14 top tips & hints to better communication with your dog

Fido Sit…Sit down…Fido…Sit…WHAT DID I SAY?!.NOW SIT (que the whack on the back-end to get your dog into position)!

Smile because you know it sounds familiar.

Something I witness on a daily basis between owner and dog are bad communication skills. What would normally be a relaxing exercise often ends in a frustrated one because of miscommunication.

If you are a dog owner and find you are constantly repeating your commands or if you feel your dog may have ‘selective hearing’ then the below tips will be of benefit to you.


  1. Never shout a command at your dog.  Shouting, anger, repetition and frustration will cause ignorance! Remember your dog will get frustrated too.
  2. Don’t repeat a command – if your dog doesn’t do what you’ve asked the first time either show him or move on.
  3. It’s okay to have expectations but don’t always assume your dog knows what you expect.
  4. Never attempt to exercise or train your dog whilst you are angry or frustrated. It will leave a bad impression for the next time.
  5. DO NOT EVER hit your dog. Hitting is just an adult way of throwing a tantrum and chances are you will lose 100% of the trust your dog has in you.
  6. Make sure your obedience training sessions do not last more than 15 minutes. The best and most efficient training will be done in the first 15 minutes, after that your dog will begin to lose interest and value will be lost.
  7. Do not make any training experience a negative one for your dog. If your dog enjoys obedience training and it receives rewards it will normally want to listen to you in any environment.

Using an incentive such as food is a great way to get your dogs attention.


  1. Always have an incentive – a dog will always want to know what’s in it for them. This could be treats and/or their favorite toy.
  2. Use the incentive to get your dogs attention.
  3. Only ask something of your dog once you know you have his full attention.
  4. Reward your dog within 1-3 seconds.
  5. Teach your dog a ‘Look’ (at you) command. This is super handy when you require your dogs attention. We use this command before nearly every other command and when our dogs minds have wandered.
  6. Read your dog’s body language. You should be able to tell the difference between a dog who is attentive and one who isn’t.
  7. Take a look at your own body language. Are you communicating clearly? Do you have a physical signal as well as a verbal?

Fido Sit…Good Dog! Fido Down…Good! Fido Stay…YES! (que the happy owner and happy dog).



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