Dogs are amazing, but they face a difficult time understanding how to fit in with our human environment. They are extremely clever at adapting to changes, that is why they have been so successful at evolving alongside us. However, despite the amazing bond between humans and dogs we speak two completely different languages. It makes sense as owners and trainers to learn as much as we can about how dogs communicate with us so that we can help them to integrate safely into our lives.

We connect with our dogs all the time, voice tone, body language, facial expressions, how we smell.(Dogs have 220 million scent receptors compared to a human's 5 million! )They monitor our every movement and believe me, dogs are experts at noticing and reacting to our body language.We are often training our dogs to do things without even being aware of it just by the slight variation in the way our body moves.

TOP TIPS.............

The best motivator for your dog is you! Always praise your dog for offering good behaviour. Use a calm voice to praise your dog, tone is very important.

Always use high quality treats when training,like small pieces of cheese or cut up sausage or small p
ieces of liver. If your dog is not food orientated pick a special training toy.

Observe your dog. Get to know how your dog communicates with its body language. How does it move, watch it's facial expressions, is the tail held high or low? Are the ears relaxed or alert? 

Your dog will learn more if you keep your training sessions short. 10 minutes three or four times a day will be more beneficial than training for an hour.

Socialise your dog. Your dog needs as many positive associations with other well balanced dogs, people, children, noises to help them become a well balanced member of the family. (NB when introducing children to puppies and dogs an adult must be there to supervise at all times.)

Dogs do not generalize well, so it is important to train your dog in a variety of locations, home, the park as well as getting your dog used to different surfaces like grass, carpet, concrete, lino.

Useful Reading:

Patricia McConnell- The Other End of the Leash

In Defence of Dogs-John Bradshaw

Karen Pryor- Don't shoot the dog! The new art of teaching and Training

Jean Donaldson- The Culture Clash

Turid Rugaas- On talking terms with dogs: Calming signals

Burch and Bailey- How dog's learn