Teaching your dog to bark on command is a profitable training. Once your dog learns to bark on command, it is easier to teach your dog to be quiet when barking. The first step to training your dog to bark on command is identifying what triggers your dog. Some dogs are more vocal than others making the training different for dog owners. Dogs can bark when you offer their favourite toy, grab the leash, or anything that excites them.
As soon as you mark the barking trigger, reward your dog every time it barks with toys, praise, and treats. As you do this, mark the bark with a command like ‘Bark!’ or ‘Speak!’ Keep marking and rewarding your dog till it gets used to the command. You can now start getting your dog used to barking by the command and not from the triggers. For every time your dog barks on command, reward immediately and keep at it.
After your dog has learnt to bark on command, you can introduce a hand signal to initiate a bark. How this works is that while you are giving the bark command, you add the hard signal and ensure your dog sees it. A commonly used signal command for barking is opening your palm to face your dog, and then you repeatedly close your four fingers against your thumb. You can choose another signal that is comfortable for you and easy to grasp by your dog. Remember to always reward your dog. Once your dog learns the signal, you can use the verbal command or hand signal or both.
Beyond barking on command, you can also teach your dog to cease barking on command. You achieve this by rewarding your dog every time he stops barking. You can introduce a verbal command like ‘Stop!’ to make your dog cease barking. Training your dog to bark and cease is fun and it allows you to have control over your dog’s behaviour.