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“Communicating With Your Dog”
By Tabitha Davies, Venus De Fido Dog Trainer CPDT, ACDBC, AKC-E, TPU-E.

When people say things to me like: “my dog is not smart”, “my dog does not listen”, “my dog does this because they are mad at me” or even worse “he’s a horrible dog” I realize I am starting off their training plan by focusing on them and not their dog. Here is the dirty truth: Your dog is smart, they will listen, they are not mad at you, there is no disrespect, and they are a great dog…The communication between you and your dog is actually what is failing!!!

Effective communication is not just between people. Effective communication is required between dog and handler. When students start into a training class I ask them to first forget everything they knew about training prior to stepping onto the field. I then explain the whys of dog behavior and then the methods we use to change or modify those behaviors.

The biggest most important thing I can teach to a student is to have fun with their dog. When you have fun with your dog your dog has fun with you. When you are training and working with your dog as a team you are able to develop and strengthen your bond. This involves love and affection as well as mutual respect.

When you train your dog because you love them but you cant stand their behaviors you are actually training for life. You are making a decision to keep your dog in your family and to have them in your life for the rest of their life. Communicating with your dog on a level they understand and making training fun will make your relationship stronger and get the results you want.