Teaching Your Dog to Bark on Command

Learning to Bark on Command can be Fun!

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.

What You Need:how to train a dog to bark on command, how to teach a dog to speak, how to teach your dog to speak

  • 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

Getting Started:

how to train a dog to bark on command, how to teach a dog to speak, how to teach your dog to speak

Never ever leave Your Dog Tethered while Unattended.

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”.

how to train a dog to bark on command, how to teach a dog to speak, how to teach your dog to speak

This Dog nearly does a Back Flip for this Ball on a string!

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.

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Comments

  1. Lorie says:

    Thank you for this. I have been wondering how I’m going to be able to teach my dog to speak. This seems like a good way to get my dog to speak.

    [Reply]

  2. carrie says:

    Ok I get how to train to bark on command now as I’ve been wondering how it could be done but how do you train the to stop barking or be quite my puppy gets so excited about training he starts to bark and howl now 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Michelle says:

    How do you unteach barking?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Keep your eyes out for a follow up article!

    [Reply]

  4. JOHN SCHUMACHER says:

    thanks for the info,i would never think of that when it came time to teach him or her to bark. but what i did is tell him or her to sit and hold a treat just above his head and i used the word “” SPEAK “” and
    it did take a while to teach him really about 1 day and a lot of
    sit and speak. now when i want him to speak i just hold my hand up in the air and bingo he barks…but i think your idea is better.
    thanks again

    [Reply]

  5. Jenny says:

    How do you teach the dog to be quiet once it starts barking?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Reward him for being quiet. Keep your eyes out for a follow up article!

    [Reply]

  6. cynthia smailes rybak says:

    At what age should a small hyper dog be able to do this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It depends on the dog. Most puppies have to mature in order to bark on their own, however this game can usually be played with even young puppies!

    [Reply]

  7. Iveta says:

    Great idea, but I still want my dog to bark on his own when he senses danger. For example at night when he knows somebody is around our house. Will he still be able to bark on his own or just wait for the command? Please explain it to me. I’m so confused, and since I have a new puppy I want to teach him the right way. Thank you

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It depends on the dog. Some dogs are protective of their territory and some never are. But be very, very careful about what you encourage or he may become over protective!

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  8. mike says:

    My 3month old rottweiler,always barks at strangers which i like.But some times she barks at visitors.
    I want her to stop,how do i do this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    At 3 months old you need to concentrate more on socializing her and less on accepting and especially encouraging her to bark at people! Otherwise you are going to end up with a very large dog that is extremely over protective! http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-protective/ and also read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/importance-humanpuppy-socialization-dog-training/

    Get started ASAP on having people give your puppy treats and encouraging her to be social. She should see people as a good thing. Don’t worry she will always have a protective nature.

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  9. Debbie Bezenar says:

    We have two cockapoos and they bark in the yard especially when it is dark out. There are two big dogs across the road from us as well. When they bark or do something our dogs will bark. How do I stop that barking?

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  10. TR says:

    My dog won’t bark. I am tryng to teach my dog to bark/ ‘speak’ on command however she rarely makes a sound at anything. When i use the technique of tieing her to something and showing her, her toy which she loves, she will show frustration for a while and act very excited then after a short time she will lie down and gives up. It is as if she’s bored and accepts that she is not going to get it. What shall I do?

    [Reply]

    Kingsley Reply:

    That is good. Leave the dog alone. My dog too does not bark. He only barks when he plays with me. I feel glad, when I see other dogs barking randomly. When my dog wants something he simply comes and nudges me. He is a Lab/german sheppard. When someone comes he simply stands behind me quietly. When he sees other dogs barking at him he simply looks at them with a vague look.

