Max von Stephanitz created one of the best and most sought after herding dogs by breeding together the best herding dogs around north and central Germany. The German Shepherd has a combination of strength, intelligence, courage, stamina, trainability, and sound temperament.
All of these traits make this breed one of the most sought after and popular breeds in America. Their traits and personalities also make them the perfect and most popular police and military dogs. Asides these uniquely awesome traits that the German Shepherds possess, it might interest you to know that they are quite the vocal dog breed.
If handled properly, their vocal capacity is not a terrible trait. Read on as we discuss all about the German Shepherd’s vocal capacity in this article!
Why Are German Shepherds So Vocal
Most dogs with the tendency to get vocal are small-sized breeds. The German Shepherd is one large dog that is quite vocal. There are a number of reasons your German Shepherd might taking to using his voice, barking, groaning, sighing, whining and making other sounds. Some of these reasons are:
Their Background: German Shepherds have a working background as they were bred to herd and guide sheep and cattle. This task required a lot of vocalization.
Their Expressiveness: German Shepherds are very expressive dogs. If you do not give them enough stimulation and exercises to match their energy and intelligence levels, they will not think twice about letting you know how they feel.
Playfulness: German Shepherds make vocal sounds like growling, barking and howling. These are simply response to fun and excitement.
Attention Seeking: German Shepherds might have been bred to be working dogs but they have feeling just like every other dog and crave the attention of their owners. Your German Shepherd might get vocal when he is trying to get your attention.
Aggression: German Shepherds tend to be vocal and bark when they are showing aggression. However, you must observe to know when your German Shepherd is being vocal out of aggression or something else. Vocalization that is based on aggression will be accompanied by body signals like stiff body, snarling, raised neck hairs or a fixed gaze.
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What Are The Most Vocal Dog Breeds?
Most vocal dogs are small-sized dogs. They tend to bark a lot more than large dogs. We cannot ascertain the reason for this but we have put down a some of the most yappy, vocal dogs you can find. They are:
The Chihuahua dog is a small-sized breed known for its boisterousness. The Chihuahua has an impressive level of alertness and vocal strength. Unfortunately, these impressive traits can also be very frustrating. Chihuahuas do not like to be forgotten or left without attention.
If they ever sense that they have been forgotten, they quickly put their vocal strength to use, coupled with their high energy.
The Miniature Schnauzer is quite a feisty dog breed that barks and gets vocal at whatever or whoever crosses their path. They may look cute with their unique coat, folded ears and scruffy beards but they are certainly not some passive dog breed that is only good for observing what goes on around them.
Siberian Huskies may come across as a very vocal breed to humans but they are simply communicating with their fellow Huskies. This dog breed is known to work in their packs, not alone. Of course, they use their voices, including howling and a lot of other vocal expressions to communicate with each other.
In the same way though, they will let you know what they think of you or what you have done, without mincing words, or in their cases, without mincing voices.
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The Dachshund breed is one of the very courageous and bold dogs around. This dog breed has a lot to say and they are certainly not afraid to say them.
Dachshunds, with their short legs and long bodies have been known to hunt badgers and rabbits and they get very vocal. They need early socialization and proper training to put a stop to their extreme barking.
The Beagle only gets vocal for two reasons: they are either letting you know what they are feeling or scaring off a stranger. For either reasons, they hardly do more than a bay i.e. a deeper, more prolonged howl. In little doses, these bays can be adorable.
Like the Chihuahua, the Basset Hound does not like to be forgotten or left alone. They like to be the center of attention and get really vocal with loud howls when they are left alone. Basset Hounds are cute-looking dogs with their droopy eyes, short legs and very long ears; a sight for sore eyes.
The Yorkshire is one of the dogs in the Terrier breed, a very courageous dog breed. The Terrier breed never shy away nor back down from a face-off or dog fight and the Yorkshires are no exception. Despite its heart-melting looks, a small-sized ball or fur, the Yorkshire is too vocal with excess yapping. This can be very discomforting to the ears.
The Pomeranian is a cool, fun loving, cuddle loving and play loving dog. Don’t let this cool side of them deceive you though. This dog breed is very chatty and whether you are interested in a chat or not, they will happily fill you in on what’s going on in their heads.
Australian Shepherds were bred as herding dogs and their job had been to work on the field and herd the fields. To successfully carry out this task, they relied on their vocal abilities.
This has become a normal part of the Australian Shepherd DNA and even when they are house dogs nor working on the fields, they tend to herd everyone in the house by barking a lot, to keep them in their proper places.
For all of these dog breeds, we advise early socialization and proper training to curtain excessive barking and teach them when to bark.
How To Handle Extreme Vocalization In German Shepherds
Here are some ways to handle extreme vocalization in your German Shepherd:
Handling extreme vocalization that is triggered by territorial aggression would take lots of socialization. Socializing your dog early enough would help him get over the territorial behavior and aggression.
Invite friends over to your home, let them come with their own pets as well so your dog can learn to relate with other people and pets properly. Take your dog to obedience training classes and reward him with treats when he obeys your cues and commands.
With time, they would normalize listening and obeying when you give a command and you can be sure that he will listen and obey you, should any confrontation with another dog or someone happen.
Handling extreme vocalization that is caused by anxiety would require behavioral trainings and medical help. Your German Shepherd will need lots of mental stimulation, social activities and interactions, and lots of exercises.
If his anxiety is triggered by separation trauma, practice leaving him in the house for some time and gradually increase the length of time as you see improvements.
This would help build confidence in your dog and help him get over this anxiety. There are also anti-anxiety supplements that you could introduce to your dog if he is suffering from severe anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Does It Mean When German Shepherds Tilt Their Head?
German Shepherds tilts their ears for one of two reasons. The most common reason for a German Shepherd’s head tilt is to direct their heads to pick up a distant sound and figure out where it is coming from.
German Shepherd have giant ears and this helps them to pick the faintest sounds. They are able to easily pick up sounds from long distances, beyond the hearing reach of humans.
Another reason why your German Shepherd would tilt his head is that he has your attention, this dog breed, just like every other dog breed, love to be showered with attention by their owners. German Shepherds, as a result of their trainings are very sensitive and intelligent dogs, nothing gets past them.
If you give your lovely German Shepherd some attention and notice when he tilts his head for any reason, or you acknowledge it by asking him what that was for, he would notice it and always greet you with a head tilt whenever you come around.
As we earlier mentioned, German Shepherds can get vocal for many reasons and handling extreme vocalization can quite easy with the right strategies.
Irrespective of the reasons behind your German Shepherd’s extreme vocalization, with proper training, early socialization and rewarding him for being obedient, you will have a perfect family pet who knows when to and when not to bark.
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