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Tips from Matty
Body Language

Since you don't speak the same language as your dog, your body language plays an important role in both preparing him for training and during training.

Dogs are masters at nonverbal communication. They can communicate a variety of needs and desires to you through their behavior. For example, at dinner time you will likely find your dog spread out near the table with his chin flat on the floor and his eyes following the meat platter as it is passed around the table. He is actually begging.

Without even knowing it, you may be communicating important messages to your dog through your body language. And, threatening and overpowering body language may discourage him from responding to obedience training and encourage behavior problems such as wetting, chewing, barking or biting out of fear.

How to Begin...
A good rule of thumb... Always use non-threatening behavior around your dog. This is especially important when working with a shy, timid, or small dog.

When training, make sure you are in an environment in which your dog feels safe.

Remember, you are bigger than your dog. That alone may be intimidating.

Basic Dos and Don'ts...
  • When possible, get down to eye level with your dog and play with him.
  • When you are training, watch your posture. A casual, relaxed stance will make your dog think that you are not in charge.
  • Never point your finger at your dog in an accusing manner, and never hit him... He will learn to be afraid of your hands.
  • When working with a small dog, give him some space. Do not tower over him, or he will feel threatened.
  • Never stare directly into the eyes of your dog for more than a couple of seconds. It is unfriendly, challenging and threatening.


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