I was with a new North Georgia Dog Training client last week in Kennesaw helping him with his new Chow Chow puppy. We began to work through all the common issues that puppies have regarding potty training, simple obedience, and the ability to correct inappropriate behavior.  The topic that our client found most interesting was regarding how dogs actually communicate.  We had explained that communication is key in his relationship with his new puppy.  If he couldn’t let his puppy know what he wanted, they could never create the proper bond of respect and focus.  

We explained to our client that when dogs communicate with themselves, they don’t speak like Skoobie-Doo or Huckleberry Hound.  They have a wonderful way of communication that can often be invisible and mystifying to us.  Dogs don’t speak English, Spanish, French, etc. So why should we think they would understand “Rover no! Get away from the food!”

Dogs have a much simpler communication process than humans. It is our challenge to understand how they talk and then communicate to them in a way that they understand. Here is the secret: body language and voice tones. It is that simple.

Our body language helps us assert our leadership and dominance over our dog. Let me be perfectly clear that “dominance” doesn’t mean that we are going to control through fear and intimidation.  This is where you yell and hit your dog.  This is not “dominance”.

Think of your fifth grade teacher.  Your teacher dominated the class because he or she built an environment of trust and safety.  We understood that if we listened to our teacher and followed their direction we would be safer, stronger, and happier.  If you remember, our teacher could often get our attention and focus by simply standing up from their desk at the front of the room.  We all understood that “height” is a natural measurement of dominance. 

When our teacher stood up, they were increasing their height and highlighting their increased dominance over the class. We understood that they were not going to hurt us but they were going to provide additional safety. So, the most important action that you must perform with your dog when you need to communicate with them is to stand tall.  it doesn’t matter how tall you are, just stand as tall as you can.

Next, vocal tones help us direct our dog to understand the rules. Our biggest challenge here is to understand that words are really sounds. Animals use sounds to communicate and we have to be able to do the same thing to successfully communicate with our dogs. In so doing, we must also understand that each sound we make must be unique and indicate one action, feeling, or event.  Sounds, unlike words, don’t have synonyms.

Communicating with your dog can be really fun and simple.  The really great outcome of all this is that all dogs “talk the same language”.  When you understand how to talk with one dog, you can communicate with all of them.

Please contact us at (770) 718-7704 with all your dog training questions.  There are many more dog training articles at Best Dog Trainers Kennesaw Georgia.  Locate all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Kennesaw Georgia.