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Want to teach dog to bark when it wants inside.

Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, AlonsoRegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Just like the title says.

My dog currently scratches/smacks at the back door with his paw when he's done being outside. In addition to being hard on the doors, it's not especially loud and unless you're in the room, you don't hear it.

We'd like him to bark when he wants to be let in. He is a fairly talkative dog, but mostly whines and huffing. He generally only barks when he is outside in his enclosure and he sees another dog or a cat or squirrel that he can't get to.

So H&A, I'm open to suggestions on how to teach my boy this trick.

Regina Fong on

Posts

  • ConnorConnor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    As when teaching anything, you need to find a way to reward the desired behavior. Meaning you need to get him to do it in the first place. Can you make him bark on command by saying "Speak" etc. Some dogs never pick this one up as some dogs aren't very vocal. also, do you have any neighbors that may be bothered by this? There are some other ways to get this to work, I have known people to rig a string and bell that jingles when the dog is ready to come in/out.


    edit: For the string and bell trick, start by ringing a bell each time you let him out and let him in. Do this for awhile until he associates the action with the sound. Much like Pavlovs experiments. Then hang the bell from the door with string and "assist" your dog in pawing the bell each and every time you let him in and out. If you reinforce the desired behaviors eventually one day you will be sitting in the house wondering what the hell that ringing sound is until you realize...OH SHIT MY DOG'S A GENIUS!

    Connor on
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  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    First, you need to teach your talk to bark on command. Then, the next time he wants to be let in, you stand inside and say the command through the door. When he barks, you open it up and shower him with praise. Eventually, he'll just start barking at the door when he wants to be let in.

    Of course, your mileage may vary on how adaptive your dog is to learning commands, but this is the basic way to teach a dog anything. Pavlov's dog and all that.

    Figgy on
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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I guess my starting point is to get him to bark on command. I figured as much. I'm not really sure how to get him to bark though. His normal stimulus for barking is the extreme excitement he feels when seeing something like a squirrel. If i praise that behavior, he's probably just going to assume I enthusiastically share his desire to chase squirrels.

    He did bark at me one time when I was on this forum not paying attention to him. It was so random and startling that I didn't even think at the time to praise him to start ingraining the behavior. And he only did it that one time.

    Oh well. We're gonna try this. My mom is upstairs as we speak with a handful of dog treats barking at the dog trying to get him to imitate her. Hilarious.

    -edit-

    Re the bell: Thought of that when I saw an informercial about a product like that a while back. It would save the doors, but I don't think it would be much more audible than his current "knocking" behavior. I think we'll try that if speech therapy fails, just to save the screen door if nothing else.

    Regina Fong on
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard The duck MinnesotaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Connor wrote: »
    As when teaching anything, you need to find a way to reward the desired behavior. Meaning you need to get him to do it in the first place. Can you make him bark on command by saying "Speak" etc. Some dogs never pick this one up as some dogs aren't very vocal. also, do you have any neighbors that may be bothered by this? There are some other ways to get this to work, I have known people to rig a string and bell that jingles when the dog is ready to come in/out.


    edit: For the string and bell trick, start by ringing a bell each time you let him out and let him in. Do this for awhile until he associates the action with the sound. Much like Pavlovs experiments. Then hang the bell from the door with string and "assist" your dog in pawing the bell each and every time you let him in and out. If you reinforce the desired behaviors eventually one day you will be sitting in the house wondering what the hell that ringing sound is until you realize...OH SHIT MY DOG'S A GENIUS!

    The bell thing might not work out too well.
    We trained our dog to ring the bell.
    He still doesn't quite do it. He still walks over to the door and starts eyeing everyone. Only, after standing there for a long time, when he reeeaally needs to go will he ring the bell.
    And right before we let him out, when we walk up to the door, does he ring it.

    So, it kinda works. Sorta. I think we did it wrong though. He's associated it with us opening the door more than 'hey I gotta go outside.'


    Also, I'm just curious, how would you get your dog to 'speak' on command?

    L Ron Howard on
  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Usually if you hold up a treat for your dog, it will eventually bark because it wants the treat. Keep sayin the command word and praise him when he barks.

    Figgy on
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  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    We use combined hand and verbal commands for training. I think this helps accelerate the training, and it gives you alternatives if you find yourself mute or disabled. So our command is "speak" combined with a hand signal that forms a long C, or a dog with open mouth, or if you had your hand in a baseball mitt or sock puppet.

