This is Nicco, a 9 month old american bulldog mix. Isn’t he gorgeous? He is a super quiet dog who rarely barks, so we thought it would be super fun to teach him to talk! Teaching a dog to speak on command is actually quite easy! All you need is a silly face (yours!) and a tasty dog treat.
1. Hold the treat up near your face so that the dog looks directly into your eyes
2. Pretend like you are looking at a baby and are trying to get it to smile or laugh. Be as silly as you need to be to elicit some sort of excited response from your dog
3. Most dogs will start by making just a little noise, maybe even a small puffing sound. You want to reward ALL noises, no matter how small at first
4. You should begin to see your dog figure out that he earns the treat whenever he makes a sound
5. Once he is barking, only reward for the kind of barks you want. Loud, quiet, growly..whatever you like.
6. Your dog will learn exactly how he has to make a noise/bark in order to get the treat
Notice in the video that Nicco’s person is startled the first time she hears his loud bark. We didn’t know he had it in him!!! 😉 It’s normal to be a little nervous the first time your dog barks at you! Some dogs get really excited and assertive when they figure out they can use their voice. The most important thing to remember after teaching your dog speak is not to encourage the barking out of context. If your dog suddenly barks at you, DO NOT REWARD. Only reward your dog when you are asking or cueing him to bark at you. Otherwise you will end up with a dog who barks whenever he wants your attention.
Nicco learned how to speak on command in under 2 minutes. Try it with your dog!
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