How do you stop your dog from barking?
That’s the million dollar question for a lot of dog owners, and, most certainly, for their neighbors. Can you even do this in theory, let alone in practice?
It is, in the end, a natural intuition for the dog to bark at any observed risk (usually). The next door neighbor might not be a stranger to you, but to your dog, he’s a potential intruder or a real threat. And that will be the status quo until you instruct your dog not to bark at strangers as well as to praise the dog when they learn not to do this.
Many dog owners think that it is a genetic thing. That somehow, the breed defines whether the dog will bark all the time or not. This is partially true. Interestingly, a lot of scientists and dog enthusiasts are left baffled at what seems to be a paradox – the smaller and less ‘masculine’ dogs seem to be the ones who bark the most.
Regardless of the breed, the dogs can be taught to stop barking when it’s not necessary. Well, at least to a certain point. Your German Shepherd will fall under the same rules here and you’ll definitely see a positive change using these tactics.
3 ways to train your dog not to bark (or to bark less)
Reward the dog for warning you that there might be some risk.
This is a very nice and effective psychological trick. Reward the dog for alerting you. React to the call that the dog has made and then wait. If the dog remains quiet for a few seconds praise them again and give them a treat. If they continue to bark again, firmly tell them to quit and once they quit praise them as quickly as possible. Don’t expect a miracle here, it will take a long time before the habit and understanding of these mechanics develop in the dog. But after a few sessions, you will start noticing positive changes and, depending on your German Shepherd’s ability to learn on the fly – you can expect less barking immediately.
This advice comes straight from the children’s books. No, not the fairy tales ones, but those teaching parents how to act nearby small kids. Ignore the barking (if you can) and the dog will take the hint. True, some dogs are smarter than the others, so it might take a while. But GSDs are extremely smart, so you can count on quick results here.
3. Anti-barking collars
This is the last resort. But if it comes to this, you can explore this option. If your neighbors are going mad, and you are as well, you can try the anti-barking collars that send a micro electric shock to the dog the moment they bark. You have to check with your vet to make sure that you pick one that is safe and will not harm the dog.
Hopefully, at least one of these tricks will work and visits to your house will become something the guests will enjoy, rather than dread!