Gib Laut (German for: Speak!)
photo credit: aleahey
Training your dog to Gib Laut (speak in German) on command is a great way to control barking. Of course, for dog sport work, you want your dog to do a “bark and hold”. And if you train your GSD in Protection Training, the ability to command a bark from your dog will be a vital part of his life. But even for all of you who own GSDs as a family “pet”, and not the formerly mentioned Schutzhund trained dogs, the best way to keep a dog from an out of control bark-meister is to control when and where he barks.
Oh Please Be Quite!
How many times have you told your dog to be quite? And if we’re honest, we might even admit to the, “shut up!” verbiage now and again towards our otherwise best friend. You see, the best way to get a dog to stop barking is to get him to start barking on command. Yes, even though that seems a bit opposite of where we want to go with the whole barking thing, learning how to train a bark from your dog will allow you also train the stop command for barking.
Why Train To Bark?
- Protection training
- Schutzhund Bark and Hold
- Scare the neighbors cat (Ok, that’s a joke!)
- Controlled barking
How To Train The Gib Laut (Speak!)
In this phase of training we begin teaching our commands using “markers”. Markers will “mark” the expected command at the very second your dog does what you’ve asked. I use the verbal marker, “YES!”
To train the Gib Laut (speak in German), you need to find out what get’s your dog going. What makes him go crazy? For me, it was my GSD female’s bite tug. What I did was play tug with her, then make the tug so enticing that she tried her hardest to get it. At that point, I’d tease her with it, and give the command, “Gib Laut!” – then hold it out of reach while I held it (and me) completely still.
After a few times, she had no outlet but to bark excitedly at me. This bark was “marked” with “YES!” the second she did it. After this was done like 30 times, Gib Laut was conditioned into her as “bark now” – and that is now coupled with the already known command of “OK”, which I use for “relax and stop doing what you’re doing and pay attention to me”- this now gives me a “light switch” to start her bark, and turn it off.
So now I can command “Gib Laut”, and my Sable will bark, and “OK”, and she’ll stop. It works great to control her barking for no reason – I just tell her “ok” – and she stops.