Training your dog to understanding every word you say could be the most complicated part of your dog’s entire life. However, once you’ve opened your mind, you’ll find that a great deal of the time is simply being able to ‘read’ your dog’s intentions and body language.
‘Understanding’ your dog isn’t necessarily as difficult as you might imagine. Often, just like with people, a simple yes/no answer will suffice for him to receive the appropriate reward. In the case of training your dog, a simple no will suffice for him to receive the reward, followed by a more yes when he empowers you to do something else.
He once tried to get me to play a game with him. Instead of handing him a treat, I wrote a note telling him the game was over, and ignored him. He was shocked that he should get a treat for being refused the game, then shocked that I responded to his ‘please pet me’ with a yes. He was really very confused!
When he saw that I was ignoring him, again, he tried to get me to play the game. And again, I would write the note, thus ignoring him again. He was losing, and it was making me angry. Now, when I give him a little treat, he runs to the door in a hope that I will play. He is currently trying to decide whether I should try to stop him from getting the treat, or if instead, he should just do it on his own.
In other ways, too, his ‘reading’ of my body language has increased my anger. For example, when we were in the park a few weeks ago, when a puppy brought a ball back to the owners, my husband read the puppy what you should do when you bring a ball back to you.
The puppy understood my husband perfectly, but understood my anger. As he took the ball, he sniffed it and left it, knowing that it was okay. When he let it go, my husband read ‘Agusi’ and immediately responded in an angry voice to the pup, telling him that he was a bad, bad puppy and his owners were punishing him.
The puppy understood what he was being punished for, and there was no need to bite his owners. But he learned that he would be punished if he brought the ball back, even if he did it right. He learned that he would be scared if he did it wrong, and he also learned that he should leave things alone when he knows that his owners will react angrily.
The point of all this is that your dog is always reading your body language to learn not only what to do, but also what you’re feeling. Dogs can’t talk to us. They read our signs all the time.
Have you seen all the different ways that your dog is able to communicate? Watch your dog as you interact with him and notice how he is able to read your mood.
How Does Your Dog Understanding Your Emotions Work?
Dogs are able to understand emotions because they understand the tense, happy, and fearful emotions that we experience. They are able to sit next to you on the couch and know that he is going to get canned with a yummy treat, but he also knows that you are going to react with worry and maybe even a bit anger if there is a thunderstorm or you see lightning.
If you are scared, or sad, a dog will sense it whether you are holding your hair on end or not. If you are encourages, he will exhibit the same emotions. A dog wags his tail when he is happy and puts his nose to the ground when he is concentrating. His mouth is a muscle, and his lips are what allow him to smile, sadly or happily.
Dogs are very sensitive animals. They can be trained by using kindness and positive reinforcement. If you want to encourage desirable behaviour, but you are in a bad mood, do not shout, abuse, or strike your dog. You will only have a very disturbed dog if you have that kind of attitude.
Empathy and compassion are the key to success with your dog. He knows what you feel, because you spend every moment he is in your company and insight. When you are in a bad mood, he knows it, because you don’t spend a great deal of time in a bad mood. rumbling to be released from a terrible mood means to him that you are miserable both.