Knowing what your dog knows about you maximises what can be achieved in residential dog training.
Although we are often unaware of how our emotions are affecting our body language, our canine companions will be sure to know how we are feeling based on these unintentional clues. When training a dog it is very important to be positive, friendly and open. A stressed mood can be communicated by tension in your body, a relaxed and cheerful mood will lead to productive and happy training. Dogs will pay attention to mood indicators even when you are not directly interacting with them.
Dogs are also able to read human facial expressions
Studies have shown that dogs are also able to read human facial expressions and can analyse not only their owners’ feelings but the moods of strangers. In fact, dogs are even able to assess communications between people and understand their states of mind based on the way they react to each other. There’s no point in attempting a dog training session with a grumpy human companion.
Once your dog has been a member of the family for a while, he or she will have made a close study of all your habits and will be able to predict your behaviour. In this way, dogs are able to adapt to human environments and become socialised, work for you or become support dogs. Therefore it is crucial to give your dog time to settle in and get to know your routines, then you can start training with a confident dog.
Some of the smartest protection dogs, including German Shepherds, can learn more than 200 words – this is about the same as a two-year-old child. A recent study undertaken in Budapest with family dogs found that the dogs understood the meanings of words and the tone of voice separately. You may notice that dogs who are particularly adept at language will respond to a familiar word when spoken as part of a conversation. It’s fun to experiment to see how many words your dog can learn.
The more time you spend with your dogs, the better they will understand you and what you want them to achieve.