How to teach the "Speak" command? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach the "Speak" command?

Our trainer has been working with Baxter to learn this command. However...Baxter won't. It's like he can't figure out what's being asked of him. He's tried the "knocking on the wall" trick to trigger him barking, but Baxter just looks at the wall he's knocking on with the expression of, "I know it's you. Been there, done that...not worth barking at." Same when he sets up a scenario of someone coming through the door...just to trigger him to bark so he knows what he's asking, if that makes any sense at all.

Are there any tips/tricks that you all know of to work on this command?

I feel bad. I watch him with the trainer, just sitting there with a look that makes it seem as though he's trying REALLY hard to figure it out, but just can't make sense of what's being asked of him. For a dog that will bark at anything...he refuses to bark on command.

Evan


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:25 PM
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LoL, the best way to get my dog to stop barking is to say "speak" and do the hand motion of speaking. I have been having the same problem with teaching the speak command so I can understand your frustration.

I have tried another tactic the other day but only got to try once because my husband was not being enthusiastic about helping me. I had him hold her back on the leash with her agitation collar on while I kept my distance with her favorite treat in hand ready to reward her as soon as she started barking.

I think if I can get my husband to be more enthusiastic and try it again it just may work.


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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'll have to try that and see how it goes! Unfortunately, he really doesn't bark for treats or toys either, just gets really excited and tense, ready to pounce at the first chance.

He only seems to bark at people/dogs/noises coming from outside HIS house. My parents' house? The other dogs can be going nuts and he just chills and couldn't care less. The car or our house is a totally different story. He's a quirky little beast.

Evan


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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:34 PM
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Are there ever times when he gets excited for treats or food or when you or your partner comes home and he gets vocal at all? Doesn't have to actually ARF!, just make any noises?

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:39 PM
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Wait until he actually barks at something, then give him a treat, "yes". Then, tell him quiet...unless you want more than one "speak". Then, once you know what makes him speak, you can start adding a command, hand or voice to it, and a treat.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:46 PM
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I sat in front of my dog with a holding a treat between her and me and I just barked at her while teasing her with the treat. I would say "speak" Woof Woof Woof Woof pause and repeat. After about 5 times she barked at me and I rewarded immediately, then carried on from there. I did exactly the same when changing from "speak" to the German version "Gib laut" and she picked it up immediately. She initially would only bark once, but using the same technique I was able to persuade her to bark multiple times.

Video here
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the tips! Yes, the ultimate goal is to teach him "speak" so we can then teach him "out"...

I'll try holding the treat and barking at him. I tried it once, and his expression was so bewildered that I couldn't keep it up, I kept laughing.

He literally NEVER barks when he gets excited about food or people. He'll bark when he hears Sam's car...but then when he realizes who it is, he sits right in front of the door and "sweeps" it with his tail. But no noise. No noise for food or treats. No noise when we ask him if he wants to go for a ride, or go to "grandma's house"...nothin'. He'll get excited, wiggle around, wag his tail, jump...but nothing vocal.

I'll also try rewarding him when he barks, but he usually goes from absolute silence to barking like a madman and won't knock it off.

Keep the tips comin'! I'll try them all until I find something that flips the switch in that goofy brain of his!

Evan


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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 03:50 PM
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Just wondering, why "speak" before "out". I'm working on "out" now with Gunny and our new trainer. I think I've confused him because over the past two years "out" ment go outside.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 04:23 PM
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I think that some dogs are more inclined to bark than others. My last two German Shepherds would hardly ever bark. Neither did their mother. My current German Shepherd adores the sound of his own voice and gladly barks whether prompted to or not.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:07 PM
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My pup contintly watches the window and wait for people to knock or ring the door bell. Both send him into a barking frenzy. I could use my actuall doorbell to get him to bark because he would just run to the door and get really excited. So I downloaded a door bell app and took him into a different room and shut the door. The app made him bark then i rewarded with a hannd motion and speak. We have only been working at it for a couple of days but I think he's geting it! I only need to use the app once before he knows the handsignal for the rest of the time I ask him to speak
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