How do i teach my dog to smile

Smile! immerses its readers in canine culture in a manner that provides incredible insight into human behavior. It is about reducing tension, communicating clearly, leading the way and honoring pivotal differences. It is about practicing kindness, dumping bad habits and finding happiness. It is about the energy we share and the state of mind behind that energy. It is about Smile! immerses its readers in canine culture in a manner that provides incredible insight into human behavior. It is about reducing tension, communicating clearly, leading the way and honoring pivotal differences. It is about practicing kindness, dumping bad habits and finding happiness. It is about the energy we share and the state of mind behind that energy. It is about letting go of the stuff that isn’t working, and it is about teamwork.

If you equate training your dogs with frustration and failure, fear not! This book’s commonsense, canine-savvy, smile-based approach will be of great help, and it will bring meaning and enjoyment into your life. After all, if you aren’t happy, your dogs can’t be their best! . more

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If you can relate to learning something new and feeling “Wow! I wish I knew this years ago!” that’s how you will feel when you read Smile! Chapter after chapter, it’s the perfect combination of human psychology and canine psychology, and the practices Dr. Swanson teaches works really, really fast. I did what she recommended, and my dogs responded as if they were saying, “Thank you! It’s about time you got what we’ve been trying to say.”

Smile! is practical and straightforward (yet thought-provoki If you can relate to learning something new and feeling “Wow! I wish I knew this years ago!” that’s how you will feel when you read Smile! Chapter after chapter, it’s the perfect combination of human psychology and canine psychology, and the practices Dr. Swanson teaches works really, really fast. I did what she recommended, and my dogs responded as if they were saying, “Thank you! It’s about time you got what we’ve been trying to say.”

Smile! is practical and straightforward (yet thought-provoking), and I like that you can apply its wisdom moment-to-moment. Unlike other books on animal psychology, it doesn’t get bogged down in scientific terminology and paragraphs on apes and chickens. And it is smile-based! Why is that so neat? To quote from the book (Chapter 2):

“We reward our dogs with sincere, relaxed smiles. What, no dog biscuits? No “good dogs?” No clicker clicks? That’s right, smiles ninety-five percent of the time. Why is that? Because smiles don’t lead to mouthiness the way treats can. Smiles don’t elevate a dog’s energy the way “good dogs!” often do. Smiles are always with you. They can’t be dropped by arthritic hands, and they don’t leave crumbs in your pockets. Smiles can be used selectively when working with multiple dogs, and we don’t even have to be looking at a dog for them to send their message. Plus, giving smiles to others helps us let go of a lot of our unwanted stress, through the release of endorphins (our very own happy-molecules). This further helps us to communicate with our dogs! Because dogs aren’t happy where there is tension. Dogs just don’t love the drama. Have you ever tried to smile and be dramatic at the same time? Fortunately, it is hard!”

You have to love Smile’s cover, too. It’s got a picture of two smiling goats hanging out with a happy little dog and three smiling dobermans!

According to the back of the book, all the proceeds from its sale go to dog rescue and public library projects. Pretty cool. Check this book out, especially if you have issues with your dogs that you wish to solve! I found it at givesmiles dot us, though I know it is available elsewhere. . more

How do i teach my dog to smile

Dogs can learn a great many tricks, and smiling is just one of them. However, getting your dog to follow commands is not always easy, and many people are not well skilled at training their pet. We have assembled a short guide to help you teach your dog how to smile in just a few steps with a good chance of succeeding. We’ll discuss the steps as well as go over some tips and tricks you can use to improve your chance at success. Here’s how to teach a dog to smile!

The 5 Steps to Teach Your Dog to Smile:

Smiling is one of the more unusual tricks you can teach your dog, and it will definitely impress anyone who sees your dog’s cute smile since many people don’t realize it’s possible. It will take plenty of patience, and it will be easier with a dog that likes to learn, but you can teach almost any dog.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Image Credit: Marliese Streefland, Unsplash

1. Be Attentive

Happy dogs already show their teeth on occasion, so all you need to do is give them a little push. Watching your dog attentively will give you clues about what makes them show their teeth with excitement. It could be that you have their favorite treat in hand, or they know it’s about to go for a walk or a ride in the car. Some dogs will show their teeth when they know they are about to eat sour food like a lemon. Keep accurate notes so you can track these events and use them in your training.

It’s important to note that we are not talking about the teeth showing that often accompanies growling and other aggressive behavior. Training your dog to be aggressive can be dangerous.

2. Reward System

Once you know what makes your dog show its teeth, you can use it to train your dog to smile by setting up a simple system. For instance, if your dog shows its teeth when you grab the key because it thinks it’s going for a ride, you can grab the keys, say “smile,” and give your dog a treat when it shows you its teeth. After a few times, depending on how clever it is, your dog will catch on and begin to smile on command. Don’t forget to shower your pet with praise while giving it a treat, so it knows it did something right.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Image Credit: Kaganovich Lena, Shutterstock

3. Repetition

The key part of training your pet to smile is repetition. The more times you grab the keys, say “smile,” and give your dog a treat when it shows its teeth, the better chance your pet will catch on and start to follow your commands. You must never act like you are disappointed if your dog doesn’t respond correctly to the command. If your pet feels like it is disappointing you, it will be less interested in training, and you might never get your dog to follow your command. It may also prevent you from teaching your dog other tricks.

4. Consistency

One of the most important parts of a successful training system is consistency. We recommend holding your sessions at the same time each day for maximum effect. Your dog will begin to form a routine and expect you to participate. Missing days of training at different times could confuse your pet, increasing the amount of time it takes for your dog to learn. Training sessions should be no longer than 10 or 15 minutes, and you should only try the same command a few times. Don’t try to teach too many tricks at once. 5 – 15 tries should be enough for one day, or you risk confusing the dog or causing anxiety.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Image Credit: Sarit Richerson, Shutterstock

5. Other Tips

  • Make sure there are no distractions in the area where you are training.
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable and happy.
  • If you don’t see your dog showing its teeth when it’s happy, you can try to gently use your fingers to put a smile on their face while repeating the command “smile.”
  • You can also demonstrate the smiling action yourself while repeating the “smile“ command.
  • If your dog is squinting or has a closed mouth, it could be showing signs of stress, so pack it up and try again tomorrow.
  • You can use the smiling command as a way to brush your pet’s teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth can also make it easier to teach this command.
  • Don’t hold the treats in your hand while training, so your dog learns to follow orders at all times.
  • Change your body position when you are training, so your dog doesn’t think it only has to follow commands when you are in a specific stance.
  • Once your dog begins learning, move the training sessions to other locations, so the dog doesn’t think it only needs to follow orders in a specific location.
  • Switch up the rewards, so your dog doesn’t only follow orders for treats. Alternative rewards will also help avoid weight gain. Extra time with their favorite toy, car rides and walks are just a few examples of rewards your dog will like as much as a treat.

Summary

While teaching your dog to smile is one of the less common tricks, it can be especially useful for brushing your dog’s teeth. Dental disease is common for dogs, and as many as 80% of dogs over the age of three are afflicted. Smiling also makes many dog breeds look extremely attractive, and it’s sure to bring applause from anyone who sees it. Patience and consistency are your best tools to train almost any dog to smile or perform any other trick.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found it helpful for getting your dog to follow your commands. If we have helped you teach your dog a new trick, please share this guide to teach a dog to smile on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Crystal Alba, Shutterstock

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover pets, tools, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.

Although not an essential part of dog training, teaching your dog to smile on command can be a cute and fun party trick. Because this behavior doesn’t come naturally when your dog is calm and relaxed, it is an intermediate to advanced skill, but it is quite doable.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Why Dogs Show Their Teeth Naturally

Generally speaking, dogs usually bare their teeth for one of two reasons:

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  1. Showing A Submissive Grin
  2. Snarling

Dogs will submissively grin when they’re nervous or dealing with a stressful situation. It’s kind of like the human version of putting your hands up. A snarl will also show off your dog’s teeth, but this is a sign of aggression…not the behavior you want to reinforce when teaching a “smile.”

Different Meanings of Different Smiles

Like we just mentioned, a dog bearing its teeth can mean several things, and it’s usually associated with their body language. Look at the photo below. One is a submissive grin, one is a snarl, and one is a cued smile.

How do i teach my dog to smile

In the photo on the left, the dog is showing a submissive grin. She is sitting, her eyes are slightly closed, and the ears are back which is a “calming signal.” In the middle photo, the dog’s body weight is forward, and the ears are not pinned back. This is an “aggressive signal.” In the picture on the right, he’s in a neutral sitting position, looking with his ears naturally falling. Sure, he seems a little funny. But this is because his owner trained him to smile by tickling his whiskers or lifting his lips. This is the method we’ll outline here.

How do i teach my dog to smile

  1. Hold a treat in your hand. Use a “high-value” treat, something your dog really loves. Hold it up to one side of your dogs mouth right above the lips. Most dogs will lift their lips on that side in anticipation of the treat. If not, gently brush your hand against his whiskers. This should get him to raise his lip. While doing this, give a happy, upbeat verbal cue…”Smile!” Once he raises his lip, praise him and give him the treat. Once he has accomplished this successfully several times, switch the treat to your other hand and practice this on the other side of his mouth.
  2. Once he is lifting the lip on each side of his mouth consistently, begin holding the treat directly above the center of his snout, over the nose. Give the happy, upbeat verbal cue…”Smile!” As he lifts his lips on both sides of his mouth, praise him and give him the treat.
  3. After he is consistently lifting his lips on both sides, gradually phase out the treats and use only the verbal cue “Smile!”

Remember that every dog is different. Some may show only their bottom teeth while some will show all of their teeth.

How do i teach my dog to smile

It’s important to note that since baring their teeth in a calm, relaxed situation isn’t natural, training for this trick could take quite a bit longer than most training. Because of this, it’s essential to keep training sessions short. Extensive training sessions can mentally drain both you and your dog. When the mind is tired, the training is less likely to stick. Also, extensive training means A LOT of treats. Although training with treats is an effective method, training for extended periods of time means over-indulging on treats. Keep training sessions short and always keep them upbeat.

How do i teach my dog to smile

On TikTok I’ve seen a lot of Golden Retriever owners teaching their dogs to smile on command. The dogs do quite a snarly looking smile, and this isn’t something that Phoebe and Frank would naturally do, so I’ve adapted the trick and it looks super goofy.

Frank has always been used to me checking out his teeth – Phoebe is less of a fan of you shoving fingers into her mouth. To teach Frank this trick, I used some high value treats, and continued to practice the command in short bursts over the space of a week. Phoebe is a little slower on picking up the trick, but is learning to show off her meggies!

Teaching your dog new tricks can strengthen your bond, and offer much-needed mental stimulation for your dog. Plus, they’re pretty cool to show off to their mates down at the dog park. Just be sure to keep practice sessions short and sweet, and make it worth your dogs’ while with their all-time favourite treats.

This is how I taught Frank to ‘smile’.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Step 1: I would hold my finger in front of Frank’s mouth and reward when he touched it with his face by himself.

Step 2: What I didn’t want was for Frank to lick me, as this wouldn’t show off his pearly whites. I would wait until he’s still and calm, and gently push up his top lip to expose his front teeth for a second, rewarding and offering praise.

Step 3: When Frank got used to this, I added the ‘smile’ cue, so he would associate the word with the trick, and reward positive experiences.

Step 4: Now all I needed to do was get him comfortable holding the pose. As Frank is quite chilled, he was more than happy to continue smiling for around 15 seconds, and got lots of cuddles for providing top quality entertainment.

Good luck teaching your pooch to ‘smile’ and be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram!

How do i teach my dog to smile

How to Teach Your Dog to Smile requires you to be on good terms with your dog. Smiling is not a natural position for them. Typically, they show their teeth when being submissive or angry.

Again, don’t do this if you’re uncomfortable with your fingers around your dog’s mouth. Try another trick if that’s the case.

To keep your dog in one spot, it is a good idea to start in the dog sitting position.

STEP 1

Start with your dog in the seated position and relaxed. After a good play time is ideal.

This trick is best taught when your dog is a little tired and not full of energy. You can do it with them in the standing position, but we’ve found seated is much better.

STEP 2

Lift your dog’s lips on both side while saying “SMILE.” Then, PRAISE and REWARD them.

The goal of this step is to get your dog to asscoiate the “SMILE” with their lips going up. As we said earlier, this is not a natural position for your dog, so some may have trouble with it.

Keep trying and award successes with a verbal praise and a tasty treat.

STEP 3

Slowly make it harder for your dog to earn a treat so you just say “SMILE” for them to pull their lips back. When they do, PRAISE and REWARD them.

In this step, you want to nail down the association of”SMILE” with the act of moving their lips up.

FOLLOW ON:

How to Teach Your Dog to Smile might take a little time since it is not natural for your dog to smile. But, with time and effort you can make this happen.

Your final objective is to get your dog to raise their lips with just the verbal command. If you can do this, you are on your way to a trick dog.

Let everyone know about your successes and challenges in the comments below.

How do i teach my dog to smile

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As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the “know-how” so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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Dogs have their way of expressing happiness and a relaxed state of mind. Most of us have seen the dog’s mouth wide open and tongue hanging out. This gesture is an act of being happy for canines. It can also indicate they want to play with you.

So if you’re thinking of teaching your dog to smile with teeth, then you have come to the perfect place. Making them smile with teeth is not the easiest thing to do, but it is achievable provided you follow the correct process . Once you master the same, it will be a heartwarming experience seeing your beloved buddy brighten your day with a wide smile. There are also some good mental health benefits for dogs when they smile.

In this article, we will go through various tried and tested techniques (effectively training sessions) to make your dog smile. Let’s get started with dog training.

Ways To Make Your Dog Smile

How do i teach my dog to smile

Before initiating your “ Mission Doggo Smile ,” ensure that they are comfortable in your home environment. If they feel uncomfortable and you still go ahead with their obedience training session, the chances are they will get aggressive or bite you.

Is there anything better than a dog smiling? Teach your dog to smile. It’s worth it.

Sometimes they open their mouths and put their tongues out while they’re panting or snarling in anger too. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze your dog’s current mood before you embark upon making them smile.

Positive Reinforcement

Just like us, dogs also need a reason to be happy. Whenever they showcase positive behavior, reward them with treats or shower praises ( Positive Reinforcement ). This will encourage them to repeat the action and lead to a smile in most cases.

Using the same logic, when they smile the next time, feed them their favorite treats, and you can expect more smiles from them in the days to come. Assigning a physical command that makes them smile is also a good idea. It will make it more straightforward for them the next time you demand a smile.

Whisker Tickling

Another method is to try ticking the dog’s whiskers . As a response, they will lift their lips. At that moment, you can provide them a treat. So the next time you tickle their whiskers, they will give a smiling expression. They may even lift their lips on their own to receive more treats.

Identifying the ticklish spots in a dog’s body can be an intelligent way of making them smile or give a submissive grin. You can even get a camera ready to capture the natural behavior for some fun memories.

This step may succeed in a few minutes, or it can take weeks. The important thing is to be patient and never use force or other forms of violence to make the dog smile. Punishing them for not responding to training will only make things worse. They will lose interest in the whole process.

Using A Clicker

Clickers are small tools that emit a high-frequency sound that captures a dog’s attention. Next time your dog smiles, hit a training clicker and give them a treat . You can remodel their behavior in this way.

The next time they hear the clicker, they will be inclined to smile to get a treat. With sufficient repetitions, they will start associating the sounds to actions they need to perform.

Transition From Physical To Verbal Command

Once you have gained a good grasp on making your dog smile via a physical cue, you can think of making a switch to a verbal cue . This change will also help you take photos or videos in parallel while the dog smiles.

Please keep in mind to make the transition slowly and steadily instead of rushing things and nullifying the progress made so far.

Please start the process with the same physical command that made them smile. In addition, use the verbal command along with it. With time, the sound of the verbal command will be a part of the whole command in their mind.

Follow this by gradually stopping the physical command and only use verbal cues. Assess the success rates while doing so. If your dog is responding well so far, stop the physical element completely. And there you have it; your dog will now start to smile at your verbal commands alone.

At the end of these steps, reward your dog handsomely to reinforce this significant achievement.

Points To Remember

There are a few pointers to consider while you attempt the above steps for better results. We will list them in this section:

  • Each dog has their learning curve . Respect and accept that fact and never use violence or haste to make your dog smile.
  • Keep the training sessions limited to 10-15 minutes regularly divided throughout the week.
  • Limit the number of treats . Providing treats each time they smile can lead to it being considered as a bribe. Giving random treats once in a while is a good ploy.
  • Alter the treats . Feeding them different treats will keep them guessing and cement the behavior even further in their mind.
  • Regularly assess their moods . Never continue to train your dog if they start getting moody or aggressive. Stop the session right away when you sense this.
  • Do not stop the regular physical training or cognitive exercises of your dog. Ensure that goes as planned along with the smile training.

Teaching Your Dog To Show Teeth

How do i teach my dog to smile

A dog’s smiling and showing teeth can be two separate phenomena. For instance, dogs can show their complete set of teeth while in aggressive behavior. It can be a warning or a sign of showcasing dominance.

On the other hand, when dogs smile, they only show a few teeth, and the expression looks more like a grin. Here, we will discuss the steps involved in getting your dog to show their teeth.

Offer A Reward

Let them know that they’re working for a gift by demonstrating it. This action will boost their interest in the activity. You may start by feeding them a treat to lighten their mood.

Define A Command Word

Use any word of your choice. But ensure it is short and easy to understand for the dog. Start by uttering the word, then move their lips apart for them.

Separating The Dog’s Lips

Once the dog is comfortable moving the lips apart, try to open their lips from the front and sides slowly. Keep using the same command applied in the previous step. Feed them treats each time their teeth are visible.

Repeat The Process

Repeat the above three steps until the dog is comfortable to do so themselves while given the correct command. Unlike the smile, the teeth-showing movement does not come naturally to them and requires some time.

After a few repetitions, they will tend to move their lips and show the dog’s teeth.

These are the general steps you can try to make your dog display their teeth. In the upcoming section, we will be talking about some of the commonly asked questions regarding dogs and their smiles.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of dog training, you may be ready to teach your dog some advanced tricks. Getting a dog to smile on command is an excellent way to make your friends and family laugh, but it does take some effort. Keep reading to learn how.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Table of Contents

Why Dogs Naturally Show Their Teeth

Before we break down how to teach your dog this trick, let’s discuss the reasons a dog would naturally show their teeth. Generally, dogs do so for two reasons:

  • Submissive grin: A nervous dog may display a submissive grin. You can think of a submissive grin as a diffusing tactic; it’s a way for the dog to show that they don’t want to engage an aggressor. Dogs with submissive grins often have difficulty making eye contact, and they pin their ears back.
  • Snarling: On the other hand, snarling signals aggression. A dog that’s snarling or growling often displays body language showing they’re ready to engage: their ears may move forward, and they tend to make intense eye contact.

Regardless of which behavior the dog displays, it’s clear that baring its teeth is a sign of discomfort. As such, you want to avoid teaching either of these two behaviors to entertain friends and family. You will make your dog feel uncomfortable, which is never a good thing, and it also becomes challenging to determine if your dog actually feels threatened.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Cued Smiles

So how do you teach this trick without putting your pet in a stressful situation?

Pay close attention to their body language to avoid bad behavior like biting. A comfortable dog displays relaxed body language and neutral ears, and they give you a funny, cued smile.

How to Teach a Dog to Smile

Now that you understand the importance of teaching this trick properly, let’s break down each of the steps for getting your dog to smile.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Things to Keep in Mind

As mentioned above, it’s unnatural for dogs to show their teeth when they’re calm or happy. For this reason, teaching this trick may require a lot more training than others. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you teach your dog to smile:

  • Long training sessions are exhausting for both parties and may become counterproductive. It’s best to keep things short for maximum effectiveness.
  • Long training sessions also mean lots of treats. As you already know, eating too many treats can be detrimental to your pup’s health, which is another reason to keep sessions short.
  • Some dogs may show all their teeth, while others show only the top teeth.
  • It’s vital to practice this trick in several different locations. Switching up your environment helps prevent your dog from associating the trick with just one place, so move from room to room as much as possible. You can also practice while walking or playing at the dog park.
  • Change treats every now and again to keep things interesting. When your dog never knows what to expect, it’s more likely they’ll smile hard to make sure they get every treat they can!
  • If your dog shows aggression during training, it’s time to end the session. Aggression may be a sign that you’re trying to do too much, so you may want to break down the steps even further or only work for a few minutes at a time.

Conclusion

Some dogs will never want to show you their teeth, no matter how much you train them. In this case, it’s best to avoid unintentionally reinforcing snarling or submissive behavior and move on. Impress your friends by teaching your pup to speak, play dead, or hug instead. You’re sure to get a good laugh without risking putting your dog in an uncomfortable situation.

My name is Chris and I am the co-creator of Oodle Life. My wife and I love playing with our active miniature Labradoodle Max. We want all Oodle puppies to be healthy and happy, have lots of fun and be part of the family.

We may earn a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Dogs put a big smile on our faces, and frankly, who wouldn’t want to see their dog smile back?

How do i teach my dog to smile

Teaching a dog to smile on command can be a little more difficult than other tricks like “sit” and “stay”. This is because there are various instinctive reasons why dogs appear to smile that may or may not be out of happiness.

Before you learn how to teach your dog to smile, it helps to understand why your dog sometimes smiles. Below are some of the reasons, as well as how to train your dog to smile on command, and a few important tips.

What Does Your Dog’s Smile Mean?

Aggression

Dogs will curl their lips back and show their teeth to snarl in aggression. Your dog may do this when a stranger or another dog approaches him. Even though it may look like a smile because of the natural upward curvature of dogs’ lips, you can tell it’s a sign of aggression from the accompanying growl or snapping.

Your dog will also have his ears alert, his tail raised, his body tense, and look ready to spring forward. This is definitely not a display of happiness, nor how you want to teach your dog to smile.

Instead of snarling, some dogs may react to a stranger or other dog with a sort of smile of submission. This shows they’re uncomfortable and afraid and want to be left alone. The submissive smile is usually accompanied by pinned back ears, sitting, and tucking the tail between the legs.

Instead of moving towards whatever is causing their distress, like the aggressive snarl, your dog’s body language will show that he wants to move away from whatever is causing his fear. This is a peace-making gesture, as your dog is showing whoever he’s smiling at that he’s not a threat and want to be left alone, but is also a warning to back off as this could escalate to aggression.

Excitement

Not all reasons why dogs appear to smile are for negative reasons. Dogs also tend to pant with their mouths slightly open as a sign of happiness or eager anticipation, like during playtime or when they know they’re about to receive a treat.

This association with smiling can make it easier for you to teach your dog the smile command. Usually, your dog’s tail will wag, and he might jump up and down when he’s smiling out of excitement.

Just because there are many reasons why dogs appear to smile doesn’t mean that it’s bad or impossible to teach your dog to smile on command.

It just means that he naturally already associates what we think of as smiling with aggression or fear, as well as happiness. You just need to be sure you’re timing your training correctly so that your dog knows what it is you want him to learn to do.

Training your pup new commands can be a fun bonding experience for both you and your dog when done correctly.

How to Teach Your Dog to Smile: Training Tips

Step One

Wait to train your dog to smile when he’s in a happy, calm, and relaxed state, such as after playing or cuddling. Then, while saying “Smile!” in a happy voice (your tone is important because you don’t want your dog to think he’s being punished), use your fingers to lift the back of his lips upwards like a smile. This is how your dog can start to associate the command with the movement of his mouth.

Step Two

Hold a treat in one hand while using the other hand to hold your dog’s lips up and saying the command “Smile!” in a happy voice. Then give your dog the treat, scratch his favorite spot and praise him. Repeat this several times.

Step Three

Do a fun or relaxing activity with your dog, like a walk, playtime, or cuddling. Then command your dog to smile in the same happy voice and give him a treat. You may need to use your fingers to make him smile again, but soon he should learn to do it on his own and associate the behavior with the smile command and a treat. This interval between training will keep him happy and help him remember the command later when you aren’t training.

Important Tips

1. Don’t attempt to teach your dog to smile if he’s a biter. He will first need to be trained not to bite. Much of training your dog to do this trick revolves around you putting your hands around your dog’s mouth, and if you have an aggressive dog you may get bitten. Also, don’t try to teach any dog this trick while he’s eating a meal, even if he’s not aggressive, as he may accidentally bite you without meaning to.

2. You’ll probably have better luck teaching your dog other commands first, such as “sit” and “roll over”. Once he has mastered these more basic commands, you can move on to teaching him how to smile.

3. Train in short bursts instead of for long periods of time. If your dog isn’t understanding the command, leave it for a while and come back to it. Training for short intervals works best and keeps your dog from becoming confused.

4. Don’t punish your dog if he doesn’t catch on to the command. This is counterproductive and he will associate training with punishment and will make him afraid of learning not only the smile command, but other commands as well.

5. You should be giving your dog lots of treats while teaching him a new command. Use small treats designed for training. You don’t want to be rewarding your dog during training with giant rawhides or even the normal-sized treats that you may give him once in a while as a bribe or reward. There are treats that will say they’re designed for training on the packaging and are very small (usually about the size of one piece of dry dog food, or just smaller than a dime).

About the author

Li-ran believes that dogs can teach us more than we could ever teach them. He is passionate about holistic pet care, natural alternatives, and cooking homemade meals for his dog, Richie.

Bringing my puppy Marlie home was an incredibly exciting time in my life, especially when I started to think about all of the amazing tricks she could learn. After teaching her how to sit, lie down, and give me her paw I thought it would be great if I could learn how to teach my dog to smile. There are plenty tricks that I found during my research, but only a few worked with Marlie.

​At first, I assumed that dog training was a fun activity, but as she grew older, I learned that it is an important part of obedience training as well. After teaching Marlie a variety of commands, I began to notice that she was listening to me more often with other things such as staying out of the kitchen and sleeping in her own bed. I also learned that while training I was able to help her develop socialization skills, simply because each session was enhancing her psychological capabilities.

If you’re looking for a way to create a stronger bond with your dog, training the dog to smile is important, and you should use this guide to master it easier.​

What You will Need

Reward or Rewarding Device (Treat, Training Clicker, or Toy)

How do i teach my dog to smile

One of the most important tips while training is to make sure your dog has respect for you as an authoritative figure. By standing tall and keeping your chest out, they’ll understand that you are the dominant person in the family.

​It’s also important to keep your hands in view at all times so your dog will know that you’re commanding them to do something, whether you have treats or not. I found that this made it much easier to motivate Marlie to obey my commands even when I didn’t have a treat available.

3. Use a Toothbrush to Show Teeth

How do i teach my dog to smile

If you’ve found that your dog doesn’t smile naturally, it’s time to use the toothbrush. This step will be particularly easy for pet owners that regularly brush their dog’s teeth because most dogs will show their teeth and “smile” when they see the familiar toothbrush.

Bring the toothbrush close to the dog’s mouth and when they show their teeth say “Smile”, then reward him/her with a treat.

4. Repeat the Command 5-15 Times Per Day

How do i teach my dog to smile

Now that you have the right behavior established, you can begin to command your pet without rewarding them with a treat. I found that it was easy to have Marlie listen to me even when I didn’t have a cookie in my hand. Instead, I chose to give her a pat on the head and a “Good girl” every time she obeyed.

This is important simply because it’s unrealistic to continually feed your pet a treat every time you want your dog to do something. Treats can still be rewards every now and then, but your dog should not expect them.

​Conclusion

With the help of the tips presented above, training my dog how to smile was easier than I could have imagined. Personally, I preferred the toothbrush method, as she typically doesn’t smile on her own, unlike other breeds. With the right amount of motivation, you can teach your dog to do relatively anything your hearts desire!

How do i teach my dog to smile

Have you seen some viral pictures of dogs showing their white pearly teeth? Now you want to teach your pet the same? Then, don’t worry, I am here with the tricks you can teach your dog how to smile. This training is not that easy, so you have to take proper information before starting. So here is the answer to the question of how to teach your dog to smile .

Unlike other tricks, teaching a dog to smile is complex and requires more work, but it is achievable. Keep in mind that a smiling dog is not always a happy dog. Somehow, this is an awkward trick for your pup to learn. Still, this is such a cute and full of fun trick to teach your puppy how to say cheese! So let’s begin!

How to teach your dog to smile in 2022

You need to follow the following steps:

1. Dog Comfort

Before starting, the foremost thing you have to check is whether your dog is comfortable or not. Suppose he is in a good mood or not. If you make him feel uncomfortable during the training, you may get bitten—so better start after playing with him or when the pup is getting scratched in his favorite areas. Smiling behavior in dogs is not the same as in humans. Dogs mostly show this impression when they have to do mild panting.

Moreover, it is also possible that the dog is either snarling or showing a submissive grin. Dogs submissively grin when they are nervous and are in a stressful situation. So make sure before starting your training that your dog is in a happy mood or not.

2. Give him your Favourite food

So, you have to charge your dog before starting the training. Are you wondering how to assess your dog? Don’t worry. It means you have to show your dog his favorite snacks or anything as a treat. Make sure that he will be awarded his favorite treat if he does what you are commanding about when you are sure that now your dog knows that you have promised him a treat. Then, he will do anything for you. So, after making him sure about the treat, feel free to experiment.

3. Use a Whistle Tracker

The best of all is to use a whisker tickle. In this trick, you have to scratch gently in his whiskers. This thing will make him lift his lips when he leaves his lips to award him with a treat. He will click this act that he is awarded a treat whenever he lifts his lips. So, whenever you tickle him, he will raise his lips. But technically, his smile depends on the physical stimuli to smile or show his teeth. So, repeat this trick again and again whenever you see your dog lift his lips and award him with a treat whenever he smiles. However, to earn more treats, your dog will start to lift his lips on his own.

You don’t have to do this step fast. This step can take five minutes or even five weeks, depending upon the savviness of your dog. The first thing you have to keep in mind is to do fun training. If you and your dog are frustrated, then none of you will get succeeded and will end up disappointed. Don’t use punishment, force, or something wrong if he doesn’t get it. It is pretty standard. Punishment mistakes will make him less interested in training. If you start getting frustrated and your pup is not clicking the movement, then end that session early and go to enjoy the party.

4. User Verbal Commands

After step 3, you have to slowly fade away the physical stimulus and use verbal commands to make him smile. To start this, you have first to follow the steps and know your dog with a verbal cue like ‘smile my dog’ or ‘say cheese’. The verbal cue depends upon your choice. Then tickle him and award him with a treat when he lifts his lips. Repeat this process several times, and he will get familiar with this verbal cue. After getting familiar, whenever you pronounce this verbal cue, he will respond to you by showing his teeth.

Remember that treats are payments for lifting the lips of your pup. So always award your puppy when he does his task perfectly. This will appreciate him, and he will practice this trick more and more to get more treats. Practice this behavior for more challenging situations like in front of the guests or at the park.

The other trick to make your dog show his smile is by lifting his jowls slightly. For some dogs, it is easy for us to teach them how to smile. All you have to do is touch his cheeks or jowls, and he will lift his lips. After connecting your dog’s cheeks gently and smoothly, lift your dog’s upper lip to show his teeth. At this time, your dog has responded to you either by physical clues, and you have to provide him a massive treat as a reward.

Read an excellent guide about the top dog harness

How do i teach my dog to smile

Frequently asked questions

What is the benefit of a dog smiling?

The benefit of a dog smiling is that it keeps your dog healthy. In addition, dog smiling tells you that your dog is happy, relaxed, and in a good state of mind.

Can I make my favorite pal smile?

Yes, you can make your dog smile by following the above procedure. We have created an easy guide for our viewers that can help them to achieve their goal of a dog smiling.

If you want to teach your dog some tricks read this guide.

Conclusion

Remember that smiling is not a natural process in dogs as in humans. So some dogs show this response because of annoyance resulting from tickling we do to lift their lips. In addition to this, as it is not a natural response in dogs, your pup may tire or get bored quickly. So to maintain his interest in training, you have to provide him a treat whenever he lifts his lips, either by a physical stimulus or by listening to your command.

This training requires a lot of practice. First, practice many times by providing him with physical stimulus or by tickling. Then slowly fades away the physical cue and makes verbal clues more prominent. With time and practice, there will be a time when he will only listen to your command and smile. You can also read about dog food for Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach .

1 Pack a Picnic Dinner and head to the dog park after work. Where this plan often fails to get off the ground is in over-thinking the proceedings. The picnic need not be fancy; throw together a cold dinner of cheeses and charcuteries, perhaps some leftover tabouleh, potato salad, or cold roast chicken from the night before, and you’re ready to go. The idea is to get to the park fast and enjoy the remaining light, not to mention to free oneself from the kitchen. Once at the park, set yourself up in a quiet corner, unfurl a blanket, and let loose the hounds. Bringing a fetch toy for the dogs and a disguised bottle of chilly rosé for yourselves (how civilized) just might

How do i teach my dog to smile

2 Fill a wading pool with water for your dog to play in/lounge in/drink from. This pop-up dog pool from DOOG makes for a quick and easy cooling station.

3 Make pupsicles! We have all sorts of delicious, fast, healthy frozen summer treats you can whip up for your dog in a jiff. All you need is five minutes, a few ingredients, and a freezer. Find the recipes here:

4 Freeze treats and toys into your dog’s water dish or an empty five-quart ice cream pail. Add a rubber squeaky toy or two, drop in a food-stuffed Kong, sprinkle in a few non-sogging treats like buffalo jerky bites, cover with water, and freeze. Once solid, briefly run under warm water to remove from dish, and give to your dog—outdoors, of course.

5 Hire a dog walker for a once-a-month excursion. Rates and services vary, from half-hour group walks with Manhattan’s Pet Club NYC to two-hour mountain hike group excursions with Release the Hounds in Vancouver, British Columbia. Group outings like these provide your dog with exercise and a new socialization opportunity, and you with a day’s reprieve from feeling that perhaps your dog didn’t get as much stimulation and exercise as he wanted. Money well spent, if you ask us.

How do i teach my dog to smile

6 Go for a cruise with your dog. If you have a high-energy canine pal, biking is the perfect way to let him run off some steam. A Bike Tow Leash Attachment makes cycling with your dog safe and enjoyable for you both. If your dog is smaller, older, or just not up for expending that much energy, she can still come along for the ride in a pet bicycle basket or trailer. To the beach—under your own steam!

7 Fulfill your/your dog’s latent desire to be an artist. Fit him with a clip-on collar camera like the Eyenimal videocam or Uncle Milton Pet’s Eye View camera and hit the streets.

8 Keep your dog engaged and mentally sharp—play a brain boosting game together. Interactive brain games are a fun way to socialize and bond with your dog, while encouraging healthy intellectual exercise at the same time. For fun games like the shell game and teaching your dog his ABC’s (bonus: activities like these fight Canine Cognitive Dysfunction), as well as boredom-busting toys that require problem solving, check out these links:

9 Get some exercise and support local small businesses. Clip on your dog’s leash, take a stroll to your neighbourhood dog store, and let your dog pick out a new toy or little treat.

10 Treasure hunt! Put your dog’s talented nose to work. Make your dog wait while you hide little treats throughout your living room or back yard, then let her loose to find them. We do this a couple of times a week for the MD office dogs, making them wait in the lunchroom while we secret treats throughout the office, then give them the cue to start the search. It never gets old for them and it’s pretty darn fun for us to watch, too.

Believe it or not, dogs can smile just like humans. During everyday life, when Max is happy, you might catch him with a relaxed body posture and a big grin on his face. Just like how you teach Max to sit, come, speak and stay, you can teach him to smile on command. This makes for great photo ops and allows you to enjoy his smile at the drop of a dime.

Step 1

Arm yourself with dog treats and sit across from your dog in a quiet area that’s free of distraction so you have his undivided attention.

Step 2

Push his upper lip up above his gum line with the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand. Mimic the motion you would make if you were inspecting his gums and teeth. Then say “smile” while you’re holding his lip in a smiling position. Put a smile on your face too, to encourage your pet companion to copy you.

Step 3

Repeat this several times, and immediately after each time you help him smile, say “good boy,” and reward him with a treat. Consistently do this so he associates curling his lip back with pleasant consequences and is encouraged to repeat the smiling motion.

Step 4

Continue to teach Max to smile during everyday situations. If you know that your pet companion smiles when he’s scratched in a hard-to-reach area, scratch him and say “smile.” When he smiles, give him treats and praise. Do this each time a situation emerges in which your dog might naturally smile, and always use the same command to avoid confusing Max.

Step 5

Practice the “smile” command daily for several minutes at a time, and lavish Max with praise and treats when he smiles on command. Over time, gradually decrease the amount of treats you give Max. Give him treats after every third or fourth smile so he’ll continue to smile in the hopes of getting a possible treat.

You don’t have to teach your dog the “smile” command to get him to smile, because pleasant situations might make him naturally smile. Some fun playtime, where he gets to run and pant, might result in some funny smiley faces. Show him a few new dog toys or irresistible dog treats and watch his face light up. Take good care of your dog and spend quality time with him so his inner happiness is reflected on the outside. Also, make sure to have your camera ready to catch your pet companion’s happy faces.

How do i teach my dog to smile

Teaching your dog to lie down is useful in everyday life for times when you want them to be still, e.g. when you’re grooming or examining them, when visitors come to your house, or for times when you want to take your dog out to a restaurant with you.

It is a relatively easy behaviour to teach – as long as you have something that your dog likes, such as a treat or a toy. Remember, if treats are used, please remember to take them out of your dog’s daily food rations, and grade them according to your dog’s stage of learning, and/or the environment.

Steps to teaching your dog to lie down

  • Choose a quiet place in your home to enable the dog to concentrate
  • Start with the dog near to you and sitting facing you. You may consider using a lead for more control, if the dog is inclined to wander off
  • Get the dog’s attention by using their name
  • Make sure that you have something in your hand that the dog wants, such as a treat or toy, and place that hand just below your dog’s nose
  • Move your hand slowly down to the floor in a straight line, so that your dog follows it with their nose – slowly move it along the floor away from them but make sure they are still following with their nose
  • As soon as your dog lies down, they need rewarding for doing the right thing. Say ‘yes’, smile at them, praise them with your voice, stroke them, whilst also giving them the treat or a game with the toy
  • Once your dog has the idea of lying down, when you move your hand down towards the floor luring them with the treat or toy – place your treat or toy in your other hand, but otherwise repeat everything you did before, so that they are learning to perform the behaviour on a hand signal alone
  • Once the dog is reliably performing the down when you move your hand down to the floor, start using the word ‘down’, just before the hand movement, so the dog is learning to perform the behaviour on a verbal cue. After a few repetitions, begin to reduce the hand movement, so that the dog is learning to be able to perform the down just when you say the word ‘down’. Fade the hand signal out altogether by saying the word ‘down’ and just waiting a second for your dog to lie down. If they don’t, they are not yet ready for the hand signal to be removed altogether, so be ready to back up the word ‘down’ with the hand signal, to ensure your dog still gets it right
  • To teach the dog to stay lying down for longer – keep the smile and verbal praise going, but withhold the treat or toy for a second or two until you are ready, not forgetting the release word ‘yes’ as you give them. Don’t push your dog too far too fast, just a few seconds at a time – you don’t want them to get up before you are ready to release them
  • To teach the dog to remain lying down when you are short distance away from them, start taking a step or two away from them, immediately returning to reward them in position
  • To make it more difficult, start increasing the distractions around your dog or change your position in relation to your dog, or by asking them to sit when out in your garden or on a walk. You may have to go back to the beginning and re-teach with these changes
  • To make the ‘down’ command really useful, re-teach in a variety of environments until the dog really gets the idea that the word ‘down’ means the same wherever they are, and that they should stay in the down position until released. You can really have some fun with this, with a bit of imagination, which will help your control when out in public and faced with other dogs and people
  • Some dogs are more difficult to teach than others, because their bottoms pop up as their heads follow the treat down. Teach under a coffee table, or under your bent legs when sitting on the floor

Please note: there are many different ways to train your dog. This is just one method of teaching. If you are ever in doubt, please seek professional advice.

For more information and advice, you can find training classes with The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training scheme , browse our full list of The Kennel Club Accredited Instructors or find a dog training club near you.

A new study indicates dogs can learn to distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers. This ability to learn to recognize smiling faces may have been important to the success of dogs living with humans, the researchers noted in their study.

What is the hardest trick to teach your dog?

25 Dog Tricks: List of Most Difficult Tricks and Commands to Teach Your Dogs Wait. Bark or Speak or Howl. Army Crawling. Spin. Sit Pretty. Go and Fetch. Stand Tall (On Hind Legs) Say Your Prayers.

Can dogs be suicidal?

It is uncommon for dogs to succumb to depression. A dog’s strong survival instinct should always take over in dangerous situations. However, dog suicide persists because of numerous reports over the years. In Italy, pets who have been left alone for weeks claimed to have been so upset and depressed.

Do dogs like when we smile?

It’s official – dogs absolutely love it when you tell them they’re a good boy or girl. New research shows that dogs’ facial expressions change when humans look or smile at them. ‘Brow raising, which makes the eyes look bigger – so-called puppy dog eyes – was the dogs’ most commonly used expression in this research.

How many words can a dog recognize?

As for language, the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals, and the “super dogs” (those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence) can learn 250 words, Coren says.

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

How many commands can a puppy learn at once?

You can train them on more than one command in a day but try to stick to just one for each session. An exception might be if the session is not going well and you want to get your dog to do something it knows so that the session will end on a positive note.

What’s the most depressed animal?

Arturo (polar bear).

Does declawing a dog hurt them?

No. Declawing your dog doesn’t just mean to cut its nails, but it means to cut off the end of the toe permanently to remove the nail. Dogs need their toes to help their walking in balance and grip. Performing this surgery, and declawing your dog, is considered animal cruelty, and prohibited in many countries.

Why do dogs wink at you?

“Winking can be a sign of affection, that the dog is at peace, seeking attention, or possibly mimicking their owner if this is an action they do frequently,” says Dr. Conrad. Dogs may even wink to signify submission to another human or dog.

Do dogs get embarrassed when you laugh at them?

Dogs are very sensitive to the tone of your voice and so they will soon know if you are laughing at them. They will sense if this is an enjoyable moment. Dogs show you they are enjoying your laughter with sparkling eyes, a toothy, broad mouth and even a funny, panting noise.

How do dogs pick their person?

Dogs often choose a favorite person who matches their own energy level and personality. In addition, some dog breeds are more likely to bond with a single person, making it more likely that their favorite person will be their only person.

Is it bad to smile at dogs?

A new study has found that smiling directly at your dog makes the dog feel warm and fuzzy, much the same as humans do when someone smiles at us. When we smile at our dogs and they respond positively to us it creates a mutual oxytocin release that makes us both happy.

What is the stupidest dog breed?

The 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds and Why They’ve Been Characterized as “Dumb” Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound is the “dumbest” dog. Basenji. Basenjis also make the list of dumbest dog breeds. Bulldog. Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness. Chow Chow. Chow Chows can also be difficult to train. Borzoi. Bloodhound. Pekingese. Beagle.

What words do dogs like to hear?

Top 5 words dogs love to hear the most Walkies. Dinner/food/eat. Treat. Get it. Fetch.

What’s the smartest dog?

1. Border Collie: A workaholic, this breed is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct, and working ability. 2. Poodle: Exceptionally smart and active.

How do you teach a dog a lesson?

Training Lessons Be ready with a small piece of your dog’s favorite treat. Stand facing your dog or puppy. Holding the treat in front of your dog’s nose, move the treat up toward the top of his head. If your dog lifts his front feet off the ground, you are holding the treat too high.

What is the first thing I should teach my puppy?

Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age.

Should only one person train a puppy?

If the puppy or dog is enrolled in a Puppy Kindergarten or obedience class, the entire family should participate. Dogs love and thrive on the support of their pack. If the trainer does not allow more than one person per dog, don’t waste your time and money. Find another trainer.

How long it takes to train a dog?

You’ll need to spend four to five weeks building some good attention and focus skills in your puppy. Bonding, playing structured games, and if you haven’t trained a dog before, learning the skills you need to teach your dog the skills they need.

What is the angriest animal?

Top Eight Most Aggressive Animals in the World Barracuda swimming in the ocean. Black mamba, Africa’s most feared snake, is also the world’s fastest snake. An angry chimpanzee. An African buffalo in the Masai Mara, Kenya. A Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), in the Chobe river, Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Who is the laziest animal?

Top 10 Laziest Animals koala. Koalas are known for their laziness and sleeping abilities, spending only two to six hours awake every day. Sloth. Opossum. Hippopotamus. Python. Echidna. Giant panda. Nurse shark.

Which animal that never drinks water?

Answer: Kangaroo rat The tiny kangaroo rat located in the south-western deserts of the United States does not drink water for its whole lifespan. Kangaroo rats represent an integral part of desert life.

Can you Denail a dog?

Declawing is an extremely serious and rare procedure that can cause severe pain for your dog. However, one condition where declawing might be considered is with serious recurring nail bed infections. These could be symptoms of a nail bed disorder or infection.

Do vets Declaw dogs?

Do vets still declaw? Some vets still declaw cats, but it’s become increasingly rare. Most vets won’t declaw dogs unless they have a serious nail condition that provides no other option. Some vets remove dewclaws if there’s a chance that they might cause injuries.

At what age can you declaw a puppy?

When Are Dewclaws Removed? In many cases, dewclaws are removed when a newborn is between 3 and 5 days old. If the procedure is not done during that time, it is recommended to wait until the pet is at least 12 weeks old.

This rationale is still quite prevalent, despite pretty thorough debunking by experts across multiple fields. And unfortunately the corollary that you must prove that, no, you are the alpha leads to some pretty unpleasant ways of teaching and enforcing doorway protocol, among other things.

Many such methods focus on stopping the unwanted behavior, rather than teaching an alternative. So they set the dog up to start walking through the door and then get corrected for it—be it by walking into the dog, yelling and clapping, spraying the dog in the face with a squirt bottle, throwing an object at the dog, or choking, poking, or shocking with a collar. Almost nobody actually enjoys doing these things to a dog, and in dogs as in children, the use of physical punishment carries the risk of some well-documented side effects, ranging from apathy to fear to aggression.

But let’s not throw the puppy out with the bathwater. There are a lot of perfectly valid reasons to teach your dog how to behave around an open door. Especially in the urban environment, there’s endless trouble a dog can run into by darting across the threshold before you’ve had a chance to scope things out. Every dog who lives in an elevator building, for instance, ought to learn how to wait before entering the car.

Fortunately, it’s easy to teach a dog what to do instead of dashing through an open door.

Start your lessons with a door that doesn’t lead anywhere dangerous or incredibly tempting. Put your dog on leash if you need to work at an exit that goes to an unsecured or particularly fun area, but keep the leash slack—think seat belt, not reins.

Open the door just a crack, then toss a small treat your dog really loves on the floor behind the dog. Close the door and wait for the dog to eat and reorient to the door. Repeat.

If you’re working at an elevator, push the call button, walk back 10 feet, and simply start feeding the dog just as the elevator door opens. Don’t walk toward or get on the elevator; just continue to feed until the door closes, then stop abruptly when it does. Repeat.

If your dog likes the treats you’re using, he’ll quickly start to make some associations:

  • The door opening predicts treats, and
  • Those treats will come from my human’s hands and/or appear a few feet behind me

Anticipation will begin to change what your dog does when you open the door. In most cases, he’ll start to shift his weight back and/or look at you as the door opens.

Observe what he does that you like—whatever’s incompatible with running through the open door—and begin to mark it with a yes or click from a clicker before delivering the treat. The more specific you can be about what you mark, the faster the training will likely go.

When your dog has confidently offered this lovely behavior four or five times in a row, begin opening the door a little bit further. As the response becomes reliable at each new level, open the door incrementally wider.

If at any point the dog walks through the door, don’t click, don’t treat, and don’t head out for a walk. Simply invite the dog back inside to try again. If the dog fails once more, back up your criteria a little, use better reinforcers, or both.

When you can open the door wide enough for the dog to move through, and he chooses to plant his front feet or look at you instead, you can add a verbal cue, such as “wait.”

You don’t really need a verbal cue if you only want this behavior when you open a door—the door opening will become the cue to wait. But adding a verbal cue lets you quickly teach this behavior at other doors, doorways without actual doors, car doors, curbs, and other locations. You can even use it to stop your dog in his tracks with no doorway in sight—say, if he’s heading for a dropped item on the kitchen floor.

Pretty quickly after teaching the wait cue, teach the dog that there’s another signal that means it’s time to go through the doorway. Reinforce the behavior of moving out of position, at least initially, with a treat or play as well as access to whatever’s on the other side of the door. Putting the release on cue, if the cue is a promise of extra reinforcement for a behavior that the dog already wanted to do, makes moving out of position less likely when you haven’t given the cue.

Here’s a video of Stella, a border collie mix, a former client of mine through Animal Behavior Training Concepts, responding to “hold up” and release cues taught earlier in the same session at an interior doorway. Because the release cue is an opportunity to earn the treat, giving the release cue reinforces the wait, and the click/treat strengthens both the release behavior and the wait.

If your dog doesn’t pay attention to treats when there’s a chance to go through the door, that doesn’t mean this method won’t work for you. Reinforcement value is relative, and for Stella, when we took her “hold up” to an exterior door, the chance to go through the door trumped any food or toy we had to offer. So did we resort to punishment? No; we simply used what she told us she wanted, a win-win for dog and human.

How do i teach my dog to smile

1. Teaching your dog tricks give them something to do. A hobby so to speak. It is often more fun for a dog to learn a trick than practice obedience training, although both have similar benefits.

2. It builds a stronger relationship between you and your dog.

3. Trick training is a positive and fun thing to do and can be used to redirect a dog’s energy from destructive or harmful behaviors.

4. It teaches the dog that communication and socialization are positive and rewarding things.

Why Do it?

All dogs can learn new tricks if they are motivated and willing to work for you. The most rewarding part of learning and performing tricks for a dog is pleasing you and making you smile. If you’ve got your treats and you’ve got your dog, here’s how to teach a few iconic tricks that everyone will love!

“Spin” is a great trick because it can be used to teach your dog left and right. After teaching to spin one way, you can teach him to “reverse” and spin the other way.

Use food to lure your dog to turn in a circle, initially just turning to the side, and eventually spinning all the way around. The lure should basically be glued to your dog’s nose, rather than held out in front of him. If the lure is too far away from the dog’s nose, he will have a more difficult time completing the turn.

“ROLL OVER”

“Roll Over” is a classic, but seriously underestimated trick. Dogs don’t always like exposing their belly, so some may have trouble learning this one. Remember your treats and your positivity, and your dog will soon realize that rolling over is a fun and rewarding trick.

1. Like with the “Spin” trick, having your dog’s nose glued to a treat lure will help him succeed in learning to complete the trick. Lure your dog’s nose to his shoulder blade towards the direction you want him to roll so that he is inclined to flop onto his side. Mark this behavior with a “yes!” and treat.

2. Once your dog is used to shifting weight onto his side, continue to lure him further to expose his belly, and eventually, roll all the way over. Reward all your dog’s progress with a verbal marker and a yummy treat!

For more information, Kelli explains “Roll Over”

“STICK ‘EM UP!”

This trick requires luring , bridging , and a lot of practice for your dog. You are asking him to stand, fall, and get back up on que. This is more complex than the “Spin” trick, but it’s still a lot of fun and will get a lot of laughs

  1. Using a lure, get your dog to raise his front two paws off the ground so that he is “standing”.
    1. This trick is also sometimes called “Sit Pretty” (although here the command will be “stick ‘em up!”) and is a fun addition to playing dead.
    2. You will need to bridge this command with the rest of the trick you are about to teach your dog.

    For more information, Kelli McCoy explains step by step how to teach your dog to “Stick ‘Em Up”

    Some tips

    1. Learn tricks step by step! If your dog is having trouble learning or completing the trick, try breaking it down and teaching it in smaller parts. In the training world, we call this process “bridging”. Bridging builds on each little step of the trick and makes it easier for the dog to understand once all the small steps are finally put together.

    2. Your every-day basic obedience training also serves as a bridge when trying to teach your dog a new trick. For example, your dog already being familiar with the “down” command will certainly help him to easily understand “roll over”.

    3. When getting your dog to try new things and learn new tricks, try using high-value treats to really motivate them to work for you. Eventually we want the reward to be our verbal praise, but your dog’s favorite food is a great way to get the learning process started. Treats can also be used to lure the dog into doing the behavior you want, and then given as a reward after the dog has completed the behavior.

    4. Make sure to mark the behavior you want. In addition to high-value treats, a verbal marker like the word “yes!” or a training clicker will help your dog understand what you are wanting him to do.

    5. Keep trick training positive! Learning tricks shouldn’t necessarily feel like work for you or your dog. This is a fun activity; praise and reward as much as possible!

    And remember…

    Often times our dogs come with funny quirks and unique personalities. It’s why we love them so much! Some of the distinctive behaviors we find in our dogs can be used as inspiration to teach them fun and silly things to do on command.

    Tricks are a dog’s hobby. Learning tricks is a fun and productive thing for you and your dog to do together and should be a rewarding experience for you both. When learning new behaviors, remember that timing is everything. Reward your dog verbally or with food IMMEDIATELY after he does what you want, or he will miss the concept of performing for you.

    Teach tricks to your dog as slowly and positively as possible. Enjoy yourselves!

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    It may come as a surprise, but dogs too can smile! The internet is full of such videos so go ahead and have a look – it’s sweetness overload, guaranteed!

    People tend to think that making a doggy smile is not a real thing but, like anything in this world, it can be taught. Of course, you need a lot of patience and determination, and a pooch that listens to commands but it’s not impossible.

    In fact, if you take the time to do it, it will turn into something that you could die for. A smiling dog is the loveliest thing you’ll ever see. Let’s find out a few methods about how to teach your dog to smile.

    The teeth showing method

    Every happy dog around will show his/her teeth on certain occasions. It’s their way of showing you they’re being excited. They do it either as a reaction to the sight of their favorite foods or even maybe their favorite chewy toy.

    In these cases, they are trying to show you they love that particular thing and they most likely want you to give it to them.

    How to encourage this method

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    1 st action: Pay attention to what exactly makes them show their teeth. Is it when you show them their perfect chewy bone? Is it when they see the leash in your hand, getting ready to take them on a walk? It can even be when you show them lemons or citrusy foods as they have the same reaction as humans – we like it, but it still makes us scrunch.

    2 nd action: Whenever you see your dog showing their teeth as a reaction to something, make sure you give it to them and reward them with a delicious treat as well.They will make the connection between what they feel when they show their teeth and your behavior, encouraging them to do it more often when they feel the same way.

    Also, don’t forget to say the command. It’s real training after-all! For example: show them the leash if that’s what they react to, then say ‘show me your smile’, and just after that give them the treat they enjoy. As soon as they’re done with that, put the leash on and take them out.

    3 rd action: Your dog is a very smart creature. Just be persistent as well as consistent in your behavior until he/she will get the hang of it. Dogs learn by repetition, so the more often you do it, the faster you’ll get your pup to smile.

    There’s one thing you must be careful about, and that is the way the teeth are being shown. Dogs could show their teeth as an act of aggression if they feel threatened. So, if teeth showing is accompanied by furious growling, nose wrinkling, body tension, and/or refusal to meet your eyes, then you must stop this method of training. It’s dangerous for you, your doggy, and other people or pets as well.

    What if my dog is not showing his/her teeth at all?

    First of all, everything and everybody can be taught so don’t despair. If your dog doesn’t show their teeth naturally, then you may have to demonstrate it. This will take longer than expected but again it will be totally worth it.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    1. To do this successfully, you must find a comfortable, happy place for your dog, and you should keep it consistent at first until your dog associates that place with the particular training you’re trying to give him/her.
    2. Sit next to them, and while you’re playfully petting them or rubbing their belly, show them your teeth and smile as an act of happiness and enjoyment. Then, using your hands, gently paint a smile on their faces and say your command ‘show me your smile’.
    3. Don’t forget to say the magical words: ‘Good girl/boy’. Dogs react very well to positive verbal reinforcements. In this case, they will know that you approve and encourage smiling when they feel happy.

    Repeat the steps until you see improvements and make the treats mandatory to get faster results. As soon as you see them learning, you can slowly decrease the number of treats so that your dog doesn’t do what you want only for food.

    Last tips and thoughts

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    Besides being a human’s best friend, dogs are highly intelligent animals that react a lot to how we behave and how we treat them. You should start training them as early as possible, so they understand that commands are rewarded if followed. Your dog just wants to make you happy so with determination, consistency, and most importantly patience from your side, they will listen to your commands and learn how to smile.

    When it comes to successful training, it’s important to do it according to your pup’s attention span. Only do it for a few minutes 2 times a day at most and when your dog is the least distracted by other things. Choose to do it in consistent environments so that they associate that environment with training. This will make them focus and will guarantee results.

    Also, avoid punishment or strong dominating commands. Your dog won’t react well to that, as you will give them the feeling of fear.Just make sure you use positive verbal reinforcements and commands, as well as plenty of treats or toys.

    Your doggy will love your training sessions and could turn out to be a bonding time between you two. If you feel you’re getting nowhere, don’t give up. It takes time for your dog to learn the patterns of your training. Be patient and consistent, and you can be certain you’ll have your best friend smiling at you in a little while.

    Ever wish your best buddy could help you celebrate with a high five? Turns out he can! Teach your dog to high five you with these high five dog training tips.

    Getting your dog to give you a high five is a cute trick that makes everyone smile, and it’s also a fun way to bond with your four-legged best friend. Fortunately, this is a fairly simple trick to teach your pup. Here’s how to teach your dog to high five.

    Before you begin, select a quiet spot for training sessions where your pup won’t be distracted. You’ll need a lot of treats, so pick some that are small or break soft and chewy treats up for multiple uses. Time to start high-fiving!

    1. Get Fido to Sit

    If your dog already sits on command, you’re off to a good start. Otherwise, you might need to spend some time teaching him to sit before moving on to the high five. To get him to sit, simply hold a treat in front of his nose and slightly out of reach until he sits down. As soon as he sits, give him the treat. After he does this a few times, start telling him to sit as you hold the treat in front of him. Keep practicing until he learns to associate the word “sit” with the action and starts doing it on command.

    2. Get Him to Paw Your Hand

    Once your pup is sitting up, hold a treat in your fist and hold your fist in front of his nose until he lifts a single paw and touches your fist without leaving the sitting position. Give him a treat as soon as he does this correctly, but only when he does it correctly. If he stands up, or jumps up on your fist with both paws, return to starting position and try again. Keep practicing until he does it the right way consistently.

    3. Take a Break

    By this point, your student might start to get bored or tired and start refusing to cooperate. If this happens at any time during the training, don’t force him to keep going. Take a break and pick it back up after your pup’s mood has improved.

    4. Present Your Hand for a High Five

    Once Fido is consistently tapping your fist with his paw, it’s time to present your open hand in the high-five position. Keep it there until he touches it with his paw. Be patient. It might take a while for him to make the connection and understand what you want. You might need to let him smell the treat residue on your palm or hide a small piece between your fingers in order to motivate him. As soon as he touches your hand with his paw, reward him with a treat and praise.

    5. Introduce the High Five Command

    Once your dog starts performing the high five action consistently, start introducing the command by saying “high five!” every time he touches your palm. Gradually phase out the treats by rewarding him instead with praise. After practicing a few times, start saying “high five!” as you present your hand, rewarding him with a treat only when he performs the action on command.

    6. Keep practicing!

    While this is a fairly easy trick for your dog to learn, it takes repetition and consistency for him to retain it. But with patience and practice, your doggie will be ready to show off for your friends in no time.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    My very tame American Eskimo, Jersey, (who wouldn’t hurt a flea by the way) used to show his teeth. But it was only when our new little puppy, Destin — and then years later our newest puppy, Tenor — would get on his nerves.

    So out of frustration, Jersey would simply bare his teeth as if to show some sort of dominance to these young pups. It was if he was saying, ‘Okay, I’ve had enough… stay away… I’m done playing.’

    It was cute. But it can actually be a scary situation if you don’t know you’re dog’s own limits and how to read a dog’s body language.

    That said, we ended up putting a ‘name’ to this unique behavior. And now my dog will ‘show teeth’ on command!

    Here’s how to teach your dog to ‘show teeth’…

    A Unique Dog Trick

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    I’ll be honest, if your dog doesn’t already do a similar type of behavior — that you can put a “name” to and turn into a “command” — then it will take a bit of time to teach this particular dog trick.

    1. Simply watch your dog’s own behavior.
    2. At the very moment that your dog displays some form of teeth baring (maybe a funny smile), then immediately REWARD that behavior and call it something.
    3. Try to encourage your dog to do it again. (He probably won’t.) Don’t force the behavior. It must happen naturally in order to make sense to your dog.
    4. From this point forward, any time you see your dog doing something even remotely similar to ‘showing teeth’ make sure to always call that behavior the same thing and always reward it.

    That’s how to get your dog to do it on command in the future.

    2 Fun Ways To Teach Your Dog To Show Teeth

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    #1 – If you get your dog used to teeth-brushing on a regular basis, your dog might become more accustomed to showing teeth on command — simply because it’s part of the routine. It’s pretty much a required behavior in order to get the teeth brushing done. That, and the fact that some dogs don’t like the taste of the doggie toothpaste and may make a face like this as a reaction to the strange tasting toothpaste.

    #2 – If you try introducing a new dog-safe human food to your dog for the first time, you might notice your dog showing teeth or making a funny face that’s similar to showing teeth. You never know. It’s most likely to happen with really strange or bitter-tasting foods that are safe for dogs to eat — like some fruits & vegetables.

    Videos Of Dogs Showing Teeth On Cue

    Here are some videos of others getting their dogs to bare their teeth or ‘Show Teeth’.

    If you’re wanting to teach your dog this cute dog trick, perhaps you will find some clues in these videos:

    A 6-month-old Boxer dog reluctantly ‘shows teeth’ on command…

    Sometimes, simply displaying a specific hand gesture causes the dog to ‘show teeth’…

    Sometimes ‘show me your teeth’ is all it takes…

    If your dog ‘smiles’, then reward that behavior…

    The more you reward, the bigger the smile…

    As with most dog tricks… a dog is never too old to learn a new trick. However, the younger your dog is when you start teaching a new trick like ‘show teeth’ or ‘smile’, the quicker they catch on and the easier it is.

    Here are my best tips for teaching any dog any trick any time!

    I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn’t think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I’ve always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I’ve been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what’s ‘normal’ and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I’m not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

    Quick — take a picture of your dog smiling before it disappears!

    Your four-legged friend looks happy, but whenever you see their little smirk, you may wonder, if dogs can actually smile for real? And if so, why do dogs smile, anyway? It surely makes you happy to see your pet with a wide grin, whether it be at snack time or during a belly scratch, but you’re not sure whether you’re imagining it or if your dog is actually happy.

    Here’s the lowdown on dog smiling so you can know once and for all whether your pet is beaming at you with joy or whether their mouth just turns upward.

    Why Do Dogs Smile?

    There are many reasons why you might see a dog smile. Maybe you’ve just returned home from a long day of work while your dog’s been home alone. Maybe your dog hears the shake of their bag of food. Many people think their dog smiles widely when they’re in a car enjoying the feel and smell of the breeze.

    But, just like humans, the reasons a dog may smile are subjective. What makes one person — or dog — smile is different from what will make another person or dog happy.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    Can Dogs Smile?

    For many years, animal behaviorists largely agreed that animals weren’t smiling because they were experiencing joy, but instead because of a muscular reflex. Because of this, most people also believed that dogs didn’t smile as a way of showing their emotions. That belief, however, has been challenged.

    While there are new studies that indicate that some animals might be smiling to express emotion in the way that we perceive smiling, as humans, we need to adjust our mindset slightly when we question whether or not a dog’s smile is real.

    For example, if you’re watching a movie and a character says something funny, you’re likely to crack a smile or laugh. Don’t expect the same from your pet. Your dog isn’t smiling because they find something humorous. Instead, they’re smiling because they are calm and relaxed and, because of that, one could venture that your pet is happy.

    Similarly, some dogs will appear to smile if they are showing submission to their human counterparts. This relates to the dog being in a relaxed muscular state.

    How Do I Know If My Dog Is Smiling?

    Do you see the corners of your dog’s mouth lift slightly? A dog’s smile looks similar to a human’s.

    The ASPCA explained, “A relaxed dog will likely have his mouth open and may be panting, with no facial or mouth tension. The corners of his mouth may be turned upward slightly.” It’s important to understand that while you may see their teeth when they smile — which is commonly a sign of aggression in dogs — the rest of their body language should indicate how the dog is feeling.

    A great example of this is the submissive grin. The ASPCA noted, “This is also a gesture where a dog shows his front teeth, but a smiling dog is doing just that. He usually shows a lowered head, wagging tail, flattened ears, a soft body posture and soft, squinty eyes along with those teeth. Teeth don’t always mean aggression—it is important to consider the whole body and the context to understand what a dog is saying.””

    While we might be guessing as to whether or not dogs actually smilea, we can now know for sure that being relaxed and content may lead to a smile from your pet. Pay attention to what makes your dog feel the happiest if you’re trying to make that grin appear more often.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    If you have a dog, you’ve probably seen that endearing look—the relaxed face, soft eyes, and wide grin. It’s hard to believe that your dog isn’t smiling at you, but do dogs smile like we do? If so, why?

    Can Dogs Really Smile?

    Most behaviorists don’t really consider a dog “smiling” to be a true grin in the way we think about a human smile.

    Many canine expressions can be seen as a “smile,” including wide-mouth panting, relaxing with their tongues out, and submissive grins. Even aggressive baring of the teeth can be mistaken by some as a friendly greeting.

    However, most of the time when dogs smile, they are indeed happy, so it’s easy to relate that expression to human smiles.

    Most scientists think the canine smile stems from a combination of evolution and the fact that dogs are masters of analyzing human behavior. They know exactly how to make us happy. Since most humans react when they see a dog smile—either by smiling back, making approving noises, or providing treats—the dog is rewarded for this behavior and does it more often.

    Genetically, this behavior may come from neoteny, which means when animals become domesticated, they retain some behaviors from puppyhood in adulthood. This includes emotional greetings, jumping, tail-wagging, licking, and yes—the adorable canine smile.

    Do Dogs Smile at Other Dogs?

    Sometimes, we smile at other people as a social ritual just to express friendliness. Domesticated dogs will do something similar, but they go beyond facial expressions. Dogs use their entire body posture to communicate a message to other dogs, such as “I’m friendly and just want to play,” or, “This is my owner; please keep your distance,” or, “Take one step closer and I’ll let you have it!”

    Just as we can tell when people are giving us a “fake” smile, dogs can tell what messages are being conveyed by reading the body language of another dog.

    Do Dogs Mimic Our Smiles?

    Dogs don’t really mimic our smiles, but they may be triggered to smile more when they see us smiling. Most dogs really like the happy reaction they get when they please humans and quickly learn how to trigger that happy emotion. For some dogs, that includes smiling.

    The phenomenon that causes a dog to smile when we smile at them is similar to “laughter contagion.” Just as one person laughing heartily can trigger another person to start laughing, a happy person that smiles can trigger a happy dog to smile back. Vice versa, a grinning dog can trigger an oxytocin release in humans and a happy response.

    It is important to remember, however, that every dog is an individual and responds to varying situations differently; what may cause the smile reaction in one animal may not trigger it in another.

    Do Dogs Like When People Smile?

    Most dogs love pleasing their owners and know that smiling is human body language for happiness. The majority of dogs are very good at interpreting human body language. They can tell when we are pleased, sad, or disappointed.

    They also know that our happiness often means extra attention, treats, and fun time for them. Not only do they like making us happy, but they like how we treat them when we are happy!

    Dogs tend to read the body language that goes along with a human’s smile. They often instinctively understand that smiling and showing teeth is not a human form of aggression (as it might be with other dogs), even if the person is a stranger.

    Do Dogs Smile With Their Teeth When They Feel Guilty?

    You’ve probably seen videos of a dog that’s gotten into something, and when the owner finds out, the dog responds with a “grin.” Is this a sign that the dog actually feels guilty for what they did? Probably not.

    Once again, a dog’s body language is key. Not only are they showing their teeth with their lips drawn back, but they are also usually lowering their heads and squinting their eyes. Often, their ears are flattened, their tail is wagging, and their body posture looks submissive.

    Grins in response to naughty behavior are not actually signs of aggression nor guilt, but rather submission. Generally, the dog is aware that you are not happy about something that they did, and they are responding to your emotions. Dogs use submissive grins to defuse aggression and reassure you that they don’t pose a threat.

    How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Happy If They Aren’t Smiling?

    Not all dogs will smile, even when they’re happy. So how do you know if your dog is happy?

    Look at your dog’s body language. A happy dog will have a relaxed body posture and often, a wagging tail. Their face will look soft and calm, and if they’re playing or running, you’ll often see a wide, panting smile.

    Most dogs aren’t particularly subtle when they’re happy, and they will reflect your happiness, as well.

    Amy Bender is a dog training expert and writer with over a decade of experience working professionally with dogs. She owns a dog training business and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    Dr. Bartley Harrison is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of professional veterinary experience treating dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and small mammals, with a specific focus on Emergency Medicine. Dr. Harrison is part of The Spruce Pets’ veterinary review board.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    You have probably seen a dog bare its teeth at one point or another. You might have thought it meant “stay away” and you were probably right. But what does it really mean when a dog bares its teeth? Do some dogs smile? If your own dog shows his teeth, is it aggression or is he smiling?

    When a dog bares his teeth he is using body language to communicate. It’s important to have some understanding of dog body language so you can understand what your dog is trying to tell you.

    Definition

    In dogs, the term “bared teeth” simply means a dog is showing teeth. A dog bares his teeth by curling his lips back to reveal his teeth. It is a reflexive action that occurs in reaction to certain situations. Bared teeth in a dog is often a warning.

    Message

    In most cases, when a dog bares his teeth he is sending you a clear message to back off. Think of bared teeth as a warning: “I am going to use these teeth if you don’t stop it.” This behavior may be a precursor to more serious aggression. This type of dog body language is often accompanied by vocalizations, such as growling and snarling. You may also notice body language that indicates a dog is becoming aggressive, such as erect ears, a rigid body posture, and a tail that is held high and moving back and forth rapidly. If your dog’s warning is ignored, the behavior could progress to snapping or biting.

    Dogs display aggression for a number of reasons, such as fear, feeling overwhelmed, pain or anticipated pain, overstimulation, resource guarding, and territoriality. No matter the reason a dog becomes aggressive, bared teeth are usually a sign he is being pushed past his comfort zone. If you see a dog with this type of body language, it’s best to leave this dog alone. Avoid eye contact and carefully step away from the dog.

    Occasionally, a dog bares his teeth without any aggressive tendencies behind it. This is referred to as a submissive grin or a smile. It is usually accompanied by non-threatening body language such as lip licking, an averted gaze, a relaxed body posture, and ears sitting flatter against the head. The submissive grin is a type of appeasement gesture intended to calm down a situation. For some pets, the submissive grin can indicate stress and anxiety so it is important to always pay close attention no matter how long your pet has been doing it.

    Many veterinarians associate averted gaze and lip licking behaviors with stress and anxiety. If you notice averted gaze or lip licking in your dog during a presumed ‘submissive grin’, attempt to remove the stimulus that causes it as we always want to avoid encouraging stress or anxiety in our pets.

    In general, submissive grins are not very common but for few pets can be ‘normal.’ However, if your dog is grinning because he is stressed or afraid, he could eventually feel threatened enough to get defensively aggressive.

    How do i teach my dog to smile

    The Spruce Pets/ Ashley Nicole DeLeon

    How to Respond

    If your dog is baring his teeth at you or someone else, take a look at his other body language.If you are uncertain of the cause or it appears that the teeth are bared in an aggressive manner, you should carefully remove yourself and/or your dog from the situation. Then seek the help of a dog professionals which may include a combination of a dog trainer, behaviorist, and veterinarian to rule out a pain related/medical issue. It’s important you act quickly before your dog bites someone.

    If you are unsure whether your dog is exhibiting a submissive smile or becoming aggressive when he bares his teeth, your best bet is to call in the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. These experts are specially trained to detect the most subtle clues in your dog’s body language and behavior. It’s always a good idea to put safety first.

    If you feel absolutely certain that your dog is simply smiling and his body language otherwise appears submissive, you probably don’t need to be alarmed. However, it is important that you keep watching your dog determine if he becomes uncomfortable or nervous in his current situation. You should also keep observing to make sure you are not misreading the signs.

    Training Dogs to Smile

    In dogs that truly do smile, many owners are able to train their dogs to smile on cue. This is best taught by capturing the behavior and rewarding it while attaching a cue word like “smile.” Just be absolutely certain that the dog is definitely smiling—and not showing aggression—before you teach your dog to do it on cue! Also, make sure you are not inadvertently reinforcing signs of fear or anxiety in your dog since some dogs will display this grin when they are nervous.

    Certified Professional Dog Trainer
    917.628.8736
    [email protected]
    How do i teach my dog to smile

    When I first adopted Aspen, my Lab/Pointer mix, I wondered if I would ever again see the days of relaxing on my sofa after a long day at work, sleeping past 7:30am and feeling like my shoes/remotes/toilet paper rolls/ pens were safe from the mouth of a slobbery lab. She was full of jumping, bouncing, whining, running and any other high-energy activity you can think of. When you have a dog like this, you can burn yourself out trying to provide them with enough exercise. No matter what you do – multiple daily park trips, running, or day care – nothing seems to be enough to tire your pup out. Sound familiar? Well, the answer is that it is not all about the physical exercise…Sometimes what your dog really needs is to learn how to chill.

    Producing a chill dog that will relax when you relax and play when you play is a skill. Not all dogs come hard-wired with the ability to self regulate their emotions. In particular, many dogs find it difficult to control excitement when it creeps up on them, unless they are taught to do so.

    At The Peaceful Dog, we have 3 techniques for teaching dogs to chill out:

    1. Practice and reward low key, chilled out behavior
    2. Food Projects
    3. Adequate Exercise

    Technique 1: Reinforce Low Key Behaviors

    Exercise #1: Use “The Magic Carpet” to teach the behavior “Settle”

    • Purchase a special training mat or blanket, your “Magic Carpet”
    • You will keep this blanket in the closet when you are not training
    • Take your dog for a long walk or exercise activity
    • Come home and get a bowl of their food
    • Take out your “Magic Carpet” and sit down on the sofa with the food in a bowl on your lap or on an end table
    • Lie the blanket at your feet
    • Encourage your dog to come lie down on the “Magic Carpet” by luring him on the blanket with a treat. You may want to keep your dog’s leash on the first few times you practice this exercise to prevent him from walking away or jumping around too much. The leash should give him approximately 6 feet to work with.
    • When he gets his whole body on the blanket, calmly praise him and give him a treat
    • Take a deep breath, relax your body and lean back into the sofa
    • In the beginning, every few seconds, calmly say “Goooood Boy!” or “Niccccce Job!” and deliver a treat between your dogs paws on the mat slowly and quietly
    • Make sure you are very slow and calm with all your body gestures
    • Gradually increase the duration between treats from every couple of seconds to 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds etc.
    • If your dog gets off the mat, ignore him and stop all treats
    • When he comes back over and gets on the mat, calmly praise him and give him a cookie between his feet on the mat

    Exercise #2: Capture the Calm — It’s All in What You Teach

    As dog owners, we tend to spend a significant amount of time engaging in highly energetic activities with our pups. Whether our daily bonding activities include playing fetch or running through the park, we tend to feel like we need to be in constant motion when we are giving our pups attention. While these activities are, no doubt, essential to our relationship, we also need down-time together if we want a balanced dog — a dog who wants to go to the park to play fetch for a couple of hours in the afternoon and wants to spend the night curled up on the couch watching TV with you. However, we often find that the concept of down-time doesn’t come naturally to some dogs, and it is actually something that they must learn over time.

    Following these easy steps below from The Peaceful Dog will help your dog learn that they can be rewarded for being calm too:

    • For one week observe your dog
    • Give yourself a one-week period in which you focus solely on trying to reward your dog when he/she exhibits a calm behavior voluntarily (Yes, even the most energetic dogs have their moments!). This will require that you always have easy access to treats (either in your pockets or in open containers around the house). Each time your dog lies down on his own, calmly praise him and maybe give him a slow gentle pat on the back
    • Each time your dog approaches you, and sits on his own without you having to ask, smile and tell him “Good Job.” Maybe even pop him a cookie if you have one handy.
    • If your dog gets excited around meal time, ignore all his usual crazy behavior, and capture and reward a few seconds of calm behavior. Some examples of calm behavior might include 4-feet-on-the-floor (instead of jumping or dancing), absence of barking, or a sit.

    Exercise #3: Institute Nap Time

    • Invite your dog on the sofa or into your bed
    • Cuddle them and, if they enjoy petting, give them a light massage on their shoulder blades
    • Take a nap or watch a movie with your dog by your side. Not across the room or on a dog bed, but next to you.
    • Breath slowly, pet them with long, calm strokes.
    • Believe it or not your breathing and touch and can rev a dog up or calm them down. Its all in your energy.

    Video Demonstration: Coming soon

    Technique 2: Food Puzzles

    Food Puzzles are toys that can dispense your dog’s daily meals. Instead of letting them gulp down their food in 20 seconds, slow down the process and make it a game. Food Puzzle Toys are like crossword puzzle for dogs because they require focus, problem solving and can be quite tiring.

    Some of our favorite puzzle toys at The Peaceful Dog are:

    • JW Amaze A Ball: http://www.amazon.com/JW-Pet-Company-Puzzler-Medium/dp/B00106VC32
    • Twist and Treat: https://www.premier.com/store/Products.aspx?cid=3&pid=34
    • Kong: http://www.chewy.com/dog/kong-classic-dog-toy/dp/38414

    If you want to learn more how to use Food Puzzles check out our video on Food Projects for Dogs: Coming soon!

    Technique 3: Make sure your young dog receives Adequate Exercise

    Don’t completely ditch the physical exercise as you are teaching your dog to chill. A young adult dog, basically under the age of 3, should have at least 2 one-hour outdoor play sessions a day. This often means running with you in the morning, off leash hours in Central park, a doggy play date, or a visit to the dog park. Walking casually around the neighborhood is good for bonding and enrichment but it doesn’t count as exercise. Exercise means you dog is moving quickly, panting and breathing moderate to fast. Just as window shopping along Madison Avenue doesn’t count as a trip to the gym, a walk around the neighborhood doesn’t replace a 3 mile run in Central Park.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

With shelter in place orders in place in most states, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, you’re probably spending a lot more time at home than usual right now.

For your dog, this is great news- they always love spending time with you! They’ll want to have fun and join in with any activities you’re doing while you’re at home.

A great way to keep yourself and your furry friend occupied during the lockdown is to teach them new tricks. It’ll be a fun activity for you both and will benefit you in the long run, as your dog will have unique skills to show off!

We understand how challenging it can be to teach your dog a new trick. To help, here’s a list of some easy tricks and how you can support your dog so that they pick them up quickly.

Shake Hands

One of the most basic tricks you can teach your dog is to lift their paw into your hand. All you have to do is raise their leg and say ‘paw’ or ‘shake hands.’

Whatever command you give, make sure it’s consistent. Once you have your dog’s paw in your hand, you can reward them with a treat and praise.

It won’t be long before your dog recognizes your command as the cue to put their paw into your hand. This easy trick is a great place to start if you’re new to teaching dogs new skills.

Roll Over

Another fun, easy trick to teach your dog is to roll over onto their back to show you their belly. This skill can be useful for taking your dog to the vet and showing them an issue they may have on their stomach, so it’s worth teaching while you have the time.

First, get your dog to lie down. Then, position a treat in front of your dog’s nose and give a verbal command, such as ‘roll.’ Make a swirling motion with your hand to indicate that you want your dog to flip onto its back.

If your pup doesn’t move in response to the movement, then gently reposition them, then praise them by rubbing their tummy and giving them the treat. Keep practicing, and eventually, your dog will be able to roll onto its back on command.

Spin Around

Spinning around is an even easier version of the above trick. All you need to is get your pup to turn around on command.

To do this, hold a treat at your dog’s nose level and command them using a word such as ‘spin’ or ‘turn.’

Then, make a turning motion with your hand to guide your dog around in a small circle. Once your dog has completed this, you can give them the treat and lots of praise.

It might seem like a pointless trick, but teaching your dog to spin around is cute and fun. It’s a great trick to show off to your friends once the lockdown is over and you’re able to meet up with them again.

After your dog has mastered the basic spin around, you can teach them other related tricks. For example, you could show your dog how to spin on their hind legs if this is safe and your dog is comfortable. This trick could even be the start of a fun experience teaching your dog to dance or compete in agility competitions if you both enjoy yourselves.

To Balance Biscuits On Their Nose

If you follow pet influencers on social media, then you’ve probably seen the popular trick of balancing a biscuit on their nose or paws before being allowed to eat the treat.

This trick takes time and effort, so you’ll need to be patient with your pup. Start by gently balancing the treat on their nose, then back away, and give a clear command, such as ‘wait.’

If they eat the treat, then say ‘no’ and start again. When your dog doesn’t eat the treat, then you can praise them and reward them with another.

