How do dogs laugh

Dec. 4, 2005 — — Researchers at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service in Washington state say sometimes a bark is just a bark — but a long, loud panting sound has real meaning.

They say the long, loud pant is the sound of a dog laughing, and it has a direct impact on the behavior of other dogs.

“What we found is that it had a calming or soothing effect on the dogs,” said Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist in Spokane who has studied everything from hamster culture to elephant self-recognition. “Now, we actually really weren’t expecting that.”

Nancy Hill, director of Spokane County Animal Protection, admits she was skeptical at first that this noise would affect the other dogs.

“I thought: Laughing dogs?” Hill said. “A sound that we’re gonna isolate and play in the shelter? I was a real skeptic … until we played the recording here at the shelter.”

When they played the sound of a dog panting over the loudspeaker, the gaggle of dogs at the shelter kept right on barking. But when they played the dog version of laughing, all 15 barking dogs went quiet within about a minute.

“It was a night-and-day difference,” Hill said. “It was absolutely phenomenal.”

Officials say it works every time, and researchers across the country are taking note.

“The laughing sound that they make is something that was not even considered a vocalization until this study was done,” Simonet said.

Those who study dog behavior have varying opinions about exactly what Patricia Simonet’s “dog laughing” sound really is. What they do agree on, however, is that to other dogs, it is at least a sound worth keeping quiet to listen to.

How do dogs laugh

Laughter, by definition, is a physiological response to humor. Dogs can be playful, but do they understand humor and laughing at funny things? Do they have their own version of laughter? What do they think when humans laugh?

Do Dogs Laugh?

Dogs do laugh; however, it is not the same way humans do.

In humans, laughter is composed of rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory, and involuntary actions. The sound can be any variation of “ha-ha” or “ho-ho.” Dogs produce a similar sound through forceful panting—a “hhuh-hhah” variation.

Dogs usually make this sound while playing to invite humans and other dogs to play; it is known as a “play-pant.” The play-pant is a form of breathing and not a vocal sound.

The appearance of this laugh has been described by Konrad Lorenz in his book, Man Meets Dog, as “…opened jaws which reveal the tongue, and the tilted angle of the mouth which stretches almost from ear to ear give a still stronger impression of laughing. This ‘laughing’ is most often seen in dogs playing with an adorned master and which become so excited that they soon start panting.” 1,2

Dogs also use body language to invite play. These behavioral cues consist of play bows, pawing, and jumping with a relaxed demeanor.

Do Dogs Have a Sense of Humor?

Dogs have been bred throughout the years to have a juvenile mind, which is similar to neoteny (the retention of juvenile features) in humans. It is believed that this stage of development is responsible for playful behavior in dogs, which is comparable to a sense of humor in humans.

This phenomenon was first observed by Charles Darwin. Similar to humans, a dog’s sense of humor is personal. Research also shows that certain breeds have more of a sense of humor than others, which means they may play-pant more. 3

The top five most playful dog breeds (with the biggest “sense of humor”) are:

Dogs also seem to have fun and enjoy spending time with us. So, it makes sense that many dog owners ask if dogs can laugh or smile. Read on to find out the answer!

Can 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. It’s considered to be a play-pant rather than a dog laugh and dogs use it to invite humans and other dogs to play. Several animal species have been observed to play-pant, including primates. Dog play-pants are combined with body language that invites you to play such as play bows, a paw reaching out to you or teasing jumps towards you with a relaxed demeanour.

Animal behaviourist Patricia Simonet at Sierra Nevada College recorded dogs making this play-pant sound and discovered that it had a broader range of frequencies than typical dog panting. She concluded that this meant it could be considered a type of dog laugh.

Simonet then played the dog laugh recordings to puppies and found that they became very active upon hearing the noises. The recordings also seemed to calm dogs in dog shelters.

Other animals can seem to laugh

For a long time, we thought that only humans could laugh. However, research into non-human primate behaviour has found that chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans use a play-pant laugh when tickled, and other research into chimpanzees found that they can smile in the same way as humans.

Do Dogs Smile?
In the minds of most people, the equivalent of a dog smiling is when he is wagging his tail. But there is actually one canine facial expression that comes close to what we mean by smiling in humans. In this expression, slightly opened jaws reveal the dog’s tongue lapping out over his front teeth. Frequently the eyes take on a teardrop shape at the same time, as if being pulled upward slightly at the outer corners. It is a casual expression that is usually seen when the dog is relaxed, playing, or interacting socially, especially with people. The moment any anxiety or stress is introduced, the dog’s mouth closes and you can no longer see the tongue.

Dogs are also capable of laughing, and they typically do so when they are playing. Canine laughter begins with the doggy equivalent of smiling but also includes a sound that is much like panting. Several years ago, animal behaviorist Patricia Simonet at Sierra Nevada College by Lake Tahoe recorded those sounds while dogs played. On analyzing the recordings, she found that they involved a broader range of frequencies than regular dog panting. In one experiment, Simonet noticed that puppies romped for joy when they heard recordings of these sounds; in another, she was able to show that these same sounds helped to calm dogs in an animal shelter.

How To Make Your Dog Laugh
Humans can imitate sounds of dog laughter, but it takes conscious monitoring of mouth shape to get the sound pattern right. Producing dog laughter correctly can make your dog sit up, wag his tail, approach you from across the room, and even laugh along.

  1. Round your lips slightly to make a “hhuh” sound. Note: The sound has to be breathy with no actual voicing, meaning that if you touch your throat while making this sound, you should not feel any vibration.
  2. Use an open-mouthed smiling expression to make a “hhah” sound. Again, breathe the sound; do not voice it.
  3. Combine steps one and two to create canine laughter. It should sound like “hhuh-hhah-hhuh-hhah.”

Perhaps the most common misinterpretation of dog behaviour is based on the myth that a dog wagging his tail is happy and friendly. Although some tail wags are associated with happiness, others can signal fear or even the warning that you are about to be bitten.

The tail’s position, specifically the height at which it is held, serves as an emotional meter. If the tail is held at a middle height, the dog is relaxed. As the tail position moves up, it is a sign that the dog is becoming more threatening, with a vertical tail being a clearly dominant signal meaning, “I’m boss around here.”

Similarly, barks say a lot about what your dog is thinking. Low-pitched sounds (growls) make the animal seem large and dangerous; they usually indicate anger and the possibility of aggression. High-pitched sounds mean the opposite, a request to be allowed to come closer or a signal from a large dog saying, “It’s safe to approach.”

For all our top picks of toys sure to make your pup smile, click here!

Can dogs laugh? Here’s how to tell if your canine companion has a sense of humor.

Many dog owners will attest to the fact that their dog is playful and has a sense of fun, but can dogs laugh? Indeed, if you’ve treated them to some of the best dog toys, you’ll know exactly how much they like to mess around and have a good time.

But can dogs actually laugh in the same way humans do? Research has indeed shown that dogs are capable of something akin to laughter, and they can also understand emotions shown by their human owners (We bet you already knew that last bit).

There are a lot of ways you can attempt to elicit something like laughter from your dog, and at the very least you should both have a lot of fun trying. Read on to discover more…

    : Our perfect picks to keep puppies busy : Safely satiate your pooch’s need to gnaw : Keep your canine companion entertained for hours

What noise do dogs make when they laugh?

If you’re expecting a full-on chuckle from your hound, then you’ll likely be very disappointed. Some studies have shown however that dogs do make a noise which can be attributed to laughter.

Patricia Simonet, a canine researcher, is often credited as the woman who discovered dog laughter, working to “translate” the meaning of various grunts and pants to decipher when dogs found something amusing or funny.

The sound of dog laughter is said to be very similar to panting, and it might not always be obvious when it’s happening – except perhaps if you know your dog extremely well. In Simonet’s recordings – captured while dogs were playing – she found panting with a broader range of frequencies than the panting displayed when dogs were exercising.

Later, in follow-up studies, it was shown that playing those same sounds back to dogs eased anxious behaviour in other dogs, or even caused puppies to “jump for joy”.

What makes a dog laugh?

Dogs are said to have a juvenile sense of humour (reminds us of some humans we know). Some studies have also shown that certain types of breed are more susceptible to “laughing” than others – supposedly the Springer Spaniel and Irish Terrier are two breeds with a funny bone, while the Chihuahua, Rottweiler and Pekingese are more serious creatures.

Since studies have shown that playing is the time when dogs exhibit laugh-like behavior, then that’s the best way to attempt to tease a smile from your pup. Different dogs might like different types of playing, but if you’re not entirely sure where to start, make sure to check our how to play with a dog guide for some top tips.

You could also try to make an exciting dog play area at home, which may just stimulate your dog’s humor, especially if you get down to their level and join in the fun too.

If you’ve got more than one dog, you might find that they’re capable of making each other laugh. You could see it in dog play fighting, or perhaps when they’re both playing with their favorite toys.

When you first bring a dog home, you’ll both be learning lots about each other. As their owner, one of the things you’ll be learning is what makes them tick, what activities do they enjoy, what are their favorite games and so on. Should you play tug of war with your puppy, you might find that it’s one such game that brings out a little laugh. As you play with your dog more and more, you’ll get to know their personality and hopefully discover what they find funny.

Do dogs understand laughter in humans?

Lots of studies have shown that dogs are quite well attuned to human emotions, tone and body language – particularly those of their owners or others in the family that they might be close to. You’ve probably noticed this yourself if you’ve been feeling particularly down and your dog has snuggled in close, or you’ve been feeling excited and happy and your dog mimics your behavior.

As such, there’s every possibility that dogs may recognise in their own way that you’re feeling happy when you laugh. It’s unlikely however that dogs have the nuance to understand exactly what you might be laughing at – so if you’re laughing at something silly they’ve done, they probably won’t feel embarrassed that you’ve found their behaviour amusing.

Do dogs laugh when tickled?

Tickling is a great way to illicit a chuckle from a human – but are dogs ticklish? Evidently the simple answer is yes – try giving your dog a soft stroke on their belly, paws, and on the chest. You might not necessarily raise a chuckle, but you’ll both probably enjoy the bonding experience at least.

Most studies and experiences show that when a dog is tickled, they’ll exhibit happy behaviour such as rolling around, sticking their tongues out, or demanding that you repeat the behaviour should you stop. Every dog is different, but experimenting with finding their best tickle spots is almost guaranteed to be a positive experience for them and for you, and may even elicit a doggy chuckle.

Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.

Animals make laugh-like sounds when they are tickled or playing.

For many years, psychologists and behavioral biologists agreed that laughter was a unique emotional expression found only in humans. However, as the study of animal emotions expanded this idea was called into question. The Nobel Prize-winning ethnologist, Konrad Lorenz, suggested that dogs are capable of laughing. He says that it is during play that dogs actually appear to laugh. In his book Man Meets Dog, Lorenz describes it this way:

“. an invitation to play always follows; here the slightly opened jaws which reveal the tongue, and the tilted angle of the mouth which stretches almost from ear to ear give a still stronger impression of laughing. This ‘laughing’ is most often seen in dogs playing with an adored master and which become so excited that they soon start panting”.

It is this panting that Lorenz identified with human laughter. Although he may have been one of the first to suggest that dogs laugh, the idea that other animals laugh had already been suggested by earlier scientists. Charles Darwin started the ball rolling in his book The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals published in 1872. He noticed that chimpanzees and other great apes produce a laugh-like sound when they are tickled or when they are playing. More recently, Jane Goodall described this same ‘‘laughing” and ‘‘chuckling” reported by Darwin and others as a sort of breathy panting that can escalate to a more guttural ‘‘ah-grunting,” if intense. The general consensus is that this ape laughter sounds somewhat like the heavy breathing that might simply result from vigorous play is meant to be a signal of their playful intentions. According to Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the sound of chimpanzee laughter is much breathier than that of humans, which tends to chop the laugh sounds into short “ha-ha” sounds. Instead, there are longer pant sounds with each inward and outward breath.

Research done by Patricia Simonet at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe looked at laughter sounds in dogs. Simonet’s team investigated the question by standing in parks with a parabolic microphone that allowed them to record the sounds that dogs made while playing from a distance. In describing the laughter sounds of dogs she says that, “To an untrained human ear, it sounds much like a pant, ‘hhuh, hhuh.” When the recordings were analyzed she found that that this exhalation bursts into a broader range of frequencies than does regular dog panting. She confirmed the positive effects of this laugh sound in an experiment on 15 puppies, which romped for joy simply upon hearing the recorded canine laugh. More recently, she was able to show that these same sounds helped to calm dogs in an animal shelter.

Simonet noticed that when she tried to imitate the laugh panting sounds of dogs it seemed to have a positive effect on the animals hearing it.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about the usefulness of humans making these dog laugh sounds. So I began to experiment, originally with my own dogs. My first attempts were not very successful, causing virtually no response or at best, puzzled looks from my dogs. However, I was eventually able to shape a set of sounds that reliably evoked interest on the part of my dogs. It required conscious monitoring to get the sound pattern right. For me, what seems to work the best is something like “hhuh-hhah-hhuh-hhah. ” with the “hhuh” sound made with slightly rounded lips, while the “hhah” sound is made with a sort of open-mouthed smiling expression. The sound has to be breathy with no actual voicing. Thus if you touch your throat while making this sound you should not feel any vibration. This caused my own dogs to sit up and wag their tails or to approach me from across the room.

Since these initial informal experiments, I have extended my observations and tried using my human imitation of dog laughter sounds to calm worried, anxious, and shy dogs in a dog obedience class and in other settings. It seems to help if you glance at the dog directly only for brief intervals alternating with glancing away. Also short, quick side-to-side movements appear to help. It seems to work best in calming dogs that are moderately anxious or insecure. If the negative emotions experienced by the dog are too intense it does not seem to help. This is reminiscent of trying to calm humans. If they are moderately anxious introducing some humor into the situation can be helpful and relaxing, while if they are in a state of panic your attempts might be viewed as actually laughing at their emotional state and may actually make things worse.

How do dogs laugh

We all know dogs we describe as amusing, entertaining, or downright hilarious. Dogs can make us laugh. But do the dogs, themselves, have a sense of humor? Do they know they’re being funny? Do canines find things amusing? Do dogs laugh, and if so, what makes them laugh?

Is playfulness the same as a sense of humor in dogs?

Some theories suggest that, if playfulness defines a sense of humor, then dogs most certainly know what’s funny. Charles Darwin looked for similarities in emotions between animals and humans and observed what he considered a sense of humor that goes beyond just the game. In “The Descent of Man,” he wrote:

“Dogs show what may be fairly called a sense of humor, as distinct from mere play; if a bit of stick…be thrown to one, he will often carry it away for a short distance; and then squatting down with it on the ground close before him, will wait until his master comes quite close to take it away. The dog will then seize it and rush away in triumph, repeating the same maneuver, and evidently enjoying the practical joke.”

Many studies have shown that primates have a sense of humor. The most well-known is Koko the gorilla, who not only understood over 2000 words, but was also known for playing practical jokes and using wordplay. Scientists in the field of evolutionary biology posit that many if not most animals know what’s humorous. To paraphrase a saying: we may not be able to define a sense of humor, but we know it when we see it.

Is being funny or playful evolutionary in dogs?

It’s possible that this so-called sense of humor is really an evolutionary necessity that comes from wolves, the modern dog’s ancestor. Like primates, wolves live in hierarchal packs, where it’s essential to know one’s place in the pack and to avoid angering the alpha. James Gorman, a science writer at the New York Times, describes it like this: “when the big dog growls, the beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, lambda, mu, nu and omega dogs had better be able to laugh it off, so they can live to reproduce another day”

Do dogs act silly to make us humans laugh? Since animals must look after their own needs to survive, it’s possible silly or humorous behavior is a way to get attention. Consider positive reinforcement: your dog does something you want her to do, she gets rewarded. She rolls on the floor, with her tongue hanging out and a goofy expression on her face and you laugh and giver her affectionate rub. It’s possible she’s now learned that this behavior elicits a desirable response from you. Researchers at the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF) suggest that an animal may display what we think of as a sense of humor to get a response.

But according to an article in the Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, “Even if animals… learn to respond to a certain situation in order to trigger a predictable… reaction in another partner, this does not exclude the possibility that the learned response is an expression of humor/amusement/fun.”

How do dogs laugh

Playfulness depends on dog breed

If we equate playfulness with a sense of humor, we should also keep in mind that different breeds have different personalities and therefore, different degrees of playfulness. A team of animal behaviorists at University of California-Davis has even ranked breeds by how playful they are. They concluded that these are the most playful breeds:

Do dogs laugh?

Dogs have specific behaviors that indicate playfulness. For example, we’ve all seen the play bow. Dogs “bow,” by putting their rear ends in the air and their front legs on the ground, as a way of indicating they want to play and that anything that follows is all in fun. Even more interesting, research has determined that dogs actually laugh! The ethnologist Konrad Lorenz may have been the first to suggest this. In “Man Meets Dog,” he writes “…an invitation to play always follows; here the slightly opened jaws which reveal the tongue, and the tilted angle of the mouth which stretches almost from ear to ear give a still stronger impression of laughing… which become so excited that they soon start panting”.

When Lorenz observed the panting, he was really on to something. Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist at the Animal Behavior Center in Washington State, conducted studies on dog vocalizations. She and her team realized that dogs emit a very specific pant when they play. Using a spectrograph, they analyzed the sound, which to the human ear probably sounds a lot like any other panting. But they identified a specific “pronounced breathy forced exhalation,” which they named the dog-laugh. In studies, when other dogs heard the dog-laugh, they responded by play-bowing, wagging their tails, or play-chasing.

Perhaps none of this proves empirically that dogs have a sense of humor. For centuries, scientists haven’t even been able to agree on what a sense of humor is. But most dog lovers don’t need empirical evidence that dogs have a sense of humor. We see it in their goofy poses, their sly playfulness during a game of “keep-away,” and their innate ability to make us laugh. Darwin believed that the difference between human and animal intelligence is a matter of degree and, as Marc Beckoff, author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals,” wrote, “If we have a sense of humor, then nonhuman animals should have a sense of humor, too.”

Patricia Simonet says she found a way to calm down the raucous barkers at her animal shelter: For several hours a day, she plays a recording of dogs “laughing” – a pronounced breathy exhalation through the mouth, sort of like excited panting.

“It sounds like pigs snorting,” some tell Simonet, a cognitive ethnologist at Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service in Spokane, Wash. She likens it to the human “hah hah hah” without the “a.” (Hear a one-second clip at www.laughing-dog.org.)

Which prompts the question: Do dogs really laugh?

Yes, Simonet says.

While researching dogs at play, she came to realize they make at least four distinct sound patterns during play time: barks, growls, whines and “dog-laugh” – that breathy forced exhalation used to initiate play.

“Only the laugh appears to be exclusively produced during play and friendly greetings, and not during other encounters,” reports Simonet. “So powerful is this stimulus, that humans can initiate play with dogs by using an imitation dog-laugh.”

This is not just a laughing matter. In fact, it’s serious enough that Simonet and her co-authors reported on their research at the Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Environmental Enrichment held in New York in 2005.

Give it a try. Just by hearing you make the breathy sound, your dog may respond by doing a “play bow” – extending his front legs and hoisting his back end in the air – to display the universal canine signal for, “Let’s play!”

(Tip: Another way you can initiate play is by whispering. It works about half the time. To improve your odds, whisper while you’re down on the floor doing a play bow yourself.)

“Perhaps the whisper is a close approximation to the dog-laugh,” Simonet says. “When humans whisper, they produce a pronounced forced, breathy exhalation through the mouth.”

Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, a veterinarian and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass., agrees that dogs laugh, but they do it inwardly, he says – not as Simonet proposes.

“Inwardly, they’re thinking: ‘This is wicked good fun. I’m having the time of my life. Tee hee hee, ho ho ho.’ They just don’t open their mouths,” says Dr. Dodman, author of If Only They Could Speak: Stories about Pets and Their People (W.W. Norton).

Makes you wonder: who really is enjoying the final laugh – you or your dog?

Curious about canine comedians? Check out these references:

* Don’t Look Now, but is That Dog Laughing?

* Dog-laughter: Recorded Playback Reduces Stress-Related Behavior in Shelter Dogs”

* Compare dog laughter with the sound of dogs panting at www.laughing-dog.org

By Sally Deneen, a freelance writer from Seattle and co-author of The Dog Lover’s Companion to Florida (Avalon Travel Publishing).

How do dogs laugh

Many dog owners believe their dogs enjoy a good laugh. Check out YouTube, where there is no shortage of smiling and laughing dogs!

However, can a dog laugh in the same way as a human laughs? It’s very easy to anthropomorphise animal behaviour – i.e. judge everything they do from a human emotional and moral perspective – and the real question, perhaps, should by why would a dog laugh? What does it mean, and what advantage would it have given the dog’s wolf ancestors in the wild? Or is it perhaps something they have only learnt to do since they were domesticated by humans?

There is no definite answer to that last question, but we do know a bit about animal laughter.

Do other animals laugh?

From a hard-nosed science point of view, the only animals that are definitely confirmed as laughing are the great apes, dolphins and lab rats. Chimpanzee laughter sounds to our ears more like a shriek, and in the wild it is linked to reassurance and the release of pressure rather than pleasure. However, a tickled chimp definitely laughs, just like a human child does.

Gorillas have been known to laugh at slapstick human behaviour, suggesting that they would make a great audience at a pantomime! Orangutans are a bit more inscrutable, and their signs of laughter may be more akin to simple copying than genuine amusement. They laugh when tickled, though.

A 2004 study of dolphins found that the animals produced a sonar pulse followed by a whistle when playing. The researchers concluded that these sounds meant that the dolphins were feeling happy and relaxed in a fun, non-threatening setting, and that the ‘laugh’ prevented the rough and tumble play from escalating into violence. This is fascinating, as many psychologists believe that human laughter evolved for these exact reasons, and it ties in with those wild chimpanzee ‘laughs’ too.

The fact that lab rats laugh when tickled suggests that, given the chance, many other mammals would chuckle when tickled too. They just haven’t been given the chance in a scientific setting. Dogs, however, seem to relax rather than burst out laughing when tickled.

The fact that you can’t make your dog laugh by tickling it doesn’t mean it can’t laugh, though.

What does a dog laugh sound like?

Dog laughter – if that’s what it is – is a kind of rapid panting – a play-pant which they use to invite humans and other dogs to play. It is a hhuh sound followed by a hhah sound, and humans can impersonate it by making breathy ‘hoo-haa’ sounds. The panting will often be combined with head bows, and the dog may reach out with one of its paws too, or make little teasing jumps in your direction. This is an invitation to play rather than an expression of amusement in the human sense of laughter, though.

If you laugh at your dog using the hhuh hhah panting sound, drawing your lips back in a cheesy grin during the ‘aaa’ part, you may make your dog laugh back. It’s a great way of bonding with your furry friend!

Do dogs smile?

How do dogs laugh

When a dog is relaxed it often pulls back its lips, lets its tongue dr oop and narrows its eyes, it can sometimes – depending on the

breed – look like a smile. The fact that they pull these faces when happy and relaxed makes it an easy associated with smiling. The fact that human smiles seem to have their origins in tension-reducing body language suggests that the same might apply to dogs. The wild wolves, close cousins of the domestic dog, does indeed have a tongue-wagging facial expression linked to relaxation and submissiveness.

Intriguingly, smiles appear to be contagious among dogs, just as they are in human to human interactions. If you can’t make your dog laugh, you can certainly make it smile! Smile at your dog, and your dog may well smile back!

Do scientists believe that dogs can laugh?

Science is on the side of the laughing dog. In a 2005 study titled ‘Dog-laughter: Recorded playback reduces stress related behavior in shelter dogs’, it was discovered that a dog sometimes pants in a way that sounds like a laugh. When recordings of these ‘laughs’ were played to other dogs, the dogs became playful and de-stressed, as measured in stress-r elated behaviour such as tail wagging, doggie ‘play-faces’, happy body language and lip-licking.

However, being happy, relaxed and playful is not exactly the same as laughing. There is no evidence that a dog ever finds things amusing in the same way as humans – or gorillas – do. On the contrary, slapstick behaviour is more likely to startle or scare a dog.

Laughter is all about fun, though, and you can certainly have plenty of that with your dog. They readily show their emotions through sounds and body language. Take the panting and playful body language as a sign of deep friendship. And that means there’s plenty to laugh about!

It’s time for ‘walkies’ as we answer the age-old mystery of why can’t dogs laugh…or can they? If you’re more of a cat person, you might want to turn back now. This is one article firmly dedicated to our canine companions and the science behind their smiles.

There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friends, and if you own one, you’ll undoubtedly have seen them smile, sneeze, yawn, and maybe even cry. However, there’s still the question of whether dogs can laugh. Has Muttley been lying to us all these years?

Laughter — It’s Good For The Soul

Firstly, let’s look at the school of thought that dogs can laugh. While it isn’t quite the side-splitting chortles you might see from humans while watching Tina Fey, Steeve Coogan, or Julia Davis, some experts think dogs express happiness in a certain way.

In the book “Man Meets Dog”, Nobel Prize-winning ethnologist Konrad Lorenz�claims dogs can laugh. Lorenz says, “The tilted angle of the mouth which stretches almost from ear to ear give a still stronger impression of laughing. This �laughing’ is most often seen in dogs playing with an adored master and which become so excited that they soon start panting”.

How do dogs laugh

Fox Searchlight Pictures

This behaviour is actually echoed in the research of Patricia Simonet. In 2005, the animal behaviourist published a paper on dog vocalisations and explained, “During play encounters dogs vocalize using at least four distinct patterns; barks, growls, whines�and a pronounced�breathy�forced�exhalation�(dog-laugh).��

While the stereotypical human laugh is vocalised as a “haha” (cue Nelson Muntz), the dog pant is more of a �hhuh-hhah�. Simonet took this one step further and played recordings of her ‘laughing’ dogs to 15 puppies. She noted that the puppies became visibly excitable at the sound of the happy dogs.

Taking this theory into her own home, Simonet tried it out on her dogs. She wrote, “I began to experiment, originally with my own dogs. My first attempts were not very successful, causing virtually no response or at best puzzled looks from my dogs. However I was eventually able to shape a set of sounds which reliably evoked interest on the part of my dogs.”

If you want to make your dog laugh, try it for yourself:

  1. Start by rounding your lips to make the first �hhuh� sound. The advice is to do this with no vocalisation. If you touch your throat, you shouldn’t be able to feel any vibrations.
  2. Open your mouth and make a smiling expression for the �hhah�. Once again, do it with your breath and no voice.
  3. Add these two sounds together with a continuous (and breathy) �hhuh-hhah-hhuh-hhah” to have your dog rolling around on the floor in hysterics.

Smiley Cyrus

For a while, people thought a dog’s version of smiling was wagging its tail, however, we now know dogs can smile in a much more human way. When a dog is relaxed or content, they’ll pull their mouth wide and let their tongue lap over their front teeth. This has been characterised as a “dog smile”.

Even cuter than this, dog smiles are often in response to a human smile. This phenomenon is called laughter contagion and is seen in humans every day. It’s a much easier way to tell if a dog is happy than the standard tail-wag. In fact, dogs wagging their tails doesn’t just mean they’re happy. Pooches use their tails for a variety of ways to communicate — ranging from happiness to anger.

Don’t be too disheartened if you can’t make your dog laugh or smile, and it’s important to remember, no two dogs are the same. Dr. Marc Bekoff explored dog laughter in the book Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do. Here, he explained, “Dogs are as individual as humans. I�ve lived with enough dogs to know that even litter mates have individual personalities.�

Does this mean your dog might find your latest witty one-liner as funny as the neighbour’s prized pet? Bekoff added, “This is important to remember when making any assertions about dogs in general. Some people have said things like �dogs don�t like to be hugged.�

Bekoff concluded, “Some dogs don�t like it and some dogs do. And we should just pay attention to what an individual dog�s needs are.� Basically, if your dog isn’t laughing at your jokes, you don’t have to start working on new material.

You And Me Baby Ain’t Nothing But Mammals

How do dogs laugh

Warner Bros.

Ironically, it was Charles Darwin who first posed the idea that humans aren’t the only animals that can laugh. In the 1872 book The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, Darwin said chimpanzees expressed a form of laughing. Jane Goodall also backed this up and said she’s witnessed similar behaviour in chimps.

Humans, dogs, chimps, what other animals can laugh? Well, the list apparently extends to the likes of dolphins, crows, and elephants. Even rats are said to giggle when tickled — we just can’t hear it. It’s no surprise that our not-so-distant cousins, like gorillas, also express human-like laughing characteristics. However, learning that dogs can laugh and smile with the best of us is an arguably much cuter revelation.

Next time you’re bored at home with some dog-friendly wine, but reruns of Michael Mcintyre aren’t making you chortle, why not have a good chinwag with your dog and try to get a laugh out of them? Even if it’s a little ‘ruff’ being man’s best friend at times, at least we know our puppers have a sense a humour.

How do dogs laugh

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I was sitting on a front porch in Helena, Montana, with my 14-year-old son on a hot summer afternoon when the smoke of nearby forest fires made the air even hotter. A black Labrador belonging to nobody we knew came walking along in a low, overheated mood. On a neighbor’s lawn, a sprinkler was going. The dog saw it, bounded into the spray, and stayed there for a long while. Then he came out, shook himself a lot, and walked up onto the porch. He sat on his haunches looking at us. This was one happy dog. This dog owned happiness. Regarding us benevolently, his eyes had the fogginess of total bliss. Just sitting there, wet and dripping, he embodied the sound ahhhhhhhhhhh. My son and I agreed that we had never seen a human being as happy as that dog, and suddenly we became happy ourselves.

A dog’s sense of smell is said to be ten thousand times better than a human’s, and that’s also how much better dogs are than humans at being happy. Human happiness is a shabby thing compared with a dog’s. For eons, humans benefitted from the canine gift for happiness and favored happy dogs, who thus passed along their happy genes, producing a species that is now besotted, almost deranged, with happiness. Of course, many other animals take pleasure in being alive—eagles soaring, otters skidding down slides, cows content to the point of smugness. But there’s a selfishness to that happiness. Dog happiness always looks outward. To reach fullest expression, a dog’s happiness has to be lived large and strewn around. The only thing that slows down a dog’s happiness is if he can’t infect you with it so you can be happy together.

A dog will laugh at anything. Hiding the ball, then pulling it out of your coat—hilarious! Watching you load the car before the vacation—a riot!

And dogs laugh! Not only do they laugh, they mean it, unlike such sarcastic types as monkeys, hyenas, and dolphins. (I know dolphins are friendly, but that high-pitched chuckle of theirs can wear on you.) A dog will laugh at anything. Hiding the ball, then pulling it out of your coat—hilarious! Watching you load the car before the vacation—a riot! Dogs are like an audience someone has already warmed up so that they laugh and voice their approval the minute the featured act (you) steps onto the stage. Dogs laugh even when they don’t get the joke, which is often. But hey, if you’re laughing, it must be funny, and that’s good enough for them.

To understand the sense of humor dogs have, it’s useful to contrast it with that of their main pet competitor: cats. Cats do not really have a sense of humor. In its place, they cultivate a deep sense of the ironic. The detached, ironical pleasure cats take in watching and inflicting suffering is a horrid substitute for the hearty wholesomeness of dog laughter. And a cat never laughs out loud. The best that cats can muster is a sardonic smirk, an “I told you so” bared in their pointy incisors.

Dogs laugh just as hard when the joke is on them, but cats hate being the butt of laughter. One time my cat was asleep on the mantelpiece in the living room. In his sleep, he turned over, woke up, found himself lying on empty air, and began scrabbling frantically on the mantel with his front paws to keep from going down. Cartoonlike, he lost the struggle and dropped to the floor. I saw the whole thing and laughed my head off. Only the cat’s dignity was injured, but he never forgave me, for the course of his half-hour memory span. He slunk around and shot me dirty looks and was really a bad sport about it, I thought. A dog would’ve made that same pratfall and hopped back on the mantel and done it again just for laughs.

Best of all, dogs live to go outdoors, where they find their funniest and timeliest material. They want to show you that running fast to nowhere in particular and then back, muddy and burr-covered, is such great comedy that you ought to join them in guffawing and jumping around with your tongue hanging out. They invite you to follow them to the railroad tracks and the run-over opossum that will be a good joke for them to roll in, or to the Canada geese on the baseball field, where a side-splitting chase scene will ensue. The bits are somehow even funnier because the dog is confident that you will love them as much as he does.

Dogs exult in the world itself. No matter if your neighborhood is interesting or not, your dog will want to go out in it. This is a godsend for human beings, most of whom would otherwise vanish into their screens. When I ramble around the part of New Jersey where I live, I see very few people on the sidewalks, and blue glows in many windows. The actual world has been abandoned for the virtual one—but not by dogs. They lobby for the world’s reality and the unending comedic opportunities it provides. The only other humans I see on my rambles in the worst weather are the ones who have to walk their dogs. Dogs never stop showing us that gigantic happiness inheres in the world, waiting to be run to earth or sniffed on a tree.

Contributing editor Ian Frazier’s September 2013 story “The One That Got Away” was included in Best American Sports Writing 2014.

It’s no doubt that dogs make us laugh. But the bigger question is: Do WE make our dogs laugh? Or, do dogs make each other laugh? And if a dog DOES laugh, what does it sound like?

Fortunately we’ve got this thing called science that can explain it all! Here are 10 ways dogs are known to “laugh”:

1. Dogs Laugh, Just Not The Way We Do

How do dogs laugh

Depending on the size of the dog and shape of their face, the way a dog laugh’s will differ, but generally a “head up, toothy broad-mouth, sparkling eyes, and a chuffing pant typify canine crack up”, according to Psychology Today.

A dog-respiration study published in Stanford University’s Science News describes dog laughter as “a broader-frequency exhalation” than panting. It also found that playing back recordings of dog laughter calmed anxious dogs, giving them more confidence to interact with other dogs and people.

2. They Smile. Hard.

How do dogs laugh

A University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP)-compiled dog behavior defines dog smiling as a “relaxed, open-mouthed facial expression” that is often a response to a human’s smile, known as laughter contagion.

3. They Wag And Wiggle

While this may seem like a pawbvious one, but the word wag is actually a synonym for comedian, humorist, jester, jokester, or prankster. Even when their face doesn’t show it (which it usually does), their tushies do. What I love about this is that dogs who have shorter tails tend to compensate with wiggling their entire bodies. And it is delightful to watch.

