When working with an animal, any animal, silence or quietness is key! In fact, the more silent you are (if you are using silence right) the more serious you will be taken by your dog. Take a moment and imagine what our dogs go through living in a world of human noise. From our own constant talk, to our TVs, from TVs to radios, cellphones and land lines, horns and car stereos, airplanes flying overhead, construction sites, and whatever other new technology we have to blast more sound energy into our immediate atmosphere. We live in a world of sound pollution. I believe it is bad for the human soul and mind to be subject to all that noise (even though we are now desensitized to it and even conditioned (Pavlov would be proud) to turn the noise on as soon as we are in the home or car. It is horrible for us… but imagine if we were an animals….Even worse!
When working with your dogs or pups today try and use less talk. Turn off the electronic devices. Block out the noise! Did you know that a deaf dog is just a readily trained as a hearing dog (possibly more readily trained due to the fact that it does not have the overwhelming noise and human chatter to deal with constantly)? Dog’s use energy levels and body language to communicate and their verbal (outward sound communication) is only a very small part of their lives.
Above is a pic of Saint Francis of Assisi taming the wolf of Gubbio. An interesting legend. Apparently the wolf was ravaging and eating the towns’ livestock and then graduated to devouring the villagers themselves. It had killed so many people that soon the entire town feared to go outside the gates! When the wolf sprang at St. Francis he was able to tame it and later led it back into the town of Gubbio, the wolf calmly walking with him. He promised the wolf that if he stopped terrorizing the people and their livestock then the people, in turn, would feed him daily. For the rest of the wolf’s years he came into town and was fed. Later, inhabitants of Gubbio even mourned at the wolf’s death.
The point of me sharing this short story with you…Monks are known for their vows of silence and their attempts to live peaceably on this earth. Calmness and quietness are key!
Use and develop hand signals with your dogs. The sign language you develop should be simple, easy to use, and actually goes with the motion you want the dog’s body to move into. Use your own body to communicate to theirs. Use your own energy to communicate to theirs. Stay quiet and you’ll find greater results working with your dogs, greater calmness, greater control, greater patience, and greater results in your self and your own energy and body movement. Have fun experimenting with this stuff!
“A closed mouth gathers no foot.”