If you’re concerned about your dog gaining weight from such training, then try using non-edible items, such as pencils or a small dog toy.

This trick teaches your dog patience and self-control, both of which are crucial for a successful therapy dog. Our testers and observers look for patience and a strong owner/ dog relationship when considering a dog for certification. This trick is useful for those owners who are considering getting their pups certified.

Want to take your training to the next level and get your dog certified as a therapy dog? Contact us, and our team will be happy to talk you through the process. We always need new members and their dogs to help us with our vital work, so please reach out!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

So, you’ve decided to get a new puppy and want it to be the smartest dog in town. I must warn you, however, that this title is already taken by my puppy (okay, okay, we’re still working on his paw shake), but let’s take a look at some dog tricks that are quite easy to teach your pup today—and are fun, too! The idea of teaching your puppy a trick (or trick training) may seem a little daunting. After all, puppies can have incredibly short attention spans. However, with a little persistence and a lot of treats, you can most definitely teach your puppy the following tricks in no time:

1. Sit

Yes, this is the most standard of dog tricks, but all dogs need to learn to sit, right? Puppies can usually pick up on this trick pretty easily. You can teach your pet “sit” by getting his attention, and letting him know that you have a treat in your hand. Follow this by moving the treat from around your dog’s nose, to the back of his head. This should automatically put your pup in the sitting position. Say “sit” as he sits his bottom down, and give him a treat. Practice this as many times as it takes and I guarantee, sit will be a trick your pup will soon remember.

2. Give Kisses

There are many complicated ways out there to teach your pup this trick, but we prefer the simple way. Your pup loves to shower you in kisses, correct? The feeling’s probably mutual! This is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach your pup, and definitely one of the cutest. You can actually teach your dog to kiss with two different methods, but both combined are the most effective. The first is known as “capturing the behavior.” When your pup goes to lick you your face, shout “give kisses!” and reward him with a treat after doing so. Another way to do this is to put something that will both stick and is safe for your pup to eat on your cheek (peanut butter, cream cheese, and so on). When your pup goes to lick it off, give the command again, and reward him after doing so. This means double the treat and more potential for this trick sticking (literally).

3. Fetch

Fetch is another one of the absolute easiest tricks to teach your pup because, odds are, you play fetch already. It can’t even really be classed as training as dogs seem to naturally know how to play fetch. This is probably due to their natural inclination to chase, and their willingness to please you! The challenge is getting your pup to associate the word “fetch” with the action. Next time you are throwing his favorite ball, exclaim “fetch!” as you throw it, and reward him with a treat when he brings it back. With the number of times you and your pup play his favorite game, he’ll catch on in no time.

4. Shake

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Now, this trick definitely works best if your pet has already mastered “sit” (why are you trying to teach your dog shake before sit anyway?) This, again, can be done by joining two methods into one. While your dog is in a sitting position, gently lift up his paw, say “shake!” and give him a treat. This one may take slightly longer than sit (in my experience, anyway), but your pup will catch on in no time. Some dogs also naturally lift their paw up when in the sit position, especially when they’re about to get a treat—catch them doing this and exclaim “shake!” Be persistent with this one, and you will be well on your way to getting him to master it.

5. Bow

It’s most definitely true—you can teach your pup to bow. Before you wrack your brains too hard wondering how this is possible, why don’t I just tell you? Does your pup love a good, long stretch? You can actually turn this into a trick. There’s really no way to do this other than by catching him in the act. Next time your pup goes for a big, long stretch, repeat the command “bow!” once or twice while he’s in action. Make sure your pup knows that you’re talking to him, and isn’t too wrapped up in the business of stretching. Get extremely excited after he’s done this. In fact, praise him loads and give him the odd treat. Even if this trick is a bit slower in the learning department than others, your extreme enthusiasm and endless treats will catch on eventually. (Plus, it makes for a cool party trick at your pup’s next soiree.)

6. Go Potty

Yes, I know, this is more of a command than a “trick.” However, it will possibly be the most useful one your pup will ever know, and it will be incredibly useful for you. Whenever your pup is about to relieve himself, simply exclaim “go potty!” as he goes about his business, and enthusiastically praise him once he’s finished. I’ve found this to be the most useful trick ever, and can eliminate any confusion about why you’re bringing your pup outside at 2:00 am do his business!

7. Come

“Come” is another incredibly valuable trick. On top of it being useful, it is also a great trick to know for safety reasons, such as if he gets away from you, or if he is about to approach a dangerous situation. It’s also incredibly easy to teach. Pups will catch onto this trick in many different ways, but an effective start is to have some distance between yourself and your pup and get his attention. Show him that you have a treat in your hand, and exclaim “come!” He will more than likely come flying over to you, where you then give him the treat and praise him enthusiastically. Easy!

There are endless fun tricks that you can teach your pup and offer positive reinforcement, but we have listed the seven that we find most effective. Remember, teaching a dog new tricks is not just a novelty, as each one provides structure, discipline, and can even be life-saving in a dangerous situation. Even professional dog trainers struggle with certain pups, but it is definitely worth taking that extra half-hour out of your day to practice some tricks with your furry BFF.

Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!

One of the best ways to spice up your pet’s life is to teach it some fun tricks.

WATCH: How to teach a dog good manners with Dr Harry

Trick training will stimulate your dog both mentally and physically and be an excellent way to bond with your best friend.

Of course, all the tricks listed here are a lot easier to teach if your dog already knows basic obedience commands of “sit,” “stay,” and “down.” Once it has those commands conquered, trick training is a snap. If your dog has not participated in a basic obedience class, now is the time to sign up.

As a general rule, training sessions should not last more than 10 minutes once or twice a day. It’s also very important that you are in a good mood and willing to praise your dog enthusiastically when it performs well. Never get frustrated with your dog or use harsh physical force to make it perform.

If you begin to feel frustrated or angry, stop the sessions immediately. Your pet will never perform well if you can’t remain calm and positive. And always end each training session with playtime so that your pet links its training to a favourite activity. Here are five easy tricks you can teach your dog.

1. Roll Over

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Put your dog in a “down” position. Then, put a treat in your hand and move your hand slowly behind your dog’s neck. Your goal is to get your dog to turn its head backwards without standing up.

Then, as its head reaches back to sniff the treat, gently roll it over. As soon as your dog rolls over, give it the treat and praise your dog enthusiastically. Repeat the process and as you start to roll it over, say the command “roll” and when it goes completely over, treat it and give praise again. Do this for five to 10 minutes.

Try again later in the day for another five to 10-minute session. Eventually, your pet should understand that the command and the rolling process are directly linked. After your pet rolls over when asked, you no longer need to offer a treat each time. Always praise your dog when it performs correctly, and don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t seem to be catching on right away. Stop the session if you can’t stay calm and relaxed.

2. Shake Hands

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Teaching a dog to shake hands is generally pretty easy because some dogs naturally raise their paw when asking for a treat. Start by putting your dog in a “sit” position. Then, put a treat in your hand and slowly move it towards the ground near the dog’s paw.

As the dog raises its paw in anticipation, use the verbal cue “shake,” give it the treat, then praise your dog enthusiastically. As you practice this, hold your hand gradually higher so the dog must raise its paw higher to gain the treat. Your goal is to have the dog raise its paw to chest height.

Keep practising and always use the same paw for training. Eventually, once the dog holds its paw up on command, you can switch to the other paw. The key here is to use another command such as “other” so the dog learns that one command works for its right paw and the other for its left. Once your dog is shaking hands on command, you can start to eliminate the treats and offer happy praise instead.

3. High Five

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

As your dog masters the “shake” command, it’s a simple matter to teach him to do a “high five.” Start by working on the “shake” command, but begin to hold your palm out and as the dog hits your palm, give the command “high five.” Treat and praise your dog immediately. Your goal here is to get the dog to raise its paw as high as possible and to touch your open palm.

4. Speak

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Encouraging your dog to bark on command is easy if your pet is naturally vocal, but it can take a bit longer to train if your dog is on the quiet side. Start by getting your dog excited by tossing a ball or talking in an excited tone. Then, put your dog in a “sit” position and wave a treat by your dog’s nose. Keep waving the treat without letting your dog see it until your dog whines or cries. As soon as your dog makes a sound, reward your dog with the treat.

Repeat the process, but use the command “speak” as your dog begins to make noise. Do not reward your dog until it makes noise. And, always tell your dog “hush” or “enough” and walk away when you want your dog to stop.

Note: If your dog has a tendency to bark excessively, use this trick only when your dog is in a sitting position. Barking at everything that walks by your front window should not be encouraged and should never be rewarded with treats or praise.

5. Dance

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Although almost any dog can be taught to dance, the smaller breeds are typically easier to train. Getting a Saint Bernard up on its hind legs can be challenging, but lively dogs under 40 pounds can quickly learn to cut a rug. Start with your dog in a sitting position and hold a treat in your closed hand near its nose. Slowly lift your hand over and slightly behind the dog’s head so the dog looks back and begins to stand on its hind legs. As soon as your dog stands on its hind legs, praise the dog and give it the treat. Repeat the process until your dog stands quickly and sturdily on its back legs.

Then, begin moving the treat above the dog’s head in a small circle. You want your dog to twirl on its hind legs. As soon as the dog begins to step in a circle, use the term “dance” and offer praise and the treat. Use the treat as bait to get the dog to stand up and turn in a circle. Again, this trick is easier to accomplish with small, agile dogs. Avoid this trick if you have a breed prone to back trouble such as a dachshund.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

January marks the official start of National Train Your Dog Month, but you can teach your dog new things at any time of year.

We all love our pets, but sometimes it can feel like your dog is incapable of learning any tricks. While it may feel impossible at times, with the right techniques and proper amount of practice, just about any dog can learn.

You should try this clicker to help train your pooch with clicker training!

Committing yourself to teaching your dog some tricks is a great New Year’s resolution, but it’s also a fun bonding experience for you and your dog throughout the year. Watch the following videos to learn some simple techniques that make it possible for any dog to learn tricks.

1. Kiss

Yes, your dog may already shower you with kisses on a daily basis, but now you can actually teach them to kiss you on command.

The video above walks you through the training process step by step, showing you how to eventually work up to the final kiss. For this trick you’ll need something sticky like tape or a post-it, treats, and a clicker.

The dog in this training video not only learned how to kiss his human, but he even learned to kiss his cat friend!

2. Bark On Command

This trick might be for more advanced dogs and takes some extra patience, as it’s one of the tougher tricks. As the video above shows, you have to be diligent in waiting for your dog to bark by themselves first, and then reward them as they continually do it.

The dog in the video doesn’t bark immediately even though the trainer is a professional, so make sure you remember that it won’t happen right away. However, if you can master it, barking on command is a very unique trick that will definitely impress your fellow dog parents.

3. Shake Hands

The “Shake Hands” trick is definitely one of the cuter tricks your pup can learn. It’s quite simple and is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach.

The secret is that your dog will already naturally paw at you if they want something. When you present a closed fistful of treats, your dog will likely be compelled to paw at your hand since they can’t get the treats with their mouth.

Once they continue to paw, begin to use the command “Shake,” and after repeating it several times, your dog is sure to learn a brand new trick. Follow the instructions in the video above for more details.

4. Fetch

While fetch is a classic game, it’s a trick that doesn’t come naturally for some dogs.

It can become pretty frustrating when your dog won’t cooperate at play time. Some dogs are uninterested in the toy and don’t even want to try, some will go fetch the toy but not bring it back, and then there are the stubborn dogs who bring the toy back but then won’t let go.

Watch the tutorial above to see how you can get your dog interested in fetch in the first place, and then actually learn how to play fetch properly.

5. Roll Over

At first “Roll Over” may seem like a difficult trick to attempt, but in the long run, it’s very straightforward.

All this trick demands is repetition. The more you do it, the better your dog will get.

The video above explains that the secret of “Roll Over” is doing it in three steps. Make sure you precisely lead your dog through each step, and before you know it, your friends will be asking you to teach their dogs for them!

6. Play Dead

“Play Dead” is a great party trick that will most definitely impress your friends and family. Unlike simpler commands like sitting or shaking hands, playing dead takes a bit more time and persistence to master.

The tutorial above uses a backwards method approach, teaching the last part of the trick first in order for the dog to learn easier. Take your time and remember to reinforce with a clicker and treats to make the process faster.

If your dog already knows the trick “Roll Over” it will be much easier for them to learn this trick.

7. Spin

Getting your dog to spin on command is a staple dog trick. While seemingly complicated, making your dog spin when directed can be done very easily with the right technique.

The instructor in the video above shows you how to begin with treats and eventually get to a verbal command only. However, getting your dog to spin with a verbal command only can be pretty difficult for beginners, so even if you get your dog to spin with a hand cue or treats, it’s still an accomplishment to be celebrated.

8. Stand On Hind Legs

While this trick may seem like something to leave to the professionals, if you’re a persistent dog parent with patience and high determination, it’s definitely doable.

In comparison to tricks like “Shake Hands” or “Spin,” this trick may seem complex, but really it’s just as easy to achieve if you put the work and effort in.

Big or small, any dog is capable of learning this if their human is just as determined. Watch the video above for details on how to pull it off.

9. Sit Pretty

Making your dog “Sit Pretty” isn’t just fun because it gives you the chance to take cute pictures of your pup to post to Instagram, but it’s also a great exercise for your dog.

Making your dog strike an adorable pose helps with your dog’s balance and can build core muscles. However, make sure your dog is healthy for this trick because it can strain dogs with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the video above to learn how it’s done.

10. Hug

While you can always just give your dog a hug, this trick is neat because your dog will actually put their paws around you and hug you back. Who wouldn’t want to learn this adorable trick?

If you want to master this heartwarming hug, just remember to be understanding of the pace at which your dog learns. Also, keep in mind that it is a bit simpler for your dog to learn this trick if they already know “Sit Pretty,” but otherwise it is still very manageable.

Take a look at the video above and follow along. Your dog will get lots of “awws” from all your friends!

What fun tricks does your dog know? Are you planning to teach your pup any new tricks? Let us know and leave a comment below!

Sharon 07/05/2020

Dog tricks are not only fun but a great way to bond and improve communication with your dog. As an added bonus, tricks are also a great way to entertain your family and friends.

When training your dog, remember to be patient and to keep the sessions short and fun – your dog will learn better this way.

Here are our 10 favourite dog tricks:

Dog trick #1 – Shake hands

Shake hands (or a paw shake!) is a popular dog trick and is usually the first trick most people teach their dogs. This is an easy trick to teach and most dogs pick it up really quickly.

Dog trick #2 – Play dead

Playing dead or getting your dog to lie still on its side is another crowd favourite. If you are not a fan of guns, you can always use the cue ‘boo’ and pretend to be scaring your dog into a fainting position for this dog trick instead.

Dog trick #3 – Roll over

Teaching your dog to roll over can be challenging for some dog more than others. It requires a high level of trust from your dog because rolling on to their back is a vulnerable position for a dog. So make sure you practise in a calm and safe environment and take your time with this dog trick.

Dog trick #4 – Spin

Teaching your dog how to spin is a cute and easy trick. Make sure you also teach your dog how to go the other way and use two seperate cues.

Dog trick #5 – Sit pretty

Getting your dog to sit pretty or sit upright can physically be quite strenuous for them. Some dogs naturally have strong core muscles so the sit pretty trick will happen easily for them. Other dogs may need more time to develop the core muscles needed for this trick. So keep the sessions short and be patient.

Dog trick #6 – Walk backwards (reverse)

The reverse dog trick is a practical trick to teach your dog. It can help get your dog out of tight situations or even away from you if you need space to move around.

Dog trick #7 – Bow

While this dog trick might not have a practical purpose, teaching your dog how to bow is a nice crowd pleaser. It’s an action that all dogs do naturally so the trick will happen quite easily for most dogs.

Dog trick #8 – Go around an object

Teaching your dog to go around an object is another trick that is also practical in real life situations. Now you can easily untangle your leash from around a pole or tree by asking your dog to go around the opposite direction instead of reaching around the object yourself!

Dog trick #9 – Catch a treat

This trick is a fun way to bond with your dog. Some dogs will catch a treat naturally, while others might need some extra lessons. Teaching your dog how to catch a treat is also a great way to train your dog to maintain focus on you in the face of distractions.

Dog trick #10 – Get a tissue when you sneeze

This is a challenging dog trick and will take some time to master, but it is an impressive one! Take your time with this trick as there are a couple of different parts that need to be trained so it can be really difficult for beginners. However, if you break it down and practise each step for a couple of minutes each day, you and your dog will master the get a tissue trick in no time.

With such a fun list of tricks, we bet you can’t wait to get started with trick training your dog! If you are a beginner, start with some of the easier tricks. This will get you comfortable with communicating with your dog and make things much easier when you move on to more complex tricks.

Tricks are fun for both you and your puppy. Never teach anything that is demeaning or dangerous. It is especially important not to teach puppies to jump until they are 18 months old to avoid damaging their rapidly growing bones and joints.

Suggestions for tricks:

  • Roll over
  • Play dead
  • Wave
  • Weave in an out of your legs
  • Jump through a hoop
  • Jump through your arms held in out in a circle
  • Crawl/creep
  • Jump
  • Jump over another dog
  • Bow
  • Back up
  • Touch a target
  • Walk under you
  • Fetch
  • Catch
  • Carry a basket
  • Hide your eyes
  • Say your prayers
  • Balance treat on nose then catch it
  • Deportment – balance book on head while walking
  • Aatichoo – bring tissue when you sneeze
  • Roll up in blanket
  • Put toys away
  • Put basket ball through a hoop
  • Find lost keys
  • Flower pot trick
  • Speak
  • Nodding and shaking head

Hold a tasty treat next to your puppy’s nose, and move your hand so that he turns his head. Give him time to adjust to this position, then slowly move your hand further round until he begins to roll onto his side. Feed the treat and praise him when he is on his side.

Gradually, you can ask for more until he rolls onto his back. Make sure he feels secure and place something soft underneath him before asking him to do this.

Hold a treat tightly between your fingers and place your hand low so your puppy will find it easy to use his paw to help him get the treat. As soon as he lifts his paw, release the treat and praise well. Practice over several sessions until he paws at your hand every time you present it. Then gradually begin to raise your hand higher. Introduce the voice cue by asking him to ‘wave’ as you present your hand.

Gradually, over several sessions, raise the hand with the treat higher, only rewarding when he paws at your hand. Eventually, hold your hand just out of reach and ask for a ‘wave’. Be patient and ignore any other behaviour (help him if you need to by lowering your hand a little). Reward as soon as he ‘waves’ and gradually raise your hand higher until he will ‘wave’ when you ask when your hand is high above him.

When we teach our dogs to respond to a signal, they learn a whole set of associations surrounding the training event, rather than just the voice cue or hand signal we were trying to teach. So you will need to teach the same exercise in different places with different associations and, with him in a different position relative to you, until he learns what the signal really means.

Position your puppy so that you are standing in front of him in a narrow corridor. Get his attention, show him the hand signal for ‘back’ and say the word, while at the same time stepping slowly towards him. He will have no choice but to step back and you can praise and reward him. Continue, slowly asking for more steps as he learns, and gradually reducing your movement forward. Once he understands, try again in open areas.

Shut the door (Advanced!)

Teach your dog to touch a target (e.g. the end of a ruler) with his nose by holding it out in front of him and rewarding immediately with praise and a titbit when he sniffs at it. Continue until he realises what is required and will move to touch the end of the target as soon as he sees it.

Then put the target against an open door at your dog’s nose height. Encourage him to touch the target with his nose and reward well when he does. Gradually ask for harder pushes of his nose against the door until he is closing the door, then remove the target and repeat. Make sure you have trained each part of this trick well before moving on to the next stage, and praise him well and reward him with a tasty titbit whenever he does what you have asked. Make it fun and keep him excited and active so he learns quickly.

For more information on how to train tricks, please see the book ‘Puppy School’.

Training your dog most definitely requires patience and perseverance, but at Good Boy we know just how important it is not to give up on training those furry pooches, even when it seems impossible – and what better way than with easy tricks to teach your dog. Teaching your dog training tricks is really rewarding for both the pet parent and the pooch – it does usually involves dog treats after all!

You might be wondering, why do I need to teach my dog training tricks? The biggest bonus is that it helps to keep your pooch’s brain stimulated. Tricks are a fantastic way to gain your dog’s focus, and whilst this stimulation is great at home, once it’s built up the focus can be used outside of the home too! This is not the only juicy bonus, no no no, tricks also promote a bond between dog and hooman. As treats are used as a form of reward, when teaching tricks, the endorphins that are released when treating is a key part of the dog developing a bond with their owner.

And now for the most important part – how to teach a dog tricks! We have put together a step-by-step “how to” guide on our top 5 easy dog tricks that you can teach to your dog at home!

🐾 Good Boy Top Tip:- We recommend you start training with your dog at a young age, even basic training. Not only will they be more enthusiastic, it’ll help to burn off some of that excitable puppy steam! Read more about our 5 Simple Training Tips here.

Hand Touch Dog Trick

Aim – Your dog will touch their nose to your palm.

How to teach trick:

  1. Place a tasty treat between your fingers and hold your palm out flat to the side at the height of your dogs head.
  2. When your dog touches your hand to take the treat say your praise word e.g ‘Good Boy’, ‘Yes’, ‘Good’ etc. And throw a second treat on the floor for them to eat.
  3. After repeating this exercise a couple of times, your dog will start to automatically return to your palm after eating the thrown treat. At this stage no longer place a treat between your fingers, just continue to use your praise word and thrown treat whenever your dog touches your palm.
  4. Once your dog has mastered this, you can move your palm to a new location and your dog should follow. For example place your palm on the ground, up high or even between your legs. It is at this stage that you can add a verbal command to this exercise.

Start Line Dog Trick

Aim – Your dog will stand, sit or lay down between your legs, facing the same way as you.

How to teach trick:

  1. Your dog will start off by facing you. With a treat in your hand, lure your dog around one leg into position between your legs. Once in this position give the treat to them, whilst saying your praise word e.g ‘Good Boy’, ‘Yes’, ‘Good’ etc and then throw a second treat away from your legs for your dog.
  2. Repeat this until your dog starts to anticipate the movement and automatically returns back between your legs. It is at this stage that you can add a verbal command to this dog trick.

Roundabout Dog Trick

Aim – Your dog will circle around your legs.

How to teach trick:

  1. With your dog stood in front of you and your legs firmly together, lure your dog around your body and into the heel position. Once here, give the treat to your dog, whilst saying your praise word e.g ‘Good Boy’, ‘Yes’, ‘Good’ etc and then throw a second treat away from your legs for your dog.
  2. Repeat this exercise until you no longer need to lead your dog with the treat in front of their nose, but rather they can do the trick with just a hand gesture or verbal command.

Spin Dog Trick

Aim – Your dog will turn in a circle.

🐾 Good Boy Top Tip:- A dog is able to learn both left and right spin, so it is best to teach one direction first and then the second direction using a different command.

How to teach trick:

  1. With your dog standing in front of you, use a treat to lure your dog in a circular motion. As your dog completes a full turn say your praise word e.g ‘Good Boy’, ‘Yes’, ‘Good’ etc and give them the treat.
  2. Once your dog has mastered this you can remove the treat from your lure hand and just gesture for your dog to spin.
  3. Repeat this exercise until you no longer need to lead your dog with the treat in front of their nose, but rather they can do the trick with just a hand gesture or verbal command.

Backwards Dog Trick

Aim – Your dog will walk backwards.

How to teach trick:

  1. Stand with your dog facing you. Walk towards your dog and as they take a step back say your praise word e.g ‘Good Boy’, ‘Yes’, ‘Good’ etc and give them the treat.
  2. Continue this method until your dog is able to take multiple steps back before praising and treating.
  3. As your dog progresses you can add in a verbal command and reduce how much you need to walk towards them.

🐾 Good Boy Top Tip:- If you find that your dog is unable to walk backwards in a straight line, try this trick in either a narrow hallway or along the back of the sofa.

Has your doggy mastered these 5 easy dog tricks? Try taking our All Dogs, New Tricks quiz here to see whether your dog is a ‘Super Pooch’ an ‘Up & Comer’ or a ‘Loveable Rogue’. Or why not share your pooch’s favourite trick with us on social media, you can find us on Good Boy Instagram or Good Boy Facebook page . Just share your trick with us by using the hashtag #GoodBoyUGCYes and we’ll repost and share our favourites!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Teaching your dog tricks is great fun for both! It stimulates your dog both mentally and physically, plus it is an excellent way to bond with your dog and stay active.

With some extra time on our hands with Covid-19 restrictions, here are some cool tricks you can easily teach your dog and have some fun!

All you need is some dog treats , some basic commands, and some time to practice!

1. Shaking Paws

Teaching a dog to shake paws is generally pretty easy because some dogs naturally raise their paw when asking for a treat.

How to teach your dog to shake paws:

  • Ask your dog to sit.
  • Hold a treat in your closed fist.
  • When your dog lifts its paw up, even the slightest, give them a treat
  • If they don’t lift it naturally you can gently lift your pet’s paw and say shake and then give them a treat.
  • Repeat the command until your pet willingly shakes paws with you.

2. Roll over

If your dog already knows how to lay down the next step is to teach them to roll over. This trick is much easier for smaller and more agile dog breeds, however, with persistence any dog can be taught to roll over. When teaching this command it’s important to remember to not physically force your dog to roll over using your hands. Rather use the treat to lure them into the position that you want, this will help them learn the behaviour faster.

How to teach your dog to roll over:

  • First, get your dog in a down position.
  • Using a treat lure your dog’s nose over its shoulder to encourage them to displace their weight and lie on their side. Where the nose goes, the head and body will usually follow.
  • Continue the motion until their body rolls over fully and then give them a treat.
  • When they are consistently following the treat all the way around in a “roll over,” add the verbal cue ‘roll over’.

3. Speak

Encouraging your dog to bark on command is easy if your pet is naturally vocal. This is a good trick because you can then teach them the “quiet” command. Remember, it can take a bit longer to train if your dog is on the quiet side.

How to teach your dog to speak:

  • Get your dog to bark naturally – A good way to do this is to show your dog that you have a treat and not let them have it.
  • As your dog barks, say ‘speak’ in a clear, upbeat voice.
  • Praise your dog and give them a treat.
  • Repeat the “speak” command process several times until your dog seems to understand.

4. Place

Training your dog to go to a place can be helpful when you need them to settle down, get out from under your feet, or for when you want them to go to bed. For this trick all your pet needs to already know is the down command.

How to teach your dog to place:

  • First decide where you want your dog to go, it can be a bed or a mat.
  • Start by standing close to the bed or mat and give your dog the command “place” and lure the dog onto its bed.
  • Once your dog has all fours on the bed or mat you can give them a command to lie down.
  • Repeat the command until your dog confidently finds and lays down on their “place”.
  • Now that your dog is consistently lying down on their mat after you give the “place” command, you can increase the amount of time they spend there and the distance away that you give the command from.

5. Shy (cover their eyes)

One of the cutest tricks you can teach your dog is to cover their eyes with their paw on command.

How to teach your dog to shy:

  • Place a small piece of masking tape on your dog’s nose.
  • Most dogs will immediately attempt to take off the tape with their paw.
  • As your dog brings their paw to their nose, say “shy” and reward the behaviour with a treat.
  • Repeat until your dog understands the command without using tape and will respond to the word “shy”.

6. Bow

With the bow command, your dog will lower their head and front end to the ground while their hips remain elevated. This makes for a great trick and is relatively easy to teach as a bow is a natural behaviour dogs use when they are trying to engage in play.

How to teach your dog to bow:

  • Get your dog to stand on all four paws facing you.
  • Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and move it down between their legs to the ground.
  • If they bend their front leg without lowering their rear, they get the treat, but if they lay down all the way, don’t give them a treat.
  • Keep your dog in a bow position for only a few seconds. Then use the same treat to lure them back up into a standing position and then give them the treat.
  • After 5 successful repetitions, start luring your dog with an empty hand instead of a hand with a treat in it.

7. Spin

Spin is a great stretch for your dog and an awesome exercise to do before you go for a run or do physical exercises such as agility with your dog. It’s relatively easy to teach as it can be taught with the use of your dog’s favourite treats.

How to teach your dog to spin:

  • Let your dog know you have a treat in your hand.
  • Move your arm in a wide circle around your dog.
  • Encourage your dog to follow the food in your hand and therefore spin in a circle. Use the word “spin”.
  • After one rotation, reward them with the treat.
  • Once your dog understands this trick, graduate to only using the word “spin” or making a circular hand or arm gesture without the treat.

With a bit of practice and patience, your and your dog will be showing off your new ‘party’ tricks in no time!

Written by The Pet.co.nz Team

A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.

Shi-won is a copywriter and an enthusiastic dog aunt to Maltese and Shih Tzu puppies.

Reviewed by Richard Lovejoy, Professional Dog Trainer .

Training your dog is crucial for their long-term development. Whether you have a lively young pup or an older pooch, dogs thrive on consistent structure and routine. It’s great to start with dog training basics like potty training, leash training, and socialization, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop there!

Dogs are extremely intelligent animals and fiercely loyal companions. They can learn tons of new commands that are both challenging and rewarding, which shows just a small glimpse into their potential.

Let’s walk through both basic and advanced tricks you can teach your dog and how to guide them through each one. With the right amount of love, patience, and praise, they’ll be sure to master them all.

Dog tricks 101: How to prepare

Before you set out to teach your dog your favorite tricks, you must first be familiar with positive reinforcement: a process where you reward your dog for desired behavior. It can be as simple as giving them lots of praise, handing them their favorite training treats, or allowing them to play with their favorite toy. Dogs learn best when they’re able to connect their behavior to their owner’s positive responses, so the more you reward their actions, the better. You can also opt to use a clicker, which helps indicate when a completed trick is successful.

Next, you want to make sure that your training sessions last no longer than five to ten minutes. While dogs can thrive in training sessions and are eager to please, they will tire easily if they spend too much time practicing tricks.

Remember that teaching your dog tricks is meant to help strengthen your bond and provide stimulation. They should never be punished or given negative reinforcement for their mistakes, as they’ll become confused about your expectations.

Easy dog tricks

Though there are many tricks to teach your dog, these are very beginner-friendly. Once your pup has these down pat, you can ease into more difficult tricks. Let’s get started!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Once your dog has mastered “sit” you can teach them to stay. Perhaps one of the most useful tricks in the book, teaching your dog to “stay” will come in handy when you want to prevent them from bolting towards the front door or begging at the dinner table. Once your dog is in a sitting position, tell them to “stay” and hold your hand up to signal a visual cue. Have your dog stay put for 10-15 seconds while maintaining eye contact. If your dog gets up, don’t reward them! Simply try again until they stay still the entire time. As always, repetition is key and will allow your dog the time to properly internalize the expectations of the trick.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Advanced dog tricks

Now that your dog is familiar with the basics, it’s time to ramp it up a little! The following are more advanced dog tricks that require multiple steps and a lot more practice. But once they get these down, it’ll be incredibly rewarding.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Even the most well-trained dogs get into mischief from time to time – resulting in occasional accidents or injuries. Pumpkin’s dog insurance plans can help you pay for the best care when the unexpected happens – which is one of the best rewards you can give your sweet pup.

These nine tricks will impress your friends, family, and fellow doggie lovers when your dog knows them on cue.

It’s amazing what Fido can learn with the power of positive reinforcement! Our canine companions are sharp-witted students, and there are all sorts of neat things we can teach them that will not only impress your friends but give your dog helpful lifelong skills. Whether your dog needs a little help walking on leash or you just want to enjoy a fair game of Frisbee together, positive reinforcement is the key to enjoying the learning process.

With this quick guide we help you to teach your dog nine useful tricks, cues, and skills that will strengthen your bond with each other.

9 Cool Dog Tricks Your Pup Can Learn on Cue

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1. Fetch

Fetch is a great game to play with our canine companions. They get a bit of exercise and together you feel like a victorious team with each successful toss and retrieve. Not every dog is born with the know-how to fetch a toy but it’s easy to teach when you use really good treats and reinforce your dog every time they go and grab a toy and when they bring it back to you.

2. Heel

Dogs need daily walks for a healthy mind and healthy body. The majority of the walk should enable your dog to sniff, sniff, and sniff some more. But when you need to walk across traffic quickly or navigate a narrow pathway, heeling on leash is an important safety skill any dog can learn. Teaching a dog to heel on leash takes some practice but when you use an effective hand target and tons of super delicious treats, your dog can learn to walk nicely in heel position for short distances in no time at all.

3. Come

Of all the important skills a dog needs to know, coming when called might rank as #1. If you plan to enjoy off-leash time together or, in the event your dog ever accidentally slips out your front door, a recall cue like “come” is crucial to living safely with our puppers. When you combine coming when called and getting to eat nummies into one fun game, any dog can learn to come when called on cue.

4. Drop it

Playing with our dog is one of our favorite activities but when your dog doesn’t always play fair, fun times can end quickly (well, at least for you). If your doggo thinks it’s fun to grab that new squeaky toy and take off for the hills or doesn’t want to give up pilfered gems from under your bed, a drop-it cue becomes essential to living happily ever after. Successfully teaching this skill means not confusing it with a leave-it cue and always being ready to trade your dog for something even better, like a preferred treat or a fair game of tug.

5. Lie Down

Probably one of the easiest skills to teach any canine is to lie down on cue because every dog, even the most active ones, needs to rest at some point during their day and the behavior comes naturally for them. A “down” cue is not only easy to learn but can also serve as the foundation for lots of other awesome tricks and skills. When you use a food lure to begin the learning process and quickly fade it as your dog understands the goal, you can teach your dog to lay down when you ask in just three simple steps.

6. Stay

Teaching your dog to stay in place is valuable, especially as a way to instill some patience in your young dog or prevent them jumping out of the car before you’re ready. You can also use a stay cue to build other more complex behaviors, like go-to-bed. Within five steps, your dog can learn “stay,” first when you reinforce your dog for paying attention while staying in one position and then by moving away from your dog as they remain attentive.

7. Roll over

There might not be anything cuter than seeing a dog show their hairy belly as they perform a roll over cue. But this cue is also a super handy way for you to check your dog for any tummy concerns, like mats or ticks. When you use a tasty treat lure and marker you can guide your dog onto their back and then to their side in a few short repetitions.

8. Shake

This cue might not seem like anything more than just a cute dog trick, but teaching your dog to shake can become a foundational cue for successful nail trims, foot and leg care, and other tricks like “wave” or “high five.” To start, your dog should be able to comfortably lift up a paw from a sitting position. Then, it’s just capturing your dog’s natural pawing behaviors with clicks (a marker) and good treats.

9. Sit

Whether you have a new puppy or just adopted a distinguished senior canine, one of the first things you are likely to teach them is to sit on cue. It can be nearly effortless to do when you use a scrumptious treat to lure your dog into the position and then are quick to mark and treat.

No matter what new thing you want to teach your pooch, remember to make their wonderful efforts worthwhile by creating lots and lots of opportunities for positive reinforcement! In no time at all, your dog will look like the smartest one on the block.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

When you think about training your dog, you mostly want them to follow your basic commands like come, stay, sit. However, there are many easy tricks that you can train your dog to perform, which allows you to have more fun with your canine friend. Here are some of the easy tricks that can help you bond with your dog.

  1. Being Quiet & Speaking

You can easily train your dog to start and stop barking at your command. This will help you control their excessive barking, and you can show your dog’s skill off to your loved ones.

With a few training sessions, you can teach your dog to shake their paws and greet you and your family. Both the dog and your loved ones are going to love it.

Another trick that is easy to teach and can come in quite handy when you want your dog to stay behind and don’t run away or hog your personal space. A little bit of patience and a few treats can get the job done.

It is one of the easiest tricks to teach your dog as all you have to do is put a treat on your cheek and give a command. This way, you can get rid of undesired licking and get the kiss on demand.

One easier trick is to hold a treat near your dog’s nose and lure him or her into a spin. You can make them spin in a certain direction which is going to be a huge surprise for your friends and family.

There is nothing sweeter than seeing your dog standing upright and asking for a treat. This might be a little trickier to teach to a certain breed of dogs, but with a bit of patience, your dog will learn to stand up on its hind legs.

If you have already trained your dog to shake paws, then the next logical step would be to teach them how to wave greetings. An entertaining trick that would become an instant hit with family and friends.

Although it might not be the easiest trick to teach your dog, rolling over can be quite helpful in teaching other tricks such as playing dead. You will need to take it slow and steady.

It may appear to be a challenging trick on paper, but the truth is that dogs love to assume that position. You need to lead them into doing it by following your commands.

This one is a great trick to play with your dog and requires them to be trained for rolling over. With some adjustments, you can give your dog cues where to stop and act as if he or she is dead.

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

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What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

  • Easy tricks to teach your dog include shake, roll-over, speak, spin, and kiss.
  • It’s important to always use positive reinforcement to encourage your pup.
  • Teaching your dog tricks helps strengthen your bond and keeps your dog stimulated.

If you’re looking to teach your dog some new tricks, all you need is your pup, some patience, and a whole lot of treats. Training your dog is a fun and useful activity that you can do together. Your dog will love spending quality time with you, and of course, all the treats. Plus you’ll get to become an even prouder pet parent than you already are.

Here are five easy tricks to teach your dog, with instructions from dog trainers and vets.

1. Roll-over

To teach your dog to roll-over, follow these steps recommended by Chiara Dolzani, DVM, dog trainer and co-owner of Stardogs Clubhouse.

  1. Start with your dog lying down on the floor.
  2. Offer your dog a small treat, and keep some other treats in your hand.
  3. Have your hand with the treats near your dog’s shoulder on their “favorite” side, meaning the side they tend to naturally lie on. This way, the dog has to turn their head back to take the treat.
  4. Slowly move your hand towards the other shoulder and say “roll over” They should follow your movement and eventually lie on their back, and then roll to the other side.
  5. Move your hand with more energy so they will complete the movement and perform the full rotation.
  6. Only give them the treat if they successfully do the full roll, and give them lots of praise.

Note: Remember, positive reinforcement with treats and/or praise is key. A 2014 study showed that training with positive reinforcement is less stressful and better for dogs’ welfare.

2. Speak

Teaching your dog how to “speak” is a bit different from teaching them other tricks, since this involves training your dog to associate a behavior they already often do with a command, says Suzanne Gray BVetMed, DACVIM, veterinary specialist at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital & Referral Center. To teach them to speak, follow these steps from Gray.

  1. Have treats readily available.
  2. If your dog barks, say the command “Speak!” immediately and give them a treat.
  3. Repeat the command and reward every time your dog barks
  4. Over time, your dog will learn to associate barking with the command “speak” and a treat.
  5. Once they’ve learned to make this association, you should be able to use the command and they will bark in response.

3. Spin

If you want to teach your dog to spin, follow these steps from Gray.

  1. Start by simply standing in front of your dog and getting them to pay attention to you.
  2. Give them a treat to reward them for paying attention.
  3. Hold the treat right above your dog’s nose, but not so close that they can easily reach it.
  4. Slowly move the treat in a circle.
  5. While you move the treat and your dog follows it, say the command “Spin!”
  6. Even if they don’t make it all the way around in a circle, you can still reward them. If they do successfully spin, make a big fuss and give them a treat.
  7. Eventually, when your dog successfully spins every time, transition into using only the command and only giving a treat when they completely spin.

Note: Did you know you can improve your dog’s overall obedience by regularly playing with them and training them? A 2010 study found that especially in smaller dogs, obedience can be improved in this way.

4. Shake hands

To teach your dog to shake hands or give paw, follow these steps from Annie Grossman, CPDT-KA, owner and co-founder of School For The Dogs.

  1. Put a treat in your hand.
  2. Put your fist palm side up (with the treat inside) in front of your dog, near one of their paws.
  3. Since the dog knows there’s a treat in your fist, they’ll likely paw at it. The moment they paw at your fist, say “yes” and give them a treat.
  4. Repeat the process, saying “yes” and rewarding your dog every time your dog’s paw makes contact with your hand.
  5. When your dog gets used to this and is doing it many times in a row, start saying “give paw” when they start to lift their paw and say “yes” when the paw makes contact with your hand.
  6. When this seems easy to the dog, move on to doing all of this with an open palm without a treat in your hand.

5. Kiss

To teach your dog to give you a kiss, follow these steps from Grossman. She recommends only teaching this to a dog who likes to kiss in the first place.

  1. Put a little bit of peanut butter on your cheek and turn your head away from your dog.
  2. Say “Kiss” and then turn your cheek to your dog. You can also point to your cheek where the peanut butter is.
  3. As you continue to practice, use less and less peanut butter.
  4. At the beginning of teaching this trick, the peanut butter serves as the treat. When you get down to not using peanut butter, make sure you follow their kiss with a lot of praise, a treat, or both.

Insider’s takeaway

Teaching your dog tricks can be a fun experience for both you and your pet. It gives you both a chance to bond and try something new.

These tricks are relatively simple for dogs to learn, but it still may take a bit of time. Try to be patient and enjoy the process. Before you know it, your dog will be impressing all your friends and family.

Ashley Laderer is a freelance writer from New York who specializes in health and wellness. Follow her on Twitter @ashladerer

Shake paws is one of the oldest tricks in the book but it’ll never get old. The key to teaching your dog how to shake their paws on command is to first guide your dog’s paw in a hand shaking position so your dog can get used to the motion. Then, put a small dog treat in your closed fist and offer it to your dog. Dogs would naturally paw at you if they want something from you. Since they cannot access the treat in your closed fist, they would paw at your hand. It might take your dog a few sniffs and licks at first, but once your dog starts pawing, release the treat and praise your dog. Repeat the motion a few times as you slowly phase out the treat with affection as a reward instead. Before you know it, your dog will be greeting your guests with perfectly mannered pawshakes.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Have you ever seen a dog that can speak? While most pawrents train their dog to stop barking , training your dog to bark on command is another way to cure barking as a dog behavior issue.The first step in this trick is to get your dog to bark. Use a stimulation that your dog often barks at, like the sound of a doorbell. When your dog barks at the sound, present your good dog with a small treat and say a special keyword like “speak” or “bark”. Repeat the process a few times until your dog responds to your keyword instead of the stimulation . If you dog barks when you say the keyword, give them a big reward!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Teaching your dog how to kiss your cheeks is definitely one of the cutest tricks you can teach your dog. Although not everyone enjoys the slobbery mess, this dog trick works particularly well with children. First put a small dab of peanut butter on your cheek and kneel down to your dog’s level. Give a command word such as “kiss” and let your dog lick the peanut butter off your cheeks. Repeat the command a few times and slowly decrease the amount of peanut butter that’s given. Before you know it, your dog will be giving out free kisses on demand!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Spinning is another easy trick you can teach your dog with just a handful of dog treats . You would need to first teach your dog how to do a basic spin using treats as a guide. Hold a treat in your fist and slowly move the treat around your dog. Your dog should follow the treat and move in a circular motion. Once your dog completes an entire circular movement, say a cue of your choice such as “spin” and give your dog the treat. You will most likely need to repeat the movement multiple times to build the cognitive connection between the action “spin” and the word “spin” in your dog’s brain. Once your dog is comfortable with the movement, try saying the cue and see if your dog responds by spinning in a circle. Prepare lots of patience and love as your dog learns this super adorable trick.

If you want your dog to learn how to play dead, the first step is to learn how to roll over on command. This dog trick will be easier to teach if your dog already knows how to lay down on command. You will need your dog to be in a down position to start off the trick. Hold a dog treat in your fist and place it near the side of your dog’s head, close enough that your dog can smell the yummy treat. Slowly move your fist from the side of your dog’s head to the shoulder so your dog will naturally roll flat on their side. At this point you want to give your dog a treat first as a reward for completing the half of the trick. Keep moving the treat from the shoulder of your pup to the backbone which will lead to a natural roll over movement. Give your dog another piece of treat and say the action cue of choice. Repeat the action until the treat is not needed and that your dog will respond to the cue with the “roll over” action. This dog trick is slightly harder and will require more practice for your pooch to master it completely.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Remember, every dog responds differently to learning and training. Trick training has so many benefits for both you and your dog. Trick training through positive reinforcement is not only a great exercise for your dog, but also helps strengthen the communication you have with your lovely pooch! Prepare some yummy dog treats , patience, and love before your training session. The most important goal is to have fun with your dog!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

House training is a must if you want to keep your pup happy and your house clean. Not only do puppies need to be house trained, older dogs might also need a reminder when moving into a new family or environment. While it may require some patience and love for your pup to understand the rules of the household, it should be one of the first steps in introducing a new furry member to the family.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

One of the most common ways dogs are trained is through positive reinforcement, a method that uses rewards to encourage a certain dog behavior. A clicker is a tool that makes positive reinforcement training more efficient for your dog. Read and learn more how you can train your dog at home with a clicker!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Positive reinforcement is one of the easiest ways you can train your dog at home. You can reward your dog every time he or she does something right, which encourages that kind of good dog behavior . While positive reinforcemen t is not too difficult to implement, there are still a few things to look out for when training your dog behavior through rewards.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

This January, as part of Train Your Dog Month, The Association of Professional Dog Trainers is encouraging dog owners to teach their four legged friends some everyday manners. Positive reward training is fun for both the dog and owner and is a great way to strengthen the bond between you. This involves rewarding your dog for each correct action and remain patient and calm, whilst not telling the dog off they doesn’t respond correctly.

Here are our recommended 7 easy tricks to teach your dog! And if you find your dog is struggling with training, you may find anxiety & behaviour herbal remedies for dogs could help.

Take a bow

We start this list of easy dog tricks with the most traditional dog trick in the code of British etiquette, the bow. Bowing is a natural behaviour for dogs; it’s your dog’s way of saying, “Let’s play!”. Teach them how to do this on command by rewarding them.

When your dog is standing, hold the treat to their nose and slowly move it to the floor, luring them to bow forward. Each time they follow your hand to between their paws, feed the treat. When they start to go down into the correct position say “bow” as you feed the treat. If you find your dog starts to lie down as you move the treat to the floor, hold your arm out under their belly to encourage them to keep standing. This dog trick can be taught with treats or a toy – it works differently for everyone!

Sit

The most well-known trick is ‘sit’ and is of course part of the National Train Your Dog Month free webinar series. This dog trick is going to need treats, a clicker or both. Sit down with your dog, holding a treat (and/or clicker). Put the treat in front of their nose and slowly lift the food above their head. As he or she lifts their head to nibble at the treat, they’ll will start to sit. When your dog’s bottom touches the ground, allow them to eat the treat. Once you’ve repeated this once or twice with food, you can try with an empty hand and give them the treat when they sit. Once your pet begins to understand this hand signal, you can start saying “sit” just before and they will begin to associate the word with the gesture.

Roll Over

This is one of those tricks to teach your dog that require luring. Before you start, make sure the treat is easy to eat quickly, so that the move from lying to rolling over is smooth. To start, ask your dog to lie down and reward them with a treat when they do this. Slowly move you hand onto their nose and over their head. As they follow your hand (and the treat inside) with their nose, they will shift onto their back as to not lose sight of the prize. Once on their back, feed another treat.

To complete the roll, move the next treat slightly out to the side of their body, so that they will have to roll all the way over to reach it. Once they have rolled and are back in the lying position, reward them with the treat. Do this a few more times and then start to introduce the words “roll” or “roll over”.

Shake Paws

Your pup will enjoy the positive attention they get when doing this dog trick. It is one of the easiest tricks to teach dogs as most dogs naturally like using their paws! If you greet your dog with a closed handful of treats, they will be compelled to paw at your hand because they can’t get to the treats with their mouth. As they continue to paw, start saying “paw” or “shake”, and after repeating it several times, your dog is sure to learn a brand-new dog trick.

Down

This one of those dog tricks that will take a bit of patience and repetition. With a treat in hand, watch your dog and wait for them to lie down. When they lay down, give your dog the treat. Repeat this over and over and they will soon learn that they get a treat whenever laying down. You can then start introducing the word “down” and if your pooch lays down, reward them a treat.

Wait

This dog trick isn’t going to require treats, but it’s important to let your dog know that responding to “wait” leads to fun and games. Every time you let Fido outside, use the “wait” command. Once they learn to wait, increase how long you wait before releasing him, and it will soon become second nature to both of you. To reinforce the lesson use “wait” regularly throughout your dog’s life.

You can also teach your dog how to wait for food:

Spin

To achieve the ‘spin’, this dog trick involves luring. When your dog is in a standing position, hold a treat in your hand in front of their face. Start to slowly move the treat, keeping it low so that your furry friend isn’t tempted to jump up. Move the treat outwards away from you and encourage them to wake around in a circle. When they are facing you again, feed them the treat. When you’ve achieved this successfully a few times in succession, start saying “spin”.

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Teaching your dog to do some simple tricks is a fun way to pass the time. With the right training techniques and practice, your dog can learn to kiss, shake hands or rollover, regardless of how smart you think they are.

Before you start the training, remember to always make it fun and to practise only for a few minutes once or twice every day.

Trick 1 – Teaching your dog to kiss you!

Firstly, you will need three little things. a clicker, a little piece of tape (or a post-it note) to use as a lure, and your dog’s favourite treats with something to hold them in.

Hold your hand up with the lure on your palm. When your dog touches it with their nose, click your clicker and give them a treat (and of course, praise your buddy every time).

When they have learnt that behaviour, you can start giving it a name. When they touch the lure, say ‘kiss’, then click and give a treat.

When they have mastered that, the real fun starts. Put the lure on your cheek, say ‘kiss’ and when they put their nose up to the lure on your cheek, click and give them a treat. The final step of course is to do this without the lure.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Trick 2 – Teaching your dog to shake hands

This one is very easy to teach. Once again, have your clicker and your doggie

treats ready. A dog will usually touch a closed hand if they know there is a treat inside.

When your dog does, click your clicker, give him the treat and plenty of praise. Once your pal has the hang of that, you can offer him an empty hand. When they give you their paw, reward them with a treat from your pocket.

The next step is to encourage your dog to give you their paw for a longer time before giving them the treat.

The final step is the verbal cue to shake. Offer your hand, shake, then give your pal a well-deserved treat and lots of praise.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Trick 3 – Teaching your dog to roll over

This is another fun trick for you and your pooch. You don’t need much room, just time (and of course, your dog’s favourite treats for luring).

The first step is to hold a treat to their nose to lure them to the ground, before giving it up.

Then hold a second treat close to their nose, slowly lifting their head so their weight shifts onto their side, which is when you give up the treat.

Now hold a third treat close to their nose and slowly lure their head up and over so they start to roll.

For the final move, hold a fourth treat close to their nose and bring their head over so their weight shifts and they roll. The key thing here is to hold the treat out away from your dog so they have to roll all the way over.

With repetition and praise, your dog will roll on command. After all, dogs are animals that love to please!

How we can help

At DOOG, we have a great range of training accessories to help you teach your dog these tricks and many more!

You can order online or find a retailer near you who stocks our high-quality products.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Cats can’t be trained. How many times have you heard that statement? I’m here to tell you that it’s not true.

Most cats can–and should–learn how to do a few simple tricks. Some, such as coming when called, are useful, and others, such as giving a high five, are a fun form of enrichment for your cat.

Teaching and doing tricks with your cat deepens the bond between you. Cats enjoy spending time with their people, and it won’t take long before both of you are looking forward to your sessions.

You may not realize it, but your cat is already trained in several ways. Chances are you have a routine at mealtimes, one your cat knows and perhaps helped you develop. You may have already established other routines, like playing before bedtime, or afternoon snacks that your cat visibly anticipates. Cats learn a lot from establishing routines, so teaching tricks is just a matter of introducing a new routine.

We will focus on three tricks:

Come when called

What You Need

A quiet area that is comfortable for you and your cat.

Your cat’s favorite treats, something they don’t usually get that you use only for training sessions. This could be store-bought treats, freeze-dried chicken, low-sodium deli turkey, or roast chicken. If your cat is not especially food motivated, you can use a favorite toy as a reward. Some cats who enjoy physical touch may even enjoy a couple of pats (no more than a couple) as a reward. It generally takes a little longer to train non-food-motivated cats, but they will get there.

15 minutes of your time (training sessions will probably be shorter than this, but you need a few minutes to gather your cat and the treats or toys).

Optional: A clicker or anything else that makes a clicking noise. Even a ballpoint pen would do. Failing that, you can make a clicking sound with your tongue, so don’t worry if you don’t have an actual clicker.

How to Start

Start with your cat, the treats, and the clicker (or the clicking sound you’ve decided upon) in your designated quiet space. Click and treat once to make sure your cat isn’t afraid of the sound. Then choose a specific behavior to reward, such as looking in your direction. When your cat looks at you, click and then toss her a treat. Repeat every time she looks at you. Once your cat understands that offering you attention results in a click and treat (often in as little as one session), you can start to increase your distance from her.

As she approaches, click and treat. As she eats the treat, move around the room and repeat the click and reward as she comes to you.

When your cat comes to you consistently, add the verbal cue. It shouldn’t be her name (although you can use her name to get her attention), but a specific word, something simple, such as “Come” or “Here.” Say it when she looks up from finishing her treat and click as she comes toward you. Eventually, you will want to go into a different room from your cat and call her. When she comes and finds you, click and reward. When she comes consistently from different areas of your home, you do not need the precision of the clicker to communicate that she has done the correct behavior. Simply reward her when she comes to you on cue (with a treat, attention, play, or whatever your cat loves).

Sit and Sit Pretty

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Sit on the floor by your cat, or if this isn’t comfortable for you, place her on a table or other raised surface. When she sees you have a treat, she may walk toward you. Say “sit” and bring the treat over her head. She will most likely stop and sit. When her rear end touches the floor or surface, click and then give her the treat. Tell her what a good cat she is! Repeat this a few times before ending the session. Sit training is a little more tedious for cats than coming when called, so keep sessions brief. When your cat consistently sits on the verbal cue, fade the click and simply reward her for a job well done.

Once your cat learns how to sit, sitting up, or sit pretty, is just a matter of raising the treat high enough over her head so that she has to sit on her hind legs to reach it. When she is already in a sit, say “Pretty,” as you offer the treat up high, click and give the treat when she accomplishes the trick. Again, keep sessions brief.

High Five

High five looks impressive, but it is actually an easy trick. As in teaching Sit, make sure you and your cat are on a similar eye level. Hold a treat in front of your cat at her shoulder level. When she reaches out her paw and touches the hand holding the treat, click and then give her the treat. Eventually she will understand she must touch your hand before getting the treat. At that point, stop holding the treat in the hand you are offering her, and when she touches your hand, click and give he the treat with the other hand. When she is consistent with that, start offering your hand in the palm up (high five) position and give the verbal cue “High five!” When she touches your palm, click and give the reward. Eventually, as with the other tricks, you will be able to wean her off the clicker and just reinforce her for responding the cue.

A Few Tips

Repeat each trick only four to six times for each session. Doing brief sessions two or three times a day is much better than a longer session that leaves your cat bored.

Use positive reinforcement only with your cat. Never get mad or punish her for doing a trick improperly or not doing it at all. Ignore it when your cat does the trick incorrectly and try again. If she walks off, she has decided the session is over, so try again later or the next day.

Be patient. Some cats pick up tricks in a few sessions. Others take a much longer time. Give your cat space to learn in her own time, not yours.

Enjoy the journey as much as the results. Consider these sessions time to bond and play with your cat. That should be an end in itself. The tricks learned are a bonus. That way, both you and your cat will come away happy every time the two of you do a session, no matter how it goes.

This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Many people consider dog tricks completely frivolous, or at least think that time spent training dogs to do them could be better invested in teaching useful skills. But if people realized the practical value of tricks, they might be willing to engage their dogs in learning a few.

There’s more to dog training than the basics like sit, lie down, heel, stay, and how to come on cue. Dogs who learn to “wait” can sit patiently at the house or car door until told to proceed, and it’s helpful when your dog learns to “leave it” when they spot food on the floor rather than scarf it up. If you’re ready to beef up your pup’s résumé and teach them a new skill, there are many tricks that offer more than just cute performance opportunities; here’s a list of useful dog tricks that go beyond the basics.

Nine tricks to teach your dog

Crawl.

Teaching your dog to crawl can be helpful as a way to clean themselves off. If you live with a dog who enjoys a good walk in the mud, ask your pup to crawl in some snow or grass to clean up a bit before heading inside.

Handshake.

When your dog has mastered the handshake, you can ask your dog to present a paw on cue when cutting their nails or at the vet to make a blood draw easier. It’s also useful for checking for pad injuries or just toweling off wet paws after a walk.

Training Program

Try these free training programs from our friends at Dogo to help with new dog life and basic obedience.

The “wait” cue instructs your dog to pause and not to move forward until given permission to do so. It can literally be a lifesaver at doors to both houses and cars because it can prevent bolting out into traffic. Additionally, “wait” can be a sanity-saver when heading out for a walk because it stops the chaos that naturally results from overly-excited dogs who are so eager to go out for a walk that they act like they are out of their minds.

Belly up.

Teaching the “belly up” cue tells your dog to lie on their back with their legs in the air. If you have a dog that loves belly rubs, this is an easy one, but it can also help a vet perform an examination more easily.

This cute trick provides another way for a dog to expose their belly, and comes in handy when you need to pull off burrs or seeds. If your dog’s balance is good, “beg” can also be a way to position a dog for a quick brush of the belly fur.

This is a cue to your dog to tilt their head, which makes photos of dogs especially endearing no matter what position they’re in. The less time you spend trying to get dogs into specific poses, the more likely they are to have a friendly expression on their face.

Having your dog perform a play bow on cue is more than just a cute trick; it can also help a dog who is a bit awkward or nervous around other dogs. The play bow is a social signal that means “What follows is playful in nature,” and performing one near other dogs can help social interactions start off on the right paw, easing tensions caused by confusing or unexpected behavior.

Up is a handy cue that tells your pup to jump or step onto something; it’s a great way to get big dogs to stand on the vet’s scale. It is even more helpful when combined with a solid stay, but that’s not always essential.

Dry off.

The “dry off” cue tells your dog to shake their whole body. This cue is helpful to have your dog shake off excess water before coming inside after a walk in the rain or a bath.

Being able to ask your dog to perform a behavior on cue makes many situations less anxiety-provoking. If your dog needs to perform a certain behavior, either for medical reasons or to further that fruitless, endless pursuit of cleanliness, it’s better to be able to communicate what we want than to physically manipulate them. Rather than grab them, lift them or push them around — however gently — it’s advantageous just to be able to tell your pup what you want and have them do it on their own through training. Tricks involve dogs putting their bodies (or at least parts of them!) in all sorts of positions, and that variety of movement and behavior is what gives dog tricks their practical value.

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Karen B. London, PhD

Karen B. London, Ph.D., is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression, and has also trained other animals including cats, birds, snakes, and insects. She writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life.

Kids like to mimic Mom and Dad with the family dog.

If Mom asks the dog to sit for a treat, the kids will probably try to do the same thing. Although in theory this sounds great, the dog doesn’t always feel the same way. He may be happy to cooperate with adults in the household, but a young child yelling at him to, “Sit! Sit! Sit!” in a shrill voice will probably be ignored. Trick training, however, is a perfect activity for both children and dogs. The child learns how to train the dog, and the dog learns how to cooperate with the child. The skills learned during trick training can later be expanded upon so the child and dog can do more together.

The Lure and Reward Technique

A lure and reward training technique is the backbone of how to teach these tricks. A variety of training techniques are available, but this particular method is easy to use, fun for a dog to follow, and kids take to it with little difficulty. The first step is finding a variety of treats the dog likes. Ideally these should have a strong smell, especially something like Swiss cheese; or you can buy treats, but make sure to chop them up into smaller pieces. The treat will be a lure to help the dog do something—either to assume a position or to move. For example, to have the dog sit, let him sniff the treat and then move it from his nose over his head toward his tail. As his nose moves up to follow the treat, his hips will lower to the ground. He then gets the treat (which is now a reward) and he’s praised, “Good sit!” If the dog doesn’t sit but instead moves to get the treat, the hand holding the treat probably moved too far away from the dog’s nose or moved too quickly. Think of both the dog’s nose and the treat as having a magnet and lead the dog by his nose. As the dog learns each movement, a word will be taught for that movement (such as sit), and while a hand signal will still be used to help the dog do what has been asked, the lure will be phased out. The treat for the reward will still be used for the time being, but that too will be decreased as the dog learns the exercise. Never abruptly stop using any training tool (lure, reward, hand signal, or verbal praise) or the dog will be confused. Instead, make one change at a time, gradually and randomly, and while you decrease one training tool or reward, increase another. Before the child begins teaching any tricks, have them practice teaching your dog to sit using this technique. Use the treat as both a lure and a reward and teach them when to give the reward. Verbal praise is important too.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

©istockphoto/ArtMarie

Tricks Should be Fun

All training with your dog (obedience skills as well as trick training) should be fun. If it gets too serious, then it’s time to take a break, breathe and relax. This is especially important when your child is the trainer. If your child gets frustrated, impatient or angry, take a break, and when she’s calm again, explain how the dog learns and that it’s easy for him to become confused. Then, when she tries again, perhaps break the training into smaller steps so that they both can learn more easily. Make sure that you, as the supervising parent, praise the child trainer as much or more than the child rewards the dog. After all, she’s learning even more than the dog is!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

©istockphoto/Steve Debenport

It’s Trick Time!

Trick: Spin in a Circle

When your dog knows this trick, he will move in a small circle when your child says, “Spin.” Have some treats your dog likes and put them in your child’s pocket. Don’t hold the treats for the child or the dog will be watching you rather than her. With the dog standing in front of her, let the dog smell the treat. She can then move the treat to either side, leading the dog by the nose, and attempt to lead the dog in a circle. Ideally she can lean over the dog, making a large arm gesture, moving her body as little as possible. The first time the dog may move a quarter of the way around, maybe a few steps, and that’s fine. Have her give the dog the treat and praise him. Do this three or four times and then take a break. Then come back and try again. The first time he makes a complete circle in front of her, give him several treats and praise him lots, “Yes! Good boy!” Of course, you should praise your child, too, as they accomplished this together. Once they are doing a complete circle reliably, then she can begin emphasizing the name of the trick, “Spin!” She can also use her hand motion with the treat to make the circle smaller and to help the dog move more quickly. When these have both been accomplished, she can begin decreasing the size of her hand signal, making just a quick circle in the air.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

©istockphoto/andresr

Trick: Watch Me

The goal of the “watch me” trick is to teach the dog to watch his trainer even when there are distractions around him. This is a great trick as well as a useful obedience exercise. Give your child a pocketful of treats. With the dog sitting in front of her, she should let him smell the treat, and then take it from his nose to her chin. Have her watch his eyes and when he looks her in the eyes she is to praise him and quickly give him the treat. The reward should identify to the dog that action that is wanted and that is to look her in the eyes. Do this three or four times, take a break, play a little, and then come back and do it again. After a few days, when he’s easily making eye contact, then she can add a name to the trick, “Watch me,” as she moves the treat from his nose to her chin. When he appears to be comfortable with the name of the trick and what he’s supposed to do, then she can shorten the hand signal and simply hold the treat at her chin. When the dog is watching her easily and comfortably with no signs of confusion or lunging, she can begin moving around while asking him to continue to watch her. Have her take one step to the right, then one step to the left. Then a couple steps to each side. She can stand up tall or duck low. When the dog keeps his eyes on her as she challenges him, make sure her rewards to him are extra special. Several treats instead of just one, petting, and lots of verbal praise.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

©istockphoto/alexei_tm

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Teaching your dog new tricks is a way to spend quality time with your pet while stimulating his brain. He will become smarter and active. Read on and learn about some simple tricks you can teach your pet from Woofs & Wags, doggie day care in Baltimore City.

Simple and Easy Dog Tricks

Learning new tricks can help to keep a dog’s brain in shape. However, you should avoid spending more than 10 minutes at a time teaching tricks to your dog. Also, make it a point to compliment your pet and reward with treats for a job well done. This will help motivate your dog to perform. Here are a few tricks you can teach your canine:

Shake. This is one of the easiest tricks you can teach your dog. All you need to do is prepare treats. Hold them in your hand and present it to your canine. Make sure it is close to the dog’s paw. When he begins to paw at your hand, use the command “shake” and repeat it several times. Keep practicing by holding your hand higher so the dog raises its paw higher too. Always remember to praise your dog right after a trick is performed.

Spin. Prepare a treat for your dog and hold it near your dog’s nose. Try to lure it into a spin. Pull the treat to the side of the dog’s head so he will also turn his head to follow that treat. Keep doing that so the dog will have to spin. After a complete circle, give him the treat. If possible, practice spinning both in the right and left direction.

Speak. While your dog is in a seated position, wave a treat at the dog’s nose until he makes a sound. Keep repeating this process while using the command “speak.” Give him the treat when he makes a noise.

Doggie Day Care Baltimore City

Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to entertain your pet and spend quality time together. And for those active canines out there that need a social outlet during the day, instead of sitting home staring at the door waiting for their family to come home, bring them to Woofs & Wags. In our doggie day care in Baltimore City, we try to keep them entertained throughout the day with social interaction. They get a break from 12-2 so we can catch our breath and tend to other guests. Then it’s back to play until pick-up time. Camp is available Monday through Saturday. Interested in learning more? Come visit us today!

From “roll over” to “take a bow”, training your dog to do tricks can be a fun, enriching experience. Dogs enjoy training because they get lots of attention and stimulating mental exercise – not to mention treats. For you, training your dog can be a rewarding way to bond with your dog.

Using our step-by-step guide to four easy tricks to teach your dog, almost any dog can learn how to perform tricks that will wow the crowd. Have fun!

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Trick 1: Shake hands

Though this trick looks impressive, it’s quite simple to teach. The only things it requires are a clicker and a treat (or two). A clicker is a small devise that produces a clicking sound. It has been found useful in establishing behavioural habits in dogs. Follow these steps:

  1. Start with a doggie treat enclosed in your hand.
  2. Your dog will smell the treat and try to get to it. Keep your hand closed. Most dogs’ natural instincts will prompt them to paw at something they cannot reach with their mouth.
  3. The moment your dog reaches up to your hand with its paw, say, “Yes!” or use your clicker, if you have one, and give the treat.
  4. Repeat until your dog quickly offers the paw to your closed hand each time.
  5. Next, offer a flat and empty palm to your dog. When they put their paw on your hand, offer a treat.
  6. Increase the time your dog’s paw is in your hand before giving the treat.
  7. Then add a verbal cue – such as “shake!” – just before offering your flat palm. After repeating a few times, your dog will have learned the trick.

Trick 2: Roll over

Repetition is the key to teaching your dog the “roll over” trick. The more your dog completes the following steps, the better they will get at doing the trick.

  1. Start with your dog lying down. You may have to give the “down” command first.
  2. When your dog is lying down, offer a treat near their nose without letting go of the treat. Move your hand to the side, over their shoulder, so your dog has to lift their head and shift onto their side to retrieve it. Release the treat.
  3. Immediately offer another treat – again without letting it go – and encourage your dog to shift their weight and roll. Put the treat slightly out of reach on the floor so your dog has to roll all the way over to get it. If your dog achieves this, give praise and another treat.
  4. Keep practicing – it may take a while before your dog smoothly rolls over using just one treat.
  5. After several successful rolls, give the “roll over” command and slowly phase out the treat.

Trick 3: Spin

The spin trick looks like one reserved for professional dog trainers, but it’s fairly simple to master.

  1. Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose, without releasing it. Use the treat to entice your dog to move around in a circle. When they have completed a circle, say, “Yes!” or use your clicker and give the treat.
  2. Keep practicing, making sure to spin the treat in the same direction every time. See if you can get your dog to do two spins in a row before giving the treat – if they manage this, that’s good progress!
  3. Now try the trick using the same hand but without a treat. Reward your dog with a treat once they complete the spin, but from the other hand. This teaches your dog to follow the hand signal.
  4. Refine your hand signal if you wish – this could look like a pointing gesture at your dog – and slowly move your hand further from your dog’s nose. Keep rewarding your dog with a treat each time.
  5. Add a verbal cue – such as “spin!” – before the hand signal.
  6. Eventually, after lots of practice, your dog may be able to spin with the verbal cue alone – but if not, don’t worry. Not all dogs will reach this stage.

Trick 4: Take a bow!

A bow can be the perfect trick to end with after showing off all your dog’s new tricks. To “take a bow,” your dog will lean down on their front elbows, chest touching the ground. Your dog’s rear end will stay up in the air.

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What better way to spend your time together indoors than to take your dog’s training to the next level? Remember that before you can teach your dog to do tricks, your best friend needs to know the basics. Start by teaching simple commands and then move on to harder skills. To get the best results, have short but regular training sessions when your dog is in a calm, attentive mood, reserve your patience and have some doggy treats for training on hand!

Recommended dog treats for training

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

What is the easiest trick to teach your dog

Which trick would you like to teach your dog?

How to teach your dog to sit

Let your dog see a treat in your hand and once you have their attention hold it in front their nose and slowly move it in an arc over their head. Your dog will tilt their head back and might even sit on their own as they try to reach the treat. You can say their name first to get their attention and then clearly say “sit” when their bottom touches the ground. Reward them with the treat and give lots of praise — pat them, make it a big deal! Repeat as often as you can, and after a time your dog will positively associate the word “sit” with a treat or praise and will perform the action.

How to teach your dog to stay

Now your pup has mastered sitting, it’s time to move on to staying. Have your dog sit, hold your palm out, take a step back and clearly say “stay”. You may of course use their name first before the command. If your dog stays, reward them. Keep practicing and take more and more steps back each time before praising them for staying.

How to teach your dog to come

There’s nothing worse than chasing an excited dog round and round the dog park yelling “come”. Teach your dog to return to you on command by putting a long lead on them and letting them wander. This is best done in the backyard or similar in order to reduce distractions. Call their name and then clearly and firmly say “come” with a treat in hand. Once your dog reaches you, reward them with the treat. Repeat this process until your dog is happy to come over to you even without a treat as a reward.

How to teach your dog to lay down

This is another trick you can teach your dog once they know how to sit on cue. Once your dog is sitting, squat down and hold a treat in front of their nose and then slowly move this straight down towards the floor, then drag it along the ground, away from your dog. They should follow your hand with their nose and slide downwards. As you’re making this L motion, say their name and “down” as your dog slides into the down position. With repetition, your dog will soon be happy to perform this trick even without a treat.

Tip: If you’re using “down” as the cue word for this action, remember to use a different word, like “off” when you’re asking your dog to get off the couch so you don’t confuse them.

How to teach your dog to roll over

Is your dog a champion of laying down on command? Now they’re ready to learn the advanced command of rolling over! When first teaching your dog how to roll over, breaking up each step into smaller parts and giving them a treat for completing each mini-step can make it easier for you and your dog. To begin, have your dog lie down with their belly on the floor and paws out. Now, hold a treat in front of their nose with a closed hand, so they can’t eat it before they’ve performed the trick.

Next, you want to encourage your dog to lie over on their side by slowly moving the treat from their nose towards their shoulder. Your dog’s nose, and therefore head and body, should be following the treat this whole time and this should cause them to shift their weight onto their side.

Reward your dog with the treat, and begin the third phase of teaching this trick (we told you it was advanced!). With another treat in hand, hold this in front of your dog’s nose and them slowly move it in a close arc over their head, onto their other side. By following your hand, your dog should roll all the way around to their other side and this is when you should clearly say their name and “roll over”. They deserve a treat for getting this far, don’t you think?

Finally, when your dog has rolled from one side to the other, move the treat slightly further away from them. This should cause your dog to roll all the way over back onto their belly so they can get to the treat. And there you have it!

How to teach your dog to high five

Your dog will be the life of the party with this impressive trick. Start by asking your dog to sit. Next, hold a treat in front of your pet but keep it in an enclosed fist and hold it closer to their paws than their mouth. Your dog will attempt to get at the treat by pawing at your hand. As soon as they touch their paw to your hand, praise them and reward them with the treat. Repeat this process several times and begin saying “high five” as soon as your dog lifts their paw off the ground. You may of course use their name first. Keep practicing this and raise the treat higher each time and soon enough your dog will associate the cue “high five” to touching their paw to your hand.

How to teach your dog to shake hands

Another party trick is to shake hands! Have your dog sit then hold the treat out in front of them near their paws. When they lift their paw to touch your hand, use your other hand to gently grab their paw and shake it while saying the cue “shake”, then drop their paw and reward your dog with the treat. You may of course use their name first. Level up the trick by teaching them how to shake with either paw!

In order for your dog to enjoy learning new tricks, it’s important to have your training sessions when they’re not overly excited. Keep each session short so your dog doesn’t become bored and lose attention and always reward them with lots of cuddles and verbal praise as well as offering treats! Further, remember to practice good hygiene and always wash your hands before and after interacting with your dog.

Teaching your dog to understand and obey basic obedience rules and commands is a beneficial step towards a happier partnership with your dog. Not only does it allow for easy management of your dog, it also allows you to build a stronger bond and it may even save your dog’s life one day.

So why spend time doing silly tricks? Good question. And here’s the answer .

Tricks are actually problem-solving activities that involve communication, interpreting boundaries, and learning new physical skills. Like eye/paw coordination.

Did you ever have someone special in your life you looked up to? You felt protected and encouraged. Over time you developed a bond based on trust.

Training your dog creates the same dynamic. It’s something that helps you both, connecting you emotionally and developing a bond built on trust and respect.

Tricks help you communicate with your dog. You know that however much you adore someone in a new friendship, it takes time to learn how each other’s minds work, so your communication gets better over time as you do more things together.

Like collaborating musicians, you both gain more confidence as you continue to reinforce each other’s successes.

Knowing an increasing number of tricks gives your dog a sense of purpose. Something to accomplish.

You’ll also notice that your dog’s ability to focus will improve as he expands his “playlist.” And with time, he’ll be able to do more complex tricks that use a combination of skills he’s gained from learning simpler ones.

Knowing tricks also improves socialization – people love seeing dogs showing off their impressive capabilities, so the more your dog can perform, the more people will be delighted and give him the attention dogs absolutely adore.

Finally, you’ve seen zoomies, haven’t you? Bursts of galloping energy, boundlessly explosive! If you don’t provide a way to vent this energy then your pup will find less constructive ways to release it. So helping your dog channel some of this boundless energy can only be a good thing.

What does heel mean to a dog

Heeling can be one of the most wanted and at the same time elusive skills in many dogs. Just imagine how nice a walk would be if your dog could stay by your side and not be in front of you, behind you, 10ft to the side and in between your legs at the same time! The reason why teaching our dog to heel often fails is that we give him too many choices in the beginning. Keep reading on how to teach your dog to heel by breaking down the exercise in easy parts so your dog can understand perfectly what his job is. He’ll be staying by your side in no time.

Making it Easier

If you think about it, staying by your side in a nice heeling position is only one of dozens of options that your dog has when it comes to walking. There are so many positions he could be in around you, in addition to all the distractions around him that he wants to interact with. His mind can be pretty much blown from all the different choices.

While it is a good idea to give dogs choices in training (because whenever they make a conscious decision to behave a certain way, they will learn much more effectively than if we simply “make” them do something), too many choices overwhelm them and and slow down their learning.

In the case of heeling we will limit the dog’s options by using a very simple trick: Standing next to a wall.

Wall Walking

Take your dog and a lot of treats and stand next to a wall, with the dog between you and the wall. Now feed your dog many treats in this position. We want to build up what’s called a “reinforcement history” – this is the memory a dog has of performing behaviors that pay off well. Take a little step forward and feed him more treats. Only walk forward if you are happy with your dog’s position, if he is lagging or rushing ahead, stop and just feed him treats for standing in the right spot.

The wall serves two main purposes: on the one hand it prevents our dog from walking away to the side and keeps him close by. On the other hand it helps to align him perfectly with our body (in the correct heeling position the dog’s body is parallel to his handler, not at an angle).

You should practice this once or twice a day, with a lot of treats, for about 5 minutes. The good news is that already this little time spent training will make a real difference in how your dog thinks about staying by your side – if he gets handfuls of treats every time he stands close to you, he will soon seek out the position.

Fading the Wall

Over time, start to move away from the wall. You want to do this very gradually, as the dog heavily relies on the wall at first to help him find the correct position. Do not try to go from walking next to the wall to standing in the middle of your living room – there is no way your dog can understand that he needs to do the same behavior. Instead, first step away 5 inches further from the wall, then 10 inches and so on.

Going Places

You can now start to transfer the heeling behavior to different places.

Dogs are “situational learners”, that means that they strongly associate behaviors with specific situations in which they have been learned. Unless you show your dog in multiple settings that he can heel anywhere, he won’t understand. Aim to practice heeling in at least 5 different places every week.

These places don’t need to be very far from each other: even two sides of the same big park are “different” to your dog, as there will be new scents, sights, sounds etc.

Troubleshooting

Is your dog having problems with the exercise? Here are the most common issues, and how to solve them:

My dog takes a treat and then diverts his attention again.

In this case, the rate of reinforcement is not high enough. Instead of giving him individual treats from your hand, take a wooden or plastic spoon and spread some peanut butter or spray cheese on it. Let your dog lick the spoon while he is in the correct position. The constant reinforcement will make it much more worthwhile for him to stay focused and in the right spot. Once you have built up the behavior of staying in heel position with the extra rewards, you can go back to using treats.

My dog does great next to the wall and walks away as soon as I don’t have a wall.

Your dog simply needs more mileage next to the wall. In any kind of training, the dog is always the one who dictates how fast we can progress. Especially if the dog has had a long history of pulling into all directions on leash, it will take him a while to unlearn the bad behavior and learn the new one. Don’t give up – every time your dog assumes the correct position, he is one step closer to heeling like a pro!

My dog gets too distracted as soon as other dogs are around.

Whether your dog diverts his attention because he is excited to play or he has some reactivity towards other dogs, it is important to not let him rehearse the behavior of disconnecting from you too much. If your dog is so distracted that he cannot stay in heel position and doesn’t want to take your treats, you need to bring distance between you and the dogs until your dog can focus again. It is a lot better to practice at 100ft distance with perfect attention from your dog than to practice at 30ft distance with your dog constantly crashing into the end of his leash.

Now it’s time to put the theory into practice – Happy Training!

Are you looking for a dog walker to help keep the training you and your dog have done consistent? Find and meet a professional Barkly walker in your area.

What does heel mean to a dog

Walking is extremely beneficial for your dog, and for you! Most dogs are not born knowing the proper way to follow or heel while going on a walk. It is up to us to teach them this valuable skill which makes everyone happier and healthier in the long run!

Read below to learn how to teach a dog to heel.

What does heel mean?

The command or skill “heel” simply means that the dog must walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is required to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk.

How do I know if my pup still needs to learn this skill?

You know you need to add this to your to-do list if when you take your dog for a walk you feel like instead, your dog is the one walking you! It can sometimes be hard to motivate yourself to get up and go for a walk. But it is even harder to get motivated and enjoy a walk with your favorite companion if they are constantly pulling and tugging you in every direction. At SitStay, we offer a wide variety of dog training tools that can help you to train your dog to do pretty much anything, including learning to become a respectful walking buddy.

A leash we recommend for dogs who like to pull is this Freedom Flex by Tough Pup

Why should I take the time to teach my dog to heel?

This skill helps your dog know that you are in charge of the walk and that you are the alpha in the pack. This skill is also a must-have if you ever wish to walk your dog without a lead or leash. Even with a leash or lead it is so much more enjoyable to go on a walk and have your dog heel to you instead of you trying to keep up with whatever direction or pace your dog thinks you should walk at. Try using our great Kronch 100% pure and natural fish treats for your heel training sessions they are fun, delectable and healthy.

How do I teach my dog to heel?

Although there are many methods that can be effective in teaching your dog to walk alongside you, there is one that we find especially effective –lure and reward. To effectively teach this more complex skill make sure your dog has mastered the sit, stay, come and focus commands. These allow you to fully teach this more complex skill. The biggest key to long-term success with this skill is being consistent.

Beginning training:

First, clicker training has proven to be one of the most effective ways to get results fast. We also suggest having some quality treats on hand. The reinforcement makes all the difference. First, get a clicker for your right hand and a handful of training treats in your left hand. Brown Beggars is our personal choice and they make a great healthy and delicious incentive while training. Keep extras in your pocket if you plan to do a longer training session. Start your heel training in a non-distracting familiar environment, like your living room, basement, or a fenced-in backyard.

Second, you will position your pup on your left-hand side. Have them sit and stay then quickly reward them with a click and a treat. Have your dog sit calmly next to you until you are ready to walk. Make sure you wait to start until they are calmly following your first more simple commands before beginning your more advanced heel training. You will also want to make sure they are fully focused on you! Clickers are used to show your dog they have successfully followed your command and to keep their focus solely on you.

Third, keep the handful of small, soft training treats in your left hand. Start to walk slowly forward; the command “heel” would be appropriate. Expect your pet to walk slowly beside you. The idea is to hold the treats out within an inch of your dog’s face to guide him or her along, and every step or two rewards with a click from the clicker and a treat. If you combine this with verbal praise it is most effective. But the clicker and verbal praise can be interchangeable, so you don’t wear out your voice on longer sessions. If your dog starts to veer off, pull ahead or focus on anything other than you, you should stop immediately, call your dog’s name, ask them to sit, stay and then start again only once your pup is in the correct position and focused on you.

