How to teach Growl & Whisper Tricks? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach Growl & Whisper Tricks?

I looked up some online but was wondering if any of you personally taught these tricks and had your own method. He already knows speak and quiet. (He only barks once though when asked to speak)

Was wondering how some dogs were able to learn to do a lower/soften their bark when asked to use inside voice or to whisper. As well as growling on command.

Edit: I also would like to mention with growling bane never really growls so I'm not sure how to reinforce it. (the only time he growled was when a friend brought his new puppy to visit and bane didnt like it - he was fine outside, just not in our apartment)

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 02:39 PM
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My girl "whispers". I taught this to her by accident....didn't really set out to train this. But it seems to impress people and is cute.

I was not feeling well one day, and just laying down with her. I had some food, which she wanted. She is naturally vocal, without always barking. I started rewarding her when she gave a really soft bark. Nothing if it was loud. She caught on really quick and then I just named it "whisper".

Now she can do it at several different levels of sound...sometimes she just opens and closes her mouth without any sound even.

Don't know if there is a "real" way to teach it, but that is how I did it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 05:56 AM
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Varik knows 'inside voice' which is basically a silent bark. So cute. I actually shaped it from his doing it when I was asking for a regular gib laut. He started silently barking instead of vocalizing. He learned it after one repetition.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:27 AM
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I had a dog that whispered. She was a Ridge mix and very smart. The two I have now, I ask them to "tell me a secret" with Secret as the command word. My boy I started by holding a treat and waiting for him to get a bit frustrated. When he made a quiet whimper, I rewarded him. It didn't take long for him to figure out that any low tone was rewarded for Secret. Sometimes I get a quiet tone, often I get a puff of air. If he barks I yell out a good hardy, "that's no secret! Now everyone knows". It makes people laugh. Then I repeat for secret until I get one to reward.

My she-pup learned from watching my older boy but it took her awhile to learn how to modulate the volume of her bark. As soon as I got a bark that was a few decibels less than her previous bark, I rewarded it. I didn't want her to quit out of frustration. I find that my GSDs want to please me and sometimes quit if they can't figure out what I want. My ridgie didn't get frustrated like that.

Anyhow, now both dogs might give me a quiet bark or a puff of air. I'm happy with either.
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Last edited by car2ner; 03-15-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:18 AM
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We taught our pup to whisper by giving him the command and chuffing at him. Not sure how to describe that, but maybe that will give you the idea. He quickly realized he should imitate us and was rewarded with a treat. He now comes and sits in front of us and whispers whenever he feels he needs a snack. Maybe we overtrained that trick!

Never thought about how to teach a growl. Would the same process work?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the ideas guys! Ill definitely start working on it and see which method works best with him.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:33 AM
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This thread made me laugh. Both of my dogs whisper. Natty Boh is a hound mix and is naturally growly. Teaching him to growl on command was easy. We ask him, "What did you say?" And he growls. If we whisper, "What did you say?" He makes the growly face, but no noise. lol! Shelby has a very loud big girl bark. I tell her, "Too loud!" Then she does a real quiet little, "wooh, wooh." They're hilarious.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 11:20 AM
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I haven't taught it to my personal dogs, but I taught it to my brothers dog. He was a loud dog though so getting him to growl was easy if you had a toy. He was about 30 lbs and his growl sounded like the tiniest motor cycle ever, so it was hilarious. I did it by indicating rough play in my body language and voice, then when he would growl I would say growl, he started to associate it and I could say growl at any point after that and he would growl.
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