Teach Your Dog to Speak in Four Easy Steps
Teaching your dog to speak on cue can be a fun trick as well as a useful behavior. It is easier to teach your dog to “quiet” when you put barking on a cue. You also can reward your dog for just one bark, as opposed to barking non-stop for several minutes.
Plus it is an entertaining trick to show friends and family!
- Find something that gets your dog excited enough to bark. This may be a favorite toy, ball or treat. If treats and toys do not work, try knocking on a door or ringing the doorbell.
- Get him to bark by waving your object around excitedly and being exciting yourself.
- As soon as your dog barks, mark it by immediately saying “yes” or “good” and reward with a yummy treat or play with the toy.
- When your dog starts consistently offering a bark, add a hand and/or verbal signal to put the behavior on cue.
- Do not reward barking unless you ask your dog to speak.
- Try to capture only a single bark. You do not want “speak” to mean a barking frenzy.
- Teach “speak” so your dog knows how to alert you that he needs to go outside.
- By teaching “speak” and rewarding for the cued behavior, you can also modify the technique to teach your dog to whisper (bark in a lower tone) and/or be quiet on command.