“Speak” is a fun dog obedience exercise for you and your canine companion to enjoy, one that will be both entertaining, and educational for your pooch. Learning how to bark on command may be a little bit tricky for your pal at first, but can be accomplished easily with dedication, repetition, and maintenance.
Here are the steps to training your dog to speak:
Get Excited - The first thing that you will need to do is create a stimulus. In order to train dogs to do this command, they need to be excited. You should begin by playing with him. A game such as fetch or tug of war will create enthusiasm, thus making him more likely to be attentive to your commands. If he is energized, it will be easier to reinforce the positive rewards of the training.
Reveal A Treat - Once your pooch is riled up, cease the prior play, and reveal to him that you have a treat in your hand but do not give it to him. Instead, start by holding the treat behind your back. If your pooch begins to whimper, but does not bark, try waving it around. Revealing, and then re-hiding the treat again will also cause him to react with sound.
Reward A Bark - As soon as he barks, reward him with praise, and a treat. Then, repeat the second step using the cue word, “speak”
Association - Another tip for positively reinforcing this behavior is by keeping your voice at the same tone and volume level, each time that you make the speak command. That way, your dog learns to associate your positive tone, the reward, and the praise with the desired action, thus making him more likely to repeat it.
Repetition - The most important aspect of this training exercise is repetition. Just like any other cue, memorizing the command will make it easier for your dog to understand what you are asking him. By spending a little time each day going over the steps with him, he will pick it up quickly, and be less likely to forget over time.
Through this exercise, you will be able to educate your dog in one of the many positive tricks that he can learn, and keep his mind active and stimulated. To learn more fun tricks to practice with your dog, consult your animal trainer.