Therefore, in our daily work, dog owners often want our dog to be seen but not heard. We worry about annoying neighbors or waking up babies, and often scold our dogs for using their sounds. When you teach a dog to talk, you can flip the script by providing a positive bark. In addition, it is so cute.
Take the piggy. It is difficult to pick out the cutest thing about this senior puppy. Piggy is that rare dog and has never left his puppy stage. He was still chunky and soft, with big brown eyes and a big pink nose, probably just part of a pig.
But my favorite thing about this sweet, soft yellow laboratory is not his appearance or even his temperament. This is his ability to speak. Well, actually, this is why he became excited after successfully completing the prompt.
When you make a duck face with one hand and “quack”, the piglet will respond in a responsive way, first with experimental long hair, and then with large fluffy bark. What followed was pride and a tail swing, which was too shaken to wipe the glass from the coffee table.
How to train a dog to speak
- Make your dog bark and reward it
- Add gesture
- Add verbal prompt
- Eat more snacks
Now, let us explain in detail so that both you and your dog can master this skill.
Start with current habits
First, consider what makes your dog bark reliably.
Do they bark when someone knocks on the doorbell? How about when you play tug of war with toys? Whatever it is, do this to make your dog bark.
Mark the bark
When you hear the bark, please mark it with a clicker or “Yes!” And reward your dog snacks or tug toys.
Repeat at least five times.
Trigger the bark and use gestures
Make a duckbill with your hands and “quack”. Use the trigger that makes your dog bark immediately.
After you hear the bark, click/Yes! And rewards.
Repeat at least ten times.
Remove the trigger
Hopefully, by now, your dog is catching the relationship between duck hands and barking. Try to “quack” your hand once, then wait 5-8 seconds for the dog to bark. If they bark, click/Yes! And rewards.
If they don’t bark, please trigger the bark as you did in step 1, and click /Yes! And rewards.
Repeat until your dog responds reliably to the gesture (without using the trigger).
Add language hint
The last step in how to teach a dog to speak is to add language prompts.
Say “Talk!” and follow it with duck face gestures. When your dog barks, click /Yes! And rewards.
Repeat at least five times.
Go home alone with a voice
Finally, fade-out gestures as needed. Say “Talk!” and wait 5-8 seconds for your dog to bark. If so, click /Yes! And rewards.
If they stay quiet, show them the duckbill gesture and click /Yes! And rewards.
Repeat until your dog can always respond to verbal cues.
Don’t worry, once they learn, you can also use the duck “quack” to hint your dog to talk, if you want.
The secret of success
Unless you are teaching them to talk by following the steps above, don’t reward them for barking. If you reward your dog for barking when you are not asked to speak (except for step 2), you may increase unnecessary attention-seeking and the feeling of excessive barking.
Click or “Yes!” after your dog sounds for the first time, not after several barkings. You want them to stop barking immediately.
Use positive tendons. When you start teaching your dog to speak, be sure to reward the dog for each correct answer.
The reward can be hospitality, entertainment, or love and praise. Once they become experts, you can start to gradually reduce rewards, starting with providing food or toys for other correct answers.
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