If you are still having trouble you might want to look for some gear that can help you train your dog to heel. Many professional trainers recommend martingale collars (also known as human control collars).

More advanced training:

After a week or so of practicing this way, it is time to pocket the treats and walk with your empty left hand hanging naturally by your side. When your dog is walking beside you calmly, pull a treat out of your pocket and give it to them. At first, give them a treat after every other step, then about every 5 steps and finally every 10 steps. Try walking back and forth, and add in an obstacle course of objects in your environment to practice walking around while training.

Finally, your dog should be able to follow your heel commands correctly and only receive a treat every once in a while. You can rely more heavily on verbal praise and less on actual training treats, though they are always good to have on hand. Try testing your dog by going out to a dog park then removing their leash allowing your dog to practice this complex skill in a more challenging but safe environment.

Since we know walking a dog that constantly pulls can take the fun out of an afternoon walk, if you follow the above simple, quick and fun steps we are confident you can train your dog to walk calmly beside you.

A quality leash can make a big difference if used properly. There are methods to use in a positive way instead of commonly used choke chains. We suggest a multi-function leash like the Blue K9.

What does heel mean to a dog

The heel is an advanced skill and command for a dog to learn to be patient if it takes a while to master. Also, remember that consistency is key! We believe that there are four advanced commands that you should teach your dog if you want to know the rest of the top 4 advanced commands please check out our blog More Advanced Commands All Dogs Should Know.

SitStay has been your working dog supply headquarters since 1995. From service dog vests, dog beds, and working dog equipment, to dog treats and dog training supplies. We’ve got you covered.

We hoped you learned everything you needed for how to teach a dog to heel. Please share this post if you found it beneficial.

What does heel mean to a dog

Teaching your puppy or older dog to heel can be easy and fun. Use this directed shaping technique to help your dog learn to love to walk beside you.

  • Get a lot of yummy treats, cut up into small pieces. Start inside the house and walk around a spacious room or up and down a hallway.
  • Call your dog’s name and point to the side that you want him to walk on (whichever side you choose but left is in the traditional heel side).
  • As soon as your dog comes alongside you, use a clicker or say “yes,” then reward. Do this a couple of times, then stop calling him and pointing your side and allow your dog to willingly come up beside you. Mark and reward for each time your dog comes into position.
  • Pretty soon, you will need to increase your pace, turn, or zig-zag in an effort to “lose” him so he can find his position again.
  • As he gets better and better at this, start adding eye contact (“Look” or “Watch Me”).
  • “Heel” is traditionally on your left side for obedience and rally competitions.
  • Hold your treat hand at your chest. This will prevent luring (dog just following the food) and jumping while walking if your treat hand is just out of reach.
  • Be sure to treat with the hand next to your dog to prevent him from crossing in front of you to get the treat.
  • Always tell your dog when he is correct with a click or a “yes.”

Need some help training your dog? While you may not be able to attend in-person training classes during COVID-19, we are here to help you virtually through AKC GoodDog! Helpline. This live telephone service connects you with a professional trainer who will offer unlimited, individualized advice on everything from behavioral issues to CGC prep to getting started in dog sports.

What does heel mean to a dog

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase teaching dogs Heel. However, the meaning and purpose of Heel may not be all that clear to everyone. So, I’m writing this article to answer some fundamental questions regarding Heel – what it means, what the proper positioning is and why it matters. Please note, this is not a “how to” article, it’s a “why to” article.

The Heel command means for your dog to get by your side and stay by your side. If you are moving and call “Heel,” the dog walks at your side. If you are standing still and call “Heel,” the dog comes to your side and sits.

If you are standing next to your dog with the heel of your foot in line with the dog’s front foot you are in Heel position. Some dog owners and handlers have certain expectations with how exact their dog’s heel placement is. A little wiggle room for personal choice as far as the exact position is reasonable (give or take a couple inches), but the dog’s front legs should be more-or-less next to yours. Some trainers like the dog slightly ahead and some prefer the dog to be slightly behind, but, if you fall out of the dog’s peripheral you are definitely no longer in Heel. Whatever you choose, the key is to be consistent so the dog has no doubt where the line is.

The value of what I call a “Functional Heel” is that it provides control for the handler and mental exercise for the dog. It provides leadership, drains energy and creates relaxation in ways that a loose leash walk does not. Walking at your side for long durations of time, on a loose leash, avoiding the temptation to sniff and pee on everything requires a lot of mental discipline from a dog. It requires a ton of impulse control and for most dogs it is a very diffucult task.

Unless you are going to walk many miles, walking at a human pace is actually not much physical exercise for a dog but a structured walk in Heel position is a lot of mental exercise. Maintaining Heel position keeps the dog in a more relaxed, less reactive, working state of mind. You are constantly in your dog’s peripheral vision which is a constant reminder that they have a job to do, which is simply to stay in position. The dog is taking direction from you rather than investigating every distraction that comes along. Once you allow the dog to forge ahead far enough that you fall out of view it tends to be a matter of “out of site, out of mind” and most dogs will begin to start making more choices, following less direction and acting on their own impulses. This is where we often get pulling, leash aggression and so forth. Dogs do not need to Heel at all times but it is a very valuable command and I recommend that all dogs learn and practice it on a daily basis.

Focused Heeling is what you tend to see in competition obedience where the dog is looking up and totally focused on the handler. Most pet dog owners don’t need or care about this level of training but it can actually be fun and useful to train your dog to do this in short spurts. It can be helpful to be able to get your dog’s attention this way, especially when challenged by environmental distractions. You obviously would not spend a whole walk with your dog staring up at you, but a few seconds to a few minutes at a time can be fun, challenging and rewarding. Work towards doing this by gradually adding in higher and higher levels of distraction and don’t forget to make it fun and rewarding for both you and your dog.

The Heel to Loose-Leash Walking ratio is more of a personal choice or is prescribed by a canine professional given your personal situation and Fido’s potential issues. The most important things to remember are that you (the human, handler, walker) decide if it’s Heel-Time or Free-Sniff Time at any given moment, not the dog. And, even during that Free-Sniff time, the dog is not allowed to pull. (Oh, the calls I’ve gotten from people who have broken bones and sprained ankles because they never got their dog’s pulling issue under control.) You should be walking the dog, not the other way around. Even if the dog is in front of you he should not be leading you. In other words you can still lead from behind, just as long as you don’t let the dog get the wrong idea. That said, I usually recommend a 50:50 Heel:Sniff ratio as a minimum and a 80:20 for more serious cases such aggression, anxiety or just overly unruly dogs. I also tend to give sniff time at special locations such as a park or open area and keep to Heeling when traveling from one sniff place to another. Feel free to find your own balance.

As with any activity that humans and dogs share, the more everyone involved is having fun and getting their needs met, the more often these activities are likely to be repeated. If walking the dog is such a pain and a chore that you find yourself going days or weeks without walking the dog, you will likely have a lot of other behavior issues start to bubble to the surface. If walks are enjoyable, they’ll be done more often, with bigger smiles and wagging tails.

Need some instruction on how to properly train your dog to Heel? Thriving Canine offers group classes, private lessons, video courses and video chat lessons.

Amy Bender is a dog training expert and writer with over a decade of experience working professionally with dogs. She owns a dog training business and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

What does heel mean to a dog

Walking with your dog at a “heel” is more formal than walking your dog on a loose leash. Teaching a dog to heel involves training it to stay close by your side while walking and it is a great way to instill self-control in your dog whether it’s on or off leash. Any dog—even the most energetic pups—can learn to heel and teaching this command is not too hard as long as you’re persistent and consistent.

Prepare for Training

You will need to have plenty of treats on hand. For training (especially when introducing a new or difficult command), choose treats that your dog absolutely can’t resist. Small pieces are best because you will be giving your dog lots of treats at first to reward good behavior and you don’t want to spoil your dog’s diet. For stubborn dogs or small dogs that make it difficult to bend down and offer treats while in the heel position, use a long-handled spoon coated with peanut butter, cream cheese, or wet dog food.

You can train a dog to heel with or without a leash. If you’re working with your dog off-leash, make sure that you’re in a safe area, such as a fenced-in yard.

For your first attempts, be sure to stay in an area with little distraction, such as your backyard. If you go somewhere that has too many other interesting things going on, treats may not be enough to hold your dog’s attention.

Sit, Heel, and Treat Continuously

Start off with your dog sitting on your left side. Hold a handful of treats or the wooden spoon close to your dog’s nose, and tell it to “heel.” Begin to walk. For the first few tries, take just a few steps and give your dog treats continuously.

Treat Less Often

Once you’re able to walk with your dog at a heel for several yards, it’s time to start cutting down on the number of treats you give it. Again, begin with your dog sitting at your left side, and give the command “heel.” Give the dog a treat and then take a step before giving it another. Be sure to give your dog a treat before its interests wander. Keep the distance you walk with your dog at a heel fairly short, and gradually work up to walking a yard or two between treats.

Add Distance

Once you’re able to walk several yards with your dog in a heel with only a few treats, it’s time to start adding more distance to your walk. You can give your dog treats, but begin to slowly phase them out.

If your dog is continually breaking out of a heel at any point, you may be moving ahead too quickly. Go back and repeat the distance and number of treats where you were last successful in keeping your dog at a heel.

Add Distraction

Once you’re able to walk a fairly long distance with fewer treats, it’s time to add some distraction. You can work on this training at a park or take walks through your neighborhood on a leash. When you first begin this, you may need to go back to treating your dog continuously and keep the walks short until it understands what’s expected. Again, slowly work up to longer distances and fewer treats.

Fade Out the Treats

After practicing walking with your dog at a heel for long distances, you should be able to stop using treats altogether. Slowly add more and more distance to the walk with fewer treats given. Your dog should soon be able to heel without getting any (or very occasional) treats.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

It’s not uncommon for dogs to break out of the heel when learning this command, especially early on. Your patience and consistency are key to working through some of the challenges you’ll face. Keep with it and your dog will eventually learn what you want it to do.

If needed, go back a step or two at any stage in the training. One of the common mistakes owners make is moving onto the next step before the dog is ready, so it seems like it forgot the previous lessons. If your dog makes several mistakes in a row, simply go back to giving it more treats and walking a shorter distance. Take your time, then slowly build back up to having it walk at a heel for longer distances.

Keep a close eye on your dog’s body language. You can often learn to anticipate when your dog is about to break away from the heel position. If you notice your dog’s muscles bunch or that it begins to fixate on something besides the treats, give the “heel” command again, then pivot to the left and walk in the opposite direction. Your dog will quickly learn that it’s important to pay attention to you.

A great leash walk involves lots of roaming and sniffing. But sometimes you just need your dog to walk safely near your side. A walk on a narrow side walk or rushing to cross a busy a street will be less stressful when your dog knows how to heel.

Dogs need lots of good exercise just like us humans. Walks (or “walkies” in my house) can be an excellent activity that both you and your canine best friend can enjoy together.

The majority of your walks with your dog should be carefree, with your dog walking on a loose leash at the pace they feel most comfortable, sniffing—and yes, peeing on—whatever catches their fancy. This is your dog’s idea of heaven.

But it can be really beneficial, for both you and your pooch, if your dog understands a heel cue to keep them close when you cross traffic or walk past lots of people. The dog trainer’s secret to teaching a dog to heel? Hand targeting. It makes this skill a lot easier (and more fun) to learn.

Teaching a dog to walk on leash, especially in heel position, takes lots of patience, practice, and positive reinforcement. Use this quick guide to learn how to teach your dog to heel on leash with a super handy (bah dum tsshh) hand target.

What Does it Mean to Heel on Leash?

Just because your dog is walking on a leash without pulling doesn’t mean they are heeling (and that is OK!). To “heel” means to walk directly next to you, traditionally on your left side, versus walking in front of you or pulling forward.

Most of the time when you take your furry buddy for a jaunt he doesn’t need to walk in “heel position.” In fact, you really shouldn’t expect him to. Dogs need the opportunity to really stretch out (a harness helps with this!) and use their nose to sniff all kinds of things. However, there are times when walking in heel position on a leash is a safety measure, like when you are walking through a restaurant patio, navigating in a busy crowd, or need to move quickly past something that could be harmful.

Before You Get Started Teaching Your Dog to Heel

Have Lots of Treats Ready

No matter what skill you are teaching your dog you will need lots of great reinforcers on hand to ensure you are using positive reinforcement effectively. A reinforcer is something your dog loves, is small, and is easy to provide. Pieces of human food, like cut-up hot dogs or low-sodium lunch meat work great, as do many types of store-bought dog treats made with dog-friendly ingredients.

A treat doesn’t have to be big to be a good reinforcer. Small nibbles are just as tasty—and effective.

Get Ready to Mark a Behavior

A marker (or bridging stimulus) is a signal that literally marks the exact moment your dog did something that earned them a reinforcer (the treat). A clicker is a great example of a marker. If you don’t have a clicker you can use a consistent word like “yes” but be sure to pick one word and stick to it. In this guide, we will use a clicker and wherever we say “click” you will use your marker.

Click (or mark) the very second you see the behavior you want to reinforce.

Teach a Nose-to-Hand Target

A hand target is a very useful tool, especially when teaching a dog to walk on a leash. It can act as a guide without pushing, pulling, or tugging your dog and can also be used to redirect them away from hazards. Nose-to-hand targeting is when your dog touches their nose (or muzzle) to your hand (the target).

Stand next or sit in front of your dog. Stick your arm out towards them and offer your hand, holding it sideways, with your palm open and fingers flat about 6 inches from your dog’s face (at eye/nose height). Make sure you aren’t pushing your hand into their face as no dog likes that!

Leave your hand out in front of them so that they must move forward a bit to touch it. If your dog sniffs it or boops it with their nose, immediately click and treat. Make sure the second your dog touches their nose to your hand you click, treat, and then remove your hand, placing it behind your back or at your side so that when you offer your hand again it appears novel. Otherwise your dog will think your hand is always just out there and it quickly becomes uninteresting.

Ideally, your dog should touch your hand with their nose pretty much the moment you offer it for them to earn a click and treat but for some dogs it takes a few repetitions before they understand the concept. If your dog is a little slower to boop your hand you can initially just click and treat for coming close to the hand, or approaching it, and then gradually raise the criteria until they actually touch it with their nose.

Once your dog is easily and intentionally touching their nose to your hand, begin holding it a bit further away and at your side. You can also add a verbal cue, like “touch” or “nose,” right before you stick out your hand, and then click and treat the second their nose makes contact with your hand.

Check out this great video by dog trainer Laurie Luck, founder of Smart Dog University for more helpful tips on hand targeting.

The “Heel” command has a ton of value for both the pet parent and the dog because it adds control to the walk and mental exercise for the dog. It provides leadership, drains energy, and creates relaxation in ways that a loose leash walk does not.

What exactly is heel?

This cue asks a dog to walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is working to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk. Walking at your side, on a loose leash, avoiding the temptation to sniff and pee on everything requires a lot of discipline for a dog.

Walking at a human pace is actually not much physical exercise for a dog but a structured walk in heel position is a lot of mental exercise. Maintaining heel position keeps the dog in a more relaxed, working state of mind. You are constantly in your dog’s peripheral vision which is a constant reminder that you are calling the shots. The dog is taking direction from you rather than making his own decisions.

Once you allow the dog to forge ahead far enough that you fall out of view it tends to be a matter of “out of sight, out of mind” and most dogs will begin to start making more choices, following less direction, and acting on their own agenda. This is where we often get pulling, leash aggression, and so forth. Dogs do not need to heel at all times but it is a very valuable command that Rover-Time recommends all dogs learn and practice it on a daily basis.

Everyone struggles to stop their dog from pulling their leash or lead. What follows are some great dog training tips from Victoria Stilwell . She simplified the process nicely in this article . In it she says:
  • “Teach your dog to follow a piece of food that you have in your hand. If your dog is not food motivated, use a toy instead.
  • Show the food to your dog and then put it in your left or right hand. Hold your hand against the left or right side of your body (whichever is more comfortable) so your dog learns to follow the food in your hand.
  • Move forward and encourage her to follow the food, which now acts as a lure.
  • Walk for about ten steps and then stop. Praise your dog and reward her with the food. If you want her to sit at this time, either give her the cue word or move into her body while saying, ‘stop.’ That will teach her to stop and sit at the same time.
  • Repeat this exercise several times gradually increasing the number of steps you take.
  • Your goal is to show your dog that walking next to you brings good things.
  • Repeat this technique until your dog is responding well. Say your dog’s name followed by the cue ‘heel’ and move off with your hand tapping your side to encourage her to follow.
  • Once you have compliance, begin using food intermittently while still praising her. If your dog walks ahead of you, reverse direction and repeat the cue, tapping your thigh again. Praise her warmly.
  • Vary the routine by turning left and right or doing a figure eight, saying ‘heel’ as you turn. The sit when you stop should now be automatic.
  • Make sure your dog has mastered heeling indoors before trying it out on the street, where there are many more distractions and it is harder for her to concentrate.
  • You should not ask your dog to heel all the time when on a walk, but do reinforce it for practice.”
To Heel or Not to Heel

So how much of the walk should be spent heeling versus free-to-sniff walking? This is a personal choice or it will be dependent on the plan your certified dog trainer sets. The most important things to remember are that you (the walker) decide if it’s heel-time or free-sniff time at any given moment, not the dog.

And, even during that free-sniff time, the dog is not allowed to pull. You should be walking the dog, not the other way around. Even if the dog is in front of you they should not be leading you. In other words, you can still lead from behind, just as long as you don’t let the dog get the wrong idea. Rover-Time tends to give sniff time at special locations we’re familiar with on our daily dog walking visits, such as a park or open area, and keep to heeling when traveling from one sniff place to another. Feel free to find your own balance.

As with any activity that humans and dogs share, the more everyone involved is having fun and getting their needs met, the more often these activities are likely to be repeated. If walking the dog is such a pain and a chore that you find yourself going days or weeks without walking the dog, you will likely have a lot of other behavior issues start to bubble to the surface. If walks are enjoyable, they’ll be done more often, with bigger smiles and wagging tails.

Join us for Collar Club!

This Fall, Rover-Time customers, and their friends will gather monthly for three consecutive months in Horner Park for a group dog walk together. The walks are an opportunity to meet other dog lovers, dog enthusiasts, and pet professionals. It’s a great way to socialize dogs or puppies and it will help dogs become the best that they can be by practicing and training obedience skills in public with their owners. And it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn how to teach a dog to heel.

What troubleshooting questions do you have as it relates to how to train a dog to walk on a leash? Leave a question in the comments below!

AND JOIN US FOR COLLAR CLUB! At the walks, we’ll have pet professionals on hand to help you problem solve your dog walking headaches. You’ll also meet new friends and dog-loving neighbors!

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Julia Rohan founded Rover-Time in January of 2012 and received her formal training at FetchFind Academy, a program for aspiring dog trainers, based in Chicago. Julia lives in Irving Park with her husband Mark. Together they co-parent Archer, their 3-year old son, and Chauncey Billups Vanderhoff, an over-confident, territorial, and anxious 8lb. Chihuahua-Terrier mix. Both boys melt her heart hourly.

What does heel mean to a dog

The question of whether or not a dog should learn to Heel is one that I like people to contemplate early on when we start working together training their dog. I believe creating a clear picture in one’s mind about what we want to achieve and why we want to achieve it is important to the overall success of the training program.

Often times dog owners express that they really don’t care about a Heel command “and all that fancy stuff,” they just want the dog to stop pulling on the leash.

Not wanting the dog to pull is really all most pet owners care about. Granted, there are some folks that have a goal of pursuing obedience competition titles, but the majority of dog owners will never set foot in a ring.

So is a Heel command all that important to the average pet?

I believe so and here’s why.

Every expectation we have for our dogs has to have clearly defined parameters in order for the dog to understand. If the concepts can’t be clearly defined, we’re not being very fair to the dog. In fact, we’re being vague, and that never leads to much success.

In my opinion, the idea of “just don’t pull” isn’t terribly clear to the dog. If we have leashes of various lengths that we walk the dog on, it makes it even more confusing. On a 6-foot leash, staying within 5 foot, 11 inches of his handler would mean the dog wasn’t pulling. On a 4-foot leash, the dog would have 3 feet, 11 inches before pulling would come into effect. If we’re using a retractable leash we create a tremendous amount of learning curve to the “no pulling” rule, particularly because the nature of those tools is to keep a certain amount of tension on the leash at all times.

By contrast, teaching a dog to Heel means that you select an area that the dog has to remain in, in relationship to you. Traditionally, Heel has been taught on the left side but you can select the right if you prefer. Just be consistent in order to make it easier for your dog to learn.

Once you decide on which side you want the dog to walk on, you define a “space” that the dog should keep his head and or shoulders in. As a general rule I teach my handlers that the dog should get no more than his shoulders equal to the positioning of the knee when walking. The reasoning for this is that the dog can still see you in his peripheral vision. If you allow the dog much farther ahead than the shoulder, he will lose sight of you and thus awareness of where he needs to be.

I suggest creating a mental image in your mind of a hoop attached to the outside edge of your knee. It is approximately an 18 inch diameter (you can make it bigger or smaller depending on your dog’s size and desire of how close you want him to walk next to you). That is the space you teach your dog to keep his head and shoulders in.

Now your dog is not too far ahead, not too far behind, not crossing over in front of you or dragging to the side. He’s “with you” for all practical purposes and certainly not pulling (assuming you’re not winding the leash up around your hand!). You reward your dog for staying in that zone and interrupt him if he gets distracted and leaves it. With a bit of repetition your dog comes to understand very clearly the zone to remain in when walking with you.

You’ve developed some clarity around the word “Heel” (or you can certainly pick a different word like “let’s go”, if you prefer). A defined area is much easier for the dog to understand rather than the vague notion of not pulling.

The purpose of teaching a dog to heel is that the dog learns to pay some attention to you when walking. They don’t have to be looking at you by any means, but they need to be aware of where you are and remain in reasonably close proximity.

It is harder to pay attention to you if you allow your dog to just aimlessly pull forward or lag behind. And lack of attentiveness is what leads the dog to pull toward anything else that has caught their fancy.

Once you get clear about what Heel really is, you can then teach the dog to stop pulling. So create that picture of where your dog needs to be when walking and then start training!

What does heel mean to a dog

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of That�s My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.

Heel position. It’s one of the first things I teach my puppy.

Being in heel position, for my puppy – or dog, means to be next to me on my left side with her neck/shoulder area in line with the seam of my pants. If I’m standing still, my dog will sit calmly to me, unless or until I tell her to lie down or stand; if I’m moving, she will move along with me, at my pace. The command “heel” does not mean just to walk; it means maintaining a position on my left side, and default to a sit if I’m not moving. For my dogs, heel position is on my left side; for some people, it’s having the dog on their right side. Either is fine.

Teaching my dogs to sit, lie down or stand in heel position is one of THE most important aspects of her foundation training.

So why is heel position such a big deal?

Having raised, lived with and trained many dogs for many years, I’ve learned how much they are creatures of habit. Dogs like schedules; they like things to be predictable; they like things to be as expected based on routine and history. Heel position gives my dog that structure and predictability, and it takes a lot of the guess work out of what she should do – or not do – when we are out and about.

Here’s what I have concluded about this must-know, good-manners, foundation behavior:

1) Heel position gives my dog a defined, rehearsed, predictable, understood place to be. When I’m out and about, when I’m standing still and talking to a friend or a student, when I’m crossing a street, when I’m making my way through a crowd, or passing another person (with or without a dog), I know where my dog is and she knows where she is supposed to be: next to me – not in front of me, not behind me, not off to the side of me, but next to me.

2) When you know what you should do, it’s easier to know what you should not do. It’s the same with dogs. When I teach my dog where she should be and what she should do, I don’t have to spend so much time and energy nagging her not to do other things like bother people or visit dogs without permission or go sniffing off where she could get into trouble or make a mess.

3) Heel position is my dog’s home base, and the familiarity of it can bring her comfort in stressful or hectic situations.

4) Heel position keeps my dog in close proximity to me, which makes it easier for her to pay better attention to me.

5) Heel position helps my dog develop and practice both patience and impulse control. When her habit becomes to sit or lie down next to me and relax until she’s given permission to do something else, she learns not to act on or react to things in her environment that could lead to problem behaviors.

Would you like your dog to learn and understand a calm, well-learned, default behavior so that she will be able to demonstrate patience and good manners in most every situation or place that you take her? Then spend a few minutes a couple times each day to work on heel position with your dog (an exercise we introduce in our Obedience Level 1 class at Cloud Nine), and you will be surprised at how much more pleasant and well behaved she will be as a result.

As a dog trainer in Toms River, we are asked questions about proper nutrition, training, socialization, and behaviors every day. Pet parents want to make sure their doing things “right” so they have the best relationship possible with their dogs and we always appreciate their enthusiasm.

Often times pet parents have an impression that a good, well-behaved dog has to walk next to their side at all times. That sniffing the ground is a “no-no” and their walking in front of them is a sign the pet parent has no control over the walk. We’ve asked our very own Lead Dog Trainer to answer the question “Does My Dog Always Need to Heel?” and break down the pros and cons. Here’s what she has to say about the matter:

Hi. I’m Megan Ventura with Endless Pawsibilities. Often we are asked about does my dog always need to be in a heel position? First, let’s explain what is “heel”. Heel is usually a specific placement for the dog next to our sides. We like to tell people it’s their shoulder in line with our leg. The preference of left or right is really dependent upon the individual or the handler. There are some competitions and sports that require left-side handling only, so as a company we tend to teach our clients and dogs to do left-side heeling.

The benefits of heel are the dogs are in a specified place. They know where they need to be. They’re close to you. That way they’re kept out of trouble. It’s a wonderful tool.

Regular walking, or also known as loose-leash walking, is when the dog has more room to roam. They tend to be out at the end of a leash regardless of what the leash length is irrelevant. It’s however much leash you give them, but they shouldn’t be pulling you.

People ask a lot if it’s necessary or if they should be heeling their dog all the time. Though heel has its benefits, for a traditional dog in an everyday household it is not a good idea or even beneficial to the dog to heel them all the time. Walking around and sniffing their environment and interacting with their environment is very important. There is mental stimulation that occurs. They take in a lot of information using their nose, and it’s an outlet for some energy. It is exposure and entertaining for them.

Most people don’t exercise their dogs enough. Letting them out in the backyard regularly is not really enough exercise. It’s just an extension of their house. If we closed ourselves in our house 24/7 and we are only exposed to other good things by when one person decided we would get very frustrated, too.

Loose-leash walking is actually the recommended way to walk your dog for most of the walks unless you’re in a situation where you need your dog close. For example, if your dog tends to not like other dogs and you’re in an area where other dogs start to approach or be near. You can call your dog to a heel and kind of hightail it out of there quickly and safely.

There are lots of stages involved in training a dog, from the basic ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ to more complex commands. Training your dog to follow instructions when you are out and about is very important and will ensure that you both have a fun and safe experience when out for walks.

There are several different elements to leash training, and one of the key commands you will want to teach your dog is ‘heel’. This will come in useful both on and off the leash.

Keep reading to find out more about what the command means, and how to successfully teach it to your dog.

What does heel mean to a dog

What Does ‘Heel’ Mean?

When a dog walks to heel, it means that they are walking side by side with you. They will match your pace and walk with their head in line with your heels, hence where the name of the command comes from.

It can also be used to call your dog to your side if they are walking too far ahead or straying behind- it reminds them that they should be walking next to you.

Many working dogs and service dogs are taught to heel. How close they are to their master’s leg will depend on the role of the dog.

A gun dog will usually be trained to leave a bit of space between themselves and their owner, to avoid the owner being jostled whilst they are holding a gun. A service dog will be focusing ahead, not looking up at their owner, so might walk a bit closer to be more alert to verbal commands.

Why Teach Your Dog To ‘Heel’?

Some people might think that teaching a dog to heel is a waste of time if the dog already has good recall or walks well on the leash. But there are some additional benefits to the heel command.

If you are walking in a busy area and you need your dog to stay close to you at all times, you can use the heel command to keep them at your side.

This is also useful if your dog is off the leash in an area where there are potential hazards for your dog, like animals they shouldn’t interact with, busy roads, or fast flowing water.

It can also be useful when your dog is on the leash but you want a nice brisk walk with a consistent pace, as walking to heel will stop them from running a head or stopping to sniff things and getting distracted.

How To Teach Your Dog To ‘Heel’?

Before you train your dog to heel, it is beneficial if they have a bit of experience walking on the leash – stopping, waiting, not pulling. It is also a good idea to make sure you are able to get your dog’s attention and hold it, even in a busy or distracting environment.

A good way to build this foundation is to teach the ‘look at me’ command. Show your dog a treat, hold the treat between your eyes, and say the command. Once they make eye contact with you then give them the treat.

Repeat this, gradually replacing the treat with praise when the command is followed, then practise it in a busy area. This command will help to reset your dog’s focus on you if you are ever in an overwhelming or over stimulating environment.

You can teach your dog ‘heel’ on or off the leash- some dogs are distracted by the leash whereas others will learn faster with it on- you know what is best for your dog. Try to find a quiet, enclosed area to begin the training, like a garden.

Make sure you have plenty of treats to hand that you know your dog loves, though you will also be using praise and positive reinforcement during the training.

One of the most important things to bring with you to this training session is patience- walking to heel can take some time to get used to for a dog and losing your patience will only hinder the learning process.

Avoiding shouting and chastising if they don’t get it right- use a firm ‘no’ for any disruptive behaviour like leash biting or pulling, but give plenty of praise for the positive behaviour.

Begin in a standing position and get your dog to sit beside you on whichever side they would usually walk on. Keep a treat in the hand on whichever side your dog is sitting and hold it close to their nose so they can smell it.

When you start to walk slowly forward, keep the treat close to their nose and use your hand to keep them in the desired position, repeating the command ‘heel’. Only walk a few steps and then give them the treat and lots of praise.

Repeat this several times, making sure to give your dog the treat before they lose interest or their attention wanders. You must be repeating the command, so the dog learns to associate the word ‘heel’ with walking in that position.

Once they are doing it consistently, you can start to lengthen the distance you are walking and give them treats less frequently. Try taking 10 to 15 steps with one treat halfway and one at the end. Then a bit further, and a bit further.

Give your dog plenty of encouragement and praise throughout if they are doing it right. If your dog makes a mistake then it is best to stay calm, reset your position, and start again.

When you are confident that your dog is starting to understand the command, try walking about 30 to 40 steps with a treat in your hand but don’t give it to them until the end. Maintain the praise throughout so your dog knows they are doing the right thing.

If you can do this successfully, then it’s time to try the command without the treats. You should still leave your hand out beside you as a visual cue for the command, and continue to repeat the word ‘heel’.

Give lots of praise if they get it right, and if they become distracted then bring their attention back to you and do it again. If your dog refuses to follow the command without the treat, do it a few more times with a food reward then try again.

Once you have mastered the command without treats, you can gradually start to bring your hand away so your dog learns to rely on the verbal cue alone. It can still be a good idea to use your hand initially to get your dog into the heel position, but you shouldn’t need to leave it there whilst you are walking.

When you first try this command in a less controlled area, like on a walk or in a busy park, you might need a few treats just to make sure you can hold your dog’s attention and stop them from getting distracted.

Continue to give them plenty of praise to reinforce the command in this new environment.

Once your dog has learned to walk to heel, you can use this command at any point during the walk to reset their position and stop them from pulling on the leash.

This article was co-authored by Elisabeth Weiss. Elisabeth Weiss is a Professional Dog Trainer and owner of Dog Relations NYC, a dog training service in New York, New York. Elisabeth relies on science-based, force-free, and reward-based techniques. Elisabeth offers behavior training, puppy manners, body awareness and injury prevention, diet, exercise and dog nutrition services. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine and on the Dog Save the People podcast. She also trained all the dogs in the movie “Heart of a Dog” by Laurie Anderson that features Elisabeth’s journey with Laurie Anderson’s and Lou Reed’s dog Lolabelle and how her passion for playing the keyboards played a significant role in improving her quality of life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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Many times when people take their dog for a walk, they are actually dragged along behind the dog, instead of leading them. A dog that pulls, or even a dog that lags behind, has not been properly trained to walk in unison with their owner. Heeling is such a comfortable way to walk with your dog, not against them, that it is worth your while to teach your pup how to do it. Anyone can train a dog to heel with repetition and patience, along with some simple techniques.

While you can initially train your dog to heel during your first training session, the behavior won’t become permanent for a while and will require reinforcement training. Getting the process correct from the beginning will shorten the time it takes you to train your dog to heel on your command and make your time together less frustrating and more enjoyable.

What exactly does “heel” mean?

What does heel mean to a dog

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The general definition of “heel” means that your dog will stand or walk even with you, close to your leg, explains dog trainer Kendell Abbot at pet training website SitStay. The dog walks when you walk and stops when you stop, regardless of whatever interesting thing the pet wants to explore.

This prevents dogs from lagging behind you where you can’t see them, and keeps them from advancing too far out in front of you. If you’ve ever seen pet parents struggling to keep up with dogs that are pulling the human, you’ve seen a dog that hasn’t learned to heel. Many advocates suggest you put the pet on your left side when walking as the preferred dog heel position.

If you are left-handed or want your dog inside you when walking on sidewalks (where you might encounter interesting baby strollers or other pets), place your dog on your right. When the time comes for you to get your pet out of the way of errant skateboarders or bike riders, your dog will have had practice and experience coming to heel on your right side.

Importance of heel training

What does heel mean to a dog

If you don’t train your dog to heel, you may allow her to perceive that she’s more in charge than she should be, or that you are less capable of being in control than you should be. It can also create hazardous situations for you, the pet and other humans and animals, especially when you are in tight situations.

Dogs that don’t heel might jump on passing humans, even in a friendly manner, or clash with other dogs you are passing. Your leash can get tangled if your pet becomes distracted and feels free to run wherever she likes.

Items you’ll need

Start heel training with your dog on her leash. Avoid a retractable leash, which you might not be able to quickly control and which might even be illegal in some jurisdictions because of the lack of control it provides pet parents. Don’t use a choke leash unless you’ve talked to your vet or pet trainer and learned how to use one. Use a leash and tension on the leash that allows you to gently tug your dog closer to you when you want.

Bring treats to reward the dog each time she successfully heels. You might also use a clicker to provide more positive reinforcement each time, and which will eventually replace treats as confirmation that the pet performed correctly. Practice in an area that’s free from distractions such as other pets, people, cars, or a TV set.

Starting the training

What does heel mean to a dog

Begin by walking with your pet to see where she’s naturally inclined to go. Observe whether she’s lagging behind or trying to run in front. Without saying anything, gently but firmly pull the dog closer to you each time she isn’t on your side. Do this until you feel the pet is starting to get the message you want it even with you.

Once you reach this point, relax the tension on the leash, and as the dog starts to move backward or forward, gently pull it back to you using the command “heel.” After a few times, the dog should start to associate the heel command with the desired behavior.

Each time the dog properly heels after hearing the word, reward her by petting, saying, “Good dog,” and giving a treat. Click your clicker to associate heeling with clicking. Clickers also help you save your voice as your dog begins to recognize two clicks for “heel” or one click for “sit.”

Begin walking again and hold the clicker and treats where you want the dog to be. If the dog is behind you, she will have to move up to get the treat. If the dog is in front of you, she will need to move back.

Use a calm voice that shows you are in control. Yelling at a dog shows anger and lack of control. Your dog will behave better if she feels she is getting a reward or love, rather than performing an action out of fear.

Don’t be afraid to stop walking and have your dog sit if she is not performing correctly. Point to where you want her to sit and/or hold the treat there.

Finally, once your dog has the hang of heeling, vary your course, go to different yards, a dog park or streets, and zig-zag to make the dog put some effort into coming to heel, recommends the American Kennel Club.

If you’re in a controlled area, like your yard, let the dog off the leash after your practice and play with her, such as throwing a tennis ball and having her bring it back. After a while of this, leash your dog again and start practicing heeling once more.

Each session your dog practices a new behavior after taking a break of hours or days, the behavior will be reinforced. If you continue the training each day, the dog will remember it better. If you practice it once a week, it will take longer for the behavior to stick.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

What does heel mean to a dog

When you get a new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No. Expert trainer Brandon McMillan, Emmy Award–winning host of Lucky Dog and author of Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days, calls these the “seven common commands” because they’re the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. He teaches these training lessons to all of his rescue dogs, in order to help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two.

What does heel mean to a dog

McMillan always teaches Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It’s therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it’s also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives.

What does heel mean to a dog

McMillan compares his favorite dog training technique, Down, to taking the keys out of a car’s ignition. A standing dog could bolt like a running vehicle, because there’s nothing keeping her in place. A sitting dog is like a car in Park, but it’s still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead.

What does heel mean to a dog

A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. McMillan recommends teaching it when your pup is tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she’s a pro.

What does heel mean to a dog

If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. McMillan teaches Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.

What does heel mean to a dog

Dogs of all sizes should learn to heel, or walk calmly by your side, especially if you exercise your pup in busy urban areas where there’s not much room on the sidewalk. The skill is even more important for large or strong pups who naturally pull on the leash. Once a dog can heel, walks will be easier and more pleasant for your dog and your arm socket.

What does heel mean to a dog

Jumping on visitors or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your pooch can’t keep four paws on the floor, don’t despair. Get her to stay off by turning your back when she jumps up, grabbing her paws and shaking a plastic bottle filled with pennies while you say “Off,” suggests McMillan. All of those things discourage jumping, so try a few to see which clicks with your pet.

What does heel mean to a dog

Some trainers teach both No and Leave It for slightly different situations, such as using No when a dog shouldn’t do something and Leave it for when you want your pup not to investigate an item or situation. McMillan sticks to No, period, to keep things simple. He says explaining the difference can confuse both people and animals, so No makes a good, all-purpose command for everything you want your pup not to do.

Lizz Schumer Senior Editor Lizz Schumer covers pets, culture, lifestyle, books, entertainment and more as Good Housekeeping’s senior editor; she also contributes to Woman’s Day and Prevention.

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The heel command is one all dogs need. It allows us to walk free from the worry of wondering whereabouts our reliable friend is or what he is up to. Being rock-solid on ‘heel’ both on and off the lead is crucial. Whether it’s walking on a beach, or between drives on an estate, dogs that heel well show they are both well-mannered and obedient, whilst allowing owners to enjoy being out with them. There will also inevitably be times you lose a lead and need to rely on your dog to remain close. Jo Perrott, founder of The Ladies Working Dog Group explores the do’s and dont’s of teaching your dog to heel.

What does heel mean to a dog

This beautiful image of Fern the Working Cocker Spaniel caught the eye of Hollie-Ella who just had to include it.

Unfortunately though, it’s one of the commands that takes the longest to teach. When you see the ‘perfect dog’ at heel, remember what you see took a lot of time in training. The world is an exciting place for a young dog and they sometimes forget what you asked and become distracted. My older dogs can be counted on to listen because they have seen more of life, but my younger dogs still have their moments…

To begin, where should your pup walk?

My pups are trained to walk to the left. Most shooting dogs are. This comes from your dog being on the opposite side to your gun. Ideally you want your dog to keep his nose in line with your left knee; not in front of you, where he could trip you up, and not dawdling behind you, out of sight.

Teaching off-lead heel first: I’ve always started teaching heel off-lead first, because I want to focus on my pup and not have the lead in between us. Whether I’ve bred the pup, or it comes to me as a youngster, my first job is to get my pup to WANT to be with me. There are many ways you can do this, through treats, fuss, or a pleasant voice and a smile. Remember, we would all prefer to walk alongside someone who interests us, and its the same for dogs – if you’re on your phone ignoring them, don’t expect them to stay with you!

What does heel mean to a dog

Begin by encouraging your dog to come to the side you would prefer. If you already have three dogs walking to the left, you might want him on the right. Sometimes they will jostle for space, so sharing them over sides can be sensible. Encourage them to come to the knee you want in the beginning with a titbit of food. Don’t give them the food immediately, instead encourage them to walk a few paces with you whilst you give the command ‘heel’. Don’t do this for hours on end, as your dog will get a full belly and become bored quite quickly. Instead, carry out this training throughout the day in short, sharp sessions. You can also do this at feeding time. Begin by bending over, as this avoids them jumping up at you for the food. As your training progresses, lengthen your steps before giving the reward. You can also start to come up from the dog as they understand more of what you’re asking for.

If the pup is away from you, use the word ‘come’, or your whistle, to ask the dog to come to you, followed by the heel command once they are with you. The heel command is always given to encourage them to come to your knee, and, whilst they are pups, you can reinforce the command verbally as they walk along with you. As you gain distance, add in turns, both left and right, so they get used to changing direction alongside you. I start with lefts first if they are on my left, as my body acts as a natural barrier for them to turn.

As the pup gets older and understands what you mean by ‘heel’, only issue the command once. Don’t get in the habit of saying it over and over, a trained dog should only require telling once, and then staying at heel until you say otherwise. Over time you should be able to walk and turn frequently without your dog leaving your side. As they progress, vary distance lengths and time before rewarding. Learn to read your dog’s behaviour. If you can see they are becoming bored, switch up the training exercise as you don’t want them to get into the habit of wandering away.

On-lead heel: whilst teaching off-lead heel, we also introduce the pup to wearing a collar. Let the pup wear it when he’s with you. You want them not to be concerned with the feeling of something around their neck from a very young age. This is not just for lead purposes but also if the vet ever requires them to wear a protective collar.

Later on, once you have taught heel off-lead correctly, you can then add a lead to the collar. Your pup should be walking to your knee, so should never have a reason to pull against it. If you are training a dog to work on an estate, exchange for a slip lead as its safer for a dog to work cover without a collar.

Teaching heel is an excellent skill both for your dog to have but also for you as an owner; whether you own dogs purely as pets or you work them, heel is important in all walks of life and can come in handy when crossing roads, taking your dog to the vets, county shows, trips to the beach, pub and on your daily dog walks. The list of benefits teaching your dog to heel has is virtually endless, regardless of whether you work your dogs or not.

What does heel mean to a dog

What does heel mean to a dog

Taking your pup out: pups have a great way of listening perfectly at home, and then once out, completely forgetting about us. This is because the new environment is far more fun to explore than you. Much like when you take a child into a shop, and they leave you because they have seen something shiny! Neither the child or the pup is naughty, they are just exploring their new world. Start your outdoor adventures on-lead and go back to them being short and sharp sessions. You do not want to encourage your pup to be pulling away from you as you walk them all day around a market. Both you and they will hate the experience, and your pup won’t think you’re fun anymore. If you cannot get their attention to walk to heel, then back home they go for more training before you venture back out. If you continue to take them out and get into a constant tug of war, it is a very hard issue to correct.

Solving heel issues: if I have a dog that pulls or will not walk off-lead I go back to basics as if they were a pup. I make myself more fun to be with than anything else and then go through the steps above. It’s not an easy process. With a pup you are instilling new habits, with a dog that won’t listen, you are breaking bad habits. Each is very different psychologically for a dog.

If you have tried going back to basics and still can’t get the dog to listen, I would seek the advice of a professional trainer or canine behaviourist as they will be able to support both you and the dog as you change the dog’s behaviour pattern.

Finally, ‘heel’ is not the most fun command to teach a pup because they want to explore and adventure, not walk at your side. However, it is worth the effort and once your dog has bossed it, the rest of your life going for a walk will be plain sailing. Keep the long term reward in mind and good luck!

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!

What does heel mean to a dog

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So you’ve started getting your puppy used to walking on a leash at home, or even in the yard. Maybe your puppy is even starting to take your lead with the “Let’s Go” routine! Great! Now, let’s talk about setting up real-life walking expectations.

What does heel mean to a dog

The Puppy Academy student, Penny

Welcome to your introduction to “Heel” command training. At this point, your puppy still may not be able to go for a long walk around your neighborhood, yet! For “Heel” training, start working with your puppy in the living room, hallway, or your front and backyard with as few distractions as possible as your puppy first learns the command. It can take a few weeks before you can go for a full-length walk and expect your puppy to walk on a loose leash next to you. Truthfully, “Heel” is one of the most difficult commands for puppies to learn!

But wait, does that mean you can’t take your puppy for a walk? Absolutely not! And you can start working on “Heel” training right away but just understand that it is something that you need to continue to work on. Your puppy may still be distracted by other dogs, people, cyclists, leaves, etc., and they may still bolt toward those directions! Continue to utilize the “Let’s Go” routine we previously covered to motivate your puppy away from distractions and toward a new direction, then continue to work on “Heel” when the distractions are gone.

Now let’s go into a routine to help get your puppy in the right working mindset and focused on following you so you can start working toward achieving those loose-leash walks with your puppy!

Warm Up Your Puppy for Heel Training

Before working on the “Heel” command training, we recommend that you take a couple of minutes to warm up your puppy with a quick practice session of the “Let’s Go” routine! In case you didn’t read our last blog which introduced getting your puppy used to walking on a leash, here are the simple steps you need to go through this routine:

Start by walking a few steps with your puppy on a harness and leash. When your puppy pulls on the leash, apply light leash pressure to either side of your puppy to get them to switch directions. One thing to remember is that the leash guidance should be applied to the side of your puppy, rather than straight back, which will better help you guide them in the direction you want, instead of creating more resistance. At this point, say “Let’s Go!’ and pat your leg or whistle (whichever works for you and your pup!) to get your puppy’s attention on you. When your puppy starts to change directions and follow you, release the leash pressure and give them slack right away. Now, mark the behavior with “Good!” and reward them with some food. Repeat this routine a few times for up to two to three minutes before moving on to “Heel” training!

Pro tip: During your warm-up session, if your puppy gives you eye contact at any point of the warm-up, mark that behavior with “Good!” and occasionally give them a food reward. Doing this starts to establish that you want your puppy’s focus on you and will become an important tool during Heel training.

Introducing the “Heel” Command

What does heel mean to a dog

@mille_themountaingirl

What exactly is “Heel”? The goal of “Heel” training is to teach your puppy to follow alongside the heel of your foot on the side they are walking on. While walking forward or, changing directions you will give the command “Heel” to your puppy to keep them alongside you.

As you begin to introduce “Heel”, choose either the left or right side to have your puppy walking beside you. Depending on which side you selected, hold the leash in your hand on that side and pick up the remaining slack with the other hand. Also, have a treat in the hand that is holding your puppy’s leash and closest to your puppy in order to easily regain their attention or quickly reward them. Consider this: your puppy’s nose will follow the treat in your hand! Keeping your arm straight down and hand next to your side will help you keep your puppy in the right walking position instead of behind or ahead of you.

When you start, slowly take a step forward with the foot that is next to your puppy and say “Heel” as your continue stepping forward. After a couple of steps with the puppy moving alongside you, stop, mark the behavior with “Good” and reward your puppy with food. Continue taking just a few slow steps forward and repeat marking the behavior and rewarding your puppy.

Pro tip: As your puppy is still learning, if others in the family will also be walking the puppy, have them pick the same side to walk the puppy! A consistent walking side will help your puppy learn how to “Heel” and prevent them from potentially getting confused and zig-zagging while walking! Eventually, you can switch it up once your puppy fully understands “Heel”.

Heel with Turnarounds From and To Place

If you read the section header and thought, “wait, I thought Heel was for walking not the place command?” You’re right! But puppies can get pretty energetic especially when learning something fun and new! (You can learn more about “Place” command in our previous blog !)

When first introducing “Heel”, start with your puppy on and going to “Place” gives your puppy something to target and focus that energy instead of potentially zooming around you! This goes especially in the beginning when you are still getting the hang of handling your puppy, having your puppy still on “Place” and walking to a “Place” makes the process much smoother!

With your puppy on their “Place”, stand beside them facing away from the cot on the side you wish to walk your puppy on. Now, say the command “Heel” and take a few steps forward with the foot next to your puppy. In this exercise, keep a treat in your hand and in front of your puppy’s nose. This will help keep them in the correct walking position! Once your puppy has walked along with you, say “Good!” and give them the food. Again, take a few steps forward and but now turnaround, while saying “Heel”. Continue to keep the food in the same hand and in front of your puppy’s nose as this will help your puppy maintain focus and turns slowly! Mark the correct behavior with “Good!” and give them the reward. Take a few steps forward and say, “Heel”, “Good!”, and give them food. Finally, take a few more steps and say “Heel”, “Place” add a brief pause, then reward your puppy!

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

Table of Contents

How do I teach my dog to heel?

Say your dog’s name followed by the cue ‘heel’ and move off with your hand tapping your side to encourage her to follow. Once you have compliance, begin using food intermittently while still praising her. If your dog walks ahead of you, reverse direction and repeat the cue, tapping your thigh again. Praise her warmly.

Why is it important to teach your dog to heel?

The purpose of teaching a dog to heel is that the dog learns to pay some attention to you when walking. They don’t have to be looking at you by any means, but they need to be aware of where you are and remain in reasonably close proximity.

What does it mean for dog to heel?

Walking with your dog at a “heel” is more formal than walking your dog on a loose leash. Teaching a dog to heel involves training it to stay close by your side while walking and it is a great way to instill self-control in your dog whether it’s on or off leash.

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

How do I teach my dog not to pull?

The best way to stop your dog from pulling is to show them that walking on a loose lead gets a reward and pulling doesn’t. As soon as your dog starts pulling, stop walking. Never pull their lead back, just wait for them to stop pulling. Once there is slack in the lead again, reward them and continue walking.

Should dogs always heel?

Dogs do not need to Heel at all times but it is a very valuable command and I recommend that all dogs learn and practice it on a daily basis.

Should a dog heel on the left or right?

“Heel” is traditionally on your left side for obedience and rally competitions. Hold your treat hand at your chest. This will prevent luring (dog just following the food) and jumping while walking if your treat hand is just out of reach.

How do I train my dog to walk beside me without a leash?

Teaching your dog to walk without a leash requires that you establish a solid on-leash training foundation first. Teach the dog a “watch me” command. Stand with the dog on your left side, and ask him to sit. Encourage the dog to walk close by your side. Unclip the leash, and give the “watch me” command.

What does heel mean slang?

6a : a contemptible person : a person who is self-centered or untrustworthy felt like a heel a few heels who appear to get away with it— Frank Case.

What is the difference between heel and loose leash walking?

Loose leash walking is getting your dog to walk on a leash without any tension in it. A heel command demands the dog walks extremely close to you while focusing on you 100%. After a heel command, the dog should not acknowledge anything but you, even in the most distracting situations.

Does heel mean stop?

What does heel mean? The command or skill “heel” simply means that the dog must walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is required to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk.

Why do dogs pull on leash?

Dogs pull on the leash because we’re slower than they are. When you leave your house heading out for a walk your dog is excited and wants to go! Dogs also repeat actions that are rewarding to them. The excitement of walking, pulling hard, and sometimes even running are all rewarding.

What is the hardest thing to teach a dog?

We start with the easiest tricks (out of all the hardest ones) and work our way down to the most difficult tricks to teach a dog. Wait. Demonstration. Bark or Speak or Howl. Demonstration. Army Crawling. Demonstration. Spin. Demonstration. Sit Pretty. Demonstration. Go and Fetch. Stand Tall (On Hind Legs) Say Your Prayers.

What is the first thing I should teach my puppy?

Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age.

How long should a dog training session last?

Dog training sessions should last no more than 15 minutes. Young puppies or dogs who are easily distracted may need even shorter sessions. If you run your training session too long, dogs get distracted and bored, and there’s a good chance they’ll start making mistakes.

Is it OK to let your dog walk in front of you?

Or is it ok to let him walk in front of me on occasion? There’s no one right way to walk your dog — in fact, the only real “rule,” if you will, is that the leash should always have some slack. In other words, your dog shouldn’t be pulling you along, and you shouldn’t be pulling him.

How do you teach a stubborn dog to heel?

Have the dog on a collar and leash in a quiet place with few distractions. Hold a treat in your left hand, just in front of the dog’s nose to encourage him to walk forward matching your stride. Once the dog has taken a few steps forward in the heel position, say “Heel” and quickly click and reward him.

What age should I start leash training my puppy?

Puppy Leash Training As surprising as it may seem, pups can begin learning leash skills at four to six weeks old. Pretty impressive, huh? It is best to start training a puppy as soon as paw-sible because they are like little sponges at this age and are able to absorb more than we may give them credit for.

Should you let your dog sniff on walks?

“Let your dog stop and smell the roses.” It’s understandable to want to move a bit faster, but according to the experts, letting dogs sniff is an important part of dog life. Dog noses are designed for smelling.

Should you walk a dog before or after breakfast?

Don’t walk your dogs right before or after they eat. Apply similar rules to your dogs: Wait 30 minutes after a walk to feed them and at least an hour after feeding to walk them. Dogs who exercise before or after eating can develop bloat.

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

How do I teach my dog to heel?

Say your dog’s name followed by the cue ‘heel’ and move off with your hand tapping your side to encourage her to follow. Once you have compliance, begin using food intermittently while still praising her. If your dog walks ahead of you, reverse direction and repeat the cue, tapping your thigh again. Praise her warmly.

What is heel used for in dog training?

The command or skill “heel” simply means that the dog must walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is required to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk.

How long does it take to heel train a dog?

If he’s a tricky customer and you aren’t consistent with the training, it could take 2 to 3 months. Getting it right will be more than worth the hassle. Every walk from that day on will be leisurely and in the direction you choose. In the long run, it will also be good for your mischievous dog too.

Whats the difference between heel and sit?

The Heel command means for your dog to get by your side and stay by your side. If you are moving and call “Heel,” the dog walks at your side. If you are standing still and call “Heel,” the dog comes to your side and sits.

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

What does heel mean to dog?

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

What is the difference between heel and heal?

Heal is what you do when you get better. Your heel is the back part of your foot. Achilles’ heel was the only place the great warrior could be wounded in such a way that the injury wouldn’t heal.

How do I teach my dog not to pull?

The best way to stop your dog from pulling is to show them that walking on a loose lead gets a reward and pulling doesn’t. As soon as your dog starts pulling, stop walking. Never pull their lead back, just wait for them to stop pulling. Once there is slack in the lead again, reward them and continue walking.

What is the difference between heel and loose leash walking?

Loose leash walking is getting your dog to walk on a leash without any tension in it. A heel command demands the dog walks extremely close to you while focusing on you 100%. After a heel command, the dog should not acknowledge anything but you, even in the most distracting situations.

How do you teach a stubborn dog to heel?

Have the dog on a collar and leash in a quiet place with few distractions. Hold a treat in your left hand, just in front of the dog’s nose to encourage him to walk forward matching your stride. Once the dog has taken a few steps forward in the heel position, say “Heel” and quickly click and reward him.

How do I train my dog to walk beside me without a leash?

Teaching your dog to walk without a leash requires that you establish a solid on-leash training foundation first. Teach the dog a “watch me” command. Stand with the dog on your left side, and ask him to sit. Encourage the dog to walk close by your side. Unclip the leash, and give the “watch me” command.

What side should a dog heel on?

“Heel” is traditionally on your left side for obedience and rally competitions. Hold your treat hand at your chest. This will prevent luring (dog just following the food) and jumping while walking if your treat hand is just out of reach.

What is the hardest thing to teach a dog?

Here is my list of the hardest tricks to teach your dog.We start with the easiest tricks (out of all the hardest ones) and work our way down to the most difficult tricks to teach a dog. Play Piano. Skateboarding. Fetch a Drink From the Refrigerator. Use The Toilet. Pick Up Toys. Sing.

What age should you start heel training?

10-12 Weeks Old At this point, you will begin to expand on your pup’s commands, socialization, and impulse control. Introduce more basic obedience commands such as Place, Down, and Heel at home.

What is the first thing I should teach my puppy?

Basic obedience training Start with the two foundational behaviors of “focus” and “sit.” To build focus, try the name game: Say your dog’s name in a happy tone of voice. When puppy turns towards you, say “Yes!” and reward them.

What does heel mean slang?

6a : a contemptible person : a person who is self-centered or untrustworthy felt like a heel a few heels who appear to get away with it— Frank Case.

Is it OK to let my dog sniff on walks?

When your dog stops for a sniff, let the dog smell as long as they like, and move along when they are ready. You can let the dog sniff away for a few minutes at the beginning and the end of a walk or dedicate one walk a day as a “smell walk”.

What is heel pain called?

Heel pain, especially stabbing heel pain, is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present.

What does heel healing mean?

The easiest way to remember the meanings of these words is to keep in mind that “heal” is a verb, referring to the way something gets healthy again, while “heel” is a shoe component or a body part, situated at the back of the foot.

What is homophones of heel?

Heal and heel are homophones. That means that they are pronounced the same when spoken aloud, but they don’t mean the same thing. Homophones are confusing for many writers, and heal and heel doubly so, since they can both be used as a verb in sentences.

Is it OK to let your dog walk in front of you?

Or is it ok to let him walk in front of me on occasion? There’s no one right way to walk your dog — in fact, the only real “rule,” if you will, is that the leash should always have some slack. In other words, your dog shouldn’t be pulling you along, and you shouldn’t be pulling him.

Why does my dog walk zig zag in front of me?

The Zigzag There are so many sights, sounds and most importantly, smells! Dogs have a sense of smell that can is 1,000-10,000 times stronger than ours. This can have them zigging and zagging all over the place as they track the scents that tells them what has been going on in the neighborhood.

What age should I start leash training my puppy?

Puppy Leash Training As surprising as it may seem, pups can begin learning leash skills at four to six weeks old. Pretty impressive, huh? It is best to start training a puppy as soon as paw-sible because they are like little sponges at this age and are able to absorb more than we may give them credit for.

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

How do I teach my dog to heel?

Say your dog’s name followed by the cue ‘heel’ and move off with your hand tapping your side to encourage her to follow. Once you have compliance, begin using food intermittently while still praising her. If your dog walks ahead of you, reverse direction and repeat the cue, tapping your thigh again. Praise her warmly.

What does the dog training command heel mean?

What Exactly Does Heel Mean? The Heel command means for your dog to get by your side and stay by your side. If you are moving and call “Heel,” the dog walks at your side. If you are standing still and call “Heel,” the dog comes to your side and sits. Sounds pretty basic and hopefully we’re all on the same page.

What does HEEL mean in Dog Training? Teaching your dog or puppy Heel is SUPER Important!

Is heel the same as sit?

The command “heel” does not mean just to walk; it means maintaining a position on my left side, and default to a sit if I’m not moving. For my dogs, heel position is on my left side; for some people, it’s having the dog on their right side.

How do I teach my dog to walk to heel?

Hold out a treat in front of your dog’s nose, verbally say the command “heel,” and slowly step forward. The treat should act as a guide so that your dog follows you. For every couple of steps your dog walks in stride with you, reward it with a click, a treat, and a verbal complement.

How long does it take to teach a dog to heel?

If he’s a tricky customer and you aren’t consistent with the training, it could take 2 to 3 months. Getting it right will be more than worth the hassle. Every walk from that day on will be leisurely and in the direction you choose. In the long run, it will also be good for your mischievous dog too.

How do you teach a stubborn dog to heel?

Have the dog on a collar and leash in a quiet place with few distractions. Hold a treat in your left hand, just in front of the dog’s nose to encourage him to walk forward matching your stride. Once the dog has taken a few steps forward in the heel position, say “Heel” and quickly click and reward him.

What does training a dog to heel mean?

Walking with your dog at a “heel” is more formal than walking your dog on a loose leash. Teaching a dog to heel involves training it to stay close by your side while walking and it is a great way to instill self-control in your dog whether it’s on or off leash.

What does the heel dog command mean?

Teaching your dog the heel command means they will learn to keep pace as they walk side-by-side with you—unlike loose leash walking, which trains your dog to walk without pulling. With this training, your dog learns proper leash manners, and eventually, may even be able to walk alongside you off-leash.

Should a dog always walk to heel?

Though heel has its benefits, for a traditional dog in an everyday household it is not a good idea or even beneficial to the dog to heel them all the time. Walking around and sniffing their environment and interacting with their environment is very important. There is mental stimulation that occurs.

Why should you not teach a dog paw?

Teaching your dog to put his paw on you to earn praise or a treat is easy and seems like fun. But if your dog jumps up on people or paws at you for attention, you’re building value in your dog’s mind for the same behavior you’re trying to get rid of in other circumstances. It’s confusing to your dog.

When training a dog what does heel mean?

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

What is the difference between heel and come?

Come – stop what you are doing and come. Let’s Go – walk near me. A casual command that indicates to the dog that you expect him to walk with you, not necessarily in heel position. Heel – walk attentively next to my left side.

What is heel position?

In the heel command, the dog should walk directly next to the handler, not in front of or behind. Not only is this an essential skill for harmonious walks between dog and owner, but in certain situations, such as walking along a busy street or a crowded walkway, it’s vital that your dog is at your side.

What is the heel command for dogs?

The command or skill “heel” simply means that the dog must walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is required to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk.

How long does it take to train a dog to walk to heel?

If he’s a tricky customer and you aren’t consistent with the training, it could take 2 to 3 months. Getting it right will be more than worth the hassle. Every walk from that day on will be leisurely and in the direction you choose. In the long run, it will also be good for your mischievous dog too.

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

What is heel used for in dog training?

Walking with your dog at a “heel” is more formal than walking your dog on a loose leash. Teaching a dog to heel involves training it to stay close by your side while walking and it is a great way to instill self-control in your dog whether it’s on or off leash.

Why should a dog heel?

Maintaining Heel position keeps the dog in a more relaxed, less reactive, working state of mind. You are constantly in your dog’s peripheral vision which is a constant reminder that they have a job to do, which is simply to stay in position.

How long does it take to heel train a dog?

If he’s a tricky customer and you aren’t consistent with the training, it could take 2 to 3 months. Getting it right will be more than worth the hassle. Every walk from that day on will be leisurely and in the direction you choose. In the long run, it will also be good for your mischievous dog too.

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

What does heel mean to dog?

The definition of heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.

What does you really are a heel mean?

6a : a contemptible person : a person who is self-centered or untrustworthy felt like a heel a few heels who appear to get away with it— Frank Case.

Should I teach my dog to heel?

Dogs do not need to heel at all times but it is a very valuable command that Rover-Time recommends all dogs learn and practice it on a daily basis.

Should your dog always walk to heel?

Though heel has its benefits, for a traditional dog in an everyday household it is not a good idea or even beneficial to the dog to heel them all the time. Walking around and sniffing their environment and interacting with their environment is very important.

Should a dog heel on the left or right?

“Heel” is traditionally on your left side for obedience and rally competitions. Hold your treat hand at your chest. This will prevent luring (dog just following the food) and jumping while walking if your treat hand is just out of reach.

What is the difference between heel and loose leash walking?

The Difference Between Loose Leash Walking and “Heel” When your dog is walking with a loose leash, it doesn’t matter how far away your dog is from you— just that they’re not pulling. During the “heel” command, your dog is walking extremely close to your side and focusing on your completely.

How do you teach a stubborn dog to heel?

Have the dog on a collar and leash in a quiet place with few distractions. Hold a treat in your left hand, just in front of the dog’s nose to encourage him to walk forward matching your stride. Once the dog has taken a few steps forward in the heel position, say “Heel” and quickly click and reward him.

What is the first thing I should teach my puppy?

First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat.

How do you teach a puppy no?

The Hand and Treat Method Call your dog over and let him see the treat in your hand. As you close your hand, say “No!”. Let him lick and sniff, but do not give him the treat. When he finally gives up and backs away, praise him and give him the treat.

What is the most effective dog training method?

Almost all vets agree that positive reinforcement training is the most effective method of dog training. Positive reinforcement training essentially focuses on rewarding your pet for good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior.

Is it OK to let my dog sniff on walks?

We credentialed, science-based dog trainers recommend giving dogs more opportunities to sniff on walks and explore their natural worlds in a way that makes sense to them. This ensures that they get more mental stimulation and are generally happier.

What are the hand signals for dog training?

If you make it a priority, your dog will pick up the hand signals quickly! ONE FINGER POINT TO EYE – Watch me. OPEN HAND PALM UP – Sit. FINGER POINT DOWN – Lie down. OPEN HAND PALM FORWARD – Stay. HAND DIAGONALLY ACROSS CHEST – Come.

What are German commands for dogs?

ENGLISH GERMAN CZECH Sit Sitz (siitz) Sedni (said nee) Stay Bleib (bly’b) Zustan Down Platz (plats) Lehni (leh nee) Come/Here Hier (hee er) Ke mne (khemn yea).

Do dogs grow out of pulling?

Unfortunately pulling on the lead is so rewarding for dogs that it is not something they grow out of. Indeed, the more opportunities they get to pull, the better they become at it.

What’s the best lead for a dog that pulls?

Top 10 Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull Choices 1 Heavy Duty Rope Leash for Dogs. 2 Heavy Duty No-pull Dog Leash. 3 ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash. 4 LeashBoss Heavy-Duty Dog Leash for Large Dogs. 5 Leather Dog Leash with Double Handle. 6 Escape Resistant Dog Leash. 7 EzyDog ZERO SHOCK Dog Leash. 8 Halti Training Lead for Dogs.

Is it ever too late to start training a dog?

It’s never too late to train a dog. Whether you are bringing home an older dog from a shelter (or rescue), or you’d like to work with your own older dog, there’s no reason to delay doing some training with an older dog. There are actually some advantages to working with an older dog.

When I first got started competing in obedience, I really had no idea what heel position meant. I mean, I vaguely knew the dog should walk at your left side and sit when you stopped walking. I could tell that much from watching other teams heeling, even with my uneducated eye.

It turns out that perfect heeling is a somewhat subjective thing. Everyone has their own aesthetic sense of what “perfect” means – their own picture in their mind of what perfect heeling should look like. Heeling was one of those things where I knew it when I saw it but I couldn’t really tell you how to define it. Like art, music, fancy food, and other complex things, I could tell you when I liked what I saw, but I had no idea how to identify what made it great. and worse, I had no idea how to reproduce it.

Without a really clear picture of exactly where heel position should be, I was unable to set clear criteria in my training. Vague criteria leads to vague behavior. and frustrated dogs and handlers.

I’ve also discovered that there is a critical difference between being able to identify if a dog in good heel position from across the room, and being able to identify your own dog’s position at your side in real time. Since that’s where the training happens, it’s kind of a big deal!

Defining Heel Position

Different competitive organizations have slightly different definitions in the rulebook for heel position, but there is more than enough overlap for our purposes.

To define heel position, we need to look at several variables. In general, your dog should move at your left side, with his spine straight and parallel to your direction of movement. More specifically, if you draw an invisible line from your shoulder through your hip to your heel, that line should fall between the back of your dog’s ear and the front of his shoulder. Depending on the length of your dog’s neck, you could have a fair bit of wiggle room to play with!

What does heel mean to a dog

We must also consider the closeness factor, and here we also have a little room for interpretation.

In the AKC rulebook, they tell us the dog should be as close as possible without impeding the forward movement of the handler. This can be interpreted as being so close that you can’t see any daylight between your leg and your dog, but it can also mean that your dog leaves a few inches of space, and that can be correct also.

What does heel mean to a dog

Train for what looks good to you, don’t worry about your friends, other competitors, or even the judge. Especially the judge! Judges, being human, all have slightly different pictures in their minds of exactly what “perfect” heeling should look like. Some judges like to see a little daylight between dog and handler, and other appreciate a really tight position. It’s impossible to please everyone, so just train to please yourself and you and your dog will be much happier!

In my experience, the most important thing to shoot for, in both the forward/backward element and the closeness element, is consistency. Your dog could be 2 inches forward or back, could be quite close or with a little space, and as long as he maintains that position relative to your body consistently through the heeling pattern, you’re golden.

Setting Clear Criteria for Heel Position

Of course, that’s exactly where having really clear, black and white criteria comes in. You need to pick a specific distance from a specific landmark on your body to train for, because that is what builds that consistency. You and your dog must be in agreement on exactly what counts and what doesn’t. Find a way to define it in your head, so that you don’t catch yourself wondering “is this close enough?” in the middle of a training session. By the time you ponder that question, the opportunity to reinforce or reset has passed!

Here is what works for me:

What does heel mean to a dog

The clearest visualization for me is to train for my dog’s front paws to be even with my ankles. So, if there is an invisible line drawn across both our feet, the line will touch the front of my shins and the dog’s feet land just behind that line.

Viewed from the side or above, my dog’s toes should be behind the laces on my sneakers.

What does heel mean to a dog

Of course, for most of my dogs, I can’t really see them when they are in perfect heel position (and I’m in perfect posture). In fact, one of the ways I can tell if my border terrier is in heel position is that I can’t see him at all, because I know that when I CAN see him he’s not in position! So in training, using props like platforms and targets to ensure his paws are just where I want them to be is very helpful in building a reinforcement history for the correct alignment.

What’s extra cool is that I have noticed that, with practice (a LOT of practice), I am getting better and better at identifying when my dog is where I want him to be, even when I can’t directly visualize him. Certainly, I can use mirrors, but even more than that I can extrapolate where he is by our shadows, flickers of scruff that appear under my armpit as we walk, and even feeling fur brush my calf. With practice, you too can learn to perceive your dog’s position with only those few data points. Much like (if you’re parent) you can tell when your child is doing something they shouldn’t just by the sound of the cabinets in the kitchen.)

Want more advice from Hannah on teaching your dog to heel? She’s teaching a new class, “Heeling: Power and Precision” starting Feb 1! Registration opens Jan. 22nd.

What does heel mean to a dog

u haven’t taught the dog to heel. Putting a choker collar on a dog and punishing it when it moves away from you doesn’t teach the dog to heel. Dragging the dog around by the leash doesn’t teach the dog to heel.

First we need to address the handler – You. Do you know what heel means?

Before you start teaching a dog to heel you need to understand a few things.

  1. Heel means your dog is beside you – on the right or left.
  2. Heeling taught in many obedience schools is for competition only. It has almost no relevance or practical application when walking down the street.
  3. Heel means that the dog is watching you close enough that it knows when you are going to turn.
  4. Heel means that you tell the dog what you want. You communicate through hand signals, verbal cues, and body language.
    1. When you are going to stop
    2. When you are going to turn
    3. When you are going to speed up
    4. Even, what way you are going to turn.
    1. Your dog has learned what to do when passing another dog
      1. Do you allow a greeting?
      2. Do you want it to come closer and focus on you?
      1. Heel – precision, close, ‘pay attention to me’ heeling
      2. Walk with me – relaxed, loose leash, don’t pull on the leash
      3. Release – dog can go do what it wants, except pull on the leash

      The next step is for you to develop consistent behaviors and commands. If you are not sure what you want from a puppy then the puppy or dog will not be able to give it.

      When we teach the heel we don’t start with the movement. We break the commands down and teach one at a time.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Teaching your dog to drop things, or to leave it, is the most effective way of getting them to let go of anything they’re not supposed to have. It can also be a useful way to teach your dog to play constructively.

Teaching your dog to “drop it” is much more effective than chasing them or trying to take things off them by hand. Chasing a dog who has something in their mouth will turn this into a fun game and they will learn to run away from you instead.

You can teach your dog to “drop it” using a portion of their food or some of their toys, depending on what motivates your dog the most.

Teach your dog to “drop it” using food

Start by teaching your dog the word “drop”. You can do this by building a positive association with the word.

Watch our step by step guide on teaching your dog to “drop it”. It’s a great way to teach your dog to play constructively and to get them to let go of anything they shouldn’t have.

Step 1 – Show your dog that the word “drop” earns them a food reward

First, say the word “drop” once and put a small amount of your dog’s food on the floor. Once your dog has finished eating and looks back at you for more, do this again. Practice this 10 more times, over a few short sessions. Once your dog begins to look for the food on the floor as soon as they hear the word “drop”, you’re ready to move on.

Step 2 – Encourage your dog to swap a toy for food

Now it’s time to introduce one of your dog’s toys. It will be easier to use a toy that’s not their favourite as they’ll be more likely to release it. Encourage your dog to play with the toy for a few seconds, then use your cue word “drop” and place a handful of food on the floor. It can be tempting to try and take the toy from them, but don’t. Your dog needs to be motivated to swap it on their own. Again, practice this over a few short sessions, with at least 10 repetitions per session.

Step 3 – Wait for your dog to drop the toy before rewarding them with food

Now, repeat this process, but this time wait for your dog to drop the toy before you place the food on the floor. Once your dog is consistently dropping the toy before you offer the food, try doing it with a toy they like a little more. Continue practicing, until you have built up to using their favourite toy and they will successfully drop it when asked.

If your dog doesn’t drop the toy, don’t try and take it from them. Instead, stay calm and try to distract your dog with food instead. If this is necessary, your dog might need a break, or you may have moved on too quickly. Go back through the steps as far as you need to and try again at a later stage.

Teach your dog to “drop it” using toys

Some dogs may prefer toys to food and therefore are unlikely to drop them in exchange for a food reward. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to trade one toy for another. This is a great exercise for dogs who like to run away with toys. Your dog will eventually learn that without you, the toy’s much less fun, so will be more likely to bring them back.

Step 1 – Teach your dog to swap between two toys

Start with two toys that are either the same, or which your dog values the same. Throw one of the toys for them to fetch. When they come back to you, show them the second toy and play with it enthusiastically. It’s important to show them how exciting and fun the second toy is, so that they want to drop the one they have. You may have to be patient but try not to lose your enthusiasm!

Step 2 – Make sure your dog finds the second toy just as rewarding as the first

You may have to wait for your dog to drop the first toy but when they do, mark them, or respond to the action, with a ‘Yes’. As soon as you’ve done this, play with them using the second toy, and make sure they’re having just as much fun as with the first one.

Step 3 – Swap the second toy for the first one (and so on)

While your dog is playing with the second toy, pick up the first one and repeat the process. With practice, your dog will begin to automatically drop the first toy when you offer them the second one. If your dog prefers a game of tug, you can do this instead, with two suitable toys, following the same steps.

Step 4 – Teach your dog to associate the word “drop” with dropping a toy

Once your dog is consistently dropping the first toy when you show them the second one, you can introduce your cue word, “drop”. To start, practice as before, and say “drop” as your dog lets go of the toy. Keep doing this, and when your dog is immediately letting go of the toy when they hear the word “drop” you can move on to asking them to simply “drop” the first toy without using a second one.

Make sure that when your dog does respond to your cue word and drops the toy they are always rewarded.

Download these tips as a handy advice sheet to use for regular training:

Learn how to train your dog using positive reinforcement, guided by our expert Canine Behavioural Team

Learn about some interactive food games to exercise your dog’s brain

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Puppies who are nearing or just passing a year old are the perfect age to teach that sitting is way better than jumping, and listening to commands is something all good puppies do. There’s no better way to mold your youngster than giving him what he loves: treats and fun.

Step 1

Burn those massive energy reserves that seem to be built into each puppy. Walks, running in the backyard, tossing a ball and anything else that makes him tired will make him less likely to misbehave during training. Teaching the “come” command to a puppy whose been on his daily walk is a lot easier than trying to corral a pup whose looking to run around the house and tear chew toys in half. But do give your little guy a break after exercise: a worn-out puppy can throw quite the fuss when all he wants to do is sleep.

Step 2

Train with the motto, “less is more.” Puppies are crazy little fur balls who have way better things to do than listen to some human make weird noises and hand signals. Once your little guy starts losing interest in training, walking off or has a tough time following what you’re teaching him, give him a break. Puppies who aren’t paying you any attention aren’t learning anything.

Step 3

Make training fun. Puppies are looking for a fun time all the time, so boring training isn’t up their alley. Instead of telling your puppy to “come” with a monotone voice and no body movement, get into it. Crouch down, clap and say “come” enthusiastically. Puppies get excited about the smallest things, so you don’t have to do much to make your little guy’s tail wag and him think, “Wow, this lady knows how to have fun!”

Step 4

Bring on the treats. Puppies, especially those stubborn ones, have a way of making training more difficult than it should be. Provide treats as a way to get your dog’s attention and as a reward when he does reacts positively to a command. Tell him what a good boy he is and throw in a few belly rubs and head pats too. Anytime you reward him for doing something, you’re encouraging him to repeat the behavior, which is why positive reinforcement is so effective.

Step 5

Say one unique word for each command; don’t mix and match. If you say, “down” when you want your puppy to lay down and when you want him to jump off people or furniture, he’s going to think you’re some kind of crazy person, and he won’t know what you want him to do. Instead, say “off” when you want him to take his paws off people and “lay” or “down” when you want him to lay down.

Step 6

Counter-condition your pup right away. At 1 year of age, your puppy is old enough that he may have a fear or two, and he may react extremely negatively in the face of those fears. Instead of letting him tremble and act nervous when it’s time to get his nails clipped, show him that nail trimmings lead to something wonderful — that’s the basis for counter conditioning. Give him a treat just for looking at the nail clipper, then a treat when he sniffs it. Slowly showing him that there’s nothing to be afraid of will result in a more confident canine.

Step 7

Train with consistency in mind. If you teach your little guy that springing for the cat is a big no-no, but you let him do it when the cat is in trouble, you’re giving him mixed signals. Same thing with getting his furry butt ready for a walk: if you only tell him to sit sometimes, he’s not going to learn that he’s supposed to plop his hind end on the ground and wait patiently when you grab his leash.

Amy Bender is a dog training expert and writer with over a decade of experience working professionally with dogs. She owns a dog training business and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

While most people associate training with puppies, the reality is that dogs can learn at any age. Adult dogs are often easier to train than young puppies because they have more self-control. It’s also important to keep training your dog as it matures. It will keep your dog’s mind sharp and offer the mental stimulation and structure that it needs. While these tips are mainly for owners that have recently adopted an adult dog, they can also be used to train older pets that may need to gain new skills.

Be Patient

If you have just brought an adult dog into your home, allow him some time to adjust. An adult dog comes with its own history which can make it nervous about its new surroundings. Don’t give up on your new dog after only a few days. Your adult dog may need a period of adjustment which can take anywhere from a few days to a month or so. Once your adult dog realizes it has found its forever home, it will soon settle into being part of the family. There may be some unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to training a shelter dog.

Use a Crate for Housetraining

Don’t assume an adult dog is house trained or well-behaved in the house. Treat your adult dog just as you would a new puppy. Keep it in a crate when you are not able to supervise him. When you release it from the crate, take him immediately to the place outside where you want him to relieve himself. If it does not relieve itself, re-crate it and try again a little later.

Be sure that the crate you select is large enough and strong enough to contain your adult dog comfortably. The dog should be able to stand up, move around, and stretch out without difficulty. Soft-sided crates are often too flimsy to stand up to the needs of an adult dog; the best option is usually a metal wire crate that can be folded for transportation. Provide your crated dog with water, soft blankets, and chew toys, and be sure that you provide your pet with enough attention, exercise, and outdoor time to relieve itself.

If your adult dog is new to crates, introduce the concept slowly. Entice your dog to enter the crate by offering food, and keep it in the crate for only a few minutes at first. Avoid using the crate as a punishment or leaving your dog isolated in its crate for long periods.

The good news is that adult dogs have more control over their bladders and bowels than young puppies. The house training process usually goes much more quickly with adult dogs than with puppies or adolescent dogs who don’t have this control yet.

Enroll in an Obedience Class

Your adult dog is perfectly capable of learning new things. Even if it has never had any obedience training in the past, your adult dog will benefit from learning basic commands, such as walking on a loose leash and lying down. An obedience class is a great place to work on this training.

An obedience class is also a great place for your adult dog to socialize with other dogs and people. It will allow you to see how it reacts to other dogs and strangers in a safe environment with a professional dog trainer on hand to offer advice.

Problems and Proofing

An adult dog may have been able to do things in its previous home that you don’t want him to do in yours, such as jumping on guests or lying on the furniture. These tips will help ensure that your dog learns and retains appropriate behaviors for your home.

  • Start teaching your adult dog the rules for your home as soon as possible.
  • Consider teaching your dog self-control using the “Nothing in Life Is Free” (NILF) dog training method, which requires your dog to behave appropriately before getting the desired treat, walk, or positive attention.
  • Be sure everyone is on the same page. It can be confusing to a dog when different members of the household have different standards of behavior, commands, or expectations. When everyone agrees on appropriate behaviors and uses the same commands and rewards, your dog will learn faster and retain its training longer.

Keep It Positive

Because you probably don’t know for sure the type of experience your adult dog has had with training in the past, positive reinforcement methods are your best bet. Using tasty treats and plenty of praise are effective training methods for dogs of all ages and breeds. Keep things fun and upbeat rather than punishing your adult dog. This is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

It may take some work at the beginning, but teaching your adult dog basic commands and working on solving behavior problems from day one means your dog will soon settle into being a happy and healthy part of your family.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

If you have rescued an adult dog, congratulations! You are one of the lucky people who will find out how rewarding it can be to give a good home to a senior dog.

Adult dogs bond just as readily as puppies do, and one of the benefits is that housetraining is often a much easier process for them.

Some reasons why an older dog might not be house trained:

  • No one ever bothered to train him.
  • They may never have lived indoors.
  • They may have spent a long time in a place where they could only go on concrete, paper in a pen, bedding in a crate, etc.
  • Senior dogs may prefer an indoor bathroom option

An adult dog’s ability to “hold it” for several hours is what can make the process easier than it is for a puppy. This does not mean that you should force her to do so, however. Give her plenty of opportunities to learn by frequently taking her outside to the place you want her to use. Reward generously with treats and praise when successful.

