Teaching Your Dog to Bark on Command
In one of my previous articles we spoke about how teaching your dog to bark on command was all that you needed to ward off any wayward humans looking for trouble.
I am a firm believer that a good bark is all that you need to make your dog appear scary to onlookers.
This is not to be taken lightly and by no means am I encouraging you to have your dog bark AT people! Instead you will just be teaching your dog to bark on voice command and then with a tiny inconspicuous hand signal.
Your dog should never equate people and aggressive behavior!
If you teach your dog to be protective in general you can end up with some very serious behavior problems and a dangerous dog.
But, if you teach your dog to simply bark when asked it can keep attackers at bay.
- A long line or a tie out
- Something like a tree to attach the tie out to
- A toy
- A Pole and some String
- Your Dog
Frustration often leads to barking, so we are going to use some frustration to teach your dog or your puppy to bark on command.
Take a long line or a tie down and attaching it to something secure, like a tree or a fence post. You will NEVER leave your dog tied out unattended!!
Attach your dog by his wide buckle collar (never use a choke chain, prong collar or head halter) or (better) a harness to the tie down.
Tie his toy to a short pole (PVC pipe, broom stick, etc.) with the string.
Now dangle the toy in front of your dog, whipping it back and forth just out of reach of your dog.
This should be frustrating and at some point your dog is very likely to bark at the toy.
As soon as your dog barks, reward him by allowing him dog to grab and play with the toy for a moment or two.
Then ask him to “Drop It”.
Continue playing this game until your dog is regularly barking.
Now you can add the command “Bark” and if he does so, reward him by playing!
Once he has learned to bark on command you can begin teaching him a small hand signal.
As you say the command show him the hand signal. I bump my thumb against my other fingers, like a dog barking when I say the command.
Later I can drop the verbal command and just touch my fingers together. My dog should have learned to bark like wild-fire until I tell him “quiet”.
This behavior alone helps make me feel secure, and my dog is learning to use his voice on my terms and not directed at any one person. My dog thinks he is barking to play or later for a treat so no aggression is tagged to the behavior!
This can be great fun, and can lead to keeping your loud dog “quiet” as you learn to tell him when it is and when it is not appropriate to bark, like when trying to stop dogs from barking at the door.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.