Even though a quiet German Shepherd might seem good on the surface it can still be worrying for the owner especially when it is normally active. There could also be a number of reasons for your German Shepherd being quiet.

So, why is your German Shepherd quiet? There could be a number of reasons but the main ones are a quiet personality, it’s not comfortable with its environment, previous experiences,  age, illness or injury, previous training, and boredom or sometimes depression.  

Diagnosing why your German Shepherd is being quiet can be a difficult thing to do since there are actually a number of things that could be causing it.

There are also a number of things that you can do to correct its behavior that will be much easier once you have figured out the root cause.

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Is Quiet

As already mentioned there are a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be being quiet that I will mention below.

Personality

If you have had your German Shepherd for a while and it has always been quiet then it is likely that it has a quiet personality.

This isn’t such a bad thing since it means that it won’t cause you too much stress by constantly misbehaving. It also means that when it is loud you will know that it is something important and you will be more likely to help your German Shepherd when it really needs it.

If it does have a quiet personality then there are a number of training tips that you can use to change its behavior that I will mention in the section below.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

It’s not comfortable (yet)

If you only had your German Shepherd for a short time period then it could just be that it hasn’t gotten used to its new environment.

If this is the case then it might not feel comfortable being noisy since it doesn’t know what will happen. This causes it to stay quieter. In this case, it’s likely that, with time, it will begin to be louder once it becomes more comfortable.

Previous experiences

It could be that your German Shepherd has had previous experiences that have taught it to be quiet. If your German Shepherd is a rescue German Shepherd then this will be more likely.

If, in the past, it was made to be quiet when it was loud or it was punished then it will associate being loud with bad consequences.

If this is something that you suspect then you should take measures to allow your German Shepherd to become more comfortable with your presence, to train it to become more vocal and you might even want to get help from a certified dog behaviorist.

Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?

Age

As your German Shepherd gets older its hearing will gradually get worse this will cause your German Shepherd to be less responsive to noises that it did in the past since they aren’t as noticeable as they once were.

Too much noise

It could be that your German Shepherd has been very loud recently and that it has caused its throat to become sore. If this has happened then it will cause the German Shepherd to become temporarily quiet.

Past Training

It could be that previous training that the German Shepherd has had is what’s causing it to be quiet. If it has been taught, in the past, that being quiet will get it what it wants then it will behave in a more quiet manner. If you think that this might have happened then you could take measures to teach it to be a bit more vocal.

Illness or Injury

It could be that the German Shepherd is ill or injured and that it doesn’t have the energy to be loud. If this is the case then it is recommended that you take your German Shepherd to a vet where they will be better able to diagnose any issues.

If your German Shepherd is normally a vocal dog but it’s been quiet lately then this could be the case. Other signs would include a lack of appetite or not being very active.

Boredom

German Shepherds were bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours daily. This means that German Shepherds are naturally used to getting a lot of exercise.

If your German Shepherd isn’t getting lots of exercise and it is quiet then it could be that the German Shepherd is bored. If this is the case then you’ll want to spend more time doing things with your German Shepherd and to let it get more exercise.

Depression

In some cases, it could even be that the German Shepherd is depressed. It can be difficult to diagnose when this is the case but other symptoms would include changes in appetite, spending more time sleeping, a loss of interest in doing things, excessive paw licking and avoidance or hiding.

If you think that this is what is causing your German Shepherd to be quiet then you should get help from a dog behaviorist.

What To Do About It Being Quiet

Once you know why your German Shepherd is being quiet getting it to be more vocal will become easier.  Depending on the cause of its quietness there are a number of different things that you can do.

Allow it to adjust

If you have recently introduced your German Shepherd to a new environment then giving it some more time to adjust to its new environment should be enough.

If it doesn’t start to get louder then you should consider using one of the other methods below.

Help it to become comfortable

If you do think that your German Shepherd isn’t comfortable with its new environment then you should take measures to allow it to become more comfortable.

This can include showing it around the area, giving it more attention, giving it toys to chew on and allowing it to get lots of exercise in the new area.

Ensure that there is not an illness or injury

If your German Shepherd is showing other unusual signs alongside being unusually quiet then before anything else you should take it to a vet for a checkup to make sure that nothing is wrong with it.

Give it exercise

Since German Shepherds are designed to be very active if it is not getting lots of exercise then it will be more likely to behave in an unusual way.

This means that it’s very important to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting lots of exercise.

You might find that the exercise that you do give it isn’t enough so you might need to find ways to make it more efficient.

You could do so when walking it by walking faster, walking further, walking in a hilly area or you could make it wear a doggy weight vest that weighs less than 10% of its body weight.

You could also teach it to play fetch. This can wear it out quickly because it will have it do a lot of sprinting without much rest in between.

Give it training

One option is to train your German Shepherd to become louder.

To do this you’ll want to get a treat or a toy that it really likes, give it a piece of it so that it knows you have it, then keep the rest in its sight but only give it pieces when it makes noise.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t naturally make noise then you’ll find that it will start to do other things such as rolling over, laying down or sitting in hopes of getting the treat before making any noise.

You’ll also find that it won’t just start barking right away instead it will just give a little grumble. When it first makes a noise you’ll want to reward it straight away and then to gradually require more and more noise in order to get more treats.

When you’re doing this it’s important to make sure that you only reward it when it is loud when you tell it to be loud. If you just give it treats whenever it is loud then it will teach it that being loud will result in treats but you only want it to be loud when you want it to be. So, it’s important to make sure to reward loudness on command.

If you would like some more tips on how to train your German Shepherd, take a look at the German Shepherd training book on Amazon.

You can watch the video below to see how it is done.

Take it to a behaviorist

If everything else has failed then you should consider getting help from a certified animal behaviorist who will be able to better diagnose the root cause of its quietness and how to correct it.

Things to consider

When you’re trying to encourage your German Shepherd to become louder there are a number of things that you should consider.

Avoid physical interventions

Punishing your German Shepherd physically for being quiet is not something that is likely to pan out well. You’ll have a high chance of making the German Shepherd become aggressive, scared of your presence and it will not enjoy your company. This also goes for things such as electric collars as well which have been shown to have bad consequences on dog’s behavior.

It could just be a more subdued German Shepherd

Your German Shepherd might just be more naturally inclined to be quieter. If this is the case then there isn’t really anything to worry about. You can try training it to be louder or you can just be thankful that your dog is more naturally peaceful.

Train it to be loud only when it should be

If you’re going to train your German Shepherd to be louder then remember to only reward it for being loud when you tell/want it to be. Otherwise, you risk creating the opposite problem where it is constantly being loud when you don’t want it to be.

Give it a wide variety of ways to communicate

If your German Shepherd is more naturally inclined to be quiet then you might want to give it other ways to communicate such. This could include things such as putting bells on the patio door attached to a string that your German Shepherd can tap when it wants to come in.

Related Questions

Why doesn’t my German Shepherd bark? The reasons why your German Shepherd doesn’t bark will be largely the same as the reasons for it being quiet. These include previous training, its nature, illness, boredom, needing time to get comfortable or old age.

Why doesn’t my German Shepherd howl? Again the causes of it not howling are largely the same as above. If you’re very concerned about a lack of howling then get help from a certified behaviorist.

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