How To Teach A Dog To Bark On Cue


Honored Member
Some one asked me how i got my dog to "speak" on cue. There are lots of ways to do this, but this is what i did.
I will post this, as i am not sure if it is posted anywhere else,
i want to post a strong warning, that others tried to warn me about as i set about to teach this trick,
but *i* did not listen:rolleyes:
Here is the warning: Whatever you reward a dog for doing, there is a chance, that behavior could become more commonly done by your dog.
Rewarding barking is one of those things, for *some* dogs, helping them to become barkier dogs.
It happened that way to MY dog, and wow,
let me tell you,
teaching a dog the cue "shhh!" to stop barking,
is A LOT more work,
than teaching a dog to bark on cue.
Not all dogs become barky maniacs after being rewarded for barking, but, it's something to consider prior to teaching this cue.
Get a clicker and bag of small treats, and mull over one more time, if your dog might be the kind to become a barky maniac, and then begin:
This is a pretty easy trick for most dogs to get the idea.

I lured my dog to bark.
My dog always barked at the printer going off,:rolleyes: every time.
So i said, "Wanna Beer?" and hit print,
and every time he barked, CLICK/TREAT and praise.

One could also ask whatever silly question you will use as a cue to bark,
then knock on your own door------your dog WILL most likely bark,
CLICK/TREAT and praise that bark. (interestingly, most dogs will still bark, even if they are watching you doing the knock from inside the door:ROFLMAO: )

Or, you can even stand there, holding up treats or toys or doing things to elicit your dog to bark out of frustration, or excitement, and once the dog finally barks, CLICK/TREAT and praise that bark.

Overtime, probably several days, i eventually stopped hitting "print", and just stood by printer,
or you could stop knocking on your own door, and just stand by it,
and just give the silly question, "Fido, am i your favorite person?" or whatever you will be asking,
and Fido will bark now, when he hears that question, as he now associates THAT cue, with his barking.
then, you can begin to step away each lesson, from whatever you used as a trigger for the barks.

teach only the LAST word of the question. LIke, i taught my dog to bark to the word "BEER" not "wanna beer?" so that my dog won't bark til i finish the question, see?

Or, if you were going to teach your dog to bark to the question, " Fido, do you like the New York Jets?" you would only use the word "Jets" for his cue, otherwise, the dog will bark BEFORE you have finished the question.

so good luck.....


Honored Member
btw, i did go back and desensitize my poor dog to the printer going off, AFTER i had finished abusing him with it, to teach him to bark on cue.
Then, he could sit right by the printer going off, and be calm, and never barked at it again. whew.
then, there was one less thing for my dog to worry about, was that evil printer spitting out papers and making odd noises!!:ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
BullyGem, no you can use any situation(besides an agressive bark) that causes your dog to bark.

I used Jinx's half sister to teach her how to bark on cue. That worked like a charm! She knew how to speak on cue in 15 minutes. I trained this during the time we had to wait our turn at agility training.
Somewhere in that first training session, she got the idea that sit means bark:rolleyes: This is NOT my cue, my cue is to hold my finger up near my face and ask for speak.
But now she almost always lets out one single woof when I ask for a sit:D
For now I'm just ignoring it, hoping it will fade away, but if not I will have to work on that, because I want to do obedience and I don't think you get points for a barking dog;)


Honored Member
Bullygem, i so admire your work training your infant baby dog some tricks already!! But, for real, puppies can be barky enough, because they ARE puppies.
If i were you, Bullygem, for real, i'd teach some OTHER trick to your baby dog for now. There are bazillions of tricks one can teach a baby dog, and barking would not even make my top ten list of "Tricks to teach a baby dog", nope, i would teach "come", or "toy names" or "stay" or "stand" (dogs just stands up on all 4 feet normal, surprisingly hard to teach) or "are you shy?" or "go to your mat" or "spin" or "walk through my legs" or "drop it" or "leave it" or "scratch my back" or "beg" or anything but bark....

but, that's just me.:rolleyes: For real, there ARE tons and tons and tons of OTHER tricks to work on with a baby dog, but, of course, it's YOUR dog....but You won't believe how hard teaching "shhhh!" is:oops: ... later on, when you post, "My dog is barking all the time, and driving my neighbors nuts, what can i do?" etc etc.
:ROFLMAO: i'm just sayin, since this baby dog IS a baby, you *might* be wise, to let the dog learn OTHER tricks, and continue to assess how barky this new, growing, baby dog is, prior to rewarding and praising barks.....maybe teach him "speak" on his one year birthday???


Experienced Member
I agree with tigerlily above about a shhh command if you are going to teach a bark command, I have found in the past teaching a barking dog a 'shy' command gets their attention back to control it to a bark or couple of barks if you want... also I have found with teaching a bark command it is one of those tricks that I concentrate more on a hand command so that you can ask different things to make them bark rather than moving onto to the voice command stage and sticking to one thing. Once they know the hand command well you can ask various questions and get the bark.


Honored Member
I also trained my dog to bark if i raised my eyebrows (part of a card trick).
But doing this also made me realize how many times a day i DO raise my eyebrows!!!:ROFLMAO:

//"I have found in the past teaching a barking dog a 'shy' command gets their attention back to control it to a bark or couple of barks if you want"//

true enough, but, if a dog has become excessively barky, you'd have to do this every time to help reduce barking IS sooooooo self rewarding!!
and if you are in jammies, and have just put out the dog on a snowy day, and he is now out there barking his head off---------- it's a pain to run out there and make your dog do a "shy" trick every time he barks excessively.


