Teach Your Boston Terrier To “Speak”

by Colleen Fernandez

in Advanced Training

speak or barkThis trick should only be taught once you have basic training down. Your dog needs to know the basics in order to learn advanced tricks.

One of the most important factors in training your dog is to reward her behavior right away!

Determine if your dog responds better to food or “praise.” My dog likes a combination of both, and I think this is the best method to employ, but find out what works best for you and your pup.

It’s best to spend a few minutes a day working with your Boston. Don’t overdo it! 15 minute training sessions, MAX!

Teaching your dog to “speak” should not encourage her to be more vocal than usual. You are not giving her permission to speak every time she hears a noise. If your dog is taught properly she should only “speak” when prompted to do so.

Use situations that you know will cause your dog to bark. For example if she normally barks when being offered food or hears knocking at the door, use these scenarios for training.

Offering Food:

1. Show your boston terrier the treat
2. In a high-pitched voice, more excited voice than normal and ask him to SPEAK. (most dogs will bark if the treat is withheld long enough).
3. If your dog barks, give her the treat and praise.
4. Practice several times
5. Try the trick without food.

Knocking on the Door or Ringing the Bell:

1. Give the “speak” command, and then knock on the door or ring the bell.
2. If this doesn’t work, ask a friend for help. Have them ring or knock right after you give the command.
3. If your dog normally gets frenzied at the sound of the door, put her on a leash first to control her behavior and focus her attention.
4. Once you get a few barks, offer a treat and praise.
5. Practice, practice, practice!

Remember, always use a happy singsong voice and lots of positive reinforcement.

Eventually, your dog will understand what you want, and when, and will readily speak when asked.

Your keys to success are patience, practice, praise, and persistence.

Happy Training!



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