Dog Trick To Cure A Nuisance Barker: Training Buddy to ‘Speak’ on Command
All breeds and sizes of dogs can be taught easily to speak, and the way to go about it is to call your dog, show him a treat and say “Speak.” He will not understand what you mean and will probably at first jump for it, and then sit down and eye it attentively; finally, he will get impatient and utter a sharp bark, which is what you have been waiting for, and the instant he does so reward him with the treat.
A dog which is slow in barking can be encouraged to do so by your imitating a bark, as the chances are he will reply to it, and if you reward him he will learn to bark as soon as he hears the word “speak.”
After a dog has been taught to bark once, you can teach him to bark any number of times, for when he has learned to expect a reward after barking once and you do not give it to him he is apt to bark again or until you give him a signal to stop.
Dogs are very observing and the signal to stop barking can be so slight that your friends will not detect it, such as a movement of the foot or hand, a dropping of the eyelids or a shifting of your gaze, and if you keep up a running fire of conversation and address your dog as if he were a human being his performance will be much more impressive and perplexing.
As an illustration, if you are exhibiting your dog to an audience and want him to speak, don’t simply say “speak,” but address him something like this: “Now, Buddy, all the ladies and gentlemen present are very anxious to hear you speak.” Put a slight emphasis on the word “speak” and your dog will catch it, but it will appear to the audience as if the dog understood the entire sentence and not only the one word “speak.” Of course, when training the young dog you should use only the word “speak” and that distinctly and free from other words, so as not to confuse him.
If your dog knows how to speck on command, you can try to teach “singing” – which is to teach him to howl on command. It is not expected that your dog will produce any melody but only repeat in a mechanical way a series of whines and barks.
Teach him to “sing” in the following manner. Try to imitate a whine yourself and try to get him to imitate the noise you make and to a certain degree, reach the pitch and style of noise make by you, be it a howl, whine or bark and with constant practice, a dog can and will learn to follow your tone quite accurately.
As your dog learn to follow your barking, say “sing” instinctively to associate this action. Praise and treat plentifully during training to encourage him further. Exercise him on a regular basis will help him to learn to sing in no time on your command.
“Speak” and “Sing” are useful lessons in curbing a nuisance barking dog. Let your dog understand that barking and whining is only allowed on command. Simply ignore your dog whenever he barks and whine for your attention. Vice versa, give him lots of praise or treats when he barks on command. If your dog understands this lesson, he will no longer be a nuisance barker and be a good quiet boy for a long time to go.