Adult Dog Potty-Training Routine

Establish a firm routine, including feeding meals at regular times. Pick up the dish 10 to 15 minutes after putting it down, empty or not. Do not use the free-choice feeding method in which food is left down at all times. This will help to keep her system on a schedule. Use a leash and go outside with her; don’t simply let her out into the yard by herself and hope for the best.

Trainers often hear about dogs who have accidents indoors just after having been outside. They aren’t trying to annoy you; you probably just didn’t stay out long enough. Dogs sometimes need a little time to sniff around, exercise, and check things out before relieving themselves.The more chances she has to do her business outside, the faster she will learn what’s expected.

Take her out first thing in the morning, after breakfast, after dinner, and a few times throughout the day and before bedtime. If she doesn’t go, bring her back inside and immediately put her in her crate for 10 minutes before trying again. Do not let her loose indoors if she has not eliminated outside!

How do you train a 1 year old dog

About that crate: it’s a wonderful tool for house training. Any time you cannot supervise your dog, he should be in a crate or pen, or in a smaller room behind a baby gate. You can also keep him near you with a leash. Gradually, over a few weeks, you can allow a little freedom, 10 or 15 minutes after he eliminated outside. There may be an accident, but don’t punish the dog.

If you frighten or punish him, he might become afraid to potty in front of you and will sneak off to do it somewhere else. If you catch your dog having an accident, say something to get his attention, but do not yell or make such a loud noise that you scare him. Then take him right outside so he can finish. Clean up with enzyme cleaner and try to be more observant of your dog’s behavior.

How to Know When Your Dog Has to Go

You might see pacing, whining, circling, sniffing purposefully, or leaving the room. These mean: take me out right now! Not every dog will give you a signal such as barking or scratching at the door. You can train these behaviors, but if you learn to recognize the signs and respond quickly, she will probably figure it out and start “asking” because you get up and let her out right away when she does these things.

Your dog may have a hard time adjusting to eliminating on grass or dirt because he’s never gone on a surface other than concrete, for example. Try taking him in the car to a quiet park. In your own yard, maybe you can have a friend’s dog come over to help your new friend get the idea. Most dogs will usually go in a spot where other dogs have already gone.

Be extra patient. Your canine companion wants to do the right thing and he just needs a little help from you to figure it out.

Have a puppy who needs some housetraining tips? Find out how to best help your pup here.

For most breeds, a dog at 1 year old is considered an adult, but he still may be showing many puppylike behaviors. It’s important to continue training your dog at this age as he might be testing his independence and showing undesirable behaviors. Training a 1 year old puppy requires patience, proper socialization, and a consistent training strategy. After all, everyone wants adult dogs with good recall.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Video of the Day

Socializing a 1-year-old puppy

The first step to training your 1-year-old puppy is proper socialization. This is more challenging than socializing a puppy because your dog at 1 year old might have developed fears or reactivity around certain triggers. Move slowly when socializing — trainers at dog daycare centers can help. Socializing your dog with other dogs while a train staff members is watching for issues, such as timid or bully behaviors, can be advantageous to a young dog.

However, if you are introducing your dog to others on walks, and your dog reacts with fear, you are moving too quickly. Keep her at a safe distance from the new stimulus and reward as she pays attention to you rather than the stimulus. If she does well at one distance, move closer. Allow her to sniff when she is ready. Reward during all socialization training.

Basic dog training strategies

How do you train a 1 year old dog

When training your 1-year-old puppy, there are some basic steps you can take to improve success rate. One-year-old dogs have a lot of energy, so you will need to increase exercise before training sessions to improve focus. They also need consistency. If you occasionally reward behaviors, such as jumping, with attention, those behaviors will continue.

Consistently ignore problem behaviors and reward behaviors you like, such as sitting. Using rewards is more effective than punishment, but remember to keep the treat as a reward, not a bribe. Don’t have the treat in your hand where your dog can see it or he will learn to listen only when he sees a treat. Treats should be used in the early stages of training, but phased out as the dog learns the commands.

Important dog commands

To keep your dog safe, teach her to come on command every time. Dogs with good recall are safer dogs. Teach this on leash first to prevent her from making mistakes. All dogs should know how to sit down, lie down, and walk on a leash. In addition, you should teach your dog a “leave it” or “off” command. This command allows you to teach her which items are appropriate for chewing and which are not.

Professional dog training options

How do you train a 1 year old dog

If you have experience working with dogs, you might be able to train your dog alone. However, 1-year-old dogs can have a lot of energy and be more difficult to train than a young puppy. Dog training classes provide an excellent place to practice commands with your dog around other dogs. However, in-home training with a professional trainer allows you the chance to work on your dog’s issues in your home, where training is the most useful.

Either way, comprehensive training cannot occur in an eight-week training class and doesn’t end at one year old. Training is a lifelong commitment. You will have to do training refreshers throughout your dog’s life.

I’m currently looking at adoption options online and have found an absolute cutie (former street dog) who needs a home! The dog is 1 year old, and I don’t know what he’s been taught, or if he even has been taught anything, and my worst nightmare (concerning the dog) is to have a misbehaved sonofa who chews everything, pulls on the leash, and doesn’t take commands well.

(I of course understand most dogs will chew a lot of stuff, and sometimes pull on leashes, and don’t always want to follow commands, but these should be exceptions rather than the norm!)

Is it possible, then, to train this dog (I can’t see or meet him before because he’s a shipped-in street dog from a poor country) to be well-behaved, or should I look for a younger one?

Thanks in advance!

Every dog can be trained. The only thing that’s more difficult with older dogs is that they sometimes have undesirable habits that have to be untrained, whereas puppies are more of a blank slate (though puppies present their own training challenges, like short attention spans, strong instinctual behaviors like nipping, etc.).

We’ve got a 1-year-old, a 9-year-old, and a 10-year-old, and they all learn new things all the time.

I have no idea what you’ll end up with, but I’ll give you my story so you can prepare for a less-than-ideal scenario. When my husband and I adopted our first dog, also a street dog from Greece, we had no idea that dogs could even be the way that ours is.

Long story short, at her worst, she was fear aggressive towards people, kids, dogs, moving vehicles, and any sudden changes in the environment (noise/movement). Living in a big city, she had 30-40 barking and lunging incidences per week. Relative to this, bad behaviour at home, pulling on leash, and poor obedience don’t feel like problems anymore.

Add to this her separation anxiety, and we’ve easily spent $10,000+ on daycare and behaviourists in the last 2 years, plus almost all of our free time for 8 months of heavy training up front.

Today, much of our lives still revolve around managing her, but I’m super proud to say she hasn’t had a reaction towards a person for 2 months! Her remaining issue is other dogs and she’s now ok as long as they’re on the other side of the street.

The socialization window for puppies closes around 14 weeks, so any dog that you get after that time could have lingering issues that don’t show until adolescence. It can always be trained, but this takes a lot of patience. That being said, we would still rescue, but we would definitely foster-to-adopt to get to know the dog better.

Crate training an older dog might be something you find yourself doing from scratch. Whether you’ve rescued an adult dog that was never trained to go in a crate or you simply never got around to crate training your pooch when he was a young pup, this lack of training can make things stressful for the both of you when you’re suddenly faced with a need to keep your dog in one place for an hour or so. If you find yourself in this boat, read on to learn how to crate train an older dog.

Reasons for Crate Training an Older Dog

How do you train a 1 year old dog

While some pet parents see crate training in a positive light, others may have reservations about crating their dogs. No matter which dog crate camp you belong to, there are a number of good reasons to crate train an older dog, says Rover.com. Here are just a few:

  • Safety and preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters
  • Safe transportation and easier travel with your pooch
  • Easier and safer trips to the veterinarian
  • Confinement during illness or injury recovery
  • To provide a safe space in stressful situations

However you may personally feel about dog crates, the fact is that in an emergency your dog is often safer in a crate than he would be in a harness or simply left on his own. It’s important to remember that, while there may be exceptions for dogs with traumatic backgrounds, generally dogs don’t share the negative associations we humans attach to crates. And for those that do, those negative associations can be turned into positive ones.

Challenges of Training Older Dogs

The phrase “you can’t teach a old dog new tricks” is patently untrue. Older dogs are most certainly capable of learning new things, but training them can be more challenging than crate training a puppy! For puppies, everything is new and exciting, and they haven’t become attached to routines. Older dogs, on the other hand, are creatures of habit, and sometimes it’s necessary to help them unlearn old habits before they can learn new ones. The key is to be patient. It might take a lot of repetition and practice, but eventually your older pooch will rise to the occasion.

On the other hand, a calmer, older dog might appreciate the cozy hideaway of a crate more than a puppy would. Choose a low-traffic, quiet location for the crate so he can escape to it for a nap during your next holiday party or loud day with the kids.

How to Crate Train an Older Dog

Follow these steps to turn the crate into a positive experience for your older pup:

  1. Prepare the crate. Select a crate that’s large enough for your dog to comfortably lie down, stand up,and turn around in, says Rover. Place a comfy blanket inside to make it more enticing, and leave it sitting with the door open in a spot where your dog can see it and check it out, allowing him to get used to it before you begin.
  2. Prepare yourself. Set aside any negative feelings you have about placing your dog in a crate. Dogs are extremely sensitive to our emotions, and if you’re stressed about crating your dog, he will be too. Don’t begin training until you can do it from a calm, relaxed and happy place.
  3. Prepare your dog.Preventive Vet recommends giving your dog some exercise before a training session, both to burn off excess energy so he’ll be relaxed and to allow him a chance to relieve himself so he won’t be distracted by the need for a bathroom break.
  4. Build positive associations. Begin by placing treats and maybe a favorite toy or two near the opening of the crate. Praise your dog when he goes near the opening to retrieve an object or treat.
  5. Entice your dog inside. Once he’s comfortable with getting close to the crate’s opening, begin placing treats and toys inside. You might even try placing his food and water bowls inside the crate. Start by placing them at the front of the crate, and gradually move them toward the back until your dog completely enters the crate on his own.
  6. Try closing the door. Start by closing it just for a second before opening it and letting him out again. This will show your dog that he can trust you to let him out again. Repeat this until he remains calm when the door is closed, and then increase the time by a few seconds. Keep repeating, gradually adding on a few seconds at a time. Once he starts making himself comfortable inside the crate, practice leaving the door closed for a few minutes at a time, gradually working up to an hour or more.

If your dog panics or becomes agitated, stop, let him out, and take a break. Don’t be surprised if you have setbacks and need to start over from an earlier step or even from the beginning. Once your dog is willing to remain in the crate, unless he needs to stay in it overnight, don’t leave him in it for more than a few hours at a time. Tiny dogs and senior dogs with small or weak bladders shouldn’t remain crated for longer than they’re able to hold the urge to use the bathroom.

Regardless of whether you plan to crate your dog regularly, crate training your older dog and reinforcing that training with regular practice will prepare him for those times when a crate is necessary. With proper training, the right attitude,= and a lot of patience, a dog crate can be a positive and even soothing experience for your pet.

When my Pit Bull-mix, Mookie, turned a year old, I knew his puppyhood was officially over. At the age of 1, he was now considered an adult. Of course, no one told him this, so he continued to be as playful and energetic as ever.

When my Pit Bull-mix, Mookie, turned a year old, I knew his puppyhood was officially over. At the age of 1, he was now considered an adult. Of course, no one told him this, so he continued to be as playful and energetic as ever. And that’s not surprising, because being 1 year old meant Mookie was the equivalent to a 15-year-old human. And as we all know, 15-year-old humans have plenty of energy and they also have a lot more emotional maturity than they did as young children. The same goes for 1-year-old dogs.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

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What it means to be a 1-year-old dog?

By the age of 1, your dog will have a longer attention span than he did when he was younger. This means he can learn more complicated behaviors and training besides the basic commands he learned as a young puppy. This is a good time to get into dog sports such as agility, tracking and rally. Your dog will have plenty of energy for these sports plus the maturity to focus on the type of training involved.

Many of the puppy behaviors your dog exhibited when he was young have gone away. The tendency to chew on everything he can get his mouth on will be gone (or at least lessening) by the time he is a year old. (Some dogs are exceptions to this and will continue for another six months.) He will also slow down a bit. The wild energy he exhibited as a young puppy will start to wane as he begins to act more like a grown-up.

By the age of 1, your dog has undergone some physical changes, too. He will no longer be growing like he did when he was a puppy. The height and weight he has at the age of 1 will pretty much be what he maintains the rest of his life.

His teeth will still be very white but not as white as they were when he was younger. In fact, you may see some yellowing on his molars. Now is a good time to begin regular dental care, which can include regular brushing and yearly visits to your veterinarian.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

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Activities for adults

Even though your dog is no longer a puppy, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep training and socializing him. The lessons he learned as a baby need to be reinforced throughout his life to make sure they stay fresh in his mind.

Here are some activities to consider for your 1-year-old dog:

Training classes: Even if your dog graduated from puppy kindergarten with flying colors, continue his training once he becomes an adult. A class that prepares him to get his AKC Canine Good Citizen Award is an excellent choice for a 1-year-old dog. He will learn all the good manners needed to get along well in human society, and at the end of the class, he will be tested to make sure he knows his stuff. If he passes the exam, he will get a certificate and the title of Canine Good Citizen.

Competitive activities: The dog world offers all kinds of fun competitions you and your dog can participate in. And your dog doesn’t have to be a purebred to be eligible. Agility is one such sport, and dogs really love it. Rally is another activity, which is a cross between agility and obedience class. Still other events, like flyball, dock diving and tracking, can be plenty of fun for both dogs and their humans. Once your dog is 1 year old, he’s got the maturity and attention span to take on these sports.

Fun outings: Hopefully you took your dog places when he was a puppy, and he is used to getting out of the house. Don’t let his newfound maturity stop these activities. Trips to the beach, going out to eat at a dog-friendly restaurant and walks in the park are all vital to your dog’s continued socialization. The more he gets out and experiences the world, the more well-rounded a dog he will be.

Doggie playdates: If your dog enjoys the company of other canines and likes playing with them, set up some doggie playdates for him. If you have friends with dogs who also like to play, get together and let the dogs frolic. If you don’t know any other dogs for your 1-year-old to play with, find a doggie daycare facility near you and sign him up. Encouraging him to spend time playing with other dogs helps with his ongoing socialization. It also enables him to burn some energy. When he comes home after spending the day at doggie daycare, he will sleep like a baby.

Thumbnail: Photography ©Zerbor | Getty Images

About the author:

An award-winning writer and editor, Audrey Pavia is a former managing editor at Dog Fancy magazine and former senior editor of The AKC Gazette. She is the author of The Labrador Retriever Handbook (Barrons) and has written extensively on horses as well as other pets. She shares her home in Norco, California, with two rescue dogs, Candy and Mookie.

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  • Tags: Dogster Magazine

Audrey Pavia

Award-winning writer and editor Audrey Pavia is a former managing editor at Dog Fancy magazine and former senior editor of The AKC Gazette. Author of The Labrador Retriever Handbook, she has written extensively on horses as well as other pets. She shares her home with Pittie mixes Mookie and Winnie. More at audreypavia.com.

It’s that time of year when many people have received a puppy for Christmas and are now trying to housetrain the puppy. Being away from his mother, sisters and brothers isn’t easy for a new 2-month old puppy. The new surroundings of your home and all the new sights and smells that go along with it doesn’t make it any easier. Reduce your puppy’s stress and fear by spending a lot of time together. The more time you spend with your pup at a young age the stronger your lifelong bond will be.

The first few months of puppyhood are a physical and emotional rollercoaster for your baby. Puppies can sleep up to 18 hours a day, but don’t be surprised if your puppy is zipping around the house and bouncing off walls one minute, then fast asleep the next. This is totally normal, and as your puppy gets used to the new surroundings sleeping patterns will start to normalize.

Time to tackle tinkle! Pee, poop, and the occasional vomit, a nice introduction to parenthood indeed. Household accidents are inevitable, but potty training doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. With a few steps and consistency, you will be well on your way to potty training nirvana.

Step 1: Buy a Crate

Crate training is a housetraining God send. Choose a crate with a dividing wall so you can adjust the crate’s size according to your puppy’s growth. The crate area should be large enough for your 2-month puppy to stand up and walk comfortably in a full circle.

Step 2: Introduce the Puppy to the Crate

The crate should be a safe zone for your puppy; add a soft blanket or an old T-shirt with your scent to make it a cozy environment. You will need to bribe your pup at first by providing treats, toys, and even full meals when introducing your puppy to the crate.

Step 3: Keep the Gate Open

Leave the door ajar until your pup feels comfortable entering on his own. Once your furry companion has established his crate as a “safe zone” you can close the gate for short bits of time. Start with 5 min, then 10, then 30… you get the point.

Step 4: Crate Placement

Start with the crate close by as you hang out watching TV, reading, or doing computer work. Place the crate close to your bed at night as well. This will help cut down on your pup’s separation anxiety while in the crate.

Step 5: Designate a Potty Spot

Always bring your puppy to the same spot. Your puppy learns by doing, so the more opportunities he has to go in the same spot, the more likely your pup is to build a strong preference for that area.

Step 6: Praise and Treat Don’t Craze and Beat

Never get mad at your pup for having an accident inside. Punishment may make your puppy fear you and hide when he needs to go. Always bring some tasty treats on your walk and reward your puppy handsomely when he tinkles in the right spot.

Step 7: Prevent Daytime Accidents

The best offense is a good defense. Supervision and management is crucial in the early days. Keep your puppy on a light leash even when indoors, use a puppy play-pen to confine movement to a small area and use the crate anytime you leave the house. The more accidents you can avoid, the faster the housetraining process will go.

Step 8: Sleep is Overrated

Having a puppy is like having a newborn. The baby will cry at night in the crate, and most likely it will be because he needs to tinkle. If your baby wakes up and whines, go directly from the crate to the potty spot. This will happen several times a night at first, but it will get better in a couple of weeks as your baby will begin to sleep through the night. Don’t let your pup roam free at night or accidents will inevitably occur.

Step 9: Timing is Key

Keep an eye on the clock. You should take your puppy to the designated potty spot every time he exits the crate, 15 minutes after every meal, and after a long stint of playing.

Step 10: Quick Cleanup

Clean any accidents up right away so your pup doesn’t confuse the couch or closet for the designated potty area.

Step 11: Patience is a Virtue

Housetraining is a process and it takes a while. Most puppies aren’t fully housetrained until well past the 6-month mark. Your puppy will pick it up more and more each day, so stay positive and keep up the good work!

To teach your dog to come back to you, you must learn to be more exciting than the rest of the world!

This is a really important behaviour to teach your dog because it helps to keep them safe and means they can enjoy and benefit from exercise off lead.

Teaching your dog to come to you in six easy steps:

How do you train a 1 year old dog

  1. You need an incentive to encourage your dog to come back – a really tasty treat or a fun game with a toy. Show your dog the toy or food.
  2. Run away a couple of paces then call your dog¿s name and say ¿come¿ in a friendly, exciting tone – getting down low can also encourage them to come back.
  3. As your dog comes to you, gently hold their collar and either feed them the treat or let them play with the toy.
  4. Gradually increase the distance that you are from your dog, until eventually you can call your dog in and out of the garden or from room to room.
  5. Ask a friend or partner to help take it in turns to gently hold your dog’s collar whilst the other one walks a distance away and then calls the dog over. (Don¿t forget to praise the dog each time this is a success.)
  6. Once your dog is consistently coming to you when called around the house and garden you can start to practice in safe outside spaces. Long training leads can be helpful for practicing recall when outside as they allow your dog some freedom without giving them complete free-range at this stage.

For parents who want to become dog owners, or dog owners who want to become parents, childproofing their dog is as imperative as house training it.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

In Peter Pan, the plot begins when Mr. Darling demands that his wife no longer employ the family dog, a Newfoundland named Nana, as their children’s nanny. This is meant to be a sign of his hard-heartedness, but his logic is hard to dispute: Dogs were bred to do many things, but raising children is not one of them.

Mr. Darling was, of course, being lazy. Dogs are a big part of many families. While they don’t have an innate sense of how to behave safely around infants and toddlers, they simply need to be trained. Thus, for parents who want to become dog owners, or dog owners who want to become parents, childproofing the dog is as imperative as house training it.

Brian Kilcommons knows this. A world-renowned dog trainer and author of Childproofing Your Dog: A Complete Guide to Preparing Your Dog for the Children in Your Life, Kilcommons has spent more than three decades helping parents train their dogs to play nice with babies and toddlers.

For new parents, Kilcommons stresses to really stop and consider bringing a new dog into the mix. “People don’t realize, they’re bringing another baby into the house,” he says. If parents are dead set on bringing a dog into their family, he recommends they wait until their youngest child is at least five before they get a dog and even then they need to recognize the impact it will have on their daily routines. At least if the kids are older they can help to feed and walk and train the puppy. For those who have dogs and want to make sure their child and four-legged friend get along, he offered up these tips.

Start with command training

A dog cannot be childproofed (or taught much of anything) until it has been trained to follow the basic control commands: sit, down, and let go. Command training, per Kilcommon, not only enables you to assert control over the animal, but also to communicate and establish a relationship with it. It will also train you as an owner to read your dog’s behavior and accurately interpret its feelings.

Once you’ve mastered the basic commands, you can move on to more advanced training useful for a household with children. This includes teaching your dog to move aside when a person wants to walk by (thereby reducing canine-toddler collisions), to distinguish between baby toys and chew toys, and to stay calm when its tail is tugged.

Expose your dog to children beforehand

Being around adults does little to prepare a dog to be around young children. Children are smaller, louder, less predictable and sometimes aggressive. They even have a different scent. Confronted for the first time with such creatures, many dogs can become overwhelmed.

A crucial step in childproofing a dog is simply to expose it to children — playing, laughing, crying — until Bowser feels comfortable being around them. Proceed gradually: Invite some friends over who have older, well-behaved kids and see what happens. If that goes well, bring Bowser to the park where there are younger, more rambunctious kids. Owners need to be in control during each interaction, correcting bad behavior (overexcitement, barking) and rewarding the good.

Stick to a schedule

Having children obliterates your normal routine. But, per Kilcommons, owners need to try their hardest not to let it disrupt their dog’s. This means sticking to feeding and walking schedules. Dogs like schedules and need exercise and shouldn’t be deprived of either, especially while acclimating to life with children. Even if this requires one to hire a dog-walker to maintain this routine, make it happen.

Teach your child proper dog behavior

It’s critical that parents teach their children at a young age how and when to approach, pet, and play with dogs. In other words, a childproofed dog is one that is safe to be around a dog-proofed child. “The rule here is you do not allow a child to do anything to a dog or a puppy that you would not allow it to do to another child,” explained Kilcommons.

Never leave the dog and child alone

Per Kilcommons, even a fully childproofed dog should never be left alone with a young child. There is simply no predicting how an infant, toddler, or dog will behave, and so accidents are always a possibility. At times when parents aren’t in the same room as their children, Kilcommons recommends the old standby: the crate. “[Crates] usually can’t be opened by children where a door [to a room] can be,” he explained. “That’s not a punishment for the dog, it’s a safe place.”

Know when to get help (and when to give up)

Dog owners must stay vigilant for signs of aggression — low growls, wide eyes, hard stares — and seek professional help if you notice them. Aggressive behavior can be managed, of course, but it takes experience and will get worse if left alone. Kilcommons stresses that not all dogs are fit to be around children and vice-versa. Trust your instincts and err on the side of caution. The consequences of a mismatch between dog and child are just too great to risk.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Many adult rescue dogs come with imperfect housetraining skills – or none at all – and even dogs who were potty trained in their previous homes sometimes need a refresher course if they didn’t get regular walks at the shelter.

The good news is it’s fairly easy to teach an old dog this new trick. In fact, adult dogs are usually easier and faster to housetrain than puppies, especially if you use a crate.

The key to rock-solid potty training is to start the day your dog comes home. If you stick closely to the following routine, you should be able to housetrain an adult dog within a week or less — though some pups need a bit more patience, and that’s okay, too.

Take Time Off To Housetrain Your Dog Properly

When you first bring home your adult dog, they’ll need to go out for midday bathroom breaks.

If you have work, school, or other obligations that prevent you from being able to take your dog for a midday potty break, hire a dog walker. The first week or so is crucial in setting a new routine for your dog, and you want to avoid as many preventable indoor accidents as possible.

If hiring a dog walker is not in your budget, ask a friend or neighbor to let out your dog in exchange for another service or favor.

Start Using A Crate The Day You Bring Them Home

How do you train a 1 year old dog

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Crate training is the easiest way to teach a dog bladder and bowel control because dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping and eating areas.

The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down in comfortably, but no bigger. If it’s too spacious, your dog may feel like they can eliminate in one corner and still keep their living space clean. Keep the crate in a high-traffic part of the house, so your dog won’t feel isolated.

Also make sure to give your dog lots of time outside the crate for exercise, training, and just hanging out and bonding with you. If you keep them in their crate too long, they’ll feel trapped and frustrated.

If you’re worried about putting your dog in a crate, keep in mind that, with adult dogs, you won’t have to use it very long – maybe as few as three days – before they’re fully housetrained. Most dogs actually enjoy having a safe, closed-off space for themselves to rest and recharge, so don’t worry too much about them feeling confined.

They may even prefer to lie down there during the day, even when they no longer have to.

How To Streamline Housetraining Adult Dogs

When using a crate to housetrain your dog, follow these guidelines to ensure they don’t suffer from anxiety or eliminate in their crate. These steps will also help your dog understand what you want – for them to eliminate outside – and that they’ll stick to it.

  • Never confine your dog longer than they can hold it. If they’re forced to go inside their crate because you didn’t let them out in time, you’ve made housetraining much harder.
  • Use the same “elimination station” each time. Dogs develop a preference for going potty in the same spots. Make it easier and choose, from the start, the place where you want them to go.
  • Don’t distract your dog with games and talk; just stand still and let them circle and sniff. As soon as your pup begins to go, give a command, such as, “Go pee” or “Do your business.” Before long, your dog will eliminate on cue – handy when you’re traveling or don’t want to spend walks carrying bags of poop.
  • Shower them with praise when they do it right. Make sure treats and praise come right after they finish eliminating. Make praise enthusiastic and treats top-notch. You want to make it crystal clear that eliminating outside is a great thing. Don’t wait to get back to the house to give a treat; they won’t connect the reward with what prompted it.
  • Don’t punish your dog for accidents if you haven’t caught them in the act. Clean up thoroughly so they’re not drawn to the same place by the smell of residual poop or urine. If you catch your dog having an accident, startle them midstream with a shout or clap, then hustle them outside to finish. Praise them when they’re done so they learn that eliminating outside isn’t just allowed, it’s rewarded.

Give Your Dog At Least Six Bathroom Breaks Daily

How do you train a 1 year old dog

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

You won’t always have to give your dog as many opportunities to use the bathroom, but until you have finished housetraining, you need to give your dog as many opportunities as possible to eliminate outside.

Aim to take out your dog the first thing in the morning, before you leave for the day, twice during the day, once after dinner, and one more time before going to bed. Once you know they’ve got it, you can move them to four bathroom breaks a day — the standard for adult dogs.

Also, take your dog for a walk or give them some playtime as a bonus reward. If they always come straight back inside after eliminating, they’ll learn to hold it to prolong their time outdoors.

What Cleaning Products To Use In Case Your Dog Has An Accident

There will inevitably be an accident here or there while housetraining, no matter how closely you stick to a training routine. In the instance your dog has an accident inside, stick to these rules when picking out a cleaning product.

  • Use a cleaning product that contains live bacteria or enzymes that break down the mess, rather than masking it with another fragrance.
  • Stay away from ammonia-based cleaners; they’ll smell like urine to your dog, and they’ll want to pee again on the same spot.
  • Leave some soiled towels in your dog’s “elimination station.” The scent reinforces for your dog that this is the potty area.

Stick with your training routine, and your adult dog should be doing their business where they’re supposed to in no time. Good luck!

Have you ever housetrained an adult dog? What tips would you recommend for new dog parents? Let us know in the comments below!

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Are you looking for the best commands to teach your dog? Although having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, teaching your dog basic dog training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems despite whether they are existing ones or those that may develop in the future.

So where exactly do you start with teaching your dog commands? While taking a class may be beneficial for you and your pup, there are many dog training commands you can teach your dog right at home. Below, we’ve listed the best list of dog commands you and your pup are guaranteed to enjoy.

Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this simple command. Additionally, the “Sit” command prepares your dog for harder commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”

Here’s how to teach your dog the “Sit” command:

  • Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
  • Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
  • Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks and during other situations when you’d like him calm and seated.

Come

Another important command for your dog to learn is the word “come.” This command is extremely helpful for those times you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open. Once again, this command is easy to teach and will help keep your dog out of trouble.

  • Put a leash and collar on your dog.
  • Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
  • When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.

Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it and continue to practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.

Down

This next command is one of the more difficult dog training commands to teach. The reason it may be hard for your dog to master this command is that it requires him to be in a submissive posture. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Also keep in mind to always praise your dog once he successfully follows the command.

  • Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
  • Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
  • Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
  • Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this training every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!

Stay

Similar to the “Sit” command, the “Stay” cue will help make your dog easier to control. This command can be helpful in a number of situations such as those times you want your dog out of the way as you tend to household chores or when you don’t want your pup overwhelming guests.

Before attempting to teach your dog this command, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” cue. If he hasn’t quite mastered the “Sit” command, take the time to practice it with him before moving on to the “Stay” cue.

  • First, ask your dog to “Sit.”
  • Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
  • Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
  • Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
  • Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.

This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than just sitting and waiting.

Leave it

This last command can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him such as those times when he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground. The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.

  • Place a treat in both hands.
  • Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.”
  • Ignore the behaviors as he licks, sniffs, mouths, paws and barks to get the treat.
  • Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
  • Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say “Leave it.”
  • Next, give your dog the treat only when he looks up at you as he moves away from the first fist.

Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this next training method, use two different treats: one that’s good but not super-appealing and one that’s particularly good-smelling and tasty for your pup.

  • Say “Leave it,” place the less-attractive treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
  • Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
  • Once he’s got it, place the less-tasty treat on the floor but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead, hold your hand a little bit above the treat . Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
  • Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less-tasty treat, cover it with your foot.

Don’t rush the process of teaching your pup any one of these dog training commands. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.

This list of dog commands can help protect your dog from dangerous situations as well as improve your communication with him. Taking the time to teach your pup these common dog commands is well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the training process takes time, so start a dog-obedience training session only if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.

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Many adult dogs adopted from animal shelters were housetrained in their previous homes. While at the shelter, however, they may not have gotten enough opportunities to eliminate outside, and consequently, they may have soiled their kennel areas. This tends to weaken their housetraining habits.

Additionally, scents and odors from other pets in the new home may stimulate some initial urine marking. Remember that you and your new dog need some time to learn each other’s signals and routines. Even if he was housetrained in his previous home, if you don’t recognize his bathroom signal, you might miss his request to go out, causing him to eliminate indoors.

Therefore, for the first few weeks after you bring him home, you should assume your new dog isn’t housetrained and start from scratch. If he was housetrained in his previous home, the re-training process should progress quickly. The process will be much smoother if you take steps to prevent accidents and remind him where he’s supposed to eliminate.

Establish a routine

  • Take your dog out at the same times every day. For example, first thing in the morning when he wakes up, when you arrive home from work, and before you go to bed.
  • Praise your dog lavishly every time he eliminates outdoors. You can even give him a treat. You must praise him and give him a treat immediately after he’s finished and not wait until after he comes back inside the house. This step is vital, because rewarding your dog for eliminating outdoors is the only way he’ll know that’s what you want him to do.
  • Choose a location not too far from the door to be the bathroom spot. Always take your dog, on leash, directly to the bathroom spot. Take him for a walk or play with him only after he’s eliminated. If you clean up an accident in the house, leave the soiled rags or paper towels in the bathroom spot. The smell will help your dog recognize the area as the place where he’s supposed to eliminate.
  • While your dog is eliminating, use a word or phrase like “go potty,” for example, that you can eventually use before he eliminates to remind him of what he’s supposed to be doing.
  • Feeding your dog on a set schedule, once or twice a day, will help make his elimination more regular.

Supervise, supervise, supervise

Don’t give your dog an opportunity to soil in the house. He should be watched at all times when he’s indoors. You can tether him to you with a six-foot leash, or use baby gates, to keep him in the room where you are. Watch for signs that he needs to eliminate, like sniffing around or circling. If you see these signs, immediately take him outside, on a leash, to his bathroom spot. If he eliminates, praise him lavishly and reward him with a treat.

Confinement

When you’re unable to watch your dog at all times, he should be confined to an area small enough that he won’t want to eliminate there. It should be just big enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around in. This could be a portion of a bathroom or laundry room blocked off with boxes or baby gates. Or you may want to crate train your dog and use the crate to confine him (see how to crate train your dog). If he has spent several hours in confinement, when you let him out, take him directly to his bathroom spot and praise him when he eliminates.

Most dogs, at some point, will have an accident in the house. You should expect this, as it’s a normal part of your dog’s adjustment to his new home.

  • If you catch your dog in the act of eliminating in the house, do something to interrupt him like making a startling noise (don’t scare him). Immediately take him to his bathroom spot, praise him, and give him a treat if he finishes eliminating there.
  • Don’t punish your dog for eliminating in the house. If you find a soiled area, it’s too late to administer a correction. Do nothing but clean it up. Rubbing your dog’s nose in it, taking him to the spot and scolding him, or any other type of punishment, will only make him afraid of you or afraid to eliminate in your presence. Animals don’t understand punishment after the fact, even if it’s only seconds later. Punishment will do more harm than good.
  • Cleaning the soiled area is very important because dogs are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces.

Other types of house soiling problems

If you’ve consistently followed the housetraining procedures and your dog continues to eliminate in the house, there may be another reason for his behavior.

Medical problems

House soiling can often be caused by physical problems such as a urinary tract infection or a parasite infection. Check with your veterinarian to rule out any possibility of disease or illness.

Submissive/excitement urination

Some dogs, especially young or old ones, temporarily lose control of their bladders when they become excited or feel threatened. This usually occurs during greetings, intense play or when they’re about to be punished.

Territorial urine marking

Dogs sometimes deposit urine or feces, usually in small amounts, to scent-mark their territory. Both male and female dogs do this, and it most often occurs when they believe their territory has been invaded.

Separation anxiety

Dogs who become anxious when they’re left alone may house soil as a result. Usually, there are other symptoms, such as destructive behavior or vocalization (see information on separation anxiety).

Fears or phobias

When animals become frightened, they may lose control of their bladder and/or bowels. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks, he may house soil when he’s exposed to these sounds.

You must have heard or read that at least once in your life. The vast majority of pet parents will testify that this holds true. Perhaps, the best example to illustrate this would be to observe the relationship that dogs share with kids. Your pet and your child(ren) can make for a very exciting combination (there are few bonds that are as pure, trust me!).

However, before that happens it is crucial that you train your dog. Of course, you will also need to teach your kids how to behave around dogs once they reach a certain age, but this blog is not centered around that. Here are 10 helpful ways that you can train your dog to play with kids safely.

Socialize Your Little One

Just as with human beings, a dog’s habits are best formed during the initial years. Between the ages of 8 weeks and 16 weeks, puppies go through a development phase that is vital in shaping their future selves. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pup encounters as many new situations and people as possible during this period, especially to family members as this will be easier and will give the dog a good dose of confidence.

Generally, that will prepare them for what lies ahead. For those of you who want to train an adult dog, rest assured that this is still very possible. However, the process must be more gradual on your part as compared to getting a puppy to socialize.

Respect Your Dog’s Feelings

It is possible that your dog is afraid of kids; don’t force your pet to approach your kid. Let the meeting happen naturally. If you force your dog to meet your child, then your dog may develop some resentment towards your child and that is the last thing you want. Look here to gain a better understanding of your dog’s feelings and social cues.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways in which you can train your dog to behave better around kids. Encourage good behavior from your pet with attention, praise, and treats. Your dog will start associating your kid(s) with good things if you do this often enough. Once this happens, they will naturally start behaving well around children.

Use Crate Training

Dogs tend to do better around children if there is an escape route. If you crate train your dog in a manner that makes them happy and comfortable in a crate, then they will know that they have their own safe space to go to whenever they feel the need for it. One caveat here is that you must ensure that your child knows that your dog’s crate is off-limits. Pair that with a treat-dispensing toy for crate time and you’re set for success!

Take Your Pet To The Local Park

The best way for a dog to get comfortable with kids is to see as much of them as possible. What better way to do this than at a park? Keep them on a leash and observe from a fair distance at first. Remember, if your dog is not used to kids at all, then sudden exposure to so many kids could overwhelm and intimidate them into behaving badly.

Act Like A Child

Children and adults behave very differently. Change things up and try to act like a child for a while. Run around, shout more, move erratically, make exaggerated gestures – in a nutshell, just do what kids do. This will introduce your pet to childlike behavior and help them get acclimated. Of course, whenever you decide to do this, ensure the neighbors aren’t watching as they may think you’ve gone crazy.

Train Your Dog To Not Jump Up

Not every visitor to your house will feel comfortable with a dog jumping up at them. Don’t make the common mistake of some pet parents by automatically assuming that everyone would be alright with a “friendly hello.” Moreover, jumping up could be a potentially dangerous move around kids. Your pet could inadvertently knock a young child over. If your dog jumps through when you walk over, then be firm and make it clear that it is not acceptable behavior.

Let The Dog Acclimatize To Baby Sounds And Scents

This is particularly relevant for those expecting a baby and anxiously wondering how their pet will react to the new arrival. Let your dog get used to all the baby stuff – bottles, prams, etc. If you can afford it, it would also be worth hiring a professional trainer to help your pet get acclimated to new baby sounds and scents.

Establish Some Ground Rules

Make sure you establish some house rules and stick to them. Do not let your pet eat from your kid’s plate (or vice-versa). Make sure you keep the dog toys away from the kids. Pet toys lack the same safety standards and could be hazardous in the hands of young ones. Whatever house rules you establish, ensure that you stick to them with utmost discipline and no exceptions.

Never Leave Your Pet And Child Unattended

This one was deliberately left for last. Hopefully, it will have left the required impact! Surely you have seen and heard about a few cases in which a pet bit a child and the parents have no idea why it happened. There is a simple solution to this; always have both in your sight. Simple! Your pet may not deliberately bite a child, but it may be more of an instinctive reaction to a child doing something the dog simply doesn’t like.

Making your pets “children-safe” can be a tricky business, but it is one that is very important. Remember, even if you don’t have and are not expecting children, you may have visitors who turn up with children; or you may encounter them in public spaces. Whatever the case, it becomes imperative to ensure that your dog knows how to behave with children. If trained properly, then the dog-child relationship is one of the most fulfilling ones on the planet.

If you have recently adopted an older dog there may be challenges you didn’t realize at first.

One big issue could be that your adult dog is not house trained. The reasons for this may be that they were never trained, or never lived indoors. They may have spent a long time having to go on concrete, in their pen, or even in their crate. Luckily, adult dogs learn potty training quicker than puppies.

Rule out Medical Problems First

There are various medical problems that could cause your dog to have accidents in the house. This becomes a common problem as your dog ages. If your adult dog was previously house trained but has started relieving themselves inside, they may benefit from a trip to the vet.

Brain diseases in dogs can cause your dog to have accidents in no particular pattern. If your dog is passing stool in the home, they may have elimination problems. In these cases, pay attention to your dog’s stool consistency and the frequency or infrequency of their defecating.

If your dog suddenly starts having accidents in the house, this may be a sign of a bigger medical condition. You’ll want to see the vet if these problems persist. Diagnosing conditions early can save you and your dog stress and embarrassment.

Behavioral Reasons for House Soiling

If medical reasons have been ruled out and your dog is still having accidents in the house, there may be a behavioral reason. Different behavioral reasons may include:

  • Lack of House Training
  • Incomplete House Training
  • Breakdown in House Training
  • A Surface Preference
  • Anxiety
  • Fear of Going Outside
  • Dislike of Cold or Rainy Conditions
  • Urine Marking
  • Submissive/Excitement Urination

What to Do About the Problem

Treatment for lack of house training. Your dog may not have been completely trained to go outside. They may lose their house training as they age. Establish a routine for them to know when to go out. If your dog is used to going on certain surfaces, try to take those surfaces outside.

Treat the medical or behavioral reason for the cause of house soiling. Understanding the underlying cause will help you train with compassion. Make sure your dog has plenty of time to exercise and spend outdoors. This can help them get comfortable if you have recently moved to new surroundings.

Useful Tips. Be patient with your dog. They may need time to adjust to new surfaces. Pay attention to the signals that indicate your dog needs to potty. Give your dog plenty of time outside. They use potty breaks to sniff and explore their surroundings. They may need more time to choose where to go to the bathroom. Take them out frequently so that they have many opportunities to go.

Paper Training

Paper training your dog is not recommended unless there is a specific reason to do so. The reasons may include that your new adult dog is only used to going to the bathroom on paper. This should only be a temporary fix while you housetrain your dog.

Types of House Soiling

There could be multiple reasons for your adult dog peeing inside. The types of house soiling may include:

  • They’re used to specific surfaces like concrete or paper instead of grass.
  • They’re afraid to go outside.
  • Bad weather makes them fearful of going out.
  • They have severe anxiety that triggers their accidents indoors.

What Not to Do

Do not punish your dog or use harsh treatment if you find an accident in the house. Rubbing their nose in the accident or yelling at them will only make your dog afraid of you. There is nothing productive about hitting your dog or scolding them once the accident is over. Negative punishment will do far more psychological harm than any good.

Your adult dog may already have negative associations with people or surroundings. They may also have behavioral issues that cause the accidents. It’s important to be patient and to train your dog using only positive reinforcement.

Show Sources

AKC: “How to Housetrain an Adult Dog.”

ASPCA: “Behavior Problems in Older Dogs.”

BLUE CROSS FOR PETS: “How to house and toilet train puppies and adult dogs.”

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: “How to housetrain your dog or puppy.”

I have a 1 year old Husky and German Shepherd mix named Shadow. He jumps on everyone and won’t stop, he also humps everyone. When I go to give him a treat he like snaps and almost takes my hand off. When anyone goes to pet him he bites their hands and won’t let anyone pet him. He doesn’t like strangers and he’s mean to strangers. Why does he do this? And how do I get him to stop?

How do you train a 1 year old dog

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I would start with this article: The Power of Training a Dog with Markers or Clickers.
leerburg.com/ . / markers-clickers.pdf

Also, when you give him a treat, it should be when he is calm and bored and when you are training this dog, a small quiet word of praise such as “yes” will work better than getting all excited and getting hyper.

As far as the treat goes, roll the treat up in your hand and when he goes to bite your hand, or mouth your hand, then bump his nose back, gently but firmly and say “take it soft”. Offer it again and repeat the same thing if he takes it too rough.

He seems like he is overstimulated and he needs to be calm and not have much hyper activity around him. Give him some sort of a job, even if it is putting down a towel on the floor and throwing him a treat on it at a certain time every afternoon.

Check out youtube.com for fun ways to interact with your dog, but remember that lots of dogs need quiet leadership and not a lot of talking and chatting that makes them nervous.

When a dog jumps on me, I am limber enough to bring up a knee and bump him in the chest, not firmly enough to hurt but enough to knock him off a little of his balance. Then I turn away and ignore him by walking off when he is acting snotty. They all go thru this.

Here are a lot of videos on youtube.com that cover teaching not to jump up.
www.youtube.com/ results?search_query=how+to+train.

Hope any of this applies to your situation!

Blessings,
Robyn from Tennessee

I found this video that looks like a lot of fun to try.
youtu.be/ lC_OKgQFgzw

Strangers are frightening to doggies and they need to trust you will keep him from them. Sometimes shepherds and huskies have a high drive to chase so it is better to isolate them from any chance they might get into trouble chasing people like they do when they are younger.

When he’s coming to jump on you, step forward into “his” space and use one word consistently like “settle” while holding your hand like a traffic cop. Keep doing it, by kneeing a dog in the chest they think it’s a game. Grab his mouth and hold it shut and use 1/2 words consistently again “no bite”.

If he hasn’t been neutered get that done, there are inexpensive clinics all over the country, ASPCA has clinics in most towns. Be consistent, not mean, consistent. He will learn, the breed, even mixed is very smart. Give treats and praise for good behavior. Even a Cheerio can be a treat. Snap him on top of his nose if he bites you when giving a treat-use another word-like -gentle.

Hi, Here’s a training method I’ve seen from dog trainer Victoria Stilwell. It helps to have other people in the room to tell you how he responds.

As you enter the room and your dog begins jumping or biting, turn your back to him and cross your arms. It may take a few moments, but he will stop when he sees you’re ignoring him and not interacting whatsoever. Take a few steps away if necessary. When someone else tells you he has calmed down, turn to him and praise him verbally or with a treat. But, if he immediately begins unwanted behavior again, immediately turn around. Repeating this consistently teaches him he will get attention, praise and treats only when he is calm and friendly. Your friends and guests should do the same thing.

Ignore him and move away when he misbehaves and praise him when he’s calm. If he jumps on people sitting on the couch, the person should get up and move away. Victoria is successful with this whether it’s mild aggression or more advanced. She uses alot of good boy, good girl and never needs to shout.

Also, petting a dog on top of his head shows dominance by you. For a more neutral or positive response from him, approach him from the side or underneath and don’t look him in the eye. He will see this as a challenge from you. Eventually when he becomes social and friendly enough, above the head petting and directly looking at him should be ok

Let us know what happens!

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Although you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” in fact you can teach an old dog just about anything! It’s never too late to train a dog.

Whether you are bringing home an older dog from a shelter (or rescue), or you’d like to work with your own older dog, there’s no reason to delay doing some training with an older dog.

There are actually some advantages to working with an older dog. Older dogs may already know some commands. They have a much longer attention span than puppies. They can understand very quickly what you want them to do because they already know a lot of human words. And, older dogs already know how to learn. They know the routine of learning things that humans want to teach them.

Even if you are starting from scratch with an older dog and he doesn’t know any commands, chances are that he knows at least a few basic words such as “good dog” and “no.” He understands certain basic training concepts that you have to spend time teaching to a younger dog.

Older dogs are often eager to please, too. They may have seen a lot but they appreciate it when you spend time with them.

You do have to make some allowances for older dogs. An older dog may not be as active or as spry as a younger dog. Depending on the dog’s age he may have some health issues to take note of when you train.

For instance, if your older dog has some arthritis, then give him time when he sits and gets up and down repeatedly. This action may cause him a little pain. If you are doing training that requires your dog to do things quickly then give him some extra time. So, if your training requires strenuous physical activity for your dog, do make allowances for his age.

If your older dog has had some previous training you may need to “unteach” him any lessons that hinder your current training. If he’s had any bad experiences you will need to carefully re-train him around those experiences.

Even if you are interested in training an older dog for some kinds of specialized training, such as hunting or herding, many older dogs are able to pick up these jobs and excel. If they have a natural instinct and they enjoy the work they are even more likely to love the training and learn fast.

However, on the whole, there is no reason why you can’t train an older dog. You should find that their intelligence and their ability to focus is very great. They have often gained a great deal of wisdom in the course of their lives and they can apply this to the training you are giving them.

I’m not suggesting that it’s better to wait until a dog is older to begin training. If you have a puppy or younger dog, it is certainly to your advantage to begin training right away. That said, somewhere along the way people have tried to tell us that dogs reach an age where training won’t work, or that it won’t do the dog any good. That is simply not true!

It’s never too late to train a dog. Spend time training your older dog and watch him come alive again. He may spring to life like a puppy all over again, enjoying his work and loving spending time with you.

Older dogs can find training sessions challenging. How can you tell if your furry friend is fit enough to learn new tricks? We have the best tips for you!

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yes, you can, but it depends on the dog! Poor health and age limitations can be challenging for both his physical and mental condition. The best thing to do before starting with this new challenge is a quick check at the vet. Once you’ve done that and your buddy is fit for training sessions, you can start. And here are 10 tips and tricks on how to do it!

Table of contents

It’s never too late

Examples show that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. A recipe that has been proven to be successful is a mix of people, patience and reward training, also called positive reinforcement. This method uses dog treats as a means to steer the dog’s behavior and motivate him to learn new things. As a dog lover, take time for this training and most importantly, show a lot of patience to your old dog buddy. He might not be in his best shape, but he is definitely one of your best companions, so treat him with lots of care and patience. Don’t forget that an older dog has the capacity to focus longer. Therefore, teaching them new tricks might be, in some cases, even easier than with puppies.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Forget the old, learn the new

If you are a dog owner and wish to teach an old dog new tricks, start step-by-step. Practice shows that both human and dogs require more time to unlearn already existing skills (good or bad), than they do for learning new ones. As such, take the training history of your four-legged friend into account. If you’ve adopted an old dog, try to learn more about their previous parents and how they were treated. If you can’t find any previous information on your adopted old dog, give them some basic commands like sit or stay. Should your dog not show any reaction to this, start from scratch with the basics.

In addition, unlearning dog bad habits, such as chewing furniture or destructive digging can be also a challenge for newly adopted dogs. But don’t worry, there’s a solution for that! Make sure to keep your furry buddy well exercised and busy with the right chew toys. Always remember that there is nothing that patience and love won’t achieve. The best thing to do is to know your dog well, create a trusting bond and only afterward start teaching them new funny tricks.

Pay attention to these signs of exhaustion

The age and health condition of your four-legged friend should be seriously considered before deciding on the teaching sessions. Remember that your dog buddy is not a puppy anymore, so consequently, don’t treat her like one. Your dog will get easily tired, so be aware of signs of exhaustion. These can include:

  • Sniffing the ground
  • Dropped ears
  • Excessive Licking
  • Yawning a lot
  • Boredom

Can you teach an old dog new tricks: these 10 tips make it possible

It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Go through this checklist to make sure you start off on the right foot:

  1. Build trust and a strong friendship with your dog
  2. Take time to really know your furry friend well
  3. Recognize and respect your dog’s’ limits
  4. Keep training sessions short
  5. Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement
  6. Use qualitative dog treats and also compliment your dog a lot, to guide and motivate him towards a certain behavior. After a while, you can use fewer treats and focus more on praising him.
  7. Start with a single trick at a time; dogs can get confused by too many different commands
  8. Associate new places, people, toys with learning a new trick. Then once his usual environment changes, he will be more receptive to learning new things.
  9. Remember that dog training is a commitment you make, so offer time and be consistent.
  10. Teaching an old dog new tricks is possible, but won’t happen overnight. Research says it takes up to 4 weeks for an old dog to learn new things, so patience cannot be over stressed.

Should I teach my old dog new tricks?

Most noteworthy, teaching an old dog new tricks might not be the best option for spending time with your old, fragile dog. Consider his needs as priority and know that, what dogs at a certain age need is love and care. Most importantly, don’t push your dog into doing certain tricks just for the sake of entertaining you or your friends. This training activity should be fun also for him and be an opportunity to bond. If your dog is fit enough for various physical activities, this bonding experience of teaching him new tricks will be worth it. Remember: first, know your dog, then check his age and health limitations and most importantly, love him despite all that!

Having an older dog who isn’t housetrained is frustrating, but most older dogs can be potty trained within a couple of weeks. For the fastest results, start with frequent potty breaks, take good notes and make sure that every time your dog does their business outside, they are rewarded with praise, treats and fun!Jan 12, 2020.

How do I potty train my 1 year old dog?

Take your dog out on a regular schedule, especially after he or she eats, drinks, or wakes up. For a dog over 1 year old, I would start with going out every hour when you’re home until you figure out a potty routine. Reward with praise, playing with a ball or toy, or treats for going potty outside.

Is it possible to potty train a one year old dog?

The good news is it’s fairly easy to teach an old dog this new trick. In fact, adult dogs are usually easier and faster to housetrain than puppies, especially if you use a crate. The key to rock-solid potty training is to start the day your dog comes home.

What age should a dog be fully toilet trained?

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside.

What dog is the hardest to potty train?

Jack Russell Terrier “Of all of the terrier breeds, the Jack Russell is, hands down, the most difficult to housetrain,” according to MedNet Direct, who says, “Jack Russells can be some of the most stubborn dogs out there.”Mar 30, 2021.

How do you stop a dog from peeing and pooping in the house?

Set up a routine where she is taken outside every couple of hours. Establish a place in the yard where she is to potty, and take her to that same spot every time. Use a leash. Allow her to sniff around and get used to going to that spot, even if she doesn’t do anything.

Is it too late to toilet train my dog?

It’s Never Too Late to House Train an Adult Dog — Here’s How to Start. This is especially true with a dog who has been reliable in the past. You won’t be able to train your pet if he’s struggling with an illness. So check with your veterinarian first for a complete checkup.

How do you potty train a dog in 3 days?

There are 4 basic steps to follow: Keep your puppy with you at all times during toilet training. Use appropriate and motivating rewards. Take your puppy out every hour. Be patient and consistent and avoid punishment.

How do I house train my 8 month old dog?

Be direct. Always go directly from the confinement area (see below) to the outside potty area. Bring treats and go all the way. Save playtime for after potty. Be boring until she “goes.” Act uninteresting until your puppy goes potty. Be extra-boring at night. Go back inside without play if she doesn’t need to go.

What age is too late to train a dog?

Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age.

Can you train a 12 month old dog?

Although some things are best taught to dogs while they’re still young, your dog can still learn in any stage of their life. The process may be harder, and it may take longer with certain types of training, but all hope is not lost with your older dog — actually, far from it.

What should I expect from a 1 year old dog?

Senses – 1-year-old dogs have senses very close to their fully mature adult senses. Their sense of smell is their most refined sense. Intelligence – Some-12 month-old puppies still act like adolescences and others are more mature as they enter “adulthood.” Most are still playful and curious and need plenty of exercise.

Should I wake my dog up to pee at night?

Then the answer is YES. You should wake your puppy up to pee at night! Once a puppy reaches 4-6 months old, they will have almost a full-sized bladder and are able to hold in their urine for longer. With proper potty training, you and your dog might get through the night without wet incidents.

How long can a dog hold its pee?

Adult dogs can hold their pee for up to 10-12 hours if needed, but that doesn’t mean that they should. The average adult dog should be allowed to relieve itself at least 3-5 times per day. That’s at least once every 8 hours.

How long does it take to potty train?

How Long Does Toilet Training Take? Teaching a toddler to use the potty isn’t an overnight task. It often takes between 3 and 6 months, but can take more or less time for some children. If you start too soon, the process tends to take longer.

What is the stupidest dog breed?

The 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds and Why They’ve Been Characterized as “Dumb” Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound is the “dumbest” dog. Basenji. Basenjis also make the list of dumbest dog breeds. Bulldog. Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness. Chow Chow. Chow Chows can also be difficult to train. Borzoi. Bloodhound. Pekingese. Beagle.

What dog is easiest to train?

6 DOG BREEDS THAT ARE EASY TO TRAIN Border Collie. Prized for its instincts and working ability, the Border Collie is thought to be the most intelligent and easy to train dog. Poodle. Miniature Schnauzer. Labrador Retriever. German Shepherd. Bearded Collie.

Are boy dogs easier to potty train?

Male dogs are usually harder to house train than female dogs for some reason. Many people report house training problems with Toy dogs. However, if you are consistent and keep working with your dog, you should be able to succeed.

How do you train a 1 year old dog

Ideally, puppies are socialized in their first year by being exposed to as many new experiences as possible. Dogs are most sensitive and receptive between this time frame, so the earlier that you get your dog socialized with other pups and humans, the better.

Unfortunately, not all pups are properly socialized within this time frame. Some say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but that’s not true! No matter the reason why your furry family member was not socialized as a puppy, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to behave around others and gain BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever).

Here are some tips for socializing an adult dog:

Take your dog for frequent walks

Daily walks are great opportunities to expose your dog to new sights, sounds, smells, humans and other animals. It gives you a chance to practice proper behavior with your doggie since you’re likely to encounter more social situations during your walk.

If your dog barks or responds in a disruptive or undesirable manner, refrain from scolding or tugging on their leash as it will increase their excitement and create a negative experience for them. Instead, simply walk in another direction and remove them from the situation so they can calm down.

Have people over

Invite one or two friends over and host them in a space where your dog can feel comfortable, such as your living room or backyard. Make sure your friends do not approach, crowd or overwhelm your dog. You want your dog to make the first move and approach your guests when they are ready. If your pup does not wander over to investigate, your guests can toss a treat from time to time to show your dog they come in peace. Keep the environment very positive and laid-back to keep your dog relaxed and help them associate new people with good experiences.

Slowly work your way up to a dog park

A dog park is the epitome of socialization but taking your anxious pup or older dog to one right away isn’t always a good idea. Start off by walking your dog around the perimeter of the park and let him watch the other dogs from a distance. Gradually work your way up to entering by approaching the fence and allowing your dog to sniff and interact with other dogs. Make it a positive experience by taking it slow and giving a treat when they react in a friendly manner. This will create positive associations. If your dog responds aggressively or nervously, move away from the fence and start over when they feel calm again. Don’t be discouraged if your pup doesn’t have a good first visit; frequent and controlled practice will make perfect.

Monitor your attitude

It is important to keep in mind that dogs sense your emotions and if you seem stressed out or nervous about an experience, so will your furry friend, too. Through body language and tone, you should remain calm and confident. Don’t play into your dog’s fearful or nervous reactions. If you comfort them when they are frightened, you will teach them that there is a reason to be fearful. Your dog feeds off your reactions and attitude, so be calm, collected and act as though the situation is not a big deal.

Turn to professionals

If your dog is not responding well to your methods, contact a professional trainer or consider taking them to a doggie daycare setting like Dogtopia. Our certified Canine Coaches have experience with all breeds and temperaments and can expertly read a dog’s body language and help you determine if daycare would be helpful in socializing your older dog. Find a location near you.

When socializing an older dog, the key to success is repetition and consistency. Be patient and don’t get discouraged if they don’t catch on right away as it can take a much longer time for older dogs to adapt to new situations and environments. With each new experience, be sure to create a calm, loving environment with lots of positive reinforcement and you will have a happy, confident and well-balanced dog in no time.

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!

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This article was co-authored by Rendy Schuchat. Rendy Schuchat is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and the Owner of the largest dog training facility, Anything Is Pawzible, based in Chicago, Illinois. With over 20 years of experience, Rendy specializes in positive dog training and behavior modification to help people build and strengthen their relationships with their dogs. She holds a BA in Psychology and Communications from the University of Iowa, an MA in Psychology from Roosevelt University, and a Certification in Dog Obedience Instruction from Animal Behavior Training and Associates. Rendy was voted one of the Best/Favorite Dog Trainers in Chicago by Chicagoland Tails Reader’s Choice Awards multiple times and was voted Chicago Magazine’s “Best Dog Whisperer” in 2015.

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You may have heard that old dogs can’t learn new tricks, but this isn’t true. While older dogs may be a bit more stubborn and need to unlearn certain behaviors, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get it into a crate and keep it there without barking or whining. Understand how your older dog thinks, give it the right incentives and ease it into the preferred behaviors to ensure that you can crate it effectively.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

What are the 8 basic dog commands

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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Southerners pride themselves on good manners and that goes for pets, as well as humans. In fact, a well-trained dog reflects well on its owner. A well-mannered dog knows when to sit and stay off the furniture, how to wait patiently for dinner, and knows better than to jump on guests when they arrive at the front door.

That said, dog training can be difficult. It takes consistency, time, effort, and discipline for owner and dog alike. And despite all the work, some dogs just don’t quite get it—or just ignore the rules when they see fit – and the couch looks comfy. Then there is my dog Steve, a low-riding moppet that the vet at the shelter claimed was a Corgi Papillon mix, two breeds that are supposedly some of the smartest. Steve adamantly refuses any direction that doesn’t sound conversational. For example, when I say, “Stop!” in a commanding voice, he ignores me. When I say, “Hold up there, rug rat,” he stops in his tracks. A stern, “Fetch!” results in the canine equivalent of an eye roll, while a friendly, “Where’s your ball?” results in a fierce search and retrieval mission of his tiny pink tennis ball. Basically, I think he’s trained me not to bark commands at him.

This is all to say that if you’re not a professional dog trainer or if you’re just content to let your dog be itself, commands may not come naturally. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort to have a well-mannered dog—or at least a pup that will not jump on guests.

Here are a few commands that every dog should know and how to try and teach them properly. All you’ll need is a handful of treats, a collar and leash, patience, and a commanding alpha dog voice:

How to teach a dog to sit:

According to dog trainer Cesar Milan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer, teaching a dog to sit involves a three-step process: Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose; Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower; Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection. Repeat until the dog knows the word.

How to teach a dog to walk nicely on a leash:

First, according to the AKC’s website, decide whether you want your puppy to walk on your left or right side, and then stay consistent. Next, arm yourself with treats and “stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop”. Give Fido a treat for sitting or standing nicely and calmly. Then, take one step forward and give the dog a treat if or when he follows. From there, continue giving treats to your puppy as you walk. If, or more likely when, the dog gets in front of you, “simply turn the opposite direction, call him to you, and reward him in place. Then continue.” Gradually, start doling out fewer and fewer treats, rewarding your pup every other step and then every fourth step or so until they just walk nicely.

How to teach a dog not to jump on visitors:

According to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the trick is to ignore the bad behavior. When you come home and your dog jumps on you, immediately leave again. “Wait 30 seconds to one minute, then, walk back in to calmly greet your dog. The moment your dog jumps, walk away again and close the door,” they write. “Keep doing this until your dog no longer jumps, at which point you can reward him by not leaving and petting him.” You can also keep treats on hand to reward the pup for not jumping.

How to teach a dog to come:

Per Cesar Milan’s website, put a leash and collar on your dog, lean down to his level, and gently pull his leash while saying, “Come.” If he follows you, give him a treat and a pat on the head.

How to teach a dog to stay:

Have your dog sit and give him a treat. Then, give him another treat for staying in a sit, which could take some practice, according to the AKC’s website. When your dog can sit for several seconds, start adding distance by saying, “stay”, and taking a step back. If the dog manages to stay, give her a treat, and then do it again with a greater distance. Per the AKC, “Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful.”

How to teach a dog to leave something alone:

According to Dr. Natalie Waggener at the South Boston Animal Hospital, teaching a dog to “leave it” can help keep a pup safe if it gets a little too curious about something dangerous. Start by putting a treat in your hand. Show your puppy the treat and then close your fist around it. If, or rather when, your dog tries to get the treat, don’t give it. Say, “Leave it” and wait until the dog stops. Then give them the treat from the other hand. Start over. This time, wait for your dog to move away from your first fist. Then say, “Leave it” and give your dog the treat when it moves away, making sure to make eye contact with your pet. Repeat until the dog associates “Leave it” with a reward.

How to teach a dog to drop something:

Like the leave it command, drop it can save your dog from eating something that it should not—whether chocolate or your favorite shoe. Like “leave it”, tell your dog to “drop it” and when it does, reward it with a treat. According to The Spruce Pets, “replace what you took from your dog’s mouth with something very rewarding, such as a toy or delicious treat.”

How to teach a dog to lay down:

Grab the best smelling treat you have (like cooked chicken or liver bites), and keep it in your closed fist. Then, according to Cesar Milan’s site, hold your closed hand up to your dog’s face and when the pup sniffs it, move your hand to the floor. The pup should follow the scent downwards. Use your hand to gently encourage the dog to put their whole body on the ground.

Once the dog is laying down, say “Down,” and give him the treat and lovable scratches.

These eight basic training cues will get you off on the right foot.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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Now that your new dog is home (and staring at you), what’s next? The answer: Training. Dog training is a key element in new dog bonding, and no dog is too old to learn new tricks. It’s true: dogs thrive when their minds are engaged.

To begin, it all starts with a “cue.” In dog training, a cue is a signal to the dog (either verbal or physical, or both) to do a particular behavior. As you and your dog work together, your dog will associate a cue with a new skill or a cool trick.

Remember, dog training is meant to be rewarding and fun for both of you. So keep training brief, just five to ten minutes, at the start, and always end on a positive note. Below you’ll find the top eight most important dog training tricks that, with some gentle teaching, your dog can master. Learning these training cues and behaviors allows your dog to reap the benefits of being a well-mannered member of society.

Basic Training Cues for Dogs

Don’t move forward. Teaching a dog to wait is especially useful at doors. Dogs who wait are easier to take on walks and let in and out of the car because they don’t go through the door until given permission. The wait cue is also a great safety prompt. Teaching this can prevent a dog from running out a door into traffic and reduce some of the chaos inherent in living with dogs. Teaching a dog to wait also allows people to catch up during off-leash walks if the dog has gone ahead.

Training Program

Try these free training programs from our friends at Dogo to help with new dog life and basic obedience.

Watch

Look at my face. Teaching a dog to watch you helps get a dog’s attention and distract them from problematic situations, such as the unexpected presence of another dog.

Put your butt on the ground. Teaching a dog to sit is one of the easiest things to teach dogs to do. It’s a useful calming cue and — since sitting is incompatible with undesirable behavior — in defusing otherwise touchy situations.

Remain in place until released. Teaching a dog “Stay” helps dogs practice self-control. It also keeps dogs in one spot when necessary. Stay is helpful in many situations ranging from “It’s dinnertime and our guests are not dog people” to “I just broke a glass in the kitchen and you’ll cut your paws if you come in here before I clean it up.”

Run to me. Run directly to me. Do not stop at the dead squirrel. Dogs who reliably come when called can safely be given more freedom. Once your dog masters being able to come reliably in your home, move on to environments with higher stimulation.

Release

You are free to go. Teaching a release cue to a dog like “Okay” or “Free” gives your dog permission to stop doing what you previously asked them to do. Used most commonly with “Wait” and “Stay,” it tells your dog that the behavior no longer needs to be performed. For example, your dog can get up and move around if they’ve been staying or go through the door if they’ve been waiting.

Greeting

Say hello without jumping. In this case, the appearance of a new person, rather than a word or a hand signal, is the cue to keep all four paws on the ground. Many dogs do the opposite— jump on every new person — and that can make both pet parents and guests uncomfortable. Few behaviors are more appreciated in dogs than the skill of greeting people politely.

A Trick

Performing an endearing trick on cue shows off a dog’s training better than most practical skills. Sure, it may be harder to teach a dog to stay or come when called than to high-five, wave, spin, or roll over, but not many people know that. So, most people will be impressed by the trick and consider your dog more charming as a result.

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Karen B. London, PhD

Karen B. London, Ph.D., is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression, and has also trained other animals including cats, birds, snakes, and insects. She writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life.

Teaching a dog to sit, stay or lie down is necessary for everyday life. But how does a dog learn the most important commands? We have some tips for you.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Updated on 15/04/2022

  • 8 tips to teach your dog commands
  • The most important dog commands
  • If your dog doesn’t listen…

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Teaching a dog to sit, stay or lie down is simply necessary in mastering your everyday life together. It’s best to start when the dog is just a puppy. But as the owner, what should you bear in mind so that your dog hears you perfectly in the future? And how exactly does your new flatmate learn the most important commands?

Read the following tips and concrete instructions for training a dog:

8 tips to teach your dog commands

When your dog has to learn commands, it’s not a one-way street. You’re in the same boat and your dog will always only behave as well as you’ve taught him. But what should you consider when you want to teach your dog to sit, stay or lie down?

Tip 1: Use gestures, facial expressions and your voice!

Dogs may not understand our language, but they can read your face. So, emphasise your commands with appropriate facial expressions, and also to show when it’s especially serious. In addition, you can combine commands with specific hand movements, which make it easier for the dog to understand. The same goes for your tone of voice. Your dog has a fine sense as to whether a “sit” or “stay” is said cheerfully or contains a strict command.

Tip 2: Stick to uniform, short commands!

It’s best to think about which commands you’d like to teach your dog before it moves in with you. Name them clearly for yourself and stick to this choice of words for your dog. Nothing is more confusing than when the sounds are always different to the dog’s ear. Brevity is the spice of life here! Long explanations are just an incomprehensible torrent of words to a dog.

Tip 3: Be consistent!

Of course, you should avoid force when training your dog. After all, you don’t want to frighten him, but ideally learn with him in a playful way. However, he must know who’s boss. That’s why consistency is so important when it comes to commands. A certain action produces a certain reaction. These should always be the same so that your dog always knows what to expect from you.

Tip 4: Entice your dog with rewards!

Instead of punishing your dog, you should reward him for correct behaviour. Treats and toys are the right bait here. However, you should use them in moderation. Repeated rewards will train your dog’s behaviour.

Tip 5: Think about the right timing!

Dogs have a very short reaction time. So, you should immediately reward a correctly executed command. If you wait, your dog won’t understand the connection. Similarly, if you punish him for something that happened, for example, hours or minutes ago, he won’t understand. The reaction must directly follow the behaviour.

Tip 6: Learn the dog’s language!

Your dog is trying to understand you – you should try to do the same. Pay attention to your dog’s physical signals. Is he excited? Is he afraid?

Does he enjoy learning? If you can interpret these signs, then you can adapt teaching the commands accordingly, e.g. praise and reward more when your shelter dog is anxiously waiting for a punishment as a result of a previously learned behaviour.

Tip 7: Adapt the commands to the dog’s age!

Puppies shouldn’t learn too many commands at the same time. With tricks like offering a paw, you should always make sure your dog is physically fit. If he’s still growing, then learning jumps, for example, should be postponed until later.

Tip 8: Find a place with no distractions!

Your dog will learn best if he’s not constantly distracted. The quietest place is probably at home. Outside, there are other dogs, people, animals, noises and other exciting things.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Many of the problems that occur between dogs and owners are the result of a communication gap. Dogs may be a part of our family but they are of a different species and sometimes communication breaks down. Teaching your dog to understand a vocabulary of basic commands will go a long way towards alleviating misunderstandings.

Teaching your dog what a particular command means requires you to help the dog do what you want him to do, use the command to identify that action, and reward him for doing it. In other words, when your dog’s hips touch the floor, say “Sweetie, sit,” and praise and reward him for sitting. Later, when he understands the word for sitting, and cooperating with you, then you can ask him to sit and expect him to do it. In the beginning, however, help him do it.

The sit command is an easy example, of course, and not all verbal communication will be as easy to teach. The process is basically the same though.

A Basic Vocabulary of Dog Commands

Every dog owner should establish a list of basic commands to train with. These commands can create a foundation of communication and later, when these are understood, then you can add additional commands.

Your vocabulary can vary, obviously, as the relationship between you and your dog is unique. Plus your daily routine will be different. If you participate in any dog sports or activities, you’ll need to teach additional words. However, here are some suggestions:

Sit. The sit command means the dog’s hips are on the ground while the shoulders are upright. The dog should remain in position until released.

Come. The come command in dog training means stop what you’re doing, ignore distractions, and go directly to the owner.

Down. In dog training, the down command means lie down on the floor (or ground) and hold that position until released.

Stay. Remain in position while the owner walks away from the dog and the dog holds still until he’s released.

Release. This is the word that tells the dog he can move from the position he’s been in.

Yes. A verbal marker to let the dog know his actions are correct.

Good dog/good boy/good girl. Verbal praise that can be used after the ‘yes’ marker or after the dog is released.

Leave it. Telling your dog to “leave it” means to ignore what you’re paying attention to; whether it’s food on the floor or the dogs barking next door.

Outside. What is your word or phrase for the dog to go outside to relieve himself?

Go to bed. This sends the dog to his bed or crate.

Dinner. This word, or the phrase, “Are you hungry?”, signals that it’s time to eat.

Go for a walk. It’s time to go for a walk.

Get it. Please get your ball, toy, or the newspaper.

Bring it here. Bring me your ball, toy, or newspaper.

Drop it. Spit out what’s in your mouth.

Keep Commands Consistent

What else is important to you? You might want to tell your dog to get off the furniture and ‘off’ could work. Don’t use ‘down’ as that already has a meaning (lie down) and each word should only have one meaning for your dog. ‘Wait’ can mean don’t dash out open doors or gates.

Think about your daily routine, the games you play, and the work you ask your dog to do. Each of these can increase your dog’s vocabulary.

Tone of Voice

When teaching your dog this vocabulary – or a new command – pay attention to your tone of voice. Don’t yell at your dog; he can hear very well. Plus, a loud unhappy tone of voice isn’t going to teach him anything other than the fact that you are unhappy.

Instead, show him what you want him to do, praise and reward him for cooperation, and then teach him the word. Repeat a few times and then come back later and repeat the exercise. Three to five repetitions are more than enough at one time. Too many repetitions and your dog will get frustrated, bored, or distracted.

A happy tone of voice, a smile, a good treat, patience, and a willingness to teach your dog will go a long way to increase communication.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

When you get a new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No. Expert trainer Brandon McMillan, Emmy Award–winning host of Lucky Dog and author of Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days, calls these the “seven common commands” because they’re the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. He teaches these training lessons to all of his rescue dogs, in order to help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

McMillan always teaches Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It’s therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it’s also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

McMillan compares his favorite dog training technique, Down, to taking the keys out of a car’s ignition. A standing dog could bolt like a running vehicle, because there’s nothing keeping her in place. A sitting dog is like a car in Park, but it’s still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. McMillan recommends teaching it when your pup is tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she’s a pro.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. McMillan teaches Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Dogs of all sizes should learn to heel, or walk calmly by your side, especially if you exercise your pup in busy urban areas where there’s not much room on the sidewalk. The skill is even more important for large or strong pups who naturally pull on the leash. Once a dog can heel, walks will be easier and more pleasant for your dog and your arm socket.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Jumping on visitors or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your pooch can’t keep four paws on the floor, don’t despair. Get her to stay off by turning your back when she jumps up, grabbing her paws and shaking a plastic bottle filled with pennies while you say “Off,” suggests McMillan. All of those things discourage jumping, so try a few to see which clicks with your pet.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Some trainers teach both No and Leave It for slightly different situations, such as using No when a dog shouldn’t do something and Leave it for when you want your pup not to investigate an item or situation. McMillan sticks to No, period, to keep things simple. He says explaining the difference can confuse both people and animals, so No makes a good, all-purpose command for everything you want your pup not to do.

Lizz Schumer Senior Editor Lizz Schumer covers pets, culture, lifestyle, books, entertainment and more as Good Housekeeping’s senior editor; she also contributes to Woman’s Day and Prevention.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Are you looking for the best commands to teach your dog? Although having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, teaching your dog basic dog training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems despite whether they are existing ones or those that may develop in the future.

So where exactly do you start with teaching your dog commands? While taking a class may be beneficial for you and your pup, there are many dog training commands you can teach your dog right at home. Below, we’ve listed the best list of dog commands you and your pup are guaranteed to enjoy.

Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this simple command. Additionally, the “Sit” command prepares your dog for harder commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”

Here’s how to teach your dog the “Sit” command:

  • Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
  • Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
  • Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks and during other situations when you’d like him calm and seated.

Come

Another important command for your dog to learn is the word “come.” This command is extremely helpful for those times you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open. Once again, this command is easy to teach and will help keep your dog out of trouble.

  • Put a leash and collar on your dog.
  • Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
  • When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.

Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it and continue to practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.

Down

This next command is one of the more difficult dog training commands to teach. The reason it may be hard for your dog to master this command is that it requires him to be in a submissive posture. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Also keep in mind to always praise your dog once he successfully follows the command.

  • Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
  • Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
  • Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
  • Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this training every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!

Stay

Similar to the “Sit” command, the “Stay” cue will help make your dog easier to control. This command can be helpful in a number of situations such as those times you want your dog out of the way as you tend to household chores or when you don’t want your pup overwhelming guests.

Before attempting to teach your dog this command, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” cue. If he hasn’t quite mastered the “Sit” command, take the time to practice it with him before moving on to the “Stay” cue.

  • First, ask your dog to “Sit.”
  • Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
  • Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
  • Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
  • Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.

This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than just sitting and waiting.

Leave it

This last command can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him such as those times when he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground. The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.

  • Place a treat in both hands.
  • Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.”
  • Ignore the behaviors as he licks, sniffs, mouths, paws and barks to get the treat.
  • Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
  • Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say “Leave it.”
  • Next, give your dog the treat only when he looks up at you as he moves away from the first fist.

Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this next training method, use two different treats: one that’s good but not super-appealing and one that’s particularly good-smelling and tasty for your pup.

  • Say “Leave it,” place the less-attractive treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
  • Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
  • Once he’s got it, place the less-tasty treat on the floor but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead, hold your hand a little bit above the treat . Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
  • Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less-tasty treat, cover it with your foot.

Don’t rush the process of teaching your pup any one of these dog training commands. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.

This list of dog commands can help protect your dog from dangerous situations as well as improve your communication with him. Taking the time to teach your pup these common dog commands is well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the training process takes time, so start a dog-obedience training session only if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Basic obedience is essential for any dog regardless of its breed or age. If you can get a dog to come when it is called, sit patiently and understand to leave things alone, you will have a much easier time. Your relationship with your dog will also improve as they get your love, praise, and attention for being your best friend.

From puppyhood, your dog will learn all kinds of skills, some more complex than others. They are learning all the time, not just when you decide it’s time to train. The important thing is that you start early with a consistent training regime consisting of positive reinforcement in the basic commands.

You can teach these commands from the day your new puppy comes home. If you have rescued a dog, then you can use the same methods below to reinforce your commands and help your rescue dog settle into their new family home.

How to use positive reinforcement to train your dog

There are two fundamental factors in positive reinforcement

Praising your dog is vital for them to understand that they have done a good job. They thrive on this sort of positive interaction which may be because of that innate desire to please their owners, a concept that science has not yet been able to prove one way or the other.

Rewards give the dog additional incentives to act in the way that you desire. These rewards can vary depending on the personality of the dog. Food based rewards are common as they give your pet a tasty treat. But, you need to be careful not to offer too much too often, especially with breeds prone to over-eating. Toy-based rewards can also work. Or, you might get on well with clicker training.

This is where the method differs from negative reinforcement which focuses on

Some dog owners prefer to use a negative form of correction to force their animal into the desired behaviour. This isn’t necessary as you run a bigger risk of mentally scarring or physically hurting the dog. Pulling or forcing a dog into position, swatting them on the nose, and negative speech aren’t the way forward. This used to be the way dog training was taught ( by people like Cesar Milan and Barbara Woodhouse), but is no longer advocated by modern dog trainers.

Our understanding of how dogs learn (Mary Burch & John Bailey ) has come on leaps and bounds over the last 10 years and informed us of a much better way of training and changing canine behaviours.

Two ways that dogs learn are by the immediate consequences of their actions (“operant conditioning”) and by associations (“classical conditioning”).

I have only ever used positive reinforcement methods to successfully train dogs, cats, birds, rodents, cows, horses, alpacas and many other animals.

Using positive reinforcement in the most fun, effective and kindest method to train an animal.

Sarah-Jane White – Trainer

But, it isn’t enough to just provide your dog with praise and rewards. The timing and methods that you choose play their part too. Think about the following.

~ What to say to your dog

~ What sort of treats should you use

~ When to scale back on the rewards

The words that you use when training your pet will play a big part in how they respond. With each of the commands laid out below, you will find guidance on the phrasing to use. Typically, strong one-syllable words are the most effective for helping dogs differentiate between commands. The tone of your voice also helps. You can be sharp and authoritative when offering the command, but without shouting at the dog. When they do a good job, raise your pitch and soften the tone to provide plenty of praise.

Decide on your treats early on and stick with them. It is important that the dog associates the treat with good behaviour and doesn’t get it at random times. Pick something tiny that they can take from your hand with ease. A nice taste of something that has them wanting more. Stay consistent with your approach even if your pet struggles. If you increase the reward after they fail, they might deliberately fail to get more of it as you are rewarding the wrong behaviour ( the fail as opposed to the success).

Over time, you can scale back on the rewards and the praise so that the behaviour becomes normalised. They should eventually get to the point where they respond appropriately without any prospect of a treat. If the dog is only complying because of the reward, you still have a way to go. Start with a treat for each small step, even if that means working with the shaping approach. Then once they know what to do on command, gradually decrease the frequency of the treats until you have a learned behaviour. If you find that you decrease too quickly and your dog loses interest, take a step back.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

We all need help from time to time while training our dogs, and that is okay! Training your dog is not an easy task, but doing so will teach you a lot about your dog and a lot about yourself too.

One of the most rewarding parts of having a dog is learning how to train them and building a strong relationship through clear communication. Sometimes we get comfortable with the progress our dogs have made in their training and forget how to help them when they regress.

Here are 8 ways to improve training your canine and help your dog succeed:

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Markers are our main communication system with dogs. Markers allow your dog to know the exact moment they have done something correct, incorrect, or when they need to sustain a behavior.

We also use markers to guide dogs in the world WE live in. It lets them know when they have completed a given command perfectly, when we want them to keep doing something, or if they’ve done something incorrectly and we need them to try again. It also can indicate to a dog to move away from what they are doing.

Dogs live moment to moment. We use markers as a “snapshot” or a way to bookmark a moment in a dog’s mind.

The Training Markers

We condition 3 easy words (or “markers”) so the dog clearly understands what those words mean. Every dog learns at a different pace, but after you have a clear communication system you can decide if your dog is “stubborn”, or is having trouble understanding you.

Indicates to the dog that they have completed the given command correctly and they are released to come receive their reward. (Food, toys, play, verbal praise, love, freedom)

This word tells the dog they did the behavior correctly, and to keep going!

When our dogs hear “good” it should sustain whatever behavior they are performing. (Sit, down, place, stay, heel, etc.) Randomly reward the “good” marker to keep the dog guessing.

