|Posted on October 17, 2010 at 9:03 PM|
For the last 20 years I've been studying, training, and learning to "talk" to dogs in their own language. Since dogs are not humans, it is not natural to assume that they understand what we are saying all the time. Sure, they do catch a word or two that we say now and then and react to it. But we already know that dogs can learn to associate 165 to 300 words with objects and/or commands. This is no surprise, however fascinating it may be. We also know that dogs have an amazing capacity to learn and be conditioned just as we do. That's how they come to understand that when you say "food" it's time to eat. Or when you say "toy" it's time to play.
But what I mean when I say "talk" to dogs is communicating with them via energy and body language. This is truly their language. Dogs don't know what your talking about when you come home from work and complain about your boss. But they do know how you're feeling at the moment. Dogs today have been bred to work closely with humans, therefore, they are experts at reading our energy and body language. Dogs can read people better than most people can. In fact, because they are predatory animals, their senses help them even further. For example, their eyesight was originally used to spot and track prey movements. They can pinpoint a small twitch of a tail from a great distance. Some breeds are better at this than others, but all dogs are better at this than humans. This incredible sense they have to detect small movements help them to read us. They know who their owner is from a great distance just by the way he or she moves, not to mention that they can also pick up on his/her specific sounds and smell. So in this department, dogs have a huge advantage.
Your energy is what they pick up on the most though. Dogs are amazing at deciphering the way a person feels. They then interpret what that feeling means for them and act accordingly. But as humans, we aren't nearly as good at this. We tend to act how we feel in the moment. If we feel mad, we act mad. If we feel sad, we act sad. If we feel happy, then... well, you guessed it! We act happy! Dogs are a bit different in this way though. A dog can feel insecure, but project confidence. They are so good at this that it takes a professional to detect that they are really just bluffing.
When I say "patience brings peace" what I mean is, staying calm and patient helps you to conquer bad behavior. When I say "frustration leads to chaos" what I mean is, frustration only makes things worse. The bottom line? How you feel determines your actions. If you are frustrated with your dog's behavior, most likely you will act frustrated. But this only leads to chaos and doesn't solve anything. To truly change your dog's behavior, you must overcome your feelings. You must project a calm and firm image into your dog's mind. They must believe that you are serious and will follow through to the end. When is the end? The end does not come until you are satisfied with the results. Sure, you can project a calm and firm image and not get the results you want. But the only reason this happens is because people do not follow through. Too many people simply give up and say, "Well, Fido just isn't in the mood today." or "Fido doesn't want to go outside right now." (Only to discover a pile of poo on the carpet 10 minutes later). If Fido isn't in the mood, then get him in the mood! Dogs don't have moods per se. Dogs see either a leader or a follower. No in between. If you give in to your dog, you are not the leader, you are the follower. Followers don't set rules, leaders do. So you've just allowed your dog to create a rule... I only go outside when I want to, my human can't make me. If this dog was in a pack of other dogs, he'd enforce this rule by growling, snapping, biting, barking, marking, muzzling, etc. Does your dog do any of this to you?
The energy that you project affects the result that you get. If you get nothing else out of this facebook note, please get this! This is the most important lesson I have to teach! Read it again... The energy you project affects the result that you get! If you project a weak energy, you will get a weak result. If you project an unbalanced energy, you will get an unbalanced result. If you project an anxious energy, you will always get an anxious result. But, if you project a strong energy, you'll get a strong result. If you project a balanced energy, you will get a balanced result. And if you project a confident energy, you will get submission. It's really that easy! The hardest part is teaching yourself to project an energy that you may not feel. You may feel frustrated, but you must overcome that feeling and project a strong and confident energy.
Energy also affects the way you hold yourself. If you feel a sad energy, for example, you will hold yourself in a sad way. What you need to learn is how to hold yourself in a way that contradicts your negative feelings. Because negative energy brings forth negative behavior. If you can hold yourself in a way that contradicts the way you feel, you can actually change your energy. I'm not going to say that it's easy though, because it isn't. But this is how dogs communicate with each other. There is no magic. Cesar Millan is not a magician that makes dogs lay down and roll over with a magic power. It's all about energy and body language. This is how dogs communicate. They interpret energy and how it will effect them and then act accordingly. Those dogs that lay down for Cesar, they know he will follow through because of the energy he projects. So rather than fight, they simply submit.
Don't be fooled however. Dogs will test you. Especially when you suddenly change your energy and begin to practice what I'm teaching here. It is true that dogs live in the moment, but if they've been living a certain way for a long time, they will challenge change. Some dogs give in quicker than others, but most of them will challenge you. They need to see if you are for real, or if you are going to give up. Do you mean the energy you are projecting, or are you just bluffing? Your dog will ask you these questions with a challenge. So answer them for yourself before you begin. Do you really want change, or are you just bluffing?
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