4. They Play And Frolic And Derp Around Like The Happy Dinguses That They Are

It may look like she is scratching her back right here, but I am a witness to this every day. This is Oona’s “HANGING OUT AT WORK WITH MY MOMMA AND MY FRIENDZ” dance.

5. They Get All Up In Your Business

How do dogs laugh

Just because HOOMANS find it inappropriate to randomly nudge their face in a stranger’s junk, doesn’t mean dogs play by the same rules. For dogs, a crotch snuff is nothing more than a fist bump.

6. They Swipe Your Stuff

How do dogs laugh

Like children, dogs are simply amused by objects that are not their own. Seeing their human’s response when they turn a pair of undies into a chew toy is a fun game for them. Part of the fun for the dog is seeing a human’s reaction when they snag something they know they’re not supposed to.

7. They Like To Hide In Weird Places

How do dogs laugh

Another bazaar way dogs entertain themselves at the expense of their human’s frustration is hiding weird places.

8. They Get Loud

Nothing is funnier to watch than a dog dancing. But it’s not just because conceptually it’s funny. It’s also knowing how excited a dog has to be in order to suddenly realize they’ve had impeccable rhythm their entire lives.

10. They Know Their Audience

How do dogs laugh

Dogs are extremely sensitive to the emotions of their humans. They know when we are sad. And they know when we are fascinated by them. So the next time you see your dog smiling like a dingus, maybe it’s not because they don’t know what’s going on. Maybe for once they’re trying to get US to be the ones to pee in the house.

How do dogs laugh

They typically make this noise with a wide, open grin.

If you listen closely, you may have noticed it, too.

Your dog might laugh as she bows to invite you or other dogs to play. Some dogs do it when they’re being cuddled or tickled.

Dogs Make Each Other Laugh

In a 2001 study, researchers recorded dogs laughing.

Then, they played back long recordings of dog laughs to a shelter full of stressed dogs and puppies.

As the tapes were played, the shelter residents showed significantly fewer signs of stress. Many of the dogs and puppies began to bounce around, and responded with laughs of their own.

It’s also been observed that if you whisper at your dog as you imitate the famous play-bow, you’ll be more successful at getting your dog to play.

That Time Cow Laughed With Her Entire Being

How do dogs laugh

Learning about dog laughter has made me remember a beautiful memory I’ve had with Cow.

Back when she still belonged to my former landlord, the property we lived on was not fully fenced.

Every time I went for a walk, she would follow me, and there was little I could do about it. As time went on, I began to carry a leash and would leash her up shortly after we left the property, but this was before then.

So, I would sometimes find myself walking with an off-leash Cow. We lived in a semi-rural area. I knew it was a little dangerous, but it wasn’t that unusual.

Anyway, here’s what happened.

One day, I left Matilda at home and went for a walk to the dollar store down the block.

Of course, Cow followed.

She walked politely by my side the whole way. When we approached the dollar store, she stood at the doorway, but did not enter.

I went inside and began to select items. I was pretty absorbed in what I was doing when I heard her loud, feminine bark, “Woof!”

I looked up, and there she was, at the end of the aisle inside the store.

She laughed with her whole body, panting and grinning and wiggling and wagging her stump.

She laughed as though to say, “I’m a dog in a dollar store! Hahaha. I’m a dog in a store!”

Her laugh was infectious, I couldn’t help but laugh myself.

I lead her out, asked her to stay outside, and finished my purchase. Then, we laughed all the way home.

Do Dogs Laugh Like Humans?

How do dogs laugh

Face down, butt up, that’s the way we like to… play!

From the study alone, I wouldn’t think that dogs laughed at jokes. I’d question whether or not we could call that breathy call to play a true “laugh.”

And yet, I think dogs can laugh at jokes.

I’m certain that Cow found it amusing that she had entered the store so easily. She’s normally happy to see me, but this was different. As a roaming dog, she has probably been shooed away from stores, and may have never even had the confidence to attempt to enter until that day.

She overcame her inhibitions because she wanted to see where I had gone. She went to no-dog’s-land, and probably felt very pleased with herself.

“I’m a dog in a dollar store!!” What a simple, wonderful little joke.

Have You Heard Your Dog Laugh?

I’d love to hear more stories of dogs laughing.

I’ve been trying to find recordings with no success. But I have noticed that my dogs respond to me when I imitate a dog’s play laugh, especially when I get on the floor with a toy and play-bow like a damn fool. I highly recommend it.

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 dogs laugh

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.

Do Dogs Laugh? – Often we find man’s best friend behaving in ways that make them look more human to us than ever.

From nodding at our conversations to helping us out if we are hurt – our dogs have shown “humane” emotions and actions surprising us.

So, if all of this ever made you wonder – “Can my Dog laugh?”, then you are not alone.

How do dogs laugh

Many pet parents (including us!) have had this question. So, we went digging to find you the answers:

Important Discussion Points In This Guide

  • Do Dogs Smile?
  • Do Dogs Laugh?
  • How Do Dogs Laugh?
  • What Makes Dogs Laugh?

Do Dogs Smile?

A few indicative signs that your dog is smiling or has a human-like grin on their face is:

Yes, dogs can smile. Or at least they can make a face that is similar to a human smile.

But unlike humans whose smile can be triggered by many factors like joy, amusement etc. A “dog smile” usually occurs when they are relaxed or in play.

  • Relaxed ears
  • Mouth open with lips pulled back
  • Tongue lapping over their front teeth &
  • Eyes in a teardrop shape.

Other than playtime, a dog can also smile when they find their favourite human smiling. The phenomenon that causes a dog to smile when we smile at them is similar to “laughter contagion”.

Do Dogs Laugh?

So, do dogs laugh? Yes and No.

When it comes to smiling, dogs can smile similarly to humans. Whereas, dogs do not laugh like humans.

But even though a dog’s “laugh” sounds nothing like a human’s laugh, they do emit this “dog laugh” when they are happy or in play.

How do dogs laugh

How Do Dogs Laugh?

Unlike a human’s laugh, a dog’s laugh sounds more like panting .

Canine laughter mostly starts with a dog smile and then gradually develops into a breathy-panting.

This breathy panting is usually emitted in a “hhuh-hhah” variation. Since, dog’s pant (or laugh) excessively during playtime, this canine laughter is also known as play-pant .

What Makes Dogs Laugh?

“Play-panting” as the name suggests, occurs in dogs when they are playing with their favourite human or with other dogs.

So, activities that can make dogs laugh or play-pants are interactive playtimes , walks/runs or any quality time spent with their pet parent.

Play-panting also has many benefits for your dog. It does not just bring them joy but also helps them relieve anxiety , cool down and stay relaxed.

How do dogs laugh

Another fun fact about laughter and dogs is – dogs can detect your emotions and change of tone.

So, when you (the pet parent) laugh – your dog can sense it’s a happy moment. This can in turn lead them to laugh/smile or wag their tail with excitement.

And sometimes dogs may get into mischief merely to earn your reaction and a giggle for their misbehaviour.

So, that proves it – dogs can respond to joy through “laughs”.

How do dogs laugh

But it is important to note that every dog is unique. In fact, laughter/smile is not the only way a dog can showcase their feeling.

A dog can show their emotion through their whole body by wagging their tail or through raised ears.

So, it is inevitable that not all dogs laugh/smile is going to sound or look the same. But no matter how your dog shows happiness, we hope you and your furball have a joyful journey.

Happy Pet Parenting!

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How do dogs laugh

The researchers identified 65 species that make noise when they play by looking at existing studies. They estimate there certainly could be more chuckling critters out there. Kristina Jackson/Getty Images

As the millions of views that videos of animals dubbed over with human voices can attest, people seem to love nothing more than anthropomorphizing our non-human counterparts in nature. These videos might make us giggle, but what about the creatures that star in them, can they laugh?

The answer, according to a new paper studying animals at play, may be yes—to the tune of some 65 species that researchers pegged as “laughing” during bouts of playful activity, reports Mindy Weisberger for Live Science.

“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” says Greg Bryant, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles and co-author of the study, in a statement.

Most of the 65 species identified by the study, which was published last month in the journal Bioacoustics, were mammals, such as primates, foxes, killer whales and seals, but three bird species also made the list, according to the statement.

For animals, the researchers suggest, a laughing noise may help signal that roughhousing, or other behavior that might seem threatening, is all in good fun.

“[Some actions] could be interpreted as aggression. The vocalization kind of helps to signal during that interaction that ‘I’m not actually going to bite you in the neck. This is just going to be a mock bite,’” Sarah Winkler, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles and the paper’s lead author, tells Doug Johnson of Ars Technica. “It helps the interaction not escalate into real aggression.”

Winkler witnessed firsthand that vocalizations often accompany animals playing during past work with rhesus macaques, which pant while they play, according to Live Science. To find out how widespread such play vocalizations might be in the animal kingdom, Winkler and Bryant scoured the scientific literature for descriptions of play activity in various animals. In particular, the study authors looked for mentions of vocalizations accompanying playtime.

Per Ars Technica, many of the animal laughs identified by the study sound nothing like a human chuckle. For example, Rocky Mountain elk emit a kind of squeal and, per Live Science, New Zealand’s kea parrot whines and squeaks when it’s time to have some fun.

Back in 2017, another study found that playing a recording of kea laughter around the parrots in the wild would cause the birds to spontaneously break into playful tussles.

Another key difference between human and animal laughter could be its volume and thus its intended audience, according to Live Science. Human laughs are pretty loud, so the whole group can hear, but most animals, by contrast, have laughs that are quiet and may only be audible to the play partner. (By the study’s definition, cats hissing during playtime qualified as laughter.)

Winkler tells Ars Technica that though the study aimed to be comprehensive, that there may be even more laughing animals out there. “There could be more that, we think, are out there. Part of the reason they probably aren’t documented is because they’re probably really quiet, or just [appear] in species that aren’t well-studied for now,” she says. “But hopefully there could be more research in the future.”

How do dogs laugh

Alex Fox is a freelance science journalist based in Washington, D.C. He has written for Science, Nature, Science News, the San Jose Mercury News and Mongabay. You can find him at Alexfoxscience.com.

Sometimes our dogs do the funniest things and we just can’t help but laugh at their latest displays of comedic genius! They make us smile, laugh and let’s face it, burst with doggy love. But can these tables ever turn? Is it physically possible for our dogs to laugh themselves?

How do dogs laugh

Video of the Day

Do dogs laugh?

There is actually a scientific name for the matter at hand. Canine gelotology is the study of how, or if, dogs laugh. Fancy! This field of study is still being developed but researchers have come to some conclusions.

Konrad Lorenz, author of Man Meets Dog (1949), explains in his book that dog laughter is detected through the correlations between social activity, a dog’s lips and panting. When the corners of a dog’s lips are loose and the dog pants rapidly, this is similar to human laughter. Lorenz explains that this physical expression is an “invitation to play”.

Decades later, researcher Patricia Simonet continued Lorenz’s work with a much more detailed and experimental approach. Simonet studied the sounds dogs make during play, noting a “forced breathy exhalation through the mouth.” During experiments and observations, the sound was made even when the dog wasn’t playing hard enough to justify panting. Simonet concluded that a dog’s “laughter” had different sonic content than simple panting alone. The laughter had spikes in the audio, while panting was flatter.

How do dogs laugh

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

The effects of dog laughter

Simonet discovered the positive effects dog laughter has on other dogs. In 2005, she conducted an experiment where she played a recording of the higher pitched panting or “doggy laughter” for dogs struggling with stress and depression in an animal shelter. The dogs that heard the recording stopped what they were doing and turned their heads towards the sound. The younger dogs, especially, started to imitate the dog laughs themselves. Simonet concluded that simply hearing the laughter of their peers could help decrease stress while at the shelter. Our hearts melt. Adopt a dog today!

As any pet owner will know, you develop a distinct emotional bond with your animal companion of choice.

You chat with the dog, remonstrate with the hamster and tell your parakeet secrets you would never tell anyone else. And, while part of you suspects that the whole endeavour might be completely pointless, another part of you secretly hopes that somehow your beloved pet understands.

How do dogs laugh

Laughter is contagious, social and something we develop before we can speak. © Getty | Peter Dazeley

More on Nature

But what, and how much, do animals understand? For instance, you know that an animal is capable of experiencing pleasure, but do they experience humour? Can your furry love-bundle understand a joke or stifle a guffaw when you drop a heavy item on your toe? Do dogs or cats or any animal laugh in the same way that we laugh?

Why do we laugh?

The reasons that human beings developed laughter is something of a mystery. Every human on the planet, regardless of the language they speak, does it and we all do it unconsciously. It just bubbles up from deep inside us and we can’t help it happening. It’s contagious, social and something we develop before we can speak. It’s thought that it exists to provide a bonding element amongst individuals, while another theory states it initially originated as a warning sound to highlight the incongruous, like the sudden appearance of a sabre-tooth tiger. So, while we don’t know why we do it, we do know we do it. But do animals giggle, and if not, why not?

How do dogs laugh

Chimps display vocalisations most readily identifiable with human laughter. © Getty | Fotoclick

Cheeky monkeys

Understandably as they’re our closest animal relations, chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orang-utans vocalise enjoyment during chasing games or when they are being tickled. These sounds mostly resemble panting, but interestingly the apes that are more closely related to us, like chimps, display vocalisations most readily identifiable with human laughter than a more remote species like the orang-utan, whose mirthful noises least resemble ours. The fact that these sounds are emitted during stimulus such as tickling suggests that laughter evolved before any sort of speech. It’s reported that Koko, the famous gorilla that used sign language, once tied her keeper’s shoelaces together and then signed ‘chase me’ displaying, potentially, the ability to make jokes.

How do dogs laugh

Crows and other corvids are known to use tools to locate food and even pull the tails of predators.

Crowing crows

But what about a completely different branch of the animal world like birds? Certainly a few clever avian impersonators such as mynah birds and cockatoos have been seen to mimic laughter and some parrots have even been known to tease other animals, with reports of one bird whistling at and confusing the family dog, purely for its own amusement. Crows and other corvids are known to use tools to locate food and even pull the tails of predators. It was thought that this was purely to distract them while stealing food, but now it’s been witnessed when no food is present, suggesting the bird did it just for fun. So it’s possible that some birds have a sense of humour, and may even laugh, but we haven’t been able to identify it yet.

How do dogs laugh

Dolphins appear to emit sounds of joy while they are play-fighting, to suggest the behaviour is non-threatening to those around them.

Beastly humour

Other creatures are also known to laugh, such as rats, who ‘chirp’ when tickled in sensitive areas like the nape of the neck. Dolphins appear to emit sounds of joy while they are play-fighting, to suggest the behaviour is non-threatening to those around them, while elephants frequently trumpet whilst engaged in play activity. But it’s virtually impossible to prove whether this behaviour is comparable to a human’s laughter or just a noise that the animal likes to make during certain situations.

How do dogs laugh

Mews and purrs from cats can mean a number of different things.

Pet hates

So how about the pets in our homes? Are they capable of laughing at us? There is evidence to suggest that dogs have developed a kind of laugh when they are enjoying themselves that resembles a forced breathy pant that is different in sonic texture to the regular panting used to control temperature. Cats, on the other hand, were thought to have evolved to show no emotions at all as a survival factor in the wild. Obviously purring can indicate that a cat is content, but purrs and mews can also be used to indicate a number of other things. Cats also appear to enjoy engaging in a variety of mischievous behaviours, but this could be merely an attempt to attract attention rather than showing off their humorous side. And so, as far as science goes, it seems that cats are incapable of laughter and you can be comforted to know that your cat isn’t laughing at you. Though, if they did ever acquire the ability to do so, we suspect they would.

How do dogs laugh

The association between trait hedonic capacity and schizotypal personality traits was examined in a two studies of independent nonclinical samples. In both investigations, hedonic capacity was measured using the 17-item Anticipatory and Consummatory Interpersonal Pleasure Scale (ACIPS). In Study One, the young adults’ (n = 1345) ACIPS scores were inversely associated with their scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). In Study Two, two groups of individuals identified on the basis of their scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire Brief-Revised (SPQ-BR) were compared in terms of their ACIPS responses and response patterns. Our results indicate that the high schizotypal subjects (n =38) and the low schizotypal subjects (n = 37) differed significantly in terms of their mean ACIPS scores, but not in terms of their mean reaction times. Despite differences in study design, both investigations indicated an association between the No Close Friends subscale of the SPQ and the ACIPS total score. These findings are considered in the context of other extant studies of schizotypal traits and the role of anhedonia in schizotypy. Overall, the findings provide further evidence for the criterion validity of the ACIPS.

En época de pandemia, no todo es covid-19

Distribution of dopaminergic cell bodies in the median raphe nucleus of the rat brain

An increasing amount of data suggests that a dysfunction in dopamine (DA) neurotransmission is involved in the pathophysiology of various neurological and psychiatric disorders. With this in mind, the distribution and connectivity of the dopaminergic system in the rat brain has been studied extensively. So far, little is known about the distribution of DA containing neurons in the median raphe nucleus (MnR). This nucleus is mainly defined by a large population of serotonin containing neurons. Using quantitative immunohistochemistry, we observed the presence of a small number of DA containing neurons in the rat MnR, which was in contrast to a previous report.

Evaluation of the rotation capacity limits of steel members defined in EC8-3

One issue of major importance regarding the application of seismic assessment guidelines is that of the deformation capacity limits prescribed for the various limit states. In the case of existing steel structures, Part 3 of Eurocode 8 (EC8-3) defines the limits in terms of plastic rotations, which are only applicable to cases where normalized axial load levels are lower than 0.3 and to cross-section classes of type 1 and 2. These limits resemble the ones defined in ASCE 41, suggesting a direct reproduction from the latter document despite their derivation on the basis of typical American profiles. Hence, this paper aims at evaluating the deformation capacity of European steel members and to answer the question of how adequate are the current EC8-3 limits. Based on detailed FE models, the influence of member imperfections, axial load and real ground motion records is assessed. Fracture due to ultra-low cycle fatigue is taken into account and general expressions for predicting the rotation capacity of a wide number of European cross-section profiles are proposed.

A new optimization approach for nozzle selection and component allocation in multi-head beam-type SMD placement machines

This paper addresses a highly challenging scheduling problem faced in multi-head beam-type surface mounting devices (SMD) machines. An integrated mathematical model is formulated aiming to balance workloads over multiple heads as well as improving the traveling speed of the robotic arm by incorporating the appropriateness factors in the model to evaluate the compatibility of component-nozzle pairs. The proposed model is a bi-objective mixed integer nonlinear programming one, which is first converted into a linearized model and then directly solved by using the augmented epsilon constraint method for small problem instances. As the model is turned out to be NP-hard, we also develop a Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) algorithm to solve the model for medium and large-sized problem instances. The parameters of the proposed MOPSO are tuned by using the Taguchi Method and corresponding numerical results are provided.

Persistence of behaviours in the Forced Swim Test in 3xTg-AD mice at advanced stages of disease

Forced Swimming Test (FST) models behavioural despair in animals by loss of motivation to respond or the refusal to escape. The present study characterizes the behavioural responses of 12-month-old male 3xTg-AD mice in FST as compared to age-matched no-transgenic (NTg) mice. Paradoxical results were consistently found from what would be expected from their BPSD (Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia)-like profile. The comprehensive analysis of the ethogram shown in the FST considered the intervals of the test (0–2 and 2–6 min), all the elicited behavioural responses (immobility, swimming and climbing) and their features (total duration, frequency of episodes and mean duration). Both genotypes showed equal number of swimming episodes and climbing attempts during the first interval, that resulted in high swimming times, short climbing and scarce immobility. Thereafter, the NTg mice showed a behavioural shift over time and the immobility response showed up. In contrast, all the measures consistently evidenced that 3xTg-AD persisted with the previous behavioural pattern. Genotype differences consisted in less number of episodes of immobility and swimming, and a low immobility time in favour of swimming. No differences were found in ‘climbing’ attempts. The behavioural response observed is discussed as a lack of ability of 3xTg-AD mice to shift behaviour over time that may result of poorest cognitive flexibility and copying with stress strategies more than behavioural despair per se.

From the Department of Antropology, University College, Gower Street, London WC1.

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Do dogs actually laugh or smile, or does it just look like it? TAG24 has gathered information on the actual meaning of canine expressions.

Do dogs smile when they’re happy? Pups who look like they have a big grin often put a smile on our faces, but do you know if you’re interpreting your pet’s behavior correctly, and if dogs can really laugh?

When dogs pull the corner of their mouths back, it often looks like they’re smiling – but that may not be the case. © unsplash/gotdaflow

Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are full of funny photos and videos of what appear to be smiling dogs.

People often infer their four-legged friends’ mood based on their behavior, facial expressions, and gestures.

When a dog becomes a member of the family, human characteristics are regularly attributed to animals. Owners may think their dog is happy in many situations, but that can be a misconception.

What we may believe is a dog’s smile is not always a positive sign. Even if a dog looks happy, it can actually be feeling anxious and insecure.

For a long time, researchers believed dogs can’t laugh at all.

The opinion has since shifted, with many now saying dogs are capable of laughing and smiling, but dogs smile differently than most people believe.

TAG24 takes a look at dogs’ grins, so you can better understand your four-legged friend.

Do dogs actually smile?

Dogs pull back the corners of their mouths when they are happy or want to give off “pleasing” behavior to their owners. © unsplash/Kania Colby

Most photos and videos of smiling dogs don’t show a genuine smile, like you’d see on humans.

A dog’s smile can mean many things. Your furry friend could be stressed or insecure and trying to show their submissiveness. Your pet could also be putting on a satisfied expression while playing or to please you.

If you want to know why your dog is smiling, you need to observe their behavior.

Your dog is stressed when their mouth is open and their lips and ears are pulled back. Their eyes may be narrowed, causing a “stress crease.” They may also stick out their tongue and pant heavily.

But stress isn’t always a negative thing in canines. It can also arise from excitement when playing or going for a walk.

If dogs feel insecure, scared, and threatened, they may show their submissiveness. Pulling the corners of their mouth back, baring their teeth slightly, avoiding eye contact, and spreading their ears to the side are behaviors that are supposed to reassure the other person or animal. Often, dogs may stick out their tongue and lick their muzzle. They want to show they are inferior and don’t pose any danger.

When playing, dogs have a relaxed facial expression. The skin between their eyes and on their foreheads is wrinkle-free. They seek eye contact with humans and other animals. Sometimes the corners of their mouths are turned up.

Many dogs notice their owners are pleased when they pull the corners of their mouths back and put on what humans consider a happy expression. Some dogs smile because they want to please their owners, get their attention, receive praise, and possibly get a treat.

If they get positive feedback, they will repeat the behavior, not necessarily because they are happy, but rather because they want to please you.

Context is key in evaluating your pet’s mood. If the dog is relaxed and feels safe, they may really be smiling.

Do dogs laugh?

Dogs’ laughter, which Charles Darwin himself described, is studied through an entire field of research.

Researchers disagree on whether dogs actually laugh. Whether dogs can laugh out loud was posed in 2004 by Patricia Simonet.

In her study, she noted dogs panting or snorting at a certain frequency after playing, which she equated with laughter.

Other exciting findings on this topic come from behavioral scientist Dr. Dorit Urd Feddersen-Petersen. Examining images and video material, she determined that dogs do laugh, a behavior she characterized as a likely imitation of human laughter.

When dogs laugh, she said they uncover their teeth briefly and jerk several times in succession. The rest of their body is completely relaxed.

TAG24 has uncovered several other mysteries about dogs:

How do I know if my dog is actually smiling?

When dogs really laugh, they display their teeth and appear to have a relaxed attitude. © unsplash/Lucian Dachman

It’s not easy to determine if your dog is really smiling. You can ask yourself two questions to find out:

1. Does your dog show its teeth briefly, several times in a row, by twitching its lips?

2. Does your dog’s body language seem relaxed, friendly, and happy?

If you answer “yes” to both questions, then it’s very likely your dog is genuinely smiling. Possible causes include greeting, playing, scratching, or other physical contact.

Poodles, Greyhounds, and Dalmatians are among the breeds where this behavior has been observed most often. These dogs are not necessarily happier, they’ve just seemed to pick up the behavior from humans more frequently.

Theoretically, however, any dog can exhibit this behavior, and owners can reinforce it by rewarding their pet for smiling, if they choose.

Research indicates that dogs really do laugh, even if it doesn’t always look like it to their owners. This habit likely came about as a result of living with humans.

These clever four-legged friends learn quickly, and who knows what they will surprise us with in the future!

By The Mad Scientists Follow

O.K. You can’t really make your dog laugh. But, strangely enough, there is such a thing as a 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.

Step 1: The Lips

Round your lips slightly to make a “hhuh” sound. (The sound has to be breathy with no actual voicing, meaning that if you touch your throat while making this sound, you should not feel any vibration.)

Step 2: The Expression

Use an open-mouthed smiling expression to make a “hhah” sound. Again, breathe the sound; do not voice it.

Step 3: Adding Sound

Combine steps one and two to create canine laughter. It should sound like “hhuh-hhah-hhuh-hhah.” Your dog should follow along by sitting up, wagging his tail, approaching you from across the room, or laughing along.

How do dogs laugh

For many of us, our dog is our best friend, so it’s nice to know how they feel. We can tell when and where they like to be petted, what kind of treats they like, and what toys are their favorite based on how they react. But one thing we might be curious about is if our pups have a sense of humor or if they can laugh.

Dogs with a Sense of Humor

While it’s not the most pressing question about dogs, it’s one that’s fun to wonder about. It turns out that there are dog breeds that are more playful and may have more of a sense of humor. In Stanley Coren’s article “Do Dogs Have a Sense of Humor?,” he references two animal behaviorists who set out to research this topic.

Dr. Benjamin and Lynnette Hart ranked 56 dog breeds on their willingness to chase toys and engage in games. They then sorted them into the following groups: most playful, above average playfulness, average playfulness, below average playfulness, and least playful. More playful breeds included Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, and Miniature Poodles. These dogs are more likely to have a sense of humor when they play, playing pranks on both humans and other dogs.

Dogs like Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, and Chihuahuas seem to be some of the least playful breeds. These dogs seem to be less willing to show a humorous side, preferring to curl up on the couch and take a snooze rather than chase a ball or play keep away.

Laughing Dogs

You may also wonder if your dog can laugh along with you when you chuckle at his or her antics. It turns out that it may be possible for dogs to laugh, though not in the way that we as humans think of laughing. A dog’s laugh sounds more like a pant than a typical human laugh.

Patricia Simonet at Sierra Nevada College researched laughter in dogs. She found that there was a frequency difference in the sound of regular dog panting and what she classified as laughter. She and her team also found that when they played the laughing sound in animal shelters, it seemed to calm down the dogs. When your dog is seemingly having a good time, listen for something that sounds something like “hhuh-hhuh” as well as an open mouth and their tongue out.

Like people, all are dogs are different. Some may have more personality or a greater sense of humor while others prefer to cuddle up with you and sleep the day away. Some may laugh a lot during play or when they’re enjoying themselves, while others might show that they’re having fun in other ways. It’s important to observe your own pup and see what makes them the happiest. After all, that’s all we want for our four-legged friends!

How do dogs laugh

Marley had jumped up on our bed, as he is allowed to do, but the rule is that he has to get down if he is asked to do so. On this particular night, he seemed exhausted and eager to go to bed. Once ensconced in his favorite spot, he avoided eye contact with all of us. Wherever our faces were, he was looking the other way.

I proposed the idea that perhaps he was trying to avoid being told to get down off the bed, in an “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me” kind of way. This was pure guesswork, but the rest of my family thought it was funny because it really seemed to fit.

We began to act like him, looking away, pretending that nobody could tell us it was bedtime or anything else we didn’t want to hear, and we were all laughing. I caught a glance at Marley, and he looked really unhappy, which is when I said, “I wonder if he feels bad because we’re laughing at him.”

In truth we found Marley endearing and funny, and meant no disrespect, but how did he perceive it? Dogs are so in tune with our emotions and actions, and they are obviously intensely social beings, so it seems possible that he felt himself the object of derision where none was intended.

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It made me sad to contemplate the idea, and my husband and kids felt the same way. We stopped laughing immediately and began to pet Marley as we usually would when we’re all about to go to bed. Soon Marley looked happy again, though still tired.

It’s no fun being laughed at, and it does happen to dogs, whether our intent is hurtful or not. Do you think your dog can tell if others are laughing at his expense?

What do dogs hear when we talk

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.

People talk to their adult dogs as if they were puppies.

We often say the same sweet, nonsensical things to our dogs that we say to our babies—and in almost the same slow, high-pitched voice. Now, scientists have shown that puppies find our pooch-directed speech exciting, whereas older dogs are somewhat indifferent. The findings show, for the first time, that young dogs respond to this way of talking, and that it may help them learn words—as such talk does with human babies.

To find out how dogs reacted to human speech, Nicolas Mathevon, a bioacoustician at the University of Lyon in Saint Étienne, France, and his colleagues first recorded the voices of 30 women as they looked at a dog’s photograph and read from a script, “Hi! Hello cutie! Who’s a good boy? Come here! Good boy! Yes! Come here sweetie pie! What a good boy!” (The scientists were afraid the women would ad lib if they spoke to a real dog.) The women also repeated the passage to a person.

When the scientists compared the human- and dog-directed speech, they found that, as expected, the women spoke in distinctive, high-pitched, sing-song tones to the pooches—but not the humans. “It didn’t matter if it was a puppy or an adult dog,” Mathevon says. But the women did speak at an even higher pitch when looking at puppy photos.

Next, the researchers played these recordings in short trials with 10 puppies and 10 adult dogs at a New York City animal shelter and videotaped their responses. Nine of the puppies reacted strongly, barking and running toward the loudspeaker even when the recording had been made for an older dog, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Some even bent toward the loudspeaker in a play bow, a pose meant to initiate horseplay, suggesting they may regard dog-directed speech as “an invitation to play,” Mathevon says. The puppies were less interested in the recordings of the women speaking to the person. And the adult dogs? “They didn’t care at all,” Mathevon says. It made no difference if they heard speech directed at puppies, older dogs, or humans. “They had a quick look at the speaker, and then ignored it.”

A dog listening to puppy talk.

The scientists aren’t sure why the adult dogs were so disinterested. It may be that they need to interact with an actual person, not a disembodied voice, or that they need to hear a familiar voice, Mathevon says. But for the puppies, the women’s exaggerated, high-pitched, dog-directed speech served a purpose: “It got their attention,” says Mathevon, who thinks this way of talking may help them learn words, just as our baby talk helps human infants learn language. Other research, however, disputes this idea.

Still, the study shows that even in our speech “we care for and treat dogs of all ages like human infants,” which is likely “an important part of their success in human environments,” says Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University in Corvallis who was not involved with the work.

The scientists don’t yet know whether puppies have an innate response to dog-directed speech or whether it is something they learn. It will also take further study to figure out whether the words in dog-directed speech mean something more to the puppies, or whether it helps them learn words. In the meantime, when you speak doggy to your puppy, be sure you’re ready to play.

Do you ever wonder if your precious pooch can understand your declarations of love? Well, recent studies suggest that younger puppies respond positively to dog-directed speech and it may even help them learn words. Read on as we take a look at how dogs interpret language.

Pet-parents

The science behind human-pet relationships have been a mystery for years. But recent studies suggest that adult women show similar brain activation when looking at a picture of their dog and their children. Similar patterns of social cognition, emotion and affiliation are commonalities amongst pet parents and mothers.

It’s no shock that over 80% of pet owners see themselves as ‘pet-parents’ . Therefore, when speaking to dogs, people are more likely to imitate a similar speaking pattern to infant-directed speech. This includes a higher pitch and slower tempo. Infants and children respond positively to this form of speech as it holds their attention and promotes language learning. Now science says that younger dogs and puppies may have a comparable reaction.

Doggy research

Animal behaviourists highlight that people care for their dogs like human infants and “part of their success in human environments” is to maintain mutual understanding and empathy. Therefore, the acoustics of speech are important when communicating with your pet. Bioacousticians at the University of Lyon in Saint Etienne have gone a step further and have launched research into how dogs react to human speech.

The scientists recorded 30 women reciting a script, first in front of a photograph of a pup and then to a person. When comparing the data, they found that unsurprisingly the women spoke in high-pitched tones when looking at the picture of the dog, but weirdly not the person.

After replaying the recordings, 9 out of the 10 puppies had a strong reaction to the speaker – barking and running around. Scientists claim that this type of dog-directed speech corresponds to “an invitation to play”.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks

However, scientists found that older dogs were less interested in the cooing sounds of the women and were not as responsive as the younger pets. This may indicate that older dogs respond more to familiar voices, an actual person rather than a recording, or simply they were not interested in play.

Further research needs to be done to know whether dogs have an innate response to specific dog-directed speech, but the jury is in that dogs respond proactively to high-pitched invitations to play. As if we needed anymore reason to play with our dogs!

While research into acoustics is based more on vibrations, the particles themselves can tell us a lot about the world we live in. ‘Fast Analysis of Particle Shape and Size with Dynamic Image Analysis’ explores how we can gain more information when analysing particles.

It’s an unspoken rule that humans can only communicate with dogs in Puppy Voice — you know, the stupid one with the high pitch. According to a new study, it’s not just humans who love this ridiculous charade.

Researchers at the University of York report pooches respond better to dog-directed speech (DDS) as opposed to when we talk to them like, well, people. To test this theory, researchers rounded up 37 dogs and had them listen to a person talking to them in “dog-speak” — the classic high-pitched voice, coupled with “dog-relevant” phrases (e.g. “Do you wanna go to the park?” “Who’s a good boy?”). Then, people would speak to the dogs in flatter tones about more mundane things (e.g. “I went to the cinema last night”).

“This form of speech is known to share some similarities with the way in which humans talk to their pet dogs, known as dog-directed speech,” Katie Slocombe from the University of York’s Department of Psychology says in a statement. “This high-pitched rhythmic speech is common in human interactions with dogs in western cultures, but there isn’t a great deal known about whether it benefits a dog in the same way that it does a baby.”

The team found that the dogs chose to spend more time with the people who spoke to them in “dog-speak” using “dog relevant” words. It’s the combination of pitch and content that the dogs feel most favorably about. The group’s findings have been published in the journal Animal Cognition.

“When we mixed-up the two types of speech and content, the dogs showed no preference for one speaker over the other,” Alex Benjamin, a Ph.D. student from the University of York’s Department of Psychology, says. “This suggests that adult dogs need to hear dog-relevant words spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice in order to find it relevant.”

