Getting Your K9 To Listen

Posted: July 7, 2010 by at Problem Solving

There is an old saying. “If you want to he heard then say little”.

A chatterbox is annoying but more annoying to a dog because it can’t tell you to shut up. So a dog just shuts you out. Constantly talking to your dog creates a situation where your dog thinks that you are just flapping your chops again and tries to escape the noise by tuning you out. And it is just noise to a dog. Dogs don’t understand a word you ever say, only the tone of your voice. Your dog isn’t really going to ever learn a language so the words you use to command your dog should be chosen for tactical reasons.

Sounds with strong resonant properties like Ka, Ba, Ga, etc are the preferred sounding words. The word ‘Come’ has a more resonant sound than the word ‘Here’. Words with one syllable are preferred also. The command is only as good as the delivery. So how do you use these strong words to their full effectiveness? Well what you do is, cue the dog first. Let the dog know that you are about to give a command. For example, teach your dog to listen to a particular sound, which comes before a command. Then when your dog hears this first word in the sequence then you will have your dog’s attention. Then the second sound it hears is the command itself. The dog should then be rewarded for performing the command correctly.

So what is happening with this sequence is the dog learns that it needs to be mindful of the command that comes after the first sound it hears because this will lead to a reward or a correction for that matter. Teach your dog to focus on a sound. Then give the command. Then reward your dog.

In Summary – You need to teach your dog to focus on a sound, which is the predecessor of the actual command. That way you can gasbag all day long and your dog will always listen immediately upon hearing that one particular sound that tells your dog you are now talking to him.