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March 27th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
Let’s have a bit of fun today.
I came across this article about a Montreal city councilor who purposed a bylaw that would require all dogs in public parks to be bi-lingual.
Earlier this week, Montreal city councilor, Benoit LaDouce, proposed a bylaw that would require all dogs in public parks to be bi-lingual. According to Mr. LaDouce, “Dog parks in our city are chaotic and communication is at the heart of the conflict.” In his mind, K9/citizen relations would be more harmonious if dogs in public spaces understood commands in both English and French.
Turns out the article was fake, a big joke.
I was fooled at first because I could imagine some bonehead proposing a law like this.
The problem is that many people have a tough time just teaching their dog ONE language.
Actually, it is much easier to learn how to “Speak Dog” than it is to teach your dog to learn English.
Here’s the deal:
ALL dogs have a universal language that they all understand. DOGS are extremely social animals and in order for them to survive, they had to develop a way to communicate.
Dogs are way more in tune with your body language and what your posture is saying than what your verbal commands are.
The way you stand and how you position your body speaks volumes to your dog.
Take the recall (coming when called) command. If you lean forward or puff yourself up, you make it very difficult for your dog to come to you.
Your dog is reading your body language and it is NOT inviting to your dog.
The correct body posture would be leaning back or crouching down. This body language communicates a much more inviting signal and makes it much easier for your dog to come to you.
So the next time you call your dog to you, pay close attention to your body language and make sure you are not giving the wrong or confusing signals and you’ll get much better results.
P.S. This is not a magic pill.
Understanding your body language can make a HUGE difference but you still need to lay the foundation.
This “Dog Speak” discussed above is called Drives in the dog training world. Every dog has three primary drives:
Pack, Prey and Defense.
Your dog is always in one drive while you are training. You get much better results when you know what drive your dog is in and how your body language affects the training.
It’s easy to understand and the reason I go so in depth about it on the Ultimate Online Recall course.
Here’s where to go next:
Ultimate Online Recall Course
January 9th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
I don’t know about you but when your dog does NOT come when called it can be extremely frustrating.
I got my start with dog training by doing security and protection dog training.
I think learning to train a dog for protection and police work is extremely valuable because you learn to work with the dog’s drives.
Every dog has three basic drives: Pack, prey and defense.
Drives are very interesting and not often talked about within dog training circles.
The interesting thing to understand about drives is that your tone of voice and body posture affect your dog’s behavior.
For example, leaning forward and over towards your dog can put your dog into defense drive.
This can secretly “sabotage” your training.
Your body language can actually make it difficult for your dog to come to you when you call.
If you lean forward and call your dog to you, your dog will look at your body language and it will make it hard for him to come to you – especially if your dog is on the sensitive side.
When you are training your dog, you have to make sure your tone of voice and body posture enhance your training and do not hinder it.
The right body posture for coming when called is to lean backwards or to squat down. Getting low to the ground is very inviting to a dog and makes it much easier to come to you when you call.
In emergency situations, lying on the ground is a great way to get your dog to come to you.
Anyway, drives are extremely important to understand and use.
It’s the reason I included a whole section on drives in The Ultimate Online Recall Course.
If you’d like to know more and use the right body language to teach your dog to come when called, check out:
July 27th, 2012
By Eric Letendre
Did you ever notice…
…that if your wife (or husband, girlfriend, boyfriend) is mad at you they don’t need to say a word.
The other day I was in a bad mood over something and Rachael walks into the house and asks, “What’s wrong?”
She could tell by my body posture that I was not happy.
This is very important for anyone training their dog.
Especially when it comes to the recall (come when called) command.
One of the most influential trainers in my life taught me the concept of drives in dog training and it is really fascinating stuff.
You see, your dog is always in one type of drive. There are three primary drives in every dog:
Your dog has to be in the correct drive when you are training.
When you stand up straight and talk in an even tone of voice your dog goes into pack drive. Get on the ground and talk in a high pitched voice and your dog will go into prey drive.
Stand leaning forward and lower your voice and your dog goes into defense drive.
When you call your dog to you, your dog has to be in the correct drive which is prey drive.
If you are leaning forward and if you lower your tone of voice it will be difficult for your dog to come when called because your body language is communicating a different message.
This happens quite often. The dog is sniffing and poking around and the owner says, “Junior, come on, come here.” The dog ignores the command and the owner gets frustrated: “Junior, come here. JUNIOR, GET OVER HERE” as they lean forward and point their finger.
The dog looking at the owner and hearing the tone will avoid the owner’s command to come or if the dog does it, the dog will do it reluctantly.
The correct drive is prey. Get your dog to switch into prey drive and your tone and body language will be correct, making it much easier for your dog to come to you.
It’s easy when you become aware of it.
Anyway, your dog will get much better at coming when called by just making this one change.
There is a whole section on drives and how to use them for better dog training results over at The Ultimate Online Recall Course:
All the best,
April 27th, 2012
By Eric Letendre
My wife, Rachael, came home last night, walked in the house and asked: “What’s wrong?”
I was amazed. How did she know I was mad?
I asked her how she knew something was wrong?
She said, “I could just tell.”
You see, I had been working out in the yard all day clearing brush, raking and cleaning up.
Just before she came home, I was driving the tractor and not paying attention, had driven right into a low hanging branch, bashing my
head into it.
I was more mad at myself than that it hurt.
Rach asking what was wrong before I had even said anything to her was a very good dog training lesson.
What your body language says is often more important than what your voice is saying.
Let me splain:
Your dog pays VERY close attention to your body language.
The position of your body will communicate different information to your dog.
Dogs have three primary drives that help them survive. The three drives are:
When you get down on the ground or lean back you can trigger your dog’s prey drive. Standing up straight and walking with your dog activates your dog’s pack drive.
Leaning over your dog will trigger your dog’s defense drive.
Understanding drives helps you understand dog behavior.
When you train a dog to walk next to you, your dog should be in pack drive.
A dog trained in protection work needs to be in defense drive.
A dog that is learning to come when called needs to be in prey drive.
If you lean forward and call your dog to you, it could confuse your dog because your body language is communicating the wrong message.
By leaning back or squatting down, you make it much easier for your dog to come to you because your body language is communicating the correct message.
Most dog trainers never teach this and it is the reason I included a whole section about body language and drives in The Ultimate Online Recall Course.
It can make a HUGE difference when you are teaching your dog to come when called.
I beleive that the fastest way to train the recall command is to understand this little-known concept.
It’s easy and fun.
You can learn more about drives here:
All the best,