Since 37 dogs seems a little low for a sample, we decided to do a little very unscientific research of our own. On Wednesday, I tweeted out a question asking pet owners to tell me if they speak to their furbabies in a ridiculous voice. Here are just some of the replies:

What do dogs hear when we talk

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 do dogs hear when we talk

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.

Until now, scientists didn’t know that the canines understand both our words and the tone in which we say them.

It doesn’t take a scientific study for dog owners to believe that their pets know what they’re saying. (We cat owners are a little less certain.)

But it’s not always clear exactly what Fido is paying attention to.

When we say “Good dog!” dogs hear both the words we say and how we say them, new brain scans show. For people, both the word and intonation are important, but no one knew—until now—whether that was also the case for dogs. (See “Dogs Are Even More Like Us Than We Thought.”)

In a study published August 29 in Science, scientists found the canine brain also processes the information in a similar way as humans.

“I’m quite excited by this finding. It’s really exciting to see such close correspondence between brain activity in humans and dogs,” said Chris Petkov, a neuropsychologist at the U.K.’s University of Newcastle who was not involved in the study.

Dog Brains Are a Lot Like Ours

Study leader and dog lover Attila Andics started studying canines as a way to understand how the mammalian brain processes language.

The first step was not an easy one: Training dogs to remain absolutely still in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. It took several months for dog trainers to work their magic on 13 pet dogs that live in Hungary, including six border collies, four golden retrievers, one German shepherd, and one Chinese crested.

“The hardest part was getting them to understand that they needed to lie absolutely still. Once they realized that we meant completely still, it worked out great,” says Andics, an ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. (See “Can Dogs Feel Our Emotions? Yawn Study Suggests Yes.”)

The dogs in the fMRI scans can pull out their heads at any time.

In 2014, Andics and colleagues showed how the brains of the same 13 dogs respond to various vocalizations, like grunts, barks, whines, and shouts, from both people and other dogs. Happy and fearful sounds activated similar brain areas in both species, their study found.

Speech, however, was different. “There’s nothing in nature that’s as complex as human speech,” said Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London who wasn’t part of the new study.

‘That’s a Good Dog’

So with the same group of 13 dogs, Andics and colleagues played recordings of their owners talking in four different ways: A praising word (such as the Hungarian word for “clever” or “that’s it”) in a praising tone, a neutral word in a neutral tone, a praising word in a neutral tone, and a neutral word in a praising tone.

His neuroimaging results showed that the left hemisphere of the dogs’ brains responded to the word itself, and that their right hemisphere responded to intonation. (See “5 Amazing Stories of Devoted Dogs.”)

However, it took both a praise word and a praising tone to activate the dog’s reward center. In other words, your pet knows when you’re praising them and you actually mean it.

“For some dogs, praise might be enough to get them to do what you want. In this study, we treated our dogs like happy volunteers who wanted to please us,” Andics said.

The key to good dog behavior, then, is letting your pet know that they really are a good dog.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Harris. Harris Wonders, “how do dogs hear things we cant” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Harris!

Shhhh! Did you hear something?

No? Ok, we didn’t either.

But if you didn’t hear anything…and we didn’t hear anything…then why is Wonderpup barking and jumping around?

Have you ever wondered how dogs and other animals can hear things that we can’t? Do they really have better hearing than we do?

From a baby’s sigh to a cruise ship foghorn, the average human ear can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hertz . This is quite a range . Even though you can’t see it, sound — just like light — is a traveling wave.

Humans perceive frequency of sound waves as pitch, or low and high notes. Sounds around 20 Hertz are very low, while sounds close to 20,000 Hertz are very high. Before you go bragging about having the best sense of hearing in the family, you should know that your family pet can hear about two times better than you!

If you have ever watched a dog listen, you will notice that they have the ability to move their ears in different directions. This helps them locate the exact source of a sound. If you’re watching television and your dog walks into the room, he may move his ears to try and decide whether you’re talking to him or the voice he hears is coming from the television.

Not only can dogs perceive frequencies almost twice that of human ears, they can also hear sounds approximately four times farther away than humans. Imagine you’re in the middle of doing homework with the window open. Suddenly your dog goes running for the door, barking like crazy. It probably seems totally out of the blue, since nobody knocked or rang the doorbell.

A minute later, you hear a couple talking as they pass your house on the sidewalk with their dog. Even though you couldn’t hear the couple until they were right in front of the window, your dog heard all kinds of things long before you did. He heard their footsteps, their voices, even the jingling of tags on their pup’s collar.

This is because dogs have a much better hearing range than we do. What you hear at 20 feet, your dog can hear from 80 feet away. This super sense of hearing makes dogs well suited to guard the house and warn their owners when something is going on.

A dog’s ultra-sensitive hearing is not just good for home protection . Many professional dog trainers use whistles to help with training. Whistles are especially popular for herding activities. By using a high-pitched whistle, it is possible for trainers to send signals to their dogs from great distances without ever saying a word.

Different blasts of the whistle mean different things. A certain blast tells the dogs to lie down, while other blasts of the whistle tell them to change direction or come back in.

Sometimes dogs howl because a certain sound hurts their ears, but that isn’t always the case. In some situations, dogs howl at a noise because they have associated it with particular events. For example, a dog may howl when he hears the jingle of keys in the door, because he knows that means his master is home. Dogs may also howl because they think they have “chased” something away, such as a car or ambulance, by barking at it.

You may have noticed that, as your grandparents get older, their hearing isn’t quite what it used to be. Even with their amazing sense of hearing, the same is true for dogs. Just like young people tend to have better hearing than older people, young dogs seem to hear a wider range of sounds than older dogs.

Think dogs have the ultimate sound system? Think again. There are many creatures in the animal kingdom that hear much better than dogs.

Before the award for best hearing goes to the dogs, it’s important to note that cats actually have better hearing than canines. A cat’s ear contains 30 different muscles, which allow it to rotate in many different directions. The shape of a cat ear funnels sound inside, carrying all kinds of information with it. A cat’s sense of hearing is so exceptional , in fact, it can tell the difference between a human opening a regular cupboard door or the cupboard door with cans of cat food behind it.

Wonder Contributors

We’d like to thank:

Nora and leila
for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!

Date: November 26, 2014 Source: Cell Press Summary: When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said — those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences — but also to other features of that speech — the emotional tone and the speaker’s gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech. Share:

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said–those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences–but also to other features of that speech–the emotional tone and the speaker’s gender, for instance. Now, a report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on November 26 provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.

“Although we cannot say how much or in what way dogs understand information in speech from our study, we can say that dogs react to both verbal and speaker-related information and that these components appear to be processed in different areas of the dog’s brain,” says Victoria Ratcliffe of the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex.

Previous studies showed that dogs have hemispheric biases–left brain versus right–when they process the vocalization sounds of other dogs. Ratcliffe and her supervisor David Reby say it was a logical next step to investigate whether dogs show similar biases in response to the information transmitted in human speech. They played speech from either side of the dog so that the sounds entered each of their ears at the same time and with the same amplitude.

“The input from each ear is mainly transmitted to the opposite hemisphere of the brain,” Ratcliffe explains. “If one hemisphere is more specialized in processing certain information in the sound, then that information is perceived as coming from the opposite ear.”

If the dog turned to its left, that showed that the information in the sound being played was heard more prominently by the left ear, suggesting that the right hemisphere is more specialized in processing that kind of information.

The researchers did observe general biases in dogs’ responses to particular aspects of human speech. When presented with familiar spoken commands in which the meaningful components of words were made more obvious, dogs showed a left-hemisphere processing bias, as indicated by turning to the right. When the intonation or speaker-related vocal cues were exaggerated instead, dogs showed a significant right-hemisphere bias.

“This is particularly interesting because our results suggest that the processing of speech components in the dog’s brain is divided between the two hemispheres in a way that is actually very similar to the way it is separated in the human brain,” Reby says.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that dogs actually understand everything that we humans might say or that they have a human-like ability of language–far from it. But, says Ratcliffe, these results support the idea that our canine companions are paying attention “not only to who we are and how we say things, but also to what we say.”

All of this should come as good news to many of us dog-loving humans, as we spend considerable time talking to our respective pups already. They might not always understand you, but they really are listening.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Dogs can understand what humans say and how we say it, a groundbreaking new study has found. But while man’s best friend is smarter than most animals, dogs are still not that technologically savvy.

Scientists who studied brain activity in some dogs say canines can distinguish words and the intonation of human speech the way humans do. A group of trained dogs in Hungary helped researchers make that discovery by undergoing fMRI brain scans while listening to audio recordings of their trainers. The researchers found that certain words sparked activity in different hemispheres of the brain.

But while evidence shows dogs can register and understand audio recordings, experts say pet owners should expect their four-legged friends to blatantly ignore them during video chats through FaceTime or Skype.

“When you hear someone live or you hear someone via headphones, there’s not much of a difference for dogs, but seeing someone live or on a screen seems to be very different,” said Dr. Attila Andics, a research fellow at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest who led the new dog cognition study published in the journal Science.

Andics said his team has previously run several studies on how dogs process small screens. They found that while dogs realize they are looking at a human’s face on screen, the stimulus isn’t enough for them to recognize it’s their owner on the other side. “Realistic size matters,” he said. “If the size is not realistic, you become something small in a little box.”

Andics added that more studies using brain imaging will attempt to unravel the mystery behind exactly what dogs can understand, including tests to find out whether the animals can process grammar and syntax. “This is a very exciting field of research. I think it’s really exciting,” he said. “Human language research is just enormous. This is just the first study on dogs. We will see what ways open up for us.”

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite car jam or playing relaxing classical for home study or relaxation, music has a profound effect on mood. It can pump us up, calm us down, inspire us, help us celebrate, or comfort us in grief. But what about our furry home companions—how does the music we play affect our cats and dogs?

A Bit of Science

First, it’s important to understand that the hearing of cats and dogs is profoundly more sensitive than our own. For example, a healthy person with good hearing can perceive frequencies as high as 20,000 hertz. Any higher frequencies are inaudible to us. Dogs, however, can hear frequencies as high as 40,000 hertz, and can detect a sound at 4 times the distance compared with people. Cats, even more amazingly, can hear sound frequencies as high as 64,000 hertz.

And not only are our pet able to her sounds we cannot, they react to sound differently. Most human music is based on familiar rhythms (such the human heart or the slap of waves on a beach), and most of our music (human speech) resides in the frequencies between 80 and 180 hertz. So, the way they communicate (in terms of the sound frequencies we use) differs greatly from how our pets hear and process sound.

Cats and Music

Cats, as you may suspect, have presented a bit of a riddle to scientists who’ve attempted to determine their musical preferences. One thing investigators seem to agree on is that cats do not like loud music. However, in tests, cats didn’t seem to show any affection for any specific genre—classical, rock, soft rock, reggae, country, etc.

So why is it so difficult to determine cats’ musical preferences? Part of the answer may be that, unlike dogs, cats do not typically vocalize as a way to communicate with each other. Nor do they communicate in packs (like wolves or coyotes). So determining what role music plays in the emotional lives of cats has been more challenging and continues to be an area of ongoing investigation.

Dogs and Music

Canine history can trace its path back to wild ancestral dogs living and hunting in packs. This social aspect of dog behavior seems to have had an effect on the way dogs perceive and process music. We’ve all seen the Youtube videos of pet owners encouraging their dogs to howl. What’s striking is that music is often playing in these clips, suggesting that music creates a prompt, or at least a favorable environment to encourage dogs to vocalize.

Pack behavior gives us some clues as to why this works. If you’ve ever been camping and listened to the distant sound of wolves or coyotes, you’ve probably noticed how their howls seem to key around a specific tone. That’s because dogs, unlike cats, can discern pitch. And more importantly, they can alter their vocalizations to a specific pitch (as when howling together). This ability gives dogs and humans a unique shared characteristic—we each make “musical” vocalizations based on our own communication. It is believed that this is why humans and dogs are able to bond through music.

This ability to communicate through non-spoken language has helped dogs and humans form a unique bond. Music can be a useful tool to help calm our dogs when they’re anxious, and can also be used as a training aid to reinforce desired behaviors.

Music and Your Pet

If you’re a pet owner, you can try a simple experiment at home. Try playing different genres of music (at low volume) for your pets and observe how they react. Do some genres produce agitation while others encourage calm? By determining your pet’s music preferences, you can select playlists that encourage your pet to stay calm while you’re away from home, settle your pet during a thunderstorm, or just play some good cuddling music.

Editor’s Note: Ever wonder how your dog recognizes human commands? A 2016 study sheds lights on a dog’s ability to process human speech.

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

They can also hear sounds four times further away — so what human ears can hear from 20 feet away; our dogs can hear from 80 feet away.

How far away can a dog hear a human voice?

Where you might be able to hear something roughly 50-100 feet away, you dog can hear something as far away as a quarter of a mile, sometimes even farther. Dog’s ears are also built in a formation that helps them receive sound waves more clearly than humans.

Can my dog hear my voice over the phone?

The sound frequency of a cell phone falls between the 6,000-20,000 Hz range. This is smack dab in the center of a dog’s ability to hear. With that, yes, your dog can hear you. Your dog can also recognize you.

What is the auditory range of a dog?

Dogs. The hearing ability of a dog is dependent on breed and age, though the range of hearing is usually around 67 Hz to 45 kHz. As with humans, some dog breeds’ hearing ranges narrow with age, such as the German shepherd and miniature poodle.

How far away can my dog sense me?

If more air passes through their nose they have more chance to pick up smells. How far dogs can smell depends on many things, such as the wind and the type of scent. Under perfect conditions, they have been reported to smell objects or people as far as 20km away.

Can dogs smell their owners?

But what the present article supports is that it is indeed smell that is the clearest way that dogs recognize their owners and other familiar people. Smell (or “olfaction” in the animal research world) plays a major role in how dogs recognize others.

Can dogs hear good?

Dogs are known for having much keener senses than their owners, but just how much better than us are they at hearing? It’s not only that dogs can hear “better” than humans. They can hear a wider range of frequencies as well as detecting quieter sounds due to their predator past.

What do dogs hear when we talk?

Dogs hear nearly twice as many frequencies as humans. … Your dog might not understand everything you say, but he listens and pays attention similar to the way humans do. The researchers discovered that dogs — like humans — respond not only to the words we say to them, but also to the emotional tone of our voices.

Can dogs recognize faces?

Dogs do pay attention to human faces, Andics, said. “They read emotions from faces and they can recognize people from the face alone, but other bodily signals seem to be similarly informative to them.” … “They go through a several months-long training,” Andics said.

Do dogs recognize themselves in the mirror?

Dogs do not have the ability to recognize their own reflection in a mirror the way humans and some other animals are able to. … They will always treat their reflection like another dog or just simply ignore it.

What frequency can kill you?

The most dangerous frequency is at the median alpha-rhythm frequencies of the brain: 7 hz. This is also the resonant frequency of the body’s organs.

What sounds do dogs hear best?

Dogs respond well to happy, excited, and high-pitched sounds. These tones encourage them to come to you. Use quiet and soothing sounds instead if the dog looks a little nervous about approaching. If you want them to slow down instead, say “woah” or slow your speech.

Can dogs see in the dark?

In the anatomical structure of the eye, the retina has light-sensitive cells, called rods, which help an animal or human see in low light. Dogs have more of these rods than we do. … So, dogs can see in the dark, and other low-light situations, better than humans.

Why does my dog stare at me so much?

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.

What colors can dogs see?

Dogs possess only two types of cones and can only discern blue and yellow – this limited color perception is called dichromatic vision.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Does their amazing hearing explain their ability to pick up on changes in the weather? And other natural events, like earthquakes? And how do our ears compare to our pets? Let’s take a closer look.

Updated on the 03/05/2022 17:55

Since humans first domesticated dogs, we’ve always suspected they have a sixth sense. But it turns out they don’t; they just have a few super senses, including their hearing. But what can dogs hear with those cute, furry ears?

What do dogs hear when we talk to them?

Dogs can hear sound from up to four times further away than us humans. However, our dogs don’t really understand words like sit, stay, and rollover – or at least not in the way humans understand language.

Instead, pooches respond to the way we say things, including tone, pitch, and body language. For example, if you told your dog that he’s a very naughty boy (which, of course, he isn’t) in the same voice you use to give him some praise, he’d probably start wagging his tail and come looking for a few cuddles.

How do I tell my dog I love him?

Studies have shown that a dog’s brain contains a hormone called oxytocin, a chemical also present in the human brain. It plays a crucial role in pair bonding and forming family times; it’s sometimes referred to as the ‘love hormone.’ So while the words I love you won’t mean much to a dog, they’re more than capable of experiencing the emotion.

As long as you fill the words with all the love you have for your dog, they’ll understand what your saying. And scratch behind your dog’s ear and give them a few extra belly rubs – positive physical contact releases oxytocin and other ‘love’ hormones, including dopamine and serotonin.

How can dogs hear better than humans?

Your dog’s ears are designed to pick up higher frequencies and hear sounds over great distances. This is partly down to the position of the ears and their unique shape. Dog ears are often perched on top of the head, and their cupped shaped means they ‘catch’ more sound waves.

Most of the dog breeds with the best hearing range have perched, cupped ears; they include the German Shepherd, Chihuahua, and the Boston Terrier. And unlike their owners, dogs can move their ears in different directions. Your average pooch has 18 muscles in and around their ears, so they can raise them, tilt them, and rotate them to pinpoint the location of a particular sound.

What sounds can dogs hear that humans cannot?

Sound is a pressure wave created by a vibrating object. Sound frequency refers to the number of vibrations within one minute – we call this hertz (Hz). And a higher frequency of vibrations per minute equals a higher Hz. Humans can hear sounds ranging from 20hz to 20,000 Hz. We speak in ranges between 1,000 Hz to 5,000 Hz, and overexposure to our maximum hearing range can result in partial or full hearing loss.

In contrast, dogs hear frequencies of up to 65,000 Hz! This means they can pick up many sounds that pass us by, including high pitched sounds from a dog whistle used for obedience training. Experts suspect dogs can also hear the beginnings of a thunderstorm long before us humans, as well as the vibrations coming from beneath the ground before an earthquake.

What frequency will hurt a dog’s ears?

Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing, but it’s certainly not limitless. Anything above 36,000 Hz will be very painful and may cause hearing damage.

Dogs also suffer hearing loss as they get older. If you’re worried about their hearing, there’s a specially designed hearing test for dogs. The Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is an electro-magnetic test that evaluates responses to auditory stimulation, which is usually a set of clicks.

What Hz makes dogs go crazy?

Frequencies above 25,000 Hz can become irritating for dogs. They may start to whine, whimper, bark, or just run away from the source of the noise.

So it looks (or should we say sounds?) like our dogs are even more amazing than we thought. Their hearing abilities put ours to shame, and our adorable fur babies know precisely what we mean when we say ‘I love you.’ Just don’t say it too loud. Dogs ears are cute, but they’re also super sensitive!

What do dogs hear when we talk

Ashley is a freelance writer based in Manchester. He grew up around pooches, but (unfortunately) he doesn’t have the time or space for one of his own. So he volunteers with a local dog-walking agency in his spare time. It’s definitely the best part of his week!

Dog Translator Game makes it fun to play with your pet. Get closer to your dog with Dog Translator, application.

People say about this app:

“I love this app so much. It’s so funny when my dogs react to them lol!” – MJ thedogpark

“It helps a lot with my dogs and now I can train them” – valer)[email protected]

Hint: Shake the phone to enter the hidden game

Please leave a review for my app if you like it.

What’s New

– Settings screen fixed and UI updated
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If you like my app, please leave review in app store, it’s so important for me

Ratings and Reviews

Best Dog translator app ever!

I personally love this app and all the others because I have a dog and a cat and they seem to respond when I use this app, when I say hello using this app they look at me and meow or bark. If you are reading this then thank you for putting time aside to read my review and you should definitely get this app. By the way when I say something once, and then I do it again they sound almost the same just in a different tone of voice. The developers of this app did a really great job on making this! I have tried many other ways to communicate with my pets with their language but they never seem to understand or take it the wrong way, this app helped me to have a closer bond with my pets by being able to talk to them and let them understand what I’m saying. P.S. You should get this app as I said briefly before, this app helps me talk to my pets and become closer with them.

Kinda

OK my dog has a problem with attacking people and I thought that this would help but it doesn’t so I don’t think he understands the language like is there anyway that you guys can put it in a great Dane or like in any other language for dogs because it’s not coming out clear to him and when I told him to say he jumped up and yeah so that’s a big problem and I thought it would help him and it’s not just like the app there’s a problem is sometimes 10 but yeah if you guys could just like fix that and make it loud enough I have my volume up all the way and it still sounds like nothing is coming out and my phone is not broken I just got a new phone so yeah so his name is Apollo he is almost 6 months he has a problem with biting and I said that this Apple help you know but Internet so could you please make it louder and leave us be able to switch the language other than that it’s perfectly fine the app is great I love it so yeah that’s the only problem that I’m having with it as of right now so maybe that could help you in the future I have no idea just please improve your app because I would really love to use it because it’s the only one that does not cost money

I’m confused. So. I see different drawings of a beagle or whatever it’s supposed to be.. then I push them in front of my dog. and he perks his ears up. That’s all. Some communication. 😑Anyways, I see a microphone button, I push it, and it says speak. I said “Hello Benny!” (My dogs name) to see what happens. Um. Now what? Nothing happens. “hello Benny!” I say again. Nothing. I’m not even sure what this app does. Wow, great, it made a dog noise. . . that not even my dog understands. But I push the button again, the “mad” one. (It looked like it was ready to play, but with a mad face. what?) my dog looks at me like I’m crazy. Ha! Overall, this doesn’t do anything for me. I recommend you don’t download this unless you get a thrill out of hearing a “dog” bark. No need to download this. Move on to another game people!
P.S. I’m only doing five stars to get all sounds (a review gave me this advice.
FINAL EDIT: okay that doesn’t even work.

What do dogs hear when we talk

They prick up their furry ears and discern sounds just like we do. Yes, we are talking about dogs sharing a sensory human characteristic. Not in the way they move, or the expression in their eyes but in the way they perceive sound. Several willing and highly trained dogs participated in an experiment led by researchers at Eötvös Loránd University who unveiled new and interesting facts about our most loyal pets. The research revealed that dogs have areas in their brains devoted to processing sounds and emotions just like humans do. Let’s find out how the team of experts came to this conclusion.

The experiment

The brain responses of 22 men and 11 dogs were compared while they were played recordings of an identical set of stimuli, which included three sound types: human vocalisations, dog vocalisations, non-vocal environmental sounds, and a silent baseline. Six golden retrievers and five border collies were specially trained to remain relaxed and motionless in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. This device was able to track any changes in blood flow to the brain that would indicate neural activity. The researchers found that the voice processing areas in both man and dog were stimulated to a higher degree by sounds produced by their own species, and in both cases the activity detected in the brain changed according to the emotion showed in the recordings. These findings provided the first evidence of the existence of voice receptor areas in the brains of dogs, or in any non-primate brain for that matter. And the surprises did not end there: the dogs even showed reactions to non-vocal sounds where the humans did not.In addition, our four-legged friends were more attuned to the sounds of humans than humans were receptive to canine sounds. This ability of the dogs to react to our vocalisations was explained by the 15 thousand or so years dogs have spent in human company. However the experts also had an advanced hypothesis – the existence of a common ancestor in dogs and humans, which supposedly lived thousands of years ago.

Dogs hear like humans, but what about the other animals?

The analogy detected in sound perception between man and dog came as little surprise to the researchers from the Eötvös Loránd University. A spokesperson said: “We know that dogs are already in tune with the feelings of their owners, and we know that a good owner can detect the emotional changes in his dog, but now we begin to understand why.” However the focus now moves to other mammals: do all species share this hearing perception peculiarity or does the dog remain man’s best friend for exclusively sharing this auditory characteristic with him?

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A police dog called Diesel was killed in an anti-terrorism raid in the Parisian district of Saint Denis on November 18. Not only was she praised by the French police for.

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.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Barking is a form of communication, and it’s completely normal dog behaviour. However, if the amount your dog barks increases or becomes excessive, it can be a sign that something isn’t right – and it may cause problems for other people as well as for you.

If this happens, it’s important to address any underlying problems that could be causing your dog to bark more. Let’s take a look at why dogs bark and what you can do if it becomes a problem.

Why do dogs bark?

Dogs bark for many different reasons. It might be to express how they are feeling – for example, when they’re excited, frustrated, bored or scared. If a dog feels threatened, they may bark to tell somebody to stay away or leave.

Other times, dogs may bark because they want something in particular, such as their favourite toy. Dogs may also bark when they’re in distress, for example when they’re left alone.

If your dog is barking excessively or more than usual, you need to figure out the cause. There may be an underlying health issue – such as problems with your dog’s hearing – that could be causing the barking. If you suspect your dog’s hearing is suffering, or that they may have another health problem, speak to your vet.

If your vet doesn’t find anything wrong, they may refer you to a clinical animal behaviourist, who’ll be able to put a treatment plan together for you and your dog.

How to stop your dog barking excessively

Here are some things you can do to help stop your dog from barking too much.

  • Prevent boredom – dogs are intelligent, active and social animals, so they need lots of exercise, things to do and company to keep them happy and healthy. If your dog is bored, they might spend more time barking. Make sure your dog has enough to do every day to stop them from getting bored.
  • Get them into a good routine – your dog may be barking to communicate they want to play, or that they want food or attention. Make sure that you have a daily routine in place for your dog that includes meal times, play and exercise, at around the same time each day. A good routine can help your dog to know what and when activities are going to happen and may help stop them barking for activities at other times!

If your dog barks when left alone

If your dog is barking when you’re not around, they may be in distress. Separation-related behaviour, known as separation anxiety, can show itself in a number of ways, including barking. The good news is that there are things you can do to help, which would also help reduce the barking.

If your dog barks at visitors or passers-by

Some dogs bark at people passing by your house or garden. You can try preventing your dog from seeing anybody passing the house by reducing their access to windows or gardens.

It’s a good idea to have tasty treats and exciting toys to hand, as you can use these to distract your dog should they hear somebody. Start to feed or play with your dog once they’ve become quiet. It’s best to seek the help of a dog trainer or behaviour expert if your dog is behaving in this way – they can put a training plan in place to reduce the behaviour.

If you’re concerned about a barking dog

The occasional bark or ‘woof’ is usually not a problem for neighbours and others in the community, but when barking becomes disruptive, it’s often considered unacceptable and unpleasant to many people. If you’re concerned about a dog barking excessively near you, here’s what to do:

Sophie Jacques previously received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Partners

Dalhousie University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.

Dalhousie University provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA-FR.

Languages

Humans are unique in their ability to develop sophisticated language abilities. Language allows us to communicate with each other and live in complex societies. It is key to our advanced cognitive abilities and technological prowess.

As a developmental psychologist, I have extensively studied the role of language in children’s cognitive development, especially their executive functions – the cognitive skills that allow them to control their behaviour, plan for the future, solve difficult problems and resist temptation.

Executive functions

The development of executive functions occurs slowly over the course of childhood. As they get older, children get better at organizing their thoughts and controlling their behaviours and emotions. In fact, humans are the only known species to develop advanced executive functions, although other species like birds, primates and dogs have rudimentary executive functions similar to young children.

In humans, our ability to develop executive functions has been linked to our language development. Language permits us to form and hold representations of our goals and plans in mind, allowing us to govern our behaviour over the long term.

What is not clear is whether language actually causes the emergence of executive functions, and whether the relation between language and executive functions exists only in humans.

Canine behaviour

For humans, studying dogs offers the perfect opportunity to consider these questions. First, dogs possess rudimentary executive functions. These can be measured in a variety of ways, including asking owners about their dogs’ ability to control their behaviours, as well as behavioural tests designed to assess dogs’ control abilities.

Second, not only do we expose dogs regularly to human language, but research also indicates that dogs can perceive different words and can learn to respond to specific words. For example, three dogs — two border collies named Chaser and Rico, and a Yorkshire terrier named Bailey — learned to respond to over 1,000, 200 and 100 words, respectively.

What do dogs hear when we talk

However, many dog language studies have been limited in scope, either examining the word-based responses of only one or a small sample of dogs, or the responses of multiple dogs but only to select words.

One exception was a study in which 37 dog owners were asked to list words they believed their dogs responded to consistently. Owners reported that their dogs responded to an average of 29 words, although this likely is an underestimation. Indeed, research using a similar free-recall approach with parents shows that they are prone to forget many words when asked to generate lists of words to which their babies respond consistently.

Communicating with dogs

Research with human infants does provide a solution for systematically and reliably assessing word-based responding in large samples of dogs. Arguably the best and most widely used measure of early language abilities of infants is the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories, a parent-report checklist of words responded to consistently. Remarkably, the number of words selected on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory predicts children’s language development years later.

In 2015, I began a collaboration with psychologist Catherine Reeve, at the time a graduate student working on dogs’ scent detection abilities. Our goal was to develop a similar measure of vocabulary for use with dog owners that we could then use to examine links between language and executive functions.

We developed a list of 172 words organized in different categories (for example, toys, food, commands, outdoor places) and gave it to an online sample of 165 owners of family and professional dogs. We asked them to select words that their dogs responded to consistently.

We found that, on average, service dogs respond to about 120 words, whereas family pets respond to about 80 words, ranging between 15 to 215 words across all dogs. We also found that certain breed groups, such as herding dogs like border collies and toy dogs like chihuahuas, respond to more words and phrases than other breed types like terriers, retrievers and mixed breeds.

What do dogs hear when we talk

What we don’t yet know is whether dogs who respond to more words also have better executive functions. We recently assessed 100 dogs on a behavioural measure of executive functions and had their owners identify words on our vocabulary checklist. We are now analysing the results.

I first became interested in studying dogs to see what they might tell us about child development. That said, this research might also provide important practical information about dogs. For example, it is very expensive to train puppies for service work and many do not make the final cut. However, if early word-based responding abilities predict later behavioural and cognitive abilities, our measure could become an early and simple tool to help predict which dogs are likely to become good service animals.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Hi, we’re Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. If you’ve come to this page you probably want to know a little bit more about what we do – and we’re really excited to tell you.

There are lots of inspirational stories and photos on this site which you can explore at your leisure, but here are the 8 most important things you might like to know.

1. We train clever dogs to help deaf people

That’s what we do in a nutshell – we train dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds they would otherwise miss – sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives, and can even save them.

2. Hearing dogs help deaf people reconnect with life

What do dogs hear when we talk

But our clever canines do so much more than alert their recipient to sounds.

Deafness can be a very isolating disability. A hearing dog can give a deaf person a newfound sense of independence and confidence now they have a loyal companion and a true friend by their side.

3. Our dogs have even saved lives

As if this wasn’t enough – hearing dogs have saved countless lives in their important role; fire alarms sounding at the dead of night, alerting them to the shouts of a loved one who is in peril, even saving their deaf partners from potential car thieves!

Dogs are known for their loyalty and love – and we see these valuable traits in a hearing dog every day.

4. We’ve helped thousands of deaf people so far, and we aim to help many more

What do dogs hear when we talk

We have matched thousands of our adorable dogs with deaf people since our humble beginnings in 1982. At the moment, we have almost 1,000 working hearing dog partnerships across the UK.

When a hearing dog retires at about the age of 11, their deaf partner is able to reapply for a new dog – and a lot of them keep their former hearing dogs as pets!

Many of our deaf partners are keen to continue life with a hearing dog, but in some cases other types of personalised support may be more suitable, so we will always talk to people about the other ways we can help.

The cost to train and support each hearing dog throughout their lifetime is £40,000 – so we rely heavily on our amazing supporters to help us change lives. It really is all down to people like you, who give up time, effort and money to help us create many life-changing partnerships. But there are still so many deaf people whom we can help.

5. We put a lot of time and thought into matching a hearing dog with a deaf person

A hearing dog and their deaf partner need to be carefully matched to ensure the partnership will work well.

So many little things need to be taken into consideration – for example, we wouldn’t match a bouncy, bubbly Labrador with a 70-year-old lady with mobility problems. But that Labrador would make a great companion for a fit 35-year-old who loves going out jogging every morning.

We take these important lifestyle factors very seriously to ensure we make the right match.

6. Our staff and volunteers are really passionate

We are so passionate about training these amazing animals, and it’s a real team effort. And everyone in the Hearing Dogs family has an important part to play.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Dr. Monica Tarantino, DVM, is a small animal veterinarian and writer with five years of general practice, emergency medicine, and geriatric pet health experience. She is certified as a Fear Free doctor. Dr. Tarantino is part of The Spruce Pets’ Veterinary Review Board.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Chris Stein / Getty Images

Dogs are social creatures that live together, and so they need a dog language in order to get along. How dogs communicate with one another is based on a system of common signals. Obviously, dogs can’t talk, so their “language” is comprised of other signals—primarily body language, such as movement and positioning of the ears and tail, as well as how a dog positions himself near other dogs.

Your dog’s ancestors survived by forming packs that hunted together, communally protected young, and defended territory from outsiders. And while two individuals can get along, the more individuals added to a group increase the chance of arguments. Constant fights and injuries weaken the group. Survival depends on every dog—and puppy—in the group staying healthy and productive.

Dog language not only allows dogs to communicate and understand each other. It also is a system used for conflict resolution, including calming signals that head off fights. In fact, once you understand how dogs communicate and the way they interpret your verbal and silent body language, you can better communicate with your puppy.

How Dogs Communicate

Canine communication is a complex system of body language, vocalization, and even scent cues. These signals reinforce the dog’s social position within the group.

Dogs are pretty flexible with members of their family group. That’s why it’s so important to socialize your puppy early and continue throughout his or her life. Your dog considers you—and other people and pets in the household—to be a part of his family group, and acts accordingly.

Why It Matters

Many behavior problems arise from normal dog behaviors such as chewing, barking, and more. Oftentimes, though we think we are being clear by directing and vocalizing to our pets: we are actually are not communicating in a way that our dog can understand. Even though your communication to your pet seems obvious to you, it is often as if trying to understand a foreign language to a dog. They can only interpret the best way they know-how.

If your relationship is to reach its full potential, it is important that you understand how your dog communicates so that you can be more effective at teaching him. Don’t expect puppies (or adult dogs for that matter) to automatically understand and read your mind. Puppies make behavior mistakes because they don’t know any better and more often than not it’s a communication failure on our side! Participating in puppy training classes and working with certified dog trainers from an early age can be very helpful.

