How to Manage Barking by Training Your Dog to Bark on Command
Yes, this article is about teaching your dog to bark on command. A lot of you probably looked at this title and thought it must be some sort of mistake. Most people are more interested in teaching their dogs to stop barking.
Why Would I Want My Dog to Bark?
Dogs that have been taught to bark on command are less willing to bark without the command. Your dog will look at you to start, wait for the command, and, if you do not give it, usually forget about barking.
How Do I Train My Dog to Bark?
One of the best descriptions of teaching your dog to bark on command is found in 50 Games to Play With Your Dog, a book written by Suellen Dainty. She wants you to teach your dog to “talk” as a game. I teach this command for another purpose, but the technique she uses is great.
Follow the steps below to teach your dog to bark on command.
The Steps to Teaching a Dog to Bark on Command
- Have your dog stand/stay. Do not have your dog sit.
- Take his favorite toy and hold it out just in front of his nose, just out of reach.
- Give the command “Speak”.
- As soon as he barks (out of frustration) give him the toy and lots of praise. This is not always an easy trick to teach. Some breeds of dog, like the Sheltie, are great barkers and will perform this immediately. Other dogs will just look at you, assume they cannot have their toy, and stop trying. The only one frustrated is the trainer.
- Try a different toy. Repeat the command and give him a special dog treat each time he performs. You need to give your dog the toy, of course.
- The next time you try this, give the command “Speak” and when he barks, say “Whisper” in a very quiet voice. Some dogs are very in tune with your wishes and will try to bark differently. If he barks quietly give him a treat and a “good boy”!
- During another session, hold the toy in front of him but do not say “Speak” or “Whisper”. When he becomes frustrated and barks, say “Quiet” and when his barking pauses, give him praise and a treat.
- Try all three of these commands twice a day, for no more than five minutes at a time, for about 10 days. At the end of that time, most dogs will perform every time. Do not be angry if barking on command is never part of your dog's repertoire!
A willingness to fetch at an early age is an indication that a puppy will become a good service dog. A willingness to bark on command is a great quality to have in a personal protection dog. It is not a qualification your dog must have for the job, though, but if your dog does learn to bark on command, the rest of your training will go easier.
- 3 Ways to Train a Dog Not to Bark
If you have a new puppy and he is already starting to bark a lot, find out some other techniques that might help him with this problem.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.