Teaching a Maltese to bark on command is not just something you do for entertainment. It is also a helpful step in training away excessive barking. It’s also a great way to deter potential intruders.
To teach a Maltese to bark on command, put him in situations where he is most likely to bark. As soon as he barks, say “Speak” and give him a treat. This way you associate the barking with the “Speak” command. It is also a very helpful intermediate step in teaching a yappy Maltese to be quiet on command.
Barking on command is one of the tricks that are relatively easy to teach a Maltese. However, it does require some patience as it may take a little longer for him to really understand.
Let’s take a closer look at how to teach your Maltese to bark on command and why you should teach your Maltese this command.
After that, we will briefly explain how to teach your Maltese not to bark. We also address how difficult it is and how long it takes to teach a Maltese this command. And we also enlighten you on when you should start training.
How to Teach a Maltese to Bark On Command
Teaching your Maltese to bark on command works best by deliberately encouraging him to bark and then acknowledging this with the command “Speak” and a reward.
Take a favorite toy of your Maltese and play hilariously with it without involving your Maltese. Tease him with it without giving the Maltese the toy.
Most Maltese will bark out of frustration within a short time. Acknowledge your Maltese immediately and preferably with the toy, because that is what he wants most right now. Immediately after barking, say the command “Speak”.
Alternatively, take a treat and let your Maltese sit. The Maltese will also do a good sit and of course, thinks that the food is actually due to him now.
But you do not give it to your Maltese, but tell him several times in a row “Speak”. Make him really excited. Eventually, your Maltese will bark and then immediately get his treat.
If your Maltese still doesn’t understand what to do, ask a friend to ring the front doorbell. If the Maltese dog barks now tell him “Speak” several times in a row and he will get the tasty treat immediately.
However, take your Maltese on a leash for this! He should not race to the front door but stay on the spot.
With these three methods, you can teach your Maltese to bark on command. Of course, you will have to repeat the exercise several times and also do it at different times.
But your Maltese will eventually learn to bark on command this way. But in order not to turn your Maltese into a barker, you have to stop any unwanted barking. We will come to that further down.
Why Should I Teach My Maltese to Bark On Command?
There are several reasons why you should teach your Maltese to bark on command.
The most important reason is certainly that this is an important precursor to teaching him not to bark. It is much easier to teach him to be quiet if he can already bark on command.
But it is also just a nice trick that you can use to entertain your family and your joy. It’s just fun to get your Maltese to bark on command.
Besides, Maltese needs mental stimulation in addition to physical activity. Training commands is a very good way to keep your Maltese mentally engaged and fit.
Finally, a barking dog can also act as a deterrent to possible intruders and aggressive people. If you can have your Maltese bark on command, it can increase your safety.
In addition, the AKC offers a Trick Dog title for dogs that master at least 10 of 20 selected tricks. This is not vital, of course, but maybe a small incentive for you to teach your Maltese a few things.
How Do I Teach My Maltese Not to Bark?
To make your Maltese understand that you expect him to stop barking can sometimes be done by a small detour. First, you should teach your Maltese to bark on command. This may sound surprising, but it makes sense.
If you practice this, the command “Speak” will be enough to make your Maltese bark after a few days.
After he learned to bark on command, refine the exercise, and teach him the command “Quiet”. Let your Maltese sit and hold a treat in front of his nose. then simply say “Quiet”. Your Maltese will try to please you by barking, but you repeat calmly and persistently: “No! Quiet!”.
Sometimes it can help if you whisper. Anyway, the Maltese will soon start whimpering quietly, simply to ask you “What do you want me to do?”.
Great, that is what you will want. Immediately reward him with a treat. Practice diligently for a few days to solidify it.
If your Maltese already barks on command and also learned “Quiet” like a champion, you can start to teach him a series of commands: “Sit!”. Good dog… “Bark!”. Woof, woof. He doesn’t get the treat yet. “Quiet!” and then give your Maltese the treat if he doesn’t bark anymore.
You probably noticed that your Maltese can’t bark and eat treats at the same time. So he is quiet. So, now practice, practice, and practice. Practice until your Maltese finally understood what the command “Quiet” means.
Is It Hard to Teach a Maltese to Bark On Command?
The great advantage of training this command is that Maltese – like all dogs – bark naturally. So you do not have to teach him anything that does not correspond to his natural behavior.
The difficulty in learning this command is rather that your Maltese must understand that his barking is related to the command. He needs to know that the command means he can and should bark now.
Maltese are not known to be fierce barkers, but they can become so without the proper training. But even if they are not extensive barkers, they will still bark, of course.
You don’t have to comment on every bark with a “Speak” either. But if you link the barking in the right situations with the command “Speak”, it should be easy for you to teach it to your Maltese. As I said, it may just take a little time.
How Long Does It Take to Teach My Maltese to Bark On Command?
It very much depends on your Maltese when we talk about how long it takes to learn to bark on command. Some Maltese learn it in 5 minutes, others need several days to do it.
Of course, it also depends on how old your Maltese is. Puppies learn much faster than adult Maltese.
But if the puppy is still too young, it may be that his development is busy with something else and he is not receptive at the moment.
Since Maltese are very intelligent dogs, in most cases it should not take too long to teach him the command. At least, as long as you teach him at the right age and with the right technique.
When Should I Start Teaching My Maltese to Bark On Command?
Dogs make their first vocalized sounds at about 2 or 3 weeks of age. After about 7 or 8 weeks, these sounds can develop into barking. However, it can take up to 16 weeks for a dog to learn to bark.
This is the time when you can start training for barking on command. Before that, of course, there is no point in trying.
However, you can take a little longer until your Maltese has developed a little more and is more capable of learning. The right age to start training depends a lot on your Maltese’s development and abilities.
Just try occasionally, and when you feel that your Maltese is ready to learn, you can start training properly. At the latest at the age of 7 or 8 months, he should be ready.
Conclusion: How to Teach a Maltese to Bark On Command
It is easily possible to teach your Maltese to bark on command.
You should simply put him in situations where he would usually bark and then acknowledge his behavior. Of course, there is a bit more to it, but it is not really hard to train a Maltese to bark on command.