Training Dogs – Myth Three
Training Dogs – Myth Three. Dog whispering is the best method for training your dog – Wrong!
Dog whispering is probably best known through a television program called “The Dog Whisperer”, featuring Cesar Millan. Although dog whispering is a humane way to train your dog, the belief that it is the most gentle way is not entirely correct.
A lot of its effectiveness is through establishing dominance and ensuring your dog is aware that you are both in charge, and control, as the pack leader. Establishing this often involves using firm physical gestures with your dog. This is done in a way which is not violent, aggressive or potentially harmful to your dog.
Some of the main aspects of this type of training include:
Establishing your role as leader: This is vital if you want to make the dog whispering method work for you and can only work well if you can make your dog feel safe and secure in many different social situations and interactions, but only if you have established your dominance as pack leader.
Don’t Shout: Whatever dog training method you use, shouting at your dog should never be part of it and actually reflects more on the owner’s lack of self-control. The one exception to this rule would be if your dog was in imminent danger – only shout on such an occasion, and you can be sure of a response when it is most needed.
Using Body Language: By this I mean your body language and your dog’s. Your body language can give a very clear message to your dog which is why you need to remain calm, but firm when training your dog. If you exhibit nervous, or fearful body language, your dog will interpret this as there being a reason to be nervous or fearful.
Using Signals: Dogs use a number of signals and gestures to indicate their intentions, defuse situations and send messages of “no threat”. They do also try to give us signals but if we don’t recognize them, we won’t understand what our dog is trying to communicate to us.
Eye-to-Eye Contact: This is one of the best forms of communication between you and your dog and establishing regular eye contact with your dog is one of the first steps to reading each other’s facial expressions. On the other hand, avoid direct eye contact when meeting a new dog as this can be read by the dog as confrontational.