Almost every dog owner does it, or has done it – intentionally, or otherwise The problem is, it’s making your dog tune you out, dismiss you, and even flip you the proverbial bird when you recall them because they have something better to do. What am I talking about? Read on.
When we talk to our pets all the time, the fact is that they actually only recognize a few words. Aside from those, the rest is just meaningless sound; a Charlie Brown-like “wah wah wah” that they quickly learn to tune out. And the more we talk to them, the more meaningless our sound becomes for them, until they’ve tuned you out so completely that they won’t listen to you unless there’s something in it for them like a food treat or a favorite toy.
One of the first things I tell my clients is, “Stop talking”. With the exception of giving the dog verbal direction, there should be little to no talking at all. Remember: dogs are not humans; their brains aren’t designed to process human language like human brains are. They really don’t know what we’re saying beyond the words they recognize. The outcome of excessive talking is that the dog eventually becomes almost completely desensitized to the sound of their owner’s voice. In turn, the owner is forced to bribe their dog with a favorite toy or food treat and hope their dog will at least look at them for a second.
If you have to bribe your dog every time you want them to do something, it might be worth your while to consider how much you have been or you are talking to them. Try going one full day without using sound to direct them. Use only your energy and your body language to direct them – see if that makes a difference. If you’re not sure how to do that, or if you’re trying but it doesn’t seem to be working very well, send me a consultation request. I’m happy to come and help you learn how to regain your dog’s attention. 🙂
Have a great day and a great weekend, and remember to stay calm and lead on.