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Thread: Teaching to speak

  1. #1

    Teaching to speak

    Evening all.
    I am currently working on training a friends Dog to come stalking with me, it is a basset x cocker which makes for an extremely charming looking hound! Has a brilliant nose and is very steady, certainly no problem finding a scent trail, problem being it is completely silent when it gets to the deer (skin at the moment) and doesn't want to come away untill I get to it. As you can imagine, in the scottish woods this is not very useful.

    Therefore I am trying to train it to "speak up", the problem is I cannot get it to bark through the usual methods of finding what causes it to bark etc etc etc, the only time it barks is if it is troubled by something unusual that it doesn't like. Naturally I would like to avoid scaring the poor thing into barking.

    Has anyone got any ideas of how I can get the little bugger to make noise?



  2. #2
    Get a bit of deer hide. Tie to a pole with a length of rope and leave at the end of the trail. Encourage the dog into a tugging game as a treat for finding the hide. It'll naturally start growling and barking as it gets excited and tugs the hide from you.
    The occasional bite mark and bald patch on the rear of the deer carcasses is a small price to pay.

  3. #3
    Not a bad thought, would keep it deer specific too. I don't mind if it barks when it finds a deer or I have to shout "speak up" like they do with collies, I guess automatic is always better though :P

  4. #4
    what is the dog's job at your friend's house? Is making him show excitement/aggression (??) to satisfy your wants gonna make him an inconvenience at home? Have no idea what they cost, but would a GPS tracker on the collar or even a bell satisfy your needs without changing the dog?

  5. #5
    It's just a dog, has very little in the way of a job. He is a lifelong friend who has always had gundogs and I have always worked them, this is the latest addition!
    Yes that could certainly be a possibility, it is still early days and I would like to see how he reacts on a stalk, if I can stalk with him off the lead, perfect! If not then a bell and a tracking lead might be the way I have to go anyway.

  6. #6
    Teaching a dog to speak is very easy. I would recommend you start without the association to deer / stalking etc. You can apply the "speak" to that situation once the dog is reliably barking on command. I must point out that it is imperative to teach "speak" and "quiet" at the same time otherwise you can inadvertently create a barking monster.

    Simply start in a place that is calm and without distractions (like at home) Have a very tasty piece of meat or a high value treat in your hand. Show it to your dog so it knows you have it, and hold it out of reach (high up to avoid dog jumping up) Continue to hold the treat and out of frustration, the dog will eventually bark. As soon as it barks, reward with the meat/treat. Continue to do this (about 10 minutes max) until the dog is barking consistently. You can then add your cue word of "speak" or "speak up" which you can do along side a hand signal. Once the dog is barking on command, you need to introduce "quiet" So the dog barks, you say "quiet", dog stops barking, only then is given a reward. It shouldn't take more than 3 days for this to be a reliable behaviour. Its very easy to teach.

    Once the dog is reliably doing this, I would then introduce the cue word within your stalking environment. i.e. when it finds the deer etc. give the cue word with hand signal & treat. After a period of time, your dog will automatically bark once it finds something.

  7. #7
    Thank you for that, I clearly need to persist a lottle longer with the treats out of reach, will see if me or the dog gets bored first

    I will let you know how I get on!

  8. #8
    try icecream... Buddy had a baskethound a long time ago that about the only time it'd get excited was when I'd babysit him.. He knew I'd take him for a walk and get him icecream.....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by daven View Post
    try icecream... Buddy had a baskethound a long time ago that about the only time it'd get excited was when I'd babysit him.. He knew I'd take him for a walk and get him icecream.....
    Made the mistake of treating our dogs a couple of times to a tub of ice cream from the ice cream van. They very quickly associated the vans chimes with ice cream treat and became uncontrollable every time they heard it.
    It got to the stage where I would open the front door, (quiet end of cul de sac) let them out while I got my wallet, by the time I got to the van the dogs would be sat there waiting in the queue. They soon learn when there's something they want.

  10. #10
    We use a box, place the dogs toy or food in the box and teach the dog that it is rewarded when the box is found if the dog speaks

    So if you place deer feet or pelt in the box as well....

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