Types

Compared to your puppy, humans are hearing-deaf and scent-blind. That makes it impossible for us to understand some of the more subtle signals of the canine language. But by paying close attention to body language and apparent vocal cues that our pets give us, we can learn to interpret the more obvious canine signals.

Dogs evolved with the ability and fascination of paying close attention to the humans they love. So your puppy will meet you halfway, given a chance, and learn a large human vocabulary, particularly when words and tone and training efforts are used with consistency.

Dogs use body language, vocalizations, and scent alone or in combination. Each type of communication has advantages and disadvantages.

Body language is one of the main ways that pets communicate and it can be so subtle that even an experienced dog owner can miss cues from time to time. Being aware of the eye, ear, tail, and body movement and positioning and the various meanings are very important for understanding your pet.

Though it seems subtle, body language is one of the few ways dogs have of communicating with us! Dogs have spent centuries trying to understand humans so as to please them. We could do a lot more to try to understand them. The more time you spend with your pet socializing, going for walks, working with certified trainer’s and purposely paying attention to their body language, the better you will get. The best dog owners are consistent with this.

Sound carries over long distances. Howls, barks, yips, snarls, and growls are more easily understood amongst dogs. However, a bark may alert adversaries as well as pack members, so it’s not effective for stealth communication. Barks can communicate a lot of different messages such as excitement, fear, need for food or water, and more.

Scent signals don’t require the dog’s presence to get a message across. The scent of urination can be left behind to alert other dogs of their presence. Anal gland scents can be left when a dog defecates which is normal or in instances when a dog is extremely nervous or fearful, anal glands may be expressed leaving a lingering odor.

Dogs use combinations of each technique to communicate meaning. Very basically, canine communication is used to either decrease the distance between individuals with signals that ask for attention—a wagging puppy tail, for example—or to increase the distance between individuals with warning signals such as growls.

Researchers trained dogs to sit still for brain scans that showed how they respond to faces and voices.

Many dog owners treat their good boys and girls just like they might care for a tiny human. But a series of recent studies showed that dogs don’t perceive faces and speech the same way people do.

While this might sound sad to the people who love their pups, it gives researchers better insight into how canines think and could help lead to better training.

“These are critters that live with us on a day-to-day basis,” M. Leanne Lilly, an assistant clinical professor in the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine who did not participate in the study, told TODAY. “Understanding how they process that environment is undoubtedly going to help us lead better lives with them.”

What do dogs hear when we talk

Dogs specially trained to sit still in a MRI machine participated in recent studies to help experts understand how dogs process human faces and speech. Courtesy Eniko Kubinyi

In two different studies in the series, researchers looked at how dogs understand human faces and speech by using fMRI, a kind of brain scan that tracks cerebral activity by examining blood flow. All the dogs in the studies went through special training to be able to sit through the imaging without moving.

In the study about recognizing human faces, two groups of dogs — one with 13 dogs the other with 11 dogs — looked at photos of people’s faces. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, used images with scrambled human facial features versus regular photos. The researchers wondered if dogs perceived human faces like primates do, meaning they recognize people mainly by their noses, eyes and mouths. But the pooches had a hard time differentiating the two, meaning they don’t read images of faces the same way humans do.

“The dog brain may not have the same tools to process the inner parts of the face (only eyes, nose, mouth),” Dóra Szabó, a graduate student in the ethology department at Eötvös University in Hungary, told TODAY via email. “The findings are in line with previous behavioral studies, which also reported that dogs cannot recognize their owners based on their inner faces without specific training.”

What do dogs hear when we talk

Even though dogs don’t process photos of human faces the same way as primates do, experts believe dogs still know how to identify who their people are. Courtesy Eniko Kubinyi

While this news might devastate some dog owners, who are certain their pups recognize them, Szabó says this doesn’t mean human’s best friends are clueless about their people.

“Dogs are doing fine with getting information from people’s faces, they just may not use the same mechanism or brain areas as humans,” she said. “Plus, we usually do not only display our emotions on our inner faces (alone); we talk, we move, we sweat.”

Lilly notes that dogs were looking at pictures, not actual faces, so the results indicate how dogs respond to photos.

“It means that dogs probably don’t recognize pictures of us the way that we do, which is probably not having that big of an impact on them,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to change a lot of how we interact with our dogs.”

What do dogs hear when we talk

Dogs are the most popular pet in the world, but how well do we understand them? Over 31 thousand people a month globally are looking for a dog language translator. So you’re not the only one on the planet who doesn’t understand their dog’s language.

That’s why Preply is launching a brand new course, where you can even teach your dog to speak human.

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No more guessing what their barks mean. No more figuring out if they like that new food you bought them. Soon, they’ll be able to tell you exactly what they want in plain old English.

‘Did That Dog Just Speak To Me?’ includes the following classes:

  • Buttons, buttons, buttons: Were you in awe when Bunny went viral on TikTok with his amazing skills! Of course you have. It’s amazing. And your dog could be next to learn. We’ll work with you and your pup to teach this technique, giving them a wide range of words to play (and annoy you) with.
  • Turn that woof into a word: In this revolutionary course, you can teach your dog to sound out human words. It’s not easy, but when you hear your dog utter the words ‘I love you’, it makes it all worth it.

For more information, click here to find out more

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Dogs have high-frequency hearing, which means that they can hear sounds that humans cannot.

Asked by: Janine Kay, by email

Humans can hear frequencies up to about 20kHz, whereas dogs hear up to 45kHz. Almost all mammals have much better high-frequency hearing than other vertebrates – fish, amphibians and reptiles only hear up to about 5kHz, and birds up to 8-12kHz.

It’s not that mammals need high-frequency hearing for communication – most can hear frequencies well above the ones they make themselves. Instead, mammals have adapted in this unique way so they can locate where a sound is coming from. Called ‘binaural spectral-difference cueing’, their special way of hearing works by comparing the frequency range of a sound as it arrives in each ear. Because the ear on the farthest side is partially ‘shadowed’ by the head, some of the frequencies will be absorbed – higher frequencies are absorbed more than lower ones.

But the smaller the head, the less effect it has on lower frequency sounds, so the animal must be able to hear a higher upper frequency limit in order to be able to detect the spectral-difference effect. A mouse needs to hear up to 90kHz to use binaural spectral-difference cues, whereas an elephant manages with just 10kHz. Dogs fall somewhere in the middle because they have smaller heads than us.

Read more:

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Authors

What do dogs hear when we talk

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

What do dogs hear when we talk

Have you ever wondered what is going on behind those adorable dog eyes, slobbery smile and wet snout? Do you ever ponder the idea that your dog actually understands what you are saying? Well, research shows that your dog really does understand you.

According to USA Today, a new study has found that dogs are able to make eye contact and listen for cues from their owners similar to a infant. You know that cute head tilt that your dog sometimes does when you are talking to him? That head tilt may in fact be a sign that your dog is understanding your facial expressions and cues.

Dogs look at our eye contact and body language to figure out what we want them to do. This study looked at several different dogs behavior after watching two separate videos. In each case the dogs responded almost identical to the infants that were studied along with them. The researcher, Topal, believes dogs pick up these human-like tendencies after generations of bonding with humans.

It is surprising how much a dog can sense just by observing our facial expressions. Here are 5 things that a dog can tell about you.

What do dogs hear when we talk

1. Your dog can sense when you are sad.
Have you ever had that moment where you’re about to cry – but suddenly your dog comes over and starts cuddling up next to you? They do this because they can sense something is wrong. Dogs provide comfort during rough times and their unconditional love is inspirational.

2. Your dog knows when you are being unfair.
A study found in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that when dogs saw you giving more attention to another pet in the house they would become distressed and anxious.

3. A dog can tell when you have a new set of priorities.
For example, when you bring home a new baby your dog will pick up the fact that he or she is not going to get the most attention anymore. This can often lead to depression for your dog and sometimes he or she will even start to resent your baby. To help smooth this process get a Baby Sounds CD to familiarize your dog.

4. Your dog will know when you are mad.
Dogs hate to disappoint and can sense the emotions and body language that comes with an upset “parent”. When you are upset with your dog and he gives you those “sweet puppy dog eyes” he knows that you are upset and is hoping to change things. Instead of disciplining your pet, why not count to ten, take a deep pause and then give your dog a treat. Once the tension is gone, grab the Dog Leash and Dog Collar and take your pet for a nice long walk. Odds are that you’ll both feel a little better.

5. Dogs sense when you are afraid.
Your dog will pick up on the fact that you are acting frightened. Certain types of dog breeds may react by trying to protect you, while others will probably be just as afraid as you are. But almost all dogs quickly can sense when an owner is feeling afraid or anxious.

Next time you are in public talking to your dog in that baby-like voice don’t be self-conscious because your dog knows what you want him or her to do by that tone. He associates that tone with you talking to him. So, when people are giving you weird looks disregard and tell them that your dog really does understand you, and that the scientists believe so too!

If you are bringing a new dog home, there are always new ways to bond with your pet. For new dog owners, we recommend taking a couple minutes to check out the Top 3 Mistakes That New Dog Owners Make. This article can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can arise.

Do dogs understand kisses

Dogs do not kiss each other, so it is assumed that they do not like being kissed by humans. However, dogs love affection, from humans and dogs alike.

Your dog understands that your kiss is a sign of affection, and he absolutely loves it when you show that your care. Dogs are social animals that love any interactions that show love. It is great for their self-esteem and confidence within the ‘pack’.

Table of Contents

Do Dogs Understand What a Kiss is?

As a puppy, your dog has mostly interacted with its mother, so does not understand what a kiss is. However, as your dog gets older and learns human behaviors, they learn to understand that a kiss is a sign of fondness.

But no matter their age, dogs don’t really understand what a kiss is, but they do understand that it is a good thing.

Is a Dog Lick a Kiss?

While we call them kisses, dog licks are not kisses, as kissing is not a natural canine behavior. But licking is! If your dog is licking you it is a sure sign that they love you.

Licking is a grooming behavior – a common sign of affection among many animals, not just dogs.

Dog licking has many meanings, all of them good! You might find your dog trying to lick a wound if you are injured, or licking other pets in the household. This is a textbook canine behavior to show that they care for you and the rest of the family.

Should You Let Your Dog Lick You?

While licking is a positive behavior, it isn’t entirely safe. If you are healthy and your skin has no open wounds then it is fine for your dog to lick you.

The problem is when they lick a wound or your face, bacteria can enter your body through the lick.

Dogs can harbor harmful bacterias on their tongues from licking the ground, plants, other dogs, and themselves! they can pick up all sorts of infectious bacterias that can make humans sick. So it is best to allow licking only on clean healthy skin.

Why Do Dogs Kiss You On The Mouth?

Mouths are very vulnerable parts of the face, when your dog licks your mouth is it their way of showing extra affection, and a way of telling you that you taste good!

Licking on the mouth is a behavior that dogs learn from birth from their mothers and it is full of useful information. From licking your mouth, dogs can tell where you have been, and what you have been eating, and who else you may have been kissing!

Dogs have extremely sensitive noses and they can smell anything you have consumed recently. It is also enjoyable for them, even if you don’t feel the same!

Am I OK To Kiss My Dog?

It is fine to kiss your dog so long and you do so safely, and avoid kissing on the mouth.

Dogs have over 600 different bacteria that live in their mouths, Whilst most of them are harmless, dog (and cat) mouths can play host to harmful bacteria such as Pasteurella, which can cause lymph node and skin infections.

Another dangerous bacteria found in the mouths of dogs is Capnocytophaga Canimorsus, which can develop into sepsis in individuals with underlying health issues.

Do Dogs Like Being Hugged and Kissed?

Like kissing, dogs are not ‘huggers’ by nature but they will sleep together and may lie on top or underneath other dogs that they feel affection towards. So, just like kisses and licks, dogs do like hugging and recognize that it is a way that humans express affection.

If you pair a hug with a kiss then your dog will recognize this extra love and care! Dogs are highly sociable animals that adapt to human behaviors quickly. A hug and a kiss tell them that you love them very much.

Why Does My Dog Kiss Everyone But Me?

Dogs use body language to tell you what they are feeling. If your dog is a mouth kisser with everyone except you, it may be that they do not feel as close to you as they do the other members of the family.

It is also important to note that dogs are hierarchical creatures, and mouth kisses are only initiated by ‘lower’ ranking members of the family. If your dog thinks they are higher than you in the pecking order, they may be waiting for you to kiss them first!

Do Some Dog Breeds Like Kisses More Than Others?

Although dog ‘kisses’ are natural to most breeds some breeds like American Eskimos and Huskys don’t kick each other much in general, they do learn this behavior from humans.

Also, each family carries its own culture. If you do not like being kissed by dogs and do not encourage the behavior, then your dog will not kiss you and will be perfectly happy with all other forms of affection.

Can You Kiss Your Dog Too Much?

There are right and wrong times for kissing, and some dogs don’t take to kissing at all. If your dog doesn’t respond to kisses and doesn’t appear to like it, don’t force it.

It is ok to kiss your dog from time to time but smothering them too much can make them anxious and cause them to misbehave.

Is It OK To Kiss Your Dog on The Head?

Kissing your dog on the head is absolutely fine, so long as they aren’t showing any signs of nervousness or aggression.

Kissing your dog on the head is safer than kissing your dog on the mouth, but isn’t without risk.

Although the risk is low, bacteria is also present on your dogs’ fur. But as long as your dog is clean and you are healthy, head kissing is a great way to show your dog that you love them.

Is It Okay To Let My Dog Lick Peoples Faces?

It is advisable not to let your dog lick people’s faces.

This is because of the bacteria present in dogs’ mouths. The bacteria could easily be passed from licking the face, just as they can be passed from licking wounds.

Also, not everyone likes being licked by dogs. Although it is a sign of affection from your dog, another person may not like it or might be intimidated by the behavior.

Kissing is a sure-fire away of showing you care amongst humans, but experts reveal canines may see things a little differently.

Planting your lips on another person is mainly seen as a sign of affection, or in other cultures simply a positive gesture.

For many pet owners giving their pups a kiss and cuddle is something that comes as second nature, but is this really a good idea?

Do Dogs Understand Kisses?

Dr. Mary R. Burch, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and AKC Family Dog Director, believes “dogs don’t understand human kisses the same way that humans do.”

However, she told Newsweek: “From repeated pairing with petting and affectionate tones in the voice of the owner, dogs may go beyond tolerating kisses to liking everything that surrounds the kissing experience.

“I had a spaniel who would get on the couch when I left the house. Often, when I returned, I would go to my dog and say, ‘I’m back. give me a kiss.’

“I would kiss him on the head, then scratch his neck. He would roll over and expose his belly for pets. It got to where when I returned, as I walked across the room, my dog would lift his chin waiting for the kiss. or so it seemed.

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Do dogs understand kisses

When kissing a young puppy, you may not notice any signs of recognition at all because they have yet to associate kisses with affection nortonrsx/Getty Images

“What he was actually waiting for was the pets and belly rubs that always followed the kiss.

“Dogs and other animals don’t kiss each other. Kissing is a human thing, and owners should watch how their dogs respond to a kiss from a human.

“Some dogs and breeds are more stoic and might not welcome a kiss on the head.”

How Do Dogs Respond to Kisses?

Do dogs understand kisses

Some dog might even nuzzle members of the household you rather than get excitable fizkes/Getty Images

When you kiss your dog, you might notice signs suggesting they recognize a kiss as a sign of affection.

However, as puppies, this is not something they would understand.

But, as dogs age they may associate kisses and cuddles with their owners being happy with them — as petting and treats often follow.

Dogs might also become excited and run around you with their tail wagging. Many dogs will look straight into your eyes when you kiss them, and it is often easy to see just how much they trust you when receiving this type of attention.

Do dogs understand kisses

As they age, dogs tend to return these signs of affection using methods such as licking and jumping up. simonapilolla/Getty Images

Many dog owners talk to their dogs in a cute or gentle manner when they are kissing them. The dog then learns to associate the kisses with a warmer tone, meaning they might respond accordingly.

So while dogs do not understand what kisses really mean, they can eventually learn to realize they are positive messages.

Signs your pooch may display include wagging their tail, looking alert, licking your hand or face, excited behavior and racing around. However, if you’re dog does not respond in this way, it is best to find another way to show you care.

Do dogs understand kisses

Signs Your Dog Loves You

Kim Melotte, from pet natural supplement provider, Buddy and Lola, suggests there are several other signs dog owners should look out for to indicate their love is not requited.

She told Newsweek: “Of course, all dogs have their own way of responding to kisses and cuddles, but you should be able to tell from your pet’s body language that they like it.

I love to greet my dog by planting a big old smooch on the top of her head. She knows the routine well and happily nuzzles up to me for affection. If you’re like most dog owners, you love to shower your pup with kisses. You might even get licked in return if your dog enjoys the display of affection.

But what if your dog doesn’t want to be kissed? People know that a kiss is a natural way to show affection to other people, but we sometimes forget that our dogs are not human. You may be surprised to learn that many dogs actually dislike this common human behavior.

Do Dogs Like Being Kissed?

Really, the first question to ask is whether dogs understand kisses from people. It turns out that while dogs are pretty good at recognizing human emotions, they don’t instinctively know what kisses are.

We spoke with certified animal behaviorist Amy Shojai to learn how dogs experience kisses from humans. “Some dogs enjoy this, if taught what it means,” she says. However, if the dog doesn’t know what you’re doing, it could cause stress or confusion. “People kissing them could potentially send mixed signals,” says Shojai. Just because a person is trying to signal affection, it doesn’t mean the dog will take it that way.

Dogs tend to approach other dogs in a sideways arc rather than head-on. So, it can be confusing for a dog to suddenly see a human face approaching. In fact, some dogs see it as a threat and may feel the need to defend themselves by growling or biting. Shojai tells us she especially worries about children kissing or hugging dogs because “they’re at mouth-level in reach of those teeth if the dog takes the gesture the wrong way.”

So what’s the answer? It depends. “If the dog has learned to accept kissing on top of the head, then that’s fine,” says Shojai. “For a new-to-you dog, though, I’d find other more species-appropriate ways to show affection.”

The truth is that some dogs simply don’t like being kissed. That said, dogs who have been trained to accept kisses may eventually tolerate or even enjoy them.

Are Dog Licks the Same Thing as Kisses?

When a dog licks you, it’s not necessarily a show of affection. “What people consider dog kisses (licking) dogs more typically use as appeasement or deference signs,” says Shojai. “When they lick another dog’s mouth and eyes, they say, ‘I’m no threat, you’re the boss of me.’ In a similar way, they target people’s mouth and eyes, or lick hands,” Shojai continues.

An appeasement signal, sometimes called a calming signal, is a subtle form of body language that dogs use to calm themselves and other dogs. Appeasement gestures may be used to deescalate a situation and prevent conflict between dogs. Examples include yawning, sniffing, scratching, sneezing, lip-licking, and licking others.

Shojai tells us that dogs “don’t identify licking as a sign of affection,” but may lick us to seek attention. Basically, when dogs learn that we return their licks with attention and affection, it encourages them to lick us even more.

Of course, we needed to know if our dogs ever lick us to show love and affection (because deep down we really want it to be true). Shojai tells us it’s possible. “In a word—yes, dogs CAN learn what pleases us and adjust their behavior accordingly.,” says Shojai. “Dogs are very observant and accommodating, and often willing to put up with our foibles—or even learn to like them.”

So, if you kiss your dog and he responds by licking you, it could really mean a few different things. There are subtle clues in your dog’s body language that can help you decipher the message.

Why Do Some Dogs Yawn or Sneeze When You Kiss Them?

You may have noticed your dog yawning when you kiss him, but it’s probably not because he’s sleepy. “Yawning also serves as an appeasement signal. If the dog doesn’t welcome the kiss, and/or feels threatened in some way, he might yawn to both calm himself and to say, ‘hey, don’t worry, I’m no threat here so you can back off’,” Shojai says.

“As for the sneezes—that’s a kind of dog laugh,” says Shojai. “So maybe the dog feels amused or puzzled and laughs off the strange-to-him gesture.” Sneezing can also be used as an appeasement signal.

Bottom line, these actions are likely your dog’s way of asking you to please stop with the kisses. But don’t take it personally! Fortunately, you can still give your dog affection without causing confusion or stress.

Other Ways to Show Your Dog You Love Them

There are plenty ways to show your dog affection beyond kisses or hugs. My own dog is a big fan of being close to me, so I show her affection with pets, cuddles, and a loving voice. It all comes down to spending time with your dog in a way that’s enjoyable for the both of you.

“Play with your dog! And watch to see what kinds of games he likes, and give him what he wants,” says Shojai. “My dog no longer has a canine playmate. But he loves for me to ‘pretend’ to bite his legs like a playful dog (I use my fingers/hands like a fake dog mouth to gently ‘pinch’ his legs). He loves that. But whatever game (fetch, Frisbee, tug) that the dog enjoys becomes more precious when shared with a human he loves.”

Exercising together is a great way to bond too, so take your dog walking or hiking and allow him to explore the world. Some dogs even make good running companions. You can also try teaching your dog some fun tricks. Those treat-filled training sessions can be really enjoyable for dogs and will reinforce the bond you share.

Do dogs understand kisses

It may seem natural to hug and kiss your furry friend, but these gestures may actually feel threatening to some canines. Learn how to read his response to your affection, and show your love in a way he understands.

We adore our Irish setter, Coral. From the time we brought her home as a seven-week-old puppy, we’ve showered her with affection, giving her hundreds if not thousands of kisses on her head, paws, legs, body and ears. The only area we may have missed is her tail! In return, we’ve received as many, if not more, of what we call Coral Kisses – being licked on our hands, legs, feet and faces when we return home, when we wake up in the morning, and a host of other times.

Kissing vs. licking

Kissing and hugging are very important displays of affection among people, but clearly they are not in a dog’s behavioral repertoire. On the other hand, licking one another is important to dogs, but not something humans normally do! Because we love Coral so much, most of the time we don’t mind her licking. But depending on where, when, and for how long she chooses to deliver her licks to us, it can become annoying. In turn, we wonder if our kisses and hugs annoy her as well.

How can we tell?

Practically speaking, the best way to know how an animal feels is to observe her behavior. How will she behave if she enjoys our displays of affection? She should remain relaxed and not tense up. The ears should stay forward and the tail high. If Coral likes our kisses, for example, she shouldn’t move away and try to avoid being kissed. If we stop kissing her and she wants us to continue, we would expect her to move toward us and show a behavior that has worked in other contexts to get what she wants, such as pawing at us or leaning against us.

Coral rarely “asks” for more kisses. But she frequently asks for more petting by pawing at us, or just placing her paw on our arms if we stop stroking her. If we pair kissing the top of her head with massaging her ears, Coral will often move in closer to us, and position her head so we can more easily reach the back of her ears.

Many species of social animals — including dogs — lick other individuals they are attached to.

On the other hand, if our affectionate displays annoyed or frightened Coral, we’d expect completely different behaviors in response. We’d expect to see her tense up while being kissed, her eyes to get wide, her tail to go down, and her ears to go back. She might also move or duck away from us, as she does when she’s too busy to stay still and be petted.

Hugs can seem threatening

We have to admit, we also hug Coral. We do so gently, not tightly, so she is always free to escape from our arms if she wants to. Most dogs learn to accept or tolerate hugs from familiar individuals, but because they obviously don’t hug one another, it’s unlikely they recognize this as an affection behavior. In fact, just the opposite may be true.

Dogs sometimes bite children who try to hug them – especially children they don’t know well. For a dog, a hug can resemble the social threat of having another dog place his paws on or drape his neck overtop her shoulders. Dogs usually tell us they don’t like being hugged by using the postures we’ve already described – lowering their tails, pulling their ears back, tensing up, or trying to move away.

Being hugged is probably quite confusing for dogs. Why would their best friends, their family, all of a sudden attempt such a threatening gesture? When dogs are confused or uncertain in social situations, they display displacement behaviors. These are normal behaviors that are displaced out of their usual contexts. The most common canine displacement behaviors are lip licking and yawning. If a dog shows any of these behaviors when being hugged or kissed, it’s a clear sign to stop, because she not only doesn’t enjoy what you are doing, but could feel threatened enough to bite.

Find a common ground

Because dogs likely find at least some of our affectionate displays annoying or even frightening, what are the best ways to let them know we love them?

Dogs and people share some commonalities when it comes to how we behave toward individuals we are bonded to. Both dogs and people like to be close to those they love. Sitting next to each other on the couch, letting your dog sit in your lap or share your bed (contrary to popular dog training mythology, there is nothing inherently wrong with this!) are meaningful to both species. Spending time together and engaging in activities you both enjoy are also good. Touching is important too – it feels good to pet our dogs, and most dogs love it as well.

The best way to know how an animal feels is to observe her behavior.

Affiliative behaviors

It’s natural for both people and dogs to display their affection for one another with behaviors that are typical for their own species. Behaviorists usually use the term “affiliative behaviors” to describe gestures among individuals with a social bond.

Dogs will show canine-specific behaviors to demonstrate their affection, but their behaviors are different from the hugging, kissing and cuddling that people show to express their love.

  • Many species of social animal – including dogs – lick other individuals they are attached to. This is called “allogrooming” and is likely one reason Coral licks us.
  • Another very important affiliative behavior in dogs is simply being close to each other. Think about how often your dogs sleep curled next to one another – or to you. Following each other from place to place is another sign of social attachment. In our house, if Coral isn’t in the same room as us, she’s likely someplace where she can see us and monitor what we are doing.
  • Play is another affiliative behavior that is used to create as well as maintain social bonds.

When we do use human gestures of affection that dogs don’t share, such as kissing and hugging, we must be sensitive to the dog’s reactions. Carefully monitor his body language for signs of anxiety, stress or defensiveness. Some dogs will be happier (and humans safer) if we find other ways to express our love. Play a game of fetch, take your dog for a walk or give her a gentle brushing. These are things most dogs enjoy – and giving them the things they want is the best way to express our affection!

Dogs and humans have been spending time together for anywhere from 18,000 to 40,000 years. With a relationship that old, it’s no wonder dogs are considered man’s best friend. The dogs we spend time with seem to instinctively know all kinds of human behaviors, so it would only make sense that they evolved to understand that kissing is a sign of affection, right? As it turns out, kisses are ​actually​ a reasonably new human behavior, so our pups don’t instinctively recognize them.

Do dogs understand kisses

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The history of kissing

Fogs instinctively understand pointing and head-turning. To understand why dogs haven’t evolved to recognize kissing the way they’ve learned to identify what other human expressions means, you need to understand the surprisingly modern history of the human kiss. As the BBC points out, while most people from Western cultures believe that kissing is a universal human trait, you may be surprised to learn that more than half of all cultures do not kiss. This means kissing is not an innate human behavior, but a learned one.

And this learned behavior wasn’t even learned until relatively recently in the history of mankind. In fact, while our species is anywhere from 200,000 to 350,000 years old according to Britannica, the oldest documented record of someone kissing is only 3,500 years old. And, in fact, romantic kisses fell out of favor after the fall of the Roman Empire, and didn’t re-enter Western culture until the 11th century, meaning most of those cultures that even do kiss today have only been doing so for around 1000 years. That’s hardly enough time for dogs to have learned to adapt to this specific way of showing affection.

Do dogs ever understand kissing?

Here’s the thing . . . just because dogs don’t innately understand kissing doesn’t mean they can’t ​learn​ what it means. Some dogs will pick up this concept more quickly than others, especially breeds that can more easily read their owners and understand their unspoken commands, such as golden retrievers or cavalier King Charles spaniels. More primitive breeds, (meaning breeds who have retained more of their original personality despite the generations of breeding) such as huskies, basenjis, or the Mexican hairless, may have a harder time understanding these behaviors.

Though we humans believe these things to be signs of affection, to your pup, kissing your dog on the head or even hugging it can seem like an aggressive act. Watch dogs greet each other and you’ll notice they almost always approach each other from the side unless one or both dogs is actively trying to intimidate the other. A lot of people argue “I kiss my dog on the lips and he doesn’t mind, so dogs must like kisses.” But the reality is that while your dog who has gotten to know you may learn to ​tolerate​ or even enjoy this behavior, his instinct says this is a sign of aggression.

Kissing dog on the head

Think about it like this: You might love to get kisses on the lips from your partner or child or to get a kiss on the head from one of your parents. But if a random stranger on the street gave you a kiss, you would feel incredibly uncomfortable and you would not likely feel secure, loved, and safe. While you might like the behavior of kissing if it comes from people you know, in the case of a stranger you’d likely feel angry and threatened and would be likely to act aggressively towards that person. Dogs are the same way only they don’t generally feel as comfortable getting kisses from people they love.

So what about dog “kisses?”

Well, when dogs lick one another or their human companions, it’s not really kissing, even if that’s what we call it. There are a number of different reasons for this behavior, for example, puppies lick their mothers to get them to regurgitate food, which is an ancestral wolf behavior most dogs will grow out of. Licking, like so many other canine behaviors, can be a sign of submission. Dogs might also lick another dog’s mouth simply to taste what the other dog has eaten.

Dogs can lick humans for all of these reasons, but they may also do so because they saw that their owner reacted positively to being licked in the past and dogs generally like to do things that make their owners happy. This is particularly true if you gave your dog extra attention, toys, or treats after he kissed you, which will make him kiss you more in the hopes that he will get these same rewards in the future.

Should you kiss your dog?

Ultimately, that comes down to your dog and how she reacts to your kisses, and some dogs will react positively towards them while others will not. In fact, while dogs instinctively don’t understand kisses, the Labrador Site reports that a study in 2012 tested the blood of Labrador retrievers and their owners for their levels of oxytocin (known as the love hormone) and cortisol (the “stress” hormone). They then asked the owners to interact with their dogs for an hour before testing their blood for these chemicals again.

The results showed that dogs who had the greatest rise in oxytocin levels were those who were frequently kissed by their owners, indicating that kisses can actually make dogs feel good — as long as they have learned what kisses mean.

How to kiss your dog

If you want to give your dog kisses, you ​first​ need to know how your pup feels about them. Learn the signs of discomfort in dogs, which may include things like panting and tail wagging that can often be mixed up with signs of happiness. Specifically, learn how your dog acts when he is anxious, aggressive, or unhappy. Once you can easily understand how your dog reacts when he’s happy or not, see how he reacts when you give him a kiss.

If you have a young puppy, giving her kisses from an early age may help her to learn that this behavior is a sign of affection from her owner. If your puppy is older, start slow, approach your dog from the side, and give her a kiss on the cheek. If she responds positively, you might move on to giving her kisses on the top of the head. While you ​could​ move on to kisses on the mouth if she does well with head kisses, it’s really not advisable to kiss your dog on the mouth (or let her lick your mouth) because of all the germs she carries.

If at any point your dog seems uncomfortable or begins to get aggressive, then stop kissing him. You can try again at another time since it’s possible that other things made him anxious before your kissing interaction, but if he repeatedly seems uncomfortable with kissing, then stop doing it and just look for other ways to give your pup affection that you ​both​ can enjoy.

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.”

Do dogs understand kisses

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.

Do dogs understand kisses

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.

How does your pup greet you when you get home after being away? Does your dog give you a kiss? Think about when you’re hanging on the couch. How do you show affection to your pooch? Many people with dogs like to smother them with kisses. But your pup can’t talk. So, does your dog like kisses?

Pucker up!

Kisses are well-accepted displays of affections between humans. So, it makes sense we kiss pups to show them how much we care. But, not every dog loves the sensation. Think about your friends, family, and partners. Everyone has a different love language. The same can be said for canines.

Like humans, some pups are more affectionate than others. Think about your dog’s reaction to your kiss. Does she respond with licks and energetic tail wagging? Or, does your pup stay silent? Some dogs might even find a kiss threatening.

Read body language

It’s simple to tell if your pooch likes this form of affection. Stop reading for a moment and give your pup a kiss. Watch his reaction. If he is alert, tilts his head, licks you in response, or wags his tail, your dog is into it.

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However, not all dogs feel this way. Are you about to adopt a new pup? Don’t immediately go in for the kiss. This gesture may be foreign and scary to a dog. Get to know each other first so your dog is comfortable. Puppies may not understand kisses at first, but they will learn as they grow.

These are some indicators your dog doesn’t like this attention:

  • Growling
  • Wiggling away
  • Whining
  • Hiding
  • …and maybe a paw to the face

Why do dogs lick?

Dogs and humans don’t communicate in the same way. Do you lick your friends? For our furry pals, licking is instinctual. This habit begins at birth. Puppies lick their parents to get warmth, learn about their surroundings, and access regurgitated food. This is also how puppies learn what their parents eat.

Many people with dogs experience this behavior from pooch to human, too.

Dana Ebbecke, animal behavior counselor at the ASPCA Adoption Center explained it this way, “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.”

The 10 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

However, according to Ebbecke, “Sometimes small licks near the mouth are ways for the dogs to get more information into their nose.” This type of licking gives your pup access to smells. Your dog uses the scent to get more information about where you’ve been.

Sometimes, licking is a form of submission to a more dominant dog or a way of figuring out what another dog ate for breakfast.

Do dogs understand kisses

Are kisses bad?

Short answer: it depends. Where do you kiss your dog? Kisses to the fur and body are safe. But licks to the mouth can have negative consequences. Some will disagree, and that’s okay. But just know that doggy kisses to the mouth come with added risk.

According, Neilanjan Nandi, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Drexel, dogs’ bodies have lots of viruses and bacteria that humans can’t fight. This is because dogs are another species, and also because pups lick and eat all sorts of things that are not fit for human consumption, like feces.

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The nasty bacteria your dog acquires can pass from canine to human. But all is not lost. Leni Kaplan, from the University of Cornell, says that negative consequences for humans are often quite small in healthy people with strong immune systems.

Bottom line: keep kisses away from the mouth to stop the spread of harmful bacteria.

Kiss training

The best way to introduce your pup to kisses is to develop an affectionate relationship from the start. As soon as you get your pup, show them affection. Cuddles and belly scratches are a good place to start. As your dog gets older and builds a rapport with you, they will understand kisses are a good thing.

To train your pup to kiss on command, follow these tips from Wag, “You can hold a treat in your hand and encourage your pooch to lick the hand with the treat. Once they have started doing this, begin using the word ‘kisses’ or a similar word so that they form a link between that word and licking your hand.

Can you feel the love tonight?

