An incessantly barking dog can become a pain not only for you but also for your neighbors. Barking at sudden noises or seeing new faces at home. It is often necessary for them to bark for obvious reasons, but most of the time we want them to stop before it becomes embarrassing in front of neighbors. So what you can do to stop this? Yelling at him to stop doesn’t help, so there needs to be a way since you might have spotted another obedient dog somewhere.
All you need to do is teach the quiet command to your dog. But it is not as straightforward as teaching other commands to your dog. You first need to get him acquainted with the “speak” command first and then gradually introduce quiet command. This is because you can’t ask him to be quiet until he is barking. And it becomes too hectic when you have to wait for him to bark before asking him to be quiet. The other thing that you need to keep handy is a lot of treats to train your dog.
Clicker training can be used to teach this command, and if your dog has shown positive results with this, then you can use it effectively. The only important thing to keep in mind while using the clicker is that your dog knows the clicker sound will get him treats for doing something that you want him to do. Just hit the clicker and reward the dog with a treat before starting the actual training. Even if your dog isn’t familiar with a clicker, you can go ahead with the rest of the part.
How to Teach Your Dog to Speak
Now to teach the “speak” command to your dog, you need to get him to bark. Many dogs start barking when they hear the doorbell ring. So ring the doorbell or get someone to ring it. Now, as soon as he starts barking, say “speak” and award him some treats. Repeat this couple of times; command “speak” and when he barks give him lots of treat. You can also add a unique hand gesture so that every time you say speak and repeat the gesture, they will know it is time to bark.
How to Teach Your Dog the Quiet Command
When you think your dog is familiar with this command, it is time to introduce the “quiet” command. Ask your dog to bark with the speak command and wait for him to stop barking. Firmly say the “quiet” command and hold out the treats close to his nose. Even if you don’t want to wait until he stops barking, then sniffing the treats will make him stop barking. When he does stop, reward those treats to him. You can use the clicker before treating him or just give him verbal praise along with the treat. The dog will slowly associate the command with the treat.
Start noting the time he takes to stop barking after you say the command out loud. Offer him a treat only if the barking stops within say ten seconds. Decrease this time gradually until he stops barking immediately after hearing the command. Once he learns the quiet command efficiently, you need to take away the treats from the whole picture. Increase the time between him getting quiet and getting treats. In the beginning, you will offer him the treats immediately, but now you need to keep a few seconds between him obeying your command and getting the treat. This way he will not entirely depend on treats.
Most dogs understand this command within a couple of hours, but you need to practice it every day for it to register in their memory. After a few days, reward him periodically with treats for obeying the quiet command. Remember to keep verbal praises going on till the very end for following the commands.
Other helpful things to keep in mind while training the dog
- You can also use a leash to control the dog while training. While it is not necessary, it has proven to give positive results to a lot of professional trainers. If both you and your dog are comfortable with leashes, you can always give it a try so that the dog doesn’t move around the house while learning.
- The effectiveness of any technique for teaching commands is in the details. You need to train your dog with the basic commands so that neither of you gets frustrated with each other’s efforts. It is impossible to communicate with a dog that has no knowledge of basic obedience.
- Keep every session for no longer than 10 to 15 minutes and have breaks between each session. Give the dog enough time to learn the technique. Train every two hours as overtraining is not too beneficial.
- Shorter sessions spread throughout the day have better results over longer sessions once in the day.
- Treat the dog all the time during the first session for obeying the command. Especially the last time so that the session ends on a positive note. This will also make sure they want to do it again.
- Decrease the number of times you reward him per session until the treats are totally out of the question. Finally, this will become a behavior embedded in his life.
- Never shout the quiet command; otherwise you will have to do it in the same pitch forever. Do it firmly and say it aloud as you would want to say in the hour of need.
- Never expect the dog to become quiet instantly. Keep your expectations low for the first few days. Dogs usually take more than 20 seconds initially to quiet down.
- Training the dog is a work of patience. You need to stay calm and have patience while training. Take your time to train him and be consistent with your efforts.
- A week of training will do the job, but be sure to repeat the exercise many times a day through the week. After a week, every time the doorbell rings and the dog barks, you can say the “quiet” command and see the magic happen.