Imagine that you have adopted a new dog. You are so excited to add such a wonderful dog to your home and family. The dog has been really well taken care of by his former owners, but do to unfortunate circumstances they had to give him up. You have been told that he has been through a basic obedience class, and the rescue that he came from has even given you a list of commands that he knows. Your family speaks mostly Spanish at home though, and many visitors to your home are still in the process of learning English, so communication with your new dog is limited. Due to these things, his obedience seems to be decreasing every week.
Wouldn't it be nice to teach your dog how to respond to Spanish instead of English? Nobody would have to remember to switch languages when they interact with your dog, and those who do not speak Spanish could interact with him as well.
There are many scenarios that would make it important to teach a dog a particular language. Perhaps you are moving to another country and want your dog to respond to the people there. Perhaps you are training a dog for someone else who speaks Spanish. Perhaps you speak Spanish and would like to talk to your dog in your native language. Whatever the reason is, training a dog to respond to Spanish commands is just as easy as teaching your dog to respond to commands in any other language.
If your dog already knows commands in another language, then rather than taking the time to reteach your dog the command completely, the easiest thing to do is to use the 'Replacement' method. This method will allow you to train your dog to respond to a Spanish word using the command that he already knows in another language.
If your dog already knows a hand signal for a command, then rather than completely reteaching your dog a command, you can utilize your dog's understanding of the hand signal by using the 'Hand Signal' method. If your dog knows a verbal command in a language besides Spanish that goes with his hand signal, then simply replace the verbal command with your Spanish command while giving your dog the hand signal, and follow the rest of the training steps.
If your dog has never learned a particular command before or you are uncertain about whether or not your dog knows the command, then you can teach your dog how to do the command in Spanish by using the 'Insert' method. Because the steps for training a dog are the same no matter what language you choose to train in, you can choose any method for training a dog a command in any language, and when it is time to give your dog a verbal command then you can simply use a Spanish word rather than an English, German, or other language's word for the command.
To get started you will need lots of small, tasty treats. If you are using the 'Replacement' method then you will also need to know the non-Spanish words that your dog already know for the commands. You will also need to know the Spanish words for the commands that you would like to teach.
If you are using the 'Hand Signal' method then you will also need to know what hand signals that your dog knows for things. You will also need to know the Spanish words for the commands that you intend to teach.
If you are using the 'Insert' method, you will need a resource that will teach you how to train the specific command that you would like to teach, such as Wag! Walking's training resources page, where you may have found this article. For example if you are teaching your dog "Sentado", the Spanish word for "Sit", then you will need to find a resource that will teach you how to train your dog to sit, and you will need to choose a method for teaching 'sit' such as the 'Treat Luring' method. Using your chosen method and resource, you will then be able to teach your dog whatever command you would like to, by applying the steps in the 'Insert' method to your other training.
For all of the methods, you will need patience, consistency, and a great attitude for motivating your dog, communicating with your dog, and having fun.