How to Train your Dog using Effective body language

Your body language may have as much of an effect on the dog you are training as the spoken language you are using. In some cases, it may have even more impact than your speech.

For example, a dog will sometimes ignore a reprimand if it is given by an owner who is in a crouch, or another position inferior to its own—say, sitting on a couch or standing on a lower stair than the dog.

There are two main reasons it would ignore you in a situation like this. The first is that, with your height lowered, you are in a less commanding position than the dog itself. The second is that you are now in a different position from the one you normally adopt while you ask your dog to respond to a particular command. Dogs only learn by association. For example, if you tend to wear a particular scarf every time you go out to feed your dog, it will eventually become excited whenever it sees that scarf, associating it with feeding time.

Therefore, if you change your usual stance while giving your dog a command, it may not associate this command with the same command given previously.

When, in a situation like this one, a dog does not respond to a command, the owner may mistakenly believe that it is being stubborn or defiant. The truth is, it is the owner’s body language that is confusing the dog.

Hands off!

As you have seen, if it is used correctly, your voice can be a very effective training tool. And it is far more useful than your hands.

Because dogs don’t have hands themselves, they find any form of discipline by humans that involves their hands both provocative and threatening. So you should never bully, smack or grab your pup. A pup that is regularly grabbed or smacked is likely to start biting its owner to stop this type of discipline.

It goes without saying, then, that you should use your hands as little as possible when you are training your dog. And, if you do use them, this should be only for gentle manipulation (placing your pup in a sitting or “drop” position), or patting. Your hands must always be associated with gentleness, and with pleasurable experiences.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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