Are You Encouraging Your Dog’s Bad Behavior?
Are you encouraging your dog’s bad behavior with praise and non-verbal communication cues while the dog is misbehaving? Florida’s Best Dog Trainer Laurent Gabriel is the owner and CEO of Elite Professional Dog Training in Winter Park, Florida, and Lake Mary-Sanford, Florida. Laurent explains how and why you may be confusing your dog.
Human Communication Confuses Dogs
Human communication confuses dogs. Dogs actually respond better to body movement or body language than they do to actual voice commands. The voice commands are mainly for humans to be able to communicate with their dogs.
Dogs Read Non-Verbal Communication
But you know there’s non-verbal and verbal communication, right?
Well, non-verbal communication is what dogs like. So, we may say we want the dog to do something, but our body — our non-verbal communication — is saying something different.
Do You Pick Up Your Dog When It’s Barking?
If you have a small dog and the dog is barking profusely at other dogs or at other people, and you pick up the dog and you’re saying, ‘No! Don’t do that!’ The dog doesn’t understand, ‘No! Don’t do that!’ The dog understands you picking the dog up. And you are petting the dog so, “No, don’t do that,” is actually a good thing to the dog. So that makes him say, ‘Oh, I’m doing a good job.’
You’re encouraging that behavior, and then you’re wondering, ‘why is my dog still doing this?’
Well, it’s because you’ve been encouraging that behavior the whole time!
Dogs With High Prey Drive
It’s just like if you have a dog that likes to chase things, has high prey drive, chases bikes, chases people running, chases squirrels, and so on.
If you are trying to teach your dog to stop chasing something:
- First of all, you don’t put the dog in between your legs. You’re backing him up in his behavior with your body language.
- Second of all, you don’t pet your dog while he’s in that intense moment, because you’re saying, ‘This is what I want you to do!’
Think Like Your Dog
When that chase object comes by, and that dog lashes out, and you pull him back and you bring him back to your side, and you start petting him, you’re saying “Good job. I like that!”
When your dog continues to do it, and you’re getting upset, you’re not looking at the dog’s perspective. You’re looking at your perspective. So that’s where a lot of the miscommunication comes in. So reel it back to that.
You have a lot to learn about your dog and it’s not what you think.
I Teach Your Dog, And I Teach You How To Understand Your Dog
I work with clients to understand their dog’s behavior and teach students how to work with the dog who is going to finally figure out what you mean.
You can say one thing, your body language is going to say something else to your dog and you’re going to get upset at the dog, but the dog’s like, “I’m only doing what he told me to do.”
You can get a consultation with me and I’ll evaluate your dog to decide whether Private Lessons, Train & Play, Boot Camp, or Doggy Daycare is what your dog needs. When your dog training is completed, I work with you so that you will know how to communicate properly with your dog. And, you can come to Group Class to keep you and your dog at one with each other while communicating what you want.