Saturday, January 7, 2012

Teaching your dog to speak

Learning how to teach a dog to speak is a fun command for most pet parents. It is quite impressive when you can get your dog to speak on command around friends and family and it's a way for your dog to communicate. This can also be a trick that needs to be kept under control as you don't want your dog barking incessantly whenever they want attention.

One of the easiest ways to teach a dog to speak is by choosing to play a game with them that they really enjoy such as fetch. You need to get your dog excited. When dogs get excited, they bark (or shall we say speak). It's a natural instinct. Dogs are a lot like humans. When humans get excited, they want to talk about it.

When your dog barks out of excitement, reward them. Praise them in a positive and enthusiastic tone and give them a treat. Be careful with this though because you don't want your dog to get confused and think that they will get a treat whenever they bark. You definitely don't want a dog that barks incessantly. Speaking should only consist of a few short barks than your dog should stop. You only want your dog speaking in situations that they should. Giving the dog a treat is a good bribe to get them to speak. I can't stress the importance also of your tone of voice with your dog. When you are teaching them the speak command, you need to say "speak" very positively.

You should repeat this every time you play fetch with your dog and soon your dog will bark whenever you say the command "speak". This trick takes a lot of practice though. You need to be able to dedicate time to teaching your dog to speak daily in the beginning. Dogs have short attention spans and you need to remember that.

Teaching your dog new tricks is a great way to bond and have fun with your dog. They really do enjoy learning them as you do teaching them. It's important not to overwhelm though. Start with teaching them a trick a week but not until they are around 8 weeks old. Of course, you need to start with the basic dog training commands first (such as house training, sitting, heeling etc) Teaching your dog to shake hands and speak should come after they have learned the basics first.

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