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Blog: Dog Speak!

What is “Dog Speak”? It’s an effective training method used to better communicate with your canine; and, understanding your pet too.

We so often want to speak words because it’s what we are most comfortable with. However, did you know that it’s much more of a challenge for a dog to understand our words than our nonverbal(s). I, of course, use verbals with our canines, but most often than not, I try not to use words. This is a bit more challenging for the human than the dog. It takes a bit more work, since a lot of what you need to focus on within yourself is your physical orientation (where are your eyes directed on, and feet position etc.) and energy from within yourself, (i.e., attitude). Plus, you need to learn your dogs body language; why are his ears pointing in a specific direction, why is his tail standing up straight etc.

I’ve been working with dogs for about 30 years. Most of this time was spent learning the psychology of the dog and relationship between human and canine. My skills have been honed throughout the years with the help of our trusted canines; they have taught me so much, and courses I’ve needed to cover for my canine dog certifications have obviously opened doors to study in length (at times), community between packs of dogs or wolves.

Dogs size each other up when together. Most times, they aren’t looking to engage in a fight, but to understand the crowd of their peers. No different than guys walking into a bar and sizing up the women, and then they turn their attention to their peers to better gauge their competition.

So start learning your dog’s body language. Just sit in a quiet space and literally just watch your dog even if he/she is sleeping. Pay attention to their ears, eyes, back, and when they’re awake, carefully watch your pet take in the scenery and find out what has caught its interest, while paying attention to his/her whole body. This is “dog speak,” dogs learn in this order; nose, eyes, ears.

Indoors, offer puppy a very lovely, special treat. Let him see it, but don’t let him get too close or else you might need to reload (if you know what I mean), and say, “come,” and direct puppy to his mat, carpet etc. Always, lovingly touching the dogs chest, side of head. Do this exercise for a few days, until you can direct the dog by simply pointing to the mat without words, but with the dog expecting his/her wonderful treat along with a touch. Once the dog becomes proficient, you will then intermittently offer the snack. Finally, you can begin using lesser valued treats, but continue with this exercise until you feel confident the dog understands what you are asking him to do.

The end result should look like this: Dog comes inside, you point to his mat/bed, dog will walk over, you will place your hand under his chin, stroke dogs chest, and place your head against dogs forehead, and mentally say sweet things about pup. You don’t need to do this every time.

Remember, dogs judge us from the inside out. A dog, when spoken to with negative words, feels your inner core and knows how you feel about him/her. They don’t understand words as much as we think they do. Try this exercise: say negative words with a happy face to yourself, whilst looking in the mirror, and then tell me you aren’t feeling them. You can also do this exercise, whilst looking in the mirror, but ONLY saying negative words to yourself in your head. I guarantee you, you will feel them as if you shouted them out LOUD.

We know if we speak negatively to ourselves, we will begin believing them. So why do we do this to our dogs?

🐾 Happy Tails! and remember let's think positive thoughts because whether you say them out loud or you don't; your pup knows exactly what you are saying.

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