How to Teach a Pit Bull to Speak

"I'll speak only if you gimme that cookie in your pocket."
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Imagine your dog telling you something like, "Why don't you fetch your own newspaper?" or, "Clean my water bowl so I won't drink from the toilet." Thankfully, teaching your pit bull to speak should entail much politer discussions.

Step 1

Arm yourself with the right type of "doggie currency." What treat motivates your pit bull to do your bidding? Many drool at the smell of liver treats; others prefer meat, cheese or peanut butter. Some may skip the treats for a chance to play a vigorous game of tug-of-war. It is up to you as the dog's owner to find what is at the top of your companion's hierarchy of rewards. Keep in mind that this breed is not typically very vocal -- unlike many other breeds out there -- so you may need to invest in super-special treats to motivate him to bark.

Step 2

Show your pit bull the treat or toy he cherishes the most. Afterward, tease him in a friendly manner and suddenly hide the toy or treat behind your back. The frustration built up from not having the treat or toy will stimulate him to bark. When he barks, immediately praise and reward by giving him the reward you were keeping away from him in the first place. Repeat several times and start introducing the "speak" command so your dog associates it with the act of barking.

Step 3

Train your pit bull to STOP barking. Training your pit bull to bark on command has a bonus feature that makes it well worth the effort: the shush command. Basically, once your pit bull has mastered the speak command, after two or three barks, say "shush" and immediately praise and reward with doggie currency. With practice, patience and persistence, you can use the speak command to impress your friends or train your pit bull to bark under certain circumstances, while you can use the "shush" command to stop your pit bull from barking when it is unnecessary or inappropriate.

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