Because the Gordon Setter was originally bred as a hunting dog, it's very obedient and well-behaved. These two traits are ideal in any dog that you want to train to do anything from tricks to talking to potty training. When training your Gordon Setter, exercising patience will be the key to your success.
Teaching your Gordon Setter to "talk" is as simple as teaching him any other trick. Before you can attempt to teach your dog how to talk, you must have near perfect communication. You and your Gordon Setter should be completely tuned in to each other's moods and this will make the talking lessons as easy as ever. If you've set out to teach your dog other tricks, and you've been successful, this should be an indicator of how your talking lessons will go. For example, if your Gordon Setter already understands and responds to certain commands, it will learn how to talk much easier.
Teaching him to "Speak"
Teaching your Gordon Setter to "speak" does not mean you're giving your dog free reign to bark at every noise he hears or foreign object he sees. This should be the first word you teach your Gordon who, as a hunting dog, is naturally inclined to protect his home. The speak command requires a truly obedient dog, familiar with commands that have a direct point. To effectively get your point across, encourage your dog to "speak" in quick short barks that serve as an "alert" rather than a "conversation".
The first part of teaching your Gordon Setter to speak consists of beginning the training with a situation that often causes your dog to bark. Common incidents that make dogs bark are; giving your Gordon Setter a treat or someone knocking on your door. If you have a doorbell, this is probably a much bigger problem for you. When you instruct your Gordon to "speak", change the inflection in your voice, increase the pitch and excitement level and command him to "Speak!" The excitement in your voice will get your dog excited and eager to please.
Help your Gordon Setter along by using a treat as positive reinforcement. Withholding the treat long enough will compel your dog to "speak". Once he has successfully completed the task, reward him with a treat and a pat on the head. If your Gordon cannot be swayed by doggie treats, try using the knock to encourage a bark. The key to perfecting this task will be repetition. Practice everyday with your Gordon Setter and be sure to offer lots of positive encouragement and keep your voice upbeat. With more practice, your dog will come to understand your commands and will speak when you ask.