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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know how tho teach a dog to speak on command? Harley is not very vocal, and I would like a heads-up when someone is at my house. People have walked right in my back door, and Harley just gives then a welcoming wag of her tail. I've read dog's have an uncanny ability to know when everything is alright, and when it's not, but I'm hearing impaired, and that was one of my reasons for wanting a dog. For instance, I can't hear my smoke detector, so maybe after she's learned to ''speak" I can train her to alert me to that. I love that my dog is so friendly and has excellent manners, but a heads-up when company's arrived would be cool, too. I guess the advantage of having to train her to do it is that I can only have her bark once or twice. So, how do I do it? I read somewhere that we should get in "training mode", put Harley on my left, tell her "speak" (or whatever) and then start barking myself like mad. This sounds very silly to me. Is this actually how you do it?
 

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It was easy for me to teach Odie to speak because he would make these low barking growling noises when I'd get the treats out, so I just taught him to do it on command that way. But I suppose that won't work for you if she's not vocal at all. I looked in my training book, and it said basically the same thing you mentioned about saying it in an excited voice. I looked in my training book, and this is what it says, step by step:

1. Start with your dog in the stand position. Stand in front of the dog, treat in hand.
2. Say the command "speak" in an excited manner to get the dog excited enough to bark. When he speaks, immediately give the treat. Repeat until you can just simply say the word "speak".

It also mentions that if your dog does not speak when you get excited, you must find some sort of stimuli to do in conjunction to make him speak. They use the example of doorbell, which makes most dogs bark. In that case, you would have another person ring the doorbell when you say the "speak" command, which would prompt the dog to bark, and then you would reward when he "speaks". Eventually you won't need the doorbell.

It doesn't need to be a doorbell, either. It just needs to make him bark. I don't have a doorbell, but I know that Tala will bark at any sort of high pitched squeeking or buzzing, as well as anything that sounds like panting or heavy breathing. She's weird like that. So if I wanted to teach her to speak, I'd probably use some bizarro ring tone on my cell or something like that to prompt her to bark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, Cool. I can't wait to try these. I've been getting bored with basic commands, and want to teach her more, she's a great student. So far she has really good recall, exception being things that are REALLY exciting to her. She's very sweet and loves people, animals of all kinds, and really, really loves kids. So if one comes near enough to get her attention she will try to meet them. Anyway, she's good at all the basic commands, waits at doorways and gaits, and doesn't beg or jump on people. I think I hit the doggy jack-pot. Anyway, I'd like to make training more fun for her, and teach her things she would enjoy doing. I read somewhere that dogs enjoy having jobs, it makes them feel needed (bringing in the paper ...) I don't get the paper, and would love some other ideas. I'll let you know how the "speak" session goes..
 

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nanniesrock said:
OK, Cool. I can't wait to try these. I've been getting bored with basic commands, and want to teach her more, she's a great student. So far she has really good recall, exception being things that are REALLY exciting to her. She's very sweet and loves people, animals of all kinds, and really, really loves kids. So if one comes near enough to get her attention she will try to meet them. Anyway, she's good at all the basic commands, waits at doorways and gaits, and doesn't beg or jump on people. I think I hit the doggy jack-pot. Anyway, I'd like to make training more fun for her, and teach her things she would enjoy doing. I read somewhere that dogs enjoy having jobs, it makes them feel needed (bringing in the paper ...) I don't get the paper, and would love some other ideas. I'll let you know how the "speak" session goes..
She sounds awesome. I feel the same way about Odie; he's just such a good boy. They say you can't fully trust them with important commands like recall until their a couple of years old. If you work with her consistently, she'll be extremely obedient when she gets a bit older. If you want to do some fun stuff, there's lots of trick books at Barnes and Noble or similar bookstores. I've got one for Odie, and I want to teach him crawl, roll, weave, jump hoop, and reverse. Fun stuff that's not so serious.
 

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It's pretty easy to teach speak. I taught all my dogs to speak by barking at them and saying "speak" :lol: The other one I teach is "talk" which is not barking, but rooing, you know, funny noises our doggies make. That one takes longer to teach, but I taught that one also by rooing at them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tried this yesterday while Harley was at work w/e playing with Dakota. Dakota is more vocal (she's a Husky and howls). When she was being vocal, I'd be like "yes, speak. Woof Woof" Harley's looking at me like "she's flipped it". I had Harley for 4 days before she spoke for the first time. Entire days go by, frequently, where she doesn't bark at all. I'm worried this will be difficult to teach.
 

