Unlocking Your Dog’s Language: How Dog Listening Differs from Traditional Training

(AKA Why do I love Dog Listening so much?)

Training a dog to do something you want them to do can be great fun, but if the dog is having any problems in any areas of life or they appear to be having difficulty doing what you are asking, then the answers lie before training begins.

The most popular schools of dog training try to convince the dog do something different by using the carrot (“positive training”) or the stick (“balanced training”), and so here’s the major difference: Dog Listening is about learning their language and then giving the dog the reason to do the problematic behaviour differently.  Dog Listening creates the environment for the dog to choose to behave calmly.

When we learn from free living canines and learn the way they communicate, we can then help them cope with the human world and a beautiful understanding occurs.  Dog Listening gives our dogs the reasons for choosing calmer behaviour and choosing to follow our lead, (rather than being forced to and still not being convinced why, or, being able to do it for food in the house, but not when under stress in the park).  A domestic dog needs to understand how he/she survives and who in the family takes ultimate care of survival.  If they think it’s them, they will have a greater chance of reacting strongly to things, if they believe it’s us, they have a better chance of responding calmly to us in the moment.

When our dogs have problematic behaviours, we really want them to stop and change, of course we do!  That’s our first thought and desire.  But if we consider that, ultimately, dogs will behave like dogs in the environment that we humans we create for them, then actually it’s we who need to learn to interact in a certain way with our dogs so that they understand us.  Doing it this way round is so much more effective than expecting them to understand our language and our human behaviour.  It is true that changing ourselves is not always a popular choice.  And, as simple as the Dog Listening guidance always is, it doesn’t always mean it comes easily for a human!  But then, expecting blind obedience from one of the world’s most intelligent animals is often the road to confusion, reactive behaviour and a breakdown in communication with our dogs. Whereas working on communicating clearly and confidently in the language of dogs really does produce life affirming changes in a dog and deepens the bond between our two species.

Always calmly and kindly, the Dog Listening approach teaches humans how a domestic dog sees the world and helps us all convince our dogs they have nothing to worry about, so they can relax, respond calmly to us in the situations we place them in, and have fun being their happiest dog selves. 


PS. For an insight into how Dog Listening is different, and to discover the first step in creating the right environment for your dog, register here for my free training video – “The Very First Thing You Should Know About Dogs” 

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