How to Speak Your Dog’s Language

  A responsible German Shepherd owner will always take time to learn how to communicate effectively with their dog. This means learning to speak in a language your dog will understand.  When you give a dog a command or talk to him, he doesn’t actually listen to the words you say. Rather, he’s responding to the tone of voice and the position of your body.   If you listen to your dog, you’ll notice he has a range and variety of different barks.Ranging from warning barks, happy barks, greeting yaps, growls, whines, whimpers, playful yips, attention seeking calls and excitable or playful barks. Each of these is tone-based and has a variety of lengths and meanings.

  In order to encourage your dog to continue repeating an acceptable or pleasing behavior, praise him using a high-pitched, happy voice. This tells him he’s done something that pleases you and makes you happy .he’ll try hard to do it again. You might even use an affectionate pat, or even a small food reward if you’re especially happy with something he’s done right.To reinforce that’s he’s done well and you’re really pleased.

  However, if he’s being bad or doing something unacceptable, giving a short reprimand that sounds a little like a low growl, such as ‘ah ah’, will remind him of the little guttural growls his mother would make to scold him when he was naughty. He should stop doing whatever earned him that reprimand.   Yelling at a dog is never seen as scolding in dog language. Your dog will assume you’re giving out the same warning barks that he is, or he will assume you’re being aggressive at some threat he can’t see or perceive. If you yell at a dog, you risk making him tense, but you won’t be effectively disciplining him in any way. In fact, yelling at him could be making his bad behavior even worse.

  A reassuring, loving tone of voice is fine for when your dog is having a goofy, affectionate moment with you, but giving this same reassurance during a time of stress or fear won’t actually help your dog to feel better.   In fact, if you reassure a dog while he’s feeling fear, such as through a thunderstorm, then he may interpret your kind words as being told he was right to be scared.   Offering your dog any kind of reward just for being cute gives him the impression that he doesn’t have to obey your commands in order to get treats. After all, if he waits long enough, he knows you’ll give him something to eat.

  It’s also wise to distinguish the difference between bribery and reward. Your dog should receive treats after he’s done something to earn them. He shouldn’t have to be shown a reward or bribed into behaving by waving a treat in front of his nose.   Always consider how your dog hears your tone of voice when you’re working on training techniques, when you’re scolding him, or when you’re playing. Remember that treats are to be earned and you’ll soon find your dog will understand what’s expected of him much more easily.

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