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How to Teach Your Dog the Quiet Command

Teach your dog to stop barking on command.

Training a dog to be quiet on command is a great tool for decreasing problem barking. If your dog has a tendency to bark in certain situations, such as when people come over or the mailperson walks past the front window, learning a particular command to quiet down is essential to getting him to stop.

Teach Your Dog to Speak First

To learn the quiet command, your dog will first need to know how to respond to the speak command. It doesn't work well to try and train your dog to respond to the quiet command when he is all excited and barking at the package delivery person. Instead, setting up specific training to learn the quiet command requires that you first teach your dog to speak.

You can learn the steps for that here: "How to Teach a Dog to Speak."

Before Beginning a Dog Training Session

Before you start a session of teaching your dog the quiet command, play vigorously with him for a few minutes. This will get some of his energy out, so he will be able to focus more on the training.

You may also wish to train your dog when he is a little hungry, so your training treats will be very enticing for him.

Train your dog for no more than 5-10 minutes each session.

How to Teach Your Dog Not to Bark

Now that your dog knows how to respond to the speak command, you can teach him the quiet command. Here's how:

  • Give your dog the speak command.
  • Once he's barked, tell him "quiet," and stick a treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, give it to him.
  • Continue practicing this, gradually waiting longer to give him the treat, until he will reliably stop barking when you command him to be quiet.
  • Once your dog will respond reliably to the quiet command in a calm environment, you can introduce his barking trigger in a controlled way. For instance, if he barks when someone rings the doorbell, have a friend ring it while you are inside with your dog; be ready with a treat. Give the quiet command, and reward your dog as soon as he stops barking for a second. Gradually wait longer to give the treat.

Clicker training can be quite helpful in teaching your dog the quiet command. You would click the clicker right before giving your dog the treat during each step. You can learn more here: "Clicker Training for Dogs: An Overview."

You can find out more about problem barking in dogs here: "How Do You Stop a Dog from Barking?"

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