Saturday, June 22, 2024

Speaking Like A Dog!

Are you tired of feeling like your dog is ignoring you?

As dog owners , most of us think in verbal cues. Think of "sit" for example. This is one of the first things we teach a puppy. But do we just say the verbal cue and hope our puppy responds? 

No way, not at first! We use body language to lure the puppy into a sitting position & reward. Now most of us probably say the verbal cue as the pup sits and rewards when the action is complete. Thus teaching the pup to do the action. It doesn't take long to teach a hand signal and verbal cue to this action because puppies are sponges soaking it all up quickly. 

 

But what varies from that point is what does your pup learn first, the verbal cue or the hand signal, AND which is more important for that particular action?

In one of my classes, students are asked to make a list of all their cues used to communicate with their dog including verbal and body language cues, then do a simple test. Holding perfectly still, hands at their sides and give the verbal cues watching to see how many their dog gets right without any body language for context. Then they do another test where they are to get their dog to do as many behaviors as possible without speaking a single word.

The results are always the same! Dogs often seem confused when we take human movement out of the equation and simply use words. Then when not using words, and only using movements we almost always see that the dog is more engaged and responding better.

There's a lot hype in the world about "animal communicators" or people who "speak dog!" I often get asked if I "speak dog!" And a way, I sort of do, but not in the way psychics claim to. 

  

I often know what your dog is saying or feelings because I'm trained to read canine body language and I understand canine behavior. I also have 30 yrs of learning to think about my movements and what might work to encourage a dog to do the behavior I want.

Have you ever taken your dog to a training session and see that your dog does better with the trainer than they do with you?

Why?  Clear communication! 

I work hard to understand your dog, using what I know about their individual personality, their needs, and their desires and then I use that ask them for behaviors that are easy for the dog to understand. Then the best thing about training with me, is that I teach dog owners how to do that too! We start with building clear communication using body language first, then adding in verbal cues after the behavior becomes easy for both owner & dog. It doesn't matter what behavior(s) you're struggling with, I can help you find the clear communication that will help you and your dog both be successful!

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