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Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Dog to Say Thank You

Training

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2 min read

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0

Comments

How to Train Your Dog to Say Thank You
Hard difficulty iconHard
Time icon4-8 Weeks
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

You give your dog a lot. All day long you gear activities, your time away from the house, and possibly even your exercise and sleep time around your dog and the schedule that works best for him. There are Saturday mornings you would like nothing more than to sleep in, but your dog often has other plans, waking you up bright and early to get outside. There are moments when you get up and feed him a meal or take him for a walk or just rub his belly because he gives you those beautiful puppy eyes. Wouldn't it be nice if every now and then he showed his appreciation to you by saying a few simple words like 'thank you'? You can teach your dog to show you appreciation beyond slobbery kisses. Maybe you can teach your dog to say 'thank you'.

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Defining Tasks

Training your dog to say 'thank you' will require a dog who can learn to make sounds or already enjoys mimicking sounds. You will work with your little guy at making one sound at a time and then combine the two dog words that sound much like the words you know as 'thank you'. With lots of practice, your dog can say 'thank you' after you do anything for him without even needing to ask him to. You can also train your dog to show a kind gesture to give thanks instead of speaking.

Before you train advanced training such as speaking words or mimicking sounds, be sure your dog understands basic obedience commands first. A puppy who's already gone through 8 to 16 weeks of obedience training should be able to pick this up pretty easily. An adult dog can learn how to say thank you with some extra time and patience.

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Getting Started

If your dog is motivated by food, bring lots of rewarding treats to your training sessions with you. You will want to train to speak in quiet training sessions without distractions, especially other noises. This will help your pup learn the noises you want him to learn without learning background noises as well. Take these sessions short and engaging. But repeat them often enough so you're a little guy learns to say thank you and remembers the sounds and commands the next time that you train together.

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The Howl to Thanks Method

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1

Saying words

Say the words ‘thank you’ to your dog over and over and encourage him to mimic your speech.

2

Howling sounds

If your dog is one who speaks or howls with you, start by making sounds he knows how to make. Howl or bark and wait for him to howl and bark with you.

3

Treat

When your little guy howls as well, give him a treat.

4

Repeat

Practice making sounds together. As he gets used to howling and barking just as you do, start saying the words ‘thank you.’ When you first begin training these words, howl them as well.

5

Evolve

As your dog gets used to this new sound, his sounds should evolve to sound more like the sounds you make when you say ‘thank you.’

6

Practice

Keep practicing and begin to use these words when it’s appropriate for your dog to say them.

The Repeat, Repeat Method

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1

Talk to dog

If your dog is a talker, start by talking to him. Get him to mimic your sounds and talk back to you.

2

Treat

Give him a reward each time he talks back to you.

3

Repeat

Keep talking to your pup this time get him to mimic the sounds you say when you say ‘thank you.’ Each time you say thank you, give your pup a chance to repeat those same sounds.

4

Command

Give this a command like, ‘say thank you.’ Anytime you need your dog to say thank you, ask him to.

5

Practice

This will take a lot of practice, so don’t give up right away. Keep making those noises with your pup. Remember, these words make up two syllables. Your expectations with a dog who is imperfect can be to hear two distinct syllables.

6

Rewards

Keep rewarding your dog as he learns and each time he says those two magic words.

The Dog Who Mimics Method

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1

Chat

Get your dog to talk or chatter with you. When you say something or make a sound, wait for him to mimic that sound.

2

One word at a time

Once he is mimicking sounds you make, start saying the word ‘thank.’ Repeat this several times with your dog as he practices mimicking this word.

3

Second word

Your dog will have an easier time making a sound that mimics the word ‘you.’ Once he has ‘thank’ down, get him to mimic the word ‘you.’ Practice this word individually before putting it together with the first word he learned.

4

All together

When he can say both words by mimicking your sounds, put them together and have him say both back to back.

5

Thank you

When your dog can put both sounds together, start asking him to say thank you. When he hears this command or hears you say it, he should repeat. With lots of practice, your pup should be able to say 'thank you' any time you ask him to.

Written by Stephanie Plummer

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 04/17/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

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