There’s no shame in kissing your canine pal. But, be mindful of her body language. It is easy to tell if your pup likes this kind of attention or prefers less physical contact. If you’re looking for another way to show you care, remember that your dog likes staring. Long gazes are hugs without touching. Figure out what your dog likes, and give your pooch love in the way that makes her happiest.

When you kiss your dog, you may notice signs that indicate they know that the kiss is a gesture of affection. As puppies, this is not something that dogs would recognize, although they would feel you doing it. … Of course, dogs don’t know what kisses actually are, but they learn to realize that they are good.

Do dogs like when you kiss them?

Most dogs tolerate kisses from their owners fairly well. Some may even come to associate kisses with love and attention, and quite a few even enjoy kisses from their people. They’ll usually show their pleasure by wagging their tails, looking alert and happy, and licking you back.

Do dogs know licks are kisses?

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. … They learned it from the grooming and affection given to them as puppies by their mothers.

Do dogs like to be hugged and kissed?

Experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like being embraced. However, every dog has a unique personality. Some may dislike hugs more strongly than others, and some may actually adore them. The closest thing our furry family members do to a hug is something referred to as ‘standing over’.

Do dogs know we love them?

Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! … When you stare at your dog, both your oxytocin levels go up, the same as when you pet them and play with them. It makes you both feel good and reinforces your bonding.

Do dogs know what hugs are?

Hugs can seem threatening

Most dogs learn to accept or tolerate hugs from familiar individuals, but because they obviously don’t hug one another, it’s unlikely they recognize this as an affection behavior. In fact, just the opposite may be true.

How do I tell my dog I love him?

5 ways to tell your dog you love them in their own language

  1. Training and positive reinforcement. An excellent way to communicate your love is through positive reinforcement. …
  2. Read to your dog. Do you read to your kids at bedtime? …
  3. Give human touch. …
  4. Engage in deep conversations. …
  5. Rub your dog’s ears.

Why do dogs LIVK you?

“Dogs often lick people to show affection, as a greeting, or to simply get our attention. Of course, if you happen to have a little food, lotion, or salty sweat on your skin, that may play a role as well.” Along with affection, these are some other things your dog actually wants from you.

Why do dogs put their paw on you?

If your dog puts his paw on you, it can be his way of saying “I love you.” We pet our pups to show our love and affection. … “By putting his paw on you whilst you are stroking him, he is further extending contact and reciprocating affection back,” writes Rebecca Forrest, an assistance dog trainer, for The Dog Clinic.

Do dogs like to cuddle?

Dogs tend to love cuddling in their owner’s beds. They enjoy the comfort of sleeping by their masters, but dogs tend to carry many types of critters and bacteria that you probably don’t want in your cozy sheets. Also, there are certain types of cuddling that dogs do not appreciate, such as giving them bear-type hugs.

How do dogs say sorry?

Dogs say sorry by expressing physical signs like the tail-between-the-legs pose, dropped ears, wide eyes, reduce panting, rubbing their face against the paw or wagging the tail. Usually, it’s the dog’s way to accept that they made a mistake and it is a submissione expression rather than saying sorry.

Is it OK to kiss your dog on the head?

Vets advise against kissing your dog on the mouth because its saliva might contain bacteria that could make you sick. Kissing your dog on its head (or anywhere else on its fur) is much safer, and carries very low risk. However, it’s still possible that the fur could be carrying bacteria.

Do dogs understand when you cry?

Previous research has shown that when humans cry, their dogs also feel distress. … Now, the new study finds that dogs not only feel distress when they see that their owners are sad but will also try to do something to help.

Do dogs pick a favorite person?

Human personality and dog breed play a part

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.

Can a dog fall in love with a human?

If your dog chooses to spend time with you, it’s not just because you feed them. They really do care! There’s also more brain-based evidence to show that dogs experience love. … In other words, dogs love humans at least as much as they love food.

Do dogs get jealous?

The researchers found that dogs will go so far as to show jealousy even when they can only imagine their owners are interacting with a potential rival. … The new study said dogs are one of the few species that display jealous behaviors in ways that a human child might when their mother gives affection to another child.

Do dogs understand kisses

Jenna Stregowski is a registered veterinary technician, hospital manager, and writer with over 20 years of expertise in the field of pet medicine. She is an expert in routine wellness, preventative medicine, emergency, and specialty care. Jenna has also written for DMV 360 and DogTime.

Do dogs understand kisses

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.

Do dogs understand kisses

Jillian Dara is a fact checker for The Spruce Pets, reviewing articles about pet care and pet products for factual accuracy and consistency. She has more than five years of experience in lifestyle editing and media and has been published in a variety of prestigious outlets.

Do dogs understand kisses

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.

Do dogs understand kisses

Kisses among humans have always been a greeting sign or a love gesture. For animal lovers, giving pets such as cats and dogs a kiss and cuddle is something that comes as second nature. Do dogs really understand when you kiss them? This is very interesting question to ask.

Signs of Dogs Feeling Kisses

Kiss Means Good

A puppy may not easy recognize your kisses compared to a older dog, old dogs would understand it’s a happy sign. When you kiss your dog, they jump up and try to lick you, which is their nature pooch sign of affection. They are excited and walk around you with tail wagging.

Many dogs will look straight into your eyes when you cuddle and kiss them, which clearly tells you how much they trust you and they are willing to receive your nice gesture. Many owner will kiss their dog gently while speaking to them in lower voice tone, and their dogs will get used to these and give back to owner in own doggy way.

Kiss Means Trust

These days dogs are very much part of the family and therefore they receive the same affection and love from owners. Most owners will kiss and cuddle their dogs regularly to show their love and they trust them understand love.

Research carried out over years helped experts to learn how dogs respond to certain gestures from humans. When dogs receive kisses, they actually more trust you at that moment and waiting for your happy face. They were used to being licked by their mother from birth and then by other dogs that are friendly with or by siblings as they grow older. Kissing your dogs is not same as their mother doing, but it’s closest a human can come to replicating this.

Start Kisses from puppy

It’s recommended to start kissing and cuddling dogs as a puppy if you are able to. This is not help you train them used to kisses but also help bonding when started at a young age. As your dogs get older, they will have learned to associate kisses with affection. This may be difficult of you have taken on a rescue dog or abused dog, as they are having trust issues. Gradual kisses and cuddles are great method to regain their trust.

Dogs idolise their owners in a way most humans just can’t comprehend.

To a dog, their owner is their entire world – the source of their food, comfort and entertainment.

And to show just how much we love our pets, we shower them with cuddles and kisses.

Even when they try to wriggle out of our loving grasp, we hope they understand what our affection means.

According to research, dogs learn to understand what kisses mean by watching their owners interact with one another.

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They learn to recognise it as positive affection despite it not being part of their typical behaviour.

However, dogs who have been abused, neglected or have never experienced human kindness can have a hard time learning what they mean.

Pet product company Hepper, who works alongside experts to improve animals’ lives, said: “Most domesticated dogs who have found a home in loving households seem to understand that human kisses are associated with affection, attention, and gentleness.

“This can be seen in how dogs often start wagging their tail, cuddling with you, and looking you in your eye when they are receiving human kisses.

“Dogs who have received human kisses from an early age are especially prone to these positive body movements, such as tail wagging and licking.

“All of these behaviours express reciprocated affection and relaxation in dogs, showing that they understand that they are receiving some sort of positive attention when you kiss them.”

Owners can train their dogs to like kisses in a number of ways – starting early, starting slow with order dogs and by using a gentle voice.

The statement adds: “Since human kisses are associated with gentle behaviour, dogs tend to love human kisses and are quick to respond positively to them.”

Teaching a dog to kiss back can be achieved through treats and positive reinforcement. It can be learnt using the same methods used to teach other commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘roll over’.

Five signs your dog loves you

The Blue Cross has revealed five signs owners can watch out for to know whether their feelings towards their dog are reciprocated.

These include soft eye contact, tail wagging, cuddling on their terms, greeting their owners at the door, and, similar to a human kiss, licking their owners.

A statement reads: “Dog licking can be for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons your dog may lick you, will be affection.

“They are ultimately seeking attention from you because they want to interact with you, and licking you is a very quick way to get your attention.”

Do you have a dog story to share? Email [email protected]

Do dogs like kisses? Many pet parents tend to show their affection for their four-legged friends by kissing and hugging. How do dogs react to these blatant declarations of love? Is kissing the dog good or bad?

Kisses: What they mean to us and how they mean to them

What is the most common gesture humans use to show affection to others? Kisses. Even if we think we are doing something nice, kissing a dog is not always the right thing to do. Dogs have different codes and ways of expressing themselves than we do.

Do dogs understand what a kiss means to us? As with cats, in the body language of dogs, kissing is something that doesn’t exist. That is why he is very likely to run away or feel intimidated when we kiss him.

In conclusion, the dog rejects the kiss because it is incomprehensible to him, it has no particular meaning. Logically, with the passing of time, he will learn to associate this behaviour with affection. Especially if, with kisses, you dispense cuddles, caresses, expressions of joy and positive feelings!

Do dogs like kisses? How do they behave when kissed?

As we mentioned earlier, dogs can react to kisses in different ways. For instance, if he is shy or has just been adopted, he may remain still or, in the worst cases, start to growl. This is an attitude of self-defence and should therefore not be scolded but calmed.

At other times, however, dogs like kisses and feel so comfortable that they respond with gentle licks! Licking is a habitual and instinctive behaviour in dogs. It is a habit they have had since they were puppies and corresponds to our kissing.

In other words, Rex licks people to show affection, greet them and respond to their affections.

Kissing your dog: the risks

First of all, kissing a dog is not risky, provided that the person who comes in contact with the furry animal does not have a weak immune system. Dog saliva is rich in bacteria, which humans are unable to fight off and which could be transmitted.

In conclusion, the best thing to do to avoid danger is to worm and vaccinate your dog!

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Is there a purer expression of love than when your dog licks your face?

Well … yes, there can be.

Over time, dogs have associated licking with getting more of something, often food, said Dr. Patty Khuly, an award-winning, Miami-based veterinarian.

“That’s why humans can be forgiven for translating licks as ‘kisses,’” she says. “They do, after all, seem to happen more when our dogs are relaxed at home and in situations where they’re most likely to be displaying affection.”

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an affection component, too. In fact, there’s a lot that goes into why your dog licks your face. Here are seven of the most surprising facts about dog kisses, as well as a few unexpected reasons why you might be covered in slobber right now.

7 Surprising Facts About Dog Kisses

Fact #1: Dog Kisses Date Back 10,000 Years

The “kissing” behavior likely started just between dogs. Andrea Arden, an Animal Planet pet expert and dog trainer in New York City, said that infant puppies lick their mothers as a precursor for feeding. As such, the behavior continues into adulthood with whomever or whatever is the dog’s primary caretaker.

Humans started taking over the caretaker role about ten millennia ago, according to Khuly, and it’s been equal parts cute and gross ever since.

Fact #2: Dog Kisses Indicate Social Status

Khuly said that dogs kiss other dogs to indicate that they, the kissers, are “lower” than the kiss recipients.

“These social cues are important for dogs in a pack setting to help establish a solid social structure with minimum strife,” she says, adding that canine-human relationships mirror canine-canine relationships in this way (and other ways, too).

Fact #3: Getting Sick from Your Dog’s Kisses is Unlikely … But Not Impossible

There’s a myth out there, Arden said, that a dog’s mouth is unbelievably clean–much cleaner than a human’s. It’s a huge misconception, but an even bigger one is that a dog’s mouth is unbelievably dirty.

The fact is that dogs and humans have comparable amounts of bacteria in their mouths, and the chances of getting sick from your dog’s kisses are low. Still, the CDC warns of the possibility of transferring diseases mouth-to-mouth between pets and their human parents (like Giardia and staph infections). That said, assuming you encourage and help foster a certain baseline of cleanliness for your dog and your household, the danger of getting sick from your dog’s kisses is minimal.

Fact #4: Kissing Can Be a Sensory Behavior

Sometimes, the only reason your dog kisses you is because of a particularly (and pleasantly) pungent odor on your person.

“Maybe your skin is a little salty, or they like the smell of a certain lotion you’ve applied,” Arden says. This also suggests the obvious: If you just ate something that’s especially tasty and your dog catches a whiff of it, there’s a good chance he’ll suddenly feel like planting a nice wet one on you.

Fact #5: Dogs Kiss Some People More Than Others

Kissing, Arden says, is also a learned behavior. If you, as a puppy parent, encouraged or heaped praise on your furry friend when he kissed you, he’ll carry that behavior into adulthood. Similarly, if you’re the only one in your household that encouraged such behavior, your dog will likely kiss you more often than others.

Fact #6: Some Breeds, and Dogs, Kiss More Than Others

While this behavior is clearly innate, it isn’t out of the ordinary if your dog just doesn’t kiss much. “There’s a different culture in each household, so wherever each of us draws a line, that’s what your dog will learn,” Arden says.

So, if your dog doesn’t kiss you, that doesn’t mean he dislikes you, nor does it mean he is depressed or physically ill in any way. A sudden change in his behavior, however, like normally being very kissy and stopping for no apparent reason, might be cause for concern. Consult your vet whenever you see a major shift in your dog’s behavior like this.

Similarly, some breeds tend to kiss less than others. Khuly said that Arctic breeds, like Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and American Eskimos, don’t lick much by nature (though they can learn the behavior).

“Take my own retired working dog, a Belgian Malinois,” Khuly says. “Tika never knew how to lick faces until we offered her ours. Now she gives us small, gingerly placed kisses when we request them. She seems to enjoy this as part of our cuddly bedtime routine.”

Fact #7: There’s a Right Time and a Wrong Time for Kisses

No matter how much you’d like your dog to give you kisses, don’t force the behavior, Arden says. Dogs are constantly sending non-verbal signals to their owners about when they’re comfortable and when they’re not. Kissing is one of these signals, so if your dog wants to kiss you, it’s OK. If you initiate it, however, be careful you’re not smothering him too much, which might make him feel nervous and cause him to lash out.

John Gilpatrick is a freelance writer who thinks bunnies make the best pets.

Dogs know no such way to show affection. Since dogs are not humans, they communicate in a manner different from humans. Dogs communicate through body gestures and facial expressions. When humans approach a dog to give them a kiss on their face, they take it differently.

Table of Contents

Do dogs like being licked back?

As counter-intuitive as it may be to us, dogs really don’t expect or like it when you lick them back.

Do dogs actually love us?

And what the studies show is welcome news for all dog owners: Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as their family. The most direct dog brain-based evidence that they are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuroimaging study about odor processing in the dog brain.

How do I know if my dog has bonded with me?

Signs of a Strong Bond There’s a real light in their eyes; they smile, wag, rub into you, and makes great eye contact. When you come home, they brighten up, becomes animated, and may even vocalize their joy. Other signs of a strong bond include: Keeping tabs on your location when they are off leash.

How do dogs say sorry?

Dogs apologise by having droopy years, wide eyes, and they stop panting or wagging their tails. That is sign one. If the person does not forgive them yet, they start pawing and rubbing their faces against the leg. … Instead of just saying sorry as humans do, dogs acknowledge that they have done a mistake.

Why do dogs come when you kiss?

Wild dogs use high pitched sounds to communicate something could be happening. Dogs respond differently to changes in pitch and tone of voices. Puppies particularly enjoy the sweet sound of the kissing noise. They will always be attracted to the source of this shrill sound as they look for attention and excitement.

Do dogs like being pet while sleeping?

Do Dogs Like Being Pet While Sleeping? While some dogs may not appear unhappy to be pet while they’re sleeping, dogs are just like humans when it comes to having their sleep interrupted. In other words, they typically don’t like it.

How do I know if Im my dogs favorite person?

Here are some ways dogs show they love or trust someone, according to veterinarians. A dog that loves you will likely recognize your name — and be visibly excited when they hear it. Dogs can show trust by bringing you items that need “fixing.” A dog may show they are devoted to you by guarding you while you eat.

Do dogs like to be hugged and kissed?

Experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like being embraced. However, every dog has a unique personality. Some may dislike hugs more strongly than others, and some may actually adore them. The closest thing our furry family members do to a hug is something referred to as ‘standing over’.

Can a dog tell if you love them?

Does my dog know how much I love him? Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have actually hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway that is normally reserved for our babies. It makes you both feel good and reinforces your bonding.

Why do dogs put their paw on you?

If your dog puts his paw on you, it can be his way of saying “I love you.” We pet our pups to show our love and affection. “By putting his paw on you whilst you are stroking him, he is further extending contact and reciprocating affection back,” writes Rebecca Forrest, an assistance dog trainer, for The Dog Clinic.

Do dogs like when you hug them?

Dogs, really do not like hugs. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. Some absolutely adore cuddles, but most dogs prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze.

Do dogs know what human kisses are?

Of course, dogs don’t know what kisses actually are, but they learn to realize that they are good. Some of the signs your pooch may display include wagging their tail, looking alert, licking your hand or face, acting excited, and running around.

Do dogs understand when you cry?

Previous research has shown that when humans cry, their dogs also feel distress. Now, the new study finds that dogs not only feel distress when they see that their owners are sad but will also try to do something to help.

Do dogs like being pet on the head?

Most dogs dislike being touched on top of the head and on the muzzle, ears, legs, paws and tail. Slow petting, similar to gentle massage or light scratching, can calm a dog down. Place your hand on an area where the dog enjoys being handled and gently move your hand or fingers in the same direction the fur lies.

Do dogs know what hugs and kisses mean?

Kissing and hugging are very important displays of affection among people, but clearly they are not in a dog’s behavioral repertoire. On the other hand, licking one another is important to dogs, but not something humans normally do! Because we love Coral so much, most of the time we don’t mind her licking.

Why do dogs sigh?

The most common sounds of pleasure are moans and sighs, although dogs also use whines and growls to communicate happiness. Low-pitched moans are very common in puppies and are signs of contentment. Another sound of contentment is the sigh, usually accompanied by the dog lying down with its head on its forepaws.

How do dogs choose who to sleep with?

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.

Do dogs understand head kisses?

I hate to burst your bubble, but dogs do not have any intrinsic understanding of what those loving kisses on the head mean. It’s just not in their DNA. The act of kissing is something that’s completely foreign to them, even with hundreds of years of domestication.

Our dogs might be our best friends and beloved family members, but that doesn’t mean we always understand them. While some of their behaviors are pretty easy to interpret – tail wagging for happiness, scratching at the door to go outside – others can leave us wondering. This Valentine’s Day, as we think about the love we share with our dogs, its worth trying to understand better how they show us love.

What do dog licks mean?

A dog licking your face or hands certainly seems affectionate – but is it? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, licks often indicate affection because your dog has learned the behavior: you like or appreciate the licks and thus give your dog snuggles or praise in return. So to make you happy, the dog will lick more. Even more basic to dog behavior is that licking is often a way that puppies communicate to their mothers that they’re ready to eat. So a dog may lick you to indicate hunger, be treated with a dog biscuit, and thus learn that licks make for a happy owner who gives out food.

Socially, lower-status dogs in the pack would lick higher-status dogs, so your dog may also be showing his respect for you when kissing you. But sometimes it’s more basic than that – your dog might lick you simply because you taste or smell good.

In any case, if you like dog licks, then it’s perfectly fine to praise your dog for this social interaction. But if you don’t like them, you can easily train your dog that licking is not acceptable. As with any training, be consistent in how you react to licks so your dog understands the expected behavior.

Other ways dogs show affection

Dogs have plenty of other physical ways to showing you they love you – or if not love, then at least they feel comfortable around you and trust you. Some common dog signs of relaxed comfort include:

  • Resting a head or paw on you
  • Making long stretches in front of you, or rolling over on their backs
  • Leaning against you
  • Wagging their tails whenever they see you
  • Making extended eye contact (this only applies to dogs you know well. Eye contact with unknown dogs could be a threat or sign of aggression).

Dogs may also show affection by doing a behavior you’ve taught them to do. Since dogs want to please you, they may repeat these behaviors even without being asked.

My dog doesn’t do any of this. Does she love me?

Dogs, like people, vary widely in how they show emotion and how social they are. One dog may love couch snuggles and face licks, while another dog may sit stoically on the other side of the room from you. Often the behavior varies by breed, with some breeds craving close interaction with humans more than others. This varied behavior does not necessarily indicate a difference in affection; it’s just different ways of showing love based on the dog’s personality. That said, if your dog has always acted one way and then changes, this could be a sign of a problem, and you should consider a visit with your veterinarian.

Do dogs understand kisses

Nothing makes you happier than when your dog smothers you in kisses. But does he like it as much as you do?

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and consultant for Five Barks, to find out if dogs actually like kisses.

Why do dogs give kisses?

Your dog actually gives you kisses for the same reason you do — to let you know how important you are to him.

“When a dog licks you, it is their way of letting you know that you are part of their pack and that they care for you,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo. “Licking can also release endorphins in dogs, meaning they associate it with feeling happy and relaxed.”

He also might just like how you taste. “They may enjoy licking the salt off if you’ve been sweating, or tasting the remnants of whatever you had for lunch on your fingers,” Dr. Simon said.

And if he’s indifferent to kissing you at first, keep in mind that a lot of dogs grow to love giving them out because you love getting them!

“They do not feel any social pressure to appease you, so will only give you licks when they feel like it,” Dr. Simon said. “Having said this, dogs are clever critters who will soon realize if you like to be licked. If you reward them with praise and pets, they are more likely to lick you again in the future.”

Why do dogs kiss each other?

The reason your dog kisses you actually has a lot to do with why they kiss each other.

“Dogs will lick each other to strengthen their bond and show affection,” Dr. Simon said. “This is particularly the case with a mother and her litter.”

Do dogs like kisses?

Most dogs would prefer belly rubs to kisses. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like kisses — your pup might learn to enjoy them because he knows it makes you happy.

“Dogs are clever and adaptable,” Dr. Simon said. “They learn over time that we are happy with them when showing affection and that it can be a bonding moment.”

And if you like to kiss your dog on the mouth, you’ll be happy to know that he’s always happy to kiss you back.

“If your dog kisses you on the mouth, this may well be because they are trying to sample your most recent meal!” Dr. Simon said.

Do dogs understand kisses?

Your pup might not always understand that you’re just trying to show him you love him.

“They are unlikely to be able to fully understand the significance of a kiss, and some dogs can find them unsettling,” Dr. Simon said. “For a number of our canine companions, having their owner in their personal space for long periods, especially while being restrained, can make them feel unsettled.”

So, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s body language to make sure he’s actually up for a smooch.

There are a few things you can look for to figure out how your pup is feeling.

How to tell if he’s happy

If your dog’s enjoying your affection, you’ll notice things like:

  • Wiggly body
  • Soft eyes
  • Wagging tail

How to tell if he’s not happy

If your pup isn’t in a great mood — and probably won’t want to be kissed — you might see things like:

  • Stiff body
  • Lip licking
  • Tucked tail

So there you have it — your dog probably loves giving you kisses as much as you love getting them. And that’s just the best feeling.

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Does my dog really love me? How to show a dog affection? Do dogs like kisses on the head? In the language of dogs, kisses do not exist in the same way as they are in our way of expressing ourselves. They give love with licking, approaching us and letting themselves be spoiled, so what do they feel when we kiss them? Is it good to give them kisses? Do they understand us?

The first thing to say is that not all dogs like to receive kisses, not everyone is comfortable with the face of a human nearby, and why? Well precisely because they are not able to interpret our kiss as what it means to us. The first days with your dog it is frequent that he reacts strange to your kiss in his head or in his body, because he is still learning what you want to say.

Do dogs understand kisses

Do dogs understand kisses and hugs?

A kiss, for a dog, is just like another human action of yours that he has to learn. After a few months, he will understand that you kiss him because he has done something good, because you are having a nice time together or because you are also caressing him while you bring your lips to him.

When he understands it, he will know that it is for something good and he will feel it as if it were an award in the form of affection.

And what does my dog feel when I kiss him in the mouth?

The moment he learns that it’s because you want it, that’s how he’ll interpret it, not before. Think that, although they are similar gestures, the lickings that he gives with our kisses, in reality they are totally different.

They lick you to show you that you are the boss, to give you his warmth and to express his peace of mind and confidence. Licking for them involves passing the tongue in the same place, a technique that they also use with their puppies to give them warmth, that is, with someone they love very much.

A kiss, however, involves putting pressure on the lips and making a sound by pushing them away. Therefore, you will have to give them time to understand that our kisses are equivalent to their licks. It happens that, once they understand it, they themselves look for our face to give us licks on the lips pretending they are kisses, because they know that we like them.

Do dogs understand kisses

Is it bad for my health that my dog licks me directly in the mouth?

Recent studies have shown that some bacteria that live in the mouth of your dog have a probiotic effect on our bodies, that is, they help us prevent diseases, but of course, they also contain bacteria that can harm or make us sick.

If you like to kiss your dog in the mouth, or of him licking your lips from time to time, get used to brushing his teeth with specific products, always have his vaccination card in order and up-to-date and do not try that after he ate or after going out on the street. With a little care and after spending some time with your dog, he will love your kisses. And you? Do you give yourself lots of kisses on your dog?

Do dogs understand kisses

Dogs have found their way into our hearts and homes and many people think of them as part of the family. Some people even consider them as children. This leads to us forgetting that dogs are a different species than us humans and may not understand all of our actions.

As our affection for our dogs grows, we often do things they may not understand. This is true of hugs and kisses.

Do dogs understand when you kiss them?

Your dog may understand that a kiss is a sign of affection, but they don’t actually understand the concept. As puppies, dogs will show signs of discomfort when a human gives them a kiss.

Over time, their trust will grow and they will look at other cues such as tone of voice and the gentleness of touch to know if the kiss is good or bad. They soon learn that it is a sign of affection and many will show their pleasure by wagging their tail and even licking you as a means to show their affection.

It is more likely that starting the kissing when your dog is a puppy will result in more positive reactions and a greater understanding that you are displaying affection. While affection isn’t a concept a dog understands, the positive feeling attached to the act is. It is important to understand how a dog acts during interactions in order to get the point across.

Even the most trusting of dogs may be frightened if you kiss them on the nose. This is often one of the greatest causes of dog bites in children, who are only showing affection but the dog feels threatened.

Do dogs like to be hugged and kissed?

In most cases, no dogs do not like to be hugged and kissed. This goes back to the days before they became domesticated. Even dogs that have learned to tolerate kisses and see them as a sign of affection will feel uncomfortable with being hugged.

They may be willing to snuggle up to you, but they don’t like to be held in a way that makes them feel confined or trapped.

Consider the nature of kissing. We bend over him, look our dog in the eyes, and get right up in his face. All of these can be signs of aggression to your dog.

When dogs meet, they approach each other from one side or the other. There is never any direct eye contact as they do their traditional sniffing and then move onward.

Dogs in a pack will show dominance by placing their head over another dog’s head so leaning over them causes them to feel you are asserting your dominance and possibly becoming ready to attack.

Some dogs are more tolerant of being kissed and will even return the affection. For the most part, however, you need to know what signs to look for that indicate whether or not your dog is uncomfortable with the action.

A dog that is feeling stressed will lick his lips, give you the “whale eye”, and tuck his tail between his legs. Yawning is another sign of stress in your dog. If your dog shows any of these signs or tries to get away, it would be better to curb the urge to hug and kiss him and look for other ways to express your love.

Do dogs know you love them?

Dogs don’t actually know the concept of love but they know the feeling. When someone they love touches them or speaks to them kindly, the level of oxytocin increases dramatically. Anything you do that increases that good feeling the chemical causes shows your dog that you love him.

Things that create bonding such as play or a great belly rub all create that good feeling in them. Your dog then shows you that they love you in many ways.

To show their love, a dog gets extremely happy when you come home, even if you are only gone for a few minutes. He will wag his tail quickly, in large, sweeping motions, and follow you around the house. The more a dog feels loved by you, the more he will show his love in return.

Protecting you is one of the greatest ways a dog shows love. When your dog also feels safe, that sends him the message that he is loved. Dogs don’t know what the feeling is called, but they certainly know the feeling itself.

Is it OK to kiss your dog on the head?

As we previously discussed, most dogs don’t like being kissed, but some will tolerate it. Technically, you won’t do harm to yourself or your dog by kissing it on the head, but if the dog is wary of such shows of affection, you could do psychological damage by creating fear.

Leaning over a dog indicates dominance and induces a feeling of being threatened. In order to kiss your dog on the head, you need to lean over them. If you started kissing your dog as a puppy and it has become accustomed to your kisses, and seems to tolerate them well, then it is fine.

Otherwise, it is better to display your love in a different manner that is better understood, like giving him a gentle massage or a big belly rub. If you can’t resist kissing him, try giving him a kiss on his paw or belly instead.

Do dogs understand affection?

Dogs understand affection in a number of ways. They love a gentle touch and many dogs simply melt when you rub their ears or bellies. They feel your affection when you give them a treat or speak gently to them. Taking the time to play with your dog also shows him affection.

Dogs are not naturally used to displays such as hugs and kisses, which are human traits. By taking the time to understand the instincts that are born into dogs you can better show them how much you care.

Dogs also show their affection for you. They will stay close to you, lean against you, or even lick you to help calm you when you are distressed. This is much the same way a mother dog comforts her puppies. By sharing their toys or food, they show affection.

Even following you to the bathroom and sleeping on your bed are signs of affection. Yes, dogs understand both giving and receiving affection when it is done based on their natural instincts.

Do dogs understand kisses

Can your dog’s enthusiastic licks represent a sign of affection?

Ever wonder what your dog is thinking when he slurps your face like a lollipop? Is he just saying hello—or planting the canine version of a kiss on your cheek? Although we may never know the real answer, it helps to understand the psychology of the lick.

As any dog owner knows, dogs lick often and for a variety of reasons. For example, mothers lick their puppies to clean them and stimulate their urination and defecation. From about six weeks of age, some pups lick their mom’s face and lips when they want her to regurgitate food for them. This behavior is a remnant of their wild ancestry—it was easier for the mother to carry food in her stomach rather than dragging it back to the den in her mouth.

Pack members lick to communicate

As puppies grow older, they lick to groom themselves and their pack mates. It also becomes a way of welcoming others back into the pack and increasing the bonds between pack members.

Adult dogs lick as a sign of deference or submissiveness to a dominant pack member. The dog doing the licking usually lowers its body to make itself smaller, and looks up, adding to the effect of subordinate behavior. The dog receiving the face licks shows its dominance by standing tall to accept the gesture, but doesn’t return the favor.

Interpreting your dog’s lick

Now when your dog tries to lick your face, you might have a better idea of what he’s trying to communicate. He may simply be letting you know that he’s glad to see you. Or he may be hungry and asking for a snack. Obviously, you won’t regurgitate some food at that signal, but you might give him a treat.

But can his enthusiastic licks also represent a sign of affection? Here’s one way to look at it. A dog’s behavior can be encouraged with positive reinforcement. So if a dog licks his owner’s face—either out of instinct, anxiety, or just because his owner’s face tastes salty—and that action is greeted with positive attention, such as hugs and human kisses, he’ll want to repeat the behavior. While it’s probably not a “kiss,” you can bet it’s a sign that your dog thinks you’re pretty great.

Lots of dog moms and dads do. After all, their mouth is cleaner than yours, right?

Think about it — what they eat, what they lick. Common sense tells you it’s a germfest.

But the truth is, those bacteria aren’t big health risks for most people. So kissing your furry baby is OK, if it doesn’t gross you out. Just have a healthy awareness of what could be in your dog’s mouth, says Clark Fobian, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

What has your dog been doing?

Before you kiss a dog, or let a dog kiss your face, “you have to think of where their nose has been,” Fobian says. “Has it been inside a dead opossum on the side of the road, or the posterior of another dog, or in the litter box?”

Don’t think that kissing your dog on their snout or the top of their head is safer than on the mouth. When a dog has an infection — say, in their ear — germs can end up all over their body through scratching, Fobian says. And there’s a good chance whatever’s in their mouth will end up on their coat through slobber and licking.

Could you make each other sick?

Human and dog mouths have “a large number and a wide variety of bacteria,” Fobian says. Fortunately, most of it doesn’t make us sick, but some can. Parasites like hookworm, roundworm, and giardia can be passed from dog to human through licking. Salmonella, too, can be passed from your dog to you, or vice versa.

Viruses tend to affect one species or the other; you’re not going to give your dog a cold, and they won’t be giving you their cough.

If you’re sick, think twice

If you’re not healthy, skip it. People with weak immune systems should simply avoid kissing pets, Fobian says. That includes those with HIV/AIDS, those who have had an organ transplant, and those who are on medicines for cancer that limit the body’s ability to fight off infection.

Get the message from your dog

Some dogs may not like you to put your face close to theirs.

A dog who doesn’t want to be kissed will show their stress by leaning away, looking away, pursing and licking their lips.

“A lot of people miss those signs, and when they try to kiss the dog, the dog snaps at them,” says Melissa Bain, DVM, assistant professor at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

If your dog is giving you signs that this is not their thing, then don’t put them through it, Bain says.

It’s not much different from trying to kiss a human who doesn’t want to be kissed. “We respect people who are like that; we should also respect dogs who are like that,” Bain says.

Show Sources

Clark Fobian, DVM, president, American Veterinary Medical Association.

CDC: “Salmonella Infection (salmonellosis) and Animals,” “What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Roundworms & Hookworms,” “Giardia and Pets.”

Yamasaki, Y. Archives of Oral Biology, September 2012.

Melissa Bain, DVM, DACVB, MS, assistant professor of clinical animal behavior, chief of service, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Do dogs understand kisses

Considering the fact that dogs use their tongues to clean their butt, we probably should have known to avoid their mouths. All: Getty Images

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Newsflash: Dog butts are teeming with nasty germs.

So the innocent, thumbless creature does its best to clean using its tongue and teeth — from the same wet snout that loves giving you kisses.

Now a new study is urging dog owners to stop allowing their dogs to lick them — and to even wash their hands after petting a pooch — as their slobber may be a source of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

A joint team of researchers from the UK Royal Veterinary College and the University of Lisbon focused on a super strain of E.coli found in human and animal fecal samples from 41 homes in Portugal and 45 in Great Britain.

Close to 14% of dogs (14 out of 85) turned up the superbug, making theirs the largest share of infected poo.

Before we turn our noses up at our pooches, though, the results also suggested that us bipeds aren’t much cleaner, with about 13% of human samples (15 out of 114) showing the powerful E.coli — so we might not wanna go licking each other either.

