If you are like most dog owners, one of the first tricks you probably taught your pup was to "speak" on command. This handy little trick can then be used by your dog to tell you when he needs to pee, when someone is at the door, and many other things. And of course, with teaching him to speak you probably taught him the "quiet" command to get him to stop barking. This is also a good thing for your dog to know and can be used in many other types of skill training.
But why not go all out and teach your pup something different, something most other dogs never learn? Why not teach your pup to whisper? By this, we mean to bark very, very softly or make a sort of whuffling noise. Not only is this a great way to impress your friends, but when you live multi-family housing, it can keep everyone out of trouble.
Essentially, what we are doing here is the same thing you did when teaching your dog to speak. The big difference here is that you will be using a different cue and he will be barking at a much lower volume. It is very important that you use a different command when you want your pup to use his "inside voice". If you try to use the same command, it will only serve to confuse your pup and render the training relatively unsuccessful.
Patience is the key, as is repetition. Even after you think you have your pup trained to bark softly, you need to continue practicing. If you don't, you may find your pup gets too excited and will bark at full volume instead of whispering. Once you have taught him this trick, he won't actually forget it, he will just need a reminder from time to time.
Like most other new "tricks" you plan to train your dog to do, in order to train your dog to bark softly he should first have mastered the four basic commands of 'sit', 'come', 'stay', and 'down'. At the same time, teaching him to whisper will go much more quickly if you have already taught your pup the 'speak' and 'quiet' commands. As for supplies, the only things you really need are:
This trick involves working hard to teach your pup to do something that does not come naturally to him. Rewards and lots of praise will a long way towards helping your pup understand what you are trying to get him to do.