Jump to section
Despite their recent reputation for being vicious and unpredictable, Pit Bulls are quite the opposite. In fact, these amazing dogs are highly intelligent, very protective, and great family dogs. They are easily trained and love to show off how smart they are. While most people want to train their Bullies not to bark, there is nothing wrong with teaching him to bark on command or to let you know about something important. Most Bullies are relatively quiet by nature, so teaching your pup to bark can be a little on the challenging side.
The trick here is that you are taking something that comes naturally to your Pittie and controlling it. In other words, your pup knows how to bark and may at times want to bark for what might seem like no good reason at all. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to train your dog to bark on command. You can use this same training to stop your dog from barking at any other time. This way he should only bark when you let him, or there is an emergency of some type such as an intruder.
Before you try to train your four-legged friend to bark on command, he should have already mastered the four basic commands, 'sit', 'stay', 'come', and 'down'. This shows him who's in charge and at the same time establishes a bond between the two of you. You need a few supplies to make the training sessions go easier and more successfully. These include:
- A tree
- A long
stick or pole
The only other things you need to successfully train your dog to bark are plenty of time for several short training sessions daily and the patience to keep working with your pup until he masters this skill.
The It Takes Two Method
You need a friend
For this training method you will need the help of an assistant. This can be a family member or a good friend. It just needs to be someone your pup is used to being around.
Time to bring your pup into the room with you. Keep an eye on him, but don't hold onto him. Let him wander around.
Have your helper come up to the front door and ring the bell. When your barks, praise him and give him a treat. Give him time to settle down and have your helper ring the bell again.
Continue to work with your pup adding in your command word "Speak" and giving him praise and treats when he barks.
Who needs a door bell?
Time to move on and test your pooch to see how well he does with just the command. Go ahead and give him the "Speak" command. If he barks, give him lots of praise and a couple of treats. From here it's just a matter of practice, practice, practice.
The Building Excitement Method
Get your pup's motor running
Try playing with your pup and getting him excited, anything he likes to play that you know is going to get him so excited he can't stand it.
Hide and seek
Grab one of your pup's favorite smelly treats and let him sniff it. Next put that hand behind your back.
The single bark
It won't take long, just be patient, your dog's curiosity and excitement will soon get the better of him and he will be unable to stop himself from utter that one all important bark. When he does, be sure you are ready to give him the treat and praise him.
Hmm... bark = treats
Keep working with your pup over the course of the next few days, it won't take long before your furry friend puts two and two together and sees that barking gets him a treat.
Add the command
As you see him begin to make the association between barking and getting a treat, it's time to add the command "Speak" to the process. The moment he barks, give him the command and continue to give him a treat and plenty of praise.
Lose the trigger
Continue working with your pup, giving the cue to 'speak' earlier and earlier. Work toward giving the command without anything helping to instigate barking.
The Hanging Toy Method
For this training method, you need a few extra supplies: your pup's favorite toy, a length of string, a long pole or broom handle, your pup's leash, a pocketful of treats, and, of course, your four-legged friend.
Leash him up
Time to put your pup on his leash and go out in the yard. You need somewhere with a strong tree or fence post you can tie the other end of his leash to. NEVER, EVER leave your pup tied up like this unattended.
Tying the fly
Use the pole, the string, and the toy to create a lure for training purposes.
Dangle the lure
Dangle the lure in front of your pup's face until he gets frustrated and barks. When he does, praise him and give him a treat. Then let him chew on the toy for a couple of minutes.
Tell him all about it
Time to add in the "Speak" command at the moment he barks at the swinging toy. Be sure to keep up with the treats and praise.
By your command
Once your pooch has mastered the skill of barking at the toy on command, toss the toy aside and start working with him and the command word only. It might take a few days of practice, but keep working at it and he will eventually figure out what you want him to do.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/16/2018, edited: 01/08/2021