Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Do German Shepherds Bark a Lot? Breed Facts & FAQs

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

german shepherd barking

People living in rural and country areas don’t have too many issues with listening to barking dogs all day long. The amount of space allows them the live a quiet, serene life. So, even if a dog is yapping away, it isn’t much of an issue. It is when you have a pet dog and live in urban areas that barking becomes more of a problem. In this case, those with German Shepherds might notice that their canine friends bark more than other breeds. By the time you finish this article, you’ll have a better understanding of why this breed barks so much and what their vocals are good for.

Divider 1

Do German Shepherds Bark a Lot?

Honestly, yes. German Shepherds do tend to bark more than some of the other large dog breeds. Even with lots of training and socialization, it isn’t uncommon for them to be more vocal. Why is this breed this way? There are a few simple answers to this question.

The 7 Reasons Why German Shepherds Bark So Much

1. It is in their DNA.

The German Shepherd was bred for a very specific type of work that included herding and protecting flocks of sheep. Although most of these dogs are no longer active in this work, you have to understand that barking was a part of the job. They didn’t only bark to keep the herds moving, but they would bark to protect them from any intruders on their land and to let their owners know that something was going on. The more aggressively they barked, the more likely they were to scare off predators and criminals.

german shepherd barking close up
Image Credit: Christel SAGNIEZ, Pixabay

2. They are bored.

If your German Shepherd isn’t both mentally and physically stimulated, then it leads to behavioral problems. Dogs get bored just like humans do. Boredom isn’t as big of an issue with couch potato breeds as it is with working breeds. Barking lets you know that they want some sort of action, and it probably won’t stop until they get it.

3. They are lonely.

Similar to being bored, if you leave a German Shepherd by themselves for hours on a regular basis, then the barking will persist. This breed was born to be next to their people, and they aren’t accustomed to life on their own. Even if you get them a playmate, it isn’t likely that the barking will stop. They want to be with you, and they aren’t afraid to shout it from the rooftops if they have to.

German Shepherd puppy six months_Marina_1307_shutterstock
Image Credit: Marina_1307, Shutterstock

4. They are sick.

Over the years, dogs have evolved in many ways and gained tools for communicating with humans. They don’t have any better way to tell us when they are sick or hurt than to bark until you have no other option but to take a closer look at them.

Health issues could be either internal or external and will likely be accompanied by behavioral or mood changes as well. It is best to rule out medical issues in relation to the barking before anything else.

5. They feel threatened.

You can’t expect this breed to sit quietly as a threat is lingering nearby. German Shepherds are meant to be guarding something, and the moment they notice a potential threat, they are going to alert you of it while trying to scare away whoever is lurking nearby.

German Shepherd Resting
Image Credit: AshlaTahno27, Pixabay

6. They are excited.

Dogs, especially young puppies, are like children and get overly excited about the littlest things. Something as little as a tasty treat, seeing their favorite visitor, or even you walking through the door are all things that could boost their mood and get their tails wagging and mouths moving.

7. They require more training.

German Shepherds with proper training already have issues with barking, but take a dog that isn’t trained or socialized, and the problem only becomes worse. These dogs are strong-willed. It takes someone who knows what they are doing to teach them the difference between right and wrong behavior. Ongoing training and socialization are essential to keeping their barks to a minimum.

german shepherd on training
Image Credit:Pawan Kumar, Pixabay

Divider 3

German Shepherd Barking Sound

You might think that all barking dogs sound the same, but that isn’t necessarily true. For being such large dogs, their bark is fairly shrill and high pitched. However, this is more likely to deepen as they age.

German Shepherd Barking Loud

The bark of a German Shepherd is intense. You often see them use their voice when they are working when military or police personnel to signal when they have found contraband of some sort. The loudest recorded bark recorded by this breed was 108 decibels, while the level that is considered safe for human ears is 85 decibels. That loud bark is sure to stop any criminal in their tracks.

Divider 5

Final Thoughts

If you absolutely can’t stand the sound of a barking dog, then you might want to consider buying a more laid-back breed. It is possible to train these dogs to be quieter, but you’re asking them to go against their DNA when you expect complete silence. If you have a German Shepherd, appreciate why they act the way they do and understand that barking is a part of their history.

Featured Image Credit: PDPics, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database