If your German Shepherd is very vocal, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be so vocal and what you can do about it.
So, why is my German Shepherd so vocal? Possible reasons are that it wants something, you have inadvertently rewarded it, illness, injury, anxiety, boredom or that it is naturally vocal.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd is so vocal. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd is so vocal
Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd is vocal will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will show you why your GSD might be doing it and what would make each of the reasons more likely.
It wants food or water
The reason that it gets vocal could be that it wants things such as food or water. This would be more likely if it becomes vocal when it has not eaten in a while, it does it when you are eating or it does it when it doesn’t have access to water.
In this case, it would help to make sure that it has plenty of access to water, it is getting the right diet and that it is eating the right amount.
It wants to go outside
Another cause could be that it wants to go outside. This would be more likely if it becomes vocal when it has not been able to go outside in a while and it does it when it is stood by the backyard door.
In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to go outside whenever it needs to.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to do it by giving it things that it wants when it becomes vocal. Things that it wants could include attention, toys or treats.
Instead of giving it things that it wants, when it becomes vocal, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to avoid giving it anything when it is vocal unless it is for a reason such as to go outside to pee.
Illness or injury
It might be the case that an illness or injury is causing it to become vocal. This would be more likely if it is not normally so vocal and it has started doing it suddenly. It would also be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured and if it has been acting unusually in other ways as well.
If it does seem like illness or injury could be the cause then it would be the best option to take it to a vet.
It might be the case that something is causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if it has started being vocal suddenly, if it does it only in certain situations and if it started doing it after an event occurred that might make it anxious. Things that could cause it to be anxious would include mistreatment, another pet dying or if it recently moved homes.
German Shepherds were bred to work alongside their owners for hours on a daily basis. As a result of this, they will look to their owners a lot for direction. When they do not get direction they can become vocal. If you have not spent much time training your German Shepherd then it would help to make sure to do so by starting with the basics.
It could be the case that it is vocal because it is bored. German Shepherds are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis and when they don’t get enough it can cause them to develop behavioral issues.
Generally, it is recommended for a German Shepherd to get an hour of exercise on a daily basis. If yours is not getting that much then it would help to make sure that it does.
Things to consider
There are many things to consider that could help you in figuring out why your GSD does it. Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider.
When it started being vocal
It would help to consider the timing of when your German Shepherd first started being vocal since it could give you some clues as to what triggered it.
If it started being vocal suddenly then it would make it more likely that it is being vocal due to things such as illness, injury or anxiety. It would help to think about what else changed at around the same time that it started being vocal.
If it has always been vocal then it would be more likely that it is naturally vocal but it could be the case that you trained it to be vocal from an early age.
When it becomes more vocal
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes more vocal.
If you notice that it does it more when it has not eaten or drunk in a while then it would be more likely that it does it because it is hungry or thirsty. Whereas, if it does it when you are about to leave then it would be more likely that it is due to separation anxiety.
What to do about your German Shepherd being vocal
Below are a number of options that you have when getting your GSD to stop doing it. The best option for your GSD will depend on the cause of why it is doing it.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been inadvertently training it to be vocal by giving it things that it wants when it is vocal.
Instead of giving it things such as attention, toys or treats, when it is vocal, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to ignore it when it is vocal unless there is a different reason for it being vocal.
Ensure that it is eating right
It could be the case that an issue with its diet is causing it to be vocal. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.
Make sure to give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting sufficient exercise on a daily basis. You can give your GSD exercise by walking it, getting it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Let it go outside when it needs to
It would also help to make sure that it is able to go out to pee whenever it needs to. You could do this by leaving the door to the backyard open or you could put a bell on the door so that you know when it needs to go outside.
Deal with its separation anxiety
It would also help to deal with your German Shepherd’s separation anxiety if it seems to have it.
To do this you would need to gradually get it used to being without you for longer and longer periods. You would do this by:
- Initially making it seem like you are about to leave and then to reward it for not becoming anxious
- Leave for a very short period and then reward it for not being anxious again
- Leave for longer and longer periods rewarding it for not being anxious each time.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of why your GSD is vocal, it seems to be ill or injured or it started doing it suddenly then it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to ensure that there is not a medical cause.
If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd, take a look at the German Shepherd Handbook