When we’re ready, we will release with a “yes“.

This is a no reward marker. It indicates to the dog they did not complete the behavior correctly, and to try again. It can also mark moments when you need your dog to move away from something.

Your “no” marker can be very powerful, as long as you condition it correctly and add some sort of consequence when your dog hears it (removal of a reward for example).

Note: One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they fail to follow “no” up with anything but yelling. Yelling at your dog will only frighten and confuse them. You might raise your voice for urgency, but no yelling or getting upset. That would be adding emotion to the situation, which is not necessary.

“OK” or “Free Dog”– release without physical reward. The reward becomes freedom from the behavior.

What are the 8 basic dog commands What are the 8 basic dog commands

Teaching your dog hand signals is a great way to improve your communication with your pet. Most pets are able to respond better when an auditory command is paired with a hand signal. Many pet owners introduce this at a young age and it is a great training technique that becomes even more invaluable as your dog grows older. Pets can lose some degree of their hearing as they age, which is why these hand signals can really come in handy! We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 commands you can teach your dog today.

How to Train:

Your pet needs to learn the association between the verbal command and hand signals. The most effective way to teach your dog is to follow these 2 steps:

  1. Keep your hand signal simple, and
  2. Reinforce behavior with rewards (treats and praise).

Once your dog is accurately responding to your commands, slowly fade out the reward. If your dog already is familiar with the standard commands: sit, stay etc., then making the transition to hand signals is fairly straight-forward. Training is best when you work with your pet daily. If you make it a priority, your dog will pick up the hand signals quickly!

1. ONE FINGER POINT TO EYE – Watch me.

If you want to completely shift from auditory commands to only nonverbal cues this is an extremely important first step. To allow your pet to learn they first need to ‘look’ to be able to watch what command you want them to do. Whenever they look attentively at you, reward with a treat. It helps to keep a small treat in your hand when first teaching-your dog’s eyes will be on the prize!

2. OPEN HAND PALM UP – Sit.

The most widely used command for any dog. This is often the first training your dog receives. The gesture is simple, have your hand palm facing the sky at your chest and move your hand in an upward motion. When you first start training be sure to pair the verbal command “sit” with the hand signal.

3. FINGER POINT DOWN – Lie down.

Another great signal to help settle your dog is lay down. The action for this command is to hold your finger pointed up at your chest and do a sweeping diagonal motion down. Have a treat in your hand while training and your dog’s nose is sure to follow!

4. OPEN HAND PALM FORWARD – Stay.

Teaching your dog to stay or wait is one of the most important commands. This nonverbal command is great for safety if you are out in public places or by busy streets. Train your dog with both your auditory command and hand signals, test by walking backwards with your palm facing outward at the level of your chest. Make sure your pet stays until you ask them to come.

5. HAND DIAGONALLY ACROSS CHEST – Come.

Another meaningful command is to call your dog to come. Start with your hand open at your side and diagonally bring it to your opposite shoulder. This is a must when you are out in areas where your dog is off leash.

It is always important to positively reinforce your dog with verbal praise and treats during the training process. And our Primal Treats make a great training tool to reward your pet! Remember to be patient and have fun with the training process. Use these five training tips as an opportunity to form an even deeper bond with your pet!

What are the 8 basic dog commands

January marks the official start of National Train Your Dog Month, but you can teach your dog new things at any time of year.

We all love our pets, but sometimes it can feel like your dog is incapable of learning any tricks. While it may feel impossible at times, with the right techniques and proper amount of practice, just about any dog can learn.

You should try this clicker to help train your pooch with clicker training!

Committing yourself to teaching your dog some tricks is a great New Year’s resolution, but it’s also a fun bonding experience for you and your dog throughout the year. Watch the following videos to learn some simple techniques that make it possible for any dog to learn tricks.

1. Kiss

Yes, your dog may already shower you with kisses on a daily basis, but now you can actually teach them to kiss you on command.

The video above walks you through the training process step by step, showing you how to eventually work up to the final kiss. For this trick you’ll need something sticky like tape or a post-it, treats, and a clicker.

The dog in this training video not only learned how to kiss his human, but he even learned to kiss his cat friend!

2. Bark On Command

This trick might be for more advanced dogs and takes some extra patience, as it’s one of the tougher tricks. As the video above shows, you have to be diligent in waiting for your dog to bark by themselves first, and then reward them as they continually do it.

The dog in the video doesn’t bark immediately even though the trainer is a professional, so make sure you remember that it won’t happen right away. However, if you can master it, barking on command is a very unique trick that will definitely impress your fellow dog parents.

3. Shake Hands

The “Shake Hands” trick is definitely one of the cuter tricks your pup can learn. It’s quite simple and is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach.

The secret is that your dog will already naturally paw at you if they want something. When you present a closed fistful of treats, your dog will likely be compelled to paw at your hand since they can’t get the treats with their mouth.

Once they continue to paw, begin to use the command “Shake,” and after repeating it several times, your dog is sure to learn a brand new trick. Follow the instructions in the video above for more details.

4. Fetch

While fetch is a classic game, it’s a trick that doesn’t come naturally for some dogs.

It can become pretty frustrating when your dog won’t cooperate at play time. Some dogs are uninterested in the toy and don’t even want to try, some will go fetch the toy but not bring it back, and then there are the stubborn dogs who bring the toy back but then won’t let go.

Watch the tutorial above to see how you can get your dog interested in fetch in the first place, and then actually learn how to play fetch properly.

5. Roll Over

At first “Roll Over” may seem like a difficult trick to attempt, but in the long run, it’s very straightforward.

All this trick demands is repetition. The more you do it, the better your dog will get.

The video above explains that the secret of “Roll Over” is doing it in three steps. Make sure you precisely lead your dog through each step, and before you know it, your friends will be asking you to teach their dogs for them!

6. Play Dead

“Play Dead” is a great party trick that will most definitely impress your friends and family. Unlike simpler commands like sitting or shaking hands, playing dead takes a bit more time and persistence to master.

The tutorial above uses a backwards method approach, teaching the last part of the trick first in order for the dog to learn easier. Take your time and remember to reinforce with a clicker and treats to make the process faster.

If your dog already knows the trick “Roll Over” it will be much easier for them to learn this trick.

7. Spin

Getting your dog to spin on command is a staple dog trick. While seemingly complicated, making your dog spin when directed can be done very easily with the right technique.

The instructor in the video above shows you how to begin with treats and eventually get to a verbal command only. However, getting your dog to spin with a verbal command only can be pretty difficult for beginners, so even if you get your dog to spin with a hand cue or treats, it’s still an accomplishment to be celebrated.

8. Stand On Hind Legs

While this trick may seem like something to leave to the professionals, if you’re a persistent dog parent with patience and high determination, it’s definitely doable.

In comparison to tricks like “Shake Hands” or “Spin,” this trick may seem complex, but really it’s just as easy to achieve if you put the work and effort in.

Big or small, any dog is capable of learning this if their human is just as determined. Watch the video above for details on how to pull it off.

9. Sit Pretty

Making your dog “Sit Pretty” isn’t just fun because it gives you the chance to take cute pictures of your pup to post to Instagram, but it’s also a great exercise for your dog.

Making your dog strike an adorable pose helps with your dog’s balance and can build core muscles. However, make sure your dog is healthy for this trick because it can strain dogs with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the video above to learn how it’s done.

10. Hug

While you can always just give your dog a hug, this trick is neat because your dog will actually put their paws around you and hug you back. Who wouldn’t want to learn this adorable trick?

If you want to master this heartwarming hug, just remember to be understanding of the pace at which your dog learns. Also, keep in mind that it is a bit simpler for your dog to learn this trick if they already know “Sit Pretty,” but otherwise it is still very manageable.

Take a look at the video above and follow along. Your dog will get lots of “awws” from all your friends!

What fun tricks does your dog know? Are you planning to teach your pup any new tricks? Let us know and leave a comment below!

Most people love their furry companions. However, not every moment is enjoyable when your dog isn’t trained to behave in specific ways or avoid unwanted behaviors.

There are many techniques passed on from unknown sources that tell you the best ways to get your dog not to do something. But what is the best method, and how do you use these techniques?

Learn the most common methods for how to train your dog, as well as what techniques not to use.

How Should You Train Your Dog?

There are two common methods of training a dog.

The first is the aversive-based method. The second is the reward-based method. Aversive-based (discipline) training is when you use positive punishment and negative reinforcement techniques with your dog. Reward-based methods use rewards only for the behaviors that you want your dog to follow.

Aversive-based training uses techniques like loud, unpleasant noises, physical corrections, and harsh scoldings to get your dog to act the way you want. On the other hand, reward-based training uses rewards whenever your dog does something you want it to do. Treats, belly rubs, or other dog-pleasing actions are used to reinforce that a behavior was good.

Different experts prefer one method over the other. The one that you use is completely up to you.

Some people believe that a rewards-based method sets up an “event sequence” for your dog where they associate you with happy feelings when they do what they’re told. Aversive-based methods do just the opposite, where they fear you. That fear means that your dog does what they are told to avoid unpleasant feelings.

Understand How Your Dog Learns

Dogs learn a lot like little kids. They are close in intelligence to human two-year-olds. Immediate consequences are all that they care about. As they grow, they begin to understand our words. Some intelligent breeds will respond to as many as 250! Yet every dog responds to the tone of our voice more than the actual words.

There are three types of dog intelligence recognized by scientists:

  • Instinctive
  • Adaptive
  • Working and obedience

Instinctive learning is when your dog learns the behaviors they were bred. Adaptive learning is how well your dog learns from their surroundings and the environment around them to solve problems. Working and obedience are how well they learn the tasks and commands that you teach them.

To get your dog to be obedient, you should focus on training that uses obedience techniques and the specific behaviors you want from them. Both aversive- and reward-based training have been proven to work. However, if you’re training your dog to be a loving pet, you should consider reward-based obedience training. This method doesn’t develop fear-based responses in your dog. It actually reinforces your loving relationship with them.

Obedience Training Rewards

Dogs are smart enough to learn the behaviors that you want them to have. They are also smart enough to learn what they can get away with.

If you’re wondering how to train a dog with a specific behavior, one of the most effective methods is to give them treats, praise, or affection. Most importantly, the best reward to give them is the one that they want the most. If they are food motivated, treats might work better than praise. If they crave attention from you, then affection might be the best reward.

The main point to focus on is to consistently give your dog rewards for the behavior that you want. Do not reward the behavior you don’t want. When your dog performs the behavior, they should get their reward. If you ask them to lie down and don’t give them a treat until they stand back up, they become confused. They won’t know which behavior the reward was for.

Control Consequences Effectively

When you are using reward-based training, your dog needs to understand that there are consequences for behaving in a way you don’t like. Here the consequences are to withhold their reward when they do something bad.

For instance, a dog that likes to jump up to greet their humans when they come in the house can be dangerous for an older adult. To train them not to jump up at you, do not greet them or give them attention if they jump up. You should turn around, walk back out the door, and continue doing this until the dog doesn’t jump up. Keep a treat in your hand while you do this.

When the dog doesn’t jump, give them the treat, and repeat the task until your dog doesn’t jump up when you come in. You should try this with all of the people that your dog gets excited to see when they come in your house. This ensures that they give your dog the treat for the correct behavior.

Training New Skills

When you’re teaching your dog something new, remember that they have the attention span and intelligence of a two-year-old. Your training sessions should be short and to the point. Limit them to 15 minutes. Focus on one task or behavior so that they do not become confused.

Make sure that you’re using the same commands for the behaviors that you want. If you use the same word but insert it into sentences differently every time you say it, your dog may not understand. For instance, if you want to train your dog to lie down, you will confuse them if you say “Lie down” one session and then say “Fido, lie down or no treat” later in the day. They might not know what to do.

Basic Obedience Dog Training

The American Kennel Club recognizes five basic commands that every dog should know. They are:

Finding Help and More Information

If you’re looking for help training your dog, you could try taking a class at your local American Kennel Club (AKC). Local pet associations can also help you with behavioral problems or with fundamentals. The AKC has over 5,000 clubs around the country.

Show Sources

AKC: “Clubs & Delegates,” “4 Tips for Training Your Dog With Rewards,” “”The Five Commands Every Dog Should Know.”

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: Smarter Than You Think: Renowned Canine Researcher Puts Dogs’ Intelligence on Par with 2-Year-old Human.”

Humane Society of the United States: “Stop your dog from jumping up.”

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: “The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review.”

PloS One: “Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.”

Psychology Today: “Canine Intelligence—Breed Does Matter,” “Reward Training vs. Discipline-Based Dog Training.”

Teaching a dog to lie down on command can be tricky and it is made even harder when we make simple mistakes in HOW we teach it to our dogs. We might not even realise we are making these mistakes and simply struggle to understand why our dogs are just not getting it. For the most part, it’s because we have not made what we want clear or we have confused them in some way.

Here I have detailed the 8 most common mistakes and simple ways to avoid making them.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Common mistakes & how to avoid them
Mistake #1 – Bad timing.
Dogs learn best when they can focus in a familiar, low distraction environment plus, laying down is a calm, relaxing activity which makes it a difficult activity to teach if the dog is highly energetic and just wants to run and play. To set yourself and your dog up for success, choose wisely when you teach and practice this activity so your dog is calm enough to be able to focus on the down activity. You may want to wait until after your daily walk and avoid your dogs most playful times until you have established a training routine. And you definitely want to avoid situations when your dog is stressed or anxious as they can’t focus then either.

Mistake #2 – Wrong environment.
Your dog is less likely to want to lay down if they have to do so on wet grass, cold pavers or a hard floor. Your dog may understand the down activity but just not want to do it, and I wouldn’t want to lay down on the cold, wet ground either. So instead, practice somewhere comfy like a carpeted area in your home or even on their dog bed. The soft landing will be a much better incentive for your dog to practise the down activity.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Mistake #3 – Down from a sit.
It might seem easier to teach your dog to lay down from a sit position, but it will make this activity much harder in the long term. A dog can naturally and easily fold down into the down or drop position from standing. If you teach them to sit first, this is a more awkward movement for the dog to lay down, plus you will have to give them two commands, one to sit and the second to down.

Mistake #4 – Giving up too soon.
Learning how to lay down on command is not easy for many dogs. Sometimes they don’t know what you are wanting them to do and for energetic dogs and puppies, they may not initially want to lay down. So don’t give up! Stick with it. Once your dog understands that they can be rewarded for laying down and that this is an activity that leads to other fun things or is what you want from them, they will be happier to offer this behaviour to you.

Mistake #5 – Using the wrong command.
What is your command? Drop or down? And did you use the right one? Using the wrong command can confuse your dog and they might not follow through with laying down if they are not sure if that was actually what you asked them to do. Choose the command you are most likely to use and be consistent!

Mistake #6 – Forgetting the hand signal.
Most people, when training their dog to lay down on command will incorporate some kind of hand signal or gesture along with the verbal command. This is often completely unintentional and most of the time people are not even aware that they have done so but your dog will definitely notice. Dog’s are masters of body language and find it easy to pick up our body language cues. Be aware of the gestures you are making like pointing to the floor and use these as a command for your dog to go into the down position.

Mistake #7 – Not using a release cue.
Your dog won’t know how long to remain in the down position unless you tell them when to stop. If you leave it up to your dog, they will likely have a very different time frame in mind than you do. A release cue is a signal you can give your dog to let them know the activity is over. This means they can get up out of the down position.

Mistake #8 – High expectations.
Just because your dog understands the action required when given the down command, doesn’t mean that they can stay in that position for long periods of time or in different situations. You need to work on building up the time they spend in the down position before you expect them to remain in position, especially if you are walking around or doing other things. ​

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There are many different ways to approach dog training. What makes us different from other dog trainers is that our methods encompass motivational dog training with a strong focus on positive reinforcement that takes place within a well-structured program. We create reliable, sustainable practices that reflect you and your dog’s needs that are applicable in the real world and results in happy, well balanced and well-behaved dogs.

Our staff are fully qualified and highly experienced dog trainers, but we are also dog enthusiasts. We set high standards for our training programs that integrate skills and play to keep you and your dog motivated.

We have two of the largest indoor dog training centres in Australia, located in West Footscray in Melbourne; but as a standard practice we conduct smaller group training sessions to maximise your experience.

Whatever your dog training needs are, our team of experts can help you. With years of high-level professional experience in various disciplines and relevant qualifications, we are leaders in the dog training and daycare industries.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture.

Training your canine with dog commands in German is just like training it in any language. You need to establish command, become the pack leader, and guide your dog’s behavior through a combination of reinforcement and redirection. But, if you want to be able to say Er gehorcht auf Kommando (He obeys [German] commands), you need to learn the correct dog commands in German. The essential commands that German dog trainers and owners use are presented first in Deutsch (German) and then in English. A phonetically spelled pronunciation for the commands is listed directly under each German word or phrase. Study and learn these few, simple commands and soon you’ll be saying Hier! (Come!) and Sitz! (Sit!) with authority and style.

German “Hundekommandos” (Dog Commands)

You can find detailed information about training a dog in German on websites such as Hunde-Aktuell (Dog News), which offers plenty of tips and tricks about Ausbildung (dog training), but you’ll need to understand German fluently to access the information. Until your German reaches that level, you’ll find the basic dog commands in German in the table.

DEUTSCH ENGLISH
Hier! / Komm!
here / komm
Come!
Braver Hund!
braffer hoont
Good dog!
Nein! / Pfui!
nyne / pfoo-ee
No! / Bad dog!
Fuß!
foos
Heel!
Sitz!
sits
Sit!
Platz!
plahts
Down!
Bleib! / Stopp!
blype / shtopp
Stay!
Bring! / Hol!
brink / hohll
Fetch!
Aus! / Gib!
owss / gipp
Let loose! / Give!
Gib Fuß!
gipp foos
Shake hands!
Voraus!
for-owss
Go!

Using “Platz!” and “Nein!”

Two of the most important German dog commands are Platz! (Down!) and Nein! (No!). The website, hunde-welpen.de (dog-puppy) offers a few tips about how and when to use these commands. The German-language site says the command Platz! is an important one to teach to puppies that are three or four months old. When using this command, hunde-welpen.de suggests:

  • If your young dog’s basket or crate is comfortable, and if Fido feels like the basket or crate is his own, personal safe space, he’ll view the command Platz! as a positive stimulus, rather than a negative command.
  • Lure your young dog to his basket or crate with a favored treat. As soon as he is in the basket or crate, repeat the word Platz!
  • Later, try again to send your dog to its crate or basket by repeating the command Platz! If he goes, heap on the praise—but only if he stays in the crate or basket.

The website also stresses that from an early age, your dog needs to know that Nein! means Nein! Always use a firm, slightly loud voice with a “deep, dark tone” when saying the command.

German Dog Commands Are Popular

Interestingly, German is the most popular foreign language to use for dog commands, says Dog Training Excellence.

“This may be due to the fact that in the early 1900s, in Germany, there were great efforts to train dogs for police work and also to be used during the war. And many of those projects were very successful, so much that even today we want to keep using that language to communicate with our pet dogs.”

Nevertheless, the language doesn’t actually matter to your dog, says the website. You can choose any foreign language, not just German dog commands. What matters is that you use sounds that are unique and appear only when you’re talking to your best friend.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Training your puppy begins as soon as you welcome the new fur ball into your home. Everything is new to your puppy. New routines, new people, new rules! I have created The Crafty Pup to help Dog Mom’s all over the world properly train their own pup! Developing good habits from the get go are essential. Teaching your puppy that potty happens outside and not on your new rug or that nipping you or the kids is not allowed!

What usually happens it you welcome the new pup home and the first few days are great and everyone is excited! Once all of the excitement settles down is when the “puppy problems” are born. I have taken my puppy training program that I run at my brick and mortar dog training business, Carriage Hill Kennels and I have created this one of a kind online video based Puppy Training course! This course is a must have if your new puppy is between the ages of 8-15 weeks old. If your dog is older than I will direct you to my basic obedience course for dogs 4 months and older. You can access that by clicking here! Anyway, back to what I was saying. I have developed a training course that teaches YOU and your puppy everything you need to know about puppy hood.

Maybe you are a first time dog owner? Or you have not had a puppy for years? No matter your skill level this course was designed to fast track you to success. Training dog’s is really very basic yet so many people make it complicated. Everything I do is concise and there is no weird philosophy behind it. With puppies this young I do use a mixture of praise and treats. However, once your dog is 4 months or older I never use any food again. At that point everything I do is done via praise!

Are you sick of your puppy jumping on everyone? Nipping at your or the kids? Not coming when called? Not listening?

Now, I want you to imagine in 5 days from now that your puppy comes when called, sits when asked to sit, NO MORE PUPPY BITING or MOUTHING! With my help you can achieve all of this plus more if you put in 5-10 minutes of practice each day!

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In my online course you will see me on camera training a variety of puppies while explaining everything to you. I teach you everything that I deem important in puppy hood and the videos are just a few minutes long! Each video also has written out instructions for you as well!

What you and your puppy will learn:

Recall- Calling your dog to you.

Sit- You will learn how I teach new puppies to sit.

Down- You will learn how to teach your puppy to lay down.

House breaking your puppy

Crate Training your New Puppy- I teach you how to train your puppy to go into it’s crate without whining/barking.

How to STOP puppy biting!

How to Train your Puppy not to Jump on Everyone!

What are the 8 basic dog commands

included in course:

Video chapters with step-by-step instructions on everything you need to know

Each chapter has a homework sheet that is written out to ensure you fully comprehend the material.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Dog commands help you to control your dog to a certain degree, especially when you are out in public. However, you might ask, why would anyone want to know Norwegian dog commands? Well, English is a common language, and almost every dog owner can command your pup in this language. If you don’t want that to happen, an uncommon language, like Norwegian, is the way to go.

Norwegian Dog Commands

We know that dogs don’t understand human words. They simply associate specific tones with particular actions. Therefore, every language is equally foreign to them and it’s all down to your training. Let’s look at the most popular Norwegian dog commands and the proper methods to teach them to your dog.

NOTE: These commands are in no particular order.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Sitt” is the Norwegian word for ‘sit’. It makes your dog sit whenever the instruction is given. Start the training of this command with your dog in a standing position (next to you). Then, hold a tasty treat in your hand and bring it near your dog’s nose. Allow him/her to sniff.

After that, keep raising the treat over his/her head. When the dog will raise his/her head for the treat, his/her bottom will naturally go on the ground. The instant your dog sits, say the command, and give him/her the treat. Keep repeating this until your dog learns this behavior.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

This Norwegian dog command is the equivalent of the ‘heel’ instruction. It is used to make your dog walk beside you. Get some treats and start walking with your dog in a spacious room. Then, call your dog’s name and point to the side you want him/her to walk. When the pooch follows you, use a clicker and reward him/her with a treat. Repeat this a few times, then command your pup to heel, and he/she should obey you.

Stopp

What are the 8 basic dog commands

As the word suggests, “Stopp” is the Norwegian word for ‘stop’. This is one of the most important Norwegian dog commands that every dog owner needs to know. It allows you to stop your dog from doing any inappropriate action.

For teaching this command, start by getting some treats. They will help you grab your dog’s full attention. Then, make your dog perform random actions, like sitting or walking. Suddenly, say “stopp” and wait for your dog to stop. Once he/she does that, give him/her the treat. Repeat this exercise regularly and your dog will learn this command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

As the word sounds, Kom is the Norwegian word for come. This command can be used to call your dog towards you. Start your training in a slow, low distracting environment, like in your house. Show your dog a toy (or a treat) and when he/she comes to you, give him/her the toy. After a few repetitions, whenever your dog looks at you and starts to move towards you, add a verbal clue like “Kom”. Now, your dog should come towards you whenever you use this command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

The ‘Down’ command is called “Ned” in Norwegian. It is used to make your dog lie down. For teaching this command, start by holding a treat in your hand. Take your hand close to your dog’s nose to allow him/her to sniff the treat.

Now, slowly bring the treat (and your hand) down to the floor and your pup will follow. Give the treat to the dog and say “Ned” when his/her elbows touch the ground. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and give the treat after he/she lies down. When your pooch can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.

Gi Labb

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Gi labb” is the Norwegian word for ‘shaking hands’. Although it can take a while to train your pup, this classic dog trick is worth the effort.

Hold your hand out to your dog. He/she may get confused in the beginning and will try to figure out what you want by licking and sniffing your hand. The key is to wait it out and don’t saying anything while your pooch is experimenting.

As soon as your dog paws at your hand, give him/her a treat. Repeat this exercise several times until your canine friend is consistently pawing at your hand. After that, you can start increasing the difficulty and add the cue “Gi Labb”. Continue this training and your dog will ultimately perfect this trick.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Gå is the Norwegian dog command for ‘walk’. It is used to teach your pup how to walk on a leash. Begin the training by attaching a leash (10-15 feet) to your dog. Say the cue “Gå” and reward your canine as soon as he/she looks at you.

After a few repetitions, your dog will start coming over to you for the treat. Now, take a few steps back and let him/her come to you. When he/she reaches you, give him/her a treat. After some practice, the dog should start following you on command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Bli” is the Norwegian word for ‘stay’. This command is used when you want your dog to stay where he/she is. Start by using the “Sitt” command and giving a treat for staying in that position. Gradually increase the time between the treats.

Once your dog can stay in the sit position for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Take one step back, then step back to the pup, and give him/her a treat. Continue increasing the distance and duration between treats, and your dog will learn how to stay.

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The key to teaching your dog to walk nicely on the lead is to teach them that not pulling is the fastest way to get to where they want to go. Teaching your dog not to pull takes time, patience and consistency, but the benefits can be huge.

Teach your dog to walk without pulling

Follow these steps to teach your dog to walk nicely on the lead.

  1. Start by standing still and quiet. Allow your dog the full length of their lead. Remain still and quiet when your dog is ignoring you, but the split second he pays attention to you, praise him and give him a treat.
  2. Once you have your dog’s attention, you can move off – use your voice and treats to encourage your dog to stay close to you when walking. Always reward your dog when they’re walking on a loose lead.
  3. If your dog moves too far away from you, before the lead goes tight, stop and be still and quiet until they pay attention and move closer to you. Reward and move off again. This must happen every single time your dog moves away.
  4. Practise this in short and regular sessions.
  5. Walking around distractions can cause dogs to pull. Place something on the floor that your dog would really like to get to, such as a toy. If your dog pulls on the lead to get towards the toy, stop and call them towards you. Their reward for walking on a loose lead is getting to the toy. This way, the dog learns that pulling just slows things down.

Extra tip

Make the area around you fun and rewarding so that your dog enjoys being closer to you. Lots of encouragement through praise and treats will stop him racing towards his destination.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Puppies are constantly learning, whether it’s from their environment, from socializing with people or other animals, or from direct training.

This creates a critical foundation that will set the stage for their adulthood. Providing puppies with the appropriate socialization and basic puppy training allows them to grow into confident adult dogs.

Follow this step-by-step puppy training guide to set you and your puppy up for success!

When Can You Start Training Your Puppy?

Training a puppy starts as soon as you bring them home, which is typically about 8 weeks of age. At this young age, they can learn basic puppy training cues such as sit, stay, and come.

Tips for Training Your Puppy

Here are some basic puppy training tips to get you started.

Use Positive Reinforcement

There are many different methods of training your puppy that you might have heard about or even seen in person with a dog trainer. However, there is only one acceptable and scientifically backed method of training, and that’s the use of positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a reward to encourage a behavior you want. The use of punishment—including harsh corrections; correcting devices such as shock, choke, and prong collars; and dominance-based handling techniques—should be avoided, because these can produce long-term consequences that result in various forms of fear and anxiety for your dog as an adult dog.

To apply this, first find out which rewards work best for your puppy. Some puppies might find something as simple as a piece of their normal kibble exciting enough to train with, while others might need something tastier, like a special training treat.

Then there are the puppies that are not motivated by food at all! For those puppies, try to find a toy they enjoy that they can get when they do a good job. Praise is also a way to positively reinforce a puppy. Petting or showing excitement and saying, “good job!” may be all you need for basic puppy training.

Keep Training Sessions Short

When training a basic cue, keep the sessions short, about 5 minutes each, and try to average a total of 15 minutes per day. Puppies have short attention spans, so end your session on a positive note so that they are excited for the next session!

Use Consistency When Training Your Puppy

It is important to be consistent in your approach to cues and training. Use the same word and/or hand signal when you teach your puppy basic cues such as sit, stay, and come.

It is also important to reinforce desired behaviors consistently, even when it’s not convenient. So if your puppy is at the door needing to go outside to go to the bathroom, stop what you are doing, let them out, and reward them for going to the bathroom outside.

Practice in Different Environments

Taking a puppy to a new environment like a park or the beach and asking for a cue is vastly different than training at your house. This is due to the variety of new sights and smells they will encounter outside the home.

Make attempts to practice in different settings to set your dog up to be confident no matter what their situation. Please keep in mind that puppies should not go to areas where there are a lot of dogs until they have finished their puppy vaccination series!

Be Patient

Puppies are growing and learning, just like young children. They will make mistakes and may not always understand what you are asking.

All puppies learn at different speeds, so stick with it and don’t get frustrated. Maintaining a consistent routine with feeding, potty breaks, naps, and playtime will make your puppy feel secure—and a secure puppy is ready and able to learn!

Basic Puppy Training Timeline

So when do you teach your dog the different cues? When does house-training start? Here’s a puppy training timeline that you can use.

7-8 Weeks Old

Basic Cues (Sit, Stay, Come)

You can start with basic cues as early as 7 weeks old:

Say a cue such as “sit” once.

Use a treat to position your dog into a sitting position.

Once sitting, give your puppy the treat and some praise.

Leash Training

You can start leash training indoors at this age. Because puppies don’t have their full vaccinations at this point, it is unsafe for them to be walking around where other dogs walk.

Start by letting them wear the collar/harness for short amounts of time while providing treats. Increase this duration slowly. Once your puppy knows how to come to you, you can walk around inside on the leash with no distractions. You can move the training outside once your puppy has all their vaccinations.

General Handling

Get your puppy used to being touched. Gently rub their ears and paws while rewarding them. This will get them used to having those areas touched and will make veterinary visits and nail trims less stressful when they are older!

8-10 Weeks Old

Crate Training

Your puppy should see their crate as a safe and calm place. Start by bringing them to their crate for 10- minute intervals while they are nice and calm. Reward them for going in their crate. You can even feed them in their crate to create a positive environment.

10-12 Weeks Old

Learning Not to Bite

Puppies become mouthy at this age. Putting things in their mouths is how they explore their world, but it is important to teach them not to bite your hands or ankles. When they start biting at you, redirect them to a more appropriate object to bite, such as a toy.

12-16 Weeks Old

Potty Training

Maintaining a schedule is important for potty training. Make sure to take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after eating, and after playtime and naps throughout the day. At this point they should start having enough bladder control to learn to hold it. Reward your puppy with a treat every time they go to the bathroom outside.

6 Months Old

Puppies are entering the adolescence stage by this point, and it is the most difficult stage to start training at. That is why it is important to start training them as young as possible! At this stage you will continue training to solidify and strengthen their skills in more public and distracting settings such as dog parks.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Why does my dog ignore me?Does your dog ignore you when you call him to come or give him a command? “Why does my dog ignore me?” is one of the most common questions I hear from week 1 students in my dog obedience training classes. Some of them take being ignored as a challenge to their authority. Others get their feelings hurt and worry that their dog doesn’t love them. In reality, most people whose dogs ignore them have unwittingly trained them to do so.
Dog training comes down to one simple principle: The behavior that is rewarded gets repeated. Set your dog’s life up so that behavior you want leads to Good Things for Dogs and behavior you don’t want doesn’t, and you will have a well-behaved dog. Simple, right? It can be, but first you have to understand how to make your dog connect rewards with the right behavior. To do that, you must understand 3 key differences between our brains and dogs’ brains.

Silence is golden

Your dog thinks you talk too much. Trust me. He does. Friends and family may hang on your every word, but not your dog. Dogs have their own natural “language,”, but it doesn’t have words. Dog language is visual. They communicate volumes with their posture, their tails, their eyes, and their ears. For this reason, their first instinct when trying to figure out what we want is to watch us; not to listen to us. Our constant talking is just noise to them.

Try following this simple rule. If you tell your dog to do something 5 times and he doesn’t do it 4 of those times, stop telling him to do it. Training happens every time we interact with our dogs, whether we notice it or not. If you keep calling your dog or telling him to get off the counter and he doesn’t listen, then you are actively training him to ignore you. We need to make our words count in dog training. So what do you do if you can’t repeat a command to a dog who is ignoring you? You change your focus, which leads to our second big difference between how dogs and humans experience the world. Learn more.

Timing is everything

When we get hung up on what we can do or say to prompt our dogs to behave, we have it backwards. Remember the first principle of dog training? The behavior that is rewarded gets repeated. The consequences of a dog’s behavior determine how much of that behavior we’ll see in the future. If good things tend to follow a behavior, a dog will do more of it. If they don’t, he’ll do less of it. We create motivation by controlling what follows behavior. Once we motivate a dog to do something, putting it on cue is the easy part.

Proximity in time matters almost as much as order. Dogs are truly creatures of the moment. Our own brains stay busy analyzing past events and contemplating the future. Not our dogs. They live completely in the now. To communicate effectively with them, we must learn to do the same. Our feedback on their behavior must always be about what they are doing RIGHT NOW. When your dog does something, you have about 2 seconds to weigh in on it, and that’s if you’re lucky. If, for example, your dog sits when you ask him to, but then jumps up on you before you’ve had a chance to deliver a reward, you’ve lost your chance.

The hardest time to follow the rule that our feedback must always be about the dog is doing right now is when our dogs make us angry. When you displease us, we humans want to tell you about it … and tell you about it … and then make sure you really understand. A dog’s reprimands, on the other hand, stop when the offending behavior stops. If you want to make sense to your dog, you must learn to change direction on a dime. If your dog strands you at the dog park for an extra hour by refusing to come when called, for example, you’re going to be really frustrated. No matter how angry you are, you must praise and reward that dog when he finally comes. Because he associates your behavior with what he is doing right now, scolding will only make him less likely to come next time.

It all depends

I only ban one phrase in my dog training classes, “He knows this. He does it at home.” People are almost always wrong when they say this. It’s a natural thing to assume. If my dog lies down whenever I ask him to at home, but won’t do it in class, then he must be ignoring me or challenging my authority, right? Wrong.

Humans excel at abstraction and generalization. The gift of language allows us to effortlessly understand that the word “sit” applies to planting our rear ends on the ground, on the couch, on a bar stool, etc. Dogs don’t think that way. For them, everything is context specific. Just because that funny “sit” sound that you make predicts Good Things for Dogs who plant their butts at home doesn’t mean that it applies in other venues. When our dogs fail to comply with commands in new situations, it’s not defiance. They honestly don’t get it. I prefer to think of mistakes as questions. Do I have to sit when you make that noise in class? What about when the doorbell rings? What about when…Squirrel.

For this reason, I also like to think of training as more like exercise than like teaching commands. In weight lifting, you start with a weight that’s a bit of a struggle and lift it repeatedly until it’s easy. Then you add more weight. In dog training, we break our ultimate goal down into little pieces, start with something slightly challenging, and do repetitions until it’s easy. Then we make it a little harder. Asking my dog to sit when we’re alone in the kitchen is like asking him to lift 5 pounds. Asking him to sit when the pizza delivery guy rings the doorbell, gets everyone barking, and stands outside smelling amazing is like asking him to lift 500 pounds. You don’t get from 5 pounds to 500 pounds overnight. You have to do lots of repetitions at ever-increasing levels of difficulty to get there.

You’ll learn numerous training techniques in obedience class, but you will apply them more effectively if you remember 3 things: every word counts, timing is everything, and it all depends (on the context). Happy training!

In many cultures around the world, a dog is known as “man’s best friend”. Dog’s are known for their loyalty and friendliness and many people value them as not only a friend but also a family member.

Dog-lovers abound in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. If you want to transform a Spanish acquaintance into a lifelong friend, one of the best small talk questions you can ask is: ¿Tienes alguna mascota?

If they say, “si, perro”, you can be sure you’ve found a topic of conversation that they can really warm up to.

If you are thinking of getting a dog yourself, or if you want to make your Spanish language lessons a little more interesting, you might want to think about learning some Spanish dog commands.

Even if you don’t have a dog, it might be a good idea as well to know how to “talk” to your Spanish-speaking friend’s beloved furry friend. Being nice to animals, especially to a person’s beloved pet is a sure-fire way to make a good impression.

5 Basic Spanish Dog Commands You MUST Know

The “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan believes that there are five essential dog commands that every dog should learn. Though most of Millan’s shows and books are in English (or translated into another language), he actually learned Mexican Spanish as his first language as he was born and raised in Mexico.

Millan believes that teaching your dog basic dog training commands can help tackle behavior problems. Dog owners would do well to train their dogs to recognize and respond to: sit, come, down, stay, leave it.

Let’s take a look at what these basic dog commands are in Spanish.

1. Siéntate

English equivalent: Sit

Pronunciation guide: sehn-tah-te

This command comes from the Spanish verb “sentar” which means “to sit”. So, when you use this Spanish dog command, your dog should stop what it is doing and take a sitting position.

This command is useful because it is a way to make your dog stop and pay attention to you. If it is being unruly, you can use this to tell it to calm down. It also often serves as the starting point by which you give your dog other commands.

For example, if you want your dog to stay still while you fetch and attach his leash, say “siéntate” then follow it up with “stay”. Your dog will eventually realize that “siéntate” comes before other commands and he should then stay sitting and alert to hear the next command.

2. Ven

English equivalent: Come

Pronunciation guide: behn

This command comes from the Spanish verb “venir” which means “to come”. You use it when you want to call your dog over to you.

This is another important Spanish dog command as it can prevent your dog from getting into mischief or keep him from situations that will harm them.

For example, if your dog is off the leash and overly curious about a pile of garbage or a possibly dangerous wild animal like a porcupine or skunk, a quick firm “ven” should make your dog change its course and come over to you – instead of getting into harm’s way.

3. Abajo

English equivalent: Down

Pronunciation guide: ah-bah-hoh

This is one of those Spanish dog commands that is meant to stop unwanted behavior. There are two common reasons why you want your dog to recognize and respond to “abajo”.

The first would be because you want your dog to calm down and stop a certain behavior. It’s similar to “siéntate” that way, except when you say “abajo” want you want to do is for your dog to stop what he’s doing and lie down on the ground.

Another reason you want your dog to recognize what “abajo” means is because you want to correct a negative behavior. In this case, you want to keep your dog from climbing up on the furniture. You want your dog to recognize that he isn’t allowed up on the couch so when you see him say “abajo”.

A very well-trained dog won’t just get down from a couch at a sharp “abajo”, he might even assume the position and lie on the ground till your next command.

4. Quieto

English equivalent: Stay

Pronunciation guide: kyeh-toh

While the other Spanish dog commands we’ve listed so far are pretty straightforward, this command has a different meaning when you’re not talking to a dog.

“Quieto” is actually an adjective used to describe someone or something as still, calm, or peaceful. When you use “quieto” as a dog command, however, you’re telling your dog what you want it to do and that is to stay in place.

Let’s go back to the scenario we discussed when we were talking about “siéntate”. “Siéntate” and “quieto” are often used in tandem. You want your dog to sit and stay in place, usually because you need to do something.

Back to the previous example, if you are about to take your dog for a walk but you left his leash in another room, you can tell him “siéntate” first, then add “quieto”. Your dog should remain sitting in place, even if you leave the room, while you look for and then put on his leash.

5. Déjalo

English equivalent: Leave it

Pronunciation guide: deh-ha-loh

This is another of those Spanish dog commands that you can use to prevent your dog from hurting itself or getting in a bad situation.

If you tell your dog to “déjalo” when you think it is about to pick up a piece of trash or approach an animal that could hurt it, like a fierce cat or a skunk, your dog should stop in its approach.

You might then want to follow it up with a “ven” and a well-trained dog should come over to you, completely detaching itself from a situation that could have ended up causing it harm.

Other Spanish Dog Commands You And Your Dog Should Learn

The five basic dog commands are mostly ways to ensure that your dog behaves themselves. Learning them will help you keep better control of your dog and keep him from situations that might be harmful to you, your dog, or other people and creatures.

There are other Spanish dog commands that you can learn, however, and here are a few fun and interesting ones. These commands are often the cue for more advanced behaviors or even tricks that you can teach your dog after he’s learned to “sit” and “stay”.

Having control of your dog is essential. You must have seen many people who just struggle with their dog’s behavior. A well trained dog id worth all the effort that goes into training the dog.

As a new puppy owner, I also went to through that phase and it times I would tend to lose patience.

This article is about the training commands that we should be teaching our retriever dogs. These commands are specifically tailored towards the retriever dog breeds like Golden and Labrador retriever dogs.

Why Retriever Dogs Need Commands?

Commands for retrievers are essential for a successful hunt. They guide your dog into performing the correct actions in different situations. It can take some time and lots of practice for your pet to master these commands.

There will be lots of trial and error when you first start training them. After enough time, they’ll be experienced enough to follow your commands, sometimes without having to be told.

Essential Retriever Dog Commands

1) Leave It

About Leave It Command

The Leave It command is one of the first commands that your dog should learn. It will not only help with your hunt, but it can also protect health by using this command to avoid foods and other items that could cause a choking hazard or would otherwise be harmful to their health.

Step By Step How To Train For Leave It Command

1. Start by sitting on the floor with your dog. You should have something good for them on one hand, such as dog treats or one of their favorite toys. Make a fist and present the fist holding the items out towards your retriever. Odds are they will be very curious about what you have.

They may sniff at your hand or raise a paw to try to open your fist. Whatever they try to do, make sure that you keep your fist closed. This will help your dog to learn that the items you’re holding are off-limits. After they’ve learned this behavior, you can add the “leave it” command before holding out your fist to them.

2. The next step is to expand upon this command. Hold the items in your fist as you present your hand to your dog. Open your palm while giving the “leave it” command. Your retriever may be curious and move toward you to see what you have.

When they do, close your fist quickly. You can reward your dog with a treat if they leave your closed palm alone. Just make sure not to feed them a treat from the items you kept from them in your fist.

3. Now it’s time to increase the difficulty. This time, put the treats or dog toy on the floor and place your hand over them. Give the “leave it” command and observe your dog’s behavior. If they leave your hand alone, feel free to reward them again if you’d like.

Next, leave the treats on the floor and place your hand over them. Give the “leave it” command as you remove your hand. Be prepared to cover the treats with your hand if your retriever rushes toward them. If they don’t, they are one step closer to mastering this command. Only one more exercise remains.

4. For the final step, you’ll have to leash your dog. Place a treat or favorite toy out of their reach. Hold on to the leash firmly. Your dog will probably want to run towards the item, but it’s important to keep them restrained as you give the “leave it” command.

Once they’ve learned to stop struggling and leave the item alone, give them an appropriate award. They’ve now mastered the “leave it” command!

2) Hunt ‘Em Up

What are the 8 basic dog commands

About Hunt ‘Em Up Command

The Hunt ‘Em Up command is a kind of pep talk for your dog. It helps to get them motivated to find any birds that you have hit or wounded during your day in the field. Once they’re motivated, they’ll know what to look for and bring back to you.

Step By Step How To Train For Hunt ‘Em Up Command

1. Take the bird out in the field. Your dog should be a safe distance away while you do this. Place the bird somewhere that’s out of the dog’s sight range but isn’t too far away for them to find.

2. Let your dog start wandering towards the spot where you hid the bird. Bring a whistle so that you can give a few quick hoots if they’re searching in the wrong place. Your retriever should be out ahead of you while looking, to simulate real hunting conditions.

3. Start giving the “hunt ’em up” command. You should be giving the command in an excited voice. Before long, your dog will pick up the bird’s scent. Keep giving the command until they’ve located the bird.

4. Repeat the process. Take your retriever back to the starting point and hide the bird in a different spot. Feel free to vary your lengths of distance. This helps your dog to get more accustomed to the command and search more than one spot for birds in the field.

3) Find the Bird

About Find The Bird Command

This command should be used when you want your dog to retrieve a bird that you’ve shot during your hunt. It’s especially helpful on days where you’re dealing with inclement weather or adverse field conditions. When you’re not sure where the bird landed, using this command will help your dog retrieve the bird successfully.

Step By Step How To Train For Find The Bird Command

1.For this command, you’ll need a couple of friends to help. Have one friend take the bird out about 20-30 yards away from you. Another friend should be standing a few yards away from you and have a shooting stick. Keep your dog leashed and next to you to start.

2. Signal the first friend to throw the bird in the air. The second person will point the shooting stick in the opposite direction and fire a shot. Keep your dog leashed and by your side. Once the bird has landed on the ground, give the “find the bird” command and release the leash.

3. The noise should excite your dog enough to want to find the bird out in the field. Their ears may perk up when they hear the shot and they may be anxious to run before your release the leash. Feel free to use your whistle if your retriever is searching in the wrong area. You can also repeat this process as many times as you’d like after your dog has found the bird the first time.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

I volunteered for a couple of years at the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) before I adopted my dog, Parker. I met a few people who worked as animal behavioral specialists during my time at KHS. So when Parker came home with me, I enrolled him in an obedience training class as soon as I could, because I understood how essential it is. Here’s how it could help you and your dog, too.

1. It socializes your dog and teaches them manners.

Like human babies, puppies don’t know how to behave around others. They do whatever they want without thinking about the consequences. However, socialization teaches young dogs how to behave in ways that humans, and other dogs, find acceptable.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

You should start socializing your dog when they’re about 7 weeks old, according the American Kennel Club (AKC). Socialization involves introducing your new dog to people, places, and animals. Obedience school checks all of those boxes.

A good obedience school does more than teach your dog to follow commands. It improves your pup’s manners so they can get along with other dogs and humans in a variety of situations. Over a few weeks of training, you can watch your wild puppy transform into a well-mannered dog that feels at home in the world.

2. It helps you develop a better relationship with your dog.

Kat Rooks, the Behavior Manager at KHS, told me early on that obedience school focuses on owners as much as it does dogs. “I spend a lot of time training owners,” she says. “Part of my job is teaching people how to teach their dogs.”

That’s because the average person doesn’t understand dog behavior. And when you don’t understand your dog, you can’t train them well. Instead, you might get angry when your dog misbehaves, but yelling will only teach your dog to fear or ignore you.

Positive reinforcement fosters a closer relationship between people and dogs, according to the AKC. Parker’s obedience course used a method called clicker training. When I gave a command (“sit”), I would wait for him to make a sitting motion. Anything that resembled a sit got a click and a reward. Eventually, he figured out that he would get a treat for sitting on command.

Today, Parker sits when I ask him to (unless it’s really cold outside — then he gives me a look that says, “Would you put your butt on this freezing ground?”). He can also lie down, fetch, drop it, and high five.

Thanks to proper training, Parker and I understand what we want from each other. In addition, I learned how to teach Parker new commands. It’s good mental exercise for him, and it gives us a reason to get off the couch and interact.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

3. It protects your dog from potential danger.

Two of the most important commands Parker knows are “sit” and “drop it,” because they protect him from doing dangerous things. When I see him gnawing at something in the yard, I can yell “drop it” from the deck. There’s no way of knowing how many stomachaches the “drop it” command has prevented.

“Sit” has saved Parker’s life. Once, while walking on a path in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Parker managed to get off-leash and run toward traffic. I screamed “sit!” as loudly as I could. To my surprise, he stopped, sat, and looked back at me for his reward. Obedience training that teaches dogs to stop when they unknowingly run toward danger, which gives you one of the most effective tools to keep your furry pal safe.

4. It can prevent your dog from biting.

In most cases, a well-socialized dog doesn’t feel as much anxiety and fear as a dog that hasn’t been socialized. With less anxiety, dogs can approach new people and situations without feeling that fear that makes them bite (which is good news for your mailman!).

A study published in 2018 in Animal Behavior and Cognition found that dogs with anxiety exhibited more signs of fear when they encounter dog-like robots compared to dogs without anxiety.

The study even explains that taking your puppy to an obedience school and socializing them can help reduce the anxiety that leads to biting as an adult dog.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

5. It protects your home — and keeps you together.

A dog’s bad behavior can destroy a home. Untrained dogs may chew on furniture, scratch doors, and go to the bathroom inside.

In fact, one of the main reasons people choose to rehome their dog is bad behavior, according to survey findings published in October 2015 in the Open Journal of Animal Sciences. And nearly 35 percent of survey respondents reported that low-cost or free access to training could have helped them keep their dogs.

Obedience school can help you train your dog to be a quality member of your family — not a nuisance — so you can enjoy each other’s company for years to come.

Sign Your Dog Up!

Dogs need people to teach them how to behave. Obedience school is a good option for training, especially if you have never trained a dog before. Without obedience school, it’s unlikely that Parker and I would have such a close relationship that lets us travel together peacefully and safely.

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What sounds to dogs like

10 Sounds Dogs Love To Hear The Most Bells – Try not to laughSounds Dogs Love. Windchimes – Funny DogsSounds Dogs Love. Ducks Quacking – Sounds Dogs React toSounds Dogs Love. Car Horns – Classic Dog ReactionsSounds Dogs Love. Howling – Dog HowlsSounds Dogs Love. Loud Birds – Crazy For PuppySounds Dogs Love.

What sound do dogs like the most?

Because dogs seem to relax when exposed to music with a tempo of 50-60 beats per minute, says Dr. Cornelius. This usually includes classical music, reggae and some types of soft rock. “Classical music with a single instrument at a slower tempo has been especially shown to produced relaxed behaviors in dogs,” Dr.

What sounds are soothing to dogs?

The research found that while classical music had an initial calming effect on the dogs, after a few days they became bored. Instead, reggae and soft rock came out as the best genres for reducing stress, barking and heart rates.

What noise do dogs hate the most?

Here are some noises that may frighten your dog: Thunderstorms. Thunder noise is one of the most common scary sounds for dogs. Gun Shots. Gun shots are very loud to human ears, which is why hearing protection is recommended at a shooting range. Vacuum Cleaners. Crying Babies. Sirens.

How do I make my dog laugh?

Producing dog laughter correctly can make your dog sit up, wag his tail, approach you from across the room, and even laugh along. Round your lips slightly to make a “hhuh” sound. Use an open-mouthed smiling expression to make a “hhah” sound. Combine steps one and two to create canine laughter.

Do dogs prefer music or silence?

The studies on the relationship between dogs and music preferences may be able to send you in the right direction (toward reggae or soft rock, it seems), but there’s no conclusive evidence that dogs actually prefer listening to music over no noise at all.

How do you say hello in dog language?

The dog word for “hello” is woof (pronounced wuf, wüf, and sometimes wrüf, depending on breed and regional dialect). Facing your dog, say woof in as energetically and friendly a way as possible (tone of voice is very important; the similar-sounding weuf means “Back off!Nov 9, 2011.

Why do dogs cry tears?

Dog tear ducts activate for normal reasons, such as washing away debris and other irritants from the eyes. But dogs don’t tear up in response to their emotions.” Dogs, and other animals, tear up in their eyes for other reasons, physical reasons—not emotional ones. “Only humans cry tears when they are sad,” Dr.

What will calm dogs?

7 Proven Ways to Calm Your Anxious Dog Exercise Your Dog. If your dog has separation anxiety, the obvious way to ease their mind is to never leave them alone. Physical Contact. Massage. Music Therapy. Time-Out. Calming Coats/T-Shirts. Alternative Therapies.

How long will dogs remember you?

So, how long does it take for a dog to forget a person? A dog will not forget you. A dog can remember someone his entire life. It’s safe to say that your dog will not forget you after two weeks, a month, or even if you are gone for many years.

What helps dogs with anxiety noises?

Effective treatment for dogs prone to flee from fearful sounds can be as simple as offering them refuge in a pet crate covered with a heavy blanket as a partial sound barrier. If the dog is afraid of thunderstorms, bring the dog inside and turn on an appliance or television, or play music to override the noise.

Do dogs laugh?

There is a lot of debate among animal behaviourists about this but most agree that no, dogs can’t laugh. At least not in the sense that humans can laugh. However, dogs can make a sound that is similar to a laugh, which they typically do when they are playing. It’s caused by a breathy panting that’s forcefully exhaled.

How do I annoy my dog?

7 Things That Annoy Your Dog Hugs. While your furry best friend may not mind getting hugs from you, generally dogs don’t care to be hugged by strangers. Lack of Toys/Stimulation. Fido is very intelligent, and can quickly get bored and restless with nothing to do. Confusing Commands. Yelling. Teasing. Isolation. Staring.

Why do dogs tilt their head?

Dogs do the same thing. They tilt their heads to work around their interfering muzzles and improve their visual perspective. That cute head tilt actually broadens the range of vision and allows a dog to more clearly see a person’s face. Seeing our facial expressions improves communication.

Do dogs think they’re funny?

Studies have shown that dogs communicate their humor and emotions to babies, making them giggle. Absolutely, the capacity to find humor and to think things are funny will be found in your playful best friend.

Do dogs get embarrassed?

Your dog might not be able to feel the social humiliation the way a person does, but they definitely can feel self-conscious and have subtle, embarrassed-like tendencies. Secondary emotions like embarrassment can be complicated when it comes to pets, but they definitely feel something similar to it.

Can dogs smell fear?

Experts who have studied dogs and their sense of smell have concluded that dogs can’t necessarily smell the emotion that is fear. They can, however, detect smells and see movements and body postures that may help them sense when a person is nervous, anxious, or afraid. When we get scared, we tend to sweat more.

With fireworks season upon us, an explosion of dog-friendly music is on hand to help soothe stressed canines. But who knew reggae is such a hit?

Pet sounds: research shows dogs prefer music genres that mimic their own heart rate. Photograph: Kei Uesugi/Getty Images

Pet sounds: research shows dogs prefer music genres that mimic their own heart rate. Photograph: Kei Uesugi/Getty Images

It starts with an elegiac sweep of strings, softly playing in a minor key, before chirruping into birdsong, and then back to ambient strings. This continues for 12 hours.

To the untrained ear, this may sound like one of the sleep playlists that have gained popularity in recent years, but the human ear is not the intended audience for this music – it is for dogs. For embedded within this relaxing (or maddening) muzak are canine-friendly frequencies to help reduce stress or separation anxiety.

Far from being a novelty, dog-oriented music is fast becoming a successful new genre, with the production company RelaxMyDog at the forefront of the trend. Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Amman Ahmed and producer Ricardo Henriquez, the service reaches an audience of 10 million users a month: 600 years’ worth of their content was streamed in September alone.

With the fireworks season of Bonfire Night, Diwali and Thanksgiving upon us, this is RelaxMyDog’s busiest time of year. Ahmed, 31, describes the idea behind the company: “There are a lot of medications and herbal remedies to calm pets, but I wanted to make something that was 100% natural, through music. We started with a team of two but now we’re 12 people staffed in Manchester in the UK, El Salvador and India, and our audience is equally global. This year, we’re on track for our content to help around 15 million pets.”

With such an enthusiastic response to their music, and sister company RelaxMyCat founded in 2012, there is loyal fanbase: “We get messages from owners saying that their dog or cat used to listen to the music and now their pet has died they want it to be played at their funeral,” says Ahmed. “Our content becomes an ingrained part of the lives of these animals.”

Ahmed is coy when explaining the somewhat vague musical formula behind their success, though. It comprises, he says, of “a range of frequencies that the dogs can hear, combined with music that is designed to be relaxing to humans, since if the human is relaxed, that energy can be projected on to the dog also”. Rather than engaging in scientific research to influence their compositions, “the best research comes from actual users”, he says, who provide regular feedback through their YouTube channel’s 600,000 subscribers.

One such piece of feedback was that dogs were responding well to reggae music, which has led to a new series of dog reggae. This finding is backed up by a 2017 study conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow. The research found that while classical music had an initial calming effect on the dogs, after a few days they became bored. Instead, reggae and soft rock came out as the best genres for reducing stress, barking and heart rates. The SPCA’s head of research, Gilly Mendes Ferreira, speculates this is because “those genres have a rhythm that is similar to the dogs’ own heart rate. When a puppy is feeling stressed it will snuggle into its mother and use her heartbeat as relaxation, so this music mimics that.”

I leave the radio tuned to Classic FM for my dogs when I go out, and they seem to enjoy it. They’ve certainly never complained

Taking the research one step further, the SPCA last year collaborated with the producer John McLaughlin, best known for his work with Westlife, Blue, and 5ive, to create Paws, Play, Relax, a charitable record designed for dogs. “A lot of people I’m sure thought this project was barking mad but it made total sense to me,” McLaughlin says. “Dogs need to be entertained just like humans, and everybody likes a bit of reggae, don’t they?” McLaughlin even wrote lyrics from the perspective of dogs, resulting in love ballad lines such as: “I was barely holding on / But I knew you were the only one / From the moment I saw you.”

McLaughlin is proud of the results: “We had a listening party where a bunch of my friends’ dogs came round to the house and it definitely works. Some of those dogs can be very enthusiastic and this record did the trick in calming them down.”

On 3 November, Classic FM will be broadcasting a one-off show for pets, featuring themed numbers such as John Barry’s Crazy Dog. Despite the evidence of dogs’ preference for Bob Marley over Mahler, the show’s host (and owner of three dogs) Bill Turnbull says, “I leave the radio tuned to Classic FM for my dogs when I go out, and they seem to enjoy it. They’ve certainly never complained.”

With an 87% success rate reported from owners, RelaxMyDog is now setting its sights higher. “Our vision for the future is to become the Netflix for pets – we want to be Petflix.”

Petflix entails dog-themed visuals, like walks through a forest, with a purple filter to engage the dogs further, paired of course with their favourite music. Having only launched in October, its success remains to be seen, but for now Ahmed is focusing on a more familiar, seasonal goal: “We’re releasing a Christmas album and I want it to reach No 1.”

What sounds to dogs like

It’s pretty obvious that dogs have more powerful noses than humans, but how well can they hear? You might have read that dogs have far better hearing than humans, but it’s not quite that simple. In his book, “How Dogs Think,” Stanley Coren, Ph.D, says, “The truth of the matter is that, for some sounds, a dog’s hearing is really hundreds of times better than ours, whereas for other sounds, dogs and humans have sound sensitivities that are very much the same.”

High-Pitched Sounds

Where dogs really shine is with higher-pitched sounds. The average adult human cannot hear sounds above 20,000 Hertz (Hz), although young children can hear higher. (Hertz is a measure of the frequency of a sound, and the higher the frequency, the higher pitched the sound.) Dogs, on the other hand, can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. These are sounds far too high-pitched for us.

In addition, at high frequencies dogs can detect much softer sounds than we can. The loudness or intensity of a sound is measured in decibels (dB) with 0 dB being the average intensity of a sound that can just barely be heard by a young human. So, sounds too quiet for humans to hear are given a negative decibel rating.

According to Coren, when sounds are between 3,000 and 12,000 Hz in frequency, dogs’ ears are far more sensitive than ours. They can hear those sounds when they are between -5 dB and -15 dB on average. That means dogs can hear sounds that are not loud enough for our ears. For sounds above 12,000 Hz, dogs’ ears have sensitivity so much higher than humans that a comparison would be pointless.

Wired for Prey

It’s thanks to their predatory heritage that dogs can hear high-pitched sounds so well. Wolves, dogs’ ancestors, prey on small rodents such as mice, so the ability to hear the tiny animals’ squeaks is important for survival. Humans, who evolved to cooperate with other humans, have ears that are tuned to the pitch of the human voice.

This sensitivity to higher-pitched sounds likely explains several phenomena involving dogs. Rather than having ESP, dogs may predict earthquakes using their highly sensitive ears. And their ability to predict somebody’s arrival at your door is likely due to their ability to detect the sound of a car before you can hear it, rather than any sixth sense. Finally, dogs can be so distressed by everyday noises, like a vacuum cleaner or power drill, because they sound louder to dogs than to humans. And dogs can hear high-pitched noises from these devices that we can’t detect.

What sounds to dogs like

Other Differences

When it comes to the remaining detectable frequency range, dogs and humans can both hear these sounds, and the sensitivity of our ears is about the same. However, human ears have a maximum sensitivity of 2,000 Hz. Not coincidentally, that frequency is right in the middle of the range of human speech. On the other hand, dogs have a maximum sensitivity of 8,000 Hz, much better suited to hearing their prey.

Dogs also have an amazing ability to detect tiny differences between frequencies. Coren explains that they can hear “the difference between the musical note C and another note that differs by one-eighth of the distance between that C note and C sharp.” That puts tone-deaf humans to shame. On the other hand, we can locate sounds better than dogs. Humans can tell the difference between two sounds that differ in location by an angle of only one degree, whereas dogs need eight degrees of separation.

Testing a Dog’s Hearing

Researchers know what humans can hear because they can ask their test subjects, but how do they know what dogs can hear? Early studies involved training dogs to press a lever under a speaker when they heard a sound. Today, a dog’s hearing capabilities can be tested without the dog having to do a thing. The Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) hearing test is as simple as placing electrodes on a dog’s head and earphones in his ears. Sounds are played through the earphones, and if the brain shows electrical activity, the dog is considered to have heard the sound. The test doesn’t hurt the dog and only takes a short amount of time.

Just like humans, dogs can lose their hearing with age or from other factors, such as a severe ear infection. The BAER test is a great way to determine the level of hearing loss. Most dogs adapt well when their ears fail, and you can continue to communicate using body language and hand signals. Also, the ability to detect high-pitched sounds is usually the last to go, so louder, high-frequency sounds, like a whistle, may work even when your dog can no longer hear your voice.

Extensive research has been done on the effects of sound and music on the human brain, but what about the effect it has on dogs?

“A few studies have been done specifically in dogs and other companion animals that support the beneficial effects of certain music on these species,” explains Dr. Mark Verdino, DVM, senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America.

Research Shows That Classical Music Helps in Calming Shelter Dogs

The most notable study—which looked into the effects of relaxing music for dogs in stressful environments—was performed by Dr. Kogan from the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine and published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

“It evaluated the behavior of 117 shelter dogs exposed to classical music and heavy metal music,” says Dr. Verdino. “The study found a significant calming effect with classical music, while there was an agitating effect by the metal music; subsequent studies found similar calming effects with easy listening music.”

The Science Behind Calming Music for Dogs

Despite these promising results, Dr. Verdino points out that the effect of calming music for dogs is not fully understood. “Multiple areas of the brain are known to be involved in the process—the auditory cortex and multiple parts of the limbic system that regulates emotion,” says Dr. Verdino. “In human and animal studies, the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood drops as a result of hearing classical music.”

Although scientists aren’t sure why and how music affects the brain, they do know one thing: Relaxing sounds and music affect physiological processes in the autonomic system, according to Dr. Christie Cornelius, DVM, president and founder of Lastwishes.com.

“The autonomic system controls both the fight-or-flight response and the rest-and-digest response,” says Dr. Cornelius. “Relaxed dogs, in general, have slower heart rates, rest more easily and are less vocal—similar to what the brain experiences during a rest-and-digest situation.”

Calming Dogs With the Right Tempo

A 2002 study conducted by animal behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells shows that classical music helps dogs relax. The dogs rested more, spent more of their time being quiet, and spent less time standing than when exposed to stimulation such as heavy metal music, pop music and conversation.

Why classical music in particular? Because dogs seem to relax when exposed to music with a tempo of 50-60 beats per minute, says Dr. Cornelius. This usually includes classical music, reggae and some types of soft rock. “Classical music with a single instrument at a slower tempo has been especially shown to produced relaxed behaviors in dogs,” Dr. Cornelius adds.

On the other hand, Dr. Cornelius points out that faster-tempo hard rock and heavy metal music have been shown to cause an increase in restlessness, anxiety and agitation.

“Short, choppy tones tend to be more excitatory than long, continuous tones,” says Dr. Verdino. “Logic would say to avoid deep base tones and loud percussion as these are the types of tones that typically have an adverse effect of dogs—similar to the sound of fireworks, thunder, etc.”

If you are looking to help calm your dog with sounds, a good place to start is with the Pet Acoustics Pet Tunes calming music dog speaker. This speaker features 90 minutes of calming sounds for dogs.

Going Beyond Music

For dogs who are particularly anxious about being left alone, the Ruff Dawg Om Dawg Stress Reduction System could help. First, use the ball to tire your pup out, then play the soothing CD before you step out of the house.

The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs might also be a good option. “The music portion of this product would certainly have a calming effect,” says Dr. Verdino. “Generalized pressure, as found with this product and other products like the Thundershirt, have also been found to have a calming effect too—similar to the swaddling of a baby.”

What’s the Best TV Program for Dogs?

Ever wondered why dogs seem to do better alone when the TV or radio is on in the background? This could be due to an effect that’s similar to what we experience when we use white noise to sleep.

“A dog’s hearing is generally very acute. In a quiet environment, they will pick up and potentially react to small sounds, even ones their human may not even hear,” says Dr. Verdino. “By leaving the TV on, it would be more difficult to isolate smaller sounds.”

When it comes to the best TV for dogs, Dr. Verdino suggests avoiding any programming with loud, jarring sounds, such as action movies, or the sounds of dogs barking or other animals. It might be worth looking into buying DVDs made especially for your furry companion that play soothing music for dogs.

“Since dogs have a shorter attention span, television programs geared toward canines are usually 3-5 minutes in length and have soundtracks that contain soothing classical music,” says Dr. Cornelius. “The bottom line is that although many dogs seem to lose focus on the picture and sounds of television, there are some that may feel like it provides companionship.”

What sounds to dogs like

Booms, cracks, and pops that seem harmless to you may sound like the end of the world to your furry friend. If your dog shakes and trembles during storms, or hides under the bed every Fourth of July, here are some steps you can take to help.

Safety First

Generally, shaking, whining, or pacing are signs something is wrong. Help your dog find their happy place. If you’re at a park when the fireworks start, you may need to make an early exit. If you’re at home, think about the places your dog naturally goes to relax and keep them open for them Don’t use this spot as a punishment place. They may think they have done something wrong if you send them there. If their safe space is a crate, leave the door open so they don’t hurt themselves trying to get out.

Distract Your Dog

It works best if you do it just as your dog starts to show signs of worry. Play music or use some other white noise to block the scary sounds. Or distract them with a game of fetch or tug. Just don’t keep on if they get worried and can’t focus — they might learn to connect fun things with the stuff that scares them. Note: Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If storms are on the way, you might notice your dog gets anxious long before the thunder starts. Many pets sense a shift in barometric pressure.

Fight the Fear

Find an audio recording of the sound your dog fears, whether it’s thunder or exploding fireworks. Play it low enough not to bother them. Reward them with a special treat — one you don’t use for anything else — for calm behavior. Raise the volume slowly, over several days. Keep giving them the special treat. Let them guide the process. As soon as they shows anxiety, drop the volume and stop for the day.

Ask About Medications

Some mild calming meds — available at your pet store or by prescription from your vet — may give them short-term relief. Your vet can help you figure out the best option. In most cases, medication should be a temporary solution and used with other remedies.

Try Special Products

Several items are available to help calm your pet. One is a tight jacket that feels like a hug to your dog. Rather than you trying to soothe them, which might confuse them, this product allows them to feel calm themselves. You can also get special earmuffs that lessen the sound. Take some time to get them used to any new product. Place it by their bed or food bowl for a while. Then let them wear it for a short time. Try it out before the actual noise occurs.

Bring In the Experts

Always start with your vet to rule out any major emotional or physical causes for your dog’s fear. You may need more support, for example if you’re caring for a rescue dog who has been through some type of trauma. For extreme cases of noise fear you may need to work with an expert known as a veterinary behaviorist. This doctor is trained in animal behavior. They can figure out the root cause of your dog’s fear and prescribe medication if needed.

Here are three don’ts when trying to help your dog with noise phobias:

  1. Don’t baby them. If you fuss over them too much, they may get confused and become more afraid. Or they could learn that they get extra attention or yummy treats when they are stressed. Act normally. You can play with them, feed or do other fun activities.
  2. Don’t punish them. Do not lock them in a crate or tie them up. They could injure themselves trying to get away from the scary sound. They may also believe they are in trouble for being afraid. Fear is a behavior, not an obedience issue. Your dog isn’t doing anything wrong by being afraid — even if the noise seems harmless to you.
  3. Don’t force them to gut it out. Making your dog endure the sounds — especially without trained supervision — could make things worse.

Remember, like you, your dog is unique. And just like you, they respond to fear based on their personality and background.

Show Sources

College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Help Your Noise-Averse Dogs Through Thunder and Fireworks Season.”

American Kennel Club: “When Things Go Boom – Helping Your Dog Cope with Fear of Loud Noises”

Cummings Veterinary Health Center at Tufts University: “Bang! Bang! Helping Your Dog Manage Noise Phobias,” “Qualifications of our Animal Behaviorists.”

Does your dog howl to songs or fall asleep when classical music is playing? You might be wondering if it’s all in your head or if dogs, like people, really do respond to certain melodies. You’re not the only one who’s curious—multiple studies have been done on dogs and music. The results? Mixed.

So we talked to Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist at Florida Veterinary Behavior Service and a host for Top Vets Talk Pets, to get her take on whether your pooch should have her own playlist.

Do Dogs Like Music?

The answer to whether dogs like music is: It depends, Radosta says. Research indicates that when dogs are stressed, music may help.

A landmark study in 2002 compared how shelter dogs responded to classical, pop, and heavy-metal music as well as conversation and silence. Researchers found that classical music had a calming effect on dogs. The pups went from standing and barking to laying down and resting. Another study showed that harp music could help hospitalized dogs with better breathing and heart rates compared to dogs that didn’t listen to it.

But recent research found that shelter dogs were most soothed by the sounds of an audio book, not classical music. What gives? Radosta says what’s probably making the biggest impact is having a rhythmic sound to drown out scary noises like hospital machines or other dogs barking.

Music and Dog Anxiety

Many dogs have anxiety during thunderstorms and fireworks. But dogs with noise aversion are also sensitive to everyday sounds. “Dogs that won’t leave the house almost always have noise aversion,” Radosta explains. “We used to think the behavior was caused by something else, but now realize that about 20% to 40% of dogs struggle with being afraid of noises.”

Playing soothing music or an audio book may be key to calming dogs who become anxious over what’s going on outside. Blocking out those distressing sounds could lead to a happier pet.

“When you see signs of stress in your dog, try playing music to see if that’ll help,” Radosta says. Body language that signals your pup is scared includes:

  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Lip-licking
  • Stress yawning
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Trying to hide in plain sight or out-of-sight

Why Do Dogs Howl to Music?

You may get a kick out of seeing your pooch croon along to Adele, but why does he do it? No one knows for sure, but dogs may howl to music for the same reason they do it when they hear sirens: It sounds like another dog howling and their instinct is to join in.

Adele sounds like a dog? Well, not to people, but dogs hear a much wider range of sounds than people do. They hear tones far above and below what the human ear can detect, so we don’t know exactly what things sound like to them.

In general, howling is a call for the pack to come together, Radosta says, which may also explain why dogs with separation anxiety do it, too.

What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like Best?

Like people, dogs have individual preferences, too. Experiment to find out what type of music your dog likes best. Classical music is a great place to start, Radosta says. But keep an open mind. “One of my clients listens to reggae music and found that his dog really calmed down during storms when he played it. It was comforting to the dog because it was familiar,” she explains.

You can also try an audio book, one of the pet playlists on Spotify, or iCalmDog, which is a type of music designed for a dog’s range of hearing. It’s definitely a good idea to flip something on before leaving your pup at home alone, Radosta says.

“You want to play music loud enough to drown out those little sounds that might be causing your dog to bark during the day,” she explains. “It also offers stimulation during what could be a pretty boring time for your pup.”

The bonus: Whatever music you have playing will likely become the music that soothes your dog in the future, since it’ll be familiar. Given the low cost to entertain and relax your pooch, why not try tuning in today?

What sounds to dogs like

If you’re a dog owner, you know that canines have a language all their own. Whether they’re barking, growling, whining or howling, they’re trying to tell you something — and it pays to be informed about what those sounds could mean. Because, while they’re often harmless, such vocalizations could be a sign of trouble. Here, we take a look at 10 common sounds that dogs make and exactly what they mean.

Barking is a dog’s main way to communicate, and it can mean a lot of things.

Barking is a dog’s primary means of communication, so it should come as no surprise that barks mean different things, according to Whole Dog Journal . Your dog may bark to alert of danger, to demand attention or treats, to voice frustration, to express anxiety or fear, or to greet you when you get home. Sometimes, dogs bark while playing; other times, they’re just plain bored.

Growling doesn’t always mean a dog is angry or aggressive.

You might think that a growling dog is being aggressive, but that’s not always the case. Often, dogs growl because they’re afraid, according to Pet MD . Either they don’t like what’s going to happen (e.g., getting their nails trimmed), they don’t know what’s going to happen (e.g., a stranger comes into the home), they’re protecting their resources (e.g., food and toys), or they’re in pain. Keep in mind that growling may mean that your dog is having fun, like when playing with other dogs or chewing a bone.

Whining, crying, and whimpering could indicate emotional distress or pain.

Dog whining, crying, and whimpering can also mean several different things, according to the American Kennel Club . Your pup could be vocalizing because he needs or wants something, such as food or attention. Dogs that are stressed, scared, or in pain often will whine, too. Here’s one possibility you may not have considered: Your dog could be whining to apologize to you after being scolded.

Dogs usually grunt when they’re content — but that’s not always the case.

Just like humans, dogs grunt from time to time, making low, guttural noises that usually indicate happiness, according to Cuteness . For example, when your dog settles into its bed and grunts, it’s expressing relief, joy, contentment, or serenity. Puppies, in particular, are prolific grunters, usually making the sound while eating, napping, being pet, or snuggling.

However, grunting can be an involuntary action, like when your dog is sleeping, or a cause for concern. When a pup is grunting excessively, it could indicate pain, discomfort, or illness, and it needs to be taken to the vet ASAP.

Dogs sometimes make strange honking sounds, called reverse sneezes.

Does your dog ever make a weird sound that’s like a combination of hacking, gagging, honking, snorting, and hiccuping all in one? That’s known as a reverse sneeze, according to The Bark . And although it may be alarming, it’s usually nothing serious.

These short-lived episodes are typically caused by spasming triggered by irritation of the dog’s throat and soft palate. Other causes include mites, eating or drinking, pulling on a leash, excitement, foreign objects in the throat, viruses, environmental irritants, and allergies. If your dog reverse sneezes on the regular, definitely get it checked out.

Coughing in dogs usually isn’t a big deal, but it can become a problem.

If your dog coughs every once in a while, that’s perfectly normal, according to WebMD . However, if a cough becomes persistent, it could be a serious problem, such as kennel cough, distemper, heart disease, a fungal infection, heartworms, lung problems, or congestive heart failure.

Howling goes back to dogs’ ancestral roots.

Does your dog like to howl at the moon? The vocalization could mean any number of things. Wolves and feral dogs howl to tell other members of their pack where they are, according to Dogster . So your domesticated pup could be howling to beckon you back home. Or your dog could be letting other canines know that this is its territory and they better steer clear.

Other reasons for howling are to express anxiety, to respond to environmental triggers (e.g., a fire-engine siren), to alert its master to a discovery or injury, or to attract attention.

Dogs make sounds in their sleep because they’re likely dreaming.

When your dog barks, whimpers, or growls in its sleep, it’s most likely dreaming, according to Cuteness . Science suggests that canine brains go through similar stages of electrical activity while sleeping as human brains, so they’re perfectly capable of dreaming like we do. Vocalizations, muscle twitching, and rapid eye movements indicate your pup is in the REM phase of sleep when dreams occur.

Sneezing — when it becomes chronic — could indicate serious health issues.

Sneezing every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but it could be cause for concern if your dog can’t seem to stop, according to Dogster . Causes of sneezing include irritants, like smoke or dirt; nasal mites, which can overwhelm the immune system; a sinus infection, which could be a sign of canine influenza; sinusitis and rhinitis, when the nasal passage or nose are inflamed; and tumors, like carcinomas and sarcomas. If your dog is repetitively sneezing, take it to the vet.

Snoring is usually harmless but could be a sign of something else.

It can be cute when your dog snores while slumbering, but it could be annoying — and concerning — if the snoring is too loud and frequent, according to Pet MD .

Certain breeds with short snouts are predisposed to snoring, including pugs, English bulldogs, and Shih Tzus. But even if snoring is natural for your dog, still keep an eye out for potential problems.

Your dog could be snoring because of something as simple as the way it’s positioned or an allergic reaction to dust or second-hand smoke. More serious causes include sleep apnea, excess weight, hypothyroidism, or an abscessed tooth obstructing the nasal sinus passages.

Life in general can be very noisy, and many dogs find loud noises scary and stressful. Desensitising your dog to loud noises is a good way to keep them calm in situations that may otherwise make them anxious.

While there are things you can do to calm your dog during a period of loud noises, such as fireworks, or Bonfire night, getting your dog used to loud sounds can be a better long-term solution. By gradually desensitising your dog to loud noises over a period of time, you can teach them to associate these sounds with something positive, instead of something to be scared of.

This process should be carried out over a gradual period of time and can take months. We’re going to use fireworks as an example, however, if it’s too late to do this, we have some tips on how to manage your dog’s stress during loud noises too.

Watch the video below and follow the steps to help desensitise your dog to loud noises.

How to make your dog less stressed by loud noises

Before you start, you will need to buy or stream some related sound effects or noises, such as fireworks, and have some way of playing them out loud.

It’s important that the training is done with your dog indoors, away from distractions, and make sure your dog can easily leave the room if they want to. (If they do choose to leave this could be an indicator that you have progressed too quickly and need to go back a few steps in the training).

To begin with, get your dog settled in the room and play the sounds they are least scared of at the lowest possible volume.

Increase the volume very, very slowly, until you see the first signs that your dog is reacting to the noise. A reaction might be small, such as twitching their ears. Once your dog starts to react, leave the sounds at that volume for a few minutes to let them get used to it.

If at any point your dog is scared or stressed by the noise, remain calm and stop playing the sounds immediately. This means you may have progressed too quickly, so start from a lower volume next time.

Play the sounds at this low level for 5-10 minutes, 3-4 times a day. Once your dog has stopped responding to the noise, you can turn the volume up slightly, until they begin to respond again. Again, if your dog shows any signs of stress, stop the sounds and start at a lower volume the next day.

Keep playing the sounds in this way daily, over a period of weeks, until your dog no longer reacts to the sounds, even at a higher volume.

Building a positive association between your dog and loud noises

Once your dog’s been desensitised to the sounds, you can start to build a positive association between your dog and loud noises, such as fireworks.

To start, prepare your dog’s food or get out one of their toys. If they get excited, sit down calmly for a few minutes and let them settle before starting the training session.

Once your dog has calmed down, play the sounds at a very low volume again. If possible, start it with a remote control so your dog doesn’t see you do it.

As soon as you hear the sounds give your dog their food or start to play with them. Once your dog has finished eating or playing, turn off the sounds straight away. This is so that they start to associate the sound with something positive happening.

Do this a few times over the course of a few days until your dog starts to get excited when they hear the sounds. Once your dog has made this initial connection you can begin to increase the volume a little each time.

Eventually your dog will begin to associate the sounds with something enjoyable like eating or playing, and it will be much easier to keep them calm in noisy situations.

Once your dog is less reactive and their emotional response to loud sounds has changed, we would still recommend taking steps to manage their stress in specific situations. Fireworks for example are a common trigger for dogs to become stressed and worried. Take a look at our advice on keeping your dog calm during firework season itself. Even if your dog seems comfortable with the sound of fireworks, we still wouldn’t recommend taking them to a display.

If your dog is still stressed by loud noises after trying these steps, you should consult your vet for further advice.

Dogs often have incredibly heightened senses, especially when it comes to their hearing and sense of smell. This can cause your dog to react extremely negatively to loud sounds, especially when they are unexpected or unfamiliar. You may not have even noticed the sound that has triggered their reaction, which can further complicate identifying the problem. It is important to understand if your dog is sensitive to sounds. This will help you to identify how you can help them, as well as keep them comfortable and safe, even when you can’t control all loud noises. Here are a few things to consider if your dog is sensitive to sounds.

Signs that your Dog is Sensitive to Sounds

Understanding the signs that your dog is sensitive to sounds can help you to make the best decision for your specific situation. It will help you to identify when your dog is experiencing anxiety due to noise. Some moderate signs of sensitivity to sounds include shaking and clinginess around the owner in response to loud noises, such as thunder. However, there can be far more extreme responses to loud noises, such as panicked running, defecating indoors, and destructive chewing. Many owners are unaware that these bad behaviors are actually caused by a reaction to frightening noises, which can cause them to punish their pet and exacerbate the existing problem. Some of these behaviors may also be caused by separation anxiety, which is another behavioral issue that often requires careful treatment.

Causes of Noise Anxiety

Understanding the causes of noise anxiety can help you to make the best decision when it comes to treatment for the sensitivity to the triggering sounds. In some situations, your pet may have had a traumatic past experience with loud noises. This is much easier to detect than some of the other causes of noise anxiety. Genetic predisposition can also cause your dog to be sensitive to sounds. Breeds that are commonly sensitive to sounds include German shepherds, collies, and golden retrievers. Some dogs may gradually begin to show signs of sound sensitivity that worsen with no apparent cause over time. These cases are often the most difficult to treat. It can certainly be very difficult to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s sound sensitivity. You may want to consider consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to obtain superior treatment for your dog.

