How to Teach Your Dog to Speak
Dog Training

How to Teach Your Dog to Speak

Nuisance barking can be a problem, which causes inconvenience for everyone in the proximity. Teaching your dog to “speak” on command is a fun and helpful trick. When the dog learns to bark on command, it becomes easier to train them to be “quiet” on command as well.

The article provides a detailed guide on how to teach a dog to speak, which can help you while you train your dog to become a well-behaved canine companion. 

Treat System

When you begin to train your dog to “speak” on command, use a bag full of treats as a reward. This way, you can quickly reward your dog when they bark. What you are doing is marking the desired behavior with a command and treats. According to an article by the Spruce Pets, you can give small liver or chicken pieces as a treat. 

Get Your Dog To Speak

This step involves getting your dog excited enough to bark. If your dog is vocal and barks at almost everything, you may find getting them to "speak" easier because there will be many scenarios where they will bark. And if this is not the case, you can ask someone to ring the doorbell or start running around to get them excited. 

Mark The Bark

You need to quickly capture the bark with a command like “Speak!” or “Talk!” or click and offer them a reward like a toy or treats and praise. Keep marking the behavior and rewarding them until they begin to "speak" on command. 

Add A Hand Signal

When your dog begins to understand the verbal cue to “speak," you can also add a hand signal. Start with an open hand where the palm is facing your dog, then continually close the fingers against your thumb. If your dog has also learned to speak on a hand signal, you can use the verbal cue, hand signal, or both to establish the behavior.

Tips For Training “Speak”

Note! Teaching barking on command can be difficult because barking is a natural behavior for dogs as opposed to sitting, staying, or shaking hands. Be consistent and careful when reinforcing the behavior because you do not want annoying barking. And so reward only when you give your dog the command to bark. When you hear the bark of dog, neither encourage nor scold them. 

Also, according to an article by the American Kennel Club, you must mark only a single bark to make your dog understand that you are asking to “speak” and not continuously barking. If you are considering teaching a puppy to speak, wait until they grow the ability to bark. 

You should keep the sessions short if you reside in an apartment so that their barking does not cause inconvenience to your neighbors.


Unwanted barking can create disturbance for you and other people. So, getting your dog to speak on command can be a great way to let your dog bark but in a controlled manner. It helps in satisfying their instinct in a disciplined way. You can also teach your dog to be quiet on command to reduce their impulse to bark unnecessarily. 

Keep the approach positive and reward your dog with treats and praise when they exhibit desired behavior. Be consistent and patient with training. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How to train your dog not to bark?

You can train your dog to be quiet by using a verbal cue or a hand signal and rewarding them with praise, treats, and toys. You can also use clicker training. 

How to teach a dog to talk?

You can teach a dog to talk by incorporating a verbal command, a hand signal, and rewards. To train them to talk on command, you will have to mark the single bark with treats and praise.

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