How to Teach Your Dog to Speak on Command and to be Quiet on Command

Alright, you might be thinking “Why would I want to learn how to teach my dog to speak on command?”, but what if I told you that was THE BEST way to get your dog to stop barking and to be quiet on command?

I have said it before and I will say it again, having control of your dog’s mouth is the absolutely best way to be in control of barking and quiet behavior. Some people just want to teach a dogs to bark, or speak on command, to help the dog communicate when they want to go outside.

And, some also like to use this as a cute trick.

I use this command for multiple reasons! One of which is having people respect my own and my dog’s space. Unfortunately we are in a day and age where people often do bad things to other people. I don’t want people to get too close to my vehicle or myself. 

Or perhaps I don’t like the way someone is looking at me at the park. My dog can bark on command and on hand signal. I don’t need my dog to bite or even bark AT someone; because, after all, who in their right mind is going to bother someone with a barking dog?

NO ONE!

 

Avoiding Negative Demanding Behavior

One of the most annoying behaviors a dog does is bark. I commonly hear dog owners complain that their dog barks at them all day, barks at other dogs, barks in their crate or barks at the front door and window. This can not only be incredibly disturbing to the peacefulness of your home but can become a bigger issue if you’re receiving complaints from your neighbors or worse, apartment management.excessive dog barking upsets your neighbors

Often times, dog owners become so stressed by their dog’s constant barking that they resort to extreme measures, like bark collars the animal shelter or even mutilation through means of debarking!

Dogs bark for many reasons; for attention, to sound the alarm, anxiety, excitement and boredom are the more common reasons. And if you have more than one dog in your home you already know that barking is contagious, no matter what the reason.

In order to remedy a “barking problem” we must first figure out why your dog is barking. It’s important to keep in mind that barking is a completely instinctual and normal behavior for dogs and the average dog doesn’t bark excessively, though it may not seem that way to our ears. A dog’s bark is a key form of communication and their woofs, yips and growls can mean many different things. Some breeds are specifically bred to be vocal – Like the Great Pyrenees or German Shepherd.

Having been a dog trainer for over 20 years I have expectations of how I want my dogs to treat me. I don’t want my dog barking in my face, demanding for me to throw his ball or fill his bowl. I find demand barking to be extremely irritating and it is something I want to avoid at all cost.

After all, I want my dog to bark WHEN I WANT HIM TO, not whenever he desires something.

teach your dog the quiet commandWhile flipping through the internet, I came across an article that essentially wants its clients to hide a treat behind their back to encourage the dog to bark. That is THE LAST way I want my dog to learn to bark.

I don’t want him barking at me while I am at the table, eating an ice cream cone, or enjoying a hot dog at a BBQ. I want him to learn under very specific conditions that will rarely be experienced outside of dog training.

 

When I Don’t Mind

I don’t mind if while running through her tricks, my dog tries barking to see if it will earn her a reward, but I expect her to be quiet on command and when she realizes that it does not bring the reward. My dog LOVES to TRY barking.  We nicknamed her “Mouth of the South” when we lived in GA because she loves to bark.

But she quickly quiets on command or stops when it doesn’t bring the reward she desires. Appropriate dog training is essential! It is crucial, in my opinion, not to reward a dog every time he decides to bark on his own.

Otherwise you will experience your dog’s mouth and barking far more often than you could ever desire. And, no one likes constant barking!

A Word About Boredom

A bored dog is the most common reason for demanding behaviors such as demand barking.

The average house dog leads a pretty boring and mundane life. It’s the same thing day after day – wake up, go for a walk, sleep all day until you get home, maybe you’ll go for a walk again and meal times thrown in the morning and evening.

While this may sound like a relaxing day to most of us, for a dog that was likely bred to do more than just watch the paint peel, it can be a schedule for complete boredom. Truthfully, a schedule like that sounds depressing and would definitely bore me! Add enrichment to your dog’s life through food puzzles, treat dispensing toys, mentally stimulating games, positive reinforcement based training and walks that involve more than just a bathroom break.

A dog that spends his hours alone working for his food, being mentally stimulated will be a much calmer and happier dog when you arrive home. Don’t forget the physical activity too! Wondering how much exercise is right for your pup? According to the UK Kennel Club “A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.”

So get out there and play with your dog, throw the ball (as long as they aren’t barking), play tug, go to the park for a sniff, run, jump, PLAY! You’ll have a happier, more content pup in those times where you just want to relax. AND it will decrease the barking all the way around.

If You Want to Teach Your Dog to Bark on Command, Click Here

How to Attain BARK on Command

What You’ll Need

  • A well-fitting doggy harness (please don’t use your dog’s collar)
  • A tree or post
  • A long line 10 feet or longer
  • A dog toy, that your dog loves, on a string (I personally like a dog toy tied to a horse crop/whip because it’s bouncy)
  • A clicker
  • …possibly high value treats

Getting Started

 

Want To Learn How To More About Teaching Your Dog To Bark On Command?

