Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

Six-month-old Bonnie learns the dog tricks, 'Speak and Quiet'.

Movie duration: 3 minutes 14 seconds


About Barking

Bonnie is very good most of the time. She doesn't bark at strangers, sirens, or trucks. She used to bark for attention until we walked away and ignored her. She used to bark when she wanted to come back into the house, but after we taught her to sit, she stopped barking and sat. Those problems are solved.

Bonnie does barks when she hears noises outside that she doesn't recognize. She also barks when the neighbor's dogs are outside and they are barking. There is something I can do to help Bonnie if I'm with her when she barks at these times.

The first thing I did was take control of Bonnie's speaking by teaching her the word Speak. When I say speak, she barks. It sounds weird to teach a dog who barks too much to speak, but this is where we start. I have to get her to bark before I can teach her to be quiet.

The second part is to teach Bonnie the word, Quiet or Shhh. First, I ask Bonnie to speak, and then I can tell her to be quiet. To Bonnie, this is a fun trick. But to me, this is a way that I can get Bonnie's to understand what I want when she's outside and barking.

 Teach Speak
Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, "Let's play! Want to play?" and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, "Good dog, speak!" Then play the game as his reward for learning "Speak".

Caution! If you have a dog that already causes trouble because of his barking, you might not want to encourage this behavior. If you decide it's ok to teach it, be sure to teach "Quiet", too, not necessarily at the same time.


 Teach Quiet

This is easiest if your dog already knows how to speak. Tell your dog to Speak or catch him when he is barking. Get right in front of him and say "Quiet". The second he stops, even if it is to take a breath, give him a treat. You might want to hold your hand or palm in front of his face to add a visual signal. Practice playing 'quiet' often and your dog will be loving the word "Quiet".

As you teach your dog Quiet, gradually increase the quiet time from 2 seconds to 5 seconds or more. Then, when he understands the trick, make a game of it. Tell him to "Speak", "Speak", "Speak", and then "Quiet". Then "Speak" again. It's a great trick that will entertain your friends and your pup will look so smart! Many people prefer to teach these two tricks at different times.


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