Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much? (Explained)

German shepherds are a very popular large breed dog that countless people globally favor. New owners may have questions about their pet’s behavior. Why does my German shepherd whine? Why do German shepherds bark so much? These are both normal behaviors, so try not to worry too much.

GSDs are known for their inquisitive and intelligent personalities, which can make them stubborn at times. Despite this fact, this breed can be great companions for a wide variety of people.

Why Do German Shepherds Bark So Much?

There are a variety of reasons that can explain this behavior. German shepherds are very curious and protective dogs, so they will bark when bored, excited, or if they sense an unfamiliar person or animal outside your home.

Do you live in a busy neighborhood? Someone may have walked past a window, which triggered their more protective instincts. Or maybe you live in an area with high levels of wildlife traffic, which can be a big contributing factor to this issue.

German shepherds are a very vocal breed that bark as a form of greeting people, which can sometimes make others apprehensive about your dog. Training your GSD to redirect their attention away from any newcomers in your home is a great way of preventing barking at guests.

If you notice your German shepherd constantly barking when they typically would not check them from head to toe for any visible issues that could be causing pain or discomfort.

It is always recommended to seek expert advice from a trusted and licensed veterinarian for any abnormal behavior.

In this article, we will be discussing other related topics like how to entertain a bored German shepherd, other signs your GSD may be in pain, how to stop unnecessary barking, and if you should let your dog bark it out.

How To Entertain A Bored German Shepherd

When it comes to entertainment, your choices are unlimited for German shepherds. Physical and mental exercise are the two main categories of entertainment for any pet you may own.

Activities like walking or running with them, taking them to a dog park, or even enrolling them in a daycare center are great resources at your disposal. Swimming is an activity that some German shepherds enjoy, but this will vary for individual dogs.

Canine treadmills allow you to safely run your pet for long distances and can be a great tool for German shepherds to burn off their excited or bored energy.

This breed requires a minimum of 90 minutes of physical exercise a day, so it is extremely important to ensure that you are meeting all of your pet’s needs and regularly bringing them to a veterinary clinic for health checks so they can live a long, happy and healthy life.

A great way to exercise your pet’s brain is to hide their favorite treats in random, concealed places around your house and yard. This encourages your German shepherd to use its sense of smell to locate the hiding spots.

Food puzzles designed for dogs are widely available at varying price points on the internet that allows you to place their food in concealed compartments.

Studies have shown that playing music for your pet is a great way to encourage relaxation, and spraying certain scents in your home can reduce any anxiety or unwanted behaviors, but it is vital to double-check with a licensed veterinarian before exposing your pet to new scents.

You must make sure that you never spray anything on any portion of your pet’s body to avoid causing any serious health issues like an allergic reaction.

Other Signs Your German Shepherd May Be In Pain

As we know, some German shepherds may bark excessively if they are in pain. Other signs of pain in your dog include shaking constantly, panting in the absence of exercise, lethargy, ears flattened to their head, continuous shaking or scratching of ears, and loss of appetite.

Stress can oftentimes lead to certain gastrointestinal problems such as loose stool and vomiting. If your GSD exhibits any of these behaviors it is highly recommended to make an appointment with your primary veterinarian as soon as possible to eliminate any serious underlying health issues.

How To Stop Unnecessary Barking

Obedience training is an important and necessary component in halting your German shepherd’s unnecessary barking. If you have access to the internet, you have a wealth of free information about how to begin obedience training with dogs of any age at your fingertips.

Simple commands like sit, stay, lay, heel, focus, recall, and redirection are great ways to start training your dog. Using a professional dog training service is another option, and they are relatively common in most towns and cities across the U.S.

You may even be able to take online courses in dog behavior and training, which can broaden your knowledge about this subject.

Dr. Ian Dunbar is a licensed veterinarian who publishes free training resources online and is highly recommended by countless professionals in the training industry as well as the veterinary medicine industry.

Proper research before paying for any training service is extremely necessary as there are scams and unlicensed trainers on the internet. If you need quick and easy solutions for this issue, simple tweaks to your home like closing the blinds during the day and turning off anything that makes loud noises.

Another thing that can help is having a dedicated quiet space for your dog to hide in when they are overstimulated or scared, such as a kennel, storage area under stairs, or even a closet.

Should I Let My German Shepherd Bark It Out?

The method of just letting your dog bark it out is not recommended by many professionals due to its limited effectiveness. Rather, it’s recommended to work with your dog to identify what they are reacting to and eliminate the issue in its entirety, or gradually expose them to it with heavy praise and rewards.

Training your dog to redirect and focus their attention on something they enjoy, such as toys, their favorite bed, or even kenneling them for a short time so they can calm themselves down is a great way to begin this process.

If your German shepherd seems to be barking out of anxiety, make an appointment with their primary veterinarian to explore different medications or treatment options that can give them relief.


In this article, we discussed why German shepherds bark so much, different behaviors that may indicate pain in your pet, and various methods of stopping unnecessary barking.

You have unlimited options when it comes to assistance with training your GSD, which can be difficult at times due to their headstrong personalities.

Remember, consistency is key. YouTube always has great informative videos that can help you push past any obstacles you may encounter on your training journey!