New Member

Using different tones of voice for dog training

I am trying to address a problem that has recently arisen in my household. Unfortunately, this problem does not have anything to do with our dogs, but rather a new member of our household--my dad's girlfriend. She seems to believe that talking in a lower tone of voice (as deep as possible), saying "Quiet", when trying to get our dogs to stop barking is an effective way of showing authority to our dogs. I have read online that dogs can understand different inflections and tones of our voices to read our emotion. However, I have not found any evidence that suggests women should talk in a lower voice when speaking to dogs to get them to obey.

I am looking for some clarification on the matter and hopefully a reason to get my dad's girlfriend to stop talking in this manner. Any input would be great.

Thanks in advance!

Community Manager

Re: Using different tones of voice for dog training

[ Edited ]

Hi InTents,



Welcome to the community and thank you for your post! This is an interesting inquiry that I sent along to one of Petco's animal care specialists for more advice; here's what they shared:


  • Anytime you pay attention to a dog's behavior, the behavior being good or bad, you are actually reinforcing that behavior and making it more likely for the dog to offer/do it again. When talking to a barking dog, in the dog's ears, you are joining the barking-party!
  • The best things to do when a dog a dog is barking, or offering a behavior we do not necessarily approve of or like, is to either ignore it or redirect the dog to another behavior that we do like.
  • Rather than focus on the behaviors that you don't like your dog doing, focus on working with and train your dog to do the behaviors that you like.
  • At Petco, we utilize a method call positive reinforcement, where you give the dog a reward (such as a treat, toy, or attention) when the dog is doing or offering a behavior that you like. Rather than making dogs do things and obey, we train them to show them what we like them to do. The dogs learn that if I do this (let's say the dog sits instead of jumping up on someone), I will get something good. We need to make sure that we train dogs and show them what we like them to do, rather than trying to stop what we do not like the dog to do.
There is a lot of evidence that this approach (positive reinforcement) to training is the most effective, humane, and fun for everyone one involved and Petco offers great positive dog training classes! For more details on the types of training services available, visit our website here. I hope this helps! 
Alex Cat Very Happy
New Member

Re: Using different tones of voice for dog training

Really, what difference does it make?  I think your just annoyed by your father's girlfriend.  Let her talk however she wants. 

New Member

Re: Using different tones of voice for dog training

Aluxe had the best advice, any acknowledgment to the dogs barking (no matter the manner) is just reinforcing the barking
I would suggest finding a new method of handling the barking of the dog that you can even offer to show her, even if it is just ignoring the barking (although I must warn you, when ignoring a behavior dogs will go through what is called an Extinction burst. Basically it is going to get worse before it gets better)
Redirecting the behavior to something more pleasent and reinforcing it with praise affection or even treats is Defiently the most pleasent way for all

Best of luck with your situation

Re: Using different tones of voice for dog training

[ Edited ]

Hello InTents,
I seem to have the same exact thing going on too! I just wanted to let you know you were not alone!! 

And yes, I do understand that it can get a bit on people's nerves when things like that happen but try to stay posative in the way "You" treat your dog! And perhaps you could eliminate the problem by retraining your dog not to do whatever behavior(s) is making people want to yell at your dog. It's not super hard to train a dog at home. My dog won a 1st place ribbon at a Petco contest and she's only ever been trained by me. (Youtube may come in handy) 

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