Three Important Rules of Pet Communication

1st November 2018

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Your dog doesn’t speak English, and you don’t speak dog, but you can still communicate effectively with your pet. Your vocal tones and body language communicates volumes to your pet, but you should know that there are some things you shouldn’t do when communicating with your pet. Here are three important rules of pet communication everyone should follow.

Don’t use your dog’s name to stop him from doing something.

Dogs get excited by the sound of their own name. It’s usually a sound they recognise and often they associate it with coming in to and pleasing their owner. Always use your dog’s name in a light and pleasing tone of voice. Avoid using a gruff tone when using his name. If your dog is doing something that you want him to stop doing, chastising him using his name will teach him that his name means he is making a mistake. You may have recall problems later as he thinks his name means he is in trouble. Use a simple growly sound instead when he is making a mistake.

Never hit your dog

Physical violence and pain are not acceptable tools for communicating with your pet. If you hit or yell at your dog, he won’t understand why you’re angry. What’s more, if you become physical with your dog by pinning, scruffing, or alpha-rolling him, he may become worried about hands and learn that his pack (family) deals with problems by fighting. This is dangerous as a threatened dog is likely to bite and it is often a child that is bitten.

Don’t punish your dog after the fact

Dogs live in the moment and they also only learn in the moment. If your dog is misbehaving and you get angry or use a gruff tone when he looks at you or comes over to you, he does not connect your displeasure with his past bad behaviour. Always praise him for coming to you and make sure he considers you a safe, inviting place to be. Anything that he did prior to that moment is in the past and he can’t reason back in time. Your anger will only make him confused and unsure about you.

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