Check out our Guest Manners class where we not only teach you how train your dog to be quiet, but how to put barking on command so that when you NEED your dog to bark, for safety, intimidation, or protection, you can just ask for it.

Click here to learn this "Guest Manners" training process

Tie your dog’s favorite toy to the string or horse whip.

Get your dog fitted in his harness so it is fairly tight (we don’t want him sneaking out).

Safely tie the long line to a strong tree or post and gently string the long line out so that you can see where it reaches.

Place the toys just outside of the reach of the long line (about 2 feet).

Take your dog out and clip him softly to the long line, making sure he has plenty of room to wander around.

Let him get used to being back tied by standing and walking within that 10 foot area where he is, click and reward him for calm behavior we don’t want any dog to panic when they realize they are back tied.

Walk your dog to the end of the line.  The last thing we want is for your dog to race to the end of the line and scare himself or flip himself.

Once your dog is acclimated, peacefully walk outside of your dog’s tethered area and take the whip or string and quietly begin zipping it back and forth just outside of your dog’s reach.

We want the dog to race back and forth at even pressure trying to snatch the toy.

As your dog gets frustrated, he is likely to vocalize his frustration.

If he whines or barks (I prefer barking), click and toss the toy into him so that he can grab it.

Keep a little bit of pressure on the toy and allow him to shake and prance around with his new treasure!

Once he drops the toy, snatch it back outside the perimeter and begin again.

If he doesn’t drop it quickly, just be patient, he will drop it eventually.  Just be prepared.

When he barks, click and hastily toss him the toy.  I prefer the toy to be the reward and not a treat.  After all, building some toy drive can be great for your training regimen.

Continue this routine until he is barking regularly.

Now you may add your command or “cue”- BARK or SPEAK

Adding the cue too early, is ineffective and meaningless.  Add the cue when they are performing the behavior so that they understand.

After a few repetitions with the cue added, you may begin adding the cue first to see if your dog will bark.  When he does, reward him by letting him play with his toy.

Once he understands the cue, you may begin to fade the routine with the back tie and the toy.  Eventually, you want to just be able to ask him to “bark” or “speak”, but remember to reward him when he does so on command!

Want to Learn More About Teaching Your Dog to Bark on Command?

Check out our Guest Manners class where we not only teach you how train your dog to be quiet, but how to put barking on command so that when you NEED your dog to bark, for safety, intimidation, or protection, you can just ask for it.

Click here to learn this “Guest Manners” training process

If You Want to Teach Your Dog to be Quiet on Command, Click Here

How to Attain QUIET on Command

Ironically, follow the same steps to teach a dog to bark!

What You’ll Need

  • A well-fitting doggy harness (please don’t use your dog’s collar)
  • A tree or post
  • A long line 10 feet or longer
  • A dog toy, that your dog loves, on a string (I personally like a dog toy tied to a horse crop/whip because it’s bouncy)
  • A clicker
  • …possibly high value treats

Getting Started

Tie your dog’s favorite toy to the string or horse whip.

Get your dog fitted in his harness so it is fairly tight (we don’t want him sneaking out).

Safely tie the long line to a strong tree or post and gently string the long line out so that you can see where it reaches.

Place the toys just outside of the reach of the long line (about 2 feet).

Take your dog out and clip him softly to the long line, making sure he has plenty of room to wander around.

Let him get used to being back tied by standing and walking within that 10 foot area where he is, click and reward him for calm behavior we don’t want any dog to panic when they realize they are back tied.

Walk your dog to the end of the line.  The last thing we want is for your dog to race to the end of the line and scare himself or flip himself.

Once your dog is acclimated, peacefully walk outside of your dog’s tethered area and take the whip or string and quietly begin zipping it back and forth just outside of your dog’s reach.

We want the dog to race back and forth at even pressure, trying to snatch the toy.

As your dog gets frustrated, he is likely to vocalize his frustration.

If he whines or barks (I prefer barking), click and toss the toy into him so that he can grab it.

Keep a little bit of pressure on the toy and allow him to shake and prance around with his new treasure!

Once he drops the toy, snatch it back outside the perimeter and begin again.

If he doesn’t drop it quickly, just be patient, he will drop it eventually.  Just be prepared.

When he barks, click and hastily toss him the toy.  I prefer the toy to be the reward and not a treat.  After all, building some toy drive can be great for your training regimen.

Continue this routine until he is barking regularly.

Now you may add your command or “cue”- BARK or SPEAK

Adding the cue too early, is ineffective and meaningless.  Add the cue when they are performing the behavior so that they understand.

