Your German Shepherd refuses to bark because of their personality.

However, some diseases and behavioral issues can lead to a lack of barking.

There is a lot of background about your Shepherd’s quiet mood.

Stay with us and find out why your dog doesn’t bark!

Possible Physical Limitations

Your dog might be quiet because of some obstruction.

This includes obstructions around the vocal cords.

Other physical limitations are traumas around the dog’s neck.

The traumas might cause vocal and larynx damage.

Bark issues vary in different dogs.

For example, the barking amplitude in 10 dogs has a variation of 82%. [1]

Behavioral Issues

A lack of barking can also mean a subdued personality.

Maybe your dog doesn’t prefer barking.

Some dogs whine or produce whimpering sounds their whole life.

Some dogs also howl or growl.

These are some sounds that dogs produce throughout their life. [2]

Some dogs even produce high-pitched voices.

Another behavioral issue is due to their past.

Some rescue dogs have a bad history, and that becomes their personality.

They will remain quiet throughout their whole lives. [3]

Breed-Specific Tendencies


Bark Tendency

German Shepherd


Labrador Retriever

Low to moderate

Golden Retriever

Low to moderate





Basset Hound

Low to moderate

Shih Tzu

Low to moderate

Siberian Husky


Some breeds are more prone to barking than others.

German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) have normal barking tendencies.

Some breeds, like Chihuahuas and Beagles, tend to bark more.

German Shepherds that guard livestock bark more.

They receive training for that to scare the wildlife.

German Shepherds, to other dogs, are very gentle.

They rarely show aggressive behavior. [4]

Understanding German Shepherd Behavior

  • Importance of Bark
  • Typical GSDs communication
  • Analyzing Body Language

Importance of Bark

Bark Type


Distress Bark

Indicates fear, anxiety, or pain

Alert Bark

Indicates threats

Playful Bark

Indicates excitement

Territorial Bark

Indicates dominance


Indicates separation anxiety

Barking is a normal and essential behavior for dogs.

It is their way of communication.

With barking, they express emotions or try to grab your attention.

It is also a perfect way of protecting territories.

It is a way of expressing their alertive behavior.

But sometimes, they bark due to behavioral issues.

Separation anxiety can lead to boredom.

This boredom can cause excessive barking. [5]

Typical GSDs communication

Communicating with your GSDs won’t be difficult.

They are among the smartest dogs in the world.

They communicate acoustically with their owners.

Shepherds do this with their barking.

But they can communicate with their visual, tactile, and olfactory senses.

Typical German Shepherd’s communication varies.

German Shepherd Labrador mixes have similar types of communication.

But it depends on which genes dominate in the dog.

Analyzing Body Language

GSDs’ body language can tell you if something is wrong with them.

German Shepherds toward other dogs can show different types of body language.

They offer different body language toward people also.

Not barking and lying can be severe behavioral signs.

For example, tail wags in dogs can mean excitement.

A low and tucked tail can mean fear or submission. [6]

If the tail is stiff and upright, it shows potential aggression.

Forward ears mean showing interest.

In contrast, backward ears indicate fear and submission.

Raised ears mean aggression and alertness.

German Shepherds can show aggression to other dogs with this body language.

Main Reasons for a German Shepherd Not Barking

  • Medical Conditions
  • Fear or Anxiety
  • Lack of Socialization

Medical Conditions

Medical Condition


Laryngeal Paralysis

Improper laryngeal muscle function

Tracheal Issues

Obstructed or narrowed trachea

Neurological Issues

Nervous system damage


Trauma of the throat or mouth

Respiratory Issues

Chronic respiratory diseases that lead to difficulty breathing


Tumor that physically obstructs the vocal cords

Laryngeal paralysis is laryngeal paralysis.

It is a disease that causes difficulty breathing.

It can also lead to vocal changes.

This is a standard physical limitation in large-breed dogs.

It is a loss of function in the controlling nerve of the larynx.

Affected dogs struggle to bark or don’t bark at all. [7]

Another common medical issue is cancer.

German Shepherds can bark from both medical and non-medical issues.

Fear or Anxiety

Rescue dogs usually face fears from the past experiences.

This can make them more quiet than other dogs.

Tortured stray dogs can show fear later in life or immediately.

Most rescued dogs, in general, are more calm than dogs from breeders.

Lack of Socialization

The first step of socialization is exposing them to dangerous and non-dangerous situations.

This will help them distinguish what is safe and what isn’t later in life.

You should introduce them to non-dangerous situations.

Let them meet other pets and people.

During these meetings, they might show their natural protective instinct.

This will lead to them barking.

Their behavior in these situations also depends on their breed.

Some friendly dogs won’t even think of barking.

The more you socialize with them, the better dog you will have.

Influence of Puppyhood on Barking Behavior

  • Early Social Experience
  • German Shepherd Puppy Training
  • Impact on Adult Behavior

Early Social Experience

Their early life training sessions and socialization influence their barking behavior.

Also, your behavior towards them can influence their barking behavior.

The more gentle you are with them, the less problems you will face.

But this can also lead to them developing a soft character.

While they are pups, take them on walks.

This will make them exposed to different stimuli.

German Shepherd Puppy Training

Harsh and inconsistent training sessions in GSDs can lead to destructive behavior.

Owners should be careful when it comes to training sessions.

Using positive reinforcement can help you achieve your training goals.

Rewarding them for good behavior can teach them when it is okay to bark.

Be consistent during the training and give your dogs commands.

Crate training in dogs is crucial.

You can prevent social anxiety later in life with this.

Impact on Adult Behavior

Dogs carry their knowledge with them through their life.

What they learned as puppies is how they will behave throughout their lives.

Especially be careful with your training when they are young.

Training a German Shepherd to Start Barking

  • Proper Reinforcement Techniques
  • Consistent Training Approaches
  • Interpreting your German Shepherd’s Training Feedback

Proper Reinforcement Techniques

Firstly, you need to find a trigger that will make them bark.

After you find the trigger, give them a command.

You can use the commands “start barking” or “stop barking.”

Wait until they bark. As soon as they bark, reward them.

This is an excellent method for positive reinforcement techniques.

They will reinforce if they play with their favorite human or toy.

According to studies, 16% of dog owners use positive reinforcement techniques. [8]

Consistent Training Approaches

You must give your dog time to adapt to your training sessions.

Never use physical methods to make your dog bark.

If you don’t feel prepared for the training sessions, ask for help from a professional.

Interpreting your German Shepherd’s Training Feedback

If you notice that your GSD learned something from your training, repeat it.

It won’t be accessible initially, but practice is the key.

Strategies to Help a German Shepherd Stop Barking

  • Command Training
  • Distracting Techniques
  • Reward-based Training

Command Training

Some dogs bark so much that it becomes annoying.

Many pet owners face difficulties with their neighbors.

This is because of their dog’s inappropriate barking at strangers.

To avoid such problems, you need to provide them with basic commands.

There are even some anti-bark collars.

However, their usage is very debated.

The dogs that bark on command are very rare.

Distracting Techniques

If your dog is barking at some trigger, try to distract them.

You can distract them only with a command if they are well-trained.

If not, you can carry with you something they love.

This will distract and reward them at the same time.

Reward-Based Training

Reward-based training is efficient.

As soon as you see that your dog follows your command, reward them.

This can be their favorite toy or snack.

This will also provide them with mental stimulation. [9]

After a while, they will realize they are doing something good.

And this will stop the excessive barking.

Why Does My Dog Not Really Bark?

Your dog does not really bark because of many issues.

This includes their personality, health issues, or behavioral problems.

If the previously mentioned techniques don’t work, ask for help from a professional.