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nanniesrock said:
I tried this yesterday while Harley was at work w/e playing with Dakota. Dakota is more vocal (she's a Husky and howls). When she was being vocal, I'd be like "yes, speak. Woof Woof" Harley's looking at me like "she's flipped it". I had Harley for 4 days before she spoke for the first time. Entire days go by, frequently, where she doesn't bark at all. I'm worried this will be difficult to teach.
Well, my dog doesn't bark. Like, at all. Never barks at the door, or at things he's sees out the window like dogs, squirrels etc. So, I taught him by saying "speak" excitedly and then I would go "woof." You will have to repeat it a few times after the dog has done it's first "speak." Whereas my other dogs always barked at the door, and would bark at us sometimes, so it was easier to teach them to speak on command.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It makes me feel better t know I'm not alone. I thought she was the only silent one :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just tried to work on "speak" again with her. Poor thing looks scared when I bark at her. She soedn't really show fear towards anything, so I feel kind of bad for her. She I keep trying? She doesn't bark at toys or anything. Maybe when she does bark I could just add "yes, speak" or whatever and praise her. So she starts to associate her voice with the word speak, and know it doesn't make me angry. It could be that her breeder (BYB) didn't want her to bark, and strongly discouraged it. The fact that she doesn't display a lot of common negative behaviors makes me think she was strongly disciplined as a young pup. She was removed from her old home when she was somewhere between 6-10 months. (no way of knowing for sure, as the breeder didn't want to claim they were his, and wasn't exactly co-operative. Info. came from neighbors) Anyway, not knowing her history, should that affect how I train her at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, that's what I've been doing. If and when she does bark on her own, I'm right there going, "'yes, speak" She looks at me like "this is OK with you?" I really think she was strongly discouraged from barking as a young pup, and it just may take some work for her to understand I won't be mad at her. She "bows" a lot, too, I never thought of giving it a name. I'll try that.
 

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nanniesrock said:
Yeah, that's what I've been doing. If and when she does bark on her own, I'm right there going, "'yes, speak" She looks at me like "this is OK with you?" I really think she was strongly discouraged from barking as a young pup, and it just may take some work for her to understand I won't be mad at her. She "bows" a lot, too, I never thought of giving it a name. I'll try that.
Yep, I haven't done that with Boss, but I did it with the family dog. He used to do it when we came home to get a bum scratch, then I added a command word and rewarded the behaviour. :D
 

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Cookies Mom said:
when she does bark say speak and treat her. Reinforse a natural behavure. If you want to teach him to bow when he bows to show he want to play say bow and treat him. you will be amazed of the results!
That is almost impossible for Lucy because she almost never barks naturally.
 

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We taught Jager to speak... it took a few days, but now he knows, what speak means. he also knows when we say "who's here?!" or "watch'em" to bark as well. and then he struts around the house looking for trouble lol.

Isis we taught her how to smile on command, everytime she smiled, we say "smile". Just "smile" 1 word commands are much easier.. we also have a hand signal, we show her the treat and then kind of hold it up by our chest, away from her, and she'll smile for it.

Has anyone else noticed that ABs are usually that vocal, unless they're being protective?

Good Luck! just remember, its easier with 1 word, and simple words too. "move" "speak" "sit" "down"....
 

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jleonar said:
Cookies Mom said:
when she does bark say speak and treat her. Reinforse a natural behavure. If you want to teach him to bow when he bows to show he want to play say bow and treat him. you will be amazed of the results!
That is almost impossible for Lucy because she almost never barks naturally.
Well it's really a simple trick. Different things work for different dogs, I suppose. The suggestion I made in my previous post has always worked for me, and it does usually take a few minutes before I get anything other than a blank stare.
 

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My Daisy is a shih tzu, so she's not the brightest thing. Well, actually sometimes she's just plain dumb. But we love her anyway, so I taught her to speak. Me barking at her just confused her, and she got bored of me ringing the doorbell over and over, so I downloaded a recording of dogs barking, and it worked! It took about 100 repetitions, and now when I say 'roll over', she speaks! Man I hope my future OEB is smarter than Daisy! :D
 

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I used the evil method LOL. I tied Abby up and took her food bowl with food in it and waved it in front of her face, she then would start to get ancy and start whining and then eventually, she got frustrated and led out a bark. (so cute as a puppy :roll: ). I then gave the food to her as a reward. Ever since, she barks on command, although usually I just get the un-enthusiastic grunt LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This still is NOT going well. She won't bark at the doorbell, or her toys. I bark at her, and she gets REALLY hyper (but doesn't bark back). She's normally very calm, and I don't really want to encourage that. I downloaded sounds of dogs barking last night, she didn't even look up! Grrr.
 
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