How To Communicate With Your Dog

You too can use your body language and voice to let your dog know how you are feeling and what you want from him.

When he has done something right, a cheery sounding voice will let him know you are pleased. On the other hand, a deeper voice is a good indicator that you aren’t happy (and this is when you are likely to see those calming signals!).

If you are giving your dog a command, watch carefully what you say. Dogs connect behaviors with words, so the command “sit” is interpreted totally differently to “sit, sit, sit”. If you are frustrated that your dog isn’t sitting when you tell him, you’re more likely to repeat the command over and over again, which won’t help him to understand you at all.

Dogs are very good at interpreting body posture, so they respond well to hand signals. Many dog trainers use hand signals alone when they work with their dogs. The use of hand signals is particularly useful when your dog is some distance away, and may not hear or understand your verbal commands.

Next time you want to play with your dog, try a play bow. Get down on your knees and your elbows, with your bottom in the air, and watch his reaction. Most dogs will know exactly what you are saying, and will bounce up to you for a game. This is a good example of how important your physical posture is in communicating with your dog.

Relationships just don’t work well without clear and frequent communication between both parties. This applies to your relationship with your four-legged best friend. If you take the time to learn how to better understand what he is trying to tell you, and how you can clearly tell him how you feel, then the relationship will be stronger and more enjoyable for both of you.


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