Teaching your dog how to “speak” is not only a cool trick to show off but a great way to help your dog understand when to bark and when not to bark. Additionally, being able to have your dog bark on command is a useful way to scare off unwanted intruders.
To begin training your dog to “speak” or bark on command, you will need a treat he/she really values. Begin by creating a scenario that will cause your dog to bark. Some easy ways to get your dog to bark is by having someone ring the door bell or knock on the door.
Once your dog is barking, mark the behavior with the word “speak” in a positive and upbeat tone and immediately reward your dog with a very valuable treat. Repeat this process several times until your dog understands that when you say “speak,” the desired behavior is to bark. By saying it in a positive and upbeat tone and then rewarding your dog with a valuable treat or toy, your dog understands that this is positive and desired of him.
The key is to be patient and consistent. Once your dog learns to bark on command, he/she can also learn to be “quiet.” Some dogs are more excessive barkers, therefore, teaching your dog the quiet command before the bark command is also alright.
Once again, make your dog bark. When the dog stops barking, give him a treat or toy. Repeat this process until the period of silence becomes longer. Once the dog has successfully remained quiet for a long period of time, say the chosen command for “quiet” in an upbeat and firm tone and simultaneously give your dog a treat. Repeat this process several times until your dog understands that when you say quiet while he is barking, he is to stop.
Its extremely important to reinforce these commands with positivity so that your dog associates these actions positively as desired behaviors upon command.