Basic Puppy Communication: I don’t speak your language

Basic Puppy Communication

We all have encountered it at some time or another, trying to speak to someone who just doesn’t understand our language.  It can get real frustrating, really quickly.  To top it all of, you may not be able to get your point across and you miss out on something that could have been pretty good for you.  Well, this situation is the one that I walk into on a daily basis. I see very well-intentioned folks trying to communicate to their family pet and utterly failing at it.

The root of the issue is that dogs just don’t understand English the way you and I are capable of.  So what is your dogs natural form of communication?  Body Language.  It’s seems pretty obvious, but how can we help our puppies learn their commands easily and clearly without all the problems you may be experiencing right now?  Well, here is a list of the most common tips I gave folks to help start communicating better with their body language.

  1. Come to me – Moving away from your dog and lowering yourself will tell most dogs to come to you.  I see many people call their dogs and then start chasing after them with a scowl on their face as they continue yelling.  Just to be clear, if you did that in Texas to a person, you should be prepared to see them pull their concealed handgun on you.  Don’t chase your dog.  You can really make things easier for your pup by kneeling down with a huge smile on your face as the puppy moves towards you and then play with him when he gets to you.  One of the exercises we have people do is very similar to this.  We have one person hold the puppy, while the other person walks away teasing the dog with their favorite toy or treat.  When the person teasing the dogs gets about 15 steps away, they call the dog’s name.  The other person releases the dog and the puppy comes bounding forward with great enthusiasm.
  2. Paws on the ground – Now here is another one that may help you, moving towards your dog, especially if they jump up on you, will tell them to back off.  This technique alone normally does not get rid of jumping but it’s a good start.  Many times I will combine this with marking the moment that the puppies feet are all on the ground.  I usually recommend to people who have jumping dogs, to wear clothes that prevents them from feeling the claws.  Your own personal pain is a quick way quickly to derail your training and start communicating poorly.  Stay patient as you teach your dog to keep his feet on the ground.  Remember this, he is only really telling you that he is happy to see you.
  3. If you keep doing that with your face, it will get stuck that way – I love when I see dogs looking up at their owners when they are out on their walk.  This can be created by the way you deliver reward to your dog.  Now, I have seen many different techniques to help make this behavior, like spitting treats from your mouth, but I’m not going to ask you to do that unless you like the taste of Hebrew Nationals.  What I like to do is to deliver the treat directly over the top of the dog’s head while the dog is sitting by my left side.  This can be a bit tricky as you will have to position the treat in the palm of your hand upside down.  You could hold the treat between your thumb and forefinger, but many dogs will then be nibbling on your finger tips.

Okay its time to get out there and be better communicators with our pets.  Stay patient with your pal and you guide him to learn how to live in harmony with you.  A small amount of time training with your dog will lead to many years of happiness and fun.  If you would like to learn more about how to be a better pet parent, we offer a free eBook that has your name all over it.  Fill out the from below, and it is our free gift to you.


Understanding your Dog

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