Learning how to 'speak'
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Thread: Learning how to 'speak'

  1. #1
    Unicus is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultLearning how to 'speak'

    Bailey is doing so great with his training that I would like to inroduce another command... speak.

    I was just wondering how you do this?

    Bailey doesn't bark or make much noise at all (unless he is sleeping) so what is the best way to teach him to 'speak'? Am I looking for a bark from him or another noise? How will he know what I'm on about when he doesn't make any noise in the first place? LOL
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  3. #2
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    I trained Puff to speak on command ("Puff! Speak!!"; also our hand signal is making a duck bill quacking motion with my hand).

    With Puff, when I made a barking sound with my voice, she'd growl or bark. So, with kibbles in hand and before a meal (my preferred training time) I'd give the commands (voice & hand), bark (myself), and when she barked, rewarded her. Fairly quickly her response moved forward of my barking and she'd bark at my command and get rewarded.

    If she hadn't barked at my imitation, I'm not sure what I would have done but didn't have to figure that out.

    Many dogs bark when they hear another bark.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  4. #3
    Unicus is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Pr.
    So, with kibbles in hand and before a meal (my preferred training time) I'd give the commands (voice & hand), bark (myself), and when she barked, rewarded her.
    HAHAH I just tried it with Bailey and when I made the bark noise he tilted his head and looked at me as if I was mental! LOL

    I'll stick with it tho!
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    MSUlady's Avatar
    MSUlady is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    We had the same problem with our Otis. What eventually worked was just letting him know we had a treat, and just looking at him intently. It got him so worked up just knowing that we had a treat that we weren't giving to him that he would bark at us. We would then say, "Goooooood SPEAK!" and give him the treat. Only took a couple of times for him to get the cause and effect. We then integrated a similar hand signal to what Bob Pr. uses, and now Otis barks for either verbal or hand signals.

    Otis - the most trusting dog on Earth.

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    sarah is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    Our Milly is so quiet and laidback and non-plussed at EVERYTHING we thought teaching her to speak would be impossible. We also use the hand action like a duck's beak and say "Milly speak!" as a command....... or Dave will growl at her and she'll "doggie talk" back to him.

    We used to wrestle with her and get her all riled up and then bark at her and chase her on the floor with our hands (like a slapping motion) and when she'd growl or bark we'd say "speak" and then treat. It took us awhile to get her to associate the hand action with speaking but we started introducing that after she knew the vocal command. And LOTS of treats was the only way we were able to accomplish this trick with our quiet little girl.

    She'll now speak for anyone and they can do either just the hand action or just say "Milly speak" or do both... (as we say in Australia) it's locked in Eddie!
    Sarah & Milly - Sydney Australia






  8. #6
    imported_GoodDog is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    LOL. I have the same problem. My two year old will not bark at family members. I have tried numerous times to teach her to speak by holding a high value treat, telling her SPEAK and barking at her. She just looks at me kinda saying "I am not barking at you". I gave up, if it’s against her nature to bark at us there is no sense trying to change it.

    The worst thing we taught her was "shake". When ever she wants something she sits in front of us and lifts her paw as if saying here is my paw, give me something. lol

  9. #7
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    Callaway is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    One day Bogey just started to bark at the hand vacuum. I would say good speak and treat him. Now he does it on command. He also still barks at the vacuum, but hey you get what you ask for right?

    Courtney, Bogey and Calli

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    A good way to teach it is with a clicker. You can time the rewards so much better that way.

    Your signature says that he is only four months old. He probably hasn't discovered his bark yet. I bet when he is older you will find one or two things that he barks at. For example, many dogs start to show some territorial behaviour - such as barking or grumbling at the doorbell - when they hit the 6-12 month mark. When you DO find something he barks at, that is when you begin to introduce the command.

    Dog: grruff...
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!
    Dog: GRRUFF!
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!
    Dog: WOOF!
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!

  11. #9
    imported_GoodDog is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    Quote Originally Posted by Trickster
    A good way to teach it is with a clicker. You can time the rewards so much better that way.

    Your signature says that he is only four months old. He probably hasn't discovered his bark yet. I bet when he is older you will find one or two things that he barks at. For example, many dogs start to show some territorial behaviour - such as barking or grumbling at the doorbell - when they hit the 6-12 month mark. When you DO find something he barks at, that is when you begin to introduce the command.

    Dog: grruff...
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!
    Dog: GRRUFF!
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!
    Dog: WOOF!
    You: *click/reward* Good speak!
    What does the CLICK add to the training? Is it to get the dog to focus?

  12. #10
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Learning how to 'speak'

    What does the CLICK add to the training? Is it to get the dog to focus?
    It is easy to 'mark' the correct behaviour with the clicker. Sometimes our mistakes (praising at the wrong time, using too many words, etc.) cause the dog to make mistakes. We end up rewarding the correct behaviour too late and the dog becomes confused. By clicking, you are sending the dog a direct signal, that 'click' = right behaviour = reward.

    In regard to the 'SPEAK!' command, it is quite difficult for a dog that is not usually vocal to master. Therefore, you train the command in baby steps. Clicking and rewarding for ANY vocalization that the dog makes and working from there.

    Obivously it is not essential to use one, but I find it easier for teaching commands like this.

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