Meanwhile, it was the not-so-humble cat that was recorded as the most sanitary, with only 5% (one out of 18) showing the superbug.

see also

Do dogs understand kisses

Man dies from rare skin-rotting disease after being licked by dog

Harmful bacteria have evolved to withstand our most powerful drugs and have been anticipated as one of the biggest global threats to public health of our time. Scientists have already identified drug-resistant strains of several commonly known bugs, including salmonella, tuberculosis, streptococcus, staphylococcus and so-called “super” gonorrhea, to name a few. Those are added to the more than 2.8 million drug-resistant infections — 35,000 of them fatal — that occur every year in the US, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control.

“Even before COVID, antibiotic resistance was one of the biggest threats to public health,” said lead study author Dr. Juliana Menezes, whose findings are being presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Lisbon later this month. “It can make conditions like pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract and wound infections untreatable.”

Researchers can’t be sure who — human or beast — is to blame for the spread, so they’re asking pet parents to be vigilant with their pups and refrain from wet kisses or “eating from the owner’s plate,” Menezes told the Telegraph.

However, Menezes noted that E.coli is found in the gut and, thus, in feces. As such, she stressed that “good hygiene practices on the part of owners would help to reduce sharing, such as washing hands after collecting dog waste, or even after petting them.”

Do dogs understand kisses

After a long day of work, many pet owners will naturally cuddle with their canine companions and shower them with tons of love and affection. One of the ways we show dogs our affection is by kissing, hugging, and petting them. But do dogs like human kisses and do dogs understand human kisses? Here’s the short answer first.

Do dogs like kisses? It depends on the situation, the timing of the kisses, and the dogs themselves. Generally, dogs feel threatened when strangers approach them with their mouths close to their faces. This can be viewed as assertive behavior in doggy language. Also, dogs usually greet other dogs by approaching from the side and not straight on. However, our dogs can learn to receive, enjoy, and understand kisses if they’re trained to tolerate kisses at a young age.

Kissing and hugging our furry friends is our way of connecting and bonding with them. In this guide, we’ll discuss the following:

  • How do dogs feel when you kiss them?
  • Are dog licks really kisses?
  • Why do dogs lick us in a way that appears similar to kissing?
  • Do dogs understand kisses and hugs?
  • Should we keep showering our dogs with hugs and kisses or are there other ways of showing love and affection towards them?

Related Article: Why Do Dogs Wink?

Table of Contents

Do dogs understand kisses?

To answer the question, “Do dogs like kisses?” it’s important that we first know the answer to these questions: “does a dog understand kisses?” or “Do dogs know what kisses are?”

It’s important to note that while our canine companions are domesticated today, they descended from wolves that used to live outside in the wild for generations. As a result, they had to use innate survival strategies to protect and defend themselves in order to survive.

Therefore, dogs inherited this defense mechanism and they do not like it when a stranger comes up very close to their face.

Do dogs understand kisses

As we can see, how we communicate and express our love and affection towards others is quite different than how dogs communicate love and affection. It’s safe to say that humans and dogs communicate in different ways.

Sometimes, we try to understand and interpret our dog’s behavior in human terms and our interpretation can be completely wrong.

On one hand, we as humans use either verbal or sign language to convey or communicate our emotions and ideas in order to get our point across.

On the other hand, our canine friends use facial expressions and body postures to communicate with other dogs.

You’re not alone if you’re wondering, “Do dogs understand human affection?” Researchers around the world have been fascinated by this question too. So they went ahead and studied dogs for many years as a way to understand them better.

They discovered that the dogs’ mind and their communication methods have evolved over thousands of years (over 30,000 years) from living with humans and other forms of human contact.

Through living with humans for thousands of years and undergoing both social and physical evolution, our furry friends were able to learn and adapt to our human behaviors and ways of communication.

Both behavioral scientists and researchers found out that domesticated dogs have great social-cognitive abilities that allowed them to be exceptionally attuned to human communication and behaviors.

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Welcome to our pack!

Many domesticated dog breeds today have lost some, if not most of their wolf-like language traits. For instance:

  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have retained the least wolf-like communication traits.
  • The German Shepherds lost about ⅓ of their wolf-like behavior and communication traits and were able to retain just ¾ of their ancestral wolf-like ways of communication and behavior.
  • While the Huskies have retained the most wolf-like behavior and communication traits.

As we can see, the communication and behavioral traits amongst the different dog breeds can vary and this can make it difficult for one dog breed (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) to communicate with another dog breed (the Siberian Huskies).

This is why it can sometimes be difficult for us, as dog owners, to understand our four-legged friends’ behavioral and communication traits. If you’re in this situation with your canine friends, don’t fret because you’re not alone.

If you’re giving your dogs kisses (whether on the face, head, or mouth) and they don’t seem to like it or they immediately snap at you, don’t get upset and don’t try to compare your experience to another dog owners’ experience.

All dogs are different and your dog breed may be different from another owners’ dog breed so the communication and behavioral traits may also be different.

Does my dog know what kisses are?

While our dogs do not innately or naturally understand what our human kisses mean, it doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to interpret what our behavior means.

Our furry companions are very smart and if you start kissing them on their face, head, nose, or mouth at a young age (during puppyhood) with hugs and cuddles then they will learn to associate kisses with love and affection.

Remember that it takes time and patience to teach our K9 friends the meaning of kisses and hugs. Since kissing isn’t something that dogs innately do and they don’t show other dogs love by kissing, we need to teach them that both kisses and hugs are positively associated with being loved.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

I’m a pet lover who has years of pet sitting and grooming experience. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with all pet owners so they can also keep their canine companions healthy, happy, and clean!

Experts weigh in on the meaning behind why dogs lick people.

Do dogs understand kisses

You either love it or hate it: the wet, warm sensation of a dog licking your face. Many of us seek out this kind of interaction with our dogs (sometimes much to the horror of onlookers) while others try to discourage the behavior. Many dog lovers attribute a lot of meaning to dogs licking us, especially if we’re the sort that enjoy it – we say our dogs are giving us kisses and we interpret that as a sign of affection, but are dog kisses really a sign of affection? Or are they just after the leftovers we forgot to wipe off our chins?

Do dogs understand kisses

Why do Dogs Lick People?

Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Chair of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Nick Hof, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, KPA-CTP, CSAT, explains there are a lot of reasons why dogs lick people’s hands, feet or faces. It might mean your dog wants to show you affection, but it could also be because you taste good or that your dog is struggling with compulsive behavior.

Do dogs understand kisses

If you are wearing sweet-scented lotion, or come home sweaty, your dog might be licking you because you taste good. I know my own dogs are very excited to lick my hands if I’ve been eating something greasy or salty, like potato chips. Hof mentions that dog guardians shouldn’t be alarmed by their dogs finding them delicious – they probably won’t take a bite out of you!

While most of the time dog kisses aren’t anything to be concerned about, Hof warns there are times when the kissing might be a sign of something else going on with your dog. He advises that there might be an underlying health issue “if the licking seems to be compulsive, excessive, or self-destructive; if it is difficult to redirect your dog or they are harming themselves, you should consult with your veterinarian for help addressing this issue.”

Do dogs understand kisses

Are Dog Kisses Actually Signs of Affection?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to dogs’ intentions when licking their people, but it seems to come down to whether your dog is seeking you out, or if you are seeking your dog out.

Hof explains, “It’s helpful to look at the context of the licking to better understand and pay attention to other signals besides the licking or the kiss, such as the dog approaching the owner and choosing to engage in the behavior despite having the option to move away or leave; or was the dog thrust upon and looking away and licking his lips as well?” In other words, forced affection on the part of the guardian can warp the true intention of a dog’s kiss – a dog will “kiss” your face to appease you and make go away rather than to display their love for you.

Do dogs understand kisses

Hof offers the following important reminder: “it’s always best to invite your dog to approach you so that you feel more confident they’ve made that choice willingly. When you begin to respect your dog’s autonomy, you see more comfort and confidence in their behavior.” What you can count on as a result is knowing the way your dog behaves with you is genuine.

For safety reasons (and this is a hard one for many of us who share our lives with dogs), Hof states that it is not recommended for people to put their faces up to their dogs’ faces. Although this is often done as a sign of affection from us, it is very commonly invasive to our dogs and they may not appreciate it. This is where we most often see dogs licking or “kissing” their person’s face as a way for the dog to avoid conflict.

This “Kiss to Dismiss”, as coined by the Family Paws Organization, is often paired with a look away from the person and licking of lips. If you would like to have a close moment with your dog, invite them to do so with you, and if they want to come up to your face, they will – but if not, respect it when they say ‘no’. Obviously we want our dogs to be comfortable so it’s important to be thoughtful of how we physically show emotions to our dogs, so that our dogs don’t feel pressured to appease us through kisses.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Licking You

If your dog is prone to kisses and you or your family and guests aren’t fans of it, Hof explains the best thing you can do is to be proactive with training your dog.

“If you see them approaching and you know they’re going to lick you, ask them to sit as they approach, then redirect their affection and energy onto a toy or other activity. If, when you sit down to watch TV, your dog tries to give you a tongue bath, give them a stuffed Kong or a bone to enjoy instead of your sweat or lotion.”

Getting ahead of the behavior is particularly important. “If you wait until they are already licking you to always redirect, you may inadvertently reinforce the licking behavior with a treat or chew,” Hof cautioned. Simply this means your dog may increase his licking in order to get the treats you were using to redirect the licking in the first place.

If you have a hard time redirecting your dog or discouraging licking behavior, it’s a good idea to talk with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to determine if there is something going on with your dog causing what might be obsessive licking behavior. Dog trainer Jill Breitner reminds us that, “Licking as in lip licking or tongue flicks are a sign of stress.” She also points out that it can happen quickly and that dog guardians may not even realize that their dog is stressed.

“Context is always key in decoding the emotional state of a dog,” explains Breitner, creator of the Dog Decoder App in collaboration with artist Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings. This interactive education app teaches users about canine body language and how to better read what your dog is telling you about their emotional wellbeing through body language. The app is available for iPhones and Androids.

Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author and Certified Trick Dog Instructor. Sassafras lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, with her partner, a senior Chihuahua mix, rescued Cattle Dog mix, young Newfoundland, two bossy cats, and a formerly semi-feral kitten.

Can dogs cry tears

Pet owners often claim their dogs cry. Darwin thought monkeys and elephants wept. But modern scientists believe the only animal to really break down in tears is us. So why do we do it, and why do we change the way we cry as we grow older? Amanda Smith investigates.

Charles Darwin thought that tears had no modern adaptive function.

A similar view was expressed in poetry by Tennyson when he wrote, ‘Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean’.

Professor Ad Vingerhoets from Tilburg University in the Netherlands has written extensively about our capacity to burst into tears, including his book Why Only Humans Weep: Unravelling the Mysteries of Tears.

‘In the sense of producing emotional tears, we are the only species,’ he says. All mammals make distress calls, like when an offspring is separated from its mother, but only humans cry, he says.

I think that [crying in front of others] shows us how tears are a social phenomenon, it’s something we do in public, it’s showing other people what’s going through our head.

Anecdotally though, plenty of people today seem to believe that animals, especially their pets, can and do weep.

Certainly all land animals have the physiological ability to produce tears to lubricate their eyes.

Darwin’s own theory of tears claimed that ‘in our evolutionary past, babies would close their eyes very tightly to protect their eyes when they were screaming for their mothers,’ says Dr Thomas Dixon, director of the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London.

‘The closing of the eyes very tightly would squeeze the lachrymal glands and bring out the tears,’ he says. By a process of association thereafter, any kind of pain or suffering became connected with tears.

Darwin also thought that ‘animals could weep emotionally’, says Dixon.

‘He cited a macaque monkey in London Zoo that could do it, and he also firmly believed that Indian elephants when they were captured or distressed or dying would weep in grief.’

This is, however, out of line with current scientific thinking. ‘Darwin is a bit of an embarrassment for modern psychologists in that he was more willing to ascribe human emotions to animals than scientists tend to be today,’ says Dixon.

Professor Vingerhoets says that weeping is not only confined to humans, it’s also a capacity that develops with age.

As you grow older the acoustic aspect, the howling, becomes less important and the visible signalling of tears becomes more essential.

The reasons why people cry also change.

‘Powerlessness and being separated from loved ones stay important all over the lifespan’, Vingerhoets says. However, while children from infancy through to adolescence cry as a result of physical pain, adults are less likely to. ‘What is important for adults is what we call sentimental tearing—crying because we see others doing good to other people, self-sacrifice.’

With increasing age also comes increasing empathy.

‘You also start crying more not only because of your own distress but also because of the distress and suffering of others,’ Vingerhoets says.

The distress and suffering of others doesn’t have to be real either. How often have you shed a tear over a movie, or a book?

Dr Dixon says that stage dramas going back to classical antiquity have always been a vehicle for a focused expression of emotion. ‘In essence one of the main things that makes us cry is a story with moments of perhaps unexpected tragedy or perhaps longed-for resolution’.

There’s also a purifying and ritual aspect to tears.

In one of the Psalms of the Old Testament, David says to God, ‘You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them’.

There is, indeed, a tradition of tear bottles in early Western cultures, both pagan and Christian. Professor Vingerhoets says that tear bottles have been found in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman societies. Rather than containing actual tears though, he says it’s more likely that they contained ritual oils and perfumes.

‘But what we know for sure is that tear bottles have been used by sailors and soldiers when they were separated from their loved ones. Also more recently, in the 19th century, they have been used when those mourning the loss of their loved ones collected their tears’. The mourning period was ended when the tears had evaporated from the bottle.

Can dogs cry tears

(iStock)

Most often, we think of dogs as happy, carefree animals who wag their tails and roll onto their backs to get their bellies scratched. You know, all signs of happiness and loving behavior. But as any observant pet owner knows, dogs undoubtedly have other emotions, too. They can be scared —maybe if there’s a perceived threat like fireworks or a thunderstorm —and they can get snappy —why did you step on my tail?! —and just like humans, they appear to feel sadness, too. But do dogs cry?

“ Dogs are extremely emotional creatures,” Daniel Caughill, co-founder of Dog Tale, explains. “Most of the time, they’re excited and happy, and they show it by barking, wagging their tails, and licking the people they love. But unfortunately, having emotions means dogs experience sadness, too.”

But though dogs feel sadness, the way a dog “cries” isn’t necessarily the same way a human does. If we’re talking tears, there’s a bit of a difference in how this species manifests their upset. So, do dogs really cry? Here’s what the experts say.

Do dogs cry?

No… and yes. Dogs can “cry,” but this doesn’t necessarily mean that their eyes expel tears… at least not due to their feelings.

“As you might have observed in your own pet, dogs do cry in the definition that they can shed tears,” explains Dr. Genna Mize, staff technical service veterinarian in support of the pharmacovigilance team at Virbac Animal Health. “However, humans are thought to be the only animals that cry tears of emotion.”

Dog-crying really is more like whimpering and unlike humans, dogs don’t tear up when they are sad.

“Signs that your dog is sad include vocalizations, like whimpering or whining, as well as showing a lack of energy or interest in things they normally love, like favorite snacks or toys,” Caughill says. “ Dogs may also show their emotion on their face by squinting their eyes or hiding their face from you.”

Cauhill adds, “However, even if you hear your dog crying, don’t expect to see 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.”

In fact, “crying” in the way of expelling tears is strictly human business. 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. Oscar Chavez, veterinarian and Chief Medical Officer and founding executive at JustFoodForDogs LLC, tells Parade. “Dog tears, however, may be a sign of something wrong in the eyes: discharge, conjunctivitis or infections, allergies, or corneal ulcers or scratches.”

Can dogs feel sadness? What causes their sadness?

Dogs certainly do feel sadness. Just consider their expression every time you leave the house and how happy they are upon your return.

“We know now that your dog isn’t crying because they are sad!” Dr. Mize says. “So, how does your dog express sadness? Sadness in a dog is typically displayed by a myriad of signs — some obvious, some not so obvious. Common behaviors which may communicate sadness are vocalizing (such as whining and whimpering), trembling, clingy behavior or the opposite — ignoring you! Just like humans, dogs can communicate sadness in a variety of ways and most astute pet owners understand their own dog’s communication style in what they are trying to ‘say.’”

So, what exactly causes a dog to feel sad?

“Loss — perceived or real,” Dr. Chavez explains. “For example, some dogs with extreme separation anxiety believe that their pet parents have abandoned them every time they walk out the door.”

Apart from separation anxiety and loss, dogs may feel sad for other reasons, too.

“Dogs can feel sadness for the same reasons we humans feel sadness,” Dr. Mize adds. “Have you ever felt sad and then your dog responds to you in a compassionate way? They might not know why you are sad or upset but they can respond accordingly to comfort you. Researchers believe dogs have the emotional capacity of a 2 to 2-and-a-half-year-old human child — so a limited but pretty impressive emotional skill set!”

Related: 50 Small Dog Breeds

What do dog tears mean?

Dog tears don’t directly correlate to their sadness. Instead, dogs usually show their sadness in other ways. Most often, as Dr. Chavez pointed out, these signs of sadness manifest as anxiety. According to Dr. Chavez, a sad dog may vocalize (such as whimpering or whining), become withdrawn, hide, stop eating, and/or lose interest in things they normally enjoy (such as taking walks, greeting people, or playing with toys).

Though dog tears don’t equal sadness, it is something serious to watch for as tears (and other eye-related symptoms) can be an indication of a medical issue.

“Rather than a manifestation of sadness, if you notice your pup tearing up, it is time to do some investigating into their physical health as excessive tearing is typically indicative of an eye issue,” Dr. Mize says.

For example, dog tears may be a sign of allergies.

“If you notice your dog tearing excessively, especially when combined with itching flatulence, it could be do to environmental or digestive allergies,” Caughill says. “Your vet can help you determine what your pup may be allergic to.”

When to visit the vet for dog tears

If your dog’s eyes are frequently expelling tears, it could be a sign of a medical issue. We recommend always consulting a veterinarian first before taking any action.

“The canine eye, like most mammals, is remarkably similar to a human’s with tear ducts that produce tears to keep the eyes lubricated and protected,” Dr. Mize says. “While a mild amount of tearing can be normal, excessive tearing in which your dog appears to be crying is typically indicative of an ocular medical issue such as an infection, foreign object or injury of the eye (which can often result in corneal ulceration), allergies, a blocked tear duct, or an (often serious) issue with the inner eye such as glaucoma, retinitis, or cataract development.”

“Excessive tearing of any kind should be evaluated by a vet,” Dr. Chavez says. “Any thick or opaque discharge (ie: green, yellow, or white tears) should be seen immediately.”

If your dog is experiencing swollen eyes or exhibiting other signs that they are in pain, such as frequent pawing at the eye, then contact your vet.

“Dogs with swollen eyes, squinting, or blinking eyes should also be seen,” Dr. Chavez adds. “If you see any of the above [symptoms] in only one eye, that’s another clue something may be wrong in just the one eye, and your dog should be seen.”

Dr. Mize adds, “Excessive tearing or not, if you observe redness, squinting, abnormal discharge or pawing of the eye, it is time to visit your veterinarian ASAP to diagnose the problem and formulate a treatment plan. We certainly don’t want your dog to feel sad because of eye pain!”

You know that your dog feels emotions; he’s a sensitive animal, prone to joy, fear, sadness, and a range of other emotions. And of course, like most mammals, dogs have tear ducts. So, is there a connection between a dog’s brain and his tear ducts? No. While canines express needs and wants vocally, there is no scientific evidence proving that dogs, or any other animals, in fact, actually produce tears as a response to what they’re feeling. We seem to be the only species capable of breaking into emotional tears.

What we do know is that dogs can have empathic, compassionate responses when we find ourselves wiping tears away and snuffling into a tissue. An interesting study shows that comforting may be hardwired into dogs.

Certainly, dogs use a number of vocalizations to express themselves. Puppies learn to whine or whimper to get their mother’s attention. This behavior often carries into adulthood. Your dog may let you know he needs something—food, water, a potty break, or just a friendly pat—by “crying.”

We’ve all fallen for the sad gaze and heartbreaking whimper. But, if your dog’s eyes are tearing or you see traces of fluid, something else could be going on. Tear ducts keep the eyes clean and functioning correctly. Unlike in humans, however, the liquid drains back toward the throat and nose.

Can dogs cry tears

Reasons For Dog Tears

So, what does it mean if your dog seems to be crying?

  • He may have allergies. If he has a sensitive or allergic reaction to something—pollen, food ingredients, smoke, dander, or dust, for example—his eyes may water.
  • He might have a blocked tear duct, which causes your dog’s eyes to be damp and possibly irritated.
  • Wet eyes can also be caused by infection. If the fluid is yellow or bloody, this could be a symptom of an eye infection. Other symptoms include irritated or swollen eyes.
  • There could be a speck of dirt in his eye. The tears in this case should be temporary. If not, please consult your vet.
  • He may have a scratched cornea, which is more common in active dogs. His eyes may not only tear, but he might paw at his eye, blink more than usual, or have inflammation around the eye.

There are many different causes for excessive watering of the eyes in dogs, so it’s imperative to consult your veterinarian for an official diagnosis.

If by crying we mean whimpering, howling, mewling or whining, then yes, dogs most certainly do cry. But only in humans are tears mysteriously connected to our hearts and brains.

Can dogs cry tears

At some point you may have looked down at your dog and noticed watery eyes. It’s easy to assume that the dog is crying, but those tears are actually caused by something other than emotions.

We know that dogs can sense our emotions, and we know they are capable of grief, but can they cry real, emotional tears?

Dogs are compassionate and sensitive animals. When we’re happy, there they are to wag their tails and share the joy. When we’re feeling blue, there they are to offer a warm cuddle and share the sadness. They are our friends, through and through.

Can dogs cry tears

But, while humans can cry for emotional reasons, dogs cannot. So what exactly are they doing instead of being overcome with emotion?

Like humans, dogs have tear ducts to help keep their eyes functioning properly. However, a dog’s tear ducts drain the liquid back towards the throat and nose area instead of spilling out. So if a dog looks like he’s crying, there might be something wrong that you need to get checked out by a veterinarian.

Here are some common causes of tears in dogs:

Allergies

Just like with humans, allergies can cause a dog’s eyes to water. Dogs can be allergic to a number of things, including pollen, dust, dander, smoke, or food ingredients. A vet may have to run a few tests or put the dog on a special elimination diet to figure out the cause of the allergic reaction.

Blocked Tear Ducts

If a dog’s tear ducts get blocked, then tears may start flowing from your dog’s eyes. This eye discharge is called epiphora. You will know your dog has epiphora because the area around your dog’s eyes will be damp. If it’s been going on for a while, your dog may develop skin irritation or have brown or reddish fur around their eyes. Seek veterinary attention when you first notice symptoms.

Infection

If the dog’s tears are yellow, mucusy, or bloody instead of clear, it may be a sign that your dog has an eye infection. Other symptoms could be a swollen or irritated eye area. If your dog is displaying these signs, something may be seriously wrong, and you should go to a vet and get medical treatment.

Scratched Cornea

If your dog is an active dog, then he may be susceptible to a scratched cornea. Rough play with dogs or cats, running through thick brush, and projectiles in the area can be causes of a scratched cornea. Besides tearing, a dog may paw at his eye, blink a lot, or have an inflamed eye area. Take your dog to the vet if he shows any signs of having a scratched cornea.

Speck of Dirt

Sometimes, if your dog is tearing up, it just means he has a speck of dirt or an eyelash in his eye. If this is the case, the tears should stop soon. However, make sure to watch your dog for prolonged or more serious symptoms, and bring your dog to the vet if necessary.

Even though it might look like dogs cry tears, it’s usually just an indication that there is something wrong. Instead of handing your dog a tissue, make sure you watch her closely, and seek medical treatment, it may be something serious.

Can dogs cry tears

We all know that dogs can howl, yip, and whine. But do dogs cry in the same way that we humans do? After all, dogs are incredibly empathetic creatures.

At some point, you may have seen your dog with watery eyes or even seen your dog shed a tear. However, while we humans can cry for emotional reasons, dogs do not. Dogs use other means to express their emotions, such as a happy, wagging tail or sad, pinned back ears.

So what does it mean when you see your dog “crying” actual tears? Here are several reasons why you might see your dog shedding some tears and what they mean.

Allergies

Can dogs cry tears

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Just like humans, your dog can have allergies that are seasonal or caused by other factors like laundry detergent or food ingredients.

If you suspect that allergies are the reason why your dog is crying, take them to the vet to run some tests that will help you identify and eliminate the allergens.

Other signs of allergies include swelling, hives, sneezing, coughing, inflammation, and more. If you see other signs of allergies, report them to the vet. This will help them narrow down the cause of your dog’s tears and prescribe treatment.

Blocked Tear Ducts

Can dogs cry tears

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Just like humans, dogs have tear ducts to help keep their eyes functioning and healthy. Unlike humans, whose tear ducts push tears out, dogs’ tear ducts drain the liquid back towards the nasal area of the throat and nose.

If your dog has blocked tear ducts, the tears may drip outwards, like when humans cry. This eye discharge is known as epiphora.

If your dog has epiphora, the fur around their eyes will be damp and can lead to skin irritation or brown, reddish fur circling the eyes.

Bring your dog to the vet if symptoms of blocked tear ducts persists for some time.

Infection

Can dogs cry tears

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

If your dog is crying out yellow, mucus-filled, or bloody tears instead of clear ones, it is a strong indication your dog has an eye infection.

Other symptoms of eye infections include swelling in the eye area or redness in the eye.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you take them to the vet ASAP.

Irritant In The Eye

Can dogs cry tears

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Another reason your dog may be crying is simply because they have an irritant like dirt or dust in their eye. Gently lift their upper and lower eyelid to check for debris.

In this case, tears should only last as long as it takes to get the speck of dirt or dust out.

Flush the eye with cool water or vet-approved eye wash. If your dog’s eye still shows signs of irritation, get to the vet so they can help.

If you see larger debris or debris that is damaging your dog’s eye, do not try to flush it. Bandage the eye and get to the vet right away. Make sure your dog doesn’t paw at it before you arrive.

A Scratched Cornea

Can dogs cry tears

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Another reason your dog may cry is because of a scratched cornea. Scratched corneas are more common in active, playful dogs who may have been swiped by another dog during play.

If your dog’s eye is tearing, and they keep pawing at it, take them to the vet to prevent serious vision damage due to a scratched cornea.

Even though your dog doesn’t cry emotionally, they still have ways to express sadness. When dogs experience feelings of pain, frustration, or loss, they show it through vocalizations such as howling, whimpering, and whining. They may also withdraw from activities they normally enjoy.

These are the signs you should watch for if you’re worried about your dog’s emotional well being. Tears, however, indicate a health concern that you should treat appropriately with the help of your vet.

Has your dog ever cried tears? Was it caused by a health issue or eye irritant? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’ve ever noticed your dog having weepy eyes, you might have initially thought that it had something to do with emotions, akin to when us humans cry. Many of us would have instinctively rushed to cuddle our dogs, wondering if they were feeling sad and lonely. But when a dog is crying, does it have anything to do with feelings?

As sentient beings, we know that dogs can feel, but if they have different ways of expressing it, how do we gauge their emotions accurately? Yes, physical cues may give us a clear indication of some emotions that they’re feeling. For example, when they’re wagging their tails, we know that they are happy or excited.

But what about the moments when there are tears in their eyes? Is this actually an indication of sadness? Can dogs cry to express how they feel?

Do Dogs Cry When They’re Sad?

Can dogs cry as humans do? While it may be easy to think that dog crying translates to sadness, it is crucial to understand that crying in humans is not the same when it comes to dog body language.

When humans cry, self-soothing helps regulate emotions and calm down, but a dog cries to signal a health condition, mostly related to the eyes. While this may be counterintuitive to us humans, it helps make a mental note about these things not to misinterpret our dogs’ needs.

To provide some context — dogs also have tear ducts that allow for proper eye function, but the process is not exactly the same compared with humans. A dog’s tear ducts don’t function by spilling out the liquid. Instead, the liquid is drained at the back, leading to the nasal cavity.

So if your dog is crying tears, what could be the reason for this?

Why Do Dogs Cry Tears?

If it’s not because they’re sad, what could be the reason then? “Why is my dog crying?” you might ask.

There’s no single reason as to why dogs shed tears. So, if it happens, you might need to have a dog checked by a veterinarian to know the exact cause. To give you an idea, below are some of the possible reasons why dogs cry or have weepy eyes:

Blockage of tear ducts

If there’s a blockage in your dog’s tear ducts, you may notice tears falling down from their eyes. This symptom of overflowing tears is called epiphora. It’s hard not to miss when your dog has epiphora because this will be evident from the dampness around their eyes. The causes of epiphora are many, ranging from rhinitis and sinusitis to parasites and bone trauma.

If it’s been happening for a long time, it may also be accompanied by symptoms such as skin irritation and reddish or brownish fur around your dog’s eyes. Have your dog checked with the veterinarian to determine what’s causing the blockage.

Corneal ulcer

Can dogs cry tears

Active and playful dogs are more prone to getting a corneal ulcer, which is also called a scratched cornea. The cornea is a transparent membrane that covers the dog’s eyeball. When your pup is playing rough with cats or when they like exploring thick bushes, scratching the cornea is entirely possible.

If you have a crying dog after intense playing outside, this may indicate that your pup’s cornea has a scratch. Apart from watery eyes, other signs may include excessive blinking, pawing at an eye, and swelling around the eye. Treating scratched cornea is complex since it depends on the severeness of the damage. So if you see these signs in your dog, consult with your veterinarian to determine a possible treatment.

Eye infection

If you’ve noticed that your dog is crying and that their tears are producing mucus, are yellowish, or contain blood, it could be a sign of an eye infection. It may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling and eye irritation. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, it is best to have your dog checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible to get the treatment that they need.

Conjuctivitis

Another cause of tears in dogs is conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva tissue. In healthy pooches, this tissue can hardly be seen. In dogs with conjunctivitis, the membranes become red and swollen, causing discharge from the eyes, excessive blinking, and swelling around the eyes.

Conjunctivitis in dogs can sometimes be caused by the obstruction of nasolacrimal or tear ducts. Put it simply, this inflammation might cause dogs to cry tears. If your pup has swelling around the eyes and discharges tears, scheduling a visit to a vet is a must. Luckily for dogs, conjunctivitis is usually easy to treat, especially if you contact a specialist early.

Allergies

Watery eyes in dogs are also among the allergy signs. When it comes to allergies, however, there are many possible causes. These may include food ingredients, pollen, scents, dust, smoke, among others.

A veterinarian needs to run a few tests to determine a particular allergen. If you’ve made any changes to your pup’s diet, dog tears may be a reaction to a specific food allergen. Try an elimination diet to determine what specific food ingredient caused watery eyes, and make the necessary adjustments.

Dirt or Dust

If your dog has tears after digging up in the backyard, the chances are high that a speck of dust or dirt got into an eyelash. Usually, it’s quite harmless, and the dog’s tears will stop soon. However, if the tears won’t go away, you might need to take your dog to their veterinarian to determine what’s causing this condition.

If your dog has watery crying eyes, ask a veterinarian for professional advice. For most cases, online consultation would be more than enough to see whether it is something serious or just a minor issue that will be fine in several days with more attention to it. For 24/7 vet help, you can try Online Vet by Petcube — an Online Chat with a licensed vet any time you have a question in mind.

Takeaway

Tears in our dog’s eyes don’t mean they are crying out of emotions. However, upon understanding that dogs have their own way of expressing emotions, we come to know that tears may actually indicate something else.

While we might instinctively want to comfort our dogs when they are in tears, it’s important to remember that there’s a different cause for their weepy eyes that a serious condition may cause.

Suppose your dog’s tears don’t subside easily. In that case, it’s best to have them checked by a veterinarian to determine the exact reason for their watery eyes and help them get proper medical treatment if necessary.

Can dogs cry tears

You’re curled up on the couch with your pup, watching a sad movie, when you start to cry. When you look over, it looks like your dog’s eyes are filled with tears too.

While you might see your dog tear up from time to time, those tears might not mean what you think.

Of course dogs have lots of feelings, but do they cry when they’re feeling sad, hurt or scared like humans do? And can they cry tears of joy?

To find out, The Dodo spoke to Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian at Bond Vet , to get the scoop on whether or not dogs can really cry.

Do dogs cry?

While dogs do feel sadness and pain, it doesn’t make them cry emotional tears like we do.

“Dogs can produce tears, but they don’t cry in response to strong emotions,” Dr. Austin told The Dodo. “Emotional tearing, with a very large production of tears in a short time, is just something their eyes aren’t equipped to do.”

Of course dogs do “cry,” or produce some tears, but their tears aren’t because of their emotions. So what’s the purpose of their tears?

“Like humans, a dog’s tears help their eyes function properly and provide some degree of protection,” Dr. Austin said. “A dog’s tears are functional in nature, including basal tears (the fluid that keeps the eyes lubricated) and reflex tears (extra tear production that flushes the eye in the case of irritation or a piece of dirt stuck in the eye).”

Dogs’ eyes produce tears to help take care of their eyes just like people’s eyes do, but you won’t see a dog crying because she’s hurt or sad.

Why does it look like my dog’s crying?

So if it does look like your dog has been crying, she’s probably not sad — but there are some other reasons why you might see tears.

“ Watery eyes in dogs often indicate some sort of eye irritation or problem,” Dr. Austin said.

There are a bunch of reasons why your pup might have watery eyes, such as:

    — Just like people, dogs can have allergies to lots of things, like pollen, dust and food, and those allergies can make their eyes water.
  • Irritants, like dust, dirt or eyelashes — If your dog has something in her eye, the tears should stop as soon as the irritation is gone.
  • Blocked tear duct — Tears from a blocked tear duct are called epiphora and can lead to skin irritation and stained fur (a brown or reddish color) caused by damp fur around your dog’s eyes.
  • Scratched cornea — Dogs can get a scratched cornea from being too rough when playing. You might notice blinking or an inflamed eye in addition to tears.
  • Infection — Tears from an eye infection will be yellow and mucusy or bloody. Your dog’s eyes might also be swollen.

But depending on the type of dog you have, watery eyes might not always be a symptom of a medical issue.

“Some breeds, especially those with short noses, might naturally have more watery eye discharge than other breeds due to their conformation [or body structure],” Dr. Austin said. “This may be normal so long as no other symptoms occur, and usually it’s only a cosmetic issue that doesn’t require treatment. But ask your vet if you’re not sure.”

