How to get a dog to bark

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How to get a dog to bark

This is a discussion on How to get a dog to bark within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi guys, So we want to teach one of our dogs to "speak" on command. However, she never ever barks. Ive tried knocking on the ...

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Old 01-07-2019, 02:28 PM
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How to get a dog to bark

Hi guys,

So we want to teach one of our dogs to "speak" on command. However, she never ever barks. Ive tried knocking on the door (she just runs to the door and stares at it) and ive tried barking myself and she just looks at me like im crazy. Nothing seems to work. I really want to teach her this trick but i just dont see how without getting her to bark.
So, does anyone have any foolproof ways to get a dog to bark?
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:31 PM
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All I know is that dogs bark when they feel excited or threatened.

Since the doorbell is under threshold for your pup to speak, try someone your pup doesn't know on the other side of the door, and if the passive stranger doesn't work have your stranger make a ruckus or pound on your door and look inside like he is going to enter. Ask him to run away when she vocalizes even a little. Even if it sounds more like a sneeze or like an "umpfh" woosh of air sound. if your dog understands marker training MARK that vocalization as the thing that made the scary guy go away.

If you do not want to incorporate a "threat" into your speak work, find your dogs favorite toy. Restrain her to something STURDY and immobile using a harness or some other thing. Really get excited and tease her by showing you want to play but outside her moving range. She should bark out of frustration. As soon as she does? step into her reach and play with her. She earned it. Eventually you will want to make her shut up lol
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:47 PM
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I taught my dog to speak by putting a treat in my hand, showing it to him, and then closing my fist. He was pretty confused at first and pawed at my hand. Then he would sit and back away....at that point I would open my hand and show it to him, making him paw at my hand again. After about a minute, he whined out of frustration. Immediately, I gave him the treat and praised him. Then I repeated this. After about 3 more repetitions, he was barking. Then, simply add in the cue, such as “speak”. Actually, it is pretty funny now, because instead of simply barking when I ask him to speak, he makes these weird grumbling/whining/barking noises lol��
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:04 PM
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I have trained all three of my dogs to speak. We use hand signals and voice commands together. Our speak cue is "say meow!" (one bark) and we have them "say I love you" (3 barks in a row) and "thank you" (2 barks)

Also I taught them to count and do math--addition and subtraction out loud holding up various fingers on two hands as we do the entire equation in barks. Example: "Gracie, let's count! What is 3 plus 2 =?" 5. So fun!!

Also quiet "indoor" voice. And a security bark which means continual barks in an escalating pitch.

And more...

How did I start? I had some yummy smelling food bites like chicken or cheese or hot dog and I showed them to my dog. I kept it out in my hand near her so she knew it was for her. I asked her if she wanted it. If she barked right away or made any lil woof I said YES! and then paid (gave her the food)
If she wasn't catching on, I made a small bark or woof sound until she copied me and did it herself. Again the minute she made any sound I immediately said Yes! and gave her the food.

And then as soon as she figured out that making a sound =food, I did it over and over again in that session rapidly to solidify that she got it. At least 10-20 times.

Once she learned the first one (say meow) then it was super easy to teach her all the other "speak" tricks. And how to sing on cue. And do a bear growl sound, or a motorcycle sound...omg we love to do our sound work. Really great for tiring out smart dogs!!!!!

Hope this helps! Let us know ok?

Last edited by AthenaLove; 01-24-2019 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:20 PM
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Oh, and if you use the method above that I just posted for teaching speak, it is probably easiest to do if you haven't fed your dog her main meal yet. Or at least not have given her a big meal.

A hungry dog is much more motivated to earn his/her treats ! Working on a full belly gives some dogs little motivation to really concentrate enough to earn those tasty bites.

And lastly my other tidbit of advice for teaching sound/word tricks is to have fun!!
Get really excited when your dog gets it right!! And if your dog isn't quite getting it, be ultra patient. It usually means you, as the trainer, are just not communicating it in a way your dog understands yet.

Also, keep your body (hands and arms, esp) still as you are teaching this bc most dogs will be watching your face and hands to figure out what the heck we want them to do. Moving around a lot just confuses them until they actually understand the trick.

And again, I have made up a hand signal for each voice work trick. So I say the cue words and use the hands signal at the same time.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:28 PM
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One more thing for anyone else reading this thread...many people who ask me if teaching a dog to bark or speak will increase their random barking or make the dog want to bark all the time.

Not at all for us! And it is fantastic for their brain!!

But then I only pay/reward (praise and food) the barking when I ask for it. If a dog that I am working with tries to randomly bark to earn the food when I have not asked for the trick, then I do not pay. If the dog keeps barking then I gently teach the "shhh" cue and pay the minute they go quiet. Rinse and repeat til the dog understands that random barking doesn't get him the good stuff
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:42 AM
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I taught my dog who never barked to “speak” and it was the worse idea I ever had lol. She became a barker shortly after, I kept thinking if I hadn’t taught her to speak maybe she wouldn’t have been so bad.
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