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    8 - Train your voice

    8 - Train your voice

    Dogs have a very acute sense of hearing and can pick up a variety of pitches and sounds. Like people, they respond well to praise and an interesting, well-paced speech pattern. They will be far more engaged and keener to learn if the person that is working with them uses their voice effectively.

    You can even practice encouraging your dog to respond to a whisper somewhere quiet. You may be amazed at how even a dog with ‘deafness’ can become more switched on and focused if you vary the way you communicate with him verbally. Timing is also important. When you give an oral cue, allow him a moment to hear and understand your request and then respond accordingly. Many owners fall in to the trap of either talking too much or not praising enough when teaching their dog new skills. A weak,  at or monotone voice, or gruff, short commands will do little to motivate your dog and a terse attitude can cause a dog to withdraw and become aloof or depressed. At the other end of the scale, a permanently excited, squeaky high-pitched voice can over-arouse or confuse a dog. Facial expressions naturally follow the cadence of the voice, and boring intonation equals a very dull and uninspiring teacher. Even if your dog or puppy is deaf you can still use your voice to praise and encourage him as he will learn to read your body language and respond to your facial movements.

    Be positive

    It is far more pleasant for both you and your dog if you use positive words rather than negative terms and let him know how you do want him to behave rather than focusing on the unwanted behavior. For example if he is being noisy, it is clearer to the dog if you ask him to ‘be quiet’ rather than shouting ‘don’t bark!’ Your mind will have clear image of your dog being peaceful as opposed to seeing the continuing behavior.


    If you are training a new behavior with the clicker, remember not to talk or add a verbal cue until the dog has fully understood what you are asking him to do.

    Physical contact and soft words of praise are highly appreciated

    From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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