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Old 08-07-2014, 04:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When training a dog does it matter what tone of voice you use exactly? I've seen kids with high pitched voices commanding dogs and seen deep voiced people training a dog so does it really matter? I seem to notice my dog sits when I use a commanding voice but it makes me sound like some boss but not listening as much when I use a nonchalant calm voice. When I say things like good sit or something tho I unnoticingly say so in a kind of baby talking voice. Would that affect things much? I want the dog to be my friend not something I'm commanding in a dictator voice all the time
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use a firm voice when training. Not because I'm trying to be a dictator or anything, but because if you're not clear or you sound like you're asking a question as opposed to cueing a behavior, you give the dog room to ignore you. I get many clients who have dogs that tune them out constantly because the way they present their cues vocally is soft or questioning or uncertain. Dogs pick up on these tones in our voice and a firm voice is more attention grabbing then a question. Sort of like how if your mom mentioned casually she'd like you to take out the trash, you might put it off for a bit or may not even give it much thought the first time, but if she breaks out the "mom" tone, you know it's something you need to do.

I talk casually to my dog all the time (even baby talk sometimes) but when it's something I want them to listen to, I do take the tone for cues. It's simply a way for me to better differentiate for them whether I'm just chit-chatting to them or if I'm actually asking them to do something.

Trust me, you'll end up with a better friend if you have clear communication. That way he knows what is expected of him. It's not being mean or cruel, it's just building a language between you and him.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When doing recalls I typically try to sound more enticing. Most other commands are given like you would give a stubborn teen an order. When they comply or when im praising or talking to them I use the same tone of voice as if I was praising a two year old kid.

Tone of voice doesnt matter as much as the actual process and order of operations for what you do for compliance vs non compliance but it does play a role in keeping things clear to the dog.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Tone of voice and body language absolutely matter. If you want quick and excited, you need to be excited. If you want calm, you need to be calm. If you are being angry, the dog will know. Dogs are masters at reading body language and hearing your tone.

When you give a command, make sure it's a command and not a question. Firm but nice.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tone of voice and body language absolutely matter. If you want quick and excited, you need to be excited. If you want calm, you need to be calm. If you are being angry, the dog will know. Dogs are masters at reading body language and hearing your tone.

When you give a command, make sure it's a command and not a question. Firm but nice.
I agree with this 100%.

My dogs know when I am just playing with them and they know when I mean business.

My cousin is very soft spoken, doesn't raise his voice and when he wants his dog to do something it comes off as a suggestion rather than a command. The dog does not listen to him, at all.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Tone of voice and body language matter more than the words you're using...
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My training technique with all my dogs is based greatly on my tone of voice. I do not nag. I do not ask. I do not shout. In fact, I have found that all my dogs (different breeds) pay greater attention to me when I use a soft voice. I'll say their specific name first, and then clearly state my intention. My dogs know my tone and not the specific words I use.

I told a story once about my nephew telling me I should take Hondo to an IPO instructor and teach him to attack. I told my nephew that Hondo already knew a command for attack. At that time Hondo loved to go the barn. So when I'd say "Go to the barn?" He'd jump up and charge full steam to the door. The entire time he charged, he'd bark excitedly. My nephew did not know this.

I instructed my nephew to not move when I gave the command. That movement from him would encourage the dog to bite. I placed my nephew in a specific spot in the kitchen where I knew he'd be in the path of the door, and I stood nearby - for my nephew's safety. Actually it was to make Hondo think we were going to go outside.

Hondo was laying on the tile floor in the kitchen watching me. Nephew (who still thought I was pulling his leg) stood in the spot I requested. I looked at Hondo and said, "Hondo, Haggen dause?" I made up some German sounding name, but said it in the same tone of 'Go to the barn?" Hondo let out a roar as he scrambled on the tile to get up. He charged straight for the door, barking his head off. Of course my nephew was in his path. My nephew let out a very high shrill squeal and threw his arms up. I caught Hondo by the collar before he made it past my nephew to the door.

It was over a year later before I told my nephew of my deceit.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My training technique with all my dogs is based greatly on my tone of voice. I do not nag. I do not ask. I do not shout. In fact, I have found that all my dogs (different breeds) pay greater attention to me when I use a soft voice. I'll say their specific name first, and then clearly state my intention. My dogs know my tone and not the specific words I use.

I told a story once about my nephew telling me I should take Hondo to an IPO instructor and teach him to attack. I told my nephew that Hondo already knew a command for attack. At that time Hondo loved to go the barn. So when I'd say "Go to the barn?" He'd jump up and charge full steam to the door. The entire time he charged, he'd bark excitedly. My nephew did not know this.

I instructed my nephew to not move when I gave the command. That movement from him would encourage the dog to bite. I placed my nephew in a specific spot in the kitchen where I knew he'd be in the path of the door, and I stood nearby - for my nephew's safety. Actually it was to make Hondo think we were going to go outside.

Hondo was laying on the tile floor in the kitchen watching me. Nephew (who still thought I was pulling his leg) stood in the spot I requested. I looked at Hondo and said, "Hondo, Haggen dause?" I made up some German sounding name, but said it in the same tone of 'Go to the barn?" Hondo let out a roar as he scrambled on the tile to get up. He charged straight for the door, barking his head off. Of course my nephew was in his path. My nephew let out a very high shrill squeal and threw his arms up. I caught Hondo by the collar before he made it past my nephew to the door.

It was over a year later before I told my nephew of my deceit.
That's actually incredible that the tone alone makes the dog follow the same command despite a completely different name being used. It's nice to know then that using a firm voice won't break a bond as I don't want to be it's dictator .
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is one thing I define fly need to work on. I noticed the more frustrated or upset I am the higher my voice goes. So I'm really trying to catch myself using a higher. Lice and to calm down and use a more stern commanding voice. Still lots to learn but everyone here is so nice and have great ideas/opinions.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lisl absolutely knows what is what according to my tone of voice and body language.

She knows when we are playing and when we are working.
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