Using verbal praise with your dog doesn’t have to be hard; read these 5 tips

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Verbal praise should be upbeat and as full of emotion as you can muster

by Dog Blogger, Autumn

Using verbal praise is all about using enough emotion to convey to us that you are pleased with what we are doing.  Simply saying, “Good dog”, in a monotone voice won’t cut it.  Rather, verbal praise should be upbeat and as full of as much emotion as you can muster.

A good rule of thumb for verbal praise:  Your dog’s tail should be wagging after being praised.  If it is not, then you may need to put a little more emotion and excitement into your praise.

Here are some ways to use verbal praise:

  • Use this when your dog is in a command

    We get pretty excited when we are doing something right.  If you pet us, it may cause your dog to break the command

  • Use a lot of emotion

    Believe it or not we can smell when you’re emotions.  You need to sound happy and convince us that you are pleased.  Inflection means a lot to us.

  • Smile when praising

    Believe me when I tell you this, “Dogs are great at reading your facial features and body language.”  We can distinguish between smiles and scowls

  • Avoid too much direct eye contact

    Dogs are great at reading your face.  We don’t like when you stare, and too much eye contact can cause usto pop out of a sit or down and come running to you to make sure everything is okay.

  • Avoid using your dog’s name

    If you are looking at us, we know you are talking to us.  Using our name is like an informal recall.  By saying it you may cause your dog to come to you.  It’s better to say things like, “good [insert command here]”, or, “good job”, “good boy/girl”

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