Take Care to Behave Normally

Though it certainly feels natural to coddle your pet when they are upset or anxious, most experts agree that you should refrain from doing so when they exhibit sound sensitivity. If you console your dog, it is highly likely that they will interpret your actions to mean that they have something to worry about and that their fear is not an overreaction. In addition to this, pets often pick up on your own emotions. For example, a dog that is around an owner that is afraid of thunder will likely develop an aversion or sensitivity to the sound of thunder. Acting completely naturally and nonchalant about the situation can help to calm your pet.

Possible Treatments

What sounds to dogs like

The most effective treatment for sound sensitivity depends primarily on the specific dog. Not every dog will respond to each technique in the same way. It can be helpful to take steps to change the environment or provide a safe place for them to retreat to. It is useful to provide a place where the exterior noise level will be reduced, such as a kennel covered with thick blankets to provide a sound barrier. The use of pressure wraps is another common treatment for anxiety. These wraps are often referred to as Thundershirts, though that is the brand name of some of the most popular pressure wraps.

Behavior modification strategies are often used to help dogs that are averse to various noises. Desensitization tends to be the most popular behavior modification strategy. This method often involves exposing the pet to varying levels of sounds to allow them to become more comfortable when experiencing the sound. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend anxiety medications to keep your pet calm.

Sounds that Cause Reactions

It is important to pay attention to which sounds cause reactions. In general, your pet is more likely to react negatively to unpredictable or unusual sounds. Take thunder, for example. Thunder is an extremely common trigger for pets with noise anxiety. It doesn’t often occur in regular intervals, so it can be difficult for your dog to predict when the next sound will come. In addition, thunder is likely not a sound that they hear on a daily basis. When they hear sounds regularly, they are likely to adjust to it over time. This is one of the concepts behind the usefulness of desensitization strategies.

May Be Caused by Pain

It is important to pay attention to your dog’s sensitivity to sound. In some situations, your dog’s reaction may be caused by physical pain, rather than anxiety. Paying careful attention can help you to determine whether it is a behavioral response or a reaction to pain. Some dogs have extremely heightened hearing, which can cause them to experience high levels of pain when they hear loud noises. Consulting with an experienced veterinarian can help you to determine whether the behavior is a reaction to pain or anxiety.

At Borrett Animal Hospital, we are dedicated to providing your pets with the services necessary to ensure that they remain healthy and happy. A large array of dogs experience sensitivity to sounds on a regular basis, which can cause them to be anxious, scared, or even in pain. Identifying the underlying cause can help you to determine the ideal solution. Some symptoms of sound sensitivity are relatively mild and easy to deal with. However, other symptoms can be incredibly disruptive and can lead to harm to the owner’s quality of life, not to mention the pet’s. To learn more about how to help your pet with sensitivity to sounds, contact our expert team at Borrett Animal Hospital today!

Help reduce boredom-induced destruction, or neighbors’ complaints about constant barking throughout the day.

Reduce Sleep Deprivation

Dogs are generally light sleepers. Minimize late-night bark attacks and make those ZZZs count.

Manage Bad Attitudes

Your dog’s grumpy mood and attitude problem might just be due to a lack of sleep, or the stress of being alone all day.

Treat Anxiety

White, pink, and brown noise can help soothe dogs who suffer from all types of anxiety. Think of it like an aural ThunderShirt.

What sounds to dogs like

A trusty sleep aid for bedtime.

A sound machine can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep — and that equals less stress and better health for both you and your good boy or good girl.

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Curb Behaviorial Issues

Help reduce boredom-induced destruction, or neighbors’ complaints about constant barking throughout the day.

In the story “8 Things I No Longer Do Because I Have Dogs,” I shared that killing bugs tops my list of don’ts because the sound scares Spot and Dolly. One good thwack! will clear the room.

Turns out, I’m not the only pet parent who does things differently — or not at all — to appease the ears of her pups.

Tracy commented: “I don’t stab frozen dinners with a fork anymore to ventilate the plastic. The sound drove my dog crazy, and now as soon as she sees me take one out of the freezer she goes absolutely ballistic. I have to carefully peel back the corner of the plastic or gently slit it with a knife. Then I allow her to attack the box.”

And Riki added: “I no longer watch any TV show or movie that has animals in it. My Shih-Tzus (three of the four), which I lovingly call Team Shih-Tzu (because it’s us against them), will bark at the TV if they see or hear an animal until you change the channel. The leader of the pack knows the sounds of commercials and comes running from other rooms when she hears the first little sound. It’s really cute for about five seconds. However, it is fun to watch the reactions of people when they see it happen for the first time. I wouldn’t change my heathens one bit!”

Let’s now turn the topic of discussion to sounds our dogs love to hear. I’ll start with these five:

1. Laptop closing

When I started working from home three years ago, Spot and Dolly quickly learned that an open laptop meant they must amuse themselves. The sound of my laptop closing, though, signals the end of work and beginning of play. Spot immediately goes for a toy, while Dolly begins stretching for the activity to come.

2. Bag opening

As a rule, I don’t feed Spot and Dolly processed people food. My father, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with tossing a cracker or chip their way when I am not around. Because of this, Spot and Dolly come running whenever they hear the sound of a food bag opening, and they sit in eager anticipation of junk-food goodness (or badness, in my book).

3. Ducks quacking

Near our home, a small, manmade lake hosts a healthy population of ducks year-round. They begin quacking amongst themselves as soon as they see Spot and Dolly approaching, which makes the pups want to reach them even sooner. We usually sit near the water to watch the winged creatures, who watch us back warily.

4. Doorbell ringing

I don’t tolerate nuisance barking well. Not only does it disturb everyone within hearing distance, but it also indicates a dog in distress, one with issues going unaddressed. Spot and Dolly tend to be pretty quiet by nature, with Dolly occasionally barking at Spot during play but never loud enough or for long enough to bother my neighbors.

The doorbell ringing proves the exception, with both pups excitedly announcing the arrival of someone or something. Yes, I could train them to not bark when they hear the bell, but it happens so rarely, and they have excellent manners otherwise.

5. Toys squeaking

It’s an obvious sound for such a list, to be sure, but it’s one that brings Spot to his feet no matter the time of day or night. More than once, I have accidentally stepped on a squeaky ball in the dark and had to explain that I was only going to the bathroom, not waking him for a 4 a.m. game of fetch.

Are there sounds your dogs love to hear? Or hate, for that matter? And how do they react? Please share them in the comments!

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App Privacy

The developer, Scott Dawson , has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.

Information

Compatibility iPhone Requires iOS 10.0 or later. iPad Requires iPadOS 10.0 or later. iPod touch Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Mac Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.

Jo Good looks at how easy it is to bring up a dog in the city. Each week she talks and walks with celebrity dog owners and discovers the most dog friendly places to go in London.

Jo Good explores life in the city with a dog.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

Jo Good explores London with her bulldog Matilda meeting like-minded dog owners.

What sounds to dogs like

Did you know that dogs possess a much more sensitive sense of hearing compared to humans? They can easily hear something even when you hear nothing. Dogs can hear high-frequency sounds. They can easily differentiate and associate sounds with certain people, animals, or things. And they can pinpoint a sound’s exact location using their sense of hearing. If you watch your dog’s ears for cues, you can likely get information about your surroundings that you would have missed. It’s no doubt dogs have a fantastic sense of hearing. But how much can they really hear? Keep reading to find out!

Book a video consultation with an experienced veterinarian within minutes.

What types of sounds do dogs hear?

Sound is created by air vibrations. The sound and the frequency will be higher as the number of vibrations per second increases. Dogs can hear sounds of up to 50,000 vibrations per second (50,000Hz). On the other hand, humans cannot hear sounds that vibrate at greater than 20,000 vibrations per second (20,000Hz). Hertz is a unit of measure of sound frequency; the higher the frequency, the higher will be the pitch of the sound.

The ability of dogs to hear high-pitched sounds is inherited from their wild ancestors who prey on mice and other small rodents. Being capable of hearing the squeaks and scurrying of these tiny animals through the brush makes it easier for wolves and wild dogs to know where a specific sound is coming from. They can tell which direction the sound is coming from based on which ear is closest to the sound. In the wild, sensitive hearing is essential for survival.

Because of their keen sensitivity to higher-pitched sounds, dogs can help predict earthquakes or the arrival of somebody before you hear the knock on the door. But their sensitivity can also be a bane because everyday sounds can be louder and distressing for dogs. The sound of the vacuum cleaner, lawnmower, or power drill will sound louder to dogs compared to humans. Electronics inside homes also emit constant high-frequency sounds. It’s no wonder why many dogs become scared and anxious during thunderstorms or fireworks.

Why do dogs hear better than humans?

Apart from the important facts already mentioned above, there are other reasons why dogs have a better sense of hearing than humans. These include the following:

  • 18 muscles control the ears of dogs while humans only have six. This means dogs can move their ears easily while humans can barely move their ears. This makes it easier for dogs to tilt, reposition, lower, and rotate their ears to triangulate a sound’s exact location and direct the sound into the inner part of the ear more efficiently. A dog’s ears act just like a submarine’s periscope! The ability of dogs to control their ears and their wide range of hearing makes them much more superior than humans when it comes to the sense of hearing.
  • Some dog breeds have ears that help amplify the sound. Dogs with big, erect ears hear the best because the large outer ear (called the pinna) can direct sound to their inner ear much better. This is like cupping your hand around your ear so you can hear more clearly. However, dogs with long, floppy ears are not as sensitive to perceiving sounds compared to those with ears that are standing. The floppy ears “block” the ear canal, so a considerable amount of the sound waves are unable to reach the inner ear. Dogs with hairy ear canals also have this issue. Take note that dogs with long, floppy ears and those with extra hair in their ear canals have an increased risk of developing ear infections which, if left untreated or without appropriate treatment, can lead to loss of hearing.
  • When it comes to the detectable frequency range, the maximum sensitivity of dogs is 8,000 Hz which makes it easier for them to hear prey. In humans, the maximum sensitivity is only 2,000 Hz.
  • Dogs can detect slight differences between sound frequencies.
  • Humans hear best when the sound is coming from the side because the ears are flat against the head. The ears of dogs are on top of their heads which allows them to perceive sounds originating in front of them more acutely.
  • Dogs can hear independently with each ear, while humans are unable to do so. Thus, a dog can hear one sound on his right ear and hear something different with his left ear.
  • Dogs can filter out sounds that are distracting them so they can concentrate on what they want to hear.

Can dogs be trained to hear specific sounds?

Dogs can be trained to hear and recognize a wide variety of sounds. With regular training, consistency, and positive reinforcement, desired results can be achieved. Training sessions are also great times to strengthen your bond with your canine buddy.

Normally, a dog instinctively learns to form associations with specific sounds based on their exposure and experiences. A common example would be the sound of your car coming up the driveway or the sound of your voice. These experiences and associations make it possible for a dog to predict what happens next, making it easier for them to adapt and be prepared. This association ability can be used to train your dog to react to specific sounds.

Training to improve hearing is not exclusive only for some service dogs. You can improve your dog’s hearing by training him to react or not react to a specific sound. For example, if your dog shows an expected reaction to a certain sound, be quick to offer a bite of his favorite treat and lavish praise. This will tell him that you are pleased with his behavior. If you want your dog to “not” react to a certain sound, like the ringing of the doorbell or a knock on the door, give him treats and shower him with praises when he does not bark in response to the specific stimulus.

Can ear cropping affect a dog’s hearing?

For some breeds of dogs, like the Doberman Pinscher and Great Dane, ear cropping is still quite common, although the procedure has been regulated in some states and deemed illegal in some countries, such as England and Wales.

During ear cropping, a dog’s ear flaps (pinna) are altered. Since the pinna plays an important role in funneling sound into the inner ear canal, dogs with cropped ears lose some sharpness in their hearing. Also, cropped ears cannot be fully rotated, making it harder for these dogs to communicate using their ears.

Like their tail, the ears of dogs are an important visual sign in dog-to-dog and dog-to-human interactions. The position of a dog’s ear is important during social interactions with other dogs or other pets. The movement of a dog’s ears forms a part of their body language and can reveal a lot about what they are feeling.

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Barks, growls, howls, whines, whimpers, even dog purring – different dog sounds have different meanings. Here’s how to decipher the different noises your dog makes and what they mean!

What sounds to dogs like

There are generally six types of dog sounds the use in order to vocally communicate with humans or with other canines. Most noises dogs make indicate some form of frustration, like when a dog whines to go outside. But dogs will also vocalize pleasure – and happy dog noises don’t always sound too friendly! Here’s a rundown of what dog sounds might mean:

1. Barking

Why do dogs bark? Dogs bark for many reasons, including alert (there’s something out there!), alarm (there’s something bad out there) boredom, demand, fear, suspicion, distress, and pleasure (play). If you know how to tell between different kinds of dog barks, you can easily understand why your dog is so vocal in the first place! Believe it or not, dogs’ vocal communication methods aren’t just for annoying neighbors – they’re for telling you something important has happened!

The bark of a distressed dog, such as a dog who suffers from isolation or separation distress or anxiety, is high-pitched and repetitive; getting higher in pitch as the dog becomes more upset. Boredom barking tends to be more of a repetitive monotone. Alert bark is likely to be a sharp, staccato sound; alarm barking adds a note of intensity to the alert.

What sounds to dogs like

Demand barks are sharp and persistent, and directed at the human who could/should ostensibly provide whatever the dog demands. At least, the dog thinks so. Suspicious barks are usually low in tone, and slow, while fearful barking is often low but faster. Play barking just sounds . . . playful. If you have any doubt – look to see what the dog is doing. If he’s playing, it’s probably play barking.

2. Baying

Baying is deep-throated, prolonged barking, most often heard when a dog is in pursuit of prey, but also sometimes offered by a dog who is challenging an intruder. The scent hounds are notorious for their melodic baying voices. Some people interpret dog baying a long moaning sound.

3. Growling

Growls are most often a warning that serious aggression may ensue if you persist in whatever you’re doing, or what-ever is going on around him. Rather than taking offense at your dog’s growl, heed his warning, and figure out how to make him more comfortable with the situation.

If instead of a hostile growl, your dog is grumbling lowly, he may be perfectly happy! Dogs also growl in play. It’s common for a dog to growl while playing tug – and that’s perfectly appropriate as long as the rest of his body language says he’s playing. If there’s any doubt in your mind, take a break from play to let him calm down. Some dogs also growl in pleasure. Rottweilers are notorious for “grumbling” when being petted and playing, and absent any signs of stress, this is interpreted as a “feels good” happy dog noise.

What sounds to dogs like

© Tatappo | Dreamstime.com

4. Howling

Howling is often triggered by a high-pitched sound; many dogs howl at the sound of fire and police sirens. (Two of my own dogs howl when our donkey brays). Some dog owners have taught their dogs to howl on cue, such as the owner howling.

Howling is generally considered to be communication between pack members: perhaps to locate another pack member, or to call the pack for hunting. Some dogs howl when they are significantly distressed – again, a common symptom of isolation and separation distress.

What sounds to dogs like

© Dutchinny | Dreamstime.com

5. Whimpering Sounds/Yelping

A whimper or a yelp is often an indication that a dog is in pain. This may happen when dogs play, if one dog bites the other dog too hard. The whimper or yelp is used to communicate the dog’s distress to a pack member (or human) when they are friendly. The other dog or human is expected to react positively to the communication. Whimpers can also indicate strong excitement such as when an owner returns at the end of a long workday. Excitement whimpering is often accompanied by licking, jumping, and barking. Dog whimpering is softer and less intense than whining. Puppy crying sounds are just little whimpers.

6. Whining

Dog whining sounds are high-pitched vocalizations, often produced nasally with the mouth closed. A dog may whine when it wants something, needs or wants to go outside, feels frustrated by leash restraint, is separated from a valued companion (human or otherwise), or just wants attention. It is usually an indication of some increased level of stress for the dog. Most often the dog crying sound is an exaggerated whine or whimper.

Speaking Words?

Some dogs are capable of replicating human speech sounds. When these sounds are selectively reinforced, dogs can appear to be speaking human words, sometimes even sentences. It is most likely that the dogs have no concept of the meaning behind the words they are “speaking” – although as we learn more about canine cognition, one can’t ever be too sure.

It’s interesting to note that one of the phrases most frequently taught to dogs by their owners is some version of, “I love you…” Youtube provides some entertaining footage of talking dogs, like this one.

If you stream music, play an instrument, or just sing in the shower, your dog undoubtedly has heard music.

Certainly dogs hear the sound of music.

With the except of some very low frequency sounds that humans hear that dogs can’t, dogs can hear much better than people. There may be all kinds of things dogs hear over the radio, from streaming music, or off a CD that people can’t hear.

Do dogs recognize a tune?

Both research and anecdotal evidence indicates they can, at least to some extent. Working sheepdogs are sometimes trained to respond to different whistles to turn the herd to the right or to the left, for example. Some sounds, especially high pitched sounds from flutes, pianos, or even human voices, will cause some dogs to howl. Howling is a left-over instinct from dogs’ wolf ancestors. One reason wolves howl is to get the pack back together. So when your dog hears a sound from the radio that he perceives as a howl, he joins in to let others know he’s there. And if your dog howls off-key it doesn’t necessarily mean he has a tin ear. Dogs want to sound different from other dogs so the pack knows an additional dog has joined in.

Do dogs react to different genres of music differently?

Studies have been done to see if dogs react differently to different kinds of music. There is evidence that classical music, like that by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart, has a calming effect on most dogs. Heavy metal music is more likely to agitate dogs and make them more restless or aggressive. One thing studies have shown is that all animals (including the human animal) best respond to music that has pitches similar to the voice and a tempo that is similar to the heart rate. There are some dog breeds, like Mastiffs and Labrador Retrievers, that have voices in similar ranges to that of an adult male. Those breeds also have similar heart rates to those of humans. As a breed, they are more likely to respond to music than, say, Chihuahuas that have higher voices and faster heart rates.

Do dogs really care about music?

Pam Hair

Pam Hair is a pet industry copywriter with Fuzzy Friends Writer, where she combines her three passions: a love of animals, a strong desire to help other people, and the joy of writing. She has been a pet parent over the years to dogs, cats, and a variety of rodents. Currently she and her husband share their home with two guinea pigs.

What sounds to dogs like

Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years.

In different languages, there is little consensus about what sounds animals make. This holds true in Japanese as well as other tongues. In English, for example, a cow says “moo,” but in French, it’s closer to “meu” or “meuh.” In Japanese, the bovine says “moo moo.” American dogs say “woof,” but in Italy, man’s best friend makes a sound more like “bau.” In Japanese, they say “wan wan.” Below are the sounds various animals “say” in Japanese.

Japanese Animal Sounds

The table displays the name of the animal in the left column, with the transliteration of the animal’s name in bold and its depiction in Japanese letters below. The English name for the animal is listed in the second column. The third column lists the sound the animal makes in bold with the Japanese letters for the sound below that. The sound an animal makes in English is included below the Japanese spelling in the third column, allowing for easy comparison to the animal sound in Japanese.

kaa kaa
カーカー

These animal sounds are usually written in the katakana script, rather than kanji or hiragana.

The Bowwow Theory

The bowwow theory posits that language began when human ancestors started imitating the natural sounds around them. The first speech was onomatopoeic and included words such as moo, meow, splash, cuckoo, and bang. Of course, in English especially, very few words are onomatopoeic. And around the world, a dog might say “au au” in Portuguese, “wang wang” in Chinese, and as noted, “wan wan” in Japanese.

Some researchers have suggested that the animals a culture is most closely aligned with will have more versions of the sounds they make in their respective languages. In American English, for example, a dog might say “bowwow,” “woof,” or “ruff.” Since dogs are beloved pets in the U.S., it makes sense that American-English speakers would want to have a menu of sound words for this pet.

The Dog in Japan

Dogs are also quite popular as pets in Japan, where they were domesticated during the Jomon period in 10,000 B.C. Though katakana script is most common, you can write the Japanese word for dog, inu, in either hiragana or kanji — but since the kanji character for dog is quite simple, try learning how to write it in kanji.

Phrases referring to dogs are as common in Japan as they are in the West. Inujini means “to die like dog,” and to call someone a dog in Japenese is to accuse him of being a spy or dupe. The sentence Inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru (when the dog walks, it runs across a stick) is a common Japanese saying, meaning that when you walk outside, you could possibly meet with an unexpected fortune.

Your dog uses howling to communicate all sorts of things to its pack

Whining and Whimpering

Whining and whimpering can mean a lot of different things, but it’s usually a sign that your dog wants your attention. Whether they need a good play session or simply want to be petted, fed, or noticed by their owner, whining and whimpering is a harmless way of saying they need interaction.

However, whining and whimpering can also be a sign of bigger problems, like pain, distress, or separation anxiety. Keep an eye out for other ways your pet might be expressing these emotions, such as panting, poor behavior, or an obvious change in appetite.

Yelping

Yelping is often associated with pain or fear, though it usually comes as a sudden outburst instead of a prolonged cry. A yelp is meant to get your attention immediately and can be triggered by everything from a bite, sting, or other type of unexpected injury. But it could also mean your pet was surprised or frightened by something in their environment.

Yelping isn’t always a bad sign, however. Sometimes dogs will yelp with the arrival of loved ones, especially when they’ve been gone for a long time from your pup’s point of view. If you hear a quick yelp after returning from vacation or a long day at work, it could be your dog’s way of saying you were missed and they are excited to have you back!

Growling

When a pup is feeling frisky, they sometimes share gentle growls to draw an owner’s attention, or do it simply as part of everyday play. But more often than not, a growling dog is a sign that other people and pets in the area shouldn’t come any closer.
Whether they’re protecting food and toys, upset about a bath or nail trimming, or letting strangers know they aren’t someone to tangle with, growling often boils down to a sign of a fear or frustration.

It’s important to make a growling dog feel as comfortable as possible. Punishing a dog for growling may only exacerbate the problem – next time, they might skip the warning altogether and lead with more aggressive behavior. Learning how to identify when a dog might bite is important for every pet owner and may require training to break the bad habit.

Groaning and Sighing

Lots of pet owners refer to their dogs as fur babies. And just like human children using pouting to express boredom or disappointment, dogs use groaning in situations where they aren’t getting their way. But groaning doesn’t always mean your pet is feeling unsatisfied.

Another reason your dog might be groaning or sighing is to express their contentment. Many dogs use groaning and sighing to communicate satisfaction after a walk, a play session, or when they’re ready to relax. As long as the groaning and sighing doesn’t persist, which may indicate pain or discomfort, your pup is probably letting you know it’s all set for naptime.

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What sounds to dogs like

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Ever wonder if your dog interacts with the world differently than you do? Here are some answers.

What sounds to dogs like

Your Dog’s Body Language

Ever wondered what your dog is trying to tell you with his actions? Here are some translation tips.

What sounds to dogs like

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How Well Do Dogs and Other Animals Hear?

Reporting the frequency range for hearing in dogs and other species is not a straightforward task – the “how” of determining hearing frequency ranges must first be explained. Testing in animals differs from the method commonly used with humans of voluntarily reporting if a sound is heard. When determining the frequency range in animals, an investigator usually must first train the animal to respond to a presented sound stimulus by selecting between two actions using rewards. Often this response is to try to drink or eat from one of two dispensers when a sound is heard. The sounds are randomly presented from one side or the other, and the subject must select the right dispenser (on the same side as the stimulus) to get the reward; otherwise no food or drink is dispensed. This is done with the animal hungry or thirsty to motivate responding. Stimuli are different pure tones at varied frequencies (units of Hertz [Hz] – or kilohertz [kHz]) and at different loudness intensities (units of decibels [dB] – a logarithmic measure). The investigator then plots the responses on an audiogram, a graph of the softest intensity at which the subject was able to detect a specific. The plot of responses is a bowl-shaped curve, steeper on the high frequency end. A series of five typical audiograms for different dogs ( Canis canis ) is shown in the figure below.
(right click image to see it more clearly)
These audiograms are from a book compiling thousands of published references into a single difficult to find source (Fay, 1988). This particular audiogram compiles data on the dog from two published sources: one reporting an average from 11 dogs of unspecified breeds (Lipman & Grassi, 1942) and one reporting results from single dogs of four breeds (Heffner, 1983). Frequency is displayed on a logarithmic scale from 10 Hz to 100,000 Hz (100 kHz), while stimulus intensity is displayed (in dB sound pressure level) from -30 to 80 dB. Curve 1 was from the Lipman study, while curve 2 (Poodle), curve 3 (Dachshund), curve 4 (Saint Bernard) and curve 5 (Chihuahua) were from the Heffner study. In general, dogs had slightly greater sound sensitivity (detected lower intensity sounds) than humans, and cats had greater sensitivity than dogs, indicated by how low on the y-axis points were located.

It can be seen that the lowest intensity detected differs between the two studies; I place greater reliance on the Heffner study because it is more current and because he is a widely published and respected audiology researcher. It can also be seen that the greatest sensitivity (i.e. the frequencies that can be detected at the lowest intensities) is in the frequency range of 4-10 kHz. One dog (the Poodle) heard a tone at the low frequency of 40 Hz, but an intensity of 59 dB was required for it to be detected; most of the other dogs didn’t respond until the stimulus frequency reached 62.5 Hz. Three dogs (the Poodle, Saint Bernard, and Chihuahua) heard a tone at the highest frequency of 46 kHz, requiring intensities of 64-73 dB. On the other hand, the Poodle heard a 4 kHz tone when it was -4 dB (since dB are logarithmic units based on a ratio of the stimulus intensity compared to a standard intensity, any stimulus smaller than the standard results in a ratio less than one, and the logarithm of a number smaller than one is a negative number; therefore a -4 dB stimulus intensity is a VERY soft one!) and an 8 kHz tone when it was -3.5 dB. There was no systemic relation seen among the four breeds between high frequency hearing sensitivity and head size, body weight, or tympanic membrane area.

From the figure it can be seen that choosing the frequencies for reporting the frequency range for dogs is hard – presumably lower frequencies could have been detected if a loud enough stimulus was used, and likewise for high frequencies. Nevertheless, the following table reports the approximate hearing range for different species with an attempt to apply the same cut-off criteria to all, using data from Fay (1988) and Warfield (1973). Since different experimental methods were used in these different studies, too much value should not be placed on comparing species.

Howling is one of many forms of vocal communication used by dogs. Dogs howl to attract attention, to make contact with others and to announce their presence. Some dogs also howl in response to high-pitched sounds, such as emergency vehicle sirens or musical instruments. Read on to learn what to do if your dog howls excessively.

Problems to Rule Out First

Separation Anxiety Howling
If your neighbors call you and tell you that your dog is howling when you are at work, your dog’s excessive howling might be caused by separation anxiety. Separation anxiety howling only occurs when a dog is left alone or otherwise separated from his owner. This kind of howling is usually accompanied by at least one other symptom of separation anxiety, such as pacing, destruction, elimination, depression or other signs of distress. For more information about this problem, please see our article, Separation Anxiety.

Medical Causes
Dogs sometimes howl when they’re hurt or sick. If your dog starts howling or howls more than usual, take him to a veterinarian to rule out illness and injury before doing anything else.

What to Do About Excessive Howling

Howling in Responds to Sounds
If your dog howls in response to some kind of trigger, like another dog howling or a nearby siren, he’ll probably stop when the sound stops. This type of howling usually isn’t excessive—unless, of course, the triggers occur frequently. If they do, you can use desensitization and counterconditioning (DSCC) to help your dog learn to be quiet.

Systematic Desensitization and Counterconditioning
When the problem is rooted in how a dog feels about a particular thing, it sometimes isn’t enough to just teach him a different behavior—like to fetch a toy instead of howling, for example. Instead, it’s most effective to change his motivation and feelings, which are the underlying reasons for the behavior problem in the first place.

Systematic desensitization and counterconditioning are two common treatments for fears, anxiety, phobias and aggression—basically any behavior problem that involves arousal or emotions. It’s often most effective to use these two procedures together when trying to resolve animal behavior problems. If you think that a systematic desensitization and counterconditioning plan might help your dog, please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, for information about locating a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) in your area. If you can’t find a behaviorist near you, you can choose to hire a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) instead. However, be sure to find out whether he or she has professional education and extensive experience using desensitization and counterconditioning. This kind of expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification, so it’s important to make sure that the CPDT you employ is qualified to help you.

If Your Dog Howls, Whines or Barks to Get Your Attention
Some dogs learn that howling can get them attention from people. If your dog howls for this reason, his howling will usually occur in your presence when he wants attention, food or desired objects. If your dog howls to get your attention or “ask” you for things he wants, like food or toys, you need to teach him two things to be successful in curbing his behavior. First of all, he needs to learn that howling doesn’t work (even if it did in the past). He also needs to learn that being quiet will work. If your dog realizes that howling always makes him invisible to you and being quiet earns him your attention as well as all the great stuff he wants in life, he’ll quickly learn to curb his vocal behavior.

Ignore your dog’s attention-seeking howling

  • To avoid accidentally rewarding your dog when he howls, totally ignore him as soon as he starts making noise. Don’t look at him, touch him or speak to him. Don’t try to scold him either. Dogs, like kids, often find any attention rewarding—even if it’s negative attention. So scolding your dog might make his howling behavior worse! Just pretend your dog is invisible. If you find it difficult to do this, try folding your arms across your chest and turning away from him completely.

Reward your dog for being quiet

  • It’s easy to forget to pay attention to your dog when he’s being quiet. Often, we only pay attention to our dogs when they’re doing something wrong! If you want your dog to learn to stop howling for attention, you’ll need to reward quiet behavior. Randomly give your dog treats and attention when he isn’t making noise. You should also make and stick to a new rule: Your dog doesn’t get anything he wants (food, toys, access to the outdoors, treats, petting, etc.) until he’s been quiet for at least five seconds. If your dog howls in an attempt to get your attention, ignore him until he’s quiet, as described above. Then, after five seconds of silence, you can pay attention to him again.

You can also try teaching your dog to be quiet when you ask him to. First, say “Speak!” and try to get your dog to bark or howl. (Knocking on a wall or door usually works well.) Praise your dog when he starts making noise—but DO NOT give him a treat or toy. Then say “Hush” or “Quiet.” The moment your dog stops barking or howling for a second or two, quickly say “Good!” and give him a tasty treat. Repeat this sequence over and over, slowly stretching out the time that your dog must be quiet before earning his goodie. At first, one second of silence can earn him a treat. After he’s successfully mastered that step, increase the time to three seconds. If he’s successful again, increase the time to five seconds, then ten seconds, then 20 seconds, and so on.

Finding Help
Because howling issues can be challenging to work with, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). Many CPDTs offer group or private classes that can give you and your dog lots of help with attention-seeking howling. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate a CPDT in your area.

Spend Time with Your Dog
Some dogs howl because they’re lonely, especially if they’re left alone or kept outside for many hours at a time. Dogs, like humans, are very social animals and need regular interaction with their human families. If your dog howls often when by himself, you may need to spend more quality time together. Bring him inside more often, play games and take walks with him. Take him to a fun training class that focuses on rewarding good behavior. When you must leave your dog home alone for more than a few minutes, be sure to give him plenty of toys and attractive chew items to enjoy by himself.

What sounds to dogs like

Amy Shojai, CABC, is an animal behavior expert and award-winning writer with over 25 years of hands-on experience training and caring for cats and dogs. She has written 27 books on animal care, been named CWA Friskies Writer of the Year, and appeared on Animal Planet as a pet expert.

What sounds to dogs like

Puppies and music can be a positive, therapeutic mix. Music can mask scary noises like thunder and fireworks, or upsetting sounds like a trespassing mail deliverer that put your puppy’s tail in a twist. It can even be helpful for separation anxiety or “pep up” a lethargic pet. The cadence of certain sounds influences the body’s natural rhythms and can speed them up and energize the listener, or slow them down to calm them.

Music Therapy for Puppies

A hyperactive or fearful pet can be soothed with music or distracted with nature sounds like water running from a fountain. Lethargic pets that need to exercise can be energized with chirping squirrel sounds or fast music to get them up and bouncing to the beat.

Puppies are even more sensitive to sound than people are. Puppy hearing is very acute, so it doesn’t have to be loud music to have an effect.

Sound causes physical changes in the body. Brain waves change with different kinds of sounds—music with a pulse of about 60 beats per minute slows the brain waves so the listener feels more relaxed and peaceful and shifts the consciousness into a more alert state. This rhythm also slows breathing, which calms the mind and improves metabolism.

Even the heart wants to follow the pulse of the music—faster rhythms energize the listener as their heartbeat increases and blood pressure rises, while slower tempos simply calm them. Listening to music releases endorphins—natural painkillers that are produced by the brain—and reduces the levels of “stress hormones” in the blood.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is still considered pretty new. One of the best-known applications is an ultrasound that uses the “echo” of high-frequency sound waves to take diagnostic pictures inside the body; doctors even use it to break up kidney stones with vibration instead of surgery. Over the last 20 years, music therapy has become a staple of the human mental health profession and is often used with troubled children and brain-disordered patients. It’s also helpful for stress relief for people in general.

Therapeutic harp music helps relieve pain that drugs don’t, soothes an emotional upset, and has become of particular help in hospice situations for human patients. One of the pioneers, Susan Raimond, also promotes the therapeutic effect of harp music on animals. The sound of harp music calms fractious dogs and cats and offers almost a natural sedative effect so that the upset animals become quiet, lay down and go to sleep.

Helping Puppies With Music

The simplest way to treat puppies with music is to put on music or turn on the radio. Choose the music you like—pets seem to respond best to music their owners enjoy because of the bond you share. If you have a favorite music genre you often play, your pet will associate the sound with your presence—so playing that same music when they are alone will remind them of you and help ease problems like separation anxiety.

Soft music with a slow, steady rhythm helps calm agitated puppies. It can help arthritic pets relax their muscles and increase their range of motion. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes for the music to take effect. Many pets enjoy Mozart or other classical music. New Age, soft jazz, southwest music with flutes and nature sounds, or even ballad-type country music can be soothing. The music should be melodic (not dissonant) and the tempo even and slow. You can play calming music anytime your pet feels stressed—even all day long as a background to help keep them calm.

Turn up the volume to energize your pet. Moderate to loud music with a more driving beat energizes the emotions and can encourage lethargic pets to exercise and lift depression. Rock music, even the driving energy of rap may get a pet’s tail moving, but any up-tempo music from classical to contemporary has the power to energize. Again, play the music for at least 10 to 15 minutes at a time to get your pet in the right mood.

Any music that you play on a regular basis helps your puppy identify that sound with your comforting presence. Even if your puppy doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety, familiar music can help if you need to be away from home, because you can play your favorite music to help your pup feel better about your absence.

Dogs definitely have a reaction to music and now science is digging a little deeper to find out what kind they prefer.

What sounds to dogs like

Do dogs have a taste in music? Most people wouldn’t think so, but have you ever heard a dog howl after hearing a certain instrument or song being played? Dogs definitely have a reaction to music and now science is digging a little deeper to find out what kind they prefer.

But before we get to the latest studies, consider a couple of real life experiences that prove that dogs have a very clear musical taste.

Dogs who Knew their Tunes

What sounds to dogs like

Dr. George Robinson Sinclair was an organist at Hereford Cathedral in London. He owned a Bulldog named Dan and was friends with the well-known composer, Sir Edward William Elgar. Elgar and Dan became friends too when Elgar noticed that Dan had an excellent sense of musical quality. During choir practices, Dan would growl at choir members who sang out of tune, which, embarassing as it was for the choristers, greatly endeared him to Sir Elgar.

But Sir Elgar wasn’t the only composer to notice that dogs have quite the musical taste. Richard Wilhelm Wagner owned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Peps. He provided Peps with a special stool in his study so he could help with composition. How so? As Wagner composed he would sing or play the piano, all the while keeping a sharp eye on Peps’ reaction. Some tunes would give rise to an easy tail wag, while other tunes would evoke a more nervous or excited response. Based on his observations, Wagner devised the “musical motif,” a motif that associates specific musical keys with particular moods or emotions in opera.

These are just two of many reports that led scientists to search for further answers. Can we pinpoint what genre of music dogs like? Or at least certain keys or tempos? One study says we can.

The Music Dogs Like

What sounds to dogs like

At Queens University in Belfast, psychologist Deborah Wells conducted a study that confirms that dogs do have musical preferences and that different kinds of music provoke different reactions in them. During the course of the study, dogs were exposed to different types of music in an animal shelter. They listened to Britney Spears, Bob Marley, Robbie Williams, Metallica, and even some classical works, such as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, just to name a few of the tunes. As each song played, researchers documented the reactions of the canine study participants. They also threw in some recordings of human conversation and even some quiet time to make sure that the dogs were really responding to the musical aspects of the sounds. What did the results show?

It proved that dogs do respond to music and they do have a certain taste in music. For example, it turns out that dogs aren’t big fans of heavy metal. When playing heavy metal songs, dogs became agitated and started barking up a storm. Pop music and human conversation didn’t seem to have any noticeable effect on the dogs. Classical music, however, seemed to have a calming effect on the dogs – they barked less and seemed to spend more time lying down.

What sounds to dogs like

The only problem with this musical therapy is that it seemed to be rather short lived. After a few days, it seemed that even classical music had little to no effect on the dogs. That’s when a team of researchers at the University of Glasgow stepped in to take the investigation a little further.

These researchers tested 38 dogs at an animal shelter by measuring behavior, heart rates, and stress hormone levels while playing different kinds of music (except for heavy metal). For six hours a day, the team played either classical music, soft rock, pop, reggae or Motown. The results were fascinating. When all the data was gathered, the study suggested that any kind of music seems to have a relaxing effect on the dogs. Dogs spent more time quietly standing or lying down when music was being played. There was no change in bark rate during the music, but dogs barked more immediately after the music was turned off – so maybe they wanted more. In addition, the dogs’ heart rates indicated that soft rock and reggae were the most effective genres of music when it comes to reducing stress.

What sounds to dogs like

Professor Neil Evans noticed that each dog responded a little differently to the different types of music, which led him to say that, “Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences. That being said, reggae music and soft rock showed the highest positive changes in behavior.”

These studies have been so promising that many shelters are installing music systems with the idea that rotating favorable kinds of music will have a calming effects on the shelter animals and contribute to an overall more pleasant shelter experience for visitors.

Pretty interesting, right? Armed with these scientific studies on soothing music for dogs, it is up to you to find out if your dog prefers reggae or classical music. With any luck, your musical tastes will match!

What sounds to dogs like

Many pet owners leave their home radios playing all day for the listening pleasure of their dogs and cats. Station choices vary. “We have a very human tendency to project onto our pets and assume that they will like what we like,” said Charles Snowdon, an authority on the musical preferences of animals. “People assume that if they like Mozart, their dog will like Mozart. If they like rock music, they say their dog prefers rock.”

Against the conventional wisdom that music is a uniquely human phenomenon, recent and ongoing research shows that animals actually do share our capacity for it. But rather than liking classical or rock, Snowdon, an animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has discovered that animals march to the beat of a different drum altogether. They enjoy what he calls “species-specific music”: tunes specially designed using the pitches, tones and tempos that are familiar to their particular species.

With no pun intended, music is all about scale: Humans like music that falls within our acoustic and vocal range, uses tones we understand, and progresses at a tempo similar to that of our heartbeats. A tune pitched too high or low sounds grating or ungraspable, and music too fast or slow is unrecognizable as such.

To most animals, human music falls into that ungraspable, unrecognizable category. With vocal ranges and heart rates very different from ours, they simply aren’t wired to appreciate songs tailored for our ears. Most studies find that, try as we might to get their legs thumping, animals generally respond to human music with a total lack of interest. That’s why Snowdon has worked with cellist and composer David Teie to compose music that is tailored to suit them.

Back in 2009, the researchers composed two songs for tamarins — monkeys with vocalizations three octaves higher than our own and heart rates twice as fast. The songs sound shrill and unpleasant to us, but they seem to be music to the monkeys’ ears. The song modeled on excited monkey tones and set to a fast tempo made the tamarins visibly agitated and active. By contrast, they calmed down and became unusually social in response to a “tamarin ballad,” which incorporated happy monkey tones and a slower tempo.

Snowdon and Teie have moved on to composing music for cats, and studying how they respond to it.

“We have some work-in-progress where we’ve transposed music and put it in the frequency range for cat vocalizations, and have used their resting heart rate, which is faster than ours,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. “We find that cats prefer to listen to the music composed in their frequency range and tempo rather than human music.”

On the basis of their results, Teie has started selling cat songs online (at $1.99 per song) through a company called “Music for Cats.”

Dogs are a tougher audience, mostly because breeds vary widely in size, vocal range and heart rate. However, large dogs such as Labradors or mastiffs have vocal ranges that are quite similar to those of adult male humans. “So, it is possible that they might be responsive to music in our frequency range. My prediction is that a big dog might be more responsive to human music than a smaller dog such as a Chihuahua,” Snowdon said. [Dogs Play the Piano in New Video]

Indeed, some dogs do appear to respond emotionally to human music. Research led by Deborah Wells, a psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast, shows that dogs can discern between human music of different genres. “Our own research has shown that dogs certainly behave differently in response to different types of music, e.g., showing behaviors more suggestive of relaxation in response to classical music and behaviors more suggestive of agitation in response to heavy metal music,” Wells wrote in an email.

Considering the great demand for new ways to please our pets, more progress is likely to be made in the field of animal music. But no matter how well composers perfect their dog, cat and monkey songs, the animals will probably never appreciate their species-specific music quite as much as humans appreciate ours. According to Snowdon, they lack an important musical ability that we possess: relative pitch.

“We can recognize that a sequence of notes is the same whether it’s in the key of F or A flat,” he said. “I have found that animals have very good absolute pitch, but they don’t have relative pitch. They can learn to recognize a sequence of notes, but if you transpose the notes to a different key, so that the sequence uses the same relative notes but the key is different, they can’t recognize the relationships between the notes anymore.”

He added, “To that extent, we understand music in a different way than animals do.”

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover. Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.

Natalie Wolchover was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012 and is currently a senior physics writer and editor for Quanta Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tufts University and has studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with the staff of Quanta, Wolchover won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory writing for her work on the building of the James Webb Space Telescope. Her work has also appeared in the The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Writing on Mathematics, Nature, The New Yorker and Popular Science. She was the 2016 winner of the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, as well as the winner of the 2017 Science Communication Award for the American Institute of Physics.

What happens when you stare into your dog’s eyes

Owners who want to better understand their canine companions must recognize that dogs see the world from a different visual perspective. The differences begin with the structure of the eye. We have a good idea what dogs see because we know the make-up of the retina of a dog’s eye.

The retina is the light sensitive portion of the eye. This structure is located in the back of the inside of the eyeball. The retina contains two types of light sensitive cells; rods and cones. Cones provide color perception and detailed sight, while rods detect motion and vision in dim light. Dogs have rod-dominated retinas that allow them to see well in the dark. Along with superior night vision, dogs have better motion visibility than humans have. However, because their retinas’ contain only about one-tenth the concentration of cones (that humans have), dogs do not see colors as humans do.

Dogs see like a color-blind human. Many people think that a person who is red / green color blind cannot see any color, but there are variations of color blindness. Most people have vision that is trichromatic (three-color variations). People who are red / green color blind are dichromatic (two color variations). Dogs’ retinas can distinguish two colors. These colors are blue-violet and yellow. Dogs can also differentiate between shades of gray. Dogs are unable to recognize green, yellow, orange, and red.

Dogs use other cues (such as smell, texture, brightness, and position) rather than relying solely on color. Seeing-eye dogs, for example, may not distinguish between a green or red stoplight; they look at the brightness and position of the light. This, along with the flow and noise of traffic, tell the dog that it is the right time to cross the street.

How a dog’s eyes are set determines the field of view as well as depth perception. Prey species tend to have eyes located on the sides of their head. This gives the animals an increased field of view and allows them to see approaching predators. Predator species, like humans and dogs, have eyes set close together. Human eyes are set straight forward while dog eyes, depending on the breed, are usually set at a 20 degree angle. This angle increases the field of view and therefore increases the peripheral vision of the dog.

Increased peripheral vision compromises the amount of binocular vision. Binocular vision occurs where the field of view of each eye overlaps. Binocular vision is necessary for depth perception. The wider-set eyes of dogs have less overlap and less binocular vision (thus less depth perception). Dogs’ depth perception is best when they look straight ahead. This is not an ideal situation as their nose often interferes. Predators need binocular vision as a survival tool. Binocular vision aids in jumping, leaping, catching, and many other activities fundamental to predators.

In addition to having less binocular vision than humans have, dogs also have less visual acuity. Humans with perfect eyesight are said to have 20/20 vision. This means that we can distinguish letters or objects at a distance of 20 feet. Dogs typically have 20/75 vision. What this means is that they must be 20 feet from an object to see it as well as a human standing 75 feet away. Certain breeds have better visual acuity. Labradors, commonly used as seeing-eye dogs, are bred for better eyesight and may have vision that is closer to 20/20.

If you’re silently standing across the field from your dog, don’t expect him (her) to recognize you. He’ll recognize you when you do some sort of motion particular to yourself. He (she) may also recognize your presence by his outstanding sense of smell and / or hearing. Because of the large number of rods in the retina, dogs see moving objects much better than they see stationary objects. Motion sensitivity has been noted as the critical aspect of canine vision. Much of dog behavior deals with posture and appropriateness. Small changes in your body posture mean a lot to your dog. Dog owners need to modify training based on this fact. If you want your dog to perform an action based on a silent cue, we suggest using a wide sweeping hand and arm motion in order to cue your dog.

When dogs go blind, owners often wonder if the dogs’ quality of life has diminished to the point where they are no longer happy. Humans deal well with being blind, and humans are much more dependent on their eyes than are dogs. Blind dogs lead happy lives as long as they are comfortable. The owner may need to make some adjustments in the pet’s environment. Some of these adjustments include fencing the yard, taking leashed walks, and not leaving unusual objects in the dog’s normal pathways. Obviously, most blind dogs cannot navigate stairs very well. When blind dogs are in their normal environment, most people don’t know they are blind.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Staring into your dog’s eyes is a joyous experience. As a matter of fact, it releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone, in you and your dog. That’s the same hormone, and therefore the same feeling, we get when we look at our children. But do all dogs look into our eyes in the same way? Because dogs use eye contact and follow the human gaze better than wolves, it’s possible that a breed‘s ability to communicate visually is associated with how genetically similar that breed is to a wolf. Recent research suggests that the more closely related to wolves a breed is, the less often it will make spontaneous eye contact with humans.

Akitsugu Konno and his colleagues studied 120 pet dogs in two experimental tasks to determine if certain breeds of dog gazed at humans more or less than other breeds. They theorized that if relatedness to wolves determines the use of eye contact, then those breeds classified as ancient (most closely related to wolves) would show less eye contact than all other breeds. Alternatively, if our history of breeding for working dogs has led to greater eye contact, then certain working breeds would show an increased use of eye contact compared to all other breeds.

Twenty-six different breeds of dog were used in the study, and they were classified into five groups based on genetic relatedness. These groups were ancient (e.g. Siberian Husky), herding (e.g. Border Collie), hound (e.g. Beagle), retriever-mastiff (e.g. Labrador Retriever), and working (e.g. German Shepherd Dog).

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

The first task the dogs were required to complete was called the visual contact task. During this experiment, the dogs were free to make eye contact with the experimenter who was looking at the dog while standing beside an unreachable food container. The dog’s gazing behavior was observed.

In the second task, called the unsolvable task, the dogs were given a hidden treat. The treat was placed under a container on a wooden board. For six trials, the dog could overturn the container and get the treat, but on the seventh trial, the unsolvable trial, the container was attached to the board, and the dog could not get at the treat. The dog was free to make eye contact with both the owner and the experimenter who stood behind the dog after he was presented with the immovable container. Again, the dog’s gazing behavior was measured.

Almost all of the dogs spontaneously looked at humans during the tasks, indicating their attempt to communicate visually when trying to obtain a food reward. In fact, there were no differences in gazing behavior between breed groups during the visual contact task. However, during the unsolvable task, ancient breeds took longer to make eye contact with people, and they looked at people for shorter periods of time than any other breed group. This was in spite of the fact that they were equally motivated to solve the problem and get the treat.

This indicates that ancient breeds are less likely to use eye contact with humans to communicate. This is similar to previous studies conducted with wolves and in keeping with research on wild dogs. The researchers concluded that genetic similarity to wolves is responsible for differences in eye contact behavior, rather than human selection for certain working breeds, although they couldn’t rule out the influence of breeding for specific behavioral traits.

Whether your dog is a natural gazer, or one of Konno’s ancient breeds, you can always encourage eye contact by training a cue like “Watch me.” And if you’re looking to get your oxytocin fix for the day, besides gazing into your dog’s eyes, the same hit of the love hormone can be had from petting, cuddling, or any other positive interaction with your dog.

AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Alexander/Adobe Stock

With so many opinions and misinformation about dog eye contact, it’s understandable why people wonder what eye contact means to a dog. Eye contact happens naturally; it’s part of normal body language. However, staring is considered rude and it’s scary to most dogs. Learn the difference between making eye contact with and staring at your dog, and how your dog perceives both.

Making Eye Contact With Your Dog vs. Staring at Your Dog

Dogs and their humans will make eye contact several times a day. It’s normal and natural behavior. Many dogs will make eye contact with their owners when it’s dinner time, treats are nearby or someone is ringing the doorbell. Likewise, some pet owners will look directly at their dog’s face when calling them over for a quick game of tug, when arriving home from work or when relaxing on the sofa at night.

This type of eye contact is fleeting. You and your dog make eye contact, then you both immediately look away and focus on another task. Polite eye contact lasts 1-2 seconds and moves fluidly with other friendly body language.

Staring is different, and considered rude to dogs. When a person stares into another dog’s eyes, the dog perceives it as a threat. Think about it this way: If someone stares at you, you’d wonder why this person was staring at you or assume the person was upset. When people stare, their bodies freeze in place with still arms, yet their heads follow the dog or person they’re staring at while they move away. This body posture not only freaks you out, but dogs too.

What Happens When You Stare at a Dog

Dogs will likely move away from a threat. If they catch someone staring at them, they’ll try to disengage from the person staring. Some dogs will:

  • Look away from a staring person
  • Slowly slink away
  • Yawn
  • Hold up a front paw
  • Shake it off (looks like he’s shaking water off his coat

If this happens, the person unintentionally staring at the dog should turn sideways and look away from the worried dog. Intimidation teaches a dog that a person is unpredictable and scary. It’s tough learning from someone who’s intimidating, and it’s unfair to force a dog to learn this way. Remember, staring is considered rude in both the human and canine world. 🙂

Dog Eye Contact Dominance is a Myth

There’s no such thing as dominance between dogs and humans. If someone mentions staring at a dog to show dominance, explain that this outdated dog myth was dispelled by the person who wrote it. Staring at a dog won’t teach him you’re dominant; he’ll just think you’re being rude. While 90% of dogs will disengage from a person staring—they don’t want trouble—the other 10% will likely engage. Remember, dogs don’t need to be dominated. Dogs need someone to positively teach them polite manners instead.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Have you ever felt your dog’s eyes following you, like they’re watching your every move? Maybe your dog stares at you while enjoying a chew toy or bone. Or, perhaps you enjoy sitting with your dog and gazing into each other’s eyes. Whatever the scenario, dogs spend a great deal of time staring at humans. And many dog owners spend a great deal of time wondering why.

Unfortunately, there is no simple one-stare-fits-all answer. Dogs have many reasons for turning their gaze on us. But most of the time they are either communicating with us or waiting for us to communicate with them. With a little knowledge and observation, you can learn to tell the difference. You can also teach your dog alternative ways to communicate that aren’t quite so puzzling as staring.

Dogs Are Reading Us

More than almost any other animal on earth, dogs are in tune with humans. They sense our moods, follow our pointing gestures, and read us for information about what’s going to happen next. That means they stare at us a lot to gain knowledge about their environment. Essentially, they are waiting for us to do something that will impact them. For example, dogs quickly learn that their owners pick up the leash before taking them on a walk. Therefore, they will watch for that signal that a trip outside is on its way. The same is true for mealtimes, play sessions, car rides, and so much more.

Dogs also wait for more deliberate cues from their owners. Cues to perform a specific behavior like sit or down are chances to earn a reward. Since dogs love getting a treat, toy, or game, they will keep an eye out for these opportunities. This is particularly true of dogs trained with positive reinforcement methods. These dogs learn to love training and wait eagerly for signs it’s time to play the training game.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Dogs Are Trying to Tell Us Something

Staring also occurs when your dog is trying to get your attention or tell you something. For example, if it’s time for a potty break, your dog might sit by the door and gawk at you. Or, if your dog is hungry and you’re eating, staring can indicate a desire for you to share your food. It’s the canine equivalent of a tap on the shoulder.

Some dogs stare to manipulate their owners and get something they want. This is a common scenario with begging at the dinner table. If the dog stares long enough, the owner will hand over a morsel of their meal. In truth, you have created that monster. In the beginning, the dog would have stared simply out of interest. If you ignored the gaze, your pup probably would have found something else to do. But the stare makes you feel uncomfortable or guilty, so you give in to make it stop. And there you have it- the dog has learned a new way to communicate.

If you become aware of your reaction to your dog’s staring behavior and eliminate any rewards, your dog will eventually try new behaviors to get your attention. A better approach is to teach your dog what you would like instead. For example, your dog could chew a bone in a dog bed while you eat, or ring a doggie bell to let you know it’s time for an outdoor potty break. If you reward the new behavior and ignore the staring, soon you will have a dog that looks at you for cues rather than guilt trips.

Dogs Are Telling Us How They Feel

Your pup also uses eye contact to express emotions, both positive and negative. In their wolf ancestors, staring is considered threatening and rude. Some dogs still retain that attitude. That’s why you should never stare down strange dogs or hold dogs still to stare into their eyes. If a dog gives you a hard stare, with unblinking eyes and a stiff posture, back away and don’t make eye contact. You might see this in your own dog when there is a bone or other valued treat at stake. Resource guarding is often accompanied by a hard stare and other aggressive body language. If you see it in your dog, consult a professional trainer or behaviorist.

Of course, a lot of dog staring is exactly what it seems — an expression of love. Just as humans stare into the eyes of someone they adore, dogs will stare at their owners to express affection. In fact, mutual staring between humans and dogs releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone. This chemical plays an important role in bonding and boosts feelings of love and trust. The same hormone that is released when a new mother looks at her baby is also triggered when you look at your dog. No wonder our dogs like to stare at us all the time.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Dogs and Humans Can Benefit from Staring

Most dog staring is a combination of affection and attention. While it may make you uncomfortable, your dog is most likely fascinated by you. So rather than discouraging that human-centric focus, you can make it work for both of you. First, be aware of the signals you give your dog. For example, are you saying sit with your words but something completely different with your body language? Help your dog understand your intentions by being consistent and clear.

Second, a focused dog is easier to train. If your dog is looking at you, the surrounding distractions are less likely to get in the way. Consider putting your dog’s eye contact on cue with a phrase like “look at me” or “watch me.” Then you can ask for some stares when you want your dog to pay attention to you rather than the environment.

Finally, consider using that intense eye contact to give you a performance boost at dog sports. Sports like AKC Rally or Agility depend on teamwork. The dog must be in tune with the handler’s body position and cues at all times. And in sports like Obedience and AKC Trick Dog, dogs need to learn very specific and exact behaviors, then execute them without being distracted. Dogs that are attentively staring towards their humans will learn faster and perform better.

Need some help training your dog? While you may not be able to attend in-person training classes during COVID-19, we are here to help you virtually through AKC GoodDog! Helpline. This live telephone service connects you with a professional trainer who will offer unlimited, individualized advice on everything from behavioral issues to CGC prep to getting started in dog sports.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

A simple gaze or touch can flood a person with joy. Just look at parents who feel joy and love when they hold or look at their babies. Apparently, your brain releases the same chemical, called oxytocin, when you pet or gaze into your dog’s eyes.

The good news is that your dog feels the same way when you show them the love. You probably already knew that, but now, science can prove it!

Science Proves It: You And Your Dog Both Feel The Love

New research from Japan suggests that those loving looks at your dog might be the “oxytocin gaze,” and the feelings of adoration go both ways.

“It’s the feeling of closeness and understanding when you look into the eyes of another individual or another dog. They looked at when you pet a dog, too,” said assistant professor Kara Thorntun-Kurth at the Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science Department at Utah State University. “That also increases oxytocin levels. Oxytocin also leads towards that feeling of calmness and happiness.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how our dogs constantly look for our companionship and affection. Your gaze and touch floods them with oxytocin.

In a way, you can say that this may be a nice show of two-way love between person and dog. In that single instance, when you look at your dog and they look back at you, you can both enjoy a burst of oxytocin at the same time.

How To Further Strengthen Your Bond

Chances are you already have quite the strong bond with your pet. A relationship founded on trust and respect is bound to be strong and enduring.

However, in case you are in that stage of training a new pet or trying to bond with a more sensitive and shy dog, a few tricks might help.

Try bonding with your dog by teaching them tricks. Tricks almost always mean treats. Even if they haven’t started on the big ones just yet, be generous and reward your pooch. Once they know that you’re someone who upholds treat-giving time, you’ll develop their trust.

Another way to bond is to play games. Almost every dog loves games, and it’s also a good way to get closer to them.

Take the time to explore which activities resound with your dog. Some dogs love playing fetch, others prefer hide-and-seek. There are even those who prefer to just sit on your lap and be petted and cared for. Whatever your dog’s preferences are, be sure to respect them and indulge them.

Isn’t it nice to know that science backs the love you share with your dog? What do you think of this new study? Let us know in the comments below!

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Kayla Fratt, CDBC, is a certified dog behavior expert and writer with a decade of hands-on experience in dog training and canine aggression. She is a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Kayla also works with cats and birds, including falcons and homing pigeons.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Alycia Washington is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with nearly a decade of experience as a small animal emergency veterinarian. She currently works as a relief veterinarian for various emergency and specialty hospitals. Dr. Washington recognizes the importance of education and also works as a freelance veterinary writer.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

It’s a funny feeling to realize you’re being watched. It’s even weirder to realize that your own dog is staring at you while you brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, or spend time reading in bed. While being stared at by a dog might be less disconcerting than being stared at by a person, it’s still odd! There are a lot of reasons why your dog stares at you, and we broke them down so you’ll know what’s up with your pup the next time you lock eyes across the room.

Longing Eyes: Your Dog Wants Something

Most of the time that you catch your dog staring into your soul, it’s because you’ve got something she wants. That could be a toy, a tasty morsel, or a hand that should be petting her. Staring at you can also be a sign that your dog wants to be let outside.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Dogs quickly learn that staring at us is an okay way to ask for something. In fact, you probably have a hand in teaching your dog this behavior because you gave your dog something when she stared. You might have fed dinner (causing begging), absentmindedly reached out to pet, or taken her for a walk. In essence, you trained your dog to stare by rewarding her for staring!

As annoying as the staring can be, you’ll probably agree that staring is a better way to ask for something than barking, digging, or biting!

Tilted Head: Your Dog Is Confused

Dogs that stare during training, especially with that cute tilted head, are probably a bit confused. Your dog is trying to figure out what you want—much like you’re trying to figure out what she wants! It would be so much easier if we all spoke the same language.

If you catch your dog staring at you when you ask her to do something, it’s time to backtrack your training a bit and find a way to communicate more clearly. So if you ask your dog to sit and she just stares at you, go back to the drawing board and re-train the behavior. Your dog isn’t being willfully disobedient. She’s just confused!

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Direct Stare, Hard Eyes: Your Dog Is Tense

There’s an entirely different sort of dog stare out there. Right before many dog bites, the dog gives a “hard stare.” This stink-eye look can last just a split second or go on for minutes. It’s one of many warnings of a dog bite. Confusingly, many dogs will also avert their gaze before they bite.

If you’re petting a dog or approaching a dog’s toy, food, cage, or bed when she turns and stares right at you, back off.

It can take some serious practice to tell the difference between what animal behaviorists call a “hard stare” and just a longing look for liver treats.

Give your dog space if her stare is accompanied with a stiff tail (wagging or not), still body, closed mouth, dilated pupils (wide pupils), a lowered head, ears pinned forward or backward, and a strong body shifts forward or backward. You might not see all of these signs at once, but look out for any combinations.

Dealing with canine aggression isn’t easy, but the least you can do at this point is to back off. Confronting a dog isn’t worth it!

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Soft Eyes: Your Dog Loves You

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, your dog might be looking into your eyes because she loves you. An article in Science from 2015 found that dogs and humans both release oxytocin when they look into each other’s eyes.

This soft gaze can easily be mistaken for a hard stare for new owners, so context is important. This sign that your dog loves you will probably be accompanied with a soft or sweeping tail wag, a light pant, relaxed ears, and normal-sized pupils.

Many dogs are more prone to loving gazes early in the morning when serotonin levels are highest. Your dog is unlikely to look lovingly into your eyes when she’s playing, eating, or training—so assume that she’s got a different motivation if that’s what’s going on.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Herding and Hunting: Your Dog Is on the Prowl

Herding dogs are also prone to staring, as a way to control sheep, goats, cows, toys, and people. The famous “eye” of a Border Collie comes out as the dog stalks a flock of stock, a toy, or a playmate.

Hunting dogs also often stare when they’re on the prowl. This behavior can be playful or serious but comes out often when you’re in the middle of a game or the forest. If you notice your dog suddenly slow down, lower her head, and stare into the distance (or at a moving object), she’s probably in hunting or herding mode!

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

If you’re trying to figure out exactly why your dog is staring at you, context is important. You’ll have to pay attention to what’s going on around you as well as the rest of your dog’s body language.

Human or canine, eye contact is a big part of communication. Eyes convey emotion, indicate intent, and they reflect individual personality in ways many people don’t realize. There’s a lot that’s the same when it comes to human and canine eyes—you and your pup can even share the same eye color—but the way dogs understand eye contact will always be slightly different than what seems normal for humans. Understanding how your dog feels about eye contact is important for your relationship, and it’ll help you better communicate with every dog you meet.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

How People Understand Eye Contact

For people, eye contact (as long as it’s not obviously threatening) can be reassuring and even comforting. People like it when the person they’re interacting with pays attention to them and makes an effort to look in their eyes. It suggests honesty and an interest in the conversation.

A study done in 1980 found that students learn better and retain more information when their teachers make eye contact during their lectures. Babies seek out attention from people who look directly at them, and a budding romance usually starts with one person making eye contact with another. There will always be exceptions, like introverted people who prefer not to be noticed, but in general, eye contact between humans is a good thing.

Eye Contact Between Dogs

In the dog world, however, eye contact is treated differently. Dogs rarely make eye contact with each other. In most cases, dogs lock eyes for less than two seconds at a time, and they’re careful about when they let it happen. If you’re at the dog park, it’s common for two dogs to briefly make eye contact as a cue to start playing. They’ll lock eyes, jump into a play bow, and then set off chasing and playing.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Eye contact before playing is one of only a few examples of dogs locking eyes for a positive reason. Other times, staring and prolonged eye contact is perceived as a threat. Dominant dogs tend to stare down other dogs as a way to assert their higher social status, and a dog that stares back is usually doing it as a challenge. Wag! says,

“When another dog begins a stare-down, the recipient has two courses of action: meet and hold the dominant dog’s gaze, which may elevate the confrontation into a conflict, or avert their gaze, which signals submissiveness.”

In most cases, dogs choose to avoid eye contact altogether. When two dogs approach each other, it’s normal for them to avert their eyes. A direct stare makes them feel uncomfortable, and an uncomfortable dog is an unpredictable dog. They might choose to flee the scene, show submissiveness, or react aggressively to protect themselves from a perceived threat.

Eye Contact With Unfamiliar People

Behaviorists and researchers have long-since dismissed the belief that dogs view humans as other funny-looking canines, but most dogs treat interactions with unfamiliar people the same as if they were meeting a fellow dog for the first time. From a dog’s point of view, a stranger who makes eye contact is a potential threat. If the dog has a dominant personality, they could react aggressively. Even if the dog isn’t especially dominant, they can still feel threatened and choose to fight instead of flee.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Whenever you come across an unfamiliar dog, whether it’s a stray or a dog you’re thinking about adopting, keep your gaze away from their face. Look at their ears or their chest and approach them at a diagonal. You want to show them you’re a friend and not a threat, and to do that, you need to speak their body language.

Eye Contact With Familiar People

As domesticated animals, dogs have adapted to life with humans. They’ve learned what we like and what we don’t like, and even though they’re not naturally comfortable with eye contact, some are willing to make exceptions for the people they love. They’ve figured out that locking eyes with a particular person might trigger something pleasant, like a treat, praise, or a satisfying scratch behind the ears. Some dog owners train for this behavior, but dogs are also capable of picking it up all on their own.

A study done in 2015 suggests dogs understand the power of human eye contact better than we previously gave them credit for. Led by animal behaviorist Takefumi Kikusui from Azaba University in Japan, researchers conducted an experiment that suggests over generations, dogs have learned to use eye contact to form social bonds with humans. As a result, the study shows a person staring into their dog’s eyes produces the same biological response as a mother looking at her child. Both bonds trigger a release of oxtyocin (a hormone that makes you feel good) in both people and dogs. Some researchers believe it’s possible dogs started staring into human eyes on purpose to cement their position as man’s best friend.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Should You Stare Into Your Dog’s Eyes?

The answer to this question depends on your dog. If your dog is confident and comfortable by your side, looking into their eyes could set off a flood of feel-good hormones that leaves you both blissfully content. It could help make your already strong bond even better.

If your dog is the timid type, is still getting used to you, or has a history of not trusting humans, however, forcing eye contact could make them feel uncomfortable at best and intimidated at worst. You can teach your dog that eye contact with you is a good thing by playing a game called “look at me.” Have your dog on a leash and every time they voluntarily look you in the eye—even for a split second—reward them with a treat and praise. For dogs that are unlikely to look in someone’s eyes, try holding the treat directly in front of your face to guide their eyes toward yours. The game should be a positive experience, and over time, it can show your dog that only good things happen when you look into their eyes.

Every dog owner is familiar with a sense of being watched. Dogs spend a lot of time staring at their owners, even if the owners find the constant attention a bit disconcerting.

Sometimes it’s obvious why your dog is looking intently at you. When you’re about to take a bite of some delicious smelling food, your dog is probably staring. On the other hand, they might be staring to tell you that they’re not feeling well and need help. Other times, they seem to be staring at you for no reason at all.

Even if you don’t understand what your dog is looking at, your dog has a good reason to be watching you.

Dogs Stare to Communicate

Many times, dogs use eye contact to tell you something or to ask you for something.

To understand. Dogs watch you to understand what you’re doing. Dogs and humans have a special relationship. Dogs are naturally inclined to become attached to their owners and they take an interest in what their humans do. Watching people is how they gather information about their actions.

Sometimes they’re looking for a signal that you might be about to take them for a walk or feed them a meal. If you’ve trained your dog to respond to hand or voice signals, they might be waiting for a signal to tell them what to do next. Other times, they’re just observing you so that they can know more about you.

They want something. Your dog might want something from you. Sometimes dogs use eye contact to ask their owners for something. Many dog owners are familiar with the intent stare a dog gives you to beg for food. Other times, your dog might look at you to get your attention because they want to go outside. Maybe they just hope you’ll pick up a toy and play with them.

Sometimes this kind of staring is combined with playful bowing or a suggestive look toward where you keep your leash. If you give your dog what they want when they stare at you to beg, you reinforce the behavior. They’ll keep using staring as a way to get what they want. You can talk to your vet or a dog trainer to get tips for curbing this form of begging if it’s a problem for you.

Something is wrong. In some cases, your dog might be staring at you in a pleading way. If they’re hurt or sick, they might be staring in the hope that you’ll notice their discomfort. If your dog is less active than usual and their stare seems glassy-eyed or unfocused, check for signs of injury or illness. Any time your dog seems to be hurt or sick, you should discuss the situation with your vet.

Aggression. Hard eye contact is a sign of aggression in dogs. Dogs lock eyes with one another to establish dominance or to show aggression. If a dog gives a person a hard, steady stare without blinking, the dog might be warning the human to back off.

Your dog might be more likely to do this to a stranger, especially if your dog thinks they need to protect you. If your dog is aggressively staring at you or a family member, that might point to a bigger behavioral problem. Aggressive or territorial dogs might be a danger to people. Talk to your vet or an animal behaviorist about how to correct the issue.

Affection. Your dog might simply be looking at you with love. Dogs love their owners and they gaze at them with the doggy equivalent of heart eyes. You might notice that your dog’s eyes seem slightly squinted when they look at you sometimes. This expression, along with a relaxed posture, is a sign that they’re giving you a look of love.

If you take a moment to stare back at your dog, it can be a bonding moment for both of you. Mutual staring between dogs and their owners releases oxytocin. This is a hormone that gives you a feeling of love and well-being.

You Can Learn to Understand Your Dog’s Stares

If you pay attention to what is going on when your dog locks eyes on you, you can get a sense of why they’re staring at you.

Paying attention to their body language will give you additional clues about why they’re following you with their eyes. Take note of what you’re doing in the moment to figure out what draws their attention.

Most of the time, if your dog is staring at you, it’s because they consider you important, and they just want to be part of whatever you do.

Dogs are known all over the world for how adorable they look with a tilted head and puppy-eyes.

But, did you know that something as simple as a little eye contact with your buddy can release oxytocin into your bloodstream and make you feel like you are bonded for life. Your dog’s eyes are very vocal and there are layers to what staring may mean in different situations.

Let’s try to understand the difference between a hard stare and a soft stare so that, the next time your canine best friend hits you with an unknown expression, you can work out exactly what to do and which tips to follow!

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about why do dogs eat dirt and why do dogs scratch the carpet.

What are they trying to communicate?

Chances are that, if you have had your pet dog staring at you all the time, you will want to get to the bottom of the issue and understand what exactly could be causing such behavior.

A dog stare, whether it be soft, puppy eyes, or harsh and aggressive ones, has a lot more to say and express than we may immediately understand. The first and most adorable reason why your dog might be staring at you a lot is simply because they want to show their affection and appreciation towards the person that they love the most. This is one of the signs that you have succeeded as a pet parent and that your pet would do anything for you!

One reason why your pet might be looking at you with begging eyes while you are at the dinner table is because it wants some food scraps and some extra attention. Dogs know pretty well that their ‘puppy eyes’ can melt through everyone’s hearts and turn them into mush, and, if they do want something from your plate of food, chances are that they will watch you eating until their desire has been fulfilled. Dogs look to humans for direction once they begin to enjoy their training, and hence, if your canine friend has been staring at you while taking a walk in the park, maybe the little guy is confused about where to go.

Your canine friend is an animal, so it does not share the same language as us. Therefore, it is hardly a matter of surprise that it may seek attention through staring behavior. Dog stares can also mean that they are hungry, want a toy or have to poop! If your canine family member has been trained in such a way that it can only poop outside the house, it will definitely wait for the pet owner (you) to allow it to go outside and take care of its needs. Such attention seeking dog behavior is quite typical and can be seen across all sorts of dog breeds.

Since dog owners are the only authoritative and yet friendly figure that your animal will completely submit to, dogs make use of their body language and eye contact to communicate any desires, whether it be extra cuddles, wanting to play or just wanting to go to the loo! When the stare is not straight and your pup does not need to go outside, a cocked head usually shows confusion. This body language, combined with eye contact, means that the dog is awaiting some sign or command from its owners. After training, dogs usually learn to look to their human friends for directions and commands, and hence, if you haven’t given your pup any instructions of what it should be doing, expect some confused staring!

Why do some dogs stare at you and not others?

Soft dog-staring is typically seen in cases where a pet stares at its owners. Such eye contact shows the bond between the dog’s owners and the animal itself.

Understandably, since such a bond will rarely be shared with people outside of the house, your canine best friend will typically stare at you and not other dogs. In the rare case that you get caught in a dog’s stare and feel uncomfortable, it will typically be from a strange dog that will treat you with a hard stare. A hard stare is basically a symbol of aggression, and you should definitely take it as a sign to stay as far away as possible. Dogs and humans don’t share the same language of communication and, to cope with the language barrier, eyes play as much of a role as they do in typical conversations between humans!

Why don’t dogs like it when you stare at them?

While you may think that you are just holding the gaze of your dog in a friendly way, dogs don’t think the same way about humans staring at them.

In dog language, staring is a rude thing to do and can even be interpreted as aggression. You may have noticed that your dog will try to avert its eyes or try to break your gaze with a yawn or a paw in front of its face. This is a way to make sure that you notice that the furry animal is uncomfortable with your staring eyes. However, it is common that a human being and their canine best friend will make fleeting eye contact throughout the day. Did you know that when a human being and their pet dog stare at each other, a hormone called oxytocin is released in the human body. Oxytocin is the hormone of love and affection, and so no wonder pet parents start to feel extremely happy after having some time with their furry ball of joy!

Do dogs know when you stare at them?

Some scientists and researchers suggest that dogs have the ability to sense exactly when someone is staring at them.

While we do not have enough evidence to back that theory, proper training can be directly related to such seemingly supernatural abilities. Understandably, a dog’s senses are way stronger than any human’s, and so the possibility that dogs can tell when they are being stared at shouldn’t be ruled out.

Why do dogs stare at you from the side?

We know it might be a little creepy when your dog starts staring at you from the side. The first thing to clarify here would be that a side-eye from your pet does not mean it will bite you or steal your food.

This kind of staring is a sign that your beloved pup wants some space! Yes, dogs too want space once in a while. Maybe you have gotten too close to a toy that they have been hiding or a bone that they want to eat in peace. In such situations, the most important thing to keep in mind is to allow the animal some time on its own.

While we have been discussing all of the friendly types of stares that your dog could be giving you, there are some stares that can be problematic and should be looked into. If your dog has been staring into the void and has been behaving unusually, make sure to visit a veterinarian because there might be underlying medical issues causing it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do dogs stare at you then why not take a look at why do dogs get the zoomies, or Icelandic Sheepdog facts.

Humans and dogs have been staring into each other’s eyes for generations. Whether it’s a pleading gaze for some leftovers, or a loving stare before a lick on the face, many dogs have mastered the art of making eye contact with their human companions.

You might think this is just a side effect of living with humans for thousands of years – an adaptation for easier communications – but there are multiple reasons for dogs to stare at humans, and a new study has found that some dogs are better at it than others.

“Mutual gaze also plays a role in dog–human bonding,” the team writes in their new paper. “Its duration is associated with increased oxytocin levels in both dogs and their human partners.”

The researchers measured a number of different factors to investigate what causes dogs to share more eye contact with humans. They measured the age and playfulness of the dogs around strangers, as well as the breed and traditional function that the dogs may have had.

They also took some measurements of the dogs’ heads, known as their cephalic index.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

(Bognár et al., Scientific Reports, 2021)

You might not imagine that the ratio between a dog’s snout length and head width would make much change to eye contact, but it actually produces a genuine difference in how these dog breeds see the world.

Short, thick-headed dogs can see less in their periphery than those with long thin heads, and past research has shown that those with shorter heads are more successful at following human gestures than those with long heads.

“It is likely that they see the human face more sharply because of their special retina, but it is also possible that their owners gaze at them more often as their facial features resemble a small child, a powerful cue for humans,” said the first author of the study, ethologist Zsófia Bognár from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary.

“Because of this, dogs with shorter noses may be more experienced in making eye contact. The boxer, bulldog, pug, and snub-nosed dogs, in general, have a more pronounced area centralis in the retina, so they can better respond to stimuli in the central field, which may make it easier for them to form eye contact with humans.”

The team took 125 adult dogs through a series of experiments, including one where dogs were given a bit of sausage each time after making eye contact with the experimenter.

As you would expect, the team found the dogs got faster at making eye contact as the experiment went on, but they also discovered that numerous factors regarding the dogs’ head sizes and breeds affected the speed and amount of eye contact between the different animals.

“Results showed that dogs with a higher cephalic index (shorter head) established eye contact faster,” the team writes.

“Breed function also affected dogs’ performance: cooperative breeds and mongrels established eye contact faster than dogs from non-cooperative breeds. Younger dogs formed eye contact faster than older ones. More playful dogs formed eye contact faster.”

Who knew that the behavior of humans’ best friends depended so much on the shape of their nose?

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

They say the eyes are the window the the soul. Cliché, yes, but if that saying was to apply to one thing, it’s arguable there’s nothing more fitting than the stare a dog owner and his companion share. That’s because each time it happens, triggers in both brains are being fired, and the love hormone oxytocin is released, a new study has found.

Animal behaviorist Takeumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan and his team found evidence in their new study, published in the journal Science, that suggests dogs used their lovable stare to win over the hearts of humans thousands of years ago. When interacting and exchanging gazes, both dogs and their owners experienced rushes of oxytocin in their brains.

“Eye gaze from human to animals is usually threatening, not affiliative,” Kikusui said, according to CBS News. “We speculated that some small population of ancestor of dogs show an affiliative eye gaze toward humans, due to the change in the temperament. In this process, we agree that there is a [possibility] that dogs cleverly and unknowingly utilize a natural system meant for bonding a parent with his or her child.”

While previous studies have suggested oxytocin is active in the brains of dogs and their owners, the current study provides a more comprehensive look. In one experiment, the researchers looked at oxytocin levels in the urine of 30 human-dog pairs before and after spending a half-hour together. They found oxytocin levels increased among both dog and owner when the gaze was held for at least five minutes or for longer. Another experiment found that dogs given oxytocin were more likely to stare at their owners for longer, although this effect was only seen in female dogs.

By comparison, a control group of wolf-owner pairs turned up no changes in hormone production, despite the wolves being raised by the person staring into their eyes. “These results suggest that wolves do not use mutual gaze as a form of social communication with humans,” Kikusui said.

Speaking to Live Science, Kikusui said the findings may help uncover how dogs and humans came to be so close. He said it’s possible a small, naturally more friendly group of wolves may have come upon humans, creating a bond through their gaze. “We use eye gaze for affiliative communications, and are very much sensitive to eye contact,” Kikusui told Live Science. “Therefore, the dogs who can use eye gaze to the owner more efficiently would have more benefit from humans.”

Source: Nagasawa M, Mitsui S, En S, et al. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science. 2015.

Dog owners often talk about their pets like they’re part of the family. In fact, it often seems as though the family pooch is seen as another one of the kids. Now, scientists have found that the connections between humans and their dogs have the same biochemical basis as the mother-child bond, and it’s strengthened by the same thing: a loving gaze.

A new study in Science led by Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist at Azabu University in Japan, carried out a series of experiments that examined the impact of the gaze in the dogs and their owners and found that those puppy dog eyes are even more meaningful than we thought.

“Our data suggest that owner-dog bonding is comparable to human parent-infant bonding, that is, oxytocin-mediated eye-gaze bonding,” Kikusui said. “And this is surprising to us because there is not a reproductive relationship between human and dogs, but both of them have acquired similar skills. “

Oxytocin is a hormone associated with trust and maternal bonding – it increases when you’re close to someone you love and gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.

The researchers found that when owner’s and their canine charges gazed into one another’s eyes during a 30-minute period, levels of oxytocin (measured in their urine) increased in both the humans and the dogs. And when oxytocin was administered to dogs, it increased the amount of time that female dogs – but not males – gazed at their owner.

Kikusui said he believed the gaze was acquired by dogs as part of their efforts to communicate and form social bonds with humans.

“Eye gaze from human to animals is usually threatening, not affiliative,” he said. “We speculated that some small population of ancestor of dogs show an affiliative eye gaze toward humans, due to the change in the temperament. In this process, we agree that there is a possible that dogs cleverly and unknowingly utilize a natural system meant for bonding a parent with his or her child.”

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

When Hook, a Labrador Retriever, gazed into his owner’s eyes it increased his owner’s urinary oxytocin – a hormone associated with trust and maternal bonding. Mikako Mikura

Scientists have a good idea how dogs became domesticated, turning up at some of the first human settlements to take advantage of the left over bones. But to really embed themselves in human society, Kikusui believes dogs used their gaze to win over the hearts and minds of those early humans.

The latest studies have shown that dogs likely evolved from wolves about 15,000 years ago in Europe, though previous studies have put that date further back to around 30,000 years ago, when humans were hunter-gatherers.

Interestingly, Kikusui didn’t find the same oxytocin response in wolves and their owners. “These results suggest that wolves do not use mutual gaze as a form of social communication with humans, which might be expected because wolves tend to use eye contact as a threat,” the researchers wrote.

Dogs are known to be particularly good at reading their owners moods and that they exhibit a trait known as gaze following – essentially following the actions of humans – much as an infant or child might do.

Duke University’s Evan MacLean and Brian Hare, in an article accompanying the Science study, said dogs have proven much more adept at reading human social cues than even chimpanzees or great apes.

“Inspired by developmental psychologists studying human infants, comparative psychologists began studying family dogs. It quickly became apparent that dogs have much more to tell us about cognition, and ourselves than they might have imagined,” they wrote. “This is particularly true when it comes to how dogs understand the social world. Even as puppies, dogs spontaneously respond to cooperative human gestures, such as pointing cues, to find hidden food or toy rewards.”

