teaching your dog More than just a cute trick, your dog has to be taught how to speak before he can learn the “quiet” command. Teaching these basic dog training commands is a great way to manage your dog’s behavior. Teaching your dog to speak is a great way for him to let you know he needs to go outside, for example. The American Kennel Club offers the following instructions to get your dog to speak on cue.

Teaching Your Dog to Speak

  • Begin by finding something that will get your dog excited enough to bark. Their favorite toy, ball or treat may be a good place to start. Knocking on the front door or ringing the doorbell may also do the trick.
  • Become excited yourself, and get your dog to bark in whatever manner you have chosen.
  • When your dog begins to bark, immediately say “yes” or “good.” Reward them by giving them a tasty treat, or letting them play with the toy.
  • When your dog barks consistently, use your hand or a verbal signal to get them to bark on cue.
  • Only reward your dog for barking when you have asked him to do so. Try to get him to only bark once, not excessively.

Teaching Your Dog to Be Quiet

Brandon McMillan of Canine Minded, after your dog knows the speak command, it is time to move on to the quiet command. Introduce the quiet command, just after you have told him to speak. Once the dog stops barking, wait for a couple of seconds and then reward him. It is important to do this, so that your dog knows he is being rewarded for being quiet, not for barking anymore. Each day, increase the number of seconds of silence they have to give before he receives a treat. Spend only 10-15 minutes at a time training your dog. This process should be repeated several times a day, over the period of a week. This will help him to remember it for the long-term. The more times you practice this with your dog, the better he will get at it. Although your dog is still likely to bark when the doorbell rings, but now you will have a command to get him to stop. When you say the quiet command, avoid yelling it to him. If your dog simply won’t respond to the quiet command and stop barking, the ASPCA recommends the following: Calmly say quiet, and then proceed to make a surprising noise with an empty soda can filled with pennies. This will usually make the dog stop barking. As soon as he stops barking, ask him to sit and give him a treat. With a bit of patience and persistence, your dog will learn to obey your commands.