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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wolfie's Language

I talk to Wolfie and he just looks back at me with an empty stare.  He seems to communicate with the other dogs at the dog park.  What gives?  How does he do it?

The big thing that you must understand is that dogs and humans don't necessarily talk to each other in the same way.  To communicate with each other, dogs use body language and guttural sounds, such as barks and growls. When they first meet, dogs use their body language to assess where each ranks in the pack order. Signs of dominance and confidence are a stiff body, head and ears up, hackles up and tail up. Signs of submission and respect are a lowering of the body, the head, the ears and the tail.

Because dogs instinctively know and understand these body signals, it only makes sense 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.

For example, dogs do not instinctively know the words that come most naturally to us. If two dogs meet and neither shows respect to the other, they will issue warning growls. This again is a language that dogs already understand. They do not instinctively know “Spot, don’t come any closer.”

That’s why experts say behavioral training is so important—and that lasting training isn’t about treats and physical punishment. It’s about understanding the way your dog thinks and communicates in a way that establishes the owner as “top dog.” 

Dogs are pack animals. 
They have a specific way of interacting, which includes an instinctual 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.


So, while Wolfie might learn the meaning of a few words, he will learn more quickly if you communicate using his language. 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.

Learning canine is not hard. It takes practice, however, because it is not instinctive for you. If you watch Wolfie talk to his friends and then to strangers, you will begin to see certain patterns of communication. You learn how they meet each other, how they greet each other, and how they call one another to follow. You see how they let each other know when they are uncomfortable with someone getting into their space.

Using a dog’s own language to communicate with them is the quickest, most effective way of getting through to him. Thus, when we are trying to train our dogs, it just makes common sense to teach them in a language they already understand.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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