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Understanding Dog Emotions: A Key to Successful Training

A small dog looking worried out on a walk

In the world of dog training, it's crucial to recognise that emotions often take precedence over rational thinking for our furry companions. Whether it's fear, anxiety, or overwhelming excitement, these emotions can sometimes overshadow cues like Sit, Stay, and Come. While it might appear that your dog is being disobedient or stubborn, it's essential to understand that there's always a reason behind their behaviour.

To truly comprehend your dog's state of mind, it's essential to be attuned to their body language. Subtle signs such as vigilance, flicking their tongue, or a mild pant can indicate nervousness. Dogs, much like humans, sometimes need to assess their surroundings for potential threats before they can fully focus on cues. This behaviour doesn't signify disobedience but rather a natural response to a perceived concern.

Distinguishing between nervousness and distraction is a skill every dog owner should develop. When your dog is merely distracted, their attention might wander, but they remain calm. On the other hand, nervousness manifests in behaviours like being vigilant, constantly scanning their environment for potential threats.

Training Approach:

Understanding the emotional aspect of your dog's behaviour is distinct from teaching them to respond to cues. By associating positive experiences with cues, you can create a positive emotional response, making it more likely that your dog will be able to listen to you and do what you ask of them.

In summary, on the journey of training your dog, it's vital to recognise that emotions play a significant role in their behaviour. Rather than viewing them as disobedient or stubborn, consider the underlying emotions that may be affecting their response to cues. By being attuned to your dog's body language and incorporating effective training techniques, you'll strengthen the bond with your furry friend and pave the way for successful training experiences.

Does your dog not listen to you? Get in touch for professional help.

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