Ever since dogs were domesticated, one of their main duties were to secure people and the their property.
Dogs are excellent hunters and defenders. This is especially true with the German Shepherds. And no wonder! Being closely related to the wolves there was hardly any way the dogs would turn out to be lazy or indifferent or helpless. While not all dogs are your typical menacing awe-inspiring predators (Poodles, anyone?), they all have the basic toolset to attack, bite and fend off a threat. All of which is practically impossible, if a dog can’t bark! So, what to do if your dog simply refuses to make any audible noises to defend or at least announce itself to the possible threats?
Inability to bark is actually quite common.
Especially among the rescued dogs. It may be a psychological as well as a physical trauma. Your dog may have been abused or not taught how to protect itself. Even if you’re not planning to guard your house with the help of the dog – it’s not just that. Dogs use barking in various situations, unlike wolves. It is believed that wolves use barking extremely rarely. Less than 3% of all wolf’s vocalization is barking, and it is used in situations of alertness.
Dogs can bark to communicate all sort of things. Greeting a postman is one of them. Dogs express quite different emotions and states with barking, ranging from anger or fear and to happiness and excitement. Remember the last time you fed your dog – they are super excited and would bark once or twice. Obviously, they are not threatened by the Purina pack or food smell and they are not afraid of it. This is simply the way they show how excited they are to eat!
When your German Shepherd simply won’t bark – this is a bad sign.
Unless the vocal cords of your dog are damaged, this is a psychological condition. Dogs that were abused for barking and biting might suppress the urge to bark which is completely normal. The best way to enable your dog to regain its normal physical and mental state is to act normal too. Trying to evoke barking or biting or any aggressive behavior may end in a very bad way. The dog will get irritated and surely will not understand the reason of such teasing. Keep in mind, that in the case of adopted dogs from shelters, this is a definite no-no. You simply don’t know what happened between the dog and its previous owner and the risk is definitely not worth it.
While barking is a natural way of communication for dogs, the lack of it is not critical.
Yes, your dog will be less likely to fend off aggressive dogs or to communicate a message this way. However, risks of provoking barking are way too high to attempt, if you’re not a trainer. Hopefully, you adopt a dog not to enlist it into some illegal dog fighting thing, so you really don’t need any aggressiveness from it. It is much better to simply get along and leave the barking to someone else while you and your dog are watching Netflix.