband was playing with him and running around like a maniac..lol. He does not bark when people drive up our driveway (inside or outside) He does not bark when someone knocks on the door or walks up to the house. Is this normal? Should I be thankful or worried?

Thanks!
 

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Not normal for a GSD...have you had his hearing tested?
Many dogs have higher thresholds so aren't reactive to many things. I wonder though, if there is a problem with his hearing, even though the scent is enough for my dogs to know when someone is around our place(if they're outside)
 

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I wondered the same thing but he hears great. He can be an acre or two away from me on our property and hear a kiss noise. He will go to the window and watch someone walk right up to the house, whether he knows them or not and not make a sound. He might cry just a little bit. He doesnt wag his tail at them unless he knows them. And, if he is outside in the fenced in area when someone pulls up he will stand alert by the fence and just watch them. Confusing to me....
 

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No. Hadnt even thought about it. Wow...you sure can tell I'm a newbie;) I'm teaching him to shake right now. Should I have one trick mastered before moving to the next?
 

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No--you can throw a couple at him, he'll catch on. We had to teach one of our dogs to bark because she would just stand at the door and wag when she knew someone was there and I wanted her to alert me. So the trainer went outside and rang the doorbell while I tried getting the dog interested and excited by barking every time the bell rang. She figured it out in no time--the only down side was when we were watching tv and a doorbell rang on the show, she would jump up and bark. I thought it was cute but my husband didn't!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Haha...Thats great. I will have to try that, because the only time he did bark in the house was when my husband was running around all excited...so maybe that will do the trick. Schindler tends to be pretty serious and sober except when alone with me. When it's just me he is a goofball.
 

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If he hasn't had much interaction with people until now it may take him a while to realize it's safe to get all wound up and play and bark in the house. See if you can get him to bark and give him a treat each time. Sounds like you're doing a great job already
 

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I think you should enjoy the quiet. As they say "be careful what you wish for". All of my dogs are barkers, it's a lot harder to teach them to be quiet.
 

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I almost said the same thing!! Stosh is allowed to bark twice to let me know something's up, then he has to switch to his 'inside voice'--he kind of whispers his barks. It's really funny, something he came up with
 

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Discussion Starter #11
haha...thats so true! I had a Jack Russell for a long time that loved to bark and it drove me crazy...lol
 

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You've just described my dog! I've got a non-barker as well, although he has no qualms about being vocal every other way. Even though I like the sound of his bark and I'd like him to alert more, I am grateful I don't have to deal with excessive barking issues. The only time he ever barks is if someone just walks right in the door very late at night when everyone is already home. Or he barks at those little stuffed animals that move around and sing christmas music :rolleyes:.

He also does not bark if someone is on the property unless it's late at night, then he growls quietly. The growling didn't start until he was two and a half years old though. Until then, he just silently watched. Your dog might alert more as it gets older and more comfortable in its new environment, or you might have to train him to alert if that's what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Gotcha. At least I know that he is not the only one! I have had a quite a few people come to my house and tell me that he is very intimidating because he doesnt bark. I guess all GSD's have a different way of protecting and guarding their home. Now that I think about it, when he has barked it was in the morning when i went back inside after letting him out, so I could sleep a little longer. It's like he knew I was sleeping or something. haha...who knows. Now I know nothing is wrong with him.
 

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I don't think I'd be worried. I have both kinds...barkers and non-barkers. Although my barkers do occasionally get my non-barkers going. :)

Argos we raised in an apartment, and then in a townhouse on a golf course. He never barked at noises or people...it's not like he was noisy and we taught him to be quiet...he just was. He's a confident dog and doesn't have a sharp bone in his body. He has a very high threshold for defense.

He'd watch golfers that hit their balls to close to our house come right up and get them...he'd watch them...but never a noise. Neighbors dogs running around to pee out back might cause a whimper. I don't think he learned to bark at that stuff until Anka started and then he kind of joined in. I can't remember him barking at the door until he was maybe 2 and half years old. But even now with the whole crew barking...may one or two barks from him and then he's done. He was a stare-er. If we were on a walk he would stare on oncoming people. I'd had a number of people switch to the other side of the road when they saw us coming.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your dog. And personally...with the 2 barkers I have right now...I think I would enjoy the quiet dog :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks JKlatsky:) "High threshold for defense" is a good way to put it. Because I have no doubt that he would protect me if I were in danger. And he is definitely a stare-er! When we go for walks and other people or dogs are around he slows down his pace, stands alert and a little lower to the ground as is he were about to take off running, and just stares em' down.
 

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My girl is the same way. In fact, she was so non-vocal I was afraid that the previous owner had her debarked.

Try different situations and see what she responds to. For example, Hallee will bark if I tie her up to a post and then walk away across a field. (During training - I don't actually abandon her!) But, she will not bark if someone knocks on the door. She knows that someone is there. She will come get me and alert me. But no barking.

I got used to it really fast though. The upside is that I've gotten very good at reading her body language. Dogs are more subtle than I first gave them credit for!
 

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my dog rarely barks. he doesn't bark if a stranger knocks on the door.
a couple of times i've heard him bark at the deer that near our property.
my GF is a massage therapist and she has clients that come to our house
so she didn't want our dog barking at the door when her clients arrive.
i taught him not to bark at the door. my dog isn't a protective dog
or alarming dog. we don't mind it
 

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i think there's always a doubt if our dogs will protect us. i don't think my dog would protect me. i'm going to set my dog up and see if he will oneday.

Thanks JKlatsky:) "High threshold for defense" is a good way to put it. Because I have no doubt that he would protect me if I were in danger. And he is definitely a stare-er! When we go for walks and other people or dogs are around he slows down his pace, stands alert and a little lower to the ground as is he were about to take off running, and just stares em' down.
 
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