What tone do you use when you talk to your dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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What tone do you use when you talk to your dog?

I tend to use a very firm voice when I talk to my GS. My first one listens to me explicitly. I just rescued another German shepherd and she's about 2 years old. Using a firm voice doesn't seem to work on her like my first GS. I've only had her for 3 days so far. I don't trust her to stay near me without a leash. Am I scaring her with using a firm voice or am I building respect?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 11:35 PM
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I think most trust and 'respect' is built without saying anything. But having 'said' that, I think the tone of voice is very important in communicating. The old saying of you collect more flies with honey than vinegar is true for any species As is body language, eye contact, etc. Since we don't share the same language we have to get into their methods of communication. You might want to read "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 11:41 PM
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I usually use the same voice I used when my girls were toddlers. I talk to her all day, actually, just like I used to do with the girls. I'm not sure why. I use my "goo-goo" voice when I'm praising her. I do have a stern voice I use when she's ignoring me, but then when I get her focus, it's goo-goo voice time.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 04:06 PM
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I give them commands in a normal tone of voice and they respond well. Since I have two dogs, I always preface which one I want to do something with their name. "Brody, sit." "Tsura, down." And they are smart enough to know the difference. In fact, I use the same commands for both, so if just say "sit," they will both sit, but Brody knows he doesn't have to if I say "Tsura" first.

If they aren't listening to me, I "bark" their names. Short, not angry, but moderately loud. It gets the point across instantly - they know they aren't in trouble, but need to stop whatever they're doing and listen NOW.

They never ignore the "bark." Brody took off once to try to go say "hi" to some people walking their dog down the alley. I "barked" his name and he literally left skid marks in the grass coming to a halt.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:09 PM
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i speak to my dog as if he were human.
we started speaking to him in the
manner starting the first day we got him
(9 weeks old). rarely do with have to use
a firm/raised voice with him.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:31 PM
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I use a playful/happy voice. If we're learning something new or praticing something old I also use the playful/happy voice as if what we were doing was the best thing ever. The exception is if we're doing some kind of calming activity or I'm giving him a belly rub right before bed or something. Then I still might use the baby voice but it is quiet, slower, lower pitch, calm...
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:45 PM
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I try to use a voice with a happy tone, and even when correcting it is upbeat. I'd rather my dog do what is asked out of biddability vs forced. Quiet voice tends to make me listen better, I may over do the quieter sounding voice. I don't use baby talk, but will sound silly now and then.
When I am doing a recall hier or ous I will sound firmer.

Now and then with Onyx, just the day to day management will have me with a firmer tone of voice, as happy happy joy joy doesn't get it.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i speak to my dog as if he were human.
we started speaking to him in the
manner starting the first day we got him
(9 weeks old). rarely do with have to use
a firm/raised voice with him.
I am pretty much the same but will raise my voice
if the situation calls for it.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:52 PM
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For some reason.. I don't know where it came from.. I use some kind of weird accent when I'm either praising them or asking them nicely to do something. Maybe it's a Russian accent, though the only person I ever knew with a Russian accent was a math teacher I had ages ago.

When I am being more direct with them, I use my regular voice that I use with humans.

I have recently noticed that.. say we're on a walk and they fixate on a cat, I'll give a firm "leave it" in my normal voice.. and when they turn away from it, I use my funky accent to say "Das a Goooot Doggeesh!"

Despite this, I manage to function somewhat normally in society.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ucdcrush View Post
For some reason.. I don't know where it came from.. I use some kind of weird accent when I'm either praising them or asking them nicely to do something. Maybe it's a Russian accent, though the only person I ever knew with a Russian accent was a math teacher I had ages ago.

When I am being more direct with them, I use my regular voice that I use with humans.

I have recently noticed that.. say we're on a walk and they fixate on a cat, I'll give a firm "leave it" in my normal voice.. and when they turn away from it, I use my funky accent to say "Das a Goooot Doggeesh!"

Despite this, I manage to function somewhat normally in society.
Many people talk nonsense to their dogs. Kinda like baby talk.
We are guilty of that. Although, I am still working on functioning normally in society.
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