Teach your dog to SPEAK!
Foreword: Some people don't teach their Rover this trick because they think by encouraging Rover to bark he will become a nuisance barker! This is not so. But YOU have to tell Rover when and where to speak and when to stop. Don't encourage Rover if he starts or keeps on barking without you wanting him to. There are some tips on what to do then on the bottom of the page.
Directions for the vocal Rover: First find out what will make Rover bark. It might be the doorbell ringing, the telephone, or something like you holding his food. Every dog is different so you must find out what works for your dog.
Lets say that Rover barks every time that someone rings the doorbell. Have someone ring the bell while you are next to Rover. Just before the bell rings, say ROVER, SPEAK! As soon as the bell rings and Rover barked once, praise Rover, saying GOOD SPEAK! If Rover keeps on barking, check out the paragraph on the bottom of the page.
Do this in every training session. Soon Rover will start recognizing you telling him to SPEAK and him barking. Once Rover starts to bark after you say SPEAK and before the doorbell rings, quit using the doorbell. Now you can start saying SPEAK without having to use the doorbell. If Rover forgets, go back to the last step.
Note! After you get to the last step make sure Rover stops barking at the doorbell. (Unless you want him too) Further directions are below.
Directions for the food crazy Rover: If you don't like the directions above, or Rover is a good boy and simply doesn't bark in those situations try these directions.
Hold up a piece of Rovers favorite doggy treat. Excite him with your voice, saying things like, "Do you want this? Do you? Speak and you'll get it!!!" If Rover barks (my dog first went through all the tricks that she knew, finally she gave up and just started barking in frustration, exactly what I wanted) give Rover the food immediately, praising and saying GOOD SPEAK! Repeat this saying SPEAK and holding up the treat until he immediately SPEAKS.
At this point I like to go over to a hand signal, (I use both, you never know when it can come in handy, like, if you want your Rover to be the next movie star.... well, we can dream, can't we?) I have written down the directions for hand signals here!
Directions for the absolutely stubborn Rover: Sometimes our dogs just like to see us suffer as we make the measly attempt to teach them a simple trick. Well, for all those well trained Rovers who have learned it is "impolite" to bark at the mail man or to be baited, here are the directions for you.
Warning! Please only try these directions if the above directions did not work. For most dogs the above directions will be better and easier to teach then the one below.
Make your Rover jealous! Tie Rover up to a tree while you pet another dog in Rovers eyesight! If he starts to bark in protest, reward! Immediately turn your attention to Rover and reward Rover for barking! Another one you could try is tying Rover up rather short and bringing out his food. Rover will protest and start to pull on the leash. Then Rover will start to bark. Reward him with Rovers dinner saying GOOD SPEAK.
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