Praising your dog shouldn’t be hard

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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 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 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, 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 your 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 us to 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.”

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.

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