Published at Friday, 24 May 2019. Dog Training. By Liane Rossignol.
The Body Language of Effective Dog Training. Training your dog is the ultimate expression of leadership: you are taking the initiative to teach, guide, and direct your dog. Your body language, therefore, should reflect your role as teacher and leader, communicating a calm self-confidence and composure. Let's look at the components of non-verbal communication as they affect your dog: Invite learning with your facial expression and demeanor. Your body language begins at the top, with your face. Training should be a positive, pleasant experience for you and your dog. Before you begin, and periodically throughout, consciously relax your facial muscles. Smile gently. Soften your eyes. Take a deep, relaxing breath, and keep breathing! When you are relaxed and happy, you present a safe haven for your dog's attention. (And there is nothing to be tense about, right? This is dog training, not world peace!) A soft eye will invite your dog to seek out your face, whereas a hard stare may intimidate your dog into breaking off eye contact, reducing your ability to communicate clearly.
The best training programs always emphasize the need for the trainer to be in charge of the dog, to become the ”Alpha dog”. You will be taught how to use your vocal tones and confident body language to present the right image to the dog being trained.. You must learn how to become the ”Alpha dog” in order to earn your dog's respect, confidence and trust. Once you have learned how to communicate to your dog the right way, and become the Alpha dog, you will find your dog is very eager to follow your lead and to do as you command. Becoming the Alpha leader doesn't mean you have to intimidate or yell or be mean to your pet. Being the Alpha dog is mostly about having and projecting the right attitude to your dog. It is your dog's nature to want to please its alpha leader. If you can establish your self as the leader, you will have no trouble avoiding dog training problems.
The Alpha Position: Every domesticated dog needs to be trained in this area. By no means should your dog be allowed to assume this role in your home or outdoors for that matter. Dogs do not speak, they bark, except for the Basenji breed of course, so do not assume dogs understand human language. Ultimately your dog needs to know that you are in charge and as such, your dog can relax, knowing that you will protect him. I know this sounds strange, as many of us assume the dog is there to protect us. Make no error, your dog will certainly ”come to the party” when his pack or any one of its members is under threat. This serves to re-enforce the concept of establishing the pack roles so that your dog knows exactly who is in and who is not.
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