How to teach your dog to bark on cue

Yellow labrador barking on cue

You don’t want to teach a dog that barks a lot even more barking. It’s probably best to teach them the opposite, to be quiet. But if your dog is mostly quiet teach them to bark at your command.

What do you need to teach your dog to bark on cue?

  • something your dog does bark at (doorbell, plastic bag, a toy or tennis ball, whatever works for your dog),
  • some yummy treats,
  • a clicker,
  • hungry dog with healthy vocal cords,
  • a bit of patience,
  • be careful not to disturb anyone with your dog’s barking.

How to start:

  1. Induce your dog to bark with an object or toy that works for your dog. I was using a rustle of a plastic bag. The moment your dog barks, click and give them a treat. Repeat it a few times so your dog will realize what you want them to do. 
  2. Now that your dog knows that you want them to bark, introduce a voice command “bark” or “voice” or “speak” or anything else. Also, add a hand signal – dogs will learn hand gestures more quickly than voice commands. 
  3. When your dog understands your voice command or hand signal remove the object or a toy you started this training with. 

Keep practicing barking on cue when you don’t disturb anybody.