How to Teach Your Dog to Speak – Things You Need to Know
Communication is key to make any relationship work. This goes the same with our beloved dogs. It’s about time we hear the other end of this conversation and hear them talk. Here is how to train your dog to speak and make them understand you.
How to Teach Your Dog to Speak
Our dogs might not have our sophisticated language but they have their barks. Dogs are even known to use their growling, whining, ear movements and facial expressions to communicate what they feel.
By carefully calibrating what each bark or movement means for them, we can define our dog-owner language and finally understand them. It sounds complicated but this calibration I am referring to all starts with two tasks, (a) teaching them how to speak, and (b) teaching them how to be quiet.
Dog training is one of the most fulfilling activities you can do as a pet owner. It does not only build trust between you and your buddy but it also strengthens your way of communication with them. Talking is just one of the many tricks you can train your pet to do.
Check out this video tutorial for eight easy and impressive dog tricks you can try with your buddy after they’ve learned how to talk.
Back to talking, do you still remember how you learned how to talk yourself? I certainly don’t but I remember my mother used to tell me that I just started making sounds from what I hear from my room and try to imitate them.
From those indistinguishable sounds, I’ve come to learn simple words up to the point wherein I can construct sentences myself.
Our dogs will also undergo the same. They’ll have a learning curve similar to us.
So the basics of teaching our dogs how to speak must also start with the basic words or task-equivalents first like barking for food, for when they’re thirsty, for when they’re sick, for when they want to go potty.
When the basic commands are set, that’s the time you can expand their vocabulary to advanced words like not wanting to go out, playtime, when they don’t agree with you, and the like.
Now that we’ve set out the development of the words or task-equivalents they should learn, let me break down the things you should try to do when teaching your dogs to speak and be quiet.
Before attempting to do any of these, keep a good bunch of treats on your pocket. This will be handy in instilling learning and discipline to your buddies.
1. Teach Your Dog to Be Quiet
Silence could mean a lot of things. Regardless, being quiet could mean the opposite of what they want to do when they bark. And since we haven’t settled what their bark means, its absence would shorten the list of reasons why your dog is barking.
This is why teaching them to be quiet is a useful trick already on its own. Especially for those who own breeds that tend to bark a lot more like terriers, this is crucial in their learning to speak.
Just like any trick, choose one command that would mean “be quiet” for your dog. “Quiet”, “hush”, “silence” are good command words. Once you’ve chosen, stick to one and use it to capture their attention when you don’t want them to bark.
Let your buddy enjoy a treat every time. Doing this more than 2 times for a few days in a row will make them understand that “quiet” or any command word you choose means to stop barking.
Continue doing so while gradually reducing your goodie tokens until they learn to be quiet when you say so.
2. Teach Them to Respond to You through Barking
Now that they’ve learned how to be quiet, it’s now time to refine what their bark means. To do this, we’ll need our buddies to respond first through a bark.
You can choose any command word like the previous tip so long as you stick to it throughout your dog training. Using “speak”, “talk”, “bark” have already worked before.
Try speaking your command word and give them a treat when they respond. Repeating this for about 10 minutes a day is very helpful so that your buddy can really digest your command.
Another strategy would be to get them excited like showing them their favorite toy but not letting them reach it. When dogs are exited, they tend to jump, wiggle their tail and bark. When they do, as usual, give them a treat.
Repetitive exercise while keeping your dog’s attention is important. Repeat steps while gradually reducing treats.
When reducing treats, make sure that your buddy is still having fun so that learning wouldn’t be a burden for them. This way they could fully internalize your two command words for talking and being quiet well.
3. Ask Yes or No Questions and Let Them Respond through Barking or through Keeping Quiet
Just like any lesson we’ve learned in school, practice or exercise still is the next best teacher. One way of reinforcing what you’ve taught them would be to ask them yes or no questions and giving them a command after every question.
This way, they will start to comprehend what the “bark” or “quiet” commands are for. In the same fashion, if the dog sticks to your command, reward them with a treat or a toy. Repeat this for a few minutes for about 3-4 days a row.
Make it fun by making your questions interesting and unique. Dog training should not only be fun for your buddy but for you as well. Gradually reduce reward-giving until they finally understand your commands even if you use them consecutively or interchangeably.
Dogs can speak. They may not have the million words we have to express our feelings but they have their barks and facial and body expressions.
Understanding our buddies and communicating with them should not stop with teaching them how to speak, to be quiet, and to respond to our commands. It should continue with pinpointing the reason why they speak or they stay quiet even if we’ve already said our commands.
If we keep on practicing them with our command words, the time would come that it wouldn’t be a one-way street of communication anymore whenever we’re talking to them. Have you already debunked what your buddy’s latest bark mean?
Moreover, you can find another guide on how to train a puppy in Petdt.com.
I’d like to know what other steps you’ve done when you taught your dog how to speak that I might have missed on the comments section below. For suggestions, comments, and questions, just leave a message in the comment box and if you like the article, don't forget to hit the share button.