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Thread: Teaching a dog to speak on command.

  1. #1

    Teaching a dog to speak on command.

    Not a specific deer dog question, hence posting here, but has anyone trained a dog to speak on command? If so, how did you go about it?
    Any advice would be helpful.
    Best Regards,
    Adrian.

    Jedward. The reason why there are two barrels on a shotgun.

  2. #2
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    1st does your dog speak? If so get him into a talent show quick
    Seriously if your dog does bark, then you have too bark with him. That way he'll associate you barking with him barking. It worked with my old Jack Russel, a quick few woofs from me and he'd start. Make sure you reward him to begin with.

  3. #3
    Yes - I teach every dog I train to do this but the speed at which they learn it depends on individual dogs. Obviously, a dog that barks on its own is most of the way there and the hard thing with them is getting them to stop!

    Generally, I get the dog to sit, and facing it, say 'Speak' in a loud voice at the same time as jerking my head back and up (this is hard to describe but sort of replicates the way a dog throws its head back when it barks). To start with, you normally get a bit of whining - ignore this and repeat until you get a distinct noise (usually a sort of yelp initially) and reward the dog. From there, work up until you get a clear loud single bark. Once you've got that, drop the visual clue so only the command is used, and finally stand behind the dog and get them to do it facing away from you. If wanted, I will then go on to teach a further command (normally 'tell them off') for a prolonged period of barking.

    I should say that some young dogs have great difficulty barking (I suspect it is a confidence thing) and will only get this command at around a year old onwards.

  4. #4
    I take it that you would wish the dog to bark on finding a deer. What you must do is encourage the dog to speak (bark) and at the same time give the comand speak. Next time you have a carcass, tease the dog with it all the time encouraging him vocally to speak. Slightest squeak from him - praise him and keep repeating the process till you get him to bark at the carcass without the command. Teaching a dog to bark for security purposes is different in that you would use a different stimulant.

  5. #5
    Thank you for your replies so far Gents.
    To explain a bit more, I've been invited to enter the National Service Dog trials this year with my GSD bitch and one of the criteria is to get your dog to speak on command.
    She is a young dog, just under two years old, incredibly switched on and eager to learn so I have no concerns with her picking up a new 'trick'. So far she hasn't been trained to do this as there is no requirement to do so within the nature of our job. She will bark when facing off an intruder or threat but encouraging her to bark in that situation may lead to confusion if I suddenly introduce a new command.
    Best Regards,
    Adrian.

    Jedward. The reason why there are two barrels on a shotgun.

  6. #6
    when it barks give it a treat , try sausages

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianC View Post
    She will bark when facing off an intruder or threat but encouraging her to bark in that situation may lead to confusion if I suddenly introduce a new command.
    From what you are saying in that you have not taught her to bark on command. Her barking when facing off an intruder/threat, is it just from her natural guarding reaction. I find this a bit strange in that you would normally teach a dog to bark on command and then use this command when facing a threat/intruder. But if this is a narural reaction when she starts to bark just introduce the command "speak". She should quickly catch on. You can then introduce the "enough" command. After a few seconds of barking "enough" command and quiten her and the immediately back to "speak" and encourage her back to barking. Ever watched a shepherd train a young collie. By natural instinct the pup will go left and right to herd sheep. As the pup goes either direction naturally the shepherd gives whatever command he wishes to use. The pup will eventually go right and left on command. Same principle for your dog.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    From what you are saying in that you have not taught her to bark on command. Her barking when facing off an intruder/threat, is it just from her natural guarding reaction. I find this a bit strange in that you would normally teach a dog to bark on command and then use this command when facing a threat/intruder. But if this is a narural reaction when she starts to bark just introduce the command "speak". She should quickly catch on. You can then introduce the "enough" command. After a few seconds of barking "enough" command and quiten her and the immediately back to "speak" and encourage her back to barking. Ever watched a shepherd train a young collie. By natural instinct the pup will go left and right to herd sheep. As the pup goes either direction naturally the shepherd gives whatever command he wishes to use. The pup will eventually go right and left on command. Same principle for your dog.
    +1
    you can also introduce hand single eventually your dog will speak when you give it the hand signal you've taught it. Thant's what I've done anyway. An alternative is to show your dog a treat then put it in or under something and encourage it to bark then do what Gazza has suggested above....

    Jase

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Knottaclu View Post
    Yes - I teach every dog I train to do this but the speed at which they learn it depends on individual dogs. Obviously, a dog that barks on its own is most of the way there and the hard thing with them is getting them to stop!

    Generally, I get the dog to sit, and facing it, say 'Speak' in a loud voice at the same time as jerking my head back and up (this is hard to describe but sort of replicates the way a dog throws its head back when it barks). To start with, you normally get a bit of whining - ignore this and repeat until you get a distinct noise (usually a sort of yelp initially) and reward the dog. From there, work up until you get a clear loud single bark. Once you've got that, drop the visual clue so only the command is used, and finally stand behind the dog and get them to do it facing away from you. If wanted, I will then go on to teach a further command (normally 'tell them off') for a prolonged period of barking.

    I should say that some young dogs have great difficulty barking (I suspect it is a confidence thing) and will only get this command at around a year old onwards.
    That worked a treat! I got her to speak on command at the third time of asking! Many thanks to all for your tips and advice, much appreciated.
    Best Regards,
    Adrian.

    Jedward. The reason why there are two barrels on a shotgun.

  10. #10
    Just be aware that I trained a dog to bark which was ok when you wanted to know where he was when he found a deer. BUT he drove me and my neighbours mad as he would seldom stop barking. I think one mistake I made was I trained him to bark in the kennel. Having said that he was vocal in side the pickup too. Now I use a gps tracker

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