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How to Teach a Dog to Speak

Teach your dog to speak.

Having your dog bark when you command him to speak is a common trick that is fun to teach your dog.

Not only that, but learning to speak is the first step toward your dog learning the quiet command, which can be quite helpful if he tends to bark when you don't want him to.

General Dog Training Tips

Before beginning to train your dog to speak, keep in mind these great tips:

  • Keep your training sessions short. Training for longer than 5-10 minutes at a time can be too much for your dog and may lead to frustration for both of you.
  • Train at the end of a good play session. Tiring your dog out a bit with some play before you spend a few minutes training can help him focus better.
  • Clicker training is an efficient way of using positive reinforcement to teach your dog to follow commands. You can also use praise, petting, and treats as rewards for success.
  • If you are using treats as positive training reinforcement, your training session will go better if your dog is a bit hungry.

How to Teach a Dog to Speak

First, you will need to think about what things naturally cause your dog to bark. Some common ones are special toys, doorbells, and treats.

  • Show your dog the barking trigger (or make the noise).
  • The instant your dog barks, say "yes," "good," or click and give a treat if you are using them.
  • Repeat this, gradually working toward getting your dog to respond with one single bark. Add a word, like "speak" or visual cue once your dog is reliably responding.
  • Eventually, you will want to be able to give your dog his verbal or visual speak command and have him respond with one bark.
  • Be sure to practice often, even after your dog is good at speaking, to keep the command firmly in his mind.

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