Dog whispering has become a very popular dog training technique. In fact, in some ways, dog whisper and clicker training is taking the canine world by storm. However, although the popularity of this particular method is fairly recent, the techniques themselves have been around for hundreds of years.
Dog whispering is based on an understanding of canine psychology, dog body language and behavior patterns, rather than being a specific training method that uses certain techniques. It takes into account your dog’s natural behavior and basically ignores traditional learning theories. As a result, this is actually a general “philosophy” more than anything to do with dog training. Once you understand their natural instincts, how your dog “thinks” and what their body language means, you will be able to “talk” to your dog with your own body language and gestures – a language that he will instinctively understand. This technique also highlights the power of positive reinforcement. This combination – effective communication combined with creating positive associations with desired behaviors – makes canine whispering techniques highly effective.
The importance of establishing yourself as a leader – someone who is reliable, confident and capable – is the core foundation of this method. All dogs are pack animals by nature, so it is very important to establish your position as your dog’s pack leader (the dominant “alpha dog”) when using this particular technique. Being an alpha dog is typically a matter of making your dog feel safe in a variety of situations so it understands that you are the pack leader and protects it from potential danger. Naturally, you will also need to establish your dominance, so your instructions cannot be ignored.
A good pack leader (or alpha dog) practices firm but calm guidance, so dog whispering includes a combination of affection, positive reinforcement and harsh, nonviolent corrections. If done right, this can give you a dog that is obedient and happy to be that way.
As with other training techniques, dog whispering requires patience, a calm demeanor and maintaining self-control. You should also remember that your dog will need a lot of repetition and lots of positive reinforcement before they learn the behavior you are trying to teach. Shouting, physical punishment, or losing your temper has no place in dog whispering (or any other dog training for that matter). In fact, most of the communication you will have when using canine whispering techniques, rather than raising your voice or even speaking out loud to your dog, will be through non-verbal body language and some occasional hand signals.
The primary way dogs try to communicate with humans (and other dogs) involves certain gestures and body language. So this technique requires you to have at least a basic understanding of canine psychology and dog behavior. Without this understanding, it can be easy to misinterpret or even completely overlook what our dogs are trying to tell us. When this happens, dogs tend to try more extreme methods of communicating, such as excessive barking when they feel anxious or threatened.
Unless you’re meeting a new dog, one of the best ways to communicate with dogs is to make eye contact. Eye contact helps each of you interpret the other’s facial expressions. However, give your pet some physical or verbal cues while maintaining eye contact. Without these other cues, a dog may interpret staring directly as threatening or confrontational behavior on your part. This is especially likely if the dog doesn’t know you.
Despite the importance of understanding canine behavior and psychology, you need to remain “human” when using canine whispering techniques. In other words, dog whispering doesn’t require you to crawl on all fours, bow, or wag your “tail” to get your message across to your pet. Dogs are intelligent, sensitive animals and they understand that you are not a dog. They are also smart enough to learn human body language. So, you don’t need to try to “be a dog” when using canine whispering techniques.
Instead, treat your dog with respect and dignity. Don’t try to be a control freak, but don’t treat your pet like a child either. Show your dog as much love as you want, but you also need to guide him in a firm, calm, controlled and respectful way. Any physical intervention, such as changing your dog’s position by raising one of its paws to teach it to “shake hands,” should always be done in a gentle, non-violent and non-threatening manner.
Dog whispering techniques can be used to successfully teach your dog all common obedience commands, including “sit”, “stay”, “come” and “down”.
This training method can also be used to deter unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking. Many people use devices such as anti-bark collars to stop their pets from barking inappropriately. Others yell or even hit their dogs. Neither method is particularly effective. Anti-bark collars don’t address the cause of the barking, and yelling makes the barking worse because the pet thinks the owner is barking at him. With these methods, if the dog stops barking, it is usually out of fear rather than a sense of respect and obedience.
Dog whispering techniques to stop barking involve looking for the reason why your pet is barking in the first place. If you do not perceive any threat in the direction your dog is barking, turn around and take a relaxed, calm stance. Your body language will tell your dog that you do not see any danger and therefore there is no reason for him to bark.
Dog whispers probably won’t work for every dog owner. It requires you to quietly trust your dog and be physically and psychologically dominant. Owners who are not confident or assertive will not be successful with dog whispering techniques.
Also, this training philosophy is likely to last longer than traditional dog training techniques. After all, you will need to spend time with your dog before you can understand each other.