Training

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How to Train Your Dog to Bark on Demand

Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Dog to Bark on Demand
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon3-6 Weeks
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

There are times when all you want your dog to do is to stop barking--unless of course, you have already taught him to be quiet. But, what if you could train your dog to bark on command? Why not? People have been teaching their dogs to "speak" for as far back as history has been recorded. Teaching your pup to speak on command is a great trick to add to his repertoire and can even be used to scare off would be intruders.

However, if you haven't taught your pup to be quiet on command, this would be a great time to work on it. The ultimate result being your dog barking when told to and stopping on command. Bear in mind we are not suggesting that you teach your pup to bark at people, we are showing you simply how to train your dog to bark on command. 

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Defining Tasks

The concept is pretty simple: you want your pup to bark when you give him the command to. You also want him to stop barking when told to. There are several different methods you can use, here we are looking at three of the most common methods.

Training your dog to bark on command can also be used to add an extra layer of personal security if you have a bigger dog. You don’t have to teach your pup to be a guard dog, but if you can teach him to bark on command, that is usually good enough to scare strangers away. Like most types of training, the nature of this one is relatively simple, it just takes time and patience on your part for your pup to master it. 

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Getting Started

The most important thing here is that before you start trying to teach this trick to your pup, he should have already mastered the most basic commands such as 'sit', 'come', 'stay', and 'down'. Once he has mastered these, the number of tricks you can teach him is virtually endless. Your pup will do anything he is physically or mentally capable of to please you. There are a few things you might need to make the training go easier:

  • Treats
  • Leash
  • A tree
  • A pole
  • Toys
  • Baby gate
  • An assistant

The only other things you need plenty of, are time and patience. This type of training is best done in 15-minute intervals 1 or 2 times a day over the course of several weeks. If your pup is struggling to get the idea, be patient and keep working with him, he'll figure it out in time. 

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The Assistant Method

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1

Grab a friend

Grab a friend your pup may not be familiar with who can donate a few minutes to help over the course of the training.

2

Pup in the room

Have your pup with you in the room. You don't have to be sitting with him, just be in a place where you can watch him.

3

Ring my bell….

Have your friend ring the doorbell. Observe your pup. If he barks, you are on your way. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Wait a couple of minutes and repeat this process.

4

Daily, daily

Repeat this training over the course of a few days and be sure your pup knows it's okay to bark at the bell.

5

Command word in….

The next time the bell is rung, add in your choice of command word just as your pup goes to bark. Continue with the praise and treats. Do this for several more days until he associates the bell, the command, and the reward.

6

The final test

Now that your pup will bark on demand as the doorbell is rung, it's time to up the stakes. With nothing else going on, give your dog the 'speak' command. If he barks, be sure to praise him heavily and give him a treat. If he doesn't, that's okay just keep practicing until he will.

The I'm So Excited Method

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All revved up

Start out by getting your dog all revved up. Maybe have a good game of tug-of-war or fetch. Something you know is always guaranteed to make your pup get super excited.

2

Treat's on me

Grab a yummy, smelly treat and show it to your dog before hiding it behind your back. If he whimpers and whines, show him the treat again before returning it to behind your back.

3

Gimme, gimme, gimme

With your pup's super excited energy levels, it won't take long before he won't be able to hold back anymore and will bark. In most cases, this will be a single bark so be ready with the treat and praise.

4

Free association

Work with your pup like this for a few days until he begins to see that barking gets him a treat. Bump up the game by adding the command word right at the point where he is on the cusp of barking. This will help him associate the command with the desired action, which in this case is to bark.

5

It goes on and on

The rest is all about repeating the training process until you can give the command and have your pup bark one time without the need for a treat. Mission accomplished.

The Dangling Toy Method

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1

Gather the supplies

For this, you need a favorite toy, a piece of rope or strong string, a pole or broomstick, treats, his leash, and your pup.

2

Hitch 'em up

Hitch your pup to his leash, head outdoors and find a tree or fence post to attach the other end to. Remember, you should NEVER leave your dog tied up unattended.

3

Create the lure

Tie the rope to the toy and then to one end of the pole to create your training lure.

4

Dangle, dangle

Hold the toy out on the far end of the pole just out of reach of your pup and start waving it around to get him excited. At some point, he will become frustrated and will bark at the toy. When he does, praise him and let him chew on the toy for a couple of moments.

5

Repeat, using your words

When your pup has reached the point where he quickly barks at the toy, start giving him your chosen command. Be sure to reward him by playing, with treats and, of course, lots of praise.

6

By command only

Finally, put the toy aside and try giving him the command. You may have to clap your hands at first to get his attention, but with time and patience, he will put two and two together. When this happens, try going other places to practice until he will bark on demand wherever you happen to be.

Written by PB Getz

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/13/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

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