Dogs are known for their ability to communicate through body language and facial expressions. They also have a very keen sense of hearing.
However, one of the most prominent things dogs are known for is their ability to bark.
Whilst having your dog barking a lot isn’t always the desired behavior dog owners want to see, there is nothing like seeing a dog bark on command.
Teaching your dog to bark on command might not seem like the most important command to teach your dog but it is definitely a trick that is worth teaching.
So if you want to know how to teach your dog to speak then you’ve come to the right place.
I have created a guide that will help you learn how to teach your dog to speak on command without causing you any stress.
Benefits Of Teaching Your Dog To Speak
Unlike other basic commands such as ‘Sit‘ or ‘Stay’ the command ‘Speak’ might pale in comparison.
There may not be as many benefits to teaching your dog to ‘Speak’ as there are to teaching your dog how to sit but there are at least some benefits of this command.
One benefit of teaching your dog to speak is that it shows off your dog’s intelligence.
If you’ve taught your dog to speak then people are likely to think that your dog is intelligent and well-trained.
This is especially true if you’ve taught your dog this skill whilst he was still a puppy.
Another benefit of teaching your dog how to speak is that it can help to alert you.
If your dog feels comfortable barking they will be able to tell you when someone comes into the house and also be able to warn them off by barking.
Having your dog bark on command can also be useful in emergency situations.
For example, if there is ever a situation where you need to alert someone to your whereabouts and are unable to do so yourself, having your dog speak might just help you in that situation.
Even if these reasons do not fully convince you as to why your dog should learn how to speak on command, then another great reason is it is a fun trick to teach your dog.
There is nothing more impressive than controlling your dog’s barking.
How To Teach Your Dog How To Speak
Now we know some reasons why it would be fun to teach your dog. Let’s go into how we can teach your dog how to speak.
The first step to teaching your dog how to bark on command is to be prepared. This means you need to have your treats ready to reward your dog when they bark.
For some dog owners, you may need to do this at any point your dog barks which is why it is a good idea to keep your dog’s treats on you.
Now that you are ready to teach your dog how to bark on command you need to get them to bark. This can actually be quite difficult for some dog owners to do.
Some of the best ways to get your dog to bark are by doing something that would normally cause them to bark. This might be playing with their favorite toy.
Some dogs are not as vocal as others, so you may have to be more creative. For particularly stubborn dogs, try exciting them by running around.
As a dog owner, you will know the best way to get your dog to bark so try to utilize that.
The next step is to reward the behavior. As soon as the dog barks you need to say the command ‘Speak’ and give your dog a treat.
Unlike other commands, where you wait to say the vocal command, you need to say it immediately when teaching this command.
For those of you who are clicker training, you’ll want to click the clicker when your dog barks.
Now you have to repeat this step until you see that the dog barks on command.
Once you start seeing that your dog barks on command, you are ready to add in a hand gesture.
Adding a hand gesture can be very useful when it comes to giving your dog a command.
Using a hand gesture means that you do not have to say the vocal command for your dog to listen to you.
This is especially helpful if you need to silently tell your dog to speak.
The most common hand gesture used to teach your dog how to speak is to start with an open-facing hand towards your dog.
Then when you want your dog to speak you close all the fingers except your thumb.
To get your dog to understand this hand gesture you start by using the vocal command and the hand gesture together.
Then, when you think your dog is ready, you try with only the hand gesture.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t quite understand this on the first few attempts. You just need to practice until they do.
Things To Consider
As we mentioned earlier, barking is not the most desired behavior for dog owners.
So when you are teaching your dog to speak, the last thing you want to do is encourage your dog to continuously bark.
Therefore, when teaching your dog to speak on command I would highly recommend only rewarding a single bark.
This way your dog does not think they are being rewarded for barking a lot.
Also, barking is not only annoying for dog owners but neighbors as well. Try to keep that in mind when teaching your dog how to speak on command.
Another thing to consider is teaching your dog how to be quiet. Once you are able to master commanding your dog to speak, you have some control over their barks.
This means you would be able to teach your dog to listen to you when you want them to stop barking as well.
It is always good to teach your dog to speak and be quiet at the same time as you have more control over your dog’s barking.
Teaching your dog to speak on command is not just a fun trick but can also be a very useful one.
Although it might seem tricky, teaching your dog to speak is fairly easy when you follow this guide.
The trickiest thing you may encounter is trying to convince your dog to bark the first time when you are training.
After your dog has realized you want them to bark it should be quite straightforward.
We hope that this guide has been helpful for you! If you enjoyed reading it, please share it with friends and family so they can enjoy it too. Thank you for reading!