Noise

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When I want to communicate something verbally, I say it and check if the listener has understood. I do it with the dogs, too. I try not to talk at them, but talk to them. They know their names, there’s no need to repeat them many times to get their attention.

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Repeating something countless times makes it meaningless (Lilylilylilylilylilylilylily or Brianbrianbrianbrian = Blahblahblahblah). Shouting doesn’t work (‘COME HERE!!!!!! – ‘Well, I’d better wait till she calms down’). Wait for an answer, be patient and reward your dog for listening to you. The time between the command and the response will get shorter with practice.

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Pay attention to your dog and he’ll do the same. Don’t contradict yourself. If you want to have a calm dog be calm yourself, especially in the most stressful situations. After all, that’s what you’d like to teach your dog.

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Don’t punish, communicate. I use ‘stop’ as I don’t like the word ‘no’. I say it once, calmly (I use gestures as well, ‘stop’ is palm of my non-dominant hand facing the dog for a second), and take the guilty party away from the danger. I ignore the misbehaving one, ‘no interaction’ is the only punishment I use.

I do get frustrated. But I know what I want: a happy, socialised dog who is emotionally bonded with me and is allowed to have his own personality. I want our relationship to be built on mutual respect so there’s no place for dominance, submission, fear or anger in it.

 

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17 thoughts on “Noise

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I always make matching bandannas for them (one side is the same, the other more masculine for Brian and more feminine for Lily). Unfortunately, Lily always manages to either lose or rip hers to shreds in some bushes … I do love ‘dressing them up’ (though the harnesses must be safe and comfortable first -I think that was the reason I started sewing them myself, I couldn’t find any that was ‘perfect’). You’ve made my day with your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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    1. I just don’t like ‘no’ but it’s not the word itself, I guess, it’s more the tone people use when saying it. Whatever word we choose, it should be a signal the behaviour is not desirable, not an expression of anger or frustration. I need ‘stop’ with Brian, it makes it easier – he’s getting more adventurous and we need to train more (I wanted to address the fear first, he’s much better now) ๐Ÿ™‚ I like your way of dealing with Erin, you’d make a good doggy mum ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I tend to treat animals as I would a three year old child…distraction mainly with Erin and the cats…probably not ideal at all as I’m far too easy going, but I hate raised voices and being shouted at myself I won’t shout at animals, kids or people! :)x

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      2. Lol! I always look at it like this: animals and kids are small and dependant so bigger people look after them and show them how to behave in a good way. As I said, possibly not textbook but shouting and punishments achieve little in my opinion :)x

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    1. Oh, I do have lengthy conversations with my dogs (and cats). Usually at home (just in case, I’m probably weird enough for most people). This doesn’t change the fact I wait for their response -sometimes it’s just ‘are you still interested in what I’m doing?’ ‘Yes?: then I go on’. But when I ask them to do (or stop doing) something, I wait for the action (or the action to be stopped) ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. I would like to expand on your initial statement.
    Repetition: If I tell Ray to “Sit!” and he does not, so I repeat “Sit!” and he does not, so I repeat “Sit!”.. and he does. Not only can he interpret that as “Sit! Sit! Sit!” before he has to do anything, but if voice inflections and increasing volume are involved, he is smart enough to note those factors also. It can easily make training extremely complex. The first thing that we were advised to do with Ray is teach him eye contact. Once you have his attention, you can start training him. If you don’t have his attention, then you are potentially setting him up for failure which is quite the opposite to the desired goal.

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  2. My favorite sentence in this post is: “Shouting doesnโ€™t work (โ€˜COME HERE!!!!!! โ€“ โ€˜Well, Iโ€™d better wait till she calms downโ€™).” I don’t shout at Tippy, but never thought about this response before. Tippy doesn’t like the “command” come. She is much more likely to respond if I say something like, “I’m going this way. Come on.” or, if she is away from me where I can’t see her I’ll call, “Tippy, where are you?” and she usually comes running. It is interesting the conversations you can have with your dogs.

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    1. Sometimes it actually works better when we don’t use our ‘training’ voice (I don’t have one, actually). I guess Tippy doesn’t like being ordered (I don’t blame her, who does?) ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the way you call her, it shows respect. And if we expect it, we need to give it to dogs, too ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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