In a bid to bond with their new neighbors, MacLean said dogs might have come to recognize the importance of the gaze between parents and their children and then saw how that helped them build a similar relationship.

“One fun evolutionary scenario might be dogs find a way to basically hijack these parenting type responses,” MacLean said in a Science podcast. “Over time, dogs may have taken more and more sort of childlike and juvenile characteristics to further and further embed themselves into this parent-child kind of framework.”

Nicholas H. Dodman, director of the animal behavior clinical at Tufts University, questioned whether the gaze alone was the reason dogs and humans bonded thousands of years ago. He said it was more likely the juvenile characteristics exhibited by dogs won over mankind, noting that other interactions between human and dogs such as petting have also shown to result in elevated levels of oxytocin.

“The look is part of the package but it’s not the sole reason why we chose dogs,” he said.

But the bonding isn’t all the dogs’ doing.

MacLean said dog owners play their part, noting that one study found that participants responded very similarly when shown pictures of their dogs as they would their children. Owners are famous for treating their dogs like members of the family, doting on them, talking to them in child-like voices and even dressing them in special doggy outfits.

“There have been some fun studies showing that, indeed, we respond to our dogs quite a bit like human children,” MacLean said. “One of my favorite ones was a recent brain imaging study that looked at mothers who were being shown pictures either of their own child or somebody else’s child and their own dog or somebody else’s dog. What the researchers found in this study is that there were brain networks in mothers who responded very similarly when they saw pictures of their own child or their own dog but didn’t have that response from looking at someone else’s child or somebody else’s dog.”

MacLean said he felt the Japanese study reinforces the idea that the human-dog relationship is like a parent-child relationship and could help explain the biological mechanisms that are involved in the use of dogs in therapy to treat everything from autism to post-traumatic stress.

“If it turns out there are benefits of administering oxytocin for some of these disabilities, using assistance dogs may actually be a fairly natural way to stimulate the system,” he said. “There may be some sort of medicinal properties of our interaction with dogs that we could use.”

Michael Casey covers the environment, science and technology for CBSNews.com

Unlike porcupines, dogs are a relatively hands-on (actually, paws-on) species, both with one another and with us. YouTube has numerous videos of dogs essentially saying, “Just keep petting me, please. Yes, that’s it…more.”

But this relationship is not one-sided. Many studies find that positive interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting, play and talking. Essentially, interacting with a dog, particularly a known dog, can have some of the same psychophysiological markers as when two emotionally attached people spend time together.

But do certain types of interactions have an outsized impact? Dogs are incredibly attentive to human faces and, in some cases, even specific facial expressions. This seemingly routine, benign behavior—your dog turning to gaze on your beautiful face as you do his or hers—could actually hold a very important piece of the puzzle in our relationship with dogs, suggests a study published this week in Science.

The new study, by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan and colleagues, builds on Nagasawa’s previous work, published in Hormones and Behavior in 2009, that found owners and dogs sharing a long mutual gaze had higher levels of oxytocin in their urine than owners of dogs giving a shorter gaze. (Oxytocin, a humble peptide of nine amino acids that is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone,” has been implicated in social bonding and is instrumental to the cascade of hormonal changes leading up to and following birth.) Nagasawa and her colleagues concluded that their finding was “a manifestation of attachment behavior.” By describing it in this context, the researchers postulated that gaze between a dog and human (particularly a known human), will share similar properties to mother–infant relationships.

Nagasawa’s new study investigates whether a dog’s gazing behavior affected not just the owner’s oxytocin concentrations but the dog’s as well. In the first experiment the researchers collected urine from 30 dog-and-owner pairs before and after a 30-minute interaction. As in the earlier study, owners whose dogs showed the most gazing behavior had a notable increase in oxytocin concentration. But this time the researchers also found a similar increase in the neurochemical in the dogs.

A second experiment aimed to disentangle whether a causal relationship could be observed between mutual gaze and the release of oxytocin. Another set of 30 dogs was given an intranasal spray of either oxytocin or saline prior to interacting with people. They found that female dogs that sniffed oxytocin gazed longer at their owners than when given saline. As expected, this gazing also stimulated oxytocin secretion in the owner recipients of the gaze. The mutual effects were not seen between dogs and unfamiliar humans—and for reasons that require further investigation, they were not seen in male dogs and their owners. These sex differences were not observed in the first part of the experiment.

A story emerges—and probably one that will make dog lovers cheer: Mutual gaze between dogs and the people who care for them produces a very similar physiological profile to what’s observed between mothers and infants. This overlap could both contribute to and facilitate our intense and deep-seated relationship with dogs.

Reflecting on her findings in an interview conducted via Skype, Nagasawa recommends that “dog owners not just say commands at their dogs, but to build up the relationship [and] consider the potentially beneficial role that mutual gaze can hold.”

The paper feeds into an ongoing discussion among researchers about whether the biological synchronization observed between dogs and humans indicates “coevolution of human–dog bonds,” as the title of the Science study suggests. Nagasawa and colleagues also investigated whether the increased oxytocin observed in dogs appears in hand-raised wolves that have interacted with a known human. The wolves, however, rarely held a gaze with the humans for more than a few moments. This divergence led the researchers to postulate that “dog-to-owner gaze as a form of social communications probably evolved during domestication” with humans.

Testing evolutionary theories (particularly coevolution) is notoriously tricky. Whereas it is exciting to include socialized wolves in these studies, differences between dogs and wolves should not necessarily be immediately followed by the tooting of a coevolutionary horn. Zsófia Virányi, a senior research scientist at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna’s Messerli Research Institute and a co-founder of the Wolf Science Center asks, “how much the differences we see are explained by evolutionary factors or differences in raising conditions.”

Researchers are finding more examples of areas where wolves perform successfully in sociocognitive tasks with humans, including attending to our social cues. For example, in a recent study Virányi found that both dogs and wolves learned from human demonstrators. In a chapter in the edited volume, The Social Dog: Behavior and Cognition, by Juliane Kaminski and Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Virányi and her colleague Friederike Range reflect on the numerous hypotheses attempting to understand dog domestication. They suggest “dog–wolf differences do not mean, however, that domestication is either necessary or sufficient to explain humanlike behavior in dogs.”

And then there’s also the numbers game. Although 60 dogs contributed to the current investigation, the coevolution question was ultimately tackled with just five human-reared wolves. The study began with 11 wolves—but guess what?: It’s hard to collect urine from a wolf. In one case a wolf’s urine was collected two hours after the desired time because the subject fell asleep — which is another way of saying the researchers maybe did not want to wake a sleeping wolf.

It would be useful to know more about the in-study behaviors of these five wolves. For example, were they exploring the novel environment where the testing took place or trying to get out, and could those factors contribute to why they did not orient toward their handlers? Virányi even wonders whether gaze would be the crucial factor in oxytocin effects between wolves and handlers. If other social exchanges besides gaze were tested, would a positive hormonal loop between wolves and humans appear? “It may not be fair to suggest the complete absence of an oxytocin-mediated positive loop in wolves as a species from these results,” says Monique Udell, an assistant professor at Oregon State University who has investigated human–wolf interactions at the research and conservation organization, Wolf Park. “We know that maternal–offspring attachment is important to this species and many other nondomesticated animals and that humans and wolves can show attachment bonds.” Additionally, wolf oxytocin levels, even before interacting with their handlers, are notably higher than that of all dogs tested. Maybe we simply haven’t discovered all the details of wolf oxytocin mechanisms yet.

In other words, don’t count wolves, or other species, out just yet. “I’m not convinced that this is something dog-specific,” Virányi adds. “The oxytocin system is so ancient that if socialization is there, then you can easily put a member of another species into these contexts.”

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Ali is a writer, editor & proud Corgi mom with diverse experience across educational publishing & entertainment blogging.

All dog parents know that feeling of connection when you look at your dog and see those big puppy dog eyes staring back at you. We always want to interpret it as true love between us and our pups, and while that is a part of it, there are a lot of other reasons that dogs stare at their humans. Since dogs and humans can’t speak the same verbal language – barking doesn’t count! – they have to communicate with us using their body language and facial expressions, especially eye contact. Not all stares are created equal, though, and it is important to know what different looks mean.

Dogs Stare When They Want Something

Your pup can’t use their words to tell you when they are hungry or when they need to go out, but they can use their eyes. Dogs often stare at us when they need something, be it basic needs like food or a walk, or some attention via playtime or some extra pets and snuggles. Many dogs have a routine and know when it’s mealtime or time to go out and do their business, and if their human is distracted or slacking, they will let you know with that look. How many times have you been absorbed in a binge-watching session and looked away from the TV to see two big eyes staring right at you? Those looks tell you that it’s time to get off the couch and take care of your pup’s needs.

Staring is also used as a manipulation tactic by dogs trying to get themselves some yummy table scraps. The begging stare is common when they smell your tasty people food, and this is especially true if you make a habit of rewarding this behavior by feeding them from the table while you’re eating or in the kitchen while you’re preparing food. While it’s not a good habit to get into as too much people food is not good for a dog’s diet – especially if they have weight management issues or dietary restrictions – dogs use that begging stare to guilt us into sharing our food with them. There are few among us that can always resist that face, even when we know we should.

Trained Dogs Watch Their Humans For Cues

A dog that has been trained using positive reinforcement will look to their humans for cues telling them what to do. In fact, it is helpful to train your dog to look at you using a verbal cue (such as “watch me”) because they will focus their attention on you and not other distractions in their environment (smells, noises, or other humans or animals). A dog looking to you for direction will be more responsive to other commands.

If a dog is looking to their human for cues but continues to stare, especially with their head cocked to one side, this is a sign that they are confused. They know you want something, but they don’t know exactly what, and it is a sign that you’re not quite there yet with your training – but keep at it!

Dogs also look to their humans for cues to know what will happen next. If a dog sees you grabbing their leash or a poop bag, they know they are about to get a walk. If they see you grabbing their food bowl, they know it’s chow time. If they see you grabbing your keys, if they’re lucky they might be getting a ride in the car or a trip to the dog park.

Dogs Sometimes Stare When They Poop

Awkward! While it may seem a bit strange for us humans, it is not uncommon for a dog to stare at you while they are doing their business. This is a natural response that comes from the fact that, while in the act, they are in a vulnerable position and unable to respond to any potential threat. Staring at you during this time is your dog’s way of looking to you for protection to make sure you’ve got their back while they are going number 2.

Not All Staring Is Good Staring

Staring can be a sign of aggression. Sometimes if a dog – especially a dog who does not know you – is frightened or feels threatened, they will exhibit a “hard stare.” A hard stare is often accompanied by body language such as stiff posture, closed mouth (sometimes with exposed teeth), and wide pupils. This is much different from a “soft stare,” which is usually accompanied by a relaxed body posture, open mouth, and sometimes light panting. If you get a hard stare from a dog who doesn’t know you, you should avert your eyes and back away as they are clearly perceiving you as a threat.

In your own dog’s eyes, it becomes easy to tell the difference between the good stares and the bad ones. If you and your dog are still getting to know each other and they give you a hard stare, it is a sign that you should back away and give them some space. They are still getting used to you and their new surroundings and may not be comfortable with you just yet – and that’s ok! All dogs have to learn to trust their humans, and it’s perfectly normal for a new pup to feel frightened before you’ve fully bonded.

If a dog is being protective of toys, their food bowl, or a human companion, they may give you a hard stare. This is what is known as resource guarding, and it can be a signal that they are about to act aggressively. If your dog exhibits this type of behavior, you should consult your vet or an animal behaviorist to help deal with the problem through targeted dog training.

Staring As A Bonding Experience

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

They say that a dog is man’s best friend, and any dog owner can tell you that the bond they feel with their fur baby is very real – and now we have science to back that up. Studies have shown that when a bonded dog and human stare into each other’s eyes, a hormone called oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone”) is released into the bloodstream of both dog and human. Oxytocin is the same hormone that is produced when a mom and her newborn baby stare at each other, and it is responsible for the bond that forms between them at birth. Dogs and their humans are no different.

When oxytocin is released into the blood, it has a calming effect, reducing anxiety and providing a sense of security. The trusting bond and love between a dog and their human is due in no small part to this chemical reaction in the brain. A 2015 study conducted at Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan confirmed that both dogs and humans release oxytocin during affectionate staring. Interestingly, that same study showed that wolves – the ancestors of domesticated dogs – did not produce oxytocin from staring. Wolves see staring as a sign of aggression. The study concluded that the production of oxytocin may have been a crucial step in the evolution from wolves to domesticated dogs.

As much as we may wish our dogs could talk to us and tell us exactly what they want, we can learn a lot from the way they stare at us. Whether they want food, a potty break, a play session, or just some cuddles and affection, a dog’s eyes will let their humans know what is going on inside their heads, and any dog parent knows there’s no better feeling in the world than a loving gaze from those big puppy dog eyes.

Has your dog been keeping an eye on you? If you’re wondering “why does my dog stare at me”, you’re not alone. Dogs stare at us quite a lot, prompting many owners to try and decipher what the mysterious gaze could be about. While we might not be able to know what exactly is going through a dog’s mind, there are a few cues that can help us solve the riddle of their intense stare.

From the loving gaze to the icy glare, dogs use eye contact as a form of communication. So, if you have unexpectedly met your pet’s intense gaze from across the room and you’re looking for explanations, here are a few possible reasons why dogs keep staring at us.

1. They love us

Just as we humans gaze into the eyes of people we adore, dogs have “borrowed” the same sign of affection to communicate with their owners. New research shows that mutual gazing between us and our pets releases the same hormonal response present during mother and infant bonding between humans. If you discover your dog looking at you with longing eyes and no apparent reason, it just might be a sign that they love you. However, don’t be tempted to force your dog into a loving stare by holding their head. Dogs might interpret it as a threat and react accordingly.

2. They’re reading our body language

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Since we don’t share the same language, dogs and humans have learned to look out for nonverbal cues to figure out each other’s intentions. It’s not just us trying to understand our dog’s body language.

Dogs also keep an eye out trying to piece together information about what we’re doing or what’s about to happen. This is why owners will often notice their dogs staring at them as they open the cupboard, or put their shoes on. Dogs look at us expecting the next step: getting a treat or going outside.

3. They’re confused

A soft stare, tilted head and pricked ears – dogs have the cutest way of letting us know they’re not sure what’s going on and waiting for clarifications. Oftentimes the answer to the question “why does my dog stare at me” is that they’re feeling confused. If you’ve just given them a command only to be met with a gooey-eyed answer, it’s probably best to revisit a few dog training tips to ensure your pup knows what’s expected of them.

4. They want something

Oftentimes dog owners feel compelled to act when dogs won’t give up looking so intently at them. The reason why dogs stare at us when they want something is because we’ve unintentionally taught them this behaviour. Whether it’s reaching for the treats, taking them for a walk or offering them a cuddle, dogs will quickly learn there is a ‘cause and effect’ rule involving their ability to keep eye contact with their owner. If you reward them with treats and attention every time they sit and stare at you, they’ll keep doing it to get what they’re after.

5. They’re begging for food

Dogs will often want to share food with their owners. Whether you’re sitting at the table having dinner or snacking in front of the TV, if you feel your canine companion staring you down, it’s probably because they want a bite of what you’re having. Be careful in giving up and feeding your dog in those moments as it may turn into a habit that’s difficult to break.

6. They want attention

Sometimes dogs start staring at their owners as a way to get noticed. Dogs are not shy to throw intense stares our way if they feel a bit ignored.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Everyone stares into space while collecting their thoughts (or lack thereof) and dogs are no exception. But there’s something disconcerting about a dog staring intensely at the wall, or a person.

Indeed, for dogs, eye contact is an important form of communication. It can mean affection, or the opposite, so it pays to understand what certain stares are saying.

Why is my dog staring at me?

If your dog is directing a lingering stare at YOU, it’s likely because they want to communicate something, or they just like looking at you!

To understand: They may be trying to figure out something you’ve said or a command given (see head tilting).

Because they want something: They may also be trying to communicate something they want, like to go outside, or, more typically, food. You may have unwittingly created a staring monster by giving them a treat when they leveled their adoring gaze at you.

Affection: A long gaze from your pup can also mean the same thing it means when we exchange long looks with others we love—it feels good, and builds our loving bond. Studies have shown the existence of an “interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing.” In simpler terms, when we stare into each other’s eyes, it increases levels of oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, in both dog and human, which makes us inclined to stare, and the cycle continues.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Why is ANOTHER dog staring at me?

To convey stress: When a dog stares intently at another person (not a family member), they could be trying to convey stress, perhaps to diffuse further confrontation. Dogs are smart and try to avoid a fight as much as possible, says Dr. Andrea Y. Tu, DVM, and medical director of Behavior Vets of New York.

As as early step on the Ladder of Aggression: Some simple dog behaviors, like staring, can be interpreted with the help of what’s known as the Ladder of Aggression, Dr. Tu says. The ladder helps explain the level of anxiety or stress that motivates behaviors, with lower anxiety behaviors on the bottom, scaling up to aggressive episodes. On the Ladder of Aggression, staring and stiffening ranks above low-key signals like licking. “As good dog owners, we should try to recognize these early signs of stress and help remove the source of our dogs’ fears when they are asking nicely, and never force them to go up that ladder and ‘yell’ (growl or snap) to get our attention,” she says. Pay attention to staring behavior and diffuse the stress source. “They are saying ‘get away’ very clearly,” Dr. Tu says, “and they could be nervous or anxious enough that the next level is a growl, snap, air bite ,or bite.”

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

If a dog you don’t know gives you a hard, unblinking stare with a stiff posture, don’t proceed with what you’re doing, as this could be a precursor to aggression.

When a dog is staring, at you or another dog, pay attention to the other body language that is paired with the eye contact, says trainer and founder of Dream Come True K9, Blake Rodriguez. A stiffening or general tenseness or change in body language with eye contact can be signs of impending trouble. Rodriguez says that very stiff stillness is the cue to watch out for; it’s a stiffness that is a bit different than just “regular” stillness that can simply mean your dog is focused on something.

Why is my dog staring into space?

One reasonable explanation for staring at the wall or some other space or object is that the dog’s superior senses are picking up on something humans can’t. Perhaps they see a tiny bug, hear a bird outside or smell the neighbor’s dinner (while many horror movies would suggest that they may also be picking up on an otherworldly spirit, we can find no peer-reviewed studies to support that claim). If you sit with a staring dog at their level, you can sometimes discern—and remedy—what has caught their attention.

When your dog stares too much

Staring requires a vet’s attention when it becomes frequent or compulsive. It could be a sign of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), otherwise known as canine dementia, or a more serious neurological issue in the brain. According to a study by the Animal Behavior Clinic at the University of California, Davis, CDS is common, affecting 28% of dogs age 11 to 12 and 60% of dogs age 15 to 16. One symptom of CDS is disorientation, which is often expressed by staring. Other serious conditions that could result in staring are seizures or partial seizures, which can spark confusion and staring, even if convulsions are not present. Causes range from poisoning to inflammation or growths on the brain. When not related to illness, compulsive staring is often caused by conflict or stress, and a vet’s help can often alleviate it.

Conclusion : If your dog seems content and is staring at you, it’s because it feels as good to them as it does to you! If they’re staring when you’re eating, love may be secondary to a desire for a tasty bite.

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What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

THAT LOOK Sharing a deep gaze can cause a burst of oxytocin in both humankind and their best friends.

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April 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Dogs and people have true chemistry. When staring deeply into each other’s eyes, each species experiences a rush of the cuddle-chemical oxytocin.

In an experiment, people shared long mutual gazes with their beloved dogs, sometimes lasting more than a minute. Afterward, concentrations of oxytocin that the dogs released in their urine at least doubled from pretest levels, researchers in Japan report in the April 17 Science. And dosing dogs with extra oxytocin lengthened the time that some dogs stared into their owners’ eyes.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

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Earlier work found an oxytocin rush in people, too, as they melted into the deep gaze of their dogs. The new results demonstrate the existence of a return swoop of this emotional feedback loop: A comparable canine oxytocin rush leads to even more gazing between humans and their pets.

Other studies have linked oxytocin surges with lingering eye-to-eye communing between human moms and babies. And oxytocin shows up in the chemistry of social bonding — parent to offspring or mate to mate — in a variety of other species. Dogs therefore might have won their place in the hearts of humankind by co-opting the physiology of human bonding, says coauthor Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan.

AWWW When keeping company in an unfamiliar room for half an hour, the dogs and owners who communed in long gazes (one example shown) both experienced oxytocin surges. Miho Nagasawa

For this study, 28 dogs, a mix of breeds and sexes, and their human companions participated in the basic gaze test. Researchers instructed the people to sit in a chair and watch their dog. They could return gazes or nuzzles but not romp. (Physical play could confuse the oxytocin results.)

Nine of the dogs and their people fell into prolonged bouts of looking into each other’s eyes; the others just gazed briefly at their owners in between restlessly walking around, trying to play, and flopping on the floor. Neither the quick-gazer dogs nor their humans showed much change in oxytocin concentrations, so the researchers concluded that eye-lock duration matters. Five hand-raised wolves tested with their people didn’t share lingering looks at all. These pairs also did not experience oxytocin surges.

In a second test, researchers squirted oxytocin up the noses of dogs, and added two human strangers to the room along with the dog’s familiar owner. Female dogs paid more attention to their owners than to the strangers, and tended to extend their soulful gazes. Thus natural upticks in oxytocin can intensify dog gazing, which in turn pushes the dog owners toward more gazing and emotional melting. Cross-species gazes feed on themselves, building a social bond that probably evolved during domestication, the researchers conclude.

BONDING BOOST A female dog looks longer into her owner’s eyes and pays less attention to strangers when given a boost of oxytocin (left, from two angles) than when just given a saline treatment (right, from two angles). Miho Nagasawa

Other dog researchers welcome the simultaneous information on both sides of dog and human encounters. But how mutual gazing might have fit in to the domestication of dogs, separating them from their wolfish ancestors, isn’t so clear, the scientists say.

The study doesn’t say what might happen if wolves actually had looked into the eyes of their owners, notes Clive Wynne of Arizona State University in Tempe. And the socialization of the dogs and wolves in the study wasn’t comparable, making it difficult to draw broad conclusions, says Zsófia Virányi of the University of Vienna’s Clever Dog Lab and Wolf Science Center. Dogs and wolves with similar lives can perform similarly in tests of such skills as following human gazes or interpreting human gestures.

Questions or comments on this article? E-mail us at [email protected]

Citations

M. Nagasawa et al. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science. Vol. 348, April 17, 2015, p. 333. doi: 10.1126/science.1261022

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

About Susan Milius

Susan Milius is the life sciences writer, covering organismal biology and evolution, and has a special passion for plants, fungi and invertebrates. She studied biology and English literature.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

You’re sitting watching TV — but your dog only has eyes for you. You’re cooking dinner, and the pooch is laser-focused on your face. You head to the bathroom and… you get the idea. If there’s one thing almost all dogs do well, it’s stare at their owners. And stare. And stare.

But why do they do it? There are four main reasons: attention, confusion, desire, and direction.

Attention
Your dog wants you to notice her. This one is often tied into desire because she wants you to do something for her, but it’s not necessarily as specific as “rub my belly” or “throw me the ball.” When your dog wants attention, those things are fine, but she’ll probably be just as happy with any kind of love and affection from you — after she’s had exercise and discipline, of course.

Confusion
Do you ever talk to yourself while engaging in a task and find that your pup is watching you closely, seemingly following every word? Another reason that dogs stare at us is because they are trying to figure out what we want from them. They don’t want to miss a possible cue or get yelled at for doing something wrong. Plus, sometimes they’re just curious about what the heck we’re doing!

Desire
I mentioned desire earlier when talking about attention, but it goes a lot deeper than the examples I cited. In fact, this is the type of staring dog owners tend to notice most often, because it covers a variety of “wants” from their pups — everything from “feed me, I’m hungry” to “toss the ball” to “I need to go for a walk” to, yes, “rub my belly.” Staring while engaging in a specific action, such as holding his leash in his mouth, is your dog’s way of saying: “This is what I want. I will make you give it to me by controlling you with my eyes.” Okay, technically, that’s not exactly what they’re saying, but you get the idea.

Direction
The final reason that dogs stare is they want you to tell them what to do. In some ways, this is related to confusion, but it’s not as straightforward as them making a general attempt to figure out what’s going on. When a dog stares for direction, it’s often because they are in the midst of training or some other kind of specific activity and want to know what to do next.

There is one more stare that it is vital to understand. Some dogs possess an aggressive stare that essentially says, “Don’t mess with me” or “I’m going to take you out.” Before assuming that a dog’s stare is friendly, make sure you pay attention to the rest of their body language, or you could put yourself in harm’s way.

So the next time you notice your dog burning a hole through you with her eyes, don’t assume that she’s just expressing her undying devotion. If you pay attention to the context clues, you may discover that she’s trying to communicate something much more specific.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Shorter headed dogs, visually cooperative breeds, younger and playful dogs form eye contact faster. Credit: Eniko Kubinyi

Eye contact plays a fundamental role in human communication and relationships. However, humans also make eye contact with dog companions. According to new research by Hungarian ethologists, at least four independent traits affect dogs’ ability to establish eye contact with humans. Short-headed, cooperative, young and playful dogs are the most likely to look into the human eye.

Dogs adapted uniquely well to live with humans, and communication plays a vital role. They are sensitive to the direction of the human’s gaze, which helps them decide whether a message is directed to them. Forming eye contact with the owner raises oxytocin levels in both parties, which plays a role in developing social bonding. However, individual dogs are not equally prone to make eye contact; the anatomy of the eye, the original function of the breed, i.e., the task they were bred for, age and personality might also affect the tendency to form eye contact.

“One hundred and thirty family dogs were examined at the Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University. We measured the length and width of their heads because this is related to their vision,” said Zsófia Bognár, Ph.D. student, first author of the study, published in Scientific Reports. “The boxer, bulldog, pug, and snub-nosed dogs, in general, have a more pronounced area centralis in the retina, so they can better respond to stimuli in the central field, which may make it easier for them to form eye contact with humans.”

Credit: Zsofia Bognar

In contrast, long-nosed dogs, such as greyhounds, see a wide panoramic image because the nerve cells that process the visual information distribute more evenly in their retina. Therefore, if they have to focus on the center of their visual field, they may be distracted by visual stimuli from the periphery more easily.

In the behavior test, the experimenter first initiated play with the dog. In another test, she measured how quickly and how many times the dog formed eye contact with her within five minutes. “The experimenter did not speak and remained motionless until the dog looked at her. Every time the dog looked at her, she rewarded the dog with a treat. Meanwhile, the owner sat on a chair, silent. We measured how much time elapsed after eating the treat until the next eye contact,” said Dr. Dóra Szabó, ethologist.

It turned out that the shorter the dog’s nose, the faster it made eye contact with the experimenter. “It is likely that they see the human face more sharply because of their special retina, but it is also possible that their owners gaze at them more often as their facial features resemble a small child, a powerful cue for humans. Because of this, dogs with shorter noses may be more experienced in making eye contact,” said Zsófia Bognár.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

This research emphasises the fact that many factors affect the way dogs and humans communicate. It also sheds new light on our knowledge of short-nosed dogs. Many researchers, including Konrad Lorenz, suggested that these dogs were selected for their baby-like facial appearance. However, it is also plausible that people preferred individuals that were more attentive to them and looked at them for a longer duration, facilitating communication. Credit: Tamas Farago

The researchers also examined whether the original role of the breeds still influenced eye contact. Shepherd dogs, for example, are visually cooperative who follow the direction of the owner’s hand (stick) during their work with the stock. In contrast, visually non-cooperative sled dogs running in front of the musher can only rely on vocal cues, while dachshunds also cannot see their owner in the underground life-and-death struggle for which they were bred. Long- and short-headed dogs evenly distributed across the different breed groups.

As expected, dogs bred for visually guided work made eye contact faster than those driven by voice or selected for independent work. Surprisingly, the mixed breeds performed similarly well, even though 70% were adopted from a shelter. Perhaps their willingness to make eye contact even helped them to get adopted in the first place.

The research was part of the European Research Council funded Senior Family Dog Project, aimed at aging research. The oldest dog participant was 15 years old.

“We assumed that aging dogs would find it more difficult to control their attention and would be slower to switch from eating to looking at the face of the experimenter. That’s what happened. Since we pre-screened our participants for potential visual and auditory impairments, the slower establishment of eye contact seems to be a natural consequence of aging,” says Dr. Eniko Kubinyi, the leader of the project.

This research emphasizes the fact that many factors affect the way dogs and humans communicate. It also sheds new light on our knowledge of short-nosed dogs. Many researchers, including Konrad Lorenz, suggested that these dogs were selected for their baby-like facial appearance. However, it is also plausible that people preferred individuals that were more attentive to them and looked at them for a longer duration, facilitating communication.

More information: Zsófia Bognár et al. Shorter headed dogs, visually cooperative breeds, younger and playful dogs form eye contact faster with an unfamiliar human, Scientific Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88702-w

Citation: Researchers determine which dogs more often establish eye contact with humans (2021, April 29) retrieved 17 May 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-dogs-eye-contact-humans.html

Dogs that are snub-nosed, such as pugs, boxers and bulldogs, or dogs that have three other traits are the most likely to look directly into the human eye.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Those eyes! “Eye contact is a very important signal for us humans,” said the lead author of a new canine behavior study. Meredith Bennett-Smith / NBC News

If you’ve ever wondered why some dogs seem eager to make eye contact with people and others don’t, a new study offers some clues. Dogs that are snub-nosed, young or playful, and those that have been bred to respond to visual cues, such as shepherd breeds, are the most likely to look directly into the human eye, researchers have found.

And it’s that loving eye contact with a dog that can help build a close bond with humans.

“Eye contact is a very important signal for us humans,” said the study’s lead author, Zsófia Bognár, a Ph.D. student in the department of ethology and a research member of the Senior Family Dog Project at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. “It can enhance communication, cooperation and the relationship between dog and owner.” The study was published Thursday in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

While some dogs might naturally seek eye contact, that doesn’t mean others can’t learn, Bognár said in an email. “Although dog-human eye contact can be affected by at least four independent traits on the dogs’ side, it does not mean that these are the only things which determine your relationship with your dog.”

Other studies have shown that humans and dogs benefit from locking eyes: Levels of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, rise for both species when they make and hold eye contact.

To explore what factors might make eye contact more likely, Bognár and her colleagues rounded up 125 family dogs for the behavior experiment. All the dogs were run through a battery of tests, which started with the dogs’ meeting an unfamiliar experimenter. In a later part of the series, the dogs were invited to play with the experimenter.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Q: Sometimes I can sense that my dog is just, like, looking at me, really intensely. Why does my dog stare at me? Is that normal?

A: Yes, they probably just want something from you—a meal, a walk, or maybe a scratch behind the ears—and is waiting for you to notice.

You seem to always feel it. You’ll be half-watching some Netflix series, or writing a semi-polite email to your least-favorite coworker when you have the unshakeable sensation that you’re being watched. And, sure enough, you look over and your dog is sitting there, focusing their attention— and both of their eyeballs—right on you. So what gives?

In short, dogs stare for a number of reasons, but mainly, it’s a way for them to communicate with you.

Reasons Why Dogs Stare

They Want Something From You

Dogs use their behavior, like staring, to get the things they want, says dog trainer and animal behaviorist Melanie Cerone, Ph.D., BCBA, CPDT-KA. Things like:

  • Food
  • Attention
  • Petting
  • A game of fetch

“Dogs stare at us because we, their caregivers, reinforce them for doing so in a variety of ways,” says Cerone.

Basically, our dogs know that if they just look at us, we’ll give them whatever they want. For example, if dogs watch us while we’re eating, we might give them a bite of whatever we’re having. Or if they look at us while we’re working or watching TV, we might be prompted to pet them, talk to them, or take them out for a walk.

“If you think about it, we are the source of all good things for our dogs,” Cerones explains. “They depend on us for all of their food; daily enrichment, such as walks, play, and training; attention, including petting and praise; and comfort when they are fearful or anxious. Staring can serve a communication function for dogs. It’s a way for them to let us know that they need or want one of these good things.”

It’s a Look of Love

Do dogs ever stare at us just because they like us a lot? Actually, yes.

“Sometimes when our dogs stare at us, it encourages us to provide them with attention, which is also a major reward,” says Aubrey Sperry, CDBC, CPDT-KA, owner and head trainer at Sit Pretty Dog Training in Massachussetts.

That act helps to promote social bonding. “Research has been done that indicates both humans and dogs experience an increase in [the ‘feel good’ hormone] oxytocin after staring into each other’s eyes,” Sperry says.

So it goes something like this: the dog stares, we look back, reward them with our love and affection, the bond between dog and human grows. Rinse and repeat. How sweet?

It’s a Sign of Aggression

While dog stares are often loving or solicitous, they can sometimes signify more negative emotions. Staring or holding eye contact may indicate that a dog is fearful, anxious or uncomfortable in some way, Cerone explains.

If a dog is staring at you while guarding their food bowl or a favorite toy, then both Cerone and Sperry say that can be a signal to back off. (This behavior is known as “resource guarding.”)

The same goes for a “hard stare” that accompanies a rigid posture or stiffened tail. “This behavior precedes more intense behaviors such as growling, lunging, and biting,” Sperry adds.

This may be more common with houseguests than the pet parents themselves, since some dogs are wary of strangers. “Typically, I see this with strangers approaching dogs more than with pet dogs at home interacting with their owners,” Sperry says.

Note to self: It’s also not a good idea for us to stare at dogs we don’t know.

“Dogs can perceive direct eye contact from unfamiliar people as a threatening gesture,” Cerone says. “So when meeting a dog for the first time, it’s typically best to avoid making direct eye contact with, staring at, or leaning over the dog, particularly if the dog is fearful or anxious of new people.”

Pro Tip: While people-staring is more common, some dogs might fixate on inanimate objects, walls or shadows. This behavior may simply be a result of your dog hearing something you can’t (like a mouse inside the wall), but it can indicate serious issues, like abnormal brain activity, stress or other medical conditions. If you observe this type of behavior, it’s best to take your dog to the vet for a checkup.

How to Figure Out Why a Dog Is Staring at You

You don’t need some kind of Dog-to-English dictionary for this: You just need to use some context clues. By considering what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, you can probably figure out what your dog is trying to communicate with their big brown eyes.

Take this scenario from Cerone as an example: You’re working at your computer only to look up and find your dog staring at you while panting and wagging their tail. You wonder what they want when you happen to glance at the clock and notice that it’s past their dinner time. You jump up from your computer, apologize, and then you both run to the kitchen so you can prepare their dinner. Their tactic of staring worked and prompted the desired outcome: food. The next time you work past your dog’s dinner hour, what do you think they might do?

Although you might be able to decipher your own dog’s behaviors, it can sometimes be trickier to understand what an unfamiliar dog is trying to communicate. In those times, it may be best to avoid returning their eye contact and to assess what their body language—below their eyeballs—is saying. Are they showing signs of fear or aggression? Brush up on dog body language here.

How to Get a Dog to Stop Staring at You

What if your dog is staring at you even after they’ve been fed, walked and belly-rubbed? Is there a way to get them to maybe… not do that?

Yes, Perry says helping condition them to relax in another space may discourage staring. “This can be accomplished by rewarding them for an alternative behavior like lying down on a nearby dog bed or other comfy spot,” she explains. “You can also choose to train this behavior prior to [the staring], by cueing them to go to their comfy spot at a time they may typically stare at you.”

So if our dogs stare at us to get what they want, what would happen if we stared at them first? Probably just a few tail wags. Unfortunately, they’re not going to be prompted to fix your dinner.

Have more questions about your pet’s behavior? Get expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet service, available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

What happens when you stare into your dog's eyes

Dogs communicate with one another and with us using their own elegant, non-verbal language. These tips focus on seven important aspects of a dog’s body: eyes, ears, mouth, tail, sweat and overall body posture/movement. Staff and volunteers can use this information to interpret what an animal is feeling.

When looking at dog’s eyes, pay attention to the white part of the eye (the sclera), and consider the focus and intensity of the dog’s gaze. When a dog is feeling tense, his eyes may appear rounder than normal, or they may show a lot of white around the outside (sometimes known as a “whale eye”.)

Dilated pupils can also be a sign of fear or arousal—these can make the eyes look “glassy,” indicating that a dog is feeling threatened, stressed or frightened.

A relaxed dog will often squint, so that his eyes become almond-shaped with no white showing at all.

Mouth

A relaxed dog will likely have his mouth open and may be panting, with no facial or mouth tension. The corners of his mouth may be turned upward slightly.

A fearful or tense dog will generally keep his mouth closed, and may pull his lips back at the corners (also known as a “long lip”.) He may also be panting rapidly. A panting dog who suddenly closes his mouth in response to something in the environment may also be indicating increased stress. Drooling when no food is present can also be a sign of extreme fear or stress.

A dog displaying a physical warning may wrinkle the top of his muzzle, often next pulling his lips up vertically to display his front teeth. This is called an “offensive pucker.” The muzzle is wrinkled and the corner of the mouth is short and forms a C-shape. This warning often comes with a tense forehead, hard eyes. The dog may also growl—all very clear warnings to anyone approaching.

Some dogs display a “submissive grin” or “smile”. This is also a gesture where a dog shows his front teeth, but a smiling dog is doing just that. He usually shows a lowered head, wagging tail, flattened ears, a soft body posture, and soft, squinty eyes along with those teeth. Teeth don’t always mean aggression—it is important to consider the whole body and the context to understand what a dog is saying.

Yawning and lip licking may be an early sign of stress, particularly when accompanied by a tight mouth and often a whining sound.

Dogs have a wide variety of ear types. Although it may be easier for us to see ear position in dogs with erect ears, even floppy-eared dogs like Basset hounds can move the base of their ears forward and back to show different emotions—just look at the direction of the base of the ear. When a dog is relaxed, his ears may be slightly back or out to the sides. As a dog becomes more aroused, the ears will move forward, pointing toward a subject of interest. When their ears are most forward their foreheads often wrinkle.

When observing a dog’s tail, there are two things to consider: the position of the base of the tail, and how the tail is moving.

A relaxed dog holds his tail in a neutral position, extending out from the spine, or maybe below spine level. As the dog becomes more excited or aroused, his tail usually rises above spine level.

The tail movement may be a loose wag from side to side or sweeping circular motion. As the dog becomes more excited or aroused, his tail usually rises above spine level. He may also move his tail side to side in short, rapid movements as he becomes more excited.

A fearful dog will tuck his tail between his rear legs. The tail may also be held rigid against the belly, or wag stiffly.

Much like your own “goosebumps,” the hair can raise along a dog’s back when he is upset or aroused. This is also known as piloerection or “raised hackles” and can occur across the shoulders, down the spine, and above the tail. Hackles don’t always mean aggression is imminent, but they are an indicator that the dog is excited or upset about something.

A frightened or stressed dog may also shed more than usual.

Sweat

Dogs pant to cool themselves, but panting can also be a sign of stress, particularly rapid panting accompanied by a tight mouth with stress wrinkles around it.

Dogs also have the ability to sweat through their paws. You may notice a dog leaving wet footprints on the floor if he is particularly upset.

Overall Body Posture and Body Movement

When initiating play, dogs often start with a play bow and generally follow up with exaggerated facial and body movements. A playful dog’s body movement will be loose and wiggly, with lots of movement and brief pauses during play.

A dog who seems stiff, moves slowly, or who keeps moving away may not be interested in social interaction with this playful dog.

Looking away, sniffing, scratching, lying down, or other avoidance behaviors may also indicate that the play session is over.

A fearful dog may lean away, lean back, tremble, crouch, lower his body or head, or roll onto his side or back. Often, his eyes will often be fully open with large pupils, his forehead will be wrinkled, and his tail will be lowered or tucked.

An extremely fearful dog may freeze completely or frantically try to escape, and he may urinate or defecate when approached.

A dog displaying aggressive body language will look large, standing with his head raised above his shoulders. His body will be tense, with weight either centered or over all four feet or leaning slightly forward onto the front legs.

A dog displaying aggressive behavior may also have a wrinkled muzzle, a short lip, and a hard eye.

As you go about your daily activities, you might notice your dog quietly staring at you. Your first instinct might be to feel self-conscious; is my hair hopelessly disheveled? Is there something stuck in my teeth?

But, rather than assuming the worst when the question, “Why does my dog stare at me?” runs through your head, rest assured that your dog’s stare is not a judgment of your personal appearance.

Dogs have developed a close, domesticated relationship with humans over thousands of years. This relationship has allowed dogs to become adept at observing and responding to human behavior.

In many instances, a stare is normal dog behavior that is used to communicate some type of emotion, want or need. If you catch your dog staring at you, it’s likely for one of the following reasons.

Anticipation or Desire

When you eat, is your dog staring up at you expectantly? If so, he’s just waiting for a morsel to drop to the floor or for you to simply place a morsel in his mouth.

Unfortunately, this dog behavior is often learned; if you give your dog a treat or other food when you eat, he’ll learn to anticipate that same reward anytime you eat.

Other than mealtime, your dog may stare at you because he wants to play or because the toy he’s playing with has gotten stuck under something, and he needs you to fish it out for him.

If your dog needs to relieve himself, he’ll be staring at you to communicate his need to go outside.

Wanting Direction

When your dog is well-trained, he will stare at you to wait for a cue. For example, if you’re going for a walk and approach a crosswalk, your dog may stare up at you to determine if he should sit or continue walking.

Your dog wants to please you, so his stare will serve as a question as to what he should do next to make you happy.

Showing Affection

A dog’s unconditional love is often irresistible. When a dog and pet parent have developed a close and emotional bond, the dog will sometimes use his stare to demonstrate affection.

With an affectionate stare, a dog will have a soft expression on his face with his eyes slightly squinted. In fact, research has shown that an affectionate stare between a dog and human raises levels of oxytocin, commonly called the “love hormone.”

Needing Protection

When a dog defecates, they may stare up at their pet parent. The pet parent may wonder, “Why on earth is my dog staring at me when he poops?”

Here’s the reason: When a dog is in position to defecate, he’s relatively defenseless. He will stare up at you when he’s pooping for reassurance that you will protect him while he’s in a vulnerable position.

Reading Facial Expressions

Dogs are excellent at reading and interpreting human facial expressions. Your dog might be staring at you to read your facial expression and determine what he should do next.

For example, if you have a worried expression on your face, your dog may decide to cuddle up next to you to try to comfort you.

Displaying Aggression

This is when dog staring behavior is a problem. If your dog is possessive of an object, such as his toys or food bowl, he will give you a hard stare and growl as warnings to back off.

If your dog gives you this stare, slowly back away, and do not continue the stare.

Aggressive stares signal a behavioral problem. Seek consultation with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to correct this problem.

In general, dog stares are a good thing and communicate positive signals between dogs and people. If a dog’s stare takes a dark turn toward aggression, then it’s time to seek professional help from a veterinarian and dog behavior specialist.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Becoming a dog owner is one of the most rewarding things you can do—full of moments of snuggling, love, bonding, and fun. It’s not without its annoying moments, though: for instance, when was the last time you got to sit on the porcelain throne without an audience? Or taking a nap without a curious nose sniffing directly in front of your face? Or cuddling with your significant other without jealous stares and moans from your furry friend?

It’s true; your dog is jealous. He wants to be with you all day long. She thinks you’re the bee’s knees, and can’t even let you use the bathroom without accompaniment. What your dog is really saying is: I love you.

How Your Dog Says “I Love You”

Following you around the house is just one of the many ways your pup is trying to tell you, “You’re the only one for me, Valentine.” Dogs are pack animals, and “traveling” around your house with you shows they value your security and want to stay close by no matter what. Here are a few other ways your doggie friend is showing you some love.

1. Those Puppy Dog Eyes

Dogs love to make eye contact as a way to show affection—there’s research to suggest that this behavior is part of what facilitated the domestication of dogs. Dogs seem to have adapted to this primarily human way of showing attention and affection, and now there’s actually a response in their brains to keep eye contact going. Researchers found that dogs who were gazing at their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone.

2. Sleeping in Your Spot

Your dog might crawl into your bed every time you leave for work in the morning, and even if the fuzz on your pillow is a little frustrating, it’s good to know that this helps dogs feel closer to you even while you’re away. Your scent is strong on your bed, and it makes your pup feel loved.

3. “Lean on Me”

Does your dog nearly push you over with her love sometimes? Your dog might be a leaner, pushing into you with all of his weight. Research shows that this is your dog seeking your attention and affection.

4. Being in Tune With Your Emotions

Have you ever noticed that your dog stays particularly close when you’re feeling down, even whining and nuzzling you when you cry? You’re not crazy—your dog can sense your emotions and will respond to comfort you. Since dogs have been living with humans for tens of thousands of years, it only stands to reason that they’re getting good at reading our emotional signals.

5. Going Ballistic When You Get Home

Can anyone give a welcome home reception like a dog? Your canine companion probably does his own imitation of a flash mob (all by himself) when you walk through the door after a day of separation. This is another one of your dog’s ways of saying, “I love you!”

We all love our pets and want to keep them healthy and happy. If you have any questions about your dog’s behavior, or if it’s time for Fido’s next checkup, give us a call.

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki is the marketing manager for IPH and has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.

How do you say i love you to a dog

There are many ways you show your pet your love–by feeding them delicious, healthy food, by giving them gifts, by bathing them, by taking them to the vet, by petting and grooming them, by spending special time with them, by telling them and more; however, there are only a few ways for you to say “I love you” to your pet that they truly understand. Read on to learn seven ways for you to say “I love you” to your pet and for them to feel the meaning behind your expression.

1. Listen to Your Pet

How do you say i love you to a dog

Photo via Tam S.

When it comes to communication, the most valuable skill anyone of any species can possess is listening. Obviously, dogs and cats can’t talk; they can’t say, “I’m happy,” or, “I’m sad,” or, “I’m feeling confused.” Instead, animals communicate via their many expressions. When you take the time to learn what your dog’s or cat’s expressions mean, you learn to listen to your pet, and if you consider that most people just want to heard, it’s safe to say most animals want to be (heard), too.

2. Make Eye Contact

How do you say i love you to a dog

Photo via Unsplash: Tadeusz Lakota

They say the eyes are the windows of the soul, and this is true for animals and humans. Have you ever looked deep into the eyes of someone you love and felt a charge? Well, if so, then what you felt was a zing of oxytocin, a “feel good” chemical that is triggered when we feel strong feelings. As it turns out, if you look into your pet’s eyes, they get those feel good feelings, too, so a little eye contact can go a long way in expressing how you feel to your pet.

3. Open Your Resting Space

How do you say i love you to a dog

Another form of expression that should be a no-brainer is physical expression. Show your dog or cat you love them by allowing them to nap with you during the day and / or in your bed at night. The love that you feel when you and your pet snuggle is also felt by your pet.

4. Let Your Pet Lean on You

How do you say i love you to a dog

Photo via Marta Markes

During waking, walking hours, it might seem like an imposition to have your pet leaning or rubbing against your legs, but by not getting stressed and (more importantly) by leaning back, you create an intimacy and a trust culture that proves to your pet that you love them.

5. Walk Together

How do you say i love you to a dog

Koda going for a walk in the woods photo via @fishingjosh

So much of your relationship with your pet and of your showing your love to your pet is just being together. Rather than take your daily walk alone, going hiking or camping alone, or exploring your city alone, you are at an advantage to take your pet as she will take your decision to include her as a sign that you, too, love her.

6.Groom Your Pet

How do you say i love you to a dog

Photo by Abbie Love on Unsplash

Grooming is a sign that one cares about the comfort and appearance of someone they love. Certainly, people are aware that pets are perpetual self-groomers. To say “I love you”, pet parents can take that burden from their pets by bathing and brushing them on a routine basis.

7. Talk Out Loud

Lastly, pet owners can get out of their own head spaces and talk openly with their pets in order to say “I love you”. While saying “I love you” is always kind, using clear, simple phrases that indicate pride trigger MRI responses in animals, which reveals that animals associate praise with love.

Another way that you can say “I love you” to your pet is by making sure that the food you feed to them is a healthful one made with natural ingredients like those made by Wellness Pet Food. Wellness also makes several snacks and treats that celebrate your pet every day.

How do you say i love you to a dog

You know how to tell if your dog loves you, but do you know how to tell your dog you love them right back? Check out these 8 ways to say ‘I love you’ to dogs so they intuitively understand. Because we all know that dog love = pure love (just check out the video evidence!)

1. Talk to your dog

Studies using MRI technology show dogs understand human language better than previously thought. So talking out loud to your dog isn’t as crazy as you might think.

Reading to dogs has been shown to calm anxious and high-energy dogs in shelters, and brings shy dogs out of their shells.

2. Be a good listener

Dogs rely on facial expressions and body language to communicate. The better you understand how your dog feels, the better you’ll be able to empathize and bond with them.

3. Share soft, deep eye contact

While staring down a dog in a forceful manner will spark aggression, when a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.

4. The brows have it

Scientific studies prove that dogs can read human emotions through our facial expressions. When a dog loves someone, they often raise their eyebrows—the left one more than the right—so greeting your dog with raised eyebrows and a relaxed smile tells your dog how happy you are to be reunited.

5. Lean on me

Did you know that a dog leaning against you is a sign of love and trust? Leaning against your dog is a great way to add a little love boost to your dog’s day.

6. Sleep next to each other

If you don’t care to let your dog in bed with you, even an afternoon snooze on the couch together will relax both you and your dog.

7. Walk together

Shared experiences and training sessions build trust, communication, and partnership. Walks and adventures give plenty of opportunities to work on skills like loose leash walking and recall. Dogs thrive on routine and schedule, so a daily walk with training mixed in help them understand how much you love and care.

8. Share a relaxing massage or groom session

This one’s a no-brainer. Just touching your dog releases oxytocin in the giver and receiver, so a soothing massage, gentle grooming session, or extended petting time will tell your dog in no uncertain terms how you feel.

Kiki Kane

Kiki Kane is a canine chef, professional blogger, and lifelong animal lover owned by a Frenchie-Boston mix and a geriatric kitty. As a dog chef and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, she creates original dog-friendly recipes for the web series Kiki’s Canine Kitchen.

There is no single way to express “I love” in a dog’s language. The best way is to use the words that your dog understands. If you speak to him in his own language, he’ll understand you better. Try using the word “love” instead of “loves” or “friendship” rather than “friends.” Improvement: Try saying “Loving you” to a puppy. He’ll respond with “Mama loves you.” When you say “Love you,” he responds with a “Meow!” Remember, dogs are not people.

8 Ways To Say “I love you” in dog language talk to our dogs. MRI studies show we can understand their language faster than ever before. We are a better listener, we are more comfortable sharing soft eye gaze, etc. Our brow hairs have all the answers. And we walk together! The brow hair has all this information. All the little things that make us human. So we need to be a great listener and share soft eyes; lean on each others shoulder; sleep next door; walk side by side; and so on… We are better listeners, more comfort speaking to someone who is smaller than us, sleeping next doors, walking sideby side, sharing a massage, grooming sessions, whatever. That’s why we say “love you”.

Other questions related to I love you in dog language:

How do you say I love you to a dog?

Talk to him/her. studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology shows dogs comprehend human speech better now than ever before. Be attentive. Share eye gaze. Lean over toward each others face. Sleep together while being massaged. Walk side by side. Go for walks. Spend time with eachother. Have a relaxed massage. A relaxing grooming session It is important to remember that dogs are social animals, which means they will respond positively to positive reinforcement. If you want to train your puppy to sit, try rewarding him with treats. Also, don’t forget to reward him when he does something that makes you happy. For example, if he jumps on your lap, reward with some treats!

How do I tell my dog I love him?

By training and rewarding them with positive rewards. They will learn to respond to their actions and behaviors with love. This is a great way for parents to show their love to children. You can also use this method to train your dogs to greet you when you arrive home after a long day. Dogs love humans and are eager to please us. Therefore, we should reward them for doing what they want to do. We should also praise them when they do something right. When they behave well, our dog will get a reward. If they don’t act correctly, however, he will receive a punishment. So, make sure you reward your puppy for every single action he does.

What is my dog’s love language?

The five Love Languages of dogs are words (affirmation), physical contact (touch), receiving gift (gift), quality Time (quality time), and Service (acts of Service). Some dogs enjoy more over one love Language, while others prefer to focus on only one. If you want to train your pet to select only the loveLanguage of Affirmation, you should start by training her to respond to positive reinforcement. This will help her learn to associate positive rewards with the word of affirmations. Once she learns to do this, she will be able to choose the best reward for herself. For example, if she is rewarded for eating, which is a positive action, rather than a negative action such as not eating when presented with food, he will learn that he needs to eat to feel good.

How do dogs say sorry?

Dogs apologize by showing drooping years (years), wide eye (eyes), and stopping pantin (panting) or wriggling (wagging) their tail. This is a sign that the dog wants to be forgiven. But instead of simply saying “I’m sorry,” dogs actually acknowledge they did wrong. They want to show that there is no need to make excuses and that this behavior is unacceptable. At the same time, when they get angry, their eyes widen and their ears perk up. So, now they know that apologizing is out of question. Forgiveness is possible. And even if they do not get forgiveness, we can still learn from them. We can learn how to behave better in future.

Why do dogs lick you?

Because they love us! Dogs showed affection when they were groomed and treated as pets. Nowadays, dogs are trained to show their affection without being touched. But there are some situations where dogs need to be taught to stop licking someone. For example, if your pet is chewing on your leg or arm, you should stop him. He’ll get hurt. To prevent this, he needs to learn to control his behavior. If you want to teach your pooch to avoid licking, here are a few tips: 1. Teach your pup to sit down. This will make him feel secure and calm. You can also put a toy in his mouth to keep him occupied. 2. Stop licking your face. Keep your hands away from your mouth.

Do dogs like hugs?

Dogs are not particularly fond of hugs, although they do show signs of affection toward their owners. They do however, depend on verbal communication between humans. For example, a dog will often stand when called by its owner, which is something that humans would not expect. This behavior is based on how the dog perceives its environment. If the world around it changes suddenly, such as being startled by a loud noise, or if the owner calls the animal, there is no way for him to know what to do. Therefore, he will stand until the change is over. Similarly, if someone calls a cat, she will immediately stand and look at the person calling her.

Why do dogs tilt their heads when we talk to them?

Well, since they don’t have the same range as us, their hearing isn’t as precise as ours. But they do have a much larger range, which means they can pick up on sounds that are further away. This is particularly useful when they’re trying to tell us about a noise that’s farther away, or when there’s something that they think we might be doing that we don’T know about. For example, a cat will always turn their head to look at us when saying ‘whoo’. However, this behaviour is less common when talking to dogs. We’ve all seen it happen before, though. As a rule, cats are much more likely to turn towards us after we’ve said ‘Whoo’ than when someone else says it.

How do dogs show affection to humans?

Dogs use nuzzle and cuddling mimics maternal affections between pups and mommies. If your dog wants attention, he might be feeling affection. Gentle touch and caressing mimic parental affection among puppies. This is especially true if the pup is young and needs time to adjust to life without her mother. Nuzzles and gentle touches are a common way for puppies to feel loved and accepted. Puppies instinctively know when they need comfort and affection; they will respond to those signals. Pups are born with the ability to sense when someone is close and sensitive to touch. They learn to sniff out this signal and make a connection with their human caregiver.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Did you know that dogs have their own way of hugging? Research has found that when a dog leans against you, they are actually giving you a “doggie hug!” Typically large dogs will “hug” by putting their whole weight against you and smaller dogs will curl up right next to you. Next time you want to give your dog a “hug,” sit close to your furry friend and let them lean on you. It will mean the world to them.

2. Give All the Ear Scratches

We often pet our furbabies as a means of showing them love and affection. You can maximize your pet’s happiness by giving them some behind-the-ear scratches. Studies have shown that scratching your pet behind the ears releases endorphins or “happiness hormones.” Try it and you will see your pet drift into a state of total relaxation!

3. Give Your Kitten a Safe Space

Creating a space for your kitty where they feel safe is a true act of love. Cats enjoy having hiding spots, such as a cave bed or a high-up window perch, where they feel protected. Providing a special space, and giving them alone time when they need it, will earn you lots of brownie points with your favorite feline!

4. Spend Quality Time Together

Taking the time out of your busy day to play or cuddle with your furry friend means so much to them. The simple act of playing tug-of-war or taking a nap on the couch together signifies love to your pet. It allows your connection to grow stronger and reminds your pet that you will always be there for them.

5. Spoil Them With Treats

All furry friends deserve treats! Just like humans, dogs and cats enjoy tasty treats in moderation. Remind your pet just how special they are by feeding them a variety of delicious treats from Evolve.

Hint: They’re going to love them!

6. Use Your Doggy-Voice

We always knew your precious pup could understand you! Talking to your dog in a high-pitched tone, commonly known as the “doggy voice,” is proven to make your dog happy! Scientists found that pups are happiest when they receive praise in an equally positive tone of voice.

7. Make Eye Contact

Pets respond positively to eye contact! For cats, they prefer a “slow blinking” approach . The next time you want to communicate with your cat that you love them, look into their eyes and slowly blink repeatedly. Your cat will most likely return the gesture and slowly blink back! This is their way of saying “I love you too.”

Dogs, on the other hand, take long-loving gazes as a sign of affection from their owner. When you look into those puppy eyes, you are both releasing the hormone oxytocin . This hormone is associated with nurturing and will strengthen the bond you share with your furbaby.

8. Groom Your Cat

Caring for your cat’s coat is a great way to show them you love them. You will be spending quality time together and keeping them healthy. Brushing your cat helps ensure they have a clean coat and healthy skin. Think of it as a spa day with your best fur-end!

9. Release Their Energy

Your pet’s dream day likely includes you playing with them until they just can’t stay awake anymore! Think about it, while you’re sitting at your desk trying to work, your furry friend often has other plans. They might bring you a ball or start walking across your computer screen (We’ve all been on a video call with a surprise feline guest star!). Devoting time to exercising your pet shows true affection as it promotes a healthy lifestyle for both of you.

10. Let Them Sleep With You

Allowing your pets to sleep in your bed is usually taken as a sign of love. Dogs enjoy sleeping next to members of their pack, and that includes you! Additionally, cats feel safer napping with someone they trust. Cuddles = love!

Laura Moss is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing about science, nature, culture, and the environment.

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Dogs have lived alongside us for thousands of years, earning the reputation as “man’s best friend” for good reason. But while some people may be quick to dismiss a dog’s devotion as simply a relationship based on need, experts say that’s just not true.

“Dogs have developed the strongest ability of all animals on Earth to form affectionate bonds with humans,” says Dr. Frank McMillan D.V.M., director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, an organization helping adopters find loving companions. “Dogs don’t just love us — they need us, but not just for food and physical care. They need us emotionally. This is why the attachment bond a dog feels for his human is one of deep devotion and is, as has been often stated, unconditional.”

But how exactly does a dog say, “I love you”? Read on to find out.

Your dog wants to be close to you.

If your dog is always in your lap, leaning against you or following you room to room, it’s clear your pooch is attached to you.

“A dog’s affection is most evident in their desire to be physically close to you. This can sometimes appear to be a clinginess, and it isn’t always easy to distinguish healthy positive clinginess from insecurity, but in both cases your dog is deeply attached to you,” McMillan says.

Your dog gazes into your eyes.

When you and your pup share a long look, your dog is “hugging you with his eyes,” according to Brian Hare, a professor at Duke University who studies canine cognition, and research shows that this “hug” has a profound effect on both man and animal.

When scientists at Japan’s Azabu University took urine samples from dogs and their owners before and after 30 minutes of interacting, they found that the pairs that spent the most time gazing into each others’ eyes showed significantly higher levels of the hormone oxytocin, the same hormonal response that bonds us to human infants. “It’s an incredible finding that suggests that dogs have hijacked the human bonding system,” Hare told Science.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Your dog excitedly greets you.

Does your pup jump up, wag his tail and barely seem able to contain contain his excitement when you arrive home? If so, that’s a sure sign of affection.

“This becomes even more obvious when your dog learns, like Pavlov’s dogs, that some sound signals your upcoming arrival, like the garage opener or sound of your car, and they show excitement upon hearing that sound,” McMillan says.

Your dog sleeps with you.

Dogs are pack animals that often huddle together at night for warmth and protection, so when your dog snuggles up with you, it means he considers you to be part of the family. And these canine cuddles may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

You are your dog’s safe haven.

“Much affection in animals and humans is based on how much you can be relied on as a source of comfort and support in scary situations,” McMillan says. “If your dog seeks your comfort during thunderstorms, car rides, vet visits or other frightening occurrences, then you are seeing another aspect of her attachment bond to you.”

Your dog ‘reads’ you and reacts accordingly.

A close bond with your dog may enable him to sense your mood and respond with affection. “Many dogs who sense that you are upset or not feeling well will demonstrate their affection by spending even more time by your side. They might give you licks or rest their head or paws on some part of your body,” McMillan says.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Your dog yawns when you yawn.

If you’ve ever yawned after witnessing another person’s yawn, you’re aware how contagious the act can be. This contagious yawning is unique to only a few species, and man’s best friend is one of them.

Researchers have even found that not only are dogs more likely to yawn after watching familiar people yawn, but also that dogs will yawn when hearing only the sound of a loved one’s yawn. So if your canine companion yawns in response to your yawns, odds are good that his affection for you enables him to empathize with you.

Your dog focuses on you.

It’s not unusual for dogs to delight in positive attention from virtually anyone, but just because your pooch loves on everyone, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you most. Pay attention to how your dog acts when in a room full of people. If he stays focused on you or ignores others while awaiting your return, you know you hold a special place in your dog’s heart.

Your dog forgives you.

“Part of the affectionate feelings your dog has for you shows up in their willingness to forgive you for things you do that make them feel bad, such as raising your voice, or misplacing your frustration on your dog by ignoring them,” McMillan says. “Forgiveness is your dog’s attempt to maintain the loving bond they share with you.”

However, even if your canine best friend doesn’t show affection in these ways, it certainly doesn’t mean your pooch doesn’t love you. Just as some people can care deeply without expressing their feelings, so can your pup.

“Be sure not to go through the list above and think that because your dog shows very few or even none of these things, he or she doesn’t love you. Odds are, love is very much there. After all, we’re talking about a dog here,” McMillan says.

And how can you show your dog some love? Engage in playtime, take a long walk, bake some yummy dog treats, or give your pup a homemade toy. Above all, McMillan says the best thing you can do is simply give your dog more of you because that’s what man’s best friend wants most of all.

Training partner, cuddle companion and best friend: there are many reasons why we love our dogs. But what is the best way to show it? For Valentine’s Day, we will show you eight ways to express your love.

We like to kiss and hug a loved one. Sometimes chocolates also help to convey the message of love. However, you should not simply transfer these things to your dog. Some dogs feel constricted and trapped when you hug them. It is best to approach slowly and observe your dog’s signals.

In contrast, dogs naturally like treats. However, you should use them mainly as motivation and in dog training. Securing your dog’s love with treats alone is unhealthy in the long run – and fleeting: after all, within seconds anyone can steal your dog’s loyalty by spoiling him with treats.

It’s better to show your dog’s love with these tips:

Dogs communicate a lot through eye contact. When they look into your eyes for a long time, it’s a way of saying “I love you”. Conversely, you also trigger this feeling in dogs when you look lovingly into their eyes for a long time. This has even been scientifically proven.

According to the magazine “The Dog People”, researchers have found that friendly looks between humans and dogs release the “love hormone” oxytocin in both. But be careful: it makes a difference whether you look your dog lovingly or angrily in the eye.

Not sure if your affection is getting through to your dog? Then just watch his body language. Does he wag his tail, make eye contact or raise an eyebrow? Then your dog is showing you his love. Conversely, a tucked tail, wide eyes and constant licking of the lips are signs that your dog is uncomfortable.

Do you feel strange talking to your dog? There’s no reason for that: studies have shown that dogs understand the language of humans better than you think. They also found out that dogs like the high-pitched voice that many automatically fall into. The four-legged friends are particularly happy when they hear typical “dog words” like “treat”, “walk” or “fine”. The human voice has such a calming effect on dogs that some shelters read to stressed, shy, anxious or overexcited dogs to calm them down.

Our facial expressions tell pretty quickly how we are feeling – even to dogs. Scientific studies have shown this. By greeting your dog with a friendly, relaxed expression on your face, you show him that you’re not angry with him.

The herding and hunting instincts are still dormant in dogs. That’s why dogs love to play and move around. Also typical for a pack: relaxing together after work. A nap together on the sofa or in the garden in summer strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Dogs love physical closeness and therefore like to cuddle up to their owners.

Another sign of the need for closeness: Your dog leans against you. You can gently imitate this posture and show your dog that you like him.

Just like affectionate looks, touch releases oxytocin – in both humans and animals. A light massage, strokes and gentle brush strokes are therefore a real delight for your dog. Your dog loves gentle touches, especially on the ears, through which numerous nerves run.

Dogs love routine, so a daily walk coupled with a few training sessions is the perfect way to show your dog your love. The shared experiences build trust and a sense of togetherness – just like in a real pack.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Did you know that oxytocin, a hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies, is released when your pup stares into your eyes? When dogs are happy and feeling comfortable with their dog parent, they show you that gaze that confirms their love for you.

2. Leaning on you or Cuddling

How do you say i love you to a dog

Although leaning sometimes means dogs are feeling anxious or they are trying to tell you something, this act also shows affection. Dogs who cuddle with their dog parents, especially after eating their Bil-Jac dog food , are signifying love because besides eating, you are one of the most important things to them.

3. Lifting & Wiggling Eyebrows

How do you say i love you to a dog

As we know, facial expressions are a huge indicator of mood. Studies have shown that humans have just over 20 different facial expressions and dogs have over 100.

4. Acting Very Excited when Y ou Come Home

How do you say i love you to a dog

One of the best feelings we get from our best friends is the way they greet us when we walk through the front door after being gone for a few hours. You know your dog s love you when they cannot contain their excitement, and they can’t stop wagging or jumping for joy!

5. Bringing Y ou His/Her Favorite Toy

How do you say i love you to a dog

When your dog brings you their favorite toy, it doesn’t always mean that they want to play. Dogs have basically evolved from wolves and this gesture confirms that your pup views you as his or her pack leader. Offering you his or her favorite toy is a leap of trust and shows just how much they love you.

6. Sleeping in Y our Room

How do you say i love you to a dog

Start paying attention to your dog’s favorite places to sleep around the house. Does your pup like to cuddle on the couch in the living room? Or will you find them in your bed tucked under the sheets? Even if you forbid your best friend from sleeping anywhere but their crate, if you ever do happen to find them sprawled out like a king or queen in your bed, the y absolutely love you with their entire heart, so you cannot get too upset .

7. Sleeping Right Next to You

How do you say i love you to a dog

Similar to cuddling on the couch, when our dogs snuggle up next to us in the evening for a long night’s rest, they show us how much they love us. Not only do our pups help reduce anxiety , but they also make us feel safer, calmer, warm, cozy, and more comfortable.

8. Wagging Their Tail or Smiling at You

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs use their tails to communicate their happiness to us. They use their tails as a guide for walking and swimming, as well as a way to communicate when approaching other humans and dogs. According to an article from Animal Planet , “We can’t talk to dogs so we don’t know if they think about the tail wag and then do it, or if it just occurs due to the neurochemical effects of a certain state of mind,” says Lisa Radosta D.V.M. and owner of Florida Veterinary Behavior Service.

9. Following Y ou Around

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs show their love by following their dog parents around. Dogs love us unconditionally and experts say this behavior is typically seen as a sense of security.

10. Licking Y our Face

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs lick human faces for a number of reasons but the most common is to show their love because in a wolf pack, cubs greet their elders with this gesture. Licking faces is done by puppies more often than more mature dogs. They want you to know that they are not a threat and they wish to groom or please you!

11. Jumping U p on You

How do you say i love you to a dog

Jumping dogs are often unwanted, especially by guests who enter your home. But when your dog jumps on you, they really just want to lick your face and say “I love you”.

12. Staying Close -By W hen You’re Sick or Sad

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs can sense when we feel sick or sad. Learn 5 things dogs can sense and remember that your pup is always there for you, especially during hard times.

13. A L ittle B it of Rough Play

How do you say i love you to a dog

A little bit of roughhousing just shows that our dogs have affection and love for us. Just don’t let their play routine get too rough!

14. They Sense if W e Love Them Back

How do you say i love you to a dog

Our best friends can truly feel if we love them or not and when they know we do, they usually love us back even more. We can show them by building a stronger bond with one another and allowing them to participate in their favorite activities with us! There are very few things that are as special as the love we share with our dogs.

How does your dog say “I love you”? Share your stories with us in the comments below!

Every day, countless dog owners express this sentiment by telling their pooches how cute they are, what good boys or girls they’re being and how much they are loved.

Unfortunately, while canines are attuned to your moods and can sense your praise, that can’t understand the words “I love you” the way we mean them. But that doesn’t mean pups can’t feel the love!

To help us express our adoration to our animals in a way they’ll “get,” PEOPLE reached out to Phil Tedeschi, Rover.com‘s human-animal connection expert and the executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver in Colorado.

Tedeschi is dedicated to exploring the bond between humans and non-human animals and how we can strengthen those ties in a way that is beneficial to both sides. In his more than 20 years at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, Tedeschi has learned some fascinating things about the ways canines communicate, and in turn how we can communicate best with them.

Here are Tedeschi’s tips on the best way to express your love to your dog.

Pack in Plenty of Play Time
Dogs are highly expressive, and in response people have become pretty good at speaking “dog.” Body language like a play bow, recognized by a person who then responds by starting to play, is for most dogs the best message of love and connection. Dogs use play to express friendship and love.

Say “I Love You” With Pats
From the moment dogs enter the world, they are licked, nuzzled and comforted as newborns by their parents, especially their mother. Gentle touching and nuzzling mimics this type of maternal affection and love, eliciting oxytocin attachment and a sense of well-being. Allowing dogs to routinely use their senses is a wonderful way to express your love to your dogs.

Communicate Clearly with Your Eyes, Hands and Face
Although dogs can’t text, they have the canine equivalent of emojis: effective use of communication and language in the form of numerous cues. Dogs use their eyes, mouth, tail, paws, body posture, vocalizations, and more to express themselves. Humans are good and getting better at understanding these messages, and in turn, dogs have learned a lot about humans and the human world around them. High on this list is the dog’s capacity to read human faces and body language to discern emotional circumstances. Dogs have high levels of social-emotional attunement, especially with people they know. So, one of the ways to express love with dogs is to become an effective partner, communicator and respondent. Most dogs respond well to a loving gaze from their owners.

Respect Your Dog’s Dislikes
Consent is critical in understanding our dogs, recognizing what they are capable of telling us what they enjoy and don’t appreciate. Many dogs will learn to tolerate some actions, but may be experiencing and showing signs of distress, fear and anxiety. If we ignore these signs, dogs may conclude that we aren’t respectful or good listeners. For many animals, these actions include things that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar like being dressed in a costume, interacting with rowdy children or crowds, or being taken to an unfamiliar setting. It’s worth considering carefully the ways we teach manners as well. Dogs being trained in ways that are coercive, hurtful, fear-inducing and compulsion-based occur because people often want their dog to do these things without their consent or because people ignore what their dogs are telling them about these approaches.

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You may have seen those cute videos of dogs on the internet telling their owners that they love them. How can you get your dog to do the same? This super-cute party trick is sure to melt hearts and impress your friends!

Saying “I Love You” Isn’t Always Easy – Especially For Certain Breeds

Saying those three special words can be hard! Keep in mind that this trick is going to be quite difficult.

If your dog isn’t naturally very vocal, you might have a hard time teaching her to say “I love you,” (or anything else for that matter. Some breeds, like huskies, are known for being vocal, making them better candidates for this tricky trick. You may have better luck with this trick if your dog already makes some strange sounds!

Even if your dog is fairly vocal, this trick gets technical!

We’re going to go over clicker training, capturing behaviors, cueing behaviors, and shaping behaviors. Learning all these skills is essential for getting your dog to talk, and will help you and your pup succeed with all sorts of fun tricks in the future!

Also keep in mind that each animal, trainer, and relationship is unique. This “How To” can be fluid and changed. Think of it more like a guide than a manual.

General Training Tips: What to Know Going In

A few quick general training tips

  • Keep Training Fun & Positive. Training dogs to do tricks is hard for both you and your pup! Be sure to keep training sessions fun and positive. Training should be fun, so don’t punish your dog for making a mistake. If you start getting frustrated, you can always end your session early and go play tug, fetch, or just cuddle
  • Keep Training Sessions Short. Your dog’s brain gets tired easily, so keep training sessions short – around 5-10 minutes. Sometimes, we’ll even keep them shorter! After your training sessions, play a game, go for a walk, or just let your dog rest.

Pro Training Tip: I do training sessions between other activities. I’ll block off an hour of “dog time” and play games, cuddle, and train in 5-10 minute repetitions.

  • End On A High Note. Dogs can get frustrated just like humans, so if your dog is struggling or even regressing, try lowering your expectations. Give your dog a few “easy wins” before pushing him again, and always try to end on a win. If you’re trying to teach your dog to say “I love you” and not making progress, try going back to the good last step. If you move too fast, you’ll leave your dog behind!

Another option: when my dog gets frustrated, I’ll just cue her for “sit,” “down,” or “shake.” She gets a treats and feels less frustrated. Then we can start again!

  • Use Simple Steps. If your dog is struggling, figure out ways to make the behavior easier, so you can give your dog more of those “wins” mentioned above. If you can break the behavior down into smaller steps, do it. Write down every muscle movement that has to happen for your dog to complete her task. Each of those is a potential step!

Along these lines, think of behaviors in increasing complexity. Teaching a dog to speak on cue is elementary. Teaching your dog to say “I love you” is high school. Having your dog to say “I love you” to a stranger in a distracting, scary environment is graduate school! You wouldn’t expect a six-year-old to score a perfect SAT, so don’t expect your dog to do the equivalent.

Before we get started on how to teach this trick to your pooch, check out this video of the incredible talking Husky Misha perform this feat of articulation!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Once you’ve done this enough times, stop giving him treats if you didn’t give the cue first. He only gets rewarded for the trick if you’ve asked for it! Keep in mind that “enough” repetitions will differ for each dog. A vocal, smart dog will be much faster, while a slower dog may take days or even weeks at this step!

If you’ve done each step correctly and were patient and consistent, now your dog should be saying “I love you” on cue!

What if My Dog Doesn’t Yowl?

If you’ve got a quiet dog, this particular trick may be nearly impossible. For example, my childhood Labrador hardly ever barked or made any sound at all – I’m not sure I could ever have taught him this trick.

For a similarly cute behavior that’s easier for quiet dogs, instead you could train your dog to “give kisses” on cue.

Using the same steps of (1) capturing the behavior, (2) shaping the behavior, and (3) cueing the behavior, you can train your dog to lick or nuzzle you on command – equally cute! Instead of “capturing” a vocalization, just “capture” a lick or nuzzle with a click and a treat. You’re on your way to an equally cute, but much quieter, trick!

How does your dog say “I love you?” Share your stories, tips, and tricks in the comments!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could explain to our dogs how much we love them? Well, we may not be able to convey it in words but there are ways you can say I love you in dog language and make sure your pooch understands how much they mean to you.

Stare (at the right time…)

Long eye contact at the wrong time can be perceived as a threat but if your pooch is calm and initiates a long stare with you, it’s his way of saying “I trust you and I love you”. Reciprocate by taking a quiet moment to stare back and enjoy the ‘love hormone’ Oxytocin that is released in both of you!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Walk & talk

Walkies is the perfect time to bond with your pooch and let them know how much you love them. Visiting your favourite spots and sharing time together is a great way to say I ruff you. Talking to your doggo as you trot is a bonus! Research has shown that dogs feel happier and calmer when they hear their human’s familiar voice, so why not strike up a conversation as you walk?

How do you say i love you to a dog

Raise those brows

Studies into dog behaviour have found that doggos raise their eyebrows – especially the left one – when they are greeted by their most loved humans. When strangers approached them, there was far less eyebrow action and, if any, it was predominantly the right eyebrow that was raised. The science behind it? The right side of the brain controls the left side of the face and it just so happens that the right side of the brain also controls emotions. So, in other words, when your doggo sees you and is happy, the left side of the face is stimulated too!

To show Fido that you love him, try to be expressive with your eyebrows, particularly when you greet him. If you’re talented enough to raise just your left brow, that’s even better!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Scratch the ears

Do you ever scratch your doggo’s ears and feel them really pressing their head into your hand? That’s a surefire way to show them how much you love them! Dogs ears are packed with nerves and a good ear scratch releases the ‘happy hormone’ Endorphin. What’re you waiting for? Find that sweet spot and get scratchin’!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Learn their language

Knowing how your dog is feeling and reacting appropriately is a great way to show him that you love him. You may not speak the same language but your pooch’s body language can tell you all you need to know! Read our tips on how to read dog body language and you’ll be ready to play when he’s playful or comfort when he’s sad.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Do you love your pooch? Book a Mad Paws dog walk now to break up his day whilst you’re away! Come home to a happy, relaxed furry friend.

Most dogs can’t speak, although some pooches will give it a good go! That doesn’t mean they can’t tell us how much they love and appreciate us. Can you tell when your dog is saying “I love you”? Here are some of the tell-tale signs your dog is showing affection and trying to tell you that they care.

1. When they admit they’ve done something wrong, like stealing your cookies you know they love you.

How do you say i love you to a dog

2. You dog loves you when they’re awake…

How do you say i love you to a dog

3. …and they love you when they’re asleep.

How do you say i love you to a dog

4. When your dog leaves the cat alone because they know that you love the cat, too. That’s real love.

How do you say i love you to a dog

5. I love you, mum.

How do you say i love you to a dog

6. I love you, dad.

How do you say i love you to a dog

7. Even when your dog knows you’re taking them to the vet, but they love you anyway.

How do you say i love you to a dog

8. You’ll never be alone because you have the love of your dog…

How do you say i love you to a dog

9. …always.

How do you say i love you to a dog

10. Because being with you makes your dog happy…

How do you say i love you to a dog

11. And because they can’t imagine a life without their adopted humans.

How do you say i love you to a dog

How does your dog show you love? Tell us in the comments below or upload your photos on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – don’t forget to tag us – @DogBuddyCo.

If you’re a dog owner, you already know that your dog understands you. But a new study, conducted by Canine Cottages, shows that dogs not only understand their humans, but also what the owners are saying; the study revealed that dogs’ heart rates increased, on average, by 46 percent when their owners said “I love you” to their furry family members.

For the experiment, the researchers at Canine Cottages strapped four doggos with heart rate-tracking collars to show how their heart rate changed during specific interactions; during the one-week period, the dogs had an average resting heart rate of 67 beats per minute (bpm). However, when their owners would say “I love you,” they would spike to an average of 98 bpm.

Similarly, the dogs would exhibit relaxation — a decrease of 23 percent to about 57 bpm — when they would cuddle with their owners. In a statement to People, campaigns manager at UK-based Canine Cottages Shannon Keary said, “It’s amazing to see that our dogs’ heart rate increases when they are told they are loved, showing excitement, and decreases when having cuddles, showing contentedness.”

How do you say i love you to a dog

Though the study’s small sample size is limiting, any dog owner or animal lover will tell you that you don’t need any empirical evidence to prove to you not only that your dog understands what you’re saying, but also that they’re capable of receiving, appreciating, and expressing their love.

According to Canine Cottages, there are certain ways your dog can express their love for you; the actions include, kissing/licking, cuddling, giving greetings, begging, sharing his/her toys or being generous, showing his/her belly, acting loyal, jumping up, destroying your belongings (yes, really, this is a mark of affection!), and coming to you when they’re hurt, distressed, or in any discomfort.

How do you say i love you to a dog

As part of their study, owners also were documented experiencing an increase of blood pressure of around 10 percent when owners see their beloved pups — which isn’t surprising, as the physical and mental benefits of pet ownership has been well-documented. Research has found that petting a dog releases oxytocin — sometimes called the “love hormone” — because it is released when people feel good and bond socially with other humans.

Per the CDC, studies have shown that the benefits of owning a pet include decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, decreased triglyceride levels, decreased feelings of loneliness, and increased opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities, and socialization. Having a pet has proven to be especially beneficial for homes with children, as it helps little ones with social support, and kids who are raised with dogs show improved behavior, heightened empathy for others, and lower anxiety levels, the Ohio State University’s Veterinary Medical Center explains.

Any pet owner knows just how much having a pet does for you — but it sure is nice to have science confirm it. Make sure you say thank you to your pup for all he or she does for you with extra treats, walks, or even more “I love yous” today!

How to show your pup some serious love in their language

Canine companions are some of our dearest loved ones, and dog lovers want to make sure they know it! We all know pups can be incredibly intuitive, but do dogs really know just how much we love them?

The proof is in the science.

Canine cognition is the study of dogs’ brains and has shown that when you and your dog interact, a love hormone is released causing you to feel happier and more bonded as best friends. This hormone is called Oxytocin , and is the same chemical given off when humans stare at their babies!

Oxytocin is released for both you and your dog when you pet them, play with them, or look at each other.

Studies have shown that dogs tend to lock eyes to show affection, so it’s safe to say your dog feels the love when you’re looking longingly at each other.

