How To Communicate With Your Dog

Use your voice to “speak dog” and not rely on treats all the time!

Introduction - Read This First!

After covering the lesson on POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, you should know that dogs are motivated by LOTS of different  fun things like food, treats, toys, playing, and especially love from their owners! 

In this lesson we’re going to show how to use your voice to praise your dog, instead of using treats. This is important because most of the time you won’t have treats on you, and eventually all dogs should to learn to behave and listen to their owners without treats at all!

It's Not What You Say, It's HOW You Say It​

A high-pitched, bubbly voice is clearly much happier than a low-pitched, stern voice. Dogs can tell this too. Verbal communication can be even more important than treats. To train effectively, you’ll have to start to engaging with your dog all the time!

So always remember:

Pro Trainer Principles:
If You Don’t Sound Like an Idiot, Then You’re Not Doing It Right!
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How To Praise With Silly Happy Voice​

The best way to use the right voice to train your dog is to smile! It’s tough to not have a happy voice when you’re smiling. And your dog needs to know that they’re doing a good job! Training isn’t about teaching your dog to be a robot, it’s about learning to communicate with them. 

Happy Voice Examples

Your Dogs Name

You should always use your dogs name with the nicest tone possible. You want your dog look at you when you say their name. If they’re far away they may even run over to you if you’re happy enough!

Recalls ("Come Here!")

One of the most confusing things you can do when working with your dog is saying nothing. So get used to engaging and communicating with your dog, especially when they do something good!

Here are some great examples of how to use a silly voice when training:

How To Praise At Any Time​!

Why Is Verbal Praise Important?: Praise Instead Of Treats

You can actually use praising and petting your dog as a “treat” too, as long as you’re really fast about giving them the “treat”, just like you would be with an actual food treat. Get really into is and make your dog super happy! 

it’s important to learn how to do this because petty and praise will be used to replace treats eventually. 

Pro Trainer Principles:
You Can Never Run Out Of Happy Voice And Petting
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How To Punish: Mean Voice​

A mean or stern voice is one of the few methods we will use for punishment. In general, punishments shouldn’t be used much, but light punishment can be used if your dog has already been taught how to do something the right way first, through POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.

Remember as a good rule of thumb:

Pro Trainer Principles:
Never Use Punishment As The First Option For Training
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Mean Voice Example: No Jumping On Couch (Automatic "Off")​

Here is an example from the UP AND OFF lesson where we first teach up and off, then use punishment voice to show the dog that we do not like him being on the couch at all. This is only appropriate because he was first taught “up” and “off”with positive reinforcement so that he could understand what to do when we got upset. 

Final Note: Constant Communication​

One last thing to remember is just how fast dogs communicate. Dogs are constantly giving each other signals about how they feel. Dogs work very quickly. You’ll need to understand that your dog is looking for the same amount of feedback from you about what is going on around them. 

Constant Communication Example: Beginner Leash Walking​

Teaching leash walking is a good example of just how much communication it takes to show your dog what you want them to do. When first teaching leash walking, it takes a lot of talking and engagement and silly voice to keep their attention and reward them for focusing. 

And as always, remember: 

Pro Trainer Principles:
Never Use Punishment As The First Option For Training
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Still Have Questions?

Still Have Questions?

Ask About Anything Not Covered In This Lesson

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