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Do you talk to your dogs?

  • Rarely

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I had an interesting experience yesterday. We went to see one of my trainer (ex-military dog handler). I like him. He's the only one so far that has taught me to wrangle and work both my dogs at the same time. He said that I should talk to my dogs while we are training, and heeling. To be enthusiastic, to have fun. My new trainer wants me to praise the dogs while they are heeling. Which is okay, I am willing to give his method a good try. So interesting that there are so many different theories and styles out there.

I thought that was interesting, because I had been taught by my first real trainer (I am not counting Petsmart!) not to talk to them, other than to give commands and say good boy in a calm voice. I was first taught to praise with touch only, a soft, gentle small caress that would leave the dog wanting more. When I issued a command at a distance, then I was taught "good boy". The only time I was effusive was for "come", then it was good boy/ that's my boy/ yes!

And now my mind is full of questions.

Do you talk to your dogs? Full-on conversations? Praise while you're training and heeling? Or are you quieter and silent except for the commands you issue? Do they react to your talking? Why do you talk to them?

PS I am generally a serious and quiet person.
 

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I talk to mine. My 6 month old is very treat motivated, but even better he is super praise motivated. He will do anything for excited praise which makes him very easy to train. My older girl loves her praise but for training she is all about her ball. Each dog is different in what motivates them. I always try a little of everything to see what's best with each.

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I talk to mine like a person. And he has picked up an amazing amount of language.
For example, "Come" works but what works even better is, "Rumo, do you want some (insert food item)?"
I find that between tone of voice, a few words here and there and the context, it's like he really understands everything that's going on and it gives an illusion that he understands all that we say!

I find that when training, my voice gets more formal and I don't make small talk except for a "Yes!" to mark when he does it right. It's like we both understand and agree that we are "working". I do think it would be natural to talk periodically during Heeling by saying, "good boy! ...yes! .....good! .....yes!". But that's probably frowned upon in the real dog training circles.

But ours is just a pet, and an old guy, so training isn't a big deal here...it's more like a rainy day activity...
 

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I didn't think anyone didn't talk to their dog .... :p
I communicate with my dogs all the time, not like little children (they're dogs) and not constantly but good boy or "yes" as affirmation that what they're doing is correct, works a heck of a lot better than some light touch imo but what do I know. I have always trained the same way with all my dogs.

GSD in particular look to you and love to communicate both physically (hands, eyes etc) and verbally. My older GSD will come, come to heel, sit, lie down and heel all to hand signals or eye enforcement
 

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Of course, nonsense talk but also the official learned commands that will have to be followed up and then being rewarded with praise (if learned) and/or treats (when still learning).
 

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Spent a morning with Elke looking through the whole house for her ball. We had a good time looking under the furniture with a flashlight, me asking her repeatedly where she left the ball. Finally gave up. About an hour later husband comes along and I told him what we did. He pointed to floor and said, "that ball?" and she smiled and wagged her tail. Did she know all along where it was? I dunno, SHE wasn't talking.

But, yes, we talk to the dogs. Elke is a chatterbox and she has taught Duke a few 'words'.
 

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I always talk to my girls. Blu has picked up so much of what I am saying and it amazes me. Blu is a year old and Redd is 11 weeks and when I say, "Who wants a treat? Okay, go in your crate!" they both go to their respective crates and sit and wait for their treat. I did nothing to train them for it, it just kinda happened. Or if Blu does something naughty, like tear up her little pillow, I will scold her and her ears will go back and you can tell she feels bad. I think it's all in the tone of voice. Or maybe body movements. Regardless of what it is, I will keep talking to them and continue to be amazed by them.
 

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I was chatting with Bud one day. Telling him how gorgeous he was, such a hunk and how much I loved him and how any woman would be lucky to have such a stud. Girls should beg for his attention.
We were out on the front step. Lol.
Very red faced meter reader pops his head around the fence. Then cracks up laughing.
He had been standing there for several minutes, unsure what to do, until he heard me say something about all the fur! At that point curiosity got the better of him!
 

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I talk to my dogs, especially when I am working with both at the same time. I do try to keep commands short and sweet with plenty of quiet time but when we are goofing around, I will make comments. I figure the dogs are paying attention to tone and body language when we are just goofing around anyhow.
 

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I think that’s what my husband is really missing the most with Hunter gone. He’d have entire one-sided conversations. More than once I’d ask him to repeat what he said only to get “I was talking to the dog”!
It was a private conversation 😁
 

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Yes, my dog is my therapist, he’s a good listener ;)

but yes, I am working on mydog being voice command only. He used to be so bad that I’d have to constantly tug his prong. However I now use a 20ft leash and let him have slack and when he acts up I voice command him. It works 90% of the time, if it doesn’t I correct with the prong. I’m hoping by age 3 or 4 he will be able to be 100% voice command but we will see. He’s 2 now
 

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I use hand signals and body language a fair bit. I can non-verbally correct my dog at home by putting my hands on my hips and glaring at him. He knows he's 'done bad'. I walk my dog on a long line as well. Hand signals are great for changes of directions, stop, drop and come.

Human to human,"the interpretation of a message is 7 percent verbal, 38 percent vocal and 55 percent visual. The conclusion was that 93 percent of communication is “nonverbal” in nature."

.
 

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I had an interesting experience yesterday. We went to see one of my trainer (ex-military dog handler). I like him. He's the only one so far that has taught me to wrangle and work both my dogs at the same time. He said that I should talk to my dogs while we are training, and heeling. To be enthusiastic, to have fun. My new trainer wants me to praise the dogs while they are heeling. Which is okay, I am willing to give his method a good try. So interesting that there are so many different theories and styles out there.

I thought that was interesting, because I had been taught by my first real trainer (I am not counting Petsmart!) not to talk to them, other than to give commands and say good boy in a calm voice. I was first taught to praise with touch only, a soft, gentle small caress that would leave the dog wanting more. When I issued a command at a distance, then I was taught "good boy". The only time I was effusive was for "come", then it was good boy/ that's my boy/ yes!

And now my mind is full of questions.

Do you talk to your dogs? Full-on conversations? Praise while you're training and heeling? Or are you quieter and silent except for the commands you issue? Do they react to your talking? Why do you talk to them?

PS I am generally a serious and quiet person.
I talked to Kias at different times. When we were out playing or walking together, I praised, conversed, and corrected verbally. When training, commands and praise were upbeat and verbal and corrections were through his prongs or slip collar, non-verbal and without emotion.
 
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