Basic Training

Using Emotional Language to Train Your Dog

Using your emotions can be a great asset when you are communicating with your dog. Use your emotions (emotional language) to let the dog know you are pleased with a behavior, don’t be a robot. Your dog needs to get feedback from you. Emotional language is universal and all dogs everywhere understand it.

  • Practice this exercise: Ask your dog to sit, this is a 10 second sit. You must keep smiling and looking at your dog until the 10 seconds are up. When he’s successfully accomplished that target you can praise and fuss with him. Use your emotions.
  • He will probably break his sit, but that’s okay, he did what you asked. Do this a few times a day.
  • If he only gets to five or six seconds, use your emotions again, this time give him the look of disgust. What does your face do when you come upon something disgusting?  That’s the look the dog will understand.
  • You’re letting your dog know how disappointed you are. And when I’m disappointed like that, dinner isn’t going to come just yet. I will give him another opportunity in 10 minutes and do the whole thing again.
  • Without the emotional language, you will not completely communicate. I want the dog to read your emotions, so he must look at your face to do this.
  • Touch your dog, talk to him, and he will look at you all the time (default) for reassurance that he’s getting things right.
  • The quality of the relationship you have with your dog will depend on how eager you are to interact with your dog.  Your ability to read the dog is crucial, this means understanding your dog’s message as well as your ability to interpret what he’s trying to communicate with you and vice versa. This is a two way road.
  • Even though this communication is silent it’s profoundly helpful for bonding and understanding each other.

 

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