Have you ever heard people say that it is super important to talk with your fur baby? Well, whoever told you is 100% correct! Study after study continues to demonstrate that pets who are spoken to are happier and better adjusted. So, in essence, the more you talk to your dog, the better. However, there are a number of important things to learn about HOW to talk with your dog. In other words, it isn’t enough to simply talk with him or her, it needs to be done the right way.
So, what exactly am I talking about? Remember that dogs follow the rule of the pack. They want to belong to a larger group, or community, and so have a natural instinct to communicate in that way. So, how exactly, do dogs in a pack communicate? And, how, as the alpha leader should you address your fur baby? Well, it all depends on what you are trying to communicate. Did you know that the way you speak, the tone of your voice, the pitch you use all convey different meanings?
Let’s delve into that concept a little bit more.
If you want to praise your dog, it is simple and even instinctual. Just like you are inclined to do withj a human baby you want to praise, your voice will naturally become higher pitched and have a happy inflection. Turns out that our dogs are called fur babies for the same reason. We talk to them with that same sweet “motherese” and don’t really need any training to do that correctly. So, go ahead and keep praising your dog in that sweet, cute, high pitched voice. Your dog will hear this as clear praise and respond accordingly. Here come the wet kisses!
However, what about when it comes time for you to issue commands, especially those of correction? In this case, the absolute worst thing to do is to use that high pitched praising voice. So, if you have a naturally high voice, please pay particular attention. If a dog in the pack is out of line, what does the alpha leader do? Talk sweetly? No! The leader will utter a short, low pitched growl or bark. It is immediately understood by the errant dog and they will step into line quickly. That’s why it’s so important to use quick, short commands like “no!”., stop!”, and “off!” when you are trying to get Fido’s attention. Follow the way of the alpha leader and it will be understood the same way!
In the wild, do you think that the pack leader repeats themselves. Absolutely not. So, say it one and say it strong, whether you are asking your pet to sit, stop or get off! Then, if she fails to obey, say even more sternly one more time the same command, preceded by “no!” If they still fail to comply, it is ok to move them into that position, for example sit to show them exactly what is needed.
Help them to be successful by moving them into exactly the right position and then praising them afterwards. Although it may seem challenging for people who are patient and sweet, remember that this is exactly what your dog wants to hear. They want to know what is expected and then to be praised for a job well done. Just like with children, dogs can never hear too much praise and encouragement.
So, remember there are two ways to communicate with your fur baby. Know when to use each one. Know when to be curt, use a lower pitch when and be stern. Then, in turn, be comfortable with heaping on praise after they have done what you asked. Heap on the good girl, sit and good girl, stay. It will always help. Let us know what you have tried and help this community as we all learn to better talk with our dogs.