Dogs bark. It’s a simple fact of life. And yet, how can we convince our best furry friends to keep quiet when cars drive by, guests come to visit or cats venture too close?
While it may seem tempting to snap at your dog or hold his mouth closed, these actions may actually rile him more, causing the unwanted barking to continue. Instead, there’s a simple trick that works much better: Teach him to bark on command. By teaching your dog to “speak,” you can actually use this trick as a tool to train him to quit his unnecessary noise-making.
First, identify certain objects or events that make your dog bark. Does he bark when you’re holding a toy? When the doorbell rings? Have these things on hand.
Get into position by placing yourself facing your dog, who should be sitting on the floor in front of you. Hold the toy or have a partner ring the doorbell, tempting your dog to bark.
Say the command in a firm but excited tone: “Speak!” Continue to do this until he responds with a bark, and reward him with praise or a treat every time he does. It will take practice, but eventually your dog will learn to associate the command with the action.
Now comes the important part, “Quiet.” Once your dog has learned to speak, work on the command for silence. Wait a moment or two after he has finished barking before saying “quiet” and rewarding him.
With practice and patience, your dog will be well on his way to silence.