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Communication 101 – Canines and Humans

Dogs are very insightful communicators – much more so than the average human. Because dogs can sense and discern to a degree that exceeds that of an untrained human, it does not matter what you say as much as what you feel.

How you feel at any one given moment instantaneously transmits itself to:

  • Your body in the form of body language
    • Facial expression
    • How you hold yourself – how one part of your body relates to another part of your body, your posture, etc.
    • How you occupy your space, and
    • How you occupy the space you are located in
    • Where you are in that space
    • How the various parts of your body are positioned in relationship to other parts of your body
    • The footprint you are occupying
    • How you move, etc.
  • How you present yourself
  • How you feel and the impacts of that on
    • Your breathing
    • Your adrenalin level
    • Your heart rate
    • Your blood pressure
    • Your blood sugar level
    • Your scent.

Your Thoughts and Your Emotions Are Directly Reflected in Your Body Language

Whatever you want your dog to be you must be that thing first. Your thoughts and emotions provide direction to your dog – more so than the words that you speak. It is not about being an ‘alpha’ a much misused term. It is about providing real leadership.

Real Leadership Is

Real leadership is about directing from a place of pure logic, with insight, fairness, honesty, self-awareness, self-discipline, self-restraint, respect and true patience for the good of all involved. Arguing with your dog simply serves to create stress for both dog and human.

Dogs are Literal Beings

Dogs  are insightful observers and communicators – these attributes make literal communication of the utmost importance –  logic matters.

When a human who is in one state (i.e. excited, emotive, reactive) expects a dog to be in the exact opposite state (i.e. calm, i.e. non-reactive, etc.):

  1. The human must learn to be first what he/she wants the dog to be, or
  2. Reset his/her expectations

In failing to adhere to 1. or 2. above it is the human that becomes the source of trouble – not the dog.

It is important to understand that it is not that we can never feel anxious, depressed, sad, stressed, fearful around our dogs. It is instead to say that in those moments when you seek to direct your dog you must do so by first reflecting what it is that you want your dog to be and your dog will follow your lead.

Never feel sorry for your dog, never feel guilty as these are destabilizing emotions to both the dog and the human. Instead ensure that your thoughts are in alignment with what you want your dog to feel – this is leading by the right example.

Older Dogs Can’t Learn – Wrong!

The much used saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is false.

An older dog does not need to learn something new to change his/ her behavior…that dog already possess what is needed to support change.

A dog in his/her double digit years can and will change his/her behavior when communicated to properly – no voice required, no force required, no treats required.

The limiting factor is not age, it is instead whether the human is willing to learn!

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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  1. I have recently rescued two Yorkshire terriers. They had be left without food for along time.
    They were very evacuated when they were found and spent some time in hospital
    I have had them for two weeks nowi have to feed the,separately, due to them fighting over food.
    More recently they have started barking and snarling at each other..
    Most of the time they are loving and friendly.
    These episodes of barking and aggression happen in the evening..
    They are both toilet trained and affectionate.
    I need advice please.

  2. Wow…Glad i found this site…

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