Dogs being man’s best friends have not only offered companionship but protection as well. Dogs that are purposely developed for protection work are trained to discriminate dangerous situations and to bark to alert the master. The need to teach the dog to bark is rather puzzling as barking is a natural behavior of these animals. Never think that training the dog to bark would be a breeze as the training entails teaching the dog to bark only when it has perceived potentially dangerous people and situations. As the bark of the dog will alert the owner to potential dangerous situations, the dog must learn discriminatory barking.
For a dog to be an effective watch dog, it has to learn to bark at situations that would need the master’s attention. This is rather a hard task for dogs as these animals really do have the inclination to bark. Dogs bark at the slightest sound. Dogs are known to bark at the shadows of plants and trees. Training the dog to bark though can be done.
There are many techniques available to teach a dog to bark but due to individual differences, one technique that was proven effective for one dog may not work for another. Any kind of training method will be more effective if positive reinforcement is used. The training is aimed at restraining the dog’s natural barking behavior. Tie the dog’s leash near the gate where it can see passersby.
Dogs are expected to bark at anyone passing by thus you will have an opportunity to accustom the dog to the command that will curb its indiscriminate barking. “Quiet” or “No bark” given in a firm authoritative voice will let the dog know that you, the alpha male means business. The dog will eventually understand that barking at the postman or at the passing cars will annoy the master.
Ask someone to open the gate or to ring the bell. As the person approaches, give the dog the command to bark. Bark or speak must be consistently used. You can praise or reward the dog with a treat as soon as it barks. Consistent training using the same command will eventually make the dog learn discriminatory barking. Always reward or praise the dog every time it obeys your command. Treats and rewards are positive reinforcements that will make the training easier as these will be associated by the to the compliance of the given command.