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I have been observing my 4 months old in the past couple of weeks. I wonder if this is normal..

When he was younger, he would bark at shovel or vacuum machine. His tail would be wagging so I assume he barks when he wants to play...

He would barks at puppy class when we hold his leash back when he wants to play with other puppy. So again I assume he barks because he wants to play

Last weekend we have a friend and her dog come over. While we were waiting in our living room, Lincoln was napping. He got up all in sudden with his ears straight up. He looks at the front door and stare. Then he ran to the front door and starts barking like crazy. A couple of minutes later my friend ring the doorbell. She said she heard him bark since she just pulled up. Given this is my first dog, I am amazed. :eek:

This morning he barks at the front door again. He actually stop eating just so he can check that out first. I had no idea what he was barking at..

My question is... what is he doing? Is he guarding? Is it possible for a 4 months old with no training to be guarding? He doesn't bark because he is scared right?
 

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I have been observing my 4 months old in the past couple of weeks. I wonder if this is normal..

When he was younger, he would bark at shovel or vacuum machine. His tail would be wagging so I assume he barks when he wants to play...

He would barks at puppy class when we hold his leash back when he wants to play with other puppy. So again I assume he barks because he wants to play

Last weekend we have a friend and her dog come over. While we were waiting in our living room, Lincoln was napping. He got up all in sudden with his ears straight up. He looks at the front door and stare. Then he ran to the front door and starts barking like crazy. A couple of minutes later my friend ring the doorbell. She said she heard him bark since she just pulled up. Given this is my first dog, I am amazed. :eek:

This morning he barks at the front door again. He actually stop eating just so he can check that out first. I had no idea what he was barking at..

My question is... what is he doing? Is he guarding? Is it possible for a 4 months old with no training to be guarding? He doesn't bark because he is scared right?
At this age it is definitely fear. Probably due to age (as long as genetics/nerves are sound). What are you doing as far as training?
 

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It's possible he might guarding I think its just an instinct not a learned behavior , I wish my girl would bark but I get nothing nada zip and she is almost 4 yrs old and not a sound from her lol.
 

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Keep him busy and he won't bark as mich either you so not
Want it to start being a problem give him a job to do :) and best of luck
 

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Hi Linck!

I suggest you read a lot about GSD body language. You need to be able to pick up the signals accurately so you know what your dog is thinking. It is not hard, just Google it and YouTube it and watch the videos.

Here's what you were seeing:
1. Tail wagging is excitement. It can be both fun/positive, and bad/aggressive. It simply means stimulated; you have to look at other things like ears, mouth, posture to see if the dog is good excited or bad excited.

2. Wanting to play is not wagging tail and barking. Play usually involves wagging tail very quickly, so much it pulls the dog's behind back and forth,and ears laid back while mouth is open and panting sometimes. Sometimes the dog puts its chest on the ground and sticks its behind in the air to indicate play posture.

3. These dogs hear EXTREMELY well. That is why people keep them as watchdogs. Your dog will hear a person walking on your sidewalk, or getting out of a car in the street in front of your house, before you are even aware of it. They remember which visitors are friendly and not, so if he has heard your friend's car door squeak and her type of footsteps before he'll remember it and will "alert" when he hears it again, like he did. When he does this you need to remain calm, so you teach him that when he hears these things it is ok for him to alert, but he must also remain calm. You can use his alert as a chance to prepare to teach him to come to the door with you, see that the person there is a friend, and then to walk away calmly once he confirms this with a sniff.

4. Yes, for a 4 month old GSD this is instinctual, but you must understand it and learn how to channel it correctly so you can help him act appropriately (not aggressively) AND so you can maximize the potential of this wonderful dog you have.

READ, READ, READ! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@DaniFani:

At this age it is definitely fear. Probably due to age (as long as genetics/nerves are sound). What are you doing as far as training
He just completed his puppy class, going in to obedience next week.

@BellaLuna

It's possible he might guarding I think its just an instinct not a learned behavior , I wish my girl would bark but I get nothing nada zip and she is almost 4 yrs old and not a sound from her lol.
I think its probably an instinct too. He doesn't bark almost at all unless in the situation I mentioned. Thats why I convinced when he barks he has his reason. My husband actually teach him to "speak". He does that when we tell him to but I can tell sometimes he doesn't know "how" to bark when he actually try to bark. The sound usually come out as a weak bark lol

@Billsharp


I suggest you read a lot about GSD body language. You need to be able to pick up the signals accurately so you know what your dog is thinking. It is not hard, just Google it and YouTube it and watch the videos.
Yeah I'm gonna need to do that!
 
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