Since dogs can’t exactly say “I know you love me and I love you too!” there are a few other ways animal lovers can be sure the message is clear.

How do I know if my dog feels loved?

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs are comfortable showing love when they feel loved themselves. When you see affectionate behaviors coming from pups, it’s an indicator that they feel safe and loved by their owners and are willing to show that same love back.

Some behaviors are clear indicators of puppy love. Dr. Brian Hare is an expert in canine cognition and says that if your dog stares at you for no reason, your furry friend is really hugging you with their eyes. How cute is that?!

The classic tail wag is always an indicator of a happy pup, but another behavior that shows dogs know you love them is when they press or rub their bodies against your legs, or lay on your feet . This shows that your dog feels a sense of comfort and reassurance knowing you’re right beside them, and they certainly wouldn’t feel that if they didn’t also feel loved.

Herding their humans is another behavior that dogs sometimes exhibit to show family members are part of the ‘pack.’ When a dog is herding, they’re showing affection and care, and a desire to keep their family protected and in close proximity.

Next time you’re trying to get some privacy and Fido won’t leave you alone, remember it’s just because they love you.

How can I say “I love you” to my dog?

How do you say i love you to a dog

Since dogs are naturally pack animals, they’re seeking a sense of belonging and acceptance from you—leader of the pack! Show love in ways they can understand and you’ll be sure to get some puppy lovin’ in return.

Quality time

There never seem to be enough hours in the day, but part of being a pet parent means making time for them on a regular basis. Dogs don’t need a new adventure every day of the week, but they do need your time and attention to feel bonded to you.

Whether it’s walking in the park (or dog park), playing fetch, or snuggling up together on the couch with a good Netflix show, the number one way to let dogs know you love them is to simply spend time with them.

PAW-sitive reinforcement

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs thrive with routines and set expectations , and every pup wants to be a good boy or girl. During dog training, giving praise and making it clear when your dog is doing what you want and expect will reinforce the good behavior and strengthen the bond between you two.

Your best friend wants to make you happy, and they’ll definitely pick up on your emotions and tone in response to their behavior.

Examples of positive reinforcement:

  • Giving a small treat
  • Verbal praise
  • Petting
  • Playtime or favorite toys

Dogs’ ability to interpret humans is based a lot on body language, and they recognize facial expressions just like people do. Dog owners can show some serious love just by making sure their pooch gets a big, genuine smile and a few belly rubs every day. Seriously, what do dogs love more than belly rubs?

Share the enthusiasm

How do you say i love you to a dog

Have you ever seen a dog so happy as when its owner gets home from a long day or returns from a trip? Think about what a gift it is to have that unconditional love.

One of the most treasured dog behaviors is that they seem happy to see you no matter what. Being only human, it’s im-PAW-ssible to be as happy as a well-loved pup, but showing your dog the same enthusiasm and positive emotions when you see each other is a sign of affection they can really understand.

It can be tiring to get excited at the end of a long day, but your dog has likely been waiting for this moment for hours! Show them just how much it means to you that they’re always there when you get home.

Smile, make eye contact and don’t be afraid to use those silly nicknames every pet owner comes up with for their fur babies. Just be careful not to reinforce undesirable behaviors like jumping on people when they walk through the door.

Give physical affection

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs really do make the best cuddle buddies, and physical touch is one of the main ways you can show your dog you love them. Take time to give a pat on the head when your best bud is being extra good. Scratch your dog’s ears or place a hand on their head when they get close to you. Displays of affection like this can go a long way.

If you’re usually a more strict dog parent when it comes to furniture, maybe even let them sleep in the bed once in a while. Your dog will jump at the opportunity to be close to you, and will probably melt like a pooch-sicle the minute they get to cuddle with you. The endorphins released will definitely be mutual.

Pamper your pooch

How do you say i love you to a dog

Doesn’t everyone like surprises? Just like people, every dog loves to feel a little special now and then, and your pup will most certainly reward you with endless enthusiasm anytime you surprise them.

Does your doggy LOVE getting in the water ? Take them for an impromptu swim sometime and watch the tail wag. Pick up a fun new toy or some yummy new treats, and in return, you’re sure to get some serious excitement.

If you’ve wondered whether or not your dog can tell you love them, you probably care enough that they definitely can. You and your dog have a special bond, and the more time you spend together the stronger it will grow. Keep showing your pup the love, and they’ll keep showing it right back.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Have you told your dog lately that you love it? You may want to start saying those three little words every chance you get. A recent study has proved what dog-lovers always suspected: dogs understand and physically react to this loving phrase. The study by Canine Cottage measured canine bodily reactions and found pups’ heart rates increased an average of 46.2% while being told, “I love you.”

The heart-warming study used monitors to track dogs’ pulses through different activities. The researchers found that saying the specific phrase “I love you” to your dog excites the animal and elevates its heart rate. In contrast, cuddling your pet has a calming effect. Snuggles with their human decreased dogs’ resting heart rate by an average of 22.7%. These bodily responses to emotional stimuli are a two-way street. The study reported that human heart rates increased by about 10.4% when they saw their dogs. This data adds to the body of science explaining why dogs are “man’s best friend.”

While a dog’s heart rate can shed light on its emotions, “love” probably means something slightly different to humans and dogs. Dogs lick faces, wag their tails, and jump on their owners with enthusiasm to demonstrate their love and loyalty. Humans offer belly rubs, head scratches, and chew toys as signs of devotion. But some expressions of love are not understood so easily across species. According to Canine Cottage, dogs do not maliciously chew and destroy their humans’ things. This frustrating behavior actually stems from a desire to calm themselves by chewing upon an object with their human’s delightful scent. This annoying behavior is really a mark of how much your dog loves you.

You can find more puppy love facts on Canine Cottage’s website. And don’t forget to tell your pup you love them today and make their heart jump for joy.

Dog Body language and emotions displayed by canines has been a subject of research with interesting and positive findings. It has also been proven for that canine minds process and feel certain emotions synonymous to humans.

When your dog reacts to your slightest footstep, U R HIS BFF:

When you both share a game of who blinks first:
When a dog makes an eye contact with other dog, it means war, but if he stares at you with the whites of his eyes gone, you know your dog loves you.

The CULT of Wagging Tails: More WAG means More LUV

When your pooch seeing you, wags his tail towards the right side of its body then it’s a clear sign it loves you and is feeling joyful. A tail wag may happen for some other reasons too. A loose wag of the tail that is held at mid height amid overall positive body language is to tell you that the canine is happy to have you by its side. A cheerful tail wag could also include a full body jiggle. An Italian neuroscientist along with two vets carried on an experiment on thirty pet dogs. In this each of the pet was shown different objects/creatures. They were shown their master, a stranger, a cat and an unknown dog. All subjects responded in the same way upon seeing their owners, their tails wagged sturdily to the right side.
When your dog enjoys sleeping with you:

How do you say i love you to a dog

Canines being pack animals love to move around in groups or for that matter even sleep close together. Similarly if the pet dog chooses to sleep next to you, it means that it feels extremely comfortable in your presence and derives a sense of security. Image – http://stories.barkpost.com/

How do you say i love you to a dog

When your dog jumps at you to greet you with honey slobbers.

Liucija Adomaite and
Greta Jaruševičiūtė

You probably already know that having a dog does wonders for our physical and mental health. It reduces stress, lessens blood pressure, and lowers the risk of heart disease. But it turns out that when being loved, our beloved canine friends experience similar magic. (As if we didn’t see that already!)

Canine Cottages spoke to behavioral experts for dogs to find out the true meaning behind licks, begging, barking and more. Then, the company from the UK put them to the test and measured the dogs’ heart rate to find out how exactly they react to given scenarios.

Their findings suggested that upon telling your pup “I love you,” their heart rate would increase by 46.2%. The conclusion? We will be showering our furry companions with loving words times ten.

(h/t: My Modern Met)

There’s some pawsome news on puppy love!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Canine Cottages observed that a dog’s heart rate jumps by 46% when their owner says “I love you”

How do you say i love you to a dog

The same experiment run by Canine Cottages showed that human heart rates also increase by 10.4% upon seeing their furry friends. So our hearts jumping out of joy is, in fact, a mutual thing! And if your four-legged BFF is having a rough day (and who doesn’t!) you may wanna cuddle him, because that lowers their pulse by 22.7%, according to the same report.

Although canines’ heart rate can indeed shed some light on their emotions, one should remember that the way humans and animals communicate love is totally different. Among 10 signs of affection, Canine Cottages named the following: licking and kissing, cuddling, greeting, begging, showing the belly, jumping up, and more.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Any intuitive dog owner can attest to the fact that one of the most beautiful gifts dogs have to offer us is their unconditional love. A dog will always be happy to see you, cuddle you, play — whatever it may be! Dogs will love you because they are loyal and because you are their master and caretaker. For this they are eternally grateful and brimming with unfiltered love for you — which lends itself to the title of “man’s best friend”. Do you know how to tell your dog you love them in their own language?

So, how do we show our fellow canine companions that we love them back in their own language? This is an interesting question because we may often times think we’re giving back in all the right ways, however, some things we do aren’t exactly the right things to do. For example, many dog owners like to share their meal or snack with their dog — we’re naturally inclined to do so because to other humans — this is a way to show you love and care. However, in a dog’s world, this is not so much the case, not to mention it can be unhealthy for your dog’s health and overall obedience.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Dogs respond to your gestures and body language in a way that you may not be aware of, so, we’ve provided you with five easy techniques that will help you tell your dog you love him or her in dog language. Give these a try and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much of a deeper connection you will feel with your dog almost instantaneously.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Training and positive reinforcement.

An excellent way to communicate your love is through positive reinforcement. Dogs thrive off of structure and learning. Training will let present your dog with their favorite forms of motivation, whether that’s food, praise, or play, and your dog will come to see you as a provider of the things he loves the most. He’ll see that when he works with you, he’s making you happy, and your rewards will make him happy in return. When you both work to make each other happy, you’re both showing your love for each other.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Read to your dog.

Do you read to your kids at bedtime? Have Fido join you. Even if you don’t have kids, your dog will thoroughly enjoy being read to. Get down on the floor and take out a good book or maybe even a short story. Try being animated with your eyes and soothing in tone. Make this a nighttime ritual you both will enjoy!

How do you say i love you to a dog

Give human touch.

Your dog craves your attention and even just a few minutes of back massage, belly rubs and ear scratches go a long way. Speak to him in quiet, soothing tones. Tell him he’s a good boy. Give him a safe and healthy treat that’s made just for dogs. Treat him like he’s part of your family, because he would do anything for you, no questions asked.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Engage in deep conversations.

It might sound silly at first, but your dog probably wouldn’t mind if you talked to him more often. Feel free to tell your dog about your day. Rehearse your business presentation with them as your audience. Talk about whatever else is on your mind. You might question how much of what you say is actually sinking in. Studies indicate that the average dog can understand about 165 words, and even more if you work with them enough. Bonus: the benefits of talking to your dog aren’t entirely one-sided. Previous studies have shown that talking to and petting dogs can contribute to lower blood pressure in humans.

How do you say i love you to a dog

Rub your dog’s ears.

Rubbing a dog’s ear will immediately put him on cloud nine. Dog’s ears are a hot spot for nerve endings and when activated, those nerves send messages all throughout the dog’s body while releasing endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural happy drug. A gentle, circular massage with two fingers (one behind the tip of the ear and one inside the ear at the tip) will do the trick. Fido will definitely be feeling the love!

What are some things you do to let your dogs know you love them in their language? Let us know by tweeting us @FetchPetCare.

At Fetch!, we love caring for animals. We offer services like pet sitting, puppy training, and even administering medications to make your busy days less stressful for you and your pet.

You love your dog. How do you know if he loves you too? You watch his body language, that’s how. Here are 10 things your fur child does to tell you he digs you.

Related To:

She stares directly into your eyes.

You’re not imagining it. That’s a look of love. When you two gaze at one another, your bodies make a chemical called oxytocin that causes the two of you to bond, says Brian Hare, author of the “The Genius of Dogs.” It’s the same chemical mothers and babies produce when they look at one another, Hare says. “They can make each other feel good just by staring into each others’ eyes. Somehow, dogs have hijacked this process.”

He wags his tail to the right.

Dogs wag their tails for a lot of reasons, and they’re not always positive. But an Italian neuroscientist and two veterinarians filmed the tail wag angles (yes, that’s a thing) of dogs as they looked at their owners, a stranger, a dog they didn’t know and a cat. The dogs wagged their tails to the right when they saw their owner. Everybody else got a wag to the left. So watch the wag. If it’s to the right, your dog child is saying he loves you.

She lifts her eyebrows when she sees you.

Again with the cameras. Japanese researchers filmed the faces of dogs when they saw their owners and when they saw a stranger. The dogs raised their eyebrows when they saw their owner. The stranger just got an ear lift, a sign of doggie caution. Why do they raise their eyebrows? So they can make better eye contact and make those good chemicals that bond the two of you.

He yawns when you yawn.

Yawning when you see another person yawn is a sign of empathy. It’s called a contagious yawn, and half of all people do it. Now researchers have found that dogs do it, too. A study found that 70 percent of dogs yawned when they watched their owner yawn. It’s a sign of emotional bonding between man and dog. Whether you’re bored or sleepy, your dog’s on board. He feels you.

She wants to sleep in your bed. Or at least in your bedroom.

Dogs want to belong to a pack. It’s a legacy of their wolf ancestors who traveled, hunted and slept in a lupine posse. If your dog wants to be in your bed, or at least in a dog bed in your room, it means you’re in his pack and he doesn’t want to be separated from you, writes Gregory Berns in his book “How Dogs Love Us.” Scoot over and share your pillow with your pack mate.

He brings you a toy.

Yes, it means he wants to play with you, which is a sign of affection. It may also mean he wants to please you, his beloved pack leader, so he is giving you a gift. Another version of giving tribute to the boss: bringing you a dead animal. Some experts say it’s a throwback to their wolf ancestors who brought the fruits of the hunt to the alpha dog to show their loyalty. Understand, that dead squirrel is a love offering.

She greets you when you come home.

You don’t need science to confirm what your dog is saying when she does the happy dog dance the moment you walk through the door after work. She’s ecstatic to see her beloved human, the center of her universe. Let the happy yips, raised eyebrows and right-tail wags begin.

He nudges you to get you to pet him.

Studies show that dogs get a rise in oxytocin, also known as the “hug hormone,” when we pet them. Oxytocin makes them feel good and helps them connect with us. So that nudge says, “Hey, let’s bond.” Get this: Dogs get a higher shot of the hug hormone when they’re petted by a woman than by a man. Sorry, guys. Dog may be woman’s best friend.

She cuddles with you after dinner.

In his book “How Dogs Love Us,” Gregory Berns writes that if your dog cuddles with you after she eats, it means you’re the most important thing in the world to her besides eating. And we know how much dogs love food. So if she heads to your lap after supper, take it as a sign of deep attachment.

He licks you.

Mother dogs lick their puppies to groom them, so it’s a primal sign of affection when your dog licks you. He’s getting pleasure out of it, too, because it makes his brain crank out endorphins, chemicals that make him calm and happy. Note: If you just ate a burger, and there’s some ketchup on your cheek you didn’t see, love may not be your dog’s only motivation for that lick on the face.

How do you say i love you to a dog

When it comes to love, dogs are experts at showing how much they care. From big kisses and extra cuddles to making direct eye contact, they’re never short of affection. But do you know how to tell your dog you love them? Oftentimes we express our love as we would to another human, but that doesn’t always resonate with your pup. Learn how you can say “I love you” in your dog’s language and give their heart a little pitter patter.

Loving Gaze

Eye contact is a critical way for a dog to communicate with their pet parent. Let’s be real, you know when your dog gives you “that look” and when they’re telling you something specific. The same can be said for engaging your pup in a long, loving gaze. Add in some sweet talk and their hearts will be melting. Just be careful not to get in a stare down for too long because then they’ll think they’re in trouble!

A Touch of Love

The simple act of physical touch can flood your dog with oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. Take the time to give them a gentle massage, scratch their belly, brush their hair or rub their ears, the sweet spot for any dog. A smile is guaranteed when they can literally feel the love flowing from you. While some dogs might enjoy cuddling, others might feel trapped, so be sure to read your dog’s body language to avoid ruining the moment.

Good Listening

Your dog can often give you an earful with their barking! But it’s for good reason. They’re just telling you about their day and maybe giving you their opinion, too. Research has shown that dogs raise their eyebrows when listening, so try raising yours and see how they react. When you show them that what they’re saying matters, they’ll wag their tail, maintain eye contact and twist their head from side to side.

Positive Reinforcement

Not only do dogs love to learn, but they thrive on the structure that comes from teaching them good behavior. As part of training, motivate their good behavior with food and play. Your pup will learn that his or her hard work makes you happy therefore making the dog happy in return. Not only are you teaching them to be a good canine citizen, but you’re strengthening your bond.

The Most Exciting Day Ever

Give your dog a little more socialization and playtime with other dogs! Drop them off for a day full of new smells, playing and learning with their BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever) and favorite Canine Coaches. Not only will you be helping them build their confidence by being around other dogs and humans, you’re also giving your dog the chance to learn and reinforce positive behavior so there is less doggie mischief at home. You can sneak a peek at the fun by viewing Dogtopia’s live webcams available on our mobile app or website. Show them a little extra love and schedule dog daycare at your local Dogtopia.

July 5, 2020 // by Kristen Levine // 82 Comments
Chew on this: Some posts may include affiliate links for which I receive a small commission. However, all products I “dig up” are ones I paw–thentically love!

Sometimes we wonder if our dogs really know how much they mean to us. There are five ways you can show your dog you love them.

  1. Rub their ears
  2. Lean on them
  3. Gaze softly into their eyes
  4. Have fun together
  5. Snuggle with them

I love my dog. But, really, that’s an understatement. I adore her. She is one of the best things in my life, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to keep her healthy and happy. Showing your dog how much they mean to me can be a little tricky, though. And if they don’t respond the way you expect, you may wonder “Does my dog love me?”

Even though I know that most dogs aren’t the biggest fans of big hugs, I sometimes have to fight the urge to give Tulip a loving squeeze. After all, hugging is one of the most natural ways for humans to show affection. However, for our many of our canine companions, a hug is unwelcome or even threatening, especially if they feel trapped.

Some dog parents make the mistake of thinking that the best way to their dog’s heart is through his stomach. Don’t get me wrong — treats and goodies do have their place (especially as rewards when training), but too many of them can easily lead to weight gain and all of the health issues that come with it.

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While treats should be limited and hugs should often be avoided, there are still lots of ways that you can shower your dog with endless love in language they’re sure to understand.

Does My Dog Know I Love Him?

The short answer is “probably.” But only if you know how to speak your dog’s love language. As mentioned, things like hugs, kisses, and treats don’t necessarily translate to love in dog’s native language.

Dogs are pack animals, and they rely on their pack’s queues for signs of approval and love. They do this primarily through body language and physical touch, and group activities like hunting and exercising.

Here are 5 ways you can translate your love for your dog in ways they’ll understand.

How do you say i love you to a dog

5 Ways to Tell Your Dog You Love Him

1. Rub His Ears

Instead of patting your pup on the top of the head, try giving them a gentle rub behind the ears. Watch their reaction — they will most likely melt into a ball of doggy happiness. This is because rubbing a dog’s ears actually stimulates the release of endorphins — hormones that relieve pain and bring on feelings of pleasure.

2. Lean on Him

Has your dog ever pressed up against your legs or leaned into you while you were sitting together? This is one way that dogs seek affection, kind of like a doggie hug. You can “hug” them back by doing the same thing.

3. Gaze Softy Into His Eyes

One way to show your pup you love him is through eye contact. Take a quiet moment, speak softly to him and pet him gently, and just stare into his eyes. Try raising your eyebrows (especially the left one). Your dog will view this as a display of affection.

In fact, this action will naturally increase your dog’s level of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that aids in bonding.

A word of caution: you should only maintain direct eye contact with a dog who knows and trusts you. A dog who is not familiar with you is more likely to interpret this gesture as a threat or a challenge.

4. Have Fun Together

Spend some time every day doing something that your dog enjoys. Try teaching him a new trick or practicing ones he already knows. Take him out in the back yard or down to the dog park for a game of frisbee or fetch with his favorite toy. (Click here to see my favorite dog bonding toy). Not only will your dog feel loved, but the exercise will help to keep him (and you) healthy.

5. Snuggle

Dogs may not enjoy being hugged, but they love cuddling. Dogs are pack animals, and close contact makes them feel safe and secure. Allowing your pooch to sleep with you is the ultimate display of trust and affection since this is when you are the most vulnerable. However, even if you’d prefer to keep your bed dog-free, you can still create opportunities every day to tell your dog you love him by snuggling up on the couch or in a cozy corner with him on the floor. He’ll be sure to get your message.

One of the best things about dogs is how well they know their favorite people. They can tell when we’re stressed out and when we’re calm and happy. And we can be sure that our voices, our body language, and our actions communicate to them how much they mean to us.

The bond between human and dog has huge benefits for people and animals. My ebook explains how bonding with your dog can improve your mind, body, spirit, and community. Click here to download your free copy.

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How do you say i love you to a dog

The new year brings new opportunities to slow down and enjoy the simple things like spending quality time with your pup! Treat them to a dog playdate on National Doggy Date Night , Wednesday, February 3rd.

The National Today science team surveyed 3,000 pet owners to discover just how much they loved their pups. They ranked each state by asking owners how often they let their pup lick their face or sleep in their bed, as well as how often they say “I love you,” buy them gifts, conversate with them, dress them in special outfits, and simply curl up and relax together. The results of each were close! The researchers followed up by asking single and married women who they would rather take on a date – their dog or significant other – and at least 20 percent voted in favor of doggy date night . Additionally, participants were asked how their dogs make their lives better, how having a dog affects day-to-day life, and the most popular dog playdate ideas / doggy date night activities:

  • 64% – Give your dog a special Valentine’s Day treat.
  • 53% – Tell your dog, “I love you.”
  • 39% – Make or buy a special gift/treat for your dog.
  • 33% – Post photos of your dog on social media with a loving message.
  • 28% – Include your dog in Valentine’s Day activities with your significant other.

Just like people, dogs like dates, too! You can always go for a walk around the block or play some ball in the backyard, so for doggy date night , try and think outside the box and add some fun to your dog playdates .

Our Favorite Dog-Friendly Date Ideas:

  1. Hit the Town: Head outside for a dog playdate . Find a park with some wide-open space for your pup to sniff and explore or run free and play a big fetch game. If weather permits have a picnic! Pack a basket with a blanket and snacks for both you and your pup to enjoy. Be sure to snap some commemorating photos throughout the day.
  2. Spa Day: Treat your pooch to some primping and pampering. If your pup enjoys a trip to the spa, schedule a grooming appointment. If your dog prefers to stay home, consider a DIY spa night. Look into all the different spa products specifically designed for dogs and treat your pooch. Suds up in the tub and get that coat glowing. Grab some moisturizing, dog-friendly lotion and apply it to your pup’s nose and paws.
  3. Drive-In Theatre: Yes, these still exist! Given the current state of the country, this dog-friendly playdate idea is not only safe for your pooch but also a safe environment for you. Most drive-ins don’t mind if you bring your pet with you, so pick out a show time and pack up the family to enjoy this throwback date activity.
  4. Shopping: Shopping is something everyone can enjoy and can make for a great outing. Several big box home improvement stores are pet friendly, so you can shop for new home appliances or tools, and your furry companion will be happy to go along for the adventure. Head over to a local pet store and pick out some new swag, upgrade your pup’s bedding, or stock up on treats – let Fido pick out his favorite!
  5. Car Ride: Hitting the open road– it’s no mystery that a good ‘ole car ride is one of most dog’s favorite pastimes. It’s perhaps the simplest dog playdate idea , but likely the one your dog will be most thrilled about.

Your pup isn’t picky. For them, an evening spent with you is more than enough. No matter how you choose to spend National Doggy Date Night , any adventure where you’re together is sure to be perfect in your dog’s eyes. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Why do dogs lick you

We sometimes associate dogs licking us as a kiss, one that – depending on how your dog’s breath is fairing that day – we like receiving. Though it’s probably worth remembering that a dogs mouth is far from hygienic – think about all the things they lick and put in their mouths during the day!

But what does your dog actually mean when they lick?

Where does dog licking begin?

Dog licking is an instinctive behaviour that dogs are born with. Female dogs naturally lick their puppies as a means of cleaning them and as a form of comfort. Licking also helps to stimulate blood flow in the puppies when they are first born and helps them go to the toilet.

You may see young puppies licking their mother’s mouth enthusiastically, and this is to encourage her to regurgitate food for them to eat. Not all pet dogs will regurgitate food for their puppies, but this is an important part of the weaning process for the dog’s ancestors, the wolf.

As puppies grow older they begin to groom themselves and their littermates, which increases their bond. However, as dogs grow into adults, they rarely lick each other. Although you may still see puppies licking adult dogs as a way of greeting them.

Why does my dog lick?

Licking, like many other behaviour traits, can indicate various different things from attention seeking, to simply cleaning themselves.

Why do dogs lick you

Cleaning

Dogs lick themselves to clean their fur because their tongue offers some antibacterial properties, though it’s a myth that dogs have antiseptic tongues. Dog’s mouths also contain harmful bacteria which live alongside the good bacteria.

Your dog using its tongue to clean their fur is more about it being the most useful tool at their disposal.

Tasting their surroundings

Your dog will be able to pick up on a lot more information using their nose and mouth than humans can. Because of their heightened senses, dogs will sometimes lick another dog’s urine as a way of understanding the information that they smell in greater detail.

This may seem gross to us, but it allows your pet to understand whether the dog is male or female, neutered or unneutered, and even stressed all from their wee!

Attention seeking

It’s very normal for puppies to lick both humans and other dogs when they are saying ‘hello’. This is usually accompanied by lots of sociable and excitable tail wagging and body wiggling.

As puppies get older they tend to do this less, but if the licking receives lots of attention (which it often does) then it’s likely to remain a big part of their greeting behaviour.

Dogs also learn that it’s a great way to get attention at other times – if we smile and stroke them when they lick us, then we easily reinforce this behaviour.

We are also pretty tasty to our dogs, especially with our post-workout salty skin!

Health

As dogs don’t have hands like humans, they will often use their tongue to lick an area of irritation or a wound to comfort themselves. Depending on how much the irritation is bothering them, your dog will alter how often they lick the area.

Obsessive licking of a particular area should be closely monitored and, if it persists, you should speak to your vet to see what could be causing this.

Affection

Of course, as we all want to hear, licking can absolutely be a sign of affection too. As much as dogs will lick their owners for attention, they are seeking attention from you because they want to interact with you.

This article was medically reviewed by Sorin McKnight, DVM, a veterinarian at Wellborn Road Veterinary Medical Center in College Station, Texas.

Medically Reviewed Reviewed By Check Mark Icon A check mark. It indicates that the relevant content has been reviewed and verified by an expert

Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness. For more information, visit our medical review board.

Why do dogs lick you

  • Dogs lick you for a number of reasons, including showing affection or demonstrating empathy.
  • If your dog licks you when you get home, it could be their way of welcoming you back.
  • Your dog may also lick you in order to get your attention or let you know that they’re anxious.

Have you ever wondered why your dog seems so eager to lick your hands and face? Your dog could just be licking you to show their affection, but there are several other factors that may be at play.

Here are six reasons why your dog may be licking you.

1. Greeting you when you get home

One simple explanation is that your dog is excited to see you walk in the door.

“Essentially, it is their way of greeting you … like they are saying ‘Hello!’,” says Lara Sypniewski, DVM, a professor of small animal medicine at Oklahoma State University.

It may also be an evolutionary behavior — researchers have observed that some wild dog species will lick other members of the pack as a welcome when they return home.

2. They’re showing affection

Licking can be a way for dogs to bond with family members. For example, mother dogs will often lick their puppies to groom them or offer comfort.

Likewise, licking may be your dog’s way of grooming you and showing closeness.

“Licking is a normal juvenile behavior in puppies and this behavior appears to be common with humans, especially when humans encourage the interaction,” Sypniewski says.

3. They’re showing empathy

Your dog is very sensitive to your emotional states. “Dogs have evolved alongside humans and appear to have the unbelievable ability to interpret and respond to human emotion,” Sypniewski says.

If you appear to be upset, your dog may mirror this feeling, and respond by licking you, says Melissa Bain, DVM, a professor of clinical animal behavior at UC Davis.

Dogs may also have a drive to comfort unhappy humans. A small 2012 study showed that dogs were more likely to offer comforting behaviors like approaching and nuzzling to people who seemed sad, rather than people who acted neutral.

4. Your dog wants your attention

Your dog may learn over time that licking is an effective way to get your attention.

“As dogs lick, humans typically respond with attention and love, further reinforcing the dog’s licking behavior,” Sypniewski says.

Your dog may also seek your attention and lick you to signal that they want food.

This instinctual behavior mirrors that of wild dogs — puppies in the wild lick their mother’s lips after a hunt to show that they’re hungry and the mother will then regurgitate food for them.

5. You taste good

Your dog may want to lick you when you’re sweaty after a workout — studies have shown that dog tongues can taste salt.

Your dog may also want to lick your face or hands after you eat a meal. Even if you don’t think you have food on your face, your dog may be able to pick up more subtle, enticing smells with their incredibly sensitive noses.

6. They feel anxious

According to Bain, there are several reasons why your dog might feel anxious, including:

  • Your behavior — “this may be because the owner has done something that the dog finds aversive, such as yelling,” Bain says.
  • Some dogs may be prone to a general sense of anxiety, based on their disposition.
  • Dogs with separation anxiety may feel anxious when their owner returns home.

“When experiencing anxiety, they may look for ways to soothe themselves,” Sypniewski says. Licking causes dog’s brains to release dopamine and endorphins, hormones that can help them feel more relaxed.

“Dog owners may also respond to anxious licking by petting, cuddling, or offering encouraging sounds or words,” Sypniewski says. This can encourage your dog to use licking as a way to get comfort in the future.

Insider’s takeaway

There are many possible reasons why your dog might lick you, ranging from showing love or just trying to get a taste of your dinner.

But keep in mind that excessive licking can also be a sign that your dog isn’t feeling well. “Owners should also be aware that dogs can lick if they feel nauseous, so if this is a change in behavior for the dog, or if it is accompanied by other signs of illness, they should contact their veterinarian,” Bain says.

Madeline Kennedy is a health writer for Insider covering a wide range of topics including reproductive and sexual health, mental health, nutrition, and infectious disease. Before joining Insider, Madeline worked as a health news writer for Reuters, and a domestic violence therapist. She has a master’s degree in social work from UPenn and is interested in the intersection of health and social justice.

Why do dogs lick you

What’s better than coming home to a kiss from a happy pup? Most dog owners interpret licks from their dogs as a sign of affection. In other words, the closest your canine companion can get to kissing. But is this accurate? And what can you do if your dog’s licking is out of control?

Is Licking a Dog’s Way Of Kissing?

The jury is out on what a dog’s licking actually means. Believe it or not, what you interpret as affection might, in fact, be your dog encouraging you to throw up your lunch for them.

“Researchers of wild canids — wolves, coyotes, foxes, and other wild dogs — report that puppies lick the face and muzzle of their mother when she returns from a hunt to her den — in order to get her to regurgitate for them,” notes Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and author of the book Inside Of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know.

Similarly, your dog could simply think that you taste nice. Certified applied animal behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch points out that humans have slightly salty skin, especially after sweating during exercise. Therefore, those licks might be more about seeking salt than giving affection. Horowitz adds that if your dog likes to lick your face, it will often happen after you’ve finished a delicious meal. Or, well, any meal.

Why do dogs lick you

But, there is also evidence that licking is sometimes a sign of affection. Horowitz points out that, although it started as a food-seeking behavior, licking has now become a ritualized greeting for many dogs. Some wild species in the dog family will lick pack members just to welcome them home. So, those daily slobbers really might just be a sign that your dog is happy to see you.

“Licking can be a sign of affection,” explains Dr. Burch. “It might also give a dog a feeling of security and comfort, just as the dog had when licked by its mother in the litter.”

When Is Licking a Problem?

Most licking is harmless, even welcome as a form of self-expression on the dog’s part. Burch notes that there’s no need to worry that it’s a form of domination — in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“One theory is the licking is a sign of submission,” she says. “The idea is that dogs who are submissive will lick a more dominant member of the pack.”

Even so, there are some scenarios when you might want to head off a slobber fest from your pup. The first relates to human comfort, that is, some people simply don’t like being licked. If you have a germaphobic friend who cringes every time your dog approaches, it’s kinder to dog and friend alike to redirect the behavior.

But sometimes licking is a symptom of a more serious problem. If your dog is licking themselves, you, or objects excessively, to the point that it seems like a self-stimulatory behavior, this might be a sign of anxiety, boredom, or pain. Obsessive self-licking can also be a sign of allergies or other health problems.

What Can Dog Owners Do About Problem Licking?

If your dog is self-licking excessively, start by having your veterinarian check them out and address any medical problems or discomfort. Once you’ve ruled out medical explanations, you can turn to behavioral solutions.

“One idea is to redirect your dog,” says Dr. Burch. “When they lick, switch up the activity. A good option is to choose a behavior that is incompatible with licking, such as using an interactive puzzle to get a treat. You can also have the dog engage in other behaviors such as ball play or trick training.”

By repeating this redirect, you’ll gradually reinforce the lesson that you don’t want your dog to lick, without ever using negative reinforcement.

Why do dogs lick you

Trick training, in particular, is a good way to turn a repeated undesirable behavior into an opportunity for positive reinforcement. Start by simply having the dog sit, which might stop the licking on its own, then reward the behavior with a treat. Next, why not harness your dog’s affection by teaching them to give you a hug? Or to speak on cue? Other tricks to practice could include sitting up, army crawling, or leg weaving. If you and your dog find you really enjoy trick training, you could even look into Trick Dog trials.

Whether or not you dive into trick training, always make sure that your affectionate dog gets plenty of attention and exercise. Excess unused energy can lead to over-licking as well as other more destructive behaviors.

Need some help training your dog? While you may not be able to attend in-person training classes during COVID-19, we are here to help you virtually through AKC GoodDog! Helpline. This live telephone service connects you with a professional trainer who will offer unlimited, individualized advice on everything from behavioral issues to CGC prep to getting started in dog sports.

Why do dogs lick you

You may love your dog, but not all of us like “kisses” from our furry canine friends. Most pet parents believe their dogs lick them to show affection, but why do dogs really lick us? Does it mean something different if your dog licks your face, hands, ears, or feet?

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Licking is a natural instinct in dogs. Studies have shown that licking releases endorphins in a dog’s brain. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that make dogs (and us!) feel calmer and more relaxed. Dogs lick people for a variety of reasons, including affection, communication, grooming, exploration, attention, and taste.

Learning to Lick as Puppies

Dogs learn very early that their tongues are useful tools in communicating and interacting with the world around them. Mother dogs lick their pups to clean and stimulate them as soon as they are born. For the first few weeks of their lives, puppies are also licked by mother dogs to prompt them to urinate and defecate.

In wild dogs, puppies lick their elders to communicate submissiveness, but also to induce the regurgitation of food that the older pack members ingested while hunting. Pups will lick one another to show affection and also to comfort themselves and their littermates.

Licking People for Taste

Licking also enhances your dog’s sense of smell. Like us, dogs can taste bitter, salty, sweet, and sour, but due to their small number of taste buds, they actually use their sense of smell far more than their sense of taste when deciding what to lick or eat. This is likely why dogs enjoy licking areas of our bodies that tend to have strong tastes and smells: our faces, ears, feet, and hands.

To understand why dogs really enjoy licking certain areas of our bodies, we need to take a quick look at the anatomy of human sweat. People have two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine.

Eccrine glands secrete a thin, odorless, clear fluid made of salt, protein, etc., and are found in large numbers on the soles of the feet, the palms, the forehead and cheeks, and in the armpits.

Apocrine glands secrete a thicker fluid that reacts with the bacteria on your skin to create body odor and are found in the armpits and groin, but also in the ear canals, eyelids, and nostrils.

Why Do Dogs Lick Your Hands?

You use your hands to touch everything, and your dog wants in on the action! As you move through the world on any given day, your hands collect smells and flavors that your dog wants to investigate once you come home.

You might touch other people or animals. You very likely touch food. And think of all the other fascinating things you touch when you’re away from your dog! Your hands are like a roadmap for your pup that tells the story of your day, and they want to taste and smell every “destination” your hands visited. The palms of your hands also sweat, leaving a salty residue on your skin for your dog to enjoy.

Why Do Dogs Lick Your Face?

Other than your hands, your face is the area of your body that gets the most exposure to the world, so it picks up a lot of interesting smells and tastes. Also, you’re likely to touch your face regularly, giving your dog even more reasons to lick your face!

As mentioned before, your face contains both types of sweat glands. Eccrine glands on your cheeks and forehead leave a salty flavor dogs are certain to enjoy. But your eyelids and nostrils contain apocrine glands, which give those areas a mild but distinct odor easily identified by your dog’s super-powered nose.

Thanks to the food you eat, your lips and mouth contain all sorts of attractive smells and tastes for your dog, which may explain why some pups really want to plant a slobbery kiss right on your lips!

Aside from all the scents and flavors your face offers, licking your face is likely an instinctual behavior for your dog. Dogs lick each other’s faces for mutual grooming, affection, and submissive communication, so licking your face is also a true sign of endearment.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Ears?

The apocrine glands in your ear canals secrete a thick fluid that creates an odor when it mixes with the natural bacteria on your skin. Combined with the ceruminous glands, which create earwax, your ears offer a collection of enticing smells and tastes. As if that wasn’t enough, dogs lick each other’s ears to show affection, so your dog may be licking your ears just to show you some extra devotion.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

All of those eccrine glands on the soles of your feet create lots of sweat, and that sweat creates lots of salt. Your feet and toes offer a salty treat for your pup, and if they are ticklish, it also makes for a fun game between you and your dog.

When you smile and laugh as your dog licks your feet, you’re giving them positive reinforcement. If you continue laughing each time they lick, they quickly learn that licking your feet gains them positive attention from you.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?

If you’re fresh from the shower, your dog may want to lick the water droplets from your skin. They may not be thirsty but interested in all of the smells and tastes you’re bringing out of the shower with you.

Shampoo, body wash, shaving creams, etc., all leave an interesting scent and taste on your skin. If the leg-licking has nothing to do with shower time, it could be a lotion you applied or simply salt on your skin after exercise.

Even though your dog is attracted to all sorts of scents, the reason they lick you likely also has something to do with showing affection to their favorite human.

Dogs lick for many reasons. Occasional licking can seem affectionate or help you bond with your dog. But when your dog licks your face constantly, it isn’t as cute. If the licking is constant, you might become frustrated with your dog. Your dog might not realize your frustration: licking might be how your dog tells you they love you. The act releases endorphins and calms your dog.

Licking is an instinctive behavior for a dog. When they were puppies their mother groomed them by licking and it provided them comfort. Puppies will also lick each other and their mom.

They’re exploring. Dogs use their tongue to understand the world through scent and taste. Licking people and objects is their way of touching things like we do.

They’re grooming themselves. Dogs’ tongues contain some antibacterial properties that clean their fur better. They lick to clean their paws and after they potty. Their tongues are not antiseptic though, which is a common misconception. There are good and bad bacteria on their tongues.

They want your attention. Licking can be your dog’s way of telling you they want to play or get loved. Petting your dog and smiling when they lick you reinforces their behavior. Puppies often lick to get other dog’s attention too. Young dogs licking is usually paired with a lot of excitement.

They’re showing you affection. When dogs lick, they get a rush of good feelings. As puppies, dogs will lick their mother’s mouth and be licked by the mother. They can retain this comfort as they get older. It can also be a submissive action, showing you respect by licking you.

You taste good to them. Scented lotions and body washes on your skin may appeal to them. They could like the taste of salty skin after a workout. Pay attention to when your dog licks you. There may be something on you they want to taste. Your dog may just like the taste of your natural skin. Dogs use taste to explore and know their surroundings.

Your dog may have a medical condition. They may lick spots that hurt or are infected. Repeatedly licking areas is a sign of pain or discomfort. Nausea can also cause your dog to lick their lips a lot. An older dog licking a lot can be a sign of developing dementia. They may lick when nervous, stressed, or scared. They may obsessively lick you or objects near them for comfort. Separation anxiety may be the issue.

Your dog may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Dogs can develop compulsive licking. OCD stems from extreme stress and anxiety. With OCD, your dog will lick constantly and can even develop sores on their tongue. You may need to consult a veterinarian.

Tips to Train Your Dog to Stop Licking You

When your dog starts licking excessively, you should check with your veterinarian about underlying medical problems. Once those have been ruled out your veterinarian will determine if they need to address a behavioral issue. There are ways to stop your dog from licking you.

Ignore them when they lick. Your dog may use licking as a way to get your attention. When they lick you, stand up and leave the room. This will show them that licking you doesn’t give them what they want.

Reward good behavior. Give your dog praise and attention when they are well behaved. A good time to reward your dog is when they’re laying calmly beside you. Positive reinforcement is the best method of training. Using deterrents can worsen the underlying cause of your dog’s licking.

Redirect their attention with a puzzle or trick training. When your dog starts to lick, distract them with an activity that isn’t related to licking. You can let them sniff out treats in an interactive puzzle. You can also train them to do tricks like “rollover” or “sit pretty.” Training distractions will take their mind off why they want to lick. With consistency, they’ll understand you don’t want them to lick.

Be consistent with boundaries. Your dog can get confused if you let them lick you sometimes and not other times. Set boundaries for you and your dog. It can be hard to not let them lick you if you think they’re being loving. Remember that you can train them in other ways to show affection, like hugs or speaking on cue.

If you can’t curb your dog’s urge to lick, you can consult with your veterinarian or an animal behavioral specialist.

Show Sources

American Kennel Club: “Why Is My Dog Licking Me?”

Blue Cross For Pets: “Why do dogs lick?”

CVETS: “5 Reasons Why Dogs Like to Lick You and Themselves.”

Germantown Veterinary Clinic & Pet Resort: “Why Does My Dog Lick Me So Much?”

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Why do dogs lick you

Licking is a very common dog behaviour and like any trait, it can vary hugely from dog to dog. Some love it while others hate it, but licking humans can occur for several different reasons.

To communicate

In the wild, young wolves will lick around their mother’s face to interact, request feeding, and demonstrate submission to an older animal. As they grow, they still lick around other wolves’ face’s to communicate, detect pheromones, or show submission. To some extent our domesticated dogs still express these traits. Dogs will often be seen licking around the muzzle of dogs they meet while out and about as a means of communication. Dogs in a strange situation, such as at the vets, may lick the face of a stranger to try and determine their intentions, or to appease (i.e. say “please don’t hurt me”). Our pet dogs also lick to demonstrate affection, especially with people they’re closely bonded to.

If you watch the canine-human interaction, short sharp licks to the chin or nose, with wide eyes and ears back is a sign the licks are inquisitive or submissive. Big sloppy kisses with ears forward and relaxed body language is much more suggestive of a happy dog simply delighted to see his/her human.

We taste good

It might sound disgusting but to a dog our skin can be a world of smells and flavours. Whether it’s the remnants of what we had for lunch, the smell of everyone else on the train home, or simply the natural taste of our skin some dogs can’t get enough!

Because we reward them

Regardless of the cause of the licking, most people will respond to a big sloppy kiss in a positive way. Whether you squeal and wave your hands, or embrace your dog with extra ear scratches and cuddles, we tend to react in a way that dogs enjoy. Animals are finely attuned to our responses, and over time this positive feedback will encourage licking as a form of greeting.

Most domestic dogs will lick for good reasons; affection, information gathering or habit. But what happens if your dog licks too much? A dog that performs obsessive licking can rapidly become unpleasant, and no obsessive behaviour is a healthy trait for a dog. Certainly the first step to discourage licking is removing the positive feedback. Licking often accompanies other problem behaviours such as jumping up. The simplest method to try and reduce these behaviours is to ignore the dog; turn your back until the jumping/licking has ceased. Once your dog is calm with all four feet on the floor, proceed to greet them as normal. Over time most dogs will realise that the fastest way to get what they want (attention) is to avoid the licking.

If you feel your dog has a real problem with licking, please see your vet and/or a registered veterinary behaviourist.

Why do dogs lick you

All dogs lick, but some dogs lick in excess. There is often a behavioral or medical reason for the licking.

Why Do Dogs Lick Us?

Behavioral reasons for why a dog licks are far more common than medical reasons and it is not usually the sign of a serious health condition. Excessive licking behavior might include the dog licking or grooming themselves, furniture or other surfaces, and even you! Dogs may lick because they like the salty taste of their owner’s skin, as a sign of affection, or out of habit and boredom. Licking can also be calming or soothing to some dogs, much like when people receive a relaxing massage.

Behavioral Reasons Why Dogs Lick

  1. Boredom and/or anxiety
  2. To calm or soothe
  3. Affection for the person or animal they are licking
  4. Habit
  5. Like the taste

Medical Reasons Why Dog Lick Excessively

Excessive licking or licking more than usual could be the sign of an underlying medical issue. Signs of excessive licking will often resemble those caused by behavioral licking (hair loss, skin redness, irritation, etc.).

Potential medical causes for licking include allergies or a skin condition that causes the skin or paws to itch. Infections from bacteria, fungus or parasites can also cause itchiness and therefore lead to excessive licking. Underlying pain from an injury or arthritis can cause dogs to lick, similar to when a person rubs a sore muscle or joint. The licking releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers, to help soothe the pain. A final cause of licking can be from gastrointestinal issues. To relieve the issue a dog might lick strange surfaces, but not usually itself.

Medical Reasons Why Dogs Lick

  1. Allergies
  2. Infection
  3. Underlying pain
  4. GI issues

How to Stop Your Dog from Excessively Licking

When behavior driven licking is excessive, resulting in hot spots, hair loss, or skin irritation avoid punishing your dog. Redirect their focus by giving alternative activities to keep them occupied. Positive reinforcement training can also help curb licking behavior by rewarding your dog when they perform the desired behavior. For example, rewarding your dog for stopping their licking when you say “Leave it.”

If a cause is thought to be medical, a consultation with your veterinarian is required to diagnose and treat your dog’s condition. For non-emergency issues Pets Best policy holders can speak to a veterinary expert anytime with access to a 24/7 Pet Helpline and save a potential trip to the vet.

Why do dogs lick you

Dr. Fiona Lee, DVM

As the daughter of a veterinarian, Dr. Fiona Lee (formerly Dr. Fiona Caldwell) grew up playing in kennels with bandage material and tongue depressors. Eventually this turned into a passion for animals and veterinary medicine. After completing her undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon Fiona received her veterinary degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2007. Dr. Lee relocated to Boise after completing vet school in 2007 for what was meant to be a temporary stay. That was twelve years ago and she is glad to continue to be part of our wonderful community! She joined the Habitat team in 2018 and couldn’t be happier to provide the best care and compassion to Habitat’s wonderful clients. Dr. Lee’s professional interests include orthopedic, soft tissue and dental surgery, and exotic animal medicine, including avian, reptilian and small mammal medicine. When not in the clinic caring for four legged creatures, Dr. Lee enjoys the company of the two legged variety, namely her daughter Alexis and son Kellan. In her spare time she enjoys art, especially pet portraits, home improvement projects, reading and being outdoors.

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Why do dogs lick you

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Why do dogs lick you

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Why do dogs lick you

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Why do dogs lick you

The Spruce / Charlotte Engelsen

If your dog loves to lick you, it’s for a few reasons: they’re very affectionate, looking for your attention, or acting on their wild instinct. A dog licking its owner is so common, dog owners usually call it “giving kisses” and consider it a sign of affection.

It’s usually relatively harmless to let your dog lick you, but some dogs seem to lick people more than others. This behavior is usually harmless, but we break down exactly why dogs like to lick people, if it’s safe for them to do so, and how to train your dog to lick less if it’s becoming an annoyance.

Why Dogs Lick People

Affection: There’s a pretty good chance that your dog is licking you because it loves you. It’s why many people call them “kisses.” Dogs show affection by licking people and sometimes even other dogs. Licking is a natural action for dogs. They learned it from the grooming and affection given to them as puppies by their mothers. Dogs might lick your face if they can get to it. If not, they might just go for any available patch of skin, such as hands, arms, legs, and feet. Some dogs tend to lick less than others. This does not necessarily mean that a dog is less affectionate if it does not lick. It might have just learned things differently as a puppy or just not prefer licking.

While we don’t know for certain why dogs lick, most experts agree that there is probably a combination of reasons. Licking is not considered a serious behavior problem unless it bothers you. Knowing the reason for your dog’s licking might even change the way you feel about it.

Attention-Seeking: Licking behavior that starts as affection often gets reinforced by a person’s reaction: laughing, smiling, petting, etc. Maybe your dog is bored or lonely. There you are and it wants your attention. Even negative attention can encourage licking. When a dog is seeking attention, it will feel rewarded by any kind of attention, even the negative type. Pushing it away, saying “no,” or even punishing it still means you’re not ignoring it. This can encourage licking.

Instinct: When wolves (and sometimes dogs in the wild) return to their pups after a meal, they regurgitate meat from the hunt. The pups, too young to hunt on their own, will lick the meat from around the mother’s mouth. It is believed by some that this licking behavior has been passed down in the DNA, causing dogs to instinctively do it sometimes.

You Taste Good: Once that dog gets to licking you, it might realize you have an intriguing human taste that is a bit salty. Dogs love anything that has an interesting taste. Plus, licking is a way for your dog to explore his world. You’re part of that world after all.

Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior: Although it’s rare, dogs can suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, often brought on by prolonged stress and anxiety. Licking that occurs constantly (and usually involves the licking of objects, surfaces, and self in addition to humans) may be a real problem. Talk to your veterinarian about your concerns about your dog. Your vet might refer you to an animal behaviorist for help. Your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist may also prescribe medication to help relieve anxiety. Though you may think medication should be a last resort, it’s important to understand that animals cannot learn while in a high state of anxiety. Medication may be used as a tool in conjunction with training. Pharmaceutical treatment may even be used temporarily while your dog goes through training and behavior modification.

Is It Safe for Dogs to Lick You?

It’s usually relatively harmless to let your dog lick you. However, don’t believe the old myth that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’ mouths. Dogs’ mouths contain a lot of natural bacteria, which is part of the reason dog bites are so dangerous. However, this bacteria probably won’t cause harm unless it gets into an open wound. But hey, you might just think it’s gross. And that’s okay.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Licking You

You might think dog kisses are disgusting. Or, you might just feel like enough is enough. Getting your dog to stop licking you (and others) is usually a matter of denying attention when it does it. Stop touching your dog or looking at it. Turn your head away. Get up and walk away if you need to. As soon as the licking stops, reward it with attention, affection, or even treats. In time, your dog will usually get the point, that licking is undesired behavior.

If you want the occasional gentle kiss from your dog, you can train your dog by attaching a word or phrase such as “kiss” or “gimme sugar” to the behavior. Reward the gentle kiss, say on the cheek or chin (or maybe just your hand depending on your preferences). Then deny attention if the licking it gets out of hand. If you need help with this and other training, consider hiring a dog trainer.

Why do dogs lick you

Do you ever ask yourself “Why do dogs lick?” Although licking is a common behavior in dogs, many dog owners don’t fully understand what this manner means. Dog licking may occur when he’s physically hurt himself, when his environment has changed or simply when you offer him affection.

But why do dogs lick and what is it that they’re trying to communicate with us?

Let’s uncover the truths behind dog licking and what this behavior means. Dogs lick their pack members and themselves for many reasons, and if you want to curb the behavior, it helps to understand its cause.

Ready to discover the answers to “Why do dogs lick so much?” Let’s dive in!

We Taste Good

When a dog licks their bowl, cleans the floor after you spill something or reaches for the counter, it’s quite obvious that he’s licking because he simply likes the taste.

But did you know that the same thing can be true when dogs are licking us?

Whether you realize it or not, we humans often have tiny food particles on our skin that our dogs can taste. Additionally, our skin has salt that dogs enjoy licking. Because of this, it is common for dogs to lick our faces and hands after we eat something.

So although it’s possible your dog is licking you out of affection, there’s also a great chance he’s licking because he loves the taste of your skin.

Grooming

Grooming is another common reason for dog licking. Similar to cats, it’s in a dog’s nature to groom themselves by licking their skin and fur. One of the most common places for dogs to lick is their paws. After being outside, dogs often lick their paws to remove the dirt and anything else they may have stepped on.

Pay close attention, though, to how much your dog licks himself. Moderate licking is normal behavior, but excessive licking may be caused by an underlying medical issue. Specifically, continuous anal cleaning can indicate that the glands need to be expressed. Consult your vet for possible reasons and solutions for your dog’s licking.

Healing

Why do dogs lick you

The big brown dog is licking at the back leg.

Do you ask yourself the question, “Why do dogs lick wounds?” Licking wounds is an instinctive nature of dogs with themselves and their human owners. From cuts to grazes, dogs lick any wound that is painful or irritated.

But why do dogs lick scabs?

Dog saliva has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can aid in fighting against certain bacterias. Furthermore, when a dog licks himself, it helps remove dead tissue and clean dirt from wounds.

In addition to licking his own wounds, your dog may also lick yours. As previously mentioned, it’s in a dog’s instinct to lick cuts and injuries. They do this to cleanse the wound and help speed up the healing process.

Although licking wounds has some benefits, too much licking may be harmful to your pup. Dogs who lick continuously may reopen wounds, create hotspots or cause infections. If you notice your dog licking his wound excessively, consult your vet for solutions to stop this behavior.

The same advice goes for dogs who lick human wounds. Although dog saliva has some healing properties, the risks outweigh the benefits. It is likely that your dog’s mouth contains bacteria that could cause infections. And although it isn’t necessary to punish your pup for licking your wounds, it’s important that you don’t encourage this behavior either.

Compulsion

Have you ever wondered, “Why is my dog compulsively licking?” There are a number of reasons dogs lick certain objects, themselves or people excessively. Perhaps your dog is nervous, scared, in pain or simply bored. By licking excessively, your dog is most likely trying to calm himself.

Licking can certainly be a healthy stress reliever, but obsessive licking merely reinforces anxiety and makes the problem worse. In addition, compulsive licking may be an indicator of underlying issues such as allergies, infections or pain.

As always, consult your vet if your dog is immoderately licking herself. Additionally, you may want to contact an animal behaviorist to help identify and solve your dog’s anxiety.

Communication

Whether you realize it or not, dogs communicate with us practically all day long. We just aren’t always good at interpreting the message they’re telling us.

One of their ways of communicating is through licking. There are many reasons a dog may begin licking to communicate with you. Dogs often lick to tell you they’re hungry, they’re submissive, or they want to be friends with you.

Of course, when your dog communicates with you, it’s important that you respond back. The next time your dog is licking you with intensity, take a look around to see if something is amiss. Maybe the water bowl is empty or the doggie door is closed. Chances are your dog needs something when he licks you excessively.

Affection

Why do dogs lick you

Do dogs lick to show affection? The answer is an absolute yes! This is one of the most common reasons that domestic dogs lick their human friends. Just as puppies are lovingly licked by their mothers, dogs want to “kiss” you to show how much they love you.

Although licking is a sign of fondness toward you, there may be a point when the kisses become too much for you. If you want your dog to stop licking you, simply ignore your dog and walk into another room whenever this behavior begins. Eventually, your dog will learn that licking causes you to leave and that this isn’t what they want.

We hope this article has helped answer all your questions, ranging from “Why do dogs lick their paws?” and “Why do dogs lick people?” to “Why do dogs lick you?” and “What does it mean when a dog licks you?”

Remember, if dog licking becomes excessive, consult your vet immediately. Obsessive licking is often a sign of underlying health issues.

We all love dogs, but are there any dog behaviors that are annoying to you? Let it out in the comments.

Why do dogs lick you

Dogs can’t communicate with words the way you do, but they do use body language to “talk” to you. One of the behaviors your dog may use involves licking, especially licking your face. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog licks your face, the roots of the behavior run deep.

Why Do Dogs Lick Faces?

When dogs are puppies, their mothers lick them to groom them and to get them to urinate and even digest food. Before a pup even opens its eyes, it knows the calming and familiar experience of being groomed by mom. Young puppies will groom each other, too.

Why do dogs lick you

So when you ask “why do dogs lick you?” one answer has to do with pack behavior. It’s what pack members do with each other, starting at a young age.

Many Reasons for Face-Licking

So, other than that, why do dogs lick faces? There are lots of other reasons. Young puppies will sometimes get pre-digested food from mom, and they will lick mom’s face to get snacks. You may get those doggie “kisses,” too, because you are likely giving your dog attention and treats. Besides this, your face may smell good or interesting. Maybe your furry baby can smell the snack you had last and wants to share!

Why do dogs lick you

Another reason has to do with pacifying or subservient behaviors. You probably already know dogs are pack creatures, and there is a “pack leader.” Hopefully, in your house, that’s you! When a dog greets other members of their pack, they will often lick faces. When one dog is pacifying or showing submissive behavior, they will often lick another dog’s face, all while staying a little lower.

The dog getting the face lick often stands tall and does not return the licks. This behavior is seen in wolves, too. If you’re wondering why your puppy licks your face, part of it may be communicating your position in your pack. Or, your furry baby may be feeling submissive or even guilty about something — maybe it’s time to check on that new pair of shoes.

Why do dogs lick you

Does Your Dog Offer “Kisses?”

Many people wonder whether dog licks are “kisses” and wonder whether this is a sign of affection or love. It’s certainly a fair way to interpret it. Dogs don’t lick the faces of dogs they don’t get along with. It’s a behavior shared by family and pack members, and it’s one of the first sensory experience your furbaby likely ever had. It’s fair to say a face lick is affectionate and a way of showing you’re part of the family.

Why do dogs lick you

And if you’re worried about hygiene, don’t be. If you are a healthy adult and your furbaby gets plenty of attention and preventive care from the vet, including regular dewormers, you’re probably safe. Yes, your furry buddy’s saliva has some bacteria, but unless one or both of you are ill, you should be fine. If you’re worried, turn away so your dog can’t get your mouth and nose and talk to your vet about any concerns.

Written by Pure Pet Food Pure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. – Our editorial process

Why do dogs lick people?

There are many reasons why a dog would lick someone, licking is an instinctive behaviour that dogs are born with. Many people think that every time their dog licks them it’s out of affection but it could be because of a variety of reasons such as affection, taste, communication, for a reward/attention, to show submission, a medical reason, enjoyment, grooming or simply to investigate.

Dogs love to lick people and many dog owners think they’re giving kisses and affection, but that’s not the only reason they do it. The amount a dog licks people varies from dog to dog, some love to lick and some aren’t as communal with their tongue. Just keep in mind excessive licking in the same spot might be a bigger issue that you should consult your vet about. Read on to find out some of the reasons why dogs lick people 👅

As a sign of affection

The first thing a mother does for her puppy when it’s born is lick it to clear its nostrils so that the puppy can breathe, this will also stimulate the blood flow when they are born. Often, the litter will lick the puppy too which will improve their packs bond.

Both puppies and adult dogs naturally show affection by licking both people and other dogs.

Taste

Dogs tend to use their nose and mouth to pick up a lot of information and because of this, they will sometimes lick another dog’s urine or faeces as a way of understanding what they’re smelling more. Probably one of the biggest factors is that you taste good. Our skin can be quite salty or have some residue on it from the food we’ve just eaten and dogs love this. It’s an interesting taste that dogs love to explore.

Communication

In the wild, wolves would lick their mothers face when they wanted to feed as the mother would regurgitate food from their hunt. Dogs nowadays will often lick the mouth and face of dogs they meet as a form of communication. They may lick their owners or the face of a stranger or other dog to figure out their intentions too. This is not just for dogs either, you’ll often see dogs lick the face of people too to try and work out what their intentions are or to show submission.

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For a reward/attention seeking

When a dog licks us, we’ll tend to respond in a positive manner often paying attention to the dog and giving them a pet. Even if you’re just trying to get them off you, it’s more encouragement for the dog. To further this, when a dog licks it releases endorphins which makes the dog feel calm and comforted.

To show submission

For very similar reasons as the communication section, as puppies instinctively lick their mother’s mouth for food, licking other’s mouths is used as a form of interacting with other dogs and letting them know they’re superior to them or they mean no harm. A very subtle, but effective, way of communicating as a dog.

For a medical issue

If your dog is repeatedly licking the same spot this may be something more sinister. This could be something like anxiety or something a bit more serious like sensitive skin or an allergic reaction. If you see your dog doing this, it’s best to consult a vet and get a proper diagnosis. These can often be figured out and treated quite well, for example, sensitive skin or an allergic reaction can be very much down to diet.

Enjoyment

Dogs can get bored or lonely and licking can provide a little bit of enjoyment from the endorphins released but also brings whoever they’re licking into the situation. It brings them attention and gives them something to do.

Grooming

Your dogs have a much better sense of smell than us humans, they may lick you to get some dirt or something smelly off your skin. Similar to how a mum will lick their finger and wipe your face before you go out, a dog will lick you to clean you too.

Investigation

Dogs are naturally inquisitive, and their tongues are packed with sensors. Their sense of taste and smell are very much connected and work in tandem with each other. You’ll see them on a walk running around smelling and tasting everything. They are able to taste and smell a huge range of things after they lick you including where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.

    2018 Jan;146:42-45. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2017.11.006. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PMID: 29129727.The GuardianUniversity of LincolnThe New York TimesThe Spruce PetsAmerican Kennel ClubBlue Cross

Why do dogs lick you

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Why do dogs chatter their teeth?

We chatter our teeth when we’re feeling cold, but is it the same for our dogs? Read on to find out all the possible reasons why your dog might be c.

Be warned: the answer involves more regurgitation than you might think.

Here’s a question for anyone forced to wipe canine saliva off their face today: why do dogs lick people?

Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s not possible to know exactly what dogs are thinking as they try to mop your entire face with their tongue. However, experts have several ideas about the function of this behaviour.

The foremost functions: dogs lick you to say hello and gain attention. “It’s essentially a social behaviour that comes from their evolutionary history,” says Dr Emily Blackwell, lecturer in companion animal behaviour and welfare at the University of Bristol. “It’s a greeting and can be taken as a compliment.”

So far, so adorable. However, the reason dogs instinctively carry out this behaviour is less sickeningly cute and more just a bit sickening. “Puppies generally learned to lick their mother to greet her, and also encourage her to get food. The mother will then regurgitate material for the pup to eat,” says Blackwell.

Now, this absolutely does not mean you should immediately vomit on any dog that licks you. Particularly if it’s a stranger’s. As Blackwell says, for adult dogs, this is primarily a social behaviour and meant as a greeting.

Why do dogs lick you

Interestingly, Blackwell adds that it’s rare you’ll see an adult dog licking the face of another canine – it’s simply a puppy-like behaviour dogs perform for humans. Why? It’s thought that by becoming a dog’s primary caregiver throughout life, we encourage a kind of life-long puppyhood.

“You can see other prolonged puppy behaviour in domesticated dogs,” says Blackwell. “For instance, simply the level of vocalisations that we see in domesticated adult dogs is far more like that of puppies than non-domesticated domesticated adult dogs.”

This retention of juvenile behaviour into adulthood even has a name among experts: neoteny. And it’s not only common to dogs, but other domesticated animals, such as cats (see: Why do cats knead?).

Read more:

Currently, there’s no consensus whether encouraging juvenile traits in our pets is a good thing or not. However, according to Blackwell, we should at least be aware of how human behaviour influences them – particularly when we’re not around.

“We have huge expectations for our dogs: we expected them to be quiet and silent and leave us alone while we’re away from the house. Yet, the default setting for any puppy (and thus most domesticated adult dogs) is to scream like hell if they’re separated from the social group. In fact, as much as 80 per cent of domesticated dogs have a negative psychological reaction to being left alone,” she says.

“We’re failing our pets in this area. However, dogs are highly flexible species and can be taught from a young age that being left alone is okay. By leaving them very gradually for longer periods in a relaxed environment can help.”

How to stop a dog licking your face

As Blackwell says, as long as you don’t have any open wounds, there’s no harm in letting your dog lick your face. However, understandably, some people aren’t thrilled to be covered in doggy drool.

Yet however unpleasant you find it, it’s important to avoid punishing your pet. “Some people may react badly and tell off their dog after they get licked. But this is unlikely to make the dog feel good – the licking is a greeting to them,” says Blackwell.

“Imagine if you tried to shake somebody’s hand and they slapped you away. You’d probably be quite hurt.”

The solution, instead, is to teach the dog an alternative greeting. “It’s all about positive reinforcement,” Blackwell explains.

“Cover your face with your hand and they’ll lick your hand instead – reward this behaviour and they’ll likely to target this same area next time.”

Simply repeat this reward whenever your pooch licks your hand and eventually they’ll gift you with a greeting that doesn’t require a wet wipe afterwards.

About Dr Emily Blackwell Dr Emily Blackwell is a Lecturer in animal behaviour and welfare at the University of Bristol. Much of her research focuses on why our animals behave the way they do – and how to improve their lives.

Dogs licking their owners or other people is often seen as a sign of affection and that your pet is comfortable with you. While that may be true in many cases, in some instances there may be other explanations for their licking.

Why do dogs lick you? Here we look at some of the reasons.

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Affection and Comfort

Speaking to Newsweek, a senior manager at the behavioral sciences team of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Sydney Bartson Queen, explained: “The meaning of a dog lick can depend on how the licks are offered to their people. Long, slurpy kisses that are accompanied by a soft, wiggly body are usually very affectionate gestures.

“Some small kisses at the mouth are sometimes appeasement behaviors, like the way some small puppies lick at the mouths of adult dogs,” the ASPCA manager added.

Dr. Mary Burch, a certified applied animal behaviorist who is the director of the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s Family Dog program, says: “Licking can be a sign of affection. It might also give a dog a feeling of security and comfort, just as the dog had when licked by its mother in the litter.”

Queen added that licks can also be a way for dogs to gather more information, such as small licks near the mouth. “The licking helps the scents get up to the dog’s vomeronasal organ).”

Why do dogs lick you

A woman being licked by a dog outdoors. A dog licking a person’s face may not just be a sign of affection. Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A Need for Personal Space

Dogs may also offer a lick or two in order to appease the person so that they can be left alone. This tends to happen when a person puts their face too close to the dog’s face before they are comfortable, Queen told Newsweek.

“Some dogs are even unintentionally taught to give kisses as a way to maybe create space between them and a person.

“A dog learns that you can get a person’s face further away from them by licking it when the person moves away after receiving their “kisses,” she explained.

Why do dogs lick you

Two puppies playing together. Some dog licks may be “appeasement behaviors,” like the way some small puppies lick at the mouths of adult dogs, according to the ASPCA. Sonsedska/iStock/Getty Images Plus

“The dogs may offer an appeasement lick to show that they aren’t threatening, or may even do a lip lick or tongue flick as a stress signal and it happens to touch the person’s face,” the ASPCA manager said.

So how can you tell whether a dog’s lick is a sign of affection or indicative of something else?

Queen told Newsweek the best way to tell is to “look at the body language and behavior of the dog. If the dog looks loose and wiggly and is trying to get to your face, they’re probably very comfortable.

“If they offer a lick and slink away, or their body is tense, they may be asking for space,” she said.

Why do dogs lick you

A man being kissed by his dog at pool in Castellón de la Plana, a city in eastern Spain. Laura Leiva/iStock /Getty Images Plus

Salt or Other Food Craving

Speaking to Newsweek, the AKC’s Burch said dog licking can also be more about craving salt than affection.

People have slightly salty skin, especially after engaging in physical activities. So when a dog licks you, the pet may just be after the salt on your skin, Burch explained.

According to Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and author of the book Inside Of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, a dog may also lick you because they think you “taste nice,” the AKC told Newsweek.

Horowitz says researchers of wild canids, which include wolves, coyotes, foxes and other wild dogs, report that puppies lick their mother’s face and muzzle when she returns from a hunt. This is done in a bid to get the mother to regurgitate food for them.

This may explain why you might often find a dog licking your face after you’ve finished eating, Horowitz says.

Why do dogs lick you

A small dog licking a person’s hand. Dogs licking people, particular after a person has exercised, could mean it craves the salt on the human skin. Art_rich/iStock /Getty Images Plus

When Excessive Licking Can Be Bad

When dogs excessively lick people, themselves or objects, it could be a sign of behavioral problems, such as cognitive dysfunction in older dogs, the ASPCA says.

Repetitive licking can be indicative of “compulsive and stereotypic” behavior issues that can “encompass a wide variety of behaviors with many possible causes,” the ASPCA explains.

The ASPCA says when dogs feel frustrated, conflicted or stressed, they may display “displacement behaviors, which can then become compulsive over time.”

So for example, if a dog suddenly licks itself after their owner has called for them, it could be an expression of anxiety that it is unsure whether it’s being called to be punished. The dog expresses this anxiety by “grooming, lip licking, yawning or sniffing the ground.”

The ASPCA notes: “Drug therapy is usually necessary to resolve compulsive disorders. But if you can identify the source of conflict early on and reduce or eliminate it (such as conflict between your pets or inconsistent or delayed punishment from you), behavioral drug therapy may not be necessary.”

Newsweek has contacted the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Canine Association for further comment.

Why do dogs lick you

A side view of a dog with its tongue out. When dogs excessively lick themselves or others, it could be a sign of behavioral issues. Fly_dragonfly/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Why do dogs lick you

Dogs come with a whole bunch of cute and quirky characteristics.
Those eyes that scream I love you; that adorable tilt of the head; and the tail that flaps wildly each time you walk into the room.
But have you ever wondered why dogs lick you?
Are they really dog kisses, or could it be something else?
From attention-seeking to being affectionate: animalife explores this frequently asked question.

Affection
For dogs, licking is an instinctive behaviour that starts at birth. Female dogs lick their pups to clean and comfort them, and so when your pup’s mother licked him, he would have felt safe and secure.
When your dog licks you, it could simply mean he loves you and wants to keep you safe.
Oh, and it also releases endorphins which makes them feel good!

Communication
Like humans, dogs are social animals, meaning they form strong attachments through communicating with one another.
As pups grow, they start to lick their littermates. This learnt behaviour helps them bond and shows they are submissive.
Fun fact: your dog’s puppy ancestors would lick their mother’s mouth for pieces of regurgitated food.
So, a domestic dog might be telling you that he is hungry. Or maybe he simply wants to be friends.

Reward
Dogs will often lick you for something in return.
Many dog owners give their dogs a friendly fuss in response to being licked.
Just as your pooch will have associated a treat with training, there is a good chance he’ll have done the same with licking.

Taste
Yep, dogs like how we taste.
They could be looking for discards of food we ate earlier, or they may just enjoy the salty taste of our sweat.

Attention seeking
Or it could just be plain old attention-seeking!
Your dog is your number one fan and loves you dearly. But suppose you’re distracted by your phone, tidying around, or maybe showing affection to another person. In that case, your four-legged will want in – and what better way to tell you than through licking!).

Is it safe for your dog to lick you?
The age-old myth that a dog’s tongue has antiseptic superpowers has well and truly been debunked.
But some good news: it is unlikely your dog will cause you any harm by licking you (just make sure he hasn’t been out sniffing another dog’s poop!).
Also, allergies to dog saliva are relatively common, so it may be advisable to avoid those dog kisses.

What should you do when your dog is constantly licking you?
If your dog has started excessively licking you, seek advice from a registered veterinarian. Illnesses such as Dementia or separation anxiety can leave your dog feeling nervous, stressed, or scared: the constant licking might be a form of self-comfort.
If underlying medical issues have been ruled out, it could be a behavioural issue. Maybe your dog just wants more of those delicious endorphins they get from licking you.
If this is the case, PetMD offers these tips on training:

Remain Neutral
Do not give your dog any attention (positive or neutral) when they start to lick you. Stand up, leave the room, and your dog will soon learn that licking won’t give them the response they want.

Be Consistent
Allowing your dog to lick you sometimes but not others will be confusing for him. If you really want the licking to stop, you must be consistent. This may sound cold, but there are other ways you can train your dog to show affection.

Distract
If you would prefer not to take the neutral approach – take the distraction one! When your dog starts to lick, try and divert their attention to a different activity. This could be sniffing out treats or performing tricks. Over time, your dog will soon learn that you don’t want them to lick.

Face licking is a common behaviour in dogs. While some of us thoroughly enjoy these ‘doggy kisses’, others may be more reluctant to receive this attention, especially after having witnessed their dog engulfing some questionable brown substance on a walk. You might assume that this is simply a gesture of affection from your dog. But in fact, there are a wide range of reasons why your dog chooses to lick your face.

Table of contents

Instinct

From the day a puppy is born, licking plays a major role in their life. The mother will use her tongue to groom all her pups, in order to clean them and provide comfort. As they grow older, puppies will usually in return start to lick their mother’s muzzle and mouth; this will stimulate her to regurgitate food for them to eat. For wolves (the ancestors of dogs), this is an important step to let the puppies transition from their mother’s milk to solid food. So, when your puppy enthusiastically licks your face, it could be that they’re looking for you to share some of your digested lunch!

Affection

The most common assumption for why dogs lick our faces – they want to show their love and affection for us! Although there is no hard evidence to show that this is the case, it is certainly a likely reason. Puppies might start face licking due to instincts but continue to do this to show their affection for you, in the same way their mum would lick them in a soothing way. This behaviour will become further reinforced if you respond positively to the licking. By petting or praising your dog, they learn that licking will lead to attention, and so it will become part of their greeting behaviour.

Having a taste

Another more simplistic reason for why your dog shows enthusiasm for licking your face could be that they enjoy tasting what’s on your face. One lick may provide them with a sample taste of your breakfast, lunch and dinner remnants, left on your lips and mouth! Aside from food, dogs also tend to like the slightly salty taste which our skin has. So if your dog is paying particular attention after your workout, it may be because they see you as a salt lick.

Should I let my dog lick me?

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether or not owners should let dogs lick their face; it really is down to personal choice. For most people, the main concern with face licking is to do with hygiene. After all, you’ll be getting a tongue full of whatever your dog has eaten or licked up on their walks! This is a completely valid reason in itself to not appreciate doggy licks. But for those concerned about the actual harmful potential of being licked, it is fairly unlikely that most bacteria in dog saliva will transmit to you by licking your skin (as long as you wash the area soon afterwards). Mouth to mouth kisses are a rather higher risk!

Just be aware that there is a higher risk of infection when the skin is broken or the immune system compromised. So try to avoid letting them lick if you have wounds or are immunocompromised. Although it doesn’t happen often, on rare occasions, they can transmit life-threatening infectious bacteria. Also, beware if your dog is raw fed, as they are more likely to carry bacteria in their saliva that can infect you.

How do I stop face licking behaviour?

The most effective way is to stop encouraging the behaviour, by ignoring it. Walk away from the room or dog, so they learn that attempting to lick will not gain them any attention. Then when they are laying down calmly, you can give them a small treat to reinforce the behaviour. You could also try redirecting their attention, by offering a toy when they start to lick your face.

Receiving slobbery kisses from our canine companions is part of the dog-loving package, but do you ever wonder why they do this?

Turns out, there are lots of reasons dogs like to put their tongues on you, ranging from instinct, to affection, to stress. Let’s take a look.

Dog Kisses Are Instinctual

Dog licking is a form of communication and stimulation for dogs. What we term “dog kisses” are an instinctual urge that starts at birth.

According to dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell, “Why is the dog licking? Right from birth that is how the mother communicates with her new puppies, how she stimulates them to start breathing and how she cleans them when they are born, so it’s very important to the survival of puppies. In the wild and in domestic dogs, you’ll find they will lick around the mother’s mouth as newborns and puppies still retain that instinct. It’s also sort of a submissive gesture — the more subordinate members of a pack will lick the more dominant members and that’s important in maintaining pack harmony.”

Why do dogs lick you

They Show Affection

Just like you imagine, doggie kisses are also forms of affection. That is, it’s affectionate when combined with butt wiggles and other signals of happiness. For example, when you come home after a long day at work, your dog wants to say “Hi Mom! I’m so excited you’re home!” Then, the doggie kisses are a natural show of affection.

“Licking for affection causes your dog to release endorphins that calms and comforts him and makes him feel secure. You are the most important person in his life and he wants you to know.” (Source)

While affection is nice, there are other reasons your dog may lick you.

Your Dog Likes the Way You Taste

Dog experts at the AKC share another reason for pup kisses, “It seems gross to us, but our sweaty, salty skin can be intriguing to dogs, who tend to explore the world with their mouths and are comforted by the scent of their caring owners. It’s the same reason they often steal our socks and underwear.”

In other words, your dog loves you and is comforted by your smell and taste. Unlike people, they aren’t put off by sweat and odors; rather, they’re intrigued.

Why do dogs lick you

Stress Reduction

“In general, if a dog licks you, they are showing affection. However, if the dog licks someone who is agitated or excited this could be a symptom of stress. By licking that person, they are trying to relieve their stress because they know this is a welcome gesture.

If the dog licks you from nerves and not for love, you can recognize this behavior thanks to other calming signs. Signs such as lifted ears, head tilts and anxious movements.” (Source)

So, if you’re visibly upset, your dog may try licking you to calm you down. Or, if your dog is feeling stressed, then licking you can help calm THEM down by releasing those endorphins and send a cascade of positive feelings through their bodies.

As you can see, there are many reasons your dog might give you kisses. The question becomes, does your dog give more kisses than you’d like? Some people find they have an excited dog who can’t accept attention without exchanging pets for kisses. Other dogs simply want to kiss everyone they meet!

In such cases, you may need to train them that their slobbery kisses aren’t always wanted. Dogs thrive on positive interaction and if their kisses are ignored, then they’ll eventually stop. A dog trainer or canine behavior therapist can help you establish boundaries and ease any concerns on your dog’s behalf. Contact your family veternarian for more information.

Why do dogs lick you

Why do dogs lick you? Licking can be a sign of affection, as well as a feeling of security and comfort. An instinctive canine behaviour, dogs use licks to communicate with people, their owners and other animals.

Are you wondering why your dog licks you? We speak to the experts to find out what it really means.

What does it really mean when a dog licks you?

Dogs will often lick people as a way to greet them, show affection or simply get their attention. When puppies are growing up, their mothers will spend a lot of time licking them to show them love. In a similar way, grown-up dogs will lick their human owners to display affection and love.

Charlotte Huggins, Canine Behaviour Officer at the Dogs Trust, tells Country Living: “Dogs lick people for a variety of reasons, they may be seeking attention, licking as a greeting, or investigating different scents. If licking receives a positive response and is reinforced, dogs may repeat this behaviour in the future.”

Why do dogs lick their owners?

When dogs feel comfortable with their owners, they will begin to lick them as a form of greeting. In most cases, licking will be for a good reason, including affection, information gathering or habit.

While it’s a sign of normal affection, Charlotte explains the importance of not letting dogs lick your face.

“Whilst some may find licking cute, it is important to remember that dogs carry bacteria and potentially also parasites in their mouth, some of which may be harmful to humans,” she tells us. “So, avoid letting them lick your face and always wash your skin and hands afterwards.”

Are dog licks really kisses?

A dog who licks you is showing you that they love you, so it’s no surprise many people call them “dog kisses”. It’s a natural action for dogs — a way for them to express how they feel about you.

Charlotte adds: “It’s important that you don’t force a dog to give you ‘kisses or cuddles’. Keep an eye on your dog’s body language to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed during any interaction, and if in doubt, give them space. Remember to actively watch children around dogs, and to not let them get too close to your dog’s face. Children and dogs should never be left alone together.”

Do dogs like when we kiss them?

Most dogs love kisses from their owners, with many associating it with love and attention. Some signs that they are enjoying it include wagging their tails, looking alert and happy, and licking you back.

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Why do dogs lick you

You probably welcome a few kisses from your dog every now and then. Who doesn’t love a little affection from their pup once in a while? However, if your pooch obsessively licks you or your guests, it’s easy to become irritated.

We know that this behavior can be confusing, which is why our team at Germantown Veterinary Clinic is here to explain some of the many reasons dogs lick themselves, each other and humans, as well as how to get your dog to stop.

Reasons Dogs Lick

  • Communication: Dogs lick each other to say everything from “I’m hungry” to “You’re the boss” to “Let’s be friends.” It’s harder for humans to get the message, but your dog may simply be trying to communicate with you.
  • Grooming: Dogs sometimes lick themselves and each other for grooming purposes. Your dog may, in turn, want to groom you, laying down beside you and licking your arm for as long as you’ll allow it.
  • Exploration: Your dog senses the world around her largely by scent and taste. For a dog, licking a surface is like reaching out to touch something – it’s just a bit messier.
  • Greeting and affection: When your dog licks you excitedly after you get home from work, she’s probably just saying hello. When the licking continues, it could be because your dog is saying she likes you.
  • They like the taste: It’s obvious that when your dog licks up spilled sauce or gravy, she likes the taste. Have you ever thought that maybe she likes the taste of your skin as well? From bits of food to your scented lotion to salty skin after working out, your dog may lick you simply because she thinks you taste good.
  • Attention: In many cases, licking is learned behavior dogs pick up. They realize their owners will pet t