Teaching a dog to speak can be a lot like teaching it to bark. The first thing you have to do is use a different cue than you would for barking. You need to use a lower volume and a different command. Don’t use the same command that you would for barking, or your dog will become confused and the training will be ineffective. Below are some tips for teaching a dog to speak.
Click and Treat
When you start training your dog to respond to your voice, you should make sure you always click when you want it to do something. Click when your dog sits, lays down, or comes to the door. It will get excited and be happy when you reward it with a treat. Once you have trained your dog to listen, you can use the click and treat training method to redirect unwanted behavior.
Begin the training session indoors by holding a tasty treat and using a heel as a marker. Hold the treat and make a click sound when the dog gets within one pace of you. Then, use a long leash to control your dog. Give a soft tug when you call your dog, and click and treat when it comes to you. Gradually, you can eliminate the use of the leash and teach your dog to respond to your voice with the click and treat.
Click and Treat for a three-syllable yowl
A dog will respond to a cue such as a “click” by yowling, a three-syllable sound. This cue is imbued with click sound characteristics and should be paired with a CT opportunity. To teach a three-syllable yowl in dogs, start by teaching the cue before and after the desired behavior.