How to Teach a Dog to Speak Easily

How to Teach a Dog to Speak - Poodle Barking



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Have you ever wanted to teach your dog to speak on command? Well, now you can!

With this simple guide, you will be able to teach your furry bestie how to speak in no time. With a little patience, you can teach your dog to bark as well as learn basic words.

He won’t be reciting Shakespearean sonnets anytime soon, but he will be able to give you a loving playful bark whenever you request it.

How To Make Dogs Bark On Command

Are you ready to get started with training? Grab your dog’s favorite treat and let’s get started! Here are the steps to teaching your dog to speak:

1. Have Your Reward Ready

First, get yourself a treat that your dog loves. My pupper Indy absolutely loves chicken flavored treats, so I use these affordable and healthy training treats to keep her motivated.

Make sure to choose a reward that your dog will love but that doesn’t contain too many calories or else you’ll end up with an overweight doggie. You can use something other than dog treats such as small pieces of carrots or other dog-friendly produce.

You will need to be able to give your pup the treat immediately after she speaks, so make sure you have it ready and within easy reach, but hidden from your doggo to avoid the distraction.

2. Choose a Word As Your Command

How to Teach a Dog to Speak - Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog in Training

Bring your dog into a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted and have it sit.

Now that your dog is in position, it’s time to choose a word as your command. “speak” or “talk” are common commands, but you can use whatever word you want as long as you are consistent with it.

I like to use the word “speak” because it is easy for Indy to understand and it is a word that she doesn’t hear often. This means she knows that it is special.

Here are some other options for commands:

  • Bark
  • Talk
  • Speak
  • Say hello
  • Let’s chat

When you are first starting out, it’s important to only use one word as your command. If you use multiple words (such as “speak now”), your pup will get confused and won’t understand what you’re asking her to do.

Speak slowly and clearly in a positive tone.

3. Encourage Your Dog To Naturally Bark

Now that you have your command word chosen, it’s time to encourage your dog to bark.

You can do this by acting excited and raising the energy in your voice. Dogs are very attuned to energy and excitement, so by acting excited yourself, you will help get your doggie into the right mindset.

Some people like to use a clicker when training their dogs, but I find that using my voice works just as well.

4. Tell Your Dog To Speak

Once your dog barks, say your command word (such as “speak”) in a happy and excited voice. As soon as your dog stops barking, give her the treat.

Repeat this process a few times until your dog starts to understand that when she hears the command word, she should start barking.

5. Repeat the Process with Consistency

You may need to practice this for a few days (or even weeks) before your dog really gets the hang of it, but with consistency and patience, she will get there.

Remember to always use the same command word and to give her the treat immediately after she stops barking.

How to Teach Your Dog to Speak

How to Teach a Dog to Speak - Puppy Talking

Did you know that in addition to communicating with your pup through barks, you can actually train them to understand some words?

By using a little dog-friendly lingo, you can start teaching your pup to communicate with you in more ways than one.

Bunny the Talking Dog has swept the internet with videos of her responding to questions such as “What’s your favorite food?” and “Do you want to go for a walk?”.

While Bunny is more advanced than most dogs, there are still some things that all dog owners can do to help their pup understand them better.

Bunny’s mother uses a technique called Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) that is based on the idea that all beings, not just humans, can communicate through symbols.

You can use AAC with your dog by using things like hand signals, body language, and even clicker training.

The FluentPet kit is a popular sound button that can teach your pup to talk over time. Here is a quick walkthrough of the process of training your dog on this equipment:

1. Teach Your Pupper “Outside”

One of the most frequent things your dog does in the home is going in and out of the door for walks and potty breaks. This makes it the perfect command to start teaching your dog.

To do this, you will need to place the sound button by the door that your dog uses the most to go outside. Press this button every time your pup goes in and out of the door. You can say the word out loud as well.

This will help to reinforce the understanding that the button sound means “outside”.

2. Now Teach Your Doggerino “Play”

Play is a great follow-up command to teach your dog because it incorporates so many activities and is a great general word. Press the “play” button each time you have a play session with your pup.

This could be anything from fetch to tug-of-war to playing with a new toy. As you are playing, say the word “play” out loud so that your dog starts to understand the meaning of the word.

3. Reinforce These Words

Now that your furry bestie knows a few words, it’s important to reinforce them often. Practice each button regularly and expand into new words such as “potty”, “walk”, and “park”. Reward your dog when the training sessions go well to help keep her motivation high.

4. Model Two or More Word Phrases

Once you are done teaching your dog a handful of words, it’s time to train your dog on phrases. Start to press two buttons in succession, such as “outside” and then “play”.

You can also try phrases like “good dog” or “want a treat?”. As you are pressing the buttons, say the words out loud so that your dog associates the sound with the meaning.

With a little bit of time and patience, your dog will start to understand what you are saying and be able to respond back to you.

By using AAC, you can start building a better relationship with your pupperino and help them understand you better. This process can take a few months or even a few years. So stay patient and positive, and your pup will come around.

Even learning a couple of words can make a huge difference when it comes to communicating with your furry best friend. Try out these tips and see how your dog responds!

Additional Ways to Communicate With Your Dog

Not all dogs are going to be able to learn words, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to help your dog understand you.

Here are a few additional things you can do to teach your dog to speak:

  • Use a hand signal: Dogs are very good at reading body language. You can use this to your advantage by teaching your doggo some basic hand signals. Some common ones are “sit”, “stay”, and “come”. Watch this short video to learn how to do this:
  • Use visual cues: If you are struggling to get your point across, try using some visual aids. This could be anything from holding up a treat to showing your dog a toy. You can teach your dog to associate these visual cues with certain commands or activities.
  • Use a verbal cue: Along with hand signals and visual aids, you can also use verbal cues to help your dog understand you. This could be anything from saying the word “outside” when it’s time for a walk to using a happy voice when you are playing with your dog.

No matter what method you choose, the important thing is to be consistent. Dogs are creatures of habit and will quickly learn to associate certain words, sounds, and actions with the things that they love.

Considerations When Teaching Your Dog to Bark

Dogs are sensitive to our emotional states. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your dog will likely pick up on this and react accordingly.

It’s important to remain calm and positive when teaching your dog anything new. This will help them to feel more comfortable and confident as they learn.

Additionally, make sure that you are not asking too much of your dog at once. Dogs have a limited attention span and will quickly become overwhelmed if you try to teach them too many things at once.

Finally, make sure to give your pupperino time to respond to you when teaching her to speak. Dogs process language slower than we do. Give your dog 10 to 15 seconds to react to your commands before you move on.

The Bottom Line: How to Teach a Dog to Speak

With a little bit of patience and practice, you can start teaching your dog to communicate with you with barks and beyond. Even if your dog never picks up on that Shakespearean level of communication, you may get a haiku out of your furry friend one day. If you do, please let us know!

Happy Training!

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About the Author


I’m Alex and I’ve always wanted the best for my pupper Indy, so she could have a healthy and happy life. I’m pretty sure this also applies to you and your doggie, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it to the end of this post.

I started Pampered Puppers as a family-owned business, based in Australia, to help all dog lovers around the world achieve this easily. So that’s our mission, to help improve your dog’s safety and quality of life with entertaining and helpful articles via our blog 🐶

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