Have people told you that trying to communicate with your dog is worthless?
They might not be 100% right about that. There have been many studies that show trying to communicate with your dog has benefits for the human and the dog. But just talking to a dog doesn’t really work. You have to learn how and when to talk to your dog to get the most benefit. Dogs come from a ‘pack’ mentality. They naturally and instinctively communicate as if they were talking to a pack. Does howling come to mind? So to try to communicate the best with your dog, sometimes using different tones of voice, or pitch could convey different meanings.
Let’s take some more time on this concept. If you want to praise your dog, it is simple and even instinctual. Just like you are inclined to do with a human baby you want to praise, your voice will naturally become higher pitched and have a happy inflection. Turns out that our dogs are called fur babies for the same reason. We talk to them with that same sweet “motherese” and don’t really need any training to do that correctly. So, go ahead and keep praising your dog in that sweet, cute, high pitched voice.
Your dog will hear this as clear praise and respond accordingly. Here come the wet kisses!
However, what about when it comes time for you to issue commands, especially those of correction? In this case, the absolute worst thing to do is to use that high pitched praising voice. So, if you have a naturally high voice, please pay particular attention. If a dog in the pack is out of line, what does the alpha leader do? Talk sweetly? No! The leader will utter a short, low pitched growl or bark. It is immediately understood by the errant dog and they will step into line quickly. That’s why it’s so important to use quick, short commands like “no!”., stop!”, and “off!” when you are trying to get Fido’s attention. Follow the way of the alpha leader and it will be understood the same way!
In the wild, do you think that the pack leader repeats themselves. Absolutely not. So, say it one and say it strong, whether you are asking your pet to sit, stop or get off! Then, if she fails to obey, say even more sternly one more time the same command, preceded by “no!” If they still fail to comply, it is ok to move them into that position, for example sit to show them exactly what is needed.
Help them to be successful by moving them into exactly the right position and then praising them afterwards. Just like children, dogs like to hear praises. So even though it might be challenging at first to develop these new communication techniques, it will be worth it in the long run. Remember, consistency is the best way to train any dog, or person for that matters.