The Four Pillars of dog language

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Dog language and the adjustment of behavior need not be complicated.  After a decade and a half of examining and questioning the dog training industry and observing other pet professionals and after learning and studying the Way of the Dog directly from thousands and thousands of dogs themselves I have broken down dog language into what I have coined The Four Pillars of Dog Language.  These relatively unknown pillars of canine communication and language are the essence of dog behavior and social interaction.  They are incredibly important to all canids on the planet!  The Four Pillars have nothing to do with positive reinforcement or punitive reinforcement – they go far deeper than shallow motivation.  Once you recognize and utilize The Four Pillars you will see rapid improvement in even the most difficult of dogs.

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The Four Pillars of dog language I’ve discovered and am sharing with you now are tried and true.  They stand the test of time.  Every single dog I’ve ever worked with knows and responds whenever I tap into these pillars.  It doesn’t matter what breed you have, what age the dog is, or the dog’s sordid past history – every canine on this planet, be they wild or domestic, use and clearly understand these pillars of communicative interaction!  The Four Pillars are instinctual and, thus, primal and powerful.

If more dog behaviorists focused on first learning these Four Pillars and then teaching dog language instead of settling for and being perpetually enthralled by frivolous trick training and dog obedience the world and dog ownership as a whole would rapidly improve!  If veterinarians knew the four pillars of dog language they’d be much better equipped to handle the large, fearful, and aggressive dogs that come for exams without accidentally adding more negative stress to the visit and the dog (this frequently occurs)!  If animal shelters and dog rescue groups knew the four pillars their adoption rates would skyrocket because dogs would settle down peacefully and adapt much faster to modern households and society!  But let’s not hold our breath.  In the meantime at least you and I, Dear Reader, can begin at once a deeper relationship with our dog as we, the curious, the questioning, the nature-loving, and the open-minded, embrace these Four proven Pillars of dog language.  Here they are for the very first time…

THE FOUR PILLARS OF DOG LANGUAGE

Touch

Space

Movement

Energy

 

The Four Pillars are what every mother and father dog concern themselves with when raising their young.  They are what all older social dogs rely on to remain socially skilled.  These Four Pillars are what either goes right or goes wrong when two dogs meet for the first time.  These Four Pillars determine whether a puppy will be a joy to live with and easily get along socially or if they will become a nightmare.

In the next installment (Part 2) we will examine each one and look at practically applying them with our dogs!

Thanks so much for following our blog.  Please tell your dog-loving friends about our blog or share our articles!

-G

http://www.stevensfamilykennels.com

http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com

Garrett Stevens’ five steps to perfecting playtime with your pooch!

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My dog, Rambo, getting some major “hang time” while going after the Frisbee. What an athlete!

This post is continued from my prior post entitled Slugs Do Not Play.  Worms Do Not Play.  It is a good post (about how intelligent dogs are and how playful) please read that one before this one.

If you play more with your dog or pup and play the right way (yes, there is actually a right and wrong way to play with a puppy or dog) you will be well on your way to an excellent relationship with an intelligent animal.  Here are my five steps for perfecting playtime with your pooch!

Number one.  Never let the dog play keep away from you.  By this I mean DON’T CHASE the puppy or dog.  It is great if You can be the one keeping away and You run from them.  This will encourage the chase instinct in them and then you can simply add, “Come” to the action as the puppy or dog is already succeeding in coming.  But if your pup runs away and you give it attention and yell and chase who is leading the situation?  Don’t let your dog know he’s faster than you.

Number two.  Try and work on pumping your puppy’s energy up and then calming it down.  Energy control is a huge issue that is greatly lacking in the dog training world but is critically important to all canines.  It is the only way the older dogs rear the younger ones. Wrestle to teach the puppy or dog how to develop bite inhibition (to play mouth at an acceptable social level) You have to determine where the level is or when they’ve crossed the line…not the dog. Calmness is key!  Use clear body language for play time and clear language for ending it or sucking all the energy out of the room in order to slow and stop the playing.

Number three.  Develop the prey drive in the puppy or dog for ease of maneuvering them into the classic typical training positions ie: sit, down, come, heel.  Remember the lower you keep the toy the more tempting and exciting it will be for the puppy.  A word of caution here, many owners (especially those with breeds that will readily retrieve or herd) need to beware of making the dogs addicted to the ball or toy so much so that they cannot play well and interact normally with other dogs at the park.  Instead this type of dog only “works” and is a slave to retrieving and can easily become possessive and aggressive towards any dog approaching or interfering with his ball/toy/work.  This is another area (as they all are) where the owner should use energy control and calming methods to help.

Number four.  You CAN play tug of war.  The only time I don’t recommend playing tug of war is if you already have a dog that is possessive over items.  Aside from that have at it and have a grand ol’ time.

Number five.  Hide and seek is fun and can strengthen the puppy’s “stay” command and their “come” or “find” command too.  Hiding an item or tracking games are also great

Play with your dogs to increase the bond in your relationship.  Use the five steps (especially on young pups or dogs that are weak in the obedience department)  and you will see an amazing difference.  Be aware of how smart that furry creature is and take steps to work with them.  If dogs can learn almost a thousand words don’t just teach them three or four and stop.  That would be the human equivalent to you graduating from kindergarten and then your parents yank you from school and don’t ever help in any way to further educate you!  Play and teach your dog more.

Have fun in all your playful adventures!  And buy my Hot-Listed book on dog and human behavior, Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You!  It will greatly aid in your relationship and help prevent or reverse behavioral issues too!

-G

for help with training, behavior modification, dog whispering, natural calming techniques or to purchase my fantastic training collar go to   www.gstevensdogtrainer.com