Experienced Member
I had wanted to teach Evie to bark so that I could teach her to bark once when she wanted to go outside (at the moment if she needs to go outside she'll sneak away to the laundy door and sit very quietly - if we're not quick enough or don't notice her disappear, accidents happen right by the door lol)

However. Evie doesn't bark. If she's really REALLY wound up while playing you can sometimes get a quick bark from her, but during these times she's so deaf to everything else that training it would be near impossible. The only other time she barks is when new people try and touch her but that IS an aggressive bark *sigh* She HATES new people. Sooooo I basically gave up on that idea and it may not be a bad thing...


Honored Member
//" She HATES new people."//

It sounds like you *might* have a shy dog there. there is HUGE spectrum of shyness, from very very mild, to severe.
It is good idea to get some ideas on best way to manage a shy dog right off, from Tx_cowgirl. Or, you could post a thread on this, in "behavior problems". Not to worry, it is NOT something you did "wrong", it is genetic.

In the meantime, take care, that you never ever correct a growl, okay? Especially if IF IF IF you do have a shy dog, you never ever ever want to scold her, or correct her, for growling.
Read reply #5 on this thread on growling. (THIS thread is about dog-aggressive dogs, not shy dogs) but do read Reply#5

but, really, no way to know for sure if you have a shy dog or not by online words,
but, if IF IF IF IF you do have a shy dog (a shy dog means "a dog who dislikes contact from UNKNOWN humans)
then you will want to learn best ways to help Evie become her best possible self.

Lol, i hear you on the "wish they'd bark instead of just sit by the door" thing, it took our rescue dog a long long time to develop enough confidence to ask to go out on his own. He never had accidents after we potty trained him, but, we had to just guess if it was time, as he'd never ask back then.
BUT, there ARE doggie doorbells, that you could train Evie to use: several types, but here is just one:


Honored Member
at any rate, i think, teaching a dog to bark on cue, might be a trick best left til after the dog is one or two years old, IF there is any chance, that this dog is going to be very barky type of dog.....take it from me, i did NOT listen, when others tried to warn me.....nope.
and true, not ALL dogs will become barky
if one is raising a BABY dog,
it *might* be good idea,
to let the dog grow up, and assess, if this dog is, or is not, a barky dog, and just work on one of the MILLIONS of OTHER tricks for now..........


Experienced Member
Oooo, actually a doggy door bell would be easy easy easy to teach as Evie already knows how to target things with both her nose and paw.

And yes, she is a shy dog. Absolutely loves and adores people she's met and knows. HATES new people. She's fine with the new people so long as she's not forced to be near them or if they try and touch her. However. she is now happy to go and sniff them (she never used to want to get within 3 meters of a new person even if i was there too). This makes things such as the vet, very awkward. Or when people go "OH LOOK! PUPPY! Can we pat it?" and my reply is no. People don't take kindly to that even if it is so that they get to keep all of their fingers.


Honored Member
THIS IS GREAT that you DO recognize you have a shy dog.
Yes, it is the unknown humans that shy dogs dislike. A shy dog can be brought to accept a specific individual, if that individual will follow your instructions on how to act to meet your shy dog.

Here is good video for some ideas, but maybe you are already onto this type of info: (sorry for derail!!)

and YES, a doggie doorbell might work great for your Evie!!!:)


Experienced Member
Hrm, I can touch Evie anywhere and even ask her to 'wait' while i touch her where i please. But new people.... or if new people are around , she shuts down and stops listening. All she wants to do is ensure that she's far enough away from them that they can't touch her.

My vet (after she nearly got bitten on several occasions from trying to pat Evie) suggested I come into the clinic as often as possible with Evie so that Evie could get treats from the vet nurses. The vet nurses would kneel down, look away from Evie and offer out their hand with the treat. At first Evie didn't want any part of it, but she is very treat motivated and is now happy to approach new people (somewhat slowly) to see if their hand might have a treat. However, she still can't be touched.

On the plus side, we start dog group training lessons on march 24th and the lady there said she will help me with Evie's shyness. And yes, the training I've selected is all positive reinforcement not nasty old style training :)

Oh and also, if I have visitors which she hasn't met before, she's very stand-offish (as expected) but if the visitor ignores her for 10 minutes Evie is soon jumping all over them wanting them to play with her.


Honored Member
Wow, it sounds like you are doing a lot of things right for Evie, (not allowing strangers to touch her on a walk, not forcing Evie to accept contact from ppl that Evie is not ready to be too close to, etc etc).
so this is all good news!


Honored Member
nah, Evie-mom, i think it sounds like you are doing a lot of things right.:D My guess is, your lil Evie will be shy on some level for life, (it's genetic) but, you can help Evie become her best possible self.
With my dog-aggressive dog, i have found, that with each new dog he does make pals with, it seems to help him lower his whole aggression thing a notch,
maybe it will be similar for Evie, that with each new stranger Evie decides to accept, her shyness thing will lower a teeny bit more.
but, for owners like me and you, it is an ongoing thing, and sometimes, some days, are a bit like "three steps forward, one step back..":ROFLMAO:
but, we are still headed in the right direction , and sometimes a small victory is a huge celebration for dogs like ours.

And it does get easier, and easier, both for you, and for the dog, to get the hang of this type of management.


Staff member
Oliver doesn't "bark" on command... but he does say momma and growl and snap hit teeth...

you'll see it a few times in this vid.

I honestly have no idea how we started this trick... like alot of Ollie's tricks, it was an offered behaviour during a free-shaping session.


Staff member
Oliver will "talk" when playing, so I would just get him riled up then click for "2 syllable" noised. it took quite a while to get it solid, and as you can see by the vid, if he gets excited, he'll go back to more than 2 syllables :rolleyes: