Can German Shepherds “talk” more than other dogs?

My wife and I have had the privilege of being owners of three German Shepherds – in series – over the past 21 years.

first German Shepherd

Our first, ebbaby, bred from a puppy, lived to the ripe old age of 14.5 years, of which he spent the last four years as a three-legged dog. Other than the occasional warning growl or “chuff” at unusual/distinctive/unfamiliar noises, she was largely silent. Her only specific vocalization was when she had to go out to do her business – then she would stand at the back door and let out a single, very distinctive, high and sharp “HARP!”.

Second German Shepherd

Our second, Laura, was a rescue and five years old when we got her. She had been abused by her previous owners, then returned to the breeder and placed in a kennel for two years until she found a home. She had behavior problems and we had to keep her away from most other people because she was afraid (although she was always affectionate with us). She was also very taciturn. Her signal to leave was simply to go to the back door and “sweep” the door with her paw, which was a distinct sound. She died much too soon, five years after we got her, of thyroid cancer. We gave her the best possible second half of her life.

Third German Shepherd

Our third and current is Mimmie. She also came from a rescue, but was not abused and has a slight spirit that is still very puppy-like at three years old. Her online bio says she “never barks” – and she didn’t, for the first three months we had her. Once she got to know the terrain, the particular sounds that are constantly (or constantly incoherently) heard in and around our house, she changed. She loves to go crazy when the doorbell rings, and she barks and barks and barks until you talk sternly to her. As with the other two, however, she is mostly quiet the rest of the time. She has the worst “must get out” ritual of the three. There is no barking. She doesn’t rattle the back door. She just vibrates and harasses you, runs at you, spins in circles, sometimes with great urgency, often pretending to play. Eventually the vibration works and we “get it”, whereupon she goes crazy, running around the dining room table, rearing up on her hindquarters and chasing cats for no good reason at all. What a crazy head!

I should add that all three of them made minor vocalizations while playing, the typical grunts and groans, but certainly nothing that could be characterized as chatty.

Yes, I’ve written too much, and I admit that I’ve gone on about many details that had nothing to do with the few actual details that were given. But damn, I love our German Shepherds and loved them. Each of them was a unique person with a unique spirit, and I guess I just had to write about them.

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