When you have a dog, it can sometimes be exhausting trying to get them to listen to you. With a mind of their own, they have their moments in which they are extremely stubborn. But communication between a dog and its owner is essential – so above all, you should try to keep it positive as you are building a relationship with them.
When you get a new dog, on top of getting them the best wet dog food, toys and other supplies, you need to take the time to train them. And you must discover the correct ways to do so.
Most issues that arise with training your dog comes with miscommunication. Therefore you must take the time to get to know their personality and use the same words over and over until they understand.
If you feel as though you’re banging your head against the wall, follow these tips and you might be able to communicate with your dog better:
Dogs learn from consistency, so if they are doing something wrong, you must make sure that you are calmly (yet in a negative tone) telling them that it’s wrong. Similarly, if they are showing good behaviour, say ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’ and give them praise.
When it comes to commands, be very specific. When you want them to sit down, always say ‘sit’. If you don’t want them on the couch, make sure that you don’t interchange the commands – keep them the same every time. Each family member must use the same commands, otherwise the dog will get confused and training them will take longer.
Use Distinct Tones
How we say commands to our dogs is crucial. The different tones in our voices will distinguish between the various corrections, commands and praise. If you want them to follow a command, say it in a strong and firm tone of voice. For corrections, these should be given in a sharper tone. Praise, on the other hand, should be in an excited and pleased tone to show them that you are happy with them.
Watch Their Body Language
You can tell from a dog how they are feeling from their body language. If their tail is down and their ears are back, they are often scared or intimidated. Alternatively, if their tail is wagging and they are panting, they are happy. Watch this behaviour and tailor your communication with them accordingly.
For example, if they are mouthing or grabbing and you start yelling at them to stop, they might carry on being aggressive. You need to be patient but firm and repeat corrections so that they stop.
Most Common Commands:
Sit: almost everyone knows this basic command. This can be given before eating, whilst waiting to cross the road, etc.
Down: repeat this when you want your dog to lie down. This can be as a way of giving them a treat or if you want them to get into their bed.
Ouch!: you should give this command if they are mouthing and it begins to hurt. Showing them that they are being too aggressive, when it’s repeated they will learn to stop.
Off: use this when you want them to jump down from the sofa, off of other people, etc.
Come here: when they hear this they should come over to you – whether it’s for food or to put their lead on for a walk. It should always be given in a cheerful and inviting tone.
Leave it: when you want your dog to drop an object or step away from food.