The best rule of thumb is if you’re ever unsure about symptoms your dog’s displaying, just ask your vet (better safe than sorry!).

What to do if your dog’s eyes are tearing

Because tearing up is usually a sign of an eye problem, you should get your pup checked out by a vet.

“If tearing persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, like redness or squinting, it’s best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible to check for any medical issues that could require treatment,” Dr. Austin said.

Treatment will depend on the cause of your dog’s tears:

  • Allergies — Your vet will run tests to find out what your dog is allergic to, and then you can remove any allergens from your house. You can also give your dog over-the-counter antihistamines — just be sure to double-check with your vet before giving any medicines to your pup.
  • Irritants — If the object irritating your dog’s eye doesn’t come out on its own, your vet will remove it and might give you pain medication if your dog’s eye is still hurting.
  • Blocked tear duct — If your dog’s tear duct is blocked, your vet will flush out the duct and might prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicines. If flushing doesn’t work, surgery might be needed to open and drain the duct.
  • Scratched cornea — Treatment for a scratched cornea will usually be antibiotics, and in more severe cases (for deep scratches that aren’t healing) , your dog might need surgery.
  • Infection — Your vet will prescribe an antibiotic and might use a saline wash to flush your dog’s eye for an infection.

Basically, if you’re worried your dog is crying because she’s emotionally upset, you can relax — dogs don’t cry like people do. But you should get her checked out by your vet to make sure her tears aren’t a sign of an eye problem. The good news is that most eye problems in dogs are easily treatable with medication, or sometimes just a little patience and TLC.

You may have noticed that your dog sometimes produces tears. So, why do dogs have tears? Do dogs cry tears for emotional reasons, like humans do? Let’s talk more about dog tears, including what types of tears dogs produce.

If you are in tune with your dog’s body language or vocalizations, you know that he is almost always trying to say something. Dogs don’t laugh, but a wagging tail and an eager face seem easy to interpret as joy. Pain and sorrow are a different matter and more difficult to read. So, do dogs cry tears? Are a dog’s whimpers, whines and howls the same as human weeping? Can dogs cry or even sympathize with us when we’re sad? Let’s start with the basics.

Do dogs have tear ducts?

Can dogs cry tears

Tear stains are proof that dogs have tear ducts. Photography by Susan Schmitz/Shutterstock.

Before we answer, “Do dogs cry tears?” let’s talk about dog tear stains. Those rust-colored trails leading away from the eyes of a light- or white-coated dog — are more than enough proof that dogs do have tear ducts. Tear staining, also known as epiphora, is basically excessive tear production. It happens to darker-coated dogs as well, though it’s harder to see. Why do dogs have tears, if not for crying?

So, the answer to, “Do dogs cry tears?” is that there are three kinds of tears, and dogs make use of two: basal and reflexive. Basal tears keep a dog’s eyes wet and functioning. They are produced constantly, if slowly. Reflexive tears protect the eyes and work to flush out debris like dirt, pollen and other irritants.

Do dogs cry tears for emotional reasons?

When we question, “Do dogs cry tears?” what we’re really asking is if they respond to stimuli — physical or emotional — in the same way we do. This third variety is called “emotional tears.” Our tear ducts make and issue them faster and in greater volume than either basal or reflexive tears. Emotional tears are the only ones that canine tear ducts don’t produce.

A dog’s tears are necessary and functional. For the most part, dog vocalizations serve practical purposes and don’t accompany tears. Dogs bark or howl when they sense a threat. They whine when they want food, exercise or attention.

Dogs in distress

Can dogs cry tears

Changes in behavior help us determine if a dog is hurt or sick. Photography ©dosecreative | Thinkstock.

What about separation anxiety, which involves a wide range of expressions? We’ve all heard dogs whimper and whine with all the subtlety of an alarm clock the moment their owners are out of sight. That’s something like crying. Others let us know how they feel by chewing up our favorite pair of shoes or pooping on the carpet.

How do we interpret the yips and yelps that accompany sudden injury? People in pain can weep for extended periods of time. Dogs, on the other hand, don’t tend to sound out physical pain beyond the moment it happens. The lack of vocal signs is one reason why changes in behavior, energy levels and feeding habits are more reliable ways to tell when a dog is hurt or sick.

Do dogs respond to our tears?

If the answer to, “Do dogs cry tears?” is that dogs don’t cry tears like humans might, can dogs sympathize with us when we cry? Dogs may not cry in the same way or for the same reasons that we do, but there’s no doubt they are in tune with our emotional states.

Several years ago, I messed up my knee. I managed to get myself home that night and had an extraordinary experience. The moment I opened my car door, my dog, Tina, let out a long, strange noise that took me by complete surprise.

I had no doubt that she was responding to my pain. In our nine years together, I never heard her make any sound like it before or again. Dogs may not express grief, sorrow, longing, loss, rage or joy through their tear ducts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel as keenly.

Thumbnail: Photography ©retales botijero | Getty Images.

Melvin Peña is a writer, editor, social media manager and SEO specialist who spends most of his time in Durham, North Carolina. His interests include his dog, Baby (of course!), art, hiking, urban farming and karaoke.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Check out other helpful articles about dog health Dogster:

  • 6 Natural Ways to Ease Your Dog’s Anal Sac Distress
  • Can Dogs Drink Beer, Wine or Other Types of Alcohol?
  • All About Skin Tags on Dogs (Plus Lipomas and Other Lumps)
  • Tags: Dogster Magazine, Health & Care

Can dogs cry tears

Melvin Peña

Melvin Peña is a writer, editor, and social media manager who spends most of his time in Durham, North Carolina. His interests include his dog, Baby (of course!), art, hiking, urban farming and karaoke.

Can dogs cry tears

Social media is filled with photos and videos of shelter dogs that appear to be crying in their kennels while waiting to be adopted into loving homes. Can dogs cry? The answer is complicated.

While dogs in those rescue photos and videos do seem sad and seeing them – cowering, tails tucked and heads down—might make you want to burst into tears, dogs do not shed emotional tears, according to Dr. Fiona Lee, veterinarian with Habitat Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

“Dogs do not shed tears as a clinical sign of feeling sad,” Lee says.

Do Dogs Cry Tears?

Can dogs cry tears

Dogs have lacrimal glands, the glands in the eyes responsible for tear production, and they do produce tears. But epiphora—the medical term for tears or excessive eye watering—is often a symptom of a medical issue, not emotion, says Lee.

A dog’s eyes may water (giving them the appearance of crying) due to decreased drainage through the tear ducts. Inflammation or pain can also trigger an increased production of tears. In other words, tears are a natural response to illness or injuries.

“Tears are the body’s natural way of cleaning the eye,” explains Lee. “Extra tears can ‘wash’ the eye free of debris, pollen, dust, and other irritants.”

Your veterinarian will take a closer look at your dog’s eyes to determine what might be causing them to water. In general, excessive tearing in only one eye could be a result of a blocked tear duct, an injury, or an irritant like dust or dirt while tearing in both eyes is often a sign of a systemic issue like an infection or allergies to pollen, dust mites or certain foods, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club .

The facial anatomies of Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs and other short-nosed breeds might also make these dogs appear to “cry” more often. Many of these dogs have bulbous eyes with narrowed tear ducts and increased contact with the air—meaning they’re more irritated, and simultaneously less able to drain normally. Diseases like glaucoma or physical abnormalities such as inverted eyelids (entropion) or extra eyelash hairs (distichiasis) could also bring tears to your dog’s eyes.

In addition to tear production, your dog might give you other clues that there is a medical issue, including excessive blinking, keeping eyes closed, yellow or green discharge, or pawing at their eye.

“Any problem that is apparent with a dog’s eye deserves to be seen by a veterinarian,” says Klein.

Excessive tear production can also cause tear stains . The dark reddish-brown stains are more noticeable on dogs with lighter-colored fur and can often be removed with a combination of warm water and a saline solution.

Do Dogs Cry When They Are Sad?

Since dogs do not produce tears as a sign of emotion, how do dogs cry for help? You need to rely on other cues to determine whether your dog is sad.

“What we know about canine emotions are limited because [our dogs] can’t talk to us,” Lee says. “But, absolutely, dogs are capable of feeling happy and sad and scared and hurt; usually these feelings will manifest in more subtle ways.”

What Do Dogs Do When They Are Sad?

Can dogs cry tears

Decreased appetite, whining and whimpering, decreased energy levels, and lack of interest in toys and other favorite things are allpossible signs that your dog is feeling sad.. But Dr. Bonnie Beaver, veterinary behaviorist and professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine warns that even these behavior changes may not be signs of sadness.

The problem is just as likely to be a physical issue as an emotional one, Beaver adds. A dog with an upset stomach or injured paw might exhibit similar symptoms to a dog that has an emotional response to a change in schedule or a new addition to the family.

If all possible medical causes are ruled out and dog depression is thought to be the cause of the behavior change, Beaver says your veterinarian may prescribe antidepressants. You can also try to boost their mood by taking them on a walk or a trip to the dog park, engaging in positive interactions like petting and games, and offering their favorite foods.

Even though dogs don’t physically cry or release tears when they are sad, we know that they do feel sadness, so remember to talk to your veterinarian if you notice behavior changes.

“Changes in behavior might be a sign that something in their world is not right,” Beaver says.

While human crying is a sign of emotion, dogs have other ways of showing sadness. Changes in behavior, including lethargy, loss of interest, or a lessened appetite may indicate that your dog is feeling down. Excessive tearing, however, is not a sign of sadness in dogs. Tear issues and dog tear stains indicate medical issues. Your pet’s veterinarian can help diagnose what’s causing the issue and guide you in treating dog tear issues.

Can dogs cry tears

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Dog tear stains and tearing

Unlike humans, who cry to express emotion, dog tears are there solely to keep a dog’s eyes moistened. If you see tears rolling out of your dog’s eyes and are wondering what’s causing dog tear stains, it’s not an emotional reaction. Tearing in dogs can be a sign of allergies, illness, or another health condition.

Excessive tearing in dogs can be caused by a reaction to a contaminant or foreign body in the eye, such as dust, or another irritant, such as a clogged tear duct or an infection. It may also be a sign of conjunctivitis, corneal inflammation, Uveitis, or eyelid or tear gland abnormalities. When it comes to your dog, tears are a reason to contact your veterinarian, who will determine the cause and proper treatment.

If tears drip outward or you notice crusty brown tear stains or redness around the eye, it’s a sign of a medical issue. Also contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has tears that are yellow, if the tears contain mucus or blood, or if you see any swelling around the eye.

But before you reach for the tissues, safe in the assumption he’s feeling a tad emotional today, consider this: dogs aren’t able to cry emotional tears. While they feel emotions very strongly and react to our positive and negative emotions like soul mates would, a dog isn’t physically able to express emotion through tears alone.

Well, that’s all down to the fact that a dog’s tear duct drains back towards its throat. In essence, were a dog to produce tears because of an emotion, you wouldn’t see them anyway.

So why do tears form from time to time?

Well, that could be a sign there’s a problem. Let’s take a look.

Possible problem #1: Dirt
If the tears come and go fairly quickly, the chances are high that your dog had a speck of dirt trapped in its eye, and that this is the source of the issue. This isn’t a serious problem and you’ve got little to worry about in this regard.

Possible problem #2: Epiphora
Does your dog have wet patches around its eyes, with fur that’s going brown or reddish? This is a classic sign of epiphora — a blocked tear duct — a serious condition that requires veterinary intervention. Seek professional help when you notice symptoms.

Possible problem #3: Scratched cornea
Is your dog pawing at its eye, or blinking a lot? Is there inflammation in the region? Are the tears forming regularly? Your dog might have scratched its cornea, which is a common enough symptom in dogs that enjoy rough and tumble play and sprinting through shrubbery in the outdoors. Again, professional help is recommended.

Possible problem #4: An eye infection
Is your dog crying or whining? Are its eyes red? Is there perhaps a yellow discharge that covers a portion of the eye? Conjunctivitis can be a serious problem if left untreated, and it’s one that is capable of causing permanent damage. Dogs that are at risk include poodles, pugs, Shih-Tzus, Pekingese and cocker spaniels. The good news is that, if caught quickly, specialized eye drops can take care of the problem.

Possible problem #5: Allergies
Dogs are allergic to certain things, just as humans are. Food, smoke, pollen and dust can all be contributors. A vet will be able to work out what the underlying root cause is.

How to look after your dog’s eye health

  1. Keep dog hair short – long hair can scratch a dog’s own eyes.
  2. On car journeys, make sure your dog’s head is firmly inside the car, not outside the window.
  3. Use a dog eye wash to clean your dog’s eyes if they appear red or dry.
  4. Check your dog’s eyes regularly. If pupil sizes are different, or you notice a change in eye color, get your dog taken to a vet immediately.

So there you have it – a lesson in doggy eye health, specifically focused on why dogs cry (even though they can’t actually cry). In short, any time a dog appears to be crying, there’s a sure sign something is wrong (and not the emotional kind).

Q–After her two sons, my sister regards her two very cute cocker spaniels as her third and fourth children. She often ascribes human characteristics to the dogs. She now insists that once when Max was scolded, he cried real tears. I believe her when she tells me that dogs can have their feelings hurt, but I’m not sure about those real tears. Can you tell me if I should buy a box of tissues for the dogs?

A–Dogs do have the physical capacity to shed tears. In fact, they do just that to produce a salty substance we call tears to lubricate their eyes, according to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman. Whether they actually shed tears in relation to either their emotions or pain, as people do, is another matter.

Science can’t prove it, Dodman says, but he has no doubt that dogs and cats have feelings as powerful as our own. Dodman says you can see clearly from body posturing and/or hear from pets expressing their feelings.

“However, I have never heard of a case of a dog or cat getting upset or depressed and crying real tears as a response,” says Dodman.

Still, your sister’s experience is not unique. Three other readers have reported accounts of weeping pets, including one from a vet describing a cat wailing and eventually crying tears in pain. Some scientists might call these “tall tales,” but Dodman believes it’s possible and so do I.

Q–My wonderful goldfish is floating on his back. Is he just doing the backstroke, or is he sick? Should I worry?

A–Yes, begin to worry. According to aquarist Dave Taub of Coral Springs, Fla., your goldfish probably has a bladder infection, which affects his equilibrium. Left untreated, the fish eventually will stop eating and die. Your fish needs erythromycin, which is available as Maracyn or E.M. Either product can be purchased at pet stores or fish-specialty shops, and should be used as directed.

Steve Dale welcomes letters. He cannot reply individually but will answer those of general interest in this column. You may write to him in care of the Chicago Tribune, Home section, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. Or send e-mail to [email protected] If the problem is urgent, consult a veterinarian immediately.

That’s an interesting question. I’m going to turn it up side down, though. Why do humans cry? We seem to be the odd species here. I don’t know of another species that cries tears because of emotions. Scientists always like to figure out why one species is different.

I don’t actually have an answer, but science is really about asking interesting questions, and then seeing if you can find an answer. Let’s see what I do know:

I know that dogs whimper because as babies, they can get there mother’s help by whimpering. Dogs are the descendants of wolves, but humans have artificially selected them for many thousand of years to keep most of their puppy behavior all of their lives. Dogs don’t use their eyes as much as humans do, but their ears are better than ours. Also, puppies are often out of their mother’s sight. So a sound cue like a whine makes sense. Puppies are also born with closed eyes, so tears would not be very obvious.

But is there something unique about humans that make tears useful for us? I know that human voice boxes are much lower than those of other animals. That lets us talk. (It also makes us much more likely to choke to death.) That might make the vocal part of our crying different. Why tears, though?

Researchers have found that the tears we cry because of emotions are different from the tears that we constantly make to protect our eyes. Some people think that this lets us get rid of some of the chemicals that our bodies make when we are under stress.

So why would we have evolved this useful thing (tears that make us feel better), when no other species has? I don’t know, but maybe emotions have a bigger influence on our behavior. Dogs respond to things in the present, like wanting to go out or getting their tail caught in a door. We can think about how we’ll feel in the future and how we felt in the past. We can get emotional about things that aren’t even real, like a sad book or movie. So maybe we need tears more than a dog does.

What do you think? Your question really got me thinking, thanks.

Just about every behavior an animal has probably gives the animal some benefit, or the behavior would not have evolved.

The style of vocalizations that people have while crying is probably what most effectively communicates to other people that the person crying is in some kind of distress. The same is probably true for dogs–for some unknown reason, whimpering is the best way to say in dog language that a dog is in distress or pain. Since that’s the kind of vocalization that works best for dogs as a species, that’s the kind that was selected by natural selection, and gradually it became the kind of vocalization that the dog species evolved to use.

Humans benefit from shedding tears while crying because tears contain higher than normal levels of certain stress hormones that our bodies produce while were under stress. (Actually, the sweat that we produce while under stress contains more of those hormones, too.) Many scientists think that one reason why we feel better after we cry is because we have gotten rid of some of the extra stress hormones in our tears. Dogs’ bodies work differently on many levels, and this is probably one of them. Chances are, since dogs don’t shed tears while crying, that they have other ways of getting rid of those extra stress hormones. Dogs don’t sweat either, but they do pant when they’re nervous, afraid, or stressed. I suspect that the saliva they produce during times of stress contains more of those stress hormones than their regular saliva does. I don’t know if anyone is researching that topic, but that’s my hypothesis.

Humans whimper, too.

I suppose the better question is why dogs don’t shed tears. I guess one possible reason is that when humans simply whimper, they usually don’t cry; crying is caused by something else. I don’t know. Interesting question.

Tears are an important protection for the eye. They can flush out dirt and keep the eye wet to help with vision. While most mammals are physically capable of producing tears, many scientists claim that humans are the only animals that cry emotional tears. But if you don’t consider tears essential to crying, then many animals do cry.

Studies have found that young mammals and birds vocalize when they are separated from their mothers. Baby animals can be quite expressive in their distress at being apart from their primary caretakers. Infants of many mammalian species, including rats, cry. All young mammals make cries when separated from their mother. The cry of a bear cub separated from its mother sounds very much like a human baby’s cry.

There is no scientific evidence that shows that dogs shed emotional tears. A dogs way of crying is more known as whimpering or whining. Since the dog is a social animal, it used (and still uses in the wild) the whimpering sound for communicating distress of some sort. It may be being separated from its mother or pack or if its a young individual it can even be a sign of being frightened or threatened. People who own dogs as pets will hear the whimpering sound even more often. Their pet dog might use whimpering to signal his owner that it needs something: attention, reassuring, food, going for a walk, or a pat on the head. Without proper training, it may even be a ploy to gain the upper paw,for the annoying tones of whining often cause the owner to give in to the dogs demands.

Your dog is a sympathetic friend, sharing all your joys and sorrows. For all the compassion she shows you, though, you might ask yourself if you’ve ever seen her cry emotional tears. Emotional crying is an action that tends to be associated with humans. Still, dogs do experience emotions and have been known to grieve, but not necessarily by shedding tears.

Yes . and No

According to the “Chihuahua Handbook”, some Chihuahua owners are certain their Chis cry actual tears when they’re upset. You may have seen your dog’s eyes become a bit watery if someone stepped on her paw, but it isn’t an emotional response like the tears you shed when you’re sad. Dogs can shed tears, but typically it is caused by a medical or health issue.

Causes of Tears

Your dog’s tearing could have a number of causes. Allergies will cause a dog’s eyes to water, just like humans’. Blocked tear ducts don’t allow the tears that are naturally produced with each blink of your dog’s eyes to drain properly, so they’ll to spill over the lid and run down her face instead. An infection, a speck of dirt in her eye and a scratched cornea are possible causes for your dog to tear up.

Severe Symptoms to Watch for

A tear or two once in awhile is nothing to become overly concerned about, but if your dogs eyes are constantly watering you should have the vet examine her to determine if there is a serious issue causing the problem. If your dog’s eyes are secreting more than clear tears, the discharge is yellow, mucusy or bloody and her eye is swollen or irritated, something serious is wrong and medical treatment is necessary.

Cleaning Dried Tears

If your dog sheds a few tears now and then, when they dry on the fur around her eyes and nose they’ll leave a bit of film. This won’t hurt your dog, but it can make your dog look as if she hasn’t been groomed in awhile, especially if dirt or other debris gets on her face and dries to her hair with the tears. You can safely wash away tear residue from around your dog’s eyes with a damp washcloth. Be careful to avoid the eyes themselves, but gently wipe the area around her eyes clean, speaking softly and reassuring her as you do so. If you give her a treat immediately afterward, she will be more likely to sit still for a face-washing the next time around.

Some people cry during commercials, while others only tear up for very sad or happy moments. Sometimes, we even cry randomly. But what’s the reason behind the waterworks? Why do some people cry more than others? Is there any way to control it?

Why You Cry

We cry three different types of tears. Each has its own job and flows from your tear ducts for a different reason:

Basal tears. These tears coat your eyes all day. Blinking helps spread them evenly over the surface of your eyes. They can improve your vision, hydrate your eyes, and sharpen your focus. They protect your eyes and keep out debris. Your tears also transport oxygen and nutrients to the surface of your eyes.

To help them do their job, they contain:

  • Water for moisture to spread the tears over the surface of your eyes
  • Oils for lubrication, which also helps prevent your tears from evaporating
  • Antibodies and special proteins to resist infection

Irritant tears. These tears gush out of the glands under your eyebrow when you peel onions, throw up, or get debris in your eyes. They wash your eyes out and flush out irritants to protect you.

Emotional tears. These arise from strong emotions. Empathy, compassion, physical pain, attachment pain, and moral and sentimental emotions can trigger these tears. They communicate your emotions to others.

Emotional tears make you feel more vulnerable, which could improve your relationships. Crying often connects people, whether it’s out of grief, love, passion, or another strong emotion. Crying may cause others to be empathetic and compassionate toward you, softening anger or unpleasant emotion that caused the tears to flow in the first place.

Emotional tears contain more stress hormones and natural painkillers than other types of tears. They serve a therapeutic role, also known as “a good cry.” Emotional crying, which tends to make you feel better, may be a part of the healing process. But experts need more research to confirm this.

Why Some People Cry More Than Others

Some people are more likely to cry than others. For starters, women cry 60% more than men. Experts don’t exactly know why.

It could be because men:

  • Have smaller tear ducts
  • Usually have more testosterone, which may inhibit crying
  • Have less prolactin, a hormone that might promote tears
  • Are often encouraged not to cry

Studies show that people with secure relationship attachments are more comfortable showing emotion. They may cry more in normal and healthy settings, while those with insecure relationship attachments may cry at inappropriate times. Similar research suggests that people who avoid close relationships with others are less likely to cry and try harder to avoid tears. Those with clingy or dependent styles cry more often than those with secure relationships.

Why You May Cry for No Reason

Crying can be normal in certain situations. But if you tear up frequently for no reason, it might be a sign of a serious condition.

If you notice that you’re crying every day during normal activities, you may have depression. Other symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, sad
  • Loss of interest in day-to-day life
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Poor sleep
  • Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness

If you think you have depression, talk to your doctor right away to find the right treatment for you.

Other causes of uncontrollable tears include pathological laughing and crying, which is a condition that can come with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, or other brain diseases. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you or a loved one has this condition.

When Others Cry

If someone begins to cry in front of you, your reaction may come from the discomfort you feel in this situation. Though you may not mean to, your response could cause the person who is crying to feel weak, embarrassed, or less understood.

Instead of rushing to cheer a crier up or offer immediate help, sometimes it’s best to give a person space to cry. Sometimes we need to shed tears to process emotion.

If you’re around someone who is crying:

  • Acknowledge their sadness, embarrassment, or pain and show compassion toward their feelings.
  • Respect their tears. Let them release their feelings and show them you care.
  • Don’t rush to offer advice or to say anything at all. Give them space to process and relieve their tears.
  • After they let you know they’re ready to talk, help them navigate their emotions. Stay compassionate as you listen to why they cried and how they feel now.
  • Don’t talk too much. Let them think and organize their thoughts.
  • Accept the way they respond in the moment. Don’t push them to feel a different way.

Trying Not to Cry

It’s best not to hold in emotions all the time, but sometimes it’s important to hold back tears. If you need to control a cry, try to hold back your tears just until you’re in a better place for them. This way you won’t suppress your emotions altogether. You could excuse yourself from the situation and find somewhere more comfortable to release your tears. You could also distract yourself until you find another place to cry. Watch a funny video, read, or chat with a loved one to keep your mind off crying.

Can dogs cry tears

Franny Syufy is a cat expert with over two decades of experience writing about feline anatomy and medical conditions. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association, won the prestigious PurinaOne Health Award for her writing. Franny has also authored two books on cat care.

Can dogs cry tears

Emily Estep is a biologist and fact checker focused on environmental sciences. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Science in Plant Biology from Ohio University. Emily has been a proofreader and editor at a variety of online media outlets over the past decade and has reviewed more than 200 articles for The Spruce Pets for factual accuracy.

Can dogs cry tears

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Anecdotal evidence suggests that cats can cry tears when they are upset or grieving. It’s true that cats’ eyes sometimes get watery. And cats can and do have emotions; they do grieve as well. But if you’ve seen a cat with watery eyes at around the same time that they have cause to grieve, it’s probably just a coincidence.

Cat Emotions Are Real

Researchers have found that cats do, indeed, have emotions. They can read human facial expressions, and they can experience a wide range of feelings about human and other animals. When they have feelings, they can act on them. For example:

  • A happy cat may purr, rub, play, or otherwise engage with humans and other animals.
  • A sad cat may withdraw, lose its appetite, or become less energetic.
  • An angry or frightened cat may hiss, arch its back, growl, or swat at a person or another animal.

Cats who are anxious, angry, or upset may make sounds that are similar to a human whine or whimper. These noises are indications of a cat’s emotions—and so, in that sense, the animal is crying. But according to researchers, human beings are the only animals that cry tears when experiencing strong emotions or pain.

The Truth About Cats’ Tears

Cats’ eyes will “tear” or water for a number of reasons, but they are all medical, not emotional. For instance, it may be due to eye irritation from a speck of dust or a scratch from another cat. Tears might also be caused by contagious diseases such as upper respiratory infections. Clogged tear ducts (believe it or not) can also result in tearing.

Other possible reasons for a cat’s teary eyes include:

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Infections
  • Allergies
  • Structural issues (cats with rounded heads are more likely to tear up)

If you see your cat tearing up, it’s important to know that they are not expressing strong emotion. Instead, they are showing you that something is medically amiss. Often, the issue is minor. However, in some cases, cat tears can be evidence of a serious problem or something that has the potential to become serious without treatment.

If tearing occurs on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to visit your vet. Stroking and kindness—while always welcome—won’t do a thing to stop your cat’s tears.

When Your Cat Is Sad

While cats certainly do have emotions, such as grieving or depression, they will never shed tears to show those feelings. If you are concerned about your pet’s emotions, look for other signs such as lethargy, withdrawal, or disinterest in food. These issues can also be a sign of illness.

Before making assumptions about your cat’s emotional well-being, always take the first step of checking on its physical health.

Can dogs cry tears

The top reason dogs whine is because of stress. Suppose you’re in a training class and suddenly your pup begins whining, pacing, cowering, licking lips, or panting, dropping their tail, and quits responding to your cues. They’re telling you that there’s too much stress. The best way to fix this is to change your training place or method.

Related Post: 10 Dog Breeds That Don’t Tolerate Being Left Alone

Can dogs cry tears

If you ever catch your dog whining and folding their ears back, tucking their tail in, rolling over on the back, crouching, and refusing to make eye contact, that means they lack confidence. The whine from a dog is telling you that they do not feel safe, and are looking to you for assurance.

Related Post: 5 Tips to Help Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common issue for many furbabies. Although some may act out by tearing the house apart, others may cry, whine, or howl for hours on end. You can help by slowly conditioning the dog to be left alone for longer and longer periods. There are other ways to help your furbaby feel less anxious such as anxiety medication, toys, or supplies. A pet camera allows you to see and interact with your dog remotely when they become upset. Talking to your dog or tossing them a treat remotely is a great boon to those who must work and leave their dogs at home during the workday.

Can dogs cry tears

Interestingly enough, dogs with chronic pain rarely whine or cry from it. However, acute pain, such as the sharp pain that accompanies rising for an arthritic dog, can certainly cause them to voice discomfort. If your dog is acting out, looking tired, and whining out of the blue, a trip to the vet can be the best way to find out what’s going on.

Can dogs cry tears

Your dog adores you and wants your attention 24 hours a day. One way your pup might try to get your attention is by barking, whining, or howling. Whenever dogs feel bored or like they are being ignored, they may act out to grab their human’s attention.

Can dogs cry tears

As our dogs age, like humans, they sometimes develop cognitive problems. Confusion is very stressful to dogs, and often they will cry when they feel lost or afraid. Disorientation and dementia cause anxiety, which can cause crying, whining, or even howling. Visit your vet for professional advice and medications that may help.

Read more: Top 4 Golden Retriever Health Problems!

Can dogs cry tears

Dogs get excited easily, whether it is a nearby squirrel or the sound of someone coming home. Your pup may show excitement through barking, tail wagging, or pacing around in circles. Your dog’s communication is “I can’t control myself!” You can help by teaching your pup more moderate ways of greeting people so they can be calmer the next time a doorbell rings. Clicker training is a great way for dogs to learn how to be calm.

Can dogs cry tears

In the wild, wolves would howl to organize their pack. Howling helps the outgoing scouts locate the rest of the pack and return safely. . Howling may serve a similar purpose for domestic dogs. If you’ve been gone all day, your dog might howl in hopes of bringing you back home.

Can dogs cry tears

Sometimes dogs would urinate to set boundaries; however, some dogs may also use howling and barking to communicate their territory. Letting potential predators or even just trespassers know they have entered a dog’s territory is cause for a good, long howl. Many dogs bark when someone comes to the door or drives up in the driveway; it’s a form of communication that warns trespassers away.

Can dogs cry tears

Especially with hunting breeds, dogs may howl to alert you to the fact that they have found something. For most hunting dogs, howling is instinctual, but it can also be trained into them. Bloodhounds “sound” (howl) when they have picked up a track that they are trying to follow.

Can dogs cry tears

It seems that dogs love to howl in response to certain triggers. Sirens, music, and even the sound of someone singing! Science hasn’t been able to account for why dogs will howl from certain audio triggers. Perhaps they just want to contribute to the celebration!

Some people are convinced that their dog’s vocalizations are attempts to speak words. When sounds are selectively reinforced, they can seem to replicate human speech. However, it is unlikely that your furbaby knows what it means when they try to make the sound “I love you,” but people encourage it nonetheless.

We’re learning more all the time about the way dogs think. Maybe, in time, we’ll be able to truly understand what it is our fur buddies are trying to say through their howls, whines, and cries.

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Some bark at passer-bys outside the window, while some bark only when you leave the house. The first step in managing your dog’s barking is to determine what exactly is causing it. Below are several reasons why dogs bark and recommendations on how to manage it.

Territorial/Protective Barking

Dogs often bark at the presence of “intruders,” such as the mailman or any other person or dog walking near the house. While barking, his posture appears threatening with his tail held high and his ears perked forward.

Teach your dog a “quiet” cue. If you want your dog to alert you to people outside, allow him to bark two or three times, then interrupt him by saying “Quiet” or “Enough.” Reward your dog right when he is quiet by saying “Yes” and giving him a yummy treat. If he doesn’t quiet within a few seconds then move him to another area and have him do a few behaviors (Sit, Paw, Roll over, Stay, etc.). This will refocus him and decrease or cease the barking. Should you decide that you don’t want your dog barking at things outside at all, follow these steps but start as soon as your dog barks.

Manage your dog’s environment. Place furniture or other objects in front of the window to block his view, or cover the lower part of the windows with decorative film. Close doors or use baby gates to limit your dog’s access to rooms where he can clearly see outside. For territorial barking outdoors, supervise your dog and keep him leashed or be sure he responds reliably when told to come so you can interrupt his barking.

Have your dog spayed or neutered to decrease territorial behavior.

Barking Outside

Sometimes dogs bark incessantly as soon as they go outside. A variety of reasons can contribute to your dog’s barking, including social isolation, frustration, or boredom.

Supervise your dog when he is outside and keep him inside when you cannot supervise him.

Be sure to provide your dog with at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. For more information about exercising your dog, please see our Exercise article.

Provide your dog with mental exercise. Make sure your dog has a variety of chew toys and other interactive toys to keep him busy and out of trouble when you are not around to play with him. For more information about mental exercise and other forms of Canine Enrichment, please see our canine enrichment page.

Barking or Whining For Attention

Ignore this behavior. Often times the behavior will get worse before it gets better. Reward your dog with attention, treats, and praise only when he is quiet. As in many other training processes, consistency is key.

For more information about improper attention seeking, please see our improper attention seeking page.

Barking or Whining In The Crate

Often times, puppies and adult dogs bark and whine when they are first introduced to crate training.

Ignore the behavior. Wait until your dog stops barking or whining momentarily, then reward him by tossing a treat into his crate while keeping your presence low key and pleasant. After your dog has been quiet in the crate for about one minute, reward him with play time outside of the crate.

Provide something to chew on. Your dog will be less likely to bark if he has something to entertain himself when in the crate. Food-stuffed puzzle toys, rawhide bones or other long-lasting chews, and dental toys are enjoyed by most dogs and may hold interest longer than a stuffed toy.

Take the crate into your bedroom if the barking or whining occurs at night.

For more information about crate training, please see our crate training page.

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email [email protected].

There’s nothing more exciting than bringing home a sweet little puppy. There’s lots to learn, and one of the first things you will find yourself frantically searching for is tips to stop your puppy crying at night! It sounds heartbreaking, but it’s completely normal, and here are 7 tips to help you ensure your puppy settles in and starts sleeping – sooner, rather than later.

Once you understand why your pupper is making that sad, sad sound, it becomes a lot easier to help them. Think back to the day before you brought your new fluffy friend home. They were probably snuggled up with mum and all their brothers and sisters at night, in the only house they have ever known. Now, they have a nice big, soft bed all to themselves – but it’s quiet, it doesn’t smell the same and they are probably a bit confused.

It won’t last long, though, and if you follow these seven tips they’ll be snoozing quietly in no time!

1. Never underestimate the power of the potty!

Not a literal potty, of course, but potty training. Your pup can only hold its bladder for a wee while (see what we did there?), so make sure the very very last thing you do at night is take them outside for a toilet break. In the early days, if your furry friend can only hold its pee for a few hours you may have to make an early-hours trip to the garden each night (find out more in our article about toilet training). If you get woken up by Fido singing the song of his people (i.e. crying and whining), follow these steps to ensure that your pooch gets what he needs without getting the wrong idea.

