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Volume Control: Training Your Dog to Speak and Be Quiet

Volume Control: Training Your Dog to Speak and Be Quiet

One of the most annoying things about dogs is unnecessary barking.

If you have ever dealt with this issue, you know that it can be hard to address or stop. One skill that can come in handy in these situations is training your dog how to be quiet. Alternatively, training your dog to speak can be both beneficial for their willingness to learn new behaviors on command and learn when it is appropriate to bark and when it is not.

We’re going to walk you through some simple tricks to help you teach your dog how to speak or be quiet on command so you can gain more control over when your dog barks and makes noise. In addition to being good for their training and obedience, it can also be a cool trick to show others.


Before you get started with teaching your dog these new behaviors, there’s going to be some things you want to do in order to prepare and set both you and your dog up for success.

You’ll need some high-value dog treats that you know your dog loves and their favorite toy. Make sure that you have some great rewards and that you award good behavior immediately so as to associate a successful performance with good things like treats.

You also need some way to induce barking, like knocking on the door or a doorbell. Most dogs bark when someone arrives at the home, so being able to recreate this situation is crucial to their training.

Training Your Dog to be Quiet

You should start with teaching your dog to be quiet on command because it’s easier and lays good groundwork for teaching them when it is appropriate to be barking. To start, you want to pick your command word and make sure that you are consistently using it and only that word when you are trying to quiet your dog.

Next, you should create a situation during which your dog would normally bark, like someone knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell. You could also show them another dog or create any other situation during which you would expect them to bark. This will create an opportunity for you to correct the behavior and take the right action.

Once your dog barks, you should acknowledge the source of their excitement. This can mean looking out the window or the door. Once you have done this, return to your dog and try to get its attention. One simple way of doing this is to hold up the treat in front of them. Once your dog stops barking, you should give them a treat.

You will have to repeat this process several times and wait for longer times after the barking stops each time you reiterate the experiment.

This will teach them that it’s the silence causing them to get the treat. After a few times of doing this, you can integrate your command word into the process. If they are remaining quiet a few times in a row, start using your command word during the process.

After a few times of that, you can start to use the command word to intervene with the barking. While they are barking, you should use your command word to see if they recognize it and stop barking when they hear it. Make sure you use it in a firm voice.

Reward your dog for the proper behavior and be sure to do this training in short intervals so they don’t catch on to it very quickly. You could do it a couple times  a week and spread out the training as much as you can to get more consistent results.

Teaching Your Dog to Speak

Teaching your dog to speak is slightly more difficult, but you can use the progress you made from teaching them to be quiet in order to help you. Once again, choose your command word.

First, create a situation during which your dog would normally bark. Once they are barking use your command word while they are barking and reward them for the behavior. Repeat this process a few times and they should get the idea to associate your command with the barking behavior. Continue to do this and you should be able to issue a speak command to your dog.

Once you know the speak and the be quiet command, you should use them in alternating fashion to put the finishing touches on your training and ensure that they understand the difference and which command is which.

Though any dog can learn these skills, you might be trying to teach a new puppy or even are looking for a new puppy to add to the family. To find your next best friend, be sure to check out this puppy finder, which makes the process easy!

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