How to Communicate Better With Your Dog

There are several ways to communicate with your dog. The simplest and most widespread is, of course, verbal communication. A dog does not understand a word like us, but he is still able to associate a sound with a posture and with pleasure, for example.

Did you know that a dog can also associate a gesture or a posture with an action? We will see that it is also very important to play with gestures and certain postures to increase motivation or understanding of what you expect from your dog.

Communicate with your dog

To make it easier for everyone to understand, we are going to simplify the way a dog restrains.

Imagine that the dog’s memory has a scale with two boxes:

A negative box: what your dog will have to forget, such as bad behavior.

A positive box: what your dog will have to start over.

To communicate well with your dog, by caricaturing a little, you have to fit into one of these two boxes.

If you want to improve a behavior and make it automatic, you will need to add positive value to the current action.

For example, I am mopping the floor: “Kirikou, are you going to the basket? “. It’s fine; I’ll give you a treat. One day, by dint of having repeated: pass the mop = you go to the basket = treat, your dog will automatically go to his basket when he sees the mop. He will have associated a positive effect with the treat (this is called positive reinforcement).

On the contrary, if you wish to unlearn an annoying behavior, there are 3 ways to proceed:

Remove a negative effect when you have obtained the desired action. Example: shouting “you go to bed, you go to bed!!! And stop yelling when the dog obeys (negative reinforcement).

Add a negative effect to an action in progress. Example: the dog is eating the sofa, I scare the dog, and I add a negative value while he does the stupid thing (positive punishment).

Remove a negative effect when you get the correct behavior. Example: I come home from work, my dog ​​is very happy to find me; he acts crazy and jumps on me. I put myself in a statue position, I cut off all kinds of communications (I don’t look at him, I cross my arms so he doesn’t lick me and I stand facing a wall). Once the dog has the right behavior, he waits quietly for me to come and say hello. I give him what he expects, a good caress, a big hug and a big kiss. I give him what he wants when I have the behavior I expect (negative punishment).

It is best to use positive reinforcement and negative punishment, these are called gentle methods.

For the well-being of your dog, it is important not to use physical or verbal violence.

Always remember to anticipate the dog’s education: it’s not when you need your dog to understand “go to the basket” that you have to force him to obey. You can be demanding with your dog when he masters an action. Remember to be with you too, to teach him everything you need. Here you can the best Dog Car Seat Cover at Family Pooch.

Give voice instructions to your dog and forget the orders!

The word indication is in my opinion more appropriate than the word order. I prefer to tell the dog what I would like him to do, instead of ordering him what to do. I teach my clients to use the interrogative rather than the affirmative form a lot.

For example, instead of ordering the dog:

We prefer to ask the dog:

Have fun pronouncing the order once and then the indication. Did you notice the difference?

And yes, when you ask a question, it ends with a higher pitch. This way of doing things will make a big difference because your dog will want to come, to please you and not by constraint, obligation! The interrogative form is very effective for communicating with your dog.

Indeed, an order has an impact on the negative, while a request is rather linked to the positive.

Attention, I am not saying that you should never give orders to your dog, but it is much better to start with a request and not an obligation.

Did you forget to gesture?

Helping your dog to understand you through gestures is possible!

We manage to educate a deaf dog!

Use your gestures as a “weapon” to facilitate your dog’s learning. Your dog will also be very happy to have more information to understand you.

To do so, it’s very simple. Add a different gesture to each indication.

Beware of the raised finger:  we tend to use it all the time! Remember to differentiate your gestures. You need to be specific to make it easier for your dog.

For example, a very simple gesture for the recall: crouch or hop or even run in the opposite direction to the direction of the dog. This will add a positive effect and a boost of excitement to encourage him to come back.

For the stop: a simple gesture will be to show the flat hand palm towards the dog to mark the signal, this will help your dog a lot.

Bedtime can be done by pointing to the ground with a wave of the hand.

Are you going to your cart? A gesture to show the dog the direction of his bed will work perfectly.

Adapt your gestures to learning your dog’s indications; you can invent anything you want. You just have to add it as an element, as information in your dog’s training.

Remember that you will have to be patient and repeat until your dog has automated what you are asking him to do.

Are you sure you are consistent with your dog?

Consistency is very important when communicating with your dog. Don’t forget that our dogs are small creatures that need good training to be on top. To make it easier for them, we need to be as consistent as possible.

You don’t have to say one shot yes, one shot no. You have to choose what your dog has the right to do or not. You should not say to your dog: “You can go up on the sofa, but only tonight” and a few days later, reprimand him because he got on the sofa again.

A second example: you play ball with your dog and your children, everyone is having fun, and the dog is also having fun. We are right on target in the image of the human/dog relationship. One day, you go to a park with your dog and some young people are playing football and there, disaster strikes: your dog goes to play and bursts a beautiful brand new leather ball.

Moral of the story: too bad for me if my dog ​​plays ball in an unsuitable place.

Giving your dog an old shoe isn’t very good either, for the same reason. He doesn’t know whether a shoe is old or new.

Or, use newspaper to teach the dog to pee, because we tell him: “its good grandpa, you pee…in it…” Prefer not to grumble inside and go outside with him to encourage him, to congratulate him with a treat.

So, communicating better with your dog isn’t that hard, right?

You now have a few more keys. I can offer you two simple rules to remember that I give to my clients:

Rule #1: Always yes or Always no. You will necessarily deviate from this rule, it does not matter, don’t worry. But at this time you should not get upset.

Rule #2: I give my dog what he wants, if I have what I want.

If you want support for the training of your dog in Gironde around Bordeaux, do not hesitate to call on my services.