What Your Body Language Tells Your Dog

Dogs have a specific way of talking to each other and often use body language and voice tones. Learning how to communicate with your dog in a language he understands is the first step in establishing your leadership. By using body language and voice control, it is a language that is instantly recognized by your dog. and not something he has to learn. Dogs respond instantly in most cases.

Speaking with dogs in full sentences will get you nowhere. A dog understands its own language instantly whereas it may take time for him to learn the human language

Dogs crave good leadership, and if they don’t get it from their owners, they’ll take charge. It’s their nature. This can lead to bad behaviors such as barking, jumping, aggression and pulling on the leash-all examples of the dog taking charge.

There are several ways for an owner to establish leadership. It is very typical for an owner to want to go to his dog instead of making the dog come to him or her. This communicates to the dog that he is the leader, as the leader will always have the other members of the pack come to him.

You can also establish leadership by always walking ahead of your dog, whether it is up the stairs, through doorways or especially on walks. In your dog’s mind, the leader always leads.

All requests from your dog must be granted on your terms. When a dog constantly nudges you to be petted, for example, you should break eye contact immediately. When he has given up, call him back to you to be petted or to play. When he responds to you, versus you to him, he will begin to see you as the leader.

Oftentimes owners grab their dogs or, in the case of small dogs, pick them up, to stop them from going somewhere or doing something undesirable. However, when an owner is physical in this manner, the dog has only two options: fight or flight. If a dog can’t run to get away, his next option is to bite. This may not happen in every situation, but the dog will inevitably feel threatened by the action, whether he bites or not. This is not a conducive mindset for a dog to be in when an owner is trying to train, control or protect him.

If you want your dog to come to you, use body language and voice tones that are inviting, crouch down, and call him in a sweet voice, praising him as he comes to you. If he is likely to jump on you when he comes back, make sure you stand up just before he arrives, displaying confident body language.

Gaining respect and trust from your dog is all about establishing leadership, and the most effective way of doing so is by using your dog’s own language to communicate with him. By learning and practicing proper forms of body language and voice control, your dog will see you as his fearless leader in no time, leading to a calmer, more relaxed household for everyone.

If you need help training your dog, contact Michael Konstantaras — I’ll be happy to help!

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