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  11. Shah says:

    Thank you sir for this valuable info.
    I wanted to train my two years old dog (black and tan, 25”, houndish appearance) to bark since his childhood. But he is such a calm guy that barks almost once in a blue moon. There isn’t anything that frustrates him. He never bitten/chewed any ball/toy/shoe etc even when he was a pup and teething. He is completely exhausted/tired after 1.5 km walk. I’ve checked with vet he says there is no health issue.
    When he gets angry at other dominating dogs, he licks his lips, lowers the bushy tail and straight away attacks without warning bark as if he is attack trained but afreads of a ‘dalmation’, ‘pug'(of his strange look).
    He never barks/cries for food (even when hungry) or my attention, instead he looks me constantly and doesn’t want me to go anywhere which isn’t in its sight (another condition he is sleeping).
    He is much afread of fire-crackers, thunder, lightening etc. He just crawls under my bed whenever he is afread.
    Even my neighbour (adjoing boundry walls) don’t realize that they have a dog nearby.
    I’ve had many dogs but this dog is of its own type.
    Please help me training him to bark or at least being confident in front of pug. . .
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

  12. cameron says:

    My dog does not bark when I do this, he only whines. What should I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Whining is a precursor to barking it shows you are on the right track. Keep trying

    [Reply]

  13. margo ford says:

    I have a 8 month old 3/4 Pom and 1/4 Terrier. He barks at everything. Dogs,Cats,Kiddies you name it he does it. Also every time he sees other dogs he follows them and love to play with them. The bigger the dog the better.When I say come he starts whining and crying as he want’s to stay with them.
    Otherwise he is a lovely friendly dog that looks like a fox. he is real cute.But the barking is nerving.
    Regards
    Margo

    [Reply]

  14. shane says:

    Can u do tge samething with treats or or just with toys?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can try treats, but moving toys cause frustration which usually causes barking!

    [Reply]

  15. Jose says:

    Thank you! I have been looking for a stimuli to elicite a bark from my puppy with complete failure but your suggestion worked like a charm! Appreciate your tutorial, thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Glad to help!!!

    [Reply]

  16. sharon says:

    i have a mixed breed small dog he is 6 month old he crys alot idont know if he needs another dog so he has some one to play with i try to play with him but iam to slow for him and i cant get down on the floor with him i really dont want to get another dog because that would be a lot more money again

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise him more. Take him for a walk or throw the ball or something so he is exhausted. He needs exercise and the mental stimulation of training.

    Never give him something when he cries. If you play with him when he cries you are teaching him that is what you want and what works.

    You don’t need to get another dog, you just need to exercise him and train him several times a day to meet his mental and physical needs.

    [Reply]

  17. Kolby says:

    I have read through your article, and all of its replies time and time again. I’ve tried everything under the sun, but I cannot get my dog to so much as whimper when I’m trying to get him frustrated enough to bark. I’ve tried toys, treats, you name it…I’ve probably tried it. I want to teach him to bark on command, because I live in an area that is known for its high crime and violence. I take him everywhere, but he’s always willing to allow people to walk up to him – kind of crazy, I know. My dog will bark at people he doesn’t like, but other than that, you may as well fluff up his hair and call him a Malamute.

    Anything else I might be able to try?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can’t change personality, and perhaps it is not in your dog’s temperament to bark.

    Frustration and finding what frustrates them and then rewarding the bark is the best way I know to teach a reluctant dog to bark.

    [Reply]

  18. Christina Frances-Pratt says:

    There is no way my girl Skye will bark for me, If she sees someone in the farm next door,or on my property, she barks twice, if I am there she doesn’t, it is as if she says hey mum come and see, and theres no need to if I already can, I am unable to exrcise her on a regular basis due to my disabilities, so i got her a 6month old kitten that was raised with dogs, now they are inseparable, they even walk together on the property, following the chickens and my young Grandchildren ,they play fight,with each other,when the kitten climbs a tree Skye jumps up and down excitedly but still doesn’t bark, my older cat Nortie will curl up with Skye and Manny in the evening, and I now just leave them in the sitting room at night and they all snuggle up till morning,[it is winter here] and I now have my bed all to myself if I want.

    [Reply]

  19. Jonni D. says:

    My puppy refuses to learn the ‘speak’ command. I’ve tried frustrating her, and I’ve tried asking a friend to imitate a bark when I give the command, as an example to the pup, but every time I attempt to teach her ‘speak’, she will get up and walk away. She will NOT do this with any other commands or training. Only with ‘speak’. Any suggestions? (I should mention that she will bark at unfamiliar noises and animals, and will be quiet when told; she just refuses to bark on command.)

