The best way to teach a dog to speak is to offer him rewards. Notice when they bark and give them tasty treats at the time. It will encourage them to learn that they only receive rewards when they bark. Then try using command words like “speak” or “quiet” to teach them when to bark and keep quiet.
Before you think that I am about to explain how you can teach your dog to speak fluent English or recite poems, let me clarify that it is not the case here. Teaching dogs to speak or bark on command words helps avoid unwanted barking.
It also encourages them to bark if they want to go out to poop or announce that you’ve got a visitor and more. But do you know how to teach a dog to speak that doesn’t bark?
Related Reading: Why Has My Dog Started Barking at Night? [FIND OUT!]
How To Teach A Dog To Speak That Doesn’t Bark?
It is tough to teach a dog to follow word commands to bark without teaching him how to be “quiet” first. But then again, not all dogs will respond similarly to the same method. I am sharing a step-by-step guideline on both methods for you to follow to train your dog.
Once you train your dog to bark or speak, there can be moments you would want it to stop barking. So follow these steps to train your dog to be quiet.
Step 1: Choose The Word
Choose a word like “shush” or “quiet,” or “enough” that you will use with your dog. It is best to use only one command word for one training.
Step 2: Evoke Barking
You have to create a scenario to make your dog bark to train it to be quiet. If your dog tends to bark at knocks on the door, you can ask someone to do that, or you can get the dog excited by playing with him or her.
Step 3: Give Attention And Reward
Once your dog begins to bark, wait for some time before showing the dog its favorite toy. When the dog stops barking, give him the toy or a dog treat. Do it a few more times and give it a rest for the day.
Step 4: Use The Word
When the dog learns that he is getting treats for behaving, it will begin to keep quiet when you reward it. Then it will be time to add the cue word.
Use the word in a firm voice every time you reward him after becoming quiet. You can try practicing the command word with your dog in different places.
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Teaching Dogs To Speak Or Bark
Dogs trained with the quiet command usually catch up with the “speak” command pretty fast. Here are a few easy steps you need to follow to train your dog to speak.
Step 1: Keep The Reward Ready
You will need something to get your dog’s attention before or when using the cue word. So grab the dog’s favorite toy or treats before you try the following steps.
Step 2: Evoke The Dog To Bark
You cannot teach a dog to speak without it barking in the first place. So like I explained in the “quiet” section, evoke a situation so that your dog begins barking. Try grabbing on the dog’s leash or running around with your dog for a while. Anything that makes the dog bark for a while will do.
Step 3: Mark And Reward
As soon as your dog begins to bark, mark the barking with your command word “speak” and reward him or give him his favorite toy. If you are using a clicker to mark, click it as soon as your dog barks before rewarding him.
Step 4: Use Hand Signal
Once your dog grasps the word command, add a hand signal to make the training more effective. Point your open palm toward your dog as you say “speak” and close your four fingers to the thumb before rewarding the dog for barking. You can practice it in various locations to train him better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you teach your dog to speak English?
Dogs will not talk in English like we do. But here, speaking English means dogs reacting to voice commands. To train your dogs to respond to English words, take their favorite toy and hide it.
Make sure they notice you hiding the toy and it will evoke them to bark. Say your command word out loud as soon as they bark, and give them their toys or offer dog treats for following the command.
Q. Is it possible to train your dog not to bark?
Yes, you can train your dog not to bark with a few methods. The most effective one is to ignore them or turn your back on them when they keep barking.
And once they stop, give them their favorite dog treat or food as rewards. Dogs will easily catch up that you are rewarding them for keeping quiet and will learn to be quiet even when you are not giving them anything.
Q. Is it cruel to train dogs not to bark?
Dogs bark when they are hurt, angry, frustrated, scared, or feel threatened. It is not unusual for them as animals but excessive barking or barking at strangers without feeling threatened can be annoying.
So the best way to keep that under control is to train them not to bark all the time. It is not cruel as long as you are not being abusive toward the animals while training them.
Continue Reading: Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? [ANSWERED]
Knowing how to teach a dog to speak that doesn’t bark comes in handy in various situations. However, try not to encourage the behavior by rewarding them for barking when you haven’t asked them to. Remember that all dogs are different and will not grasp everything at once.
So try to be patient and take one day at a time to teach your dog these new commands. But whatever you do, never punish or corner the dog for not following immediately.