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For some mothers, even mothers of furry children, hearing the word 'mama' is a most rewarding thing. Train your dog to say 'mama' so he can call you when he needs something.
Teaching your dog to mimic sounds is a great way to show off his talent and skills and a fun way to hold conversations with your little guy. You can teach him to say 'mama' along with several other sounds and prove to all of your friends who have children with far less fur, your furry child loves you just as much.
Imagine all the cute reactions you and your pup will receive at the veterinarian's office or at the dog parks or even showing off with your friends at home when your dog looks you in your eyes and says 'mama'. Have your little guy say this beautiful word when he wants a treat or a meal, to get your attention, or to ask for affection.
Training your dog to speak isn't the most difficult task to do. However, it's also not the easiest for some dogs. It's very beneficial if you have a dog who already mimics sounds, even simple sounds such as howling. To train your little guy to say a word such as 'mama' you will need to begin practicing mimicking sounds he's familiar with. These sounds will be barking and howling. And then you will progress together to making other sounds your dog may be familiar with that sound like the word 'mama'. Though you can attempt to teach any dog these wonderful sounds, certain breeds mimic and howl more than other breeds, and it's typically easier to train a puppy than an older dog. No matter his age, be sure to have basic obedience and some fun, more advanced commands trained before training your dog to speak words.
To train your dog to speak and say the word 'mama' you might want to consider scheduling some quiet training time with just the two of you. Practice together in a room without other sounds such as background noise like TV or other people talking. Keep your sessions fairly short at first and practice often. Don't forget with all training to bring some treats for your little guy to keep him engaged and motivated to continue to learn.
The Speak Method
If your pup does not yet know basic obedience commands, teach those first. This way, he will be used to training with you, understand the commands, and expect rewards and praise after he’s successful.
Train to speak
Your dog should know to speak on command. This 'speak' might be a bark or a howl, whichever your pup is most comfortable with. To get your dog to speak on command, you may need to do something such as knock or make a loud noise to get him to react. Once he speaks, say the command and reward him.
Once he knows how to speak on command, practice with him often using only the command to speak.
Once your little guy knows how to speak, or bark, on command, get him to howl. With practice, these howls can turn into a ‘Mama.”
A dog probably can’t say the ‘mmm’ sound as well as humans can, but dogs are great at howls, even with their mouths closed. You’ll want to start with these low growling types of howls first instead of a loud wolf-like howl. The more you howl, the more your pup will howl.
Because the word 'Mama' is two syllables, you’ll do this same low howl twice. Each syllable sounds the same, so he doesn’t need to learn two sounds. Howl at your little guy and get him to howl back. This will take some time and practice.
Practice these two sounds several times over the course of a few weeks. You can slowly begin to change your sounds a bit so they sound more like the word 'Mama', but expect your dog to still mimic you the best he can mimic the sounds.
Once he is mimicking the sounds you are making, give this a command. Ask your pup to say 'Mama.'
As he is learning, practicing, and once he gets this down, give him rewards. He’ll keep working hard as long as the rewards keep coming.
The Whine and Moan Method
A trick to get your dog to say 'mama' is to teach him to whine first. A dog who whines can likely work out the sounds for 'mama'.
Get your dog to whine by whining with him. Start by making a whining sound yourself and then wait a moment for your dog to mimic your whines. Do this several times as your dog begins to whine the same as you.
Once a whiner
Once your dog knows how to whine and sound the way you sound, begin to make the 'mama' sound from a whining noise.
At this point, start to give your whining sound a command such as 'say mama.' When you use the command to say 'mama' your dog should be whining with you. If he is not whining the sound you practiced, begin practicing again but continue to use your new command.
Anytime your dog wants something from you like a treat or even dinner you can use your 'say mama' command and have him speak to you before he earns his meal.
The Repeat After Me Method
Start his training in a quiet place where your dog can focus on your voice and the sounds you are making.
Start saying the word 'mama' with your dog. Say it several times expecting him to only stare at you because he has no clue what you’re saying.
Once your dog starts to repeat the sounds you are making, begin to use a command. This command is same command you will use each time you expect your dog to say mama.
Practice having your dog say 'mama' anytime he wants something. Keep giving him the command you have used and have him say 'mama' before you feed him, take him outside, or give him treats.
Over time, your dog should be saying 'mama' anytime he wants something, including your attention. Practice this command and his new sounds a lot to get him to say 'mama'. Be sure you are rewarding him for his efforts as well as for a job well done anytime he is successful.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 04/17/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
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