    On a side note, I’m adopting a second dog to help with her being alone while I’m at work, and to reinforce some good behavior (I’ve known dogs to imitate each other if they know another dog is getting something they want). I’m hoping that he will know ‘speak’ and will be able to ‘teach’ her by getting rewarded for his own bark; hopefully she will want a treat badly enough to copy his behavior herself. If not, I’ll have to try your technique specifically in order to encourage barking.

    [Reply]

  20. June says:

    I have a 6 month old Golden Retriever, who is wonderful! We never could had asked for a better puppy. I am having some issues with him pulling when trying to walk him. I have been trying the gentle lead, he wants no part of it. He still just rolls his face on the ground. I’ve been trying to use this forca couple months now. I did as the sales person suggested and have him wear it a little at a time inside so he would get use to it, well that still hasn’t happened. Any udeas or helpful hints would be wonderful.

    [Reply]

  21. Sarah Meyer says:

    I have MS and I also like to go hiking. I have tried to teach my dog, KC, to bark. I want to train her to bark If I am hiking and fall. Anyways, the examples you gave did not work with her. She’s a smart dog but at this point I do not know what to do.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not all dogs like to bark. Sometimes you have to wait until they do bark and reward. Sometimes ringing the doorbell and rewarding for barking also works.

    [Reply]

  22. Debra says:

    I have a St Bernard mix that I can not get him to speak (bark)when I want him to. I’ve tried with treats and barking myself, but he will just give me his paw. I will try this for about 5 minutes and he usually just walks away. I’ve never had a dog that wouldn’t speak for a treat. Please tell me how to do this. He really isn’t a barker to begin with.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read this article and try the steps

    [Reply]

  23. Connie says:

    thank you for this post I’m super excited to get to try. we have recently adopted a dog from the pound who is going to be trained as seizure alert dog for my husband. I know this would be a hard task to do but we are super excited about her. I also need to learn how to teach you to grab things away from him as he pulls pillows or blankets to his face. these are tasks that will be life-saving to him.

    [Reply]

  24. Shannon says:

    I am having trouble with getting my dog to bark. I want to teach her to bark on command, so I can teach her to be quiet on command because she barks a lot in our yard, whether she is tired or not. However, she rarely barks around people because my dad used to punish her for barking. On the occasion that she does bark around me, it’s usually just a single bark and I’m often unprepared for it. I have caught her once or twice with the clicker but she doesn’t understand what it’s for and doesn’t do it again. Teasing her doesn’t make her bark either. The only time she barks is when she is being defensive/territorial, such as when cars or trucks drive past, or when she is scaring off an animal, or when she is defending our kitten from our older cat.
    Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Keep working on the teasing, it is the easiest way to get them to bark.

    You can also ring your doorbell or knock on the door but that makes it more difficult for them to understand why they are getting clicked.

    And, teach the clicker before you expect the dog to learn from it

    [Reply]

  25. Shannon says:

    She’s never barked at a knock on the door or the doorbell ringing, nor has she ever barked to get a toy. I’ve been trying for a while, but she loses interest in teasing. She understands the meaning of the clicker, we’ve been using it for over a year; what I meant was that she doesn’t seem to understand that the click was for the bark, because she was taught that barking meant that she would be punished, not rewarded.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    the clicker in and of itself should be changing the meaning of the bark. Just like pavlov changed criteria so can you if you use the clicker appropriately

    [Reply]

  26. Ajayi Seyi says:

    Yes love your method of training gonna try it out because I have a female adult boerboel that doesn’t bark from kid only bark when she is hungry

    [Reply]

  27. punit says:

    mine is a lab dog of almost 1 year…..he just dnt bark at strangers but he does at toys or when we tie him up alone in a room n let him get frustrated…..he often dnt listen to commands sometyms……’seat’ and ‘leave it’are the only two words he is familiar with………..the technique of yours…..the one you mentioned above.will it wrk on him to bark at strangers????

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    he is a lab, so probably not on his own

    [Reply]

  28. soon says:

    My dog is rottweiler and it didn’t bark. What should I do ? I need help.

    [Reply]

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