    As mentioned above, hold the treat and issue the commands. If your dog is like most, it will eventually get frustrated and start trying to appease your commands. When he gets it right, reward. It may take many many attempts.

    If you have access to another dog that knows the command, that can help, too. Our pup learned a lot of the same tricks our older dog knows by trying to mimic her. Speak was one of them.

    NailbunnyPD on
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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Id be careful about rewarding your dog for barking when he needs your attention. Its difficult to limit that once its ingrained, so you may end up with a dog that barks all the time BC he thinks its a good behavior.

    like others said, I'd make a location specific action instead... like the bell, or a button connected to a buzzer or something.

    illig on
  • ConnorConnor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Connor wrote: »
    As when teaching anything, you need to find a way to reward the desired behavior. Meaning you need to get him to do it in the first place. Can you make him bark on command by saying "Speak" etc. Some dogs never pick this one up as some dogs aren't very vocal. also, do you have any neighbors that may be bothered by this? There are some other ways to get this to work, I have known people to rig a string and bell that jingles when the dog is ready to come in/out.


    edit: For the string and bell trick, start by ringing a bell each time you let him out and let him in. Do this for awhile until he associates the action with the sound. Much like Pavlovs experiments. Then hang the bell from the door with string and "assist" your dog in pawing the bell each and every time you let him in and out. If you reinforce the desired behaviors eventually one day you will be sitting in the house wondering what the hell that ringing sound is until you realize...OH SHIT MY DOG'S A GENIUS!

    The bell thing might not work out too well.
    We trained our dog to ring the bell.
    He still doesn't quite do it. He still walks over to the door and starts eyeing everyone. Only, after standing there for a long time, when he reeeaally needs to go will he ring the bell.
    And right before we let him out, when we walk up to the door, does he ring it.

    So, it kinda works. Sorta. I think we did it wrong though. He's associated it with us opening the door more than 'hey I gotta go outside.'


    Also, I'm just curious, how would you get your dog to 'speak' on command?

    Depends on the dog really. With some dogs, all you have to do is look at them and say "speak" loudly and energetically and eventually they will pitch in with their own noises (WOOF!). Some dogs will just never bark unless they are very nervous or in an emergency situation.

    Make sure not to let him out until he rings the bell, and if he isn't getting it, go back to ringing the bell manually for him every time you let him out. Ring the bell first, then open the door. Sequence is important.

    Connor on
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  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Regina, if you can put up a barrier between the door and the dog, he will start barking. Not sure how practical that is for you, but some type of gate or... something will make him resort to another tool to get inside, I imagine.

    streever on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    streever wrote: »
    Regina, if you can put up a barrier between the door and the dog, he will start barking. Not sure how practical that is for you, but some type of gate or... something will make him resort to another tool to get inside, I imagine.

    We'd have to do that to two doors. Nah, that would be a pain in the ass. And there's the possibility that he might think we'd permanently banished him to the outside and just go lie down in the dirt, which would be heartbreaking.

    Regina Fong on
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    streever wrote: »
    Regina, if you can put up a barrier between the door and the dog, he will start barking. Not sure how practical that is for you, but some type of gate or... something will make him resort to another tool to get inside, I imagine.

    We'd have to do that to two doors. Nah, that would be a pain in the ass. And there's the possibility that he might think we'd permanently banished him to the outside and just go lie down in the dirt, which would be heartbreaking.

    That would be pretty sad :)

    What about putting him out on a lead for awhile?

    Make sure it doesn't reach the door.

    The dogs we had as kids were all on leads, and they had NO problem barking to come back in :)

    Once he has started barking, you can let him out without the lead.

    streever on
  • DeadfallDeadfall I don't think you realize just how rich he is. In fact, I should put on a monocle.Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, getting a dog to bark on command is a pretty tricky one, one mine still doesn't grasp. Here's how we were taught to do it:

    Have him in the sit/stay position (if he knows how to stay and sit.) With him staying still, back up like five or six feet. Keep him steady, and then kind of dart back and forth from foot to foot, like you're playing. He should get excited and bark.

    You have to time it, but make the command right before he barks. Like point up or make the "ok" sign with your fingers. Reward him immediately after he does it. And then keep doing it.

    My dog will stay put forever, but once I start moving around he gets all excited and wants to come play with me. It's a tough trick to teach (sometimes.)

    Deadfall on
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