After a few repetitions with the cue added, you may begin adding the cue first to see if your dog will bark.  When he does, reward him by letting him play with his toy.

Once he understands the cue, you may begin to fade the routine with the back tie and the toy.  Eventually, you want to just be able to ask him to “bark” or “speak”, but remember to reward him when he does so on command!

Once you have taught your dog to bark, you can then teach him to be quiet.

It is very difficult for a dog to understand “quiet” without understanding “bark”, and when you think about it from his perspective, it makes sense!

With your dog tied out and probably barking (for reward, because this is what we have taught him), just stand there and wait.

When he is QUIET click and reward by tossing him the toy or a jackpot treat.

After all, the dog will bark for a bit, but when he is confused as to why you aren’t giving him his reward, he will pause.

It is critical to click and reward this behavior.

He will likely try barking again.

Wait him out, click and reward when he is quiet.

As with before, wait until he is consistently barking and being quiet; this shows he understands what you want and you may begin adding the “Quiet” cue.

Play this game fairly often.

You may ask for a bark (don’t reward often if quiet is what you will regularly seek), then jackpot with a massive reward.

Eventually, (if you want to eradicate the bark) you will stop asking for the “bark” altogether and you will only reward the quiet.

Remember to reward generously!

Tips

  • Be Consistent and patient. Remember this is supposed to be a positive command. Some dogs can take weeks to learn and then master these commands.
  • Teaching the speak command only works on dogs that will bark. If you are training your puppy, wait until he develops the ability and desire to bark.
  • Once you have mastered Speak and Quiet at home you should practice these commands in environments outside the home in varied situations like at the park or in the car.

 

“Speak” and “Quiet” are fun and extremely useful commands that can help develop communication skills between you and your dog. Teaching your dog “Speak” and “Quiet” essentially gives you the ability to switch your puppy’s vocalizations on and off – a handy skill to have to prevent incessant barking or to play vocal games with him. Have fun with it and your puppy will too!

 

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Comments

  1. MD says:

    My rescue dog is leash reactive and it’s with men not all men and they all have nothing in common with each other. He will be barking crazily and some pulling. If I take him off the leash he is fine with them but I can’t always do that because I’m on a rail trail and I’m not sure if he will stay (I only had him for a month). He does this with dogs doesn’t matter the size and he has to get the last bark in. Off the leash he wants to play and run with them. He is part Pomeranian and Papillon and hair less dog. How do I get him to be relax and not barking like a crazy dog?

    [Reply]

  2. Helaine Delano says:

    I have an Afghan Hound 2 1/2 yrs. old female. We live in an apartment bldg. if the elevator stops and our neighbor goes home – she barks like crazy. If the elevator simply goes by our floor – same response. She has incredible hearing – if mail or newspaper is put down on our elevator hall table (very early AM) – same response. One cannot be quiet enough , she hears Everything & has decided she’s a watchdog and barks at every little sound! She thinks that’s her job!

    [Reply]

  3. Allyn Chapman says:

    Hi. I have purchased many of your on line videos now. I’m still working my way through them and just love them. My daughter (who has Asperger’s) has a new puppy (5 months old Miniature Schnauzer – Maggie May) and I have a 6 1/2 month old Miniature Schnauzer (Oscar). Oscar is the barky one – luckily Maggie is good (as are my shih tzhu and golden retriever). I have tried the clicker training with him and treats and I’m getting some success. Every night I have one of my kids go outside and ring the door bell and when Oscar looks at me I click and give him a treat. Within 3 rings he has stopped barking and is looking at me – even with the other dogs around (although they all come running when the door bell rings looking for a treat now). He is getting a little bit better when it is someone else coming to the door now but still loses his mind. So I have started on the journey of teaching him to bark on command. That is my big problem right now. He barks when he hears something or sees something or sometimes for seemingly no reason at all – but he doesn’t bark when he plays. I tried the toy at the end of his leash on a whip/string – but he won’t bark then. So I can’t congratulate him on the bark and tell him to bark and reward him. Any thoughts/ideas. Like I said, I have downloaded quite a few of your programs already – maybe it is one I haven’t gotten to yet that I should go to next? Thanks in advance. I can’t wait to try teaching him the limp on command one. (although I’m going to go listen to the come on command at all times even if there is a cat or a leaf one next) He comes for treats unless there he is on the scent of something – he has an amazing sniffer.

    [Reply]

  4. Juanita says:

    Minette, are you reading comments here? I see they are all from 2017 . . .

    Anyway, in case you do, I have the same result as Allyn Chapman above: this dog does not bark when I tease him with the toy. He is totally focused on trying to get it, tho. I did get a tiny bit of a vocalization and rewarded that, but no barking. He is the most contrary dog ever.

    So, thanks again for the link, but I can’t begin to get to the quiet command since I can’t get him to bark on command!!

    [Reply]

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