Yesterday I took back a Labradoodle we had been boarding for a Home Dog Training client in Acworth. Gloria was a great dog and she always loved to come to our house and play with all of our dogs. They run and play in the back wooded area until they are so tired that they can barely make it inside for dinner. As I was dropping Gloria off, one of my client’s neighbors came by and had a question. He said that when he tries to carry on a conversation with his dog, he just gives him a blank stare. “He seems to communicate very well with the other dogs at the dog park. What gives? How can the dogs talk and she and I can’t talk?”
As I have mentioned in the past, both dogs and humans communicate, just not in quite the equivalent manner. When dogs talk dog to other dogs, they use their body language and vocal sounds. When they first meet, dogs use their body language to figure out where each one stands in the group. Determination of dominance and confidence are often visualized by a stiff body, head and ears up, hackles up and tail up. Signs of submission and respect can be viewed by seeing a lowering of the body, the head, the ears and the tail.
Because our dogs naturally communicate with these body signals, it should be obvious that we humans would be able to communicate with them better if we can learn how to imitate the ways in which they communicate with each other.
A case of point; dogs don’t naturally understand the words that come most naturally to us. When dogs come together and neither shows respect for the other, they will issue warning vocals in the form of growls. The dogs naturally “get it”. They do not instinctively understand the verbal words we use.
That is why Robin and I emphasize that behavioral training is very important. It’s about understanding the way your dog thinks and communicates that will allow you to build the bond necessary to have a great relationship.
Dogs are social animals. They have a specific way of interacting, which includes a universal manner of communication. Learning how to communicate effectively with your dog in a language he understands is the first step toward establishing leadership and control.
Trying to teach your dog a few verbal triggers is good, but understanding his true communication method of body language is far more productive.. Once you communicate clearly with him by using a language he already knows, then you can start to teach him some of your own language.
The great news is learning how to “talk dog” is pretty easy. You will have to practice and change some of your “human habits”. If you observe your dog communicate to his friends and then to strangers, you will begin to see certain patterns of communication. You observe how they meet each other, how they greet each other, and how they call one another to follow. You observe and understand how they say they are fine or if one dog should back off a little bit.
Using your dog’s natural language to communicate with him is always the best way to interact. So, when you are trying to train your dog, it obvious that you teach him in a language he already knows.
Please feel free to call us at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training assistance. We are thrilled to have been your local dog training professionals for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.