  • Don’t chatter too much with your pupper, as he may think it’s playtime! It is not playtime.
  • Don’t give any praise, pets or treats at first, just collect him and take him to your chosen toilet spot. If he doesn’t go – wait! And do everything you can to resist those adorable “please pet me” eyes until he’s done his business.
  • When he’s done, give him lots of praise so he knows that was the right thing to do.
  • Return your pooch to his sleeping quarters and leave without any fuss.

That’s it, and it sounds a little harsh but it’s important to keep things brief so that your pupper doesn’t start yowling for fuss and cuddles in the middle of the night.

2. Crate train your puppy

And by this, we mean ‘decide if crate training is right for you and your pup’. You’ll need to do a little research, as crate training isn’t as simple as popping the pupper into a crate and leaving her there. It means building up a strong positive association with the crate, so that she feels safe in there. By properly crate training a puppy, crying soon turns into snoring! You do this by feeding her all meals in the crate, rewarding her for entering the crate, and ensuring that no one bothers her while she’s in there (particularly strangers, other pets or kids!).

When you combine this positivity with a little additional training, you’ll find she settles down in there much more easily and even takes herself off for naps in her crate, too! The additional training includes not opening the door to let her out of the crate unless she is quiet, for the same reason that you don’t pet a crying pupper at night. If she is crying and you need to take her out, get her to do something first; tell her to sit, or lie down, then reward and release!

3. Provide comfort, but not attention

It’s important to understand that while it sounds like the end of the world, the crying sounds more dramatic than it is! Comforting your canine companion will only ensure she tries the same tactic the next night, and the next, and the next…then you will never be able to stop your puppy crying at night.

So instead of cuddles and reassurance, you can start your pooch off by letting them sleep in a crate, pen or dog bed in your room, so they know you are nearby. Remember, for doggos even a quiet ‘Shh!’ can be interpreted as attention, so only allow your pooch to sleep in your room if you can trust yourself not to start chatting away with them in the night. As they get used to sleeping in their own bed, undisturbed, you can slowly move the crate out of your room and towards the location you want it to finally rest in.

You can also pop a t-shirt or other item of clothing that you have slept in and smells of you into their sleeping area, to help provide that little extra comfort.

4. Wear your pupper out – every day

A puppy that is nice and tired will have less energy for kicking up a fuss when they should be sleeping! Make sure you try lots of different ways to wear out your little one – including gentle, puppy-safe exercise, training and games. Here are 5 simple tricks you can teach your dog.

🐾 Top tip: if you can’t play outside because of the weather, or you’re still waiting for your pup’s vaccines to be completed, training is a great way to wear out doggos! Working their brains takes up lots of energy, and food puzzles can help with this too.

5. Keep a routine

Trying to ensure your puppy goes to sleep in the same place, at the same time every day is a great step to stop your puppy crying at night. Make sure there aren’t any major changes to the lighting or the sounds they can hear by making sure you keep all of the curtains, doors and windows either open or closed from the start, rather than mixing things up, if you can. Make sure you’re up bright and early, too – preferably before the whining begins, although that may be easier said than done! But the reassurance that you will appear, like you always do, first thing in the morning will help them feel more settled.

6. Limit access to distractions

Your fluffy friend doesn’t need much to get a good night’s sleep – some soft bedding (slightly raised from the floor if you have draughts through your house) and a safe environment, such as a crate or playpen is all they need. Don’t leave treatos or toys in or near their sleeping area, as puppies can be very naughty when it comes to trying to make their own fun! They do not need food at night, and while they should always have access to fresh water, it’s not advisable to leave younger pups with a bowl in their sleeping quarters as they could either a) fall asleep in it or b) make a mess and end up getting wet and cold during the night. Food and water in the last hour before bedtime can also make them more likely to need a toilet trip in the night, too!

7. Check for other issues

If you have tried all of the above and you’re still having problems even after a few days, it might be worth exploring other reasons for your pup’s distress. Check again that they aren’t sleeping in a draft, they have enough warm bedding, there are no weird noises they are likely to be hearing at night. Check for any injuries or signs of illness, and remember that it can take a couple of days for a new approach to start working, so you may need to be patient! If it has been longer than that with no signs of relief, pop into see your vet to make sure there isn’t anything else keeping your furry best friend awake at night.

Now you know how to stop your puppy crying at night , you can get on with all the good stuff!

Do you remember the time you got your first pet? How did you react, overjoyed or moved to tears? This video shared on Reddit shows a little boy who simply cannot stop his tears from trickling down his cheeks as he gets his first puppy.

The short video shows a boy sitting in the back seat of a car with a cute puppy on his lap. It is also entirely evident that this boy has been crying for a while and still can’t seem to get a grip on his emotions. This is probably because his biggest dream of having a puppy all for himself, has finally come true.

“Little boy crying over getting new friend,” reads the caption accompanying this adorable dog video. Through his tears, he manages to get a few words out, like “can I keep him?” To this, he is reassured that this cute little pooch is, in fact, all for him – “he is yours.”

Watch the dog video right here:

Posted on the subreddit r/aww a bit more than 17 hours ago, this video has raked in more than 15,500 upvotes and several reactions from dog lovers around the world who simply cannot get enough of this overwhelmed toddler and his new friend.

“I’ve never seen a dog that looked so much like a young Scooby Doo,” commented a Redditor, referencing the famous TV show on Cartoon Network. “Pretty sure this is how I reacted when I got my Golden in third grade. Thank god my parents never got a camcorder,” confessed another. “Many years from now, he will be an old man and he will still remember getting his childhood dog,” reads an emotional comment.

Can dogs cry tears

Almost all dog owners have probably seen their canine buddies have teary eyes, which can appear as if they’ve been crying. There are several different causes for excessive eye discharge in dogs, some of which will require a certain degree of intervention from the pet owner or a veterinarian. But before attempting to treat or address excessive tearing, dog owners should be able to identify if their dogs’ water eyes are normal or if they’re a sign of a problem. Keep reading to learn more.

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Are watery eyes normal in dogs?

Medically termed as epiphora, excessive watery eye discharge is characterized by the overproduction of fluid discharge from the eyes. Most dogs will produce clear eye discharge but there are cases where a yellow or green discharge is produced.

Excessive eye tearing, however, is not always an indication of an eye problem. There are situations where a dog may produce tears more than usual but is still considered normal. Certain breeds, for example, tend to produce more tears than others due to their anatomical features.

Breeds that are predisposed to producing tears more than others include Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, Maltese, and Pugs. Though not considered a problem, excessive tear production in these breeds needs to be closely monitored as they are also very prone to developing eye problems and other complications such as skin fold dermatitis in Bulldogs which results from the moisture from the tears getting trapped between facial skin folds.

Excessive tear production due to an eye problem is usually accompanied by other signs. Seeing these symptoms together with epiphora almost confirms the presence of an eye problem in your dog and a visit to the vet is warranted.

    on the clear portion of the eye
  • Redness on the white part of the eye globe (called sclera)
  • Squinting of the one or both eyes
  • Inability to open the eyelids
  • Swelling of the mucous membrane (termed conjunctivitis)
  • Running into walls and objects in the dark
  • Excessive staining or gunk formation around the eyes
  • Pawing at the eyelids

If you start to see the signs listed above together with excessive eye discharge in your dog, chances are your dog may be suffering from some form of an eye condition. There are different eye conditions in dogs that can result in excessive tear production and it’s best to visit your vet to have your dog’s eyes thoroughly checked.

Common Causes of Watery Eyes in Dogs

As mentioned, there are different possible causes of eye problems in dogs that can result in epiphora. The severity of the condition and the damage it causes can vary depending on the specific cause. Here are a few of the common causes of eye problems in dogs that usually cause excessive eye discharge:

1. Corneal Damage

Physical trauma to the eye can result in damage to the cornea, the clear surface of the eye. Depending on the degree of damage, corneal problems can be either a shallow abrasion or deep ulceration. Regardless of the degree of damage, corneal injury almost always results in excessive tear production in dogs.

As a response to the injury, the glands surrounding the eyes will produce discharge more than usual for many reasons: to facilitate healing of the corneal damage, to lubricate the surface of the eye and prevent further corneal injury, and serves as an attempt to rinse off any irritants and contaminants that can cause complications.

2. Eye Infections

Like in humans, dogs can develop infections in their eyes due to bacterial, viral, or fungal organisms. Some eye infections are primary and transmitted either from an infected animal or from the environment, but most eye infections are secondary and occur as a complication to several forms of eye damage.

Eye infections in dogs result in excessive eye discharge which can be clear, yellow, or green, depending on the specific infectious cause. This is often accompanied by redness of the eye and cloudiness of the clear portion of the eye, depending on the severity of the infection.

3. Tear Duct Blockage

The eyes and the nasal passages are connected via a very small duct called the nasolacrimal duct. This allows the drainage of tears produced by the eyes through the nose, the reason behind nasal and ocular discharges in certain conditions in dogs. When this duct becomes blocked, drainage of tears becomes compromised resulting in excessive eye discharge in dogs.

4. Abnormalities of the Eyelids

Certain conditions not directly related to the eyes can also result in excessive tear production in dogs. The eyelids, which are designed to protect the eyes, can have physical abnormalities that can cause excessive tear production.

One common eyelid problem seen in dogs is entropion. It is described as the inward folding of the eyelids irritating the eye and resulting in excessive tear production. This is usually seen in breeds with high degrees of facial skin folds such as Sharpeis, Bulldogs, and Chow Chows.

Another eyelid problem that results in excessive eye discharge is distichiasis. This is characterized by the growth of eyelashes in locations they do not usually grow. Normally, eyelashes grow at the edge of the upper and lower eyelids and serve to protect the eyes from external hazards. In cases of distichiasis, eyelashes sometimes grow in the inner eyelids and irritate the eye itself, resulting in profusely watery eyes.

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Can dogs cry tears

Plenty of pet owners are comforted by a pair of puppy-dog eyes or a swipe of the tongue when their dog catches them crying. Now, new research suggests that dogs really do respond uniquely to tears. But whether pets have empathy for human pain is less clear.

In a study published online May 30 in the journal Animal Cognition, University of London researchers found that dogs were more likely to approach a crying person than someone who was humming or talking, and that they normally responded to weeping with submissive behaviors. The results are what you might expect if dogs understand our pain, the researchers wrote, but it’s not proof that they do.

“The humming was designed to be a relatively novel behavior, which might be likely to pique the dogs’ curiosity,” study researcher and psychologist Deborah Custance said in a statement. “The fact that the dogs differentiated between crying and humming indicates that their response to crying was not purely driven by curiosity. Rather, the crying carried greater emotional meaning for the dogs and provoked a stronger overall response than either humming or talking.”

Humans domesticated dogs at least 15,000 years ago, and many a pet owner has a tale of their canine offering comfort in tough times. Studies have shown that dogs are experts at human communication, but scientists haven’t been able to show conclusively that dogs feel empathy or truly understand the pain of others. In one 2006 study, researchers had owners fake heart attacks or pretend to be pinned beneath furniture, and learned that pet dogs failed to go for help (so much for Lassie saving Timmy from the well).

But seeking out assistance is a complex task, and Custance and her colleague Jennifer Mayer wanted to keep it simple. They recruited 18 pet dogs and their owners to test whether dogs would respond to crying with empathetic behaviors. The dogs included a mix of mutts, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and a few other common breeds. [What Your Dog’s Breed Says About You]

The experiment took place in the owners’ living rooms. Mayer would arrive and ignore the dog so that it would have little interest in her. Then she and the owner would take turns talking, fake-crying and humming.

Of the 18 dogs in the study, 15 approached their owner or Mayer during crying fits, while only six approached during humming. That suggests that it’s emotional content, not curiosity, that brings the dogs running. Likewise, the dogs always approached the crying person, never the quiet person, as one might expect if the dog was seeking (rather than trying to provide) comfort.

“The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person’s emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior,” Mayer said in a statement.

Of the 15 dogs that approached a crying owner or stranger, 13 did so with submissive body language, such as tucked tails and bowed heads, another behavior consistent with empathy (the other two were alert or playful). Still, the researchers aren’t dog whisperers, and they can’t prove conclusively what the dogs were thinking. It’s possible that dogs learn to approach crying people because their owners give them affection when they do, the researchers wrote.

“We in no way claim that the present study provides definitive answers to the question of empathy in dogs,” Mayer and Custance wrote. Nevertheless, they said, their experiment opens the door for more study of dogs’ emotional lives, from whether different breeds respond to emotional owners differently to whether dogs understand the difference between laughter and tears.

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Research shows a whimpering dog sounds as sad as a crying baby to pet parents. Here’s why.

Can dogs cry tears

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Our dog Lola has recently entered a new phase of her life. At the golden age of 14, she is definitely a senior dog, and she seems to have a spot of dementia that’s making her noisier than usual. Ever since we adopted her back when she was a spunky 10-month-old, she’s been mostly a silent companion, not given to barking or whining much.

But now she’s definitely found her voice, expressing it the loudest in the backseat of the car when she is being taken (along with her other two canine housemates) to the park. She likes to rest her head up near the back of the driver’s head and loudly whimper straight into our ear. Also, in the early afternoons, she’ll whine again to tell us that she simply can’t wait until her evening dinner and must be fed right away.

Her loud barking and whimpering seem to bounce off the walls and straight into my heart. Seeing that she is a very old dog, we give into her. And yes, I know that in “rewarding” her for crying, we might be “spoiling” her, but honestly, asking for human’s attention at her age is something we are and should be grateful for.

Lola’s whimpering reminds me of a research paper I came across recently about why a dog’s whimpering is the sound that’s particularly evocative and sad to both cat and dog parents. In short, researchers found that a whimpering dog sounds as sad as a crying baby to us animal lovers. According to lead investigator Christine Powers, “Pet ownership is associated with greater sensitivity to pet distress sounds, and it may be part of the reason why we are willing to spend large amounts of time and resources on our domestic companions. It might also explain why we find interacting with pets so rewarding, and are emotionally impacted by both positive communication signals, like purring and negative ones, like meows or whines.”

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The research was undertaken to collect a major database of emotional sounds — originally developed to test the instinctive responses that parents have to their children. More than 500 young adults were tested, and researchers found that dog whines sounded ‘more negative’ to dog or cat owners, compared to people with no pets, whereas cat meows sounded sadder only to cat owners.

Another interesting finding was that dog whines sounded saddest of all — sadder than cat meows. Katherine Young, a collaborator on the study, hypothesized that because dogs are more dependent on their human than cats, “this difference in animal dependence may explain why dog whines are rated as more negative than cat meows by all adults, including cat-owners. Dogs may simply have more effective distress signals than cats.”

Either way, I can attest to the effectiveness of my old girl’s whining. I will do anything to appease her. After all, Lola has been a loving and quiet companion for nearly 14 years, and if now it is her time to “ask” for more, she well deserves it. Or as this research shows, it’s just the natural order of how our human-dog relationship goes.

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How do i teach my dog no

Do you find yourself calling your dog’s name, only to have her look at you and take off in the other direction? You are not alone. But with some work and patience, you can get your dog to come to you the first time, every time!

Common mistakes

Humans often inadvertently train their dogs to run away when they are called. People typically call their dogs by yelling phrases like these:

Fido, come here. Look at this shoe, you bad boy!

Come here, Princess. Let’s go to the vet.

Buddy, come. Stop playing with the other dogs, we need to go home.

Come on, Shadow. No more sniffing in the yard. I have to go to work.

For dogs, “come” often means “stop having fun” or “you are in trouble.” It’s no wonder they don’t want to come when called!

Key behavior points

  • If you have used the word “come” when you’ve been mad, your dog may have learned to dislike that word. Try a new word such as “here” so you and your dog can start fresh.
  • Never punish a dog for coming to you, even if it takes him forever to do it. For example, don’t be annoyed with your dog because you’re late for work and it took him 20 minutes to come. If you’re short or angry, it may take 45 minutes next time. Instead, praise your dog and perhaps he will come sooner next time.
  • Don’t set up your dog to fail. If you have never taught your dog to come, don’t let him loose in a field and expect him to do it naturally. That’s just not fair. Set up small, controlled situations that become increasingly more challenging as you progress with your training. Also, if your dog runs away every morning, do not let him off leash until he is trained.
  • Don’t overuse the word. By repeating “Come! Come here! Come on! Come, come, come, come,” you teach your dog that “come” is just part of a bunch of gibberish.
  • Instead of making “come” mean “end of fun,” make it mean the opposite! Every time your dog comes to you, you must make it a pleasant experience. Pet or praise your dog or give him a treat every single time he comes. Set up scenarios where your dog plays, you call, he comes, you reward, and he goes back to playing. Repeat the scenarios many times.

Steps to teaching your dog to come

Take the following steps — remain on each step until you have a great deal of success. Only then should you move on to the next step. Be sure to always have your dog’s favorite toy or some tasty treats on hand for the reward. Find a special treat that your dog only gets when he comes to you.

How do i teach my dog no

If there’s one word you’ll be saying more than any other when you get a new dog it’s the “No” command. It’s only natural for a new to not know the rules of your house. A puppy obviously knows nothing when you first get it and a rescue most likely came from another environment with a completely different set of rules under their old roof. Either way teaching them the “No” command is vital to stop unwanted behavior. One of the main reason I teach this command is to stop them from picking up things on the ground on a walk. That’s a sure way to get your dog sick because most likely anything they’re picking up on the sidewalk isn’t loaded with vitamins and minerals. If trained effectively it can really make life easier for you and your dog. As always there are many ways to train a command so here’s just one of the way’s I like to teach the “No.”

The only tool we need for this technique is treats. Have several different kinds handy that the dog really likes and be sure they’re hungry as well. If you train this technique while the dog is full you’re doing no justice. You don’t want them too hungry, but hungry enough to where you’ll really get their attention. So now what we’re gonna do is hold one of those treats flat out in your hand about 6 inches from the dogs mouth. Unless the dog cares nothing about that treat they’ll naturally try and grab it. When this happens you’re simply gonna say the word “No” and quickly close your hand back up into a fist. Be sure when you say “No” to say it with a little conviction. You don’t wanna yell, you simply wanna get the point across simply by your tone. A lot of dogs will keep trying to mouth the treat in your closed hand. Most will stop in about 10-20 seconds. If they don’t stop simply pull your hand away and let them reset and calm down. Once they’re calm you’ll once again place your open hand at their eye level about 6 inches away from their mouth. Once they go for it you’ll once again quickly close your hand into a fist while saying the word “No.” Repeat this process 5 times then stop for 5 minutes. The 5 times/5 min break is a session. It’s very important to train in these short sessions because it doesn’t overwork the animal and just as important it let’s the brain reset. Most dogs after 5-10 sessions will grasp the concept. As they progress you’ll notice they’ll stop lunging and mouthing at your hand so from there you can keep your hand open and just say the word “No” but keep sharp because they can be sneaky when they see that hand is staying open. The real test is when can place the treat on the ground and say “No.” It might take a few days of consistent training for them to get there but they eventually do. I’ve done this with thousands of dogs over the years and I’ve never seen a dog not get it. However I have seen a few take a little longer so if they’re a little slow just keep at it a little while longer.

Now they’ve grasped the concept of the “No” we’re going to give them the “Ok” command. This is to let them know it’s now ok to take the food. This is to only be done when they’ve respected the “No” command and its meaning. Once they’ve performed correctly for you several times with a “No” command you’ll simply say the word “Ok” and put the treat directly up to their mouth. This is teaching them basic manners and respect. “No” means “No” while “Ok” means “Yes.” The last thing you want is a dog that constantly snaps and lunges for food. The beauty of this command is it will translate to so many areas where your dog is often badly behaved so use it as you need.

The details are always the key to training so here’s a few to point out: It’s important you’re quick on the draw when closing your hand. If you allow the dog to grab that food out of your hand too many times while training this you’re teaching the dog they can easily beat you at this game and they’ll constantly challenge you in other areas of training. If you notice they’re too quick for you the first couple times what you need to do is hold your hand a little further back when holding it out. A foot should be good enough. For the dogs that are really stubborn with this connect a leash to them and correct as they lunge forward. This will stop even the most difficult ones with this problem. You need to win at the game more than they do. This is how the command is set in stone. If you beat them at a game enough they’ll give up. If they beat you more often they’ll forever challenge you. It’s a timing and persistence game and DO NOT move too fast. As I always say animals learn at the speed of life so keep in mind it’s a marathon not a sprint.

People often seek immediate gratification and find it difficult to invest in relationships and outcomes that take a while. How to teach a dog to sit no matter where you are is an exercise to practice with your dog for the long-term. It doesn’t take a day, but it doesn’t take a lifetime, either.

Dog Training Is a Process That Starts at Home

It helps to remember that dog training and behavior is not an event but a process. Learning is different for every animal, it is progressive and takes repetition and conditioning to ensure reliability.

In dog obedience trials, we don’t say a dog knows a behavior until after tens of thousands of iterations. That may seem daunting at first, but when you work your dog’s daily allocation of dog food into everyday training and in all areas of life, like compound interest, the trials add up very quickly.

As pet parents with busy schedules, we may have doubts as to whether a teaching or technique will work, and we feel a sense of urgency to get something accomplished quickly. However, learning occurs most naturally and efficiently in a slow, progressive and repetitive manner, in an environment where an animal is the least stressed and distracted.

Dogs are most comfortable in their own home, with their family. This is why we usually begin dog training at home, with the whole family involved.

How to Get a Dog to Sit

You can go about getting your dog to sit by capturing your dog’s natural behavior (later, this behavior will be marked by a verbal cue). Capturing a dog’s natural behavior is when you observe your dog sitting on their own volition, then immediately mark that behavior with either with a “Yes” or a distinct sound, such as from a dog training clicker, and immediately reward them with a high-value food reward.

If you’re like me and remember things easier with mnemonics, think of RRR (Request, Response, Reward). If you want to speed up the process, or if your dog is not offering a sit regularly enough to reinforce the behavior, try adding a food lure:

  1. Request / Cue
  2. Lure
  3. Response
  4. Reward

Request / Cue

Because dogs primarily learn from your body language before your voice cues, there is a lot to learn as a teacher about what message you are conveying to your dog. If your body language suggests something different or inconsistent from your voice cue, your dog will naturally get confused.

It’s important not to begin to use a verbal cue before the dog starts to reliably offer the behavior. After the dog offers the desired sitting behavior reliably (approximately 8 out of 10 times), we will pair that behavior with the new verbal cue. This is easy to do with associative learners.

The lure is the promise of a food reward. We only use a high-value food lure when teaching a dog new behaviors or when in new environments. But in all cases, we fade the lure ASAP, which means after one or two iterations. If we continue to use the food lure beyond the first couple of iterations, we will condition the dog to only respond with food in our hand, and it will become a bribe.

If the dog is not following your request or cue, you can add the lure back into the equation for one or two more iterations. After a few times, your dog will reliably be able to follow just your body language cue without the food lure.

Response

We use the marker “Yes” to communicate to the dog and mark the exact moment in time in which they are being rewarded for. The “Yes” acts as a snapshot in time, the end of a behavior or sequence of behaviors, and a release. The exact moment your dog does something correctly. And we use the word “Good” to indicate and communicate duration to your dog. It stands for, keep on doing whatever it is you’re doing.

Reward

Using high-value food rewards is effective, not to bribe, but to reward a dog immediately after performing any desired behavior. You can use other high-value rewards such as dog toys, petting, praise or other objects; however, food is the most effective and efficacious way to begin to train most dogs.

How to Teach a Dog to Sit in New Environments

Once you and your dog have mastered the home environment, honed your dog’s skills, confidence and concentration, we gradually and methodically move to new or different environments. Very slowly, novel stimuli, duration, distance and more distraction are introduced along the path of learning. This is what dog trainers and behaviorists often refer to as the three D’s of dog training and obedience:

  • Duration
  • Distance
  • Distraction

These should be practiced consistently and with continuity.

Once your dog can sit for a duration or around 1-2 minutes, then you can move on to building in some distance. After success with the first two D’s, you can try adding in some light distraction, progressing very slowly to more distractions, etc.

Keep in mind that distraction comes in many forms. They can be obvious, like people walking by or loud sounds, or they can be things we don’t notice, like scents.

What most people mistake is doing all three D’s together at the same time or moving on to a new environment too soon. Do not conflate these activities. Take each one separately until your dog is proficient in each, and only then move on to the next step. After your dog is doing great with the three D’s independently in your living room, then you can mix all three D’s together—not before.

After your dog masters the sit in each familiar environment, move on to new environments using the same process. Remember that if your dog looks confused, or is not responding, you went too far too fast. Back up a step or two and proceed again.

Also, remember not to practice training your dog when you are in a rush or need to get something done. When you begin to practice sitting in the park or a restaurant, practice when you have time and can dedicate the activity to your dog.

Practicing any behavior in a progressive methodical way will get a rock-solid sit in any environment, regardless of distractions.

Using Life Rewards to Bond and Build Reliability

Once your dog has proven their proficiency with “sit,” you should start to transition to a variable ratio of reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog only when they demonstrate better precision, accuracy, latency or speed when given a request.

You will also eventually use fewer food rewards, not eliminating them altogether, but transitioning your dog into receiving life rewards. Life rewards can be anything your dog loves doing (going for an on-leash walk, going to the dog park, playing, doing a fun job, getting petted, etc.) Just use those fun things as the rewards instead of the high-value food some of the times.

As you and your dog work on bonding, communicating and holding her attention on you all around the house, and in familiar places, you will begin to slowly progress moving on to more novel spaces.

Sit is one of the four fundamental behaviors [sit, down, stay and come (or targeting)] that help a dog and parent live in a harmonious relationship. Every one of these behaviors can be transformed or used in many different scenarios throughout your dog’s life and in any situation—the only limitation is your creativity.

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 i teach my dog no

  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.

There are lots of exciting things in the world for a dog which can make them easily distracted, so gaining your dog’s attention is the basis to all obedience training.

Why should I teach my dog to respond to their name?

It is a legal requirement to keep your dog under control at all times. The basis of this is teaching your dog to respond to their name when called. Whether in an emergency situation, around other dogs or distractions it’s important that your dog finds it rewarding to respond to their name and seek your interaction.

This can be done using a variety of attention and focus exercises to teach your dog that when they hear their name and they look at you there is a reward which will follow.

Here are a few tips on how to teach your dog its name.

Basic things to start with

Set up the environment for your dog to succeed by beginning to train in a calm, quiet environment, with no distractions.

Practice makes perfect

Practice a minimum of 10 times per day, say the dog’s name (from 2 to 6 feet away) and as soon as the dog looks at you, mark this behaviour with a marker word such as “yes” or a clicker and reward with food or play while giving lots of praise.

Maintain Focus

Do not ask the dog to sit or do anything else before giving the dog the treat, as the reward is for looking at you when you say their name, not for any other behaviour.

You will soon notice your dog starting to offer attention without being prompted; be prepared to reinforce this with a reward to encourage your dog to regularly check in with you.

Orientation game

  1. Start in a place where there is least potential for distraction and where your dog is used to playing with you.
  2. Throw a piece of your dog’s daily food allowance out (about one meter away).
  3. After they finish eating, they will naturally look back to you for more, mark this with a ‘yes’ or a click and throw another piece.
  4. Once your dog is turning back consistently, introduce your dog’s name just before they turn around then mark and reward.
  5. You can make this game more exciting and keep your dog interested by putting a treat on the floor and as soon as your dog has eaten the food, say their name and run backwards. When they come, reward with food or a toy and give lots of praise.
  6. Place another reward on the floor then repeat, have FUN!

Remember your job is to assess the training environment and very gradually increase the level of distraction. As you up the distractions, make sure your reinforcement (treats or play) is increased in value.

If your dog is not responding to their name, go back a step to ensure success before increasing the level of distractions again.

Download these tips as a handy advice sheet and use it as a reminder to train regularly:

How do i teach my dog no

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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At first it seems like a really cool trick – and yes, it totally is. However it is also so much more than that! Middle has so many uses and once you start using it yourself, you will find you start to call on it all the time.

How do i teach my dog no

Here are just 6 of our favourite reasons you should teach your dog a middle today:

1. Relaxed Vet Visits

It’s inevitable that at some point you will end up at the vets with your dog – maybe you need a routine check up or it is time for vaccinations, or heaven forbid they’ve had an accident.

Middle is a calm, relaxed place to chill out while waiting for your turn without getting them stressed out and over aroused. Middle is the perfect position to put your pooch in to stop them wandering all over the vet practice, trying to greet that grumpy cat in a basket or slip sliding around the shiney floor like Bambi on ice while you are waiting to be called in.

This is not even the best bit, where Middle really shines at the vets is when it’s time for the examination..

Being handled by a new person in a strange outfit can be stressful and it’s can be so easy for dogs to build a negative association with the vets because generally we only go there when something is wrong, or when our dogs are already feeling poorly.

You can use Middle as your superpower, allowing you to get your dog into a position where they are close to you for reassurance and you can feed them to help with calmness.

In turn you will find you can build a positive association and detect quickly if your dog has hit their threshold and no longer takes food.

It also allows the vet to be able to perform an examination safely and deliver vaccinations while you keep your dog focused or for nail care, whether that’s by your vet nurse, groomer or yourself.

Give it a try, you’ll be amazed!

2. Relationship Building

A middle for a dog is like a person holding someone’s hand. It can make them feel safe and connected to you. It allows them to communicate with you, that they are perhaps worried or concerned, not feeling entirely secure or even that they just want to be close to you and have fun.

How amazing is that! Giving your dog a channel to talk to you and share how they are feeling, their wants and needs. It’s the ultimate relationship booster.

3. Reliable Recall

As your dog builds lots of value in being in Middle it will become their favourite place to be. Given the chance they will never miss out on an opportunity to play Middle.

This is incredibly useful as part of your recall games. Recall is its strongest when your dog thinks the fun is always with you and Middle is a party they will love.

It’s also the perfect position for them to be in for you to put their lead on their collar. Win, win!

4. Managing Tricky Situations

Middle is amazing for managing dogs that are nervous or reactive to other dog, people or vehicles. It enables you to take away their line of sight of the thing they are nervous of, and gives them something positive to focus on instead. Once you get really good at it you will even be able to walk away from the situation in middle!

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you are out with your pup. Suddenly you spot a squirrel in the distance and you know any minute your dog will spot it and turn into an unstoppable squirrel-chasing machine.

Or you calmly call them to a middle position, spin around to face a different direction and they don’t get the opportunity to even see it. For them, it’s a great game and are none the wiser and you averted a Fenton rerun and all is good in the world.

5. Perfect Portable Boundary

Boundaries can be really useful out and about. You can use it to stop and have a chat with a friend, take an important phone call or waiting for other people and dogs to pass by. What if there is nothing around in the environment to use though? Middle saves the day!

Boundaries are the same as bed and mat training, teaching your dog to settle and be calm in a set space. We instead call it a boundary so that we can be creative with what we use! Sofas, tree stumps, drain covers, the possibilities of what can be a boundary are limitless.

Your dog can sit in middle or even lie down, that way you can focus on what you need for 5 minutes and be aware of where your dog is and what they are doing.

6. Top Training Tool

It’s great to kick off your training sessions with some easy wins for your dog. Middle is perfect for this, it sets the tone for your training by being fun and warming up their brain ready to work.

You can also pop your dog into a middle to give you time to think about your next steps in the training session without them wandering off.

Middle is the foundation of many other behaviours too! You can use it to teach a range of awesome tricks, a base for fitness and stretching or as a startline wait in sports.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

How do i teach my dog no

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.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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 no

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There are many reasons why a dog may not instinctively engage in play with its human owners. For example, a dog kept in a kennel for breeding may have little positive interaction or experience with humans. A rescue dog may have been injured by its owner, or a puppy may simply be shy. If your dog or puppy is anxious or unwilling to engage with you, you can earn its trust through a slow, gentle process of socialization. Once your pet feels comfortable with you, it can learn to play and have fun.

Importance of Play

While some dog owners might not care if their dog is playful, there are a number of benefits involved in dog and puppy play:

  • Playing offers dogs mental stimulation and a way to burn off energy.
  • Playing is a great way to build a bond between you and your dog.
  • Playing is a great way to reward your dog for learning new skills.
  • Playing is fun! Just like with people, playing and doing activities they enjoy increase a dog’s quality of life.

Patience is your most important tool. It can take time for a dog to start to trust its owners and even more time for it to learn appropriate ways to interact. Remember, though, that your goal is not to encourage your dog to do whatever it wants in whatever way suits it; rather, you are teaching it to interact with you following the rules and expectations that you’ll want to set up.

So it’s important to have a clear idea about boundaries and types of play that are acceptable to you. Be sure everyone working with your dog understands your goals, rules, and expectations. For example, your housemate may think it’s cute when your dog growls while holding a toy in its mouth while you have set a rule that growling is unacceptable. Naturally, different sets of rules and different types of play will be confusing to your new pet.

Watch Now: How to Train Your Dog to Fetch

Start Slowly

There are several reasons a dog may not have learned to play. One common reason is a lack of early socialization. Some dogs don’t play simply because no one has ever engaged in a game with them. Another reason is that their instincts may drive them to do other things. For instance, a border collie may have the drive to herd your children together in the yard rather than engage in a game of fetch.

No matter why your dog isn’t playing, you should begin by slowly introducing it to toys and games. Start by leaving the toys around to sniff and get used to, rather than immediately trying to engage in an all-out game of tug-of-war. An improperly socialized dog may be scared if you move too fast, and a dog whose instincts are pushing it to do something else will just be confused.

Reward Interest

Start off with soft praise or a treat for any interest your dog shows in toys. You can even hide a treat or spread a little peanut butter on a tug toy or a ball. Your dog will quickly learn that toys mean good things happen.

Get Involved

Once your dog is comfortable with the toys, it’s time to start interacting with it. Again, start off slow. Sit close to your dog and roll a ball toward it or shake a tug toy a little. If it shows interest, give it a treat and praise. It may take some time, but the more you engage your dog in play, the sooner it will learn what’s expected. Before you know it, your dog will be playing as if it’s done it all its life.

Teach the Rules

Sometimes teaching a dog to play involves more than simply slowly introducing it to the idea. Games like fetch, for instance, have more than one part. It might be easy to teach your dog to run and pick up a ball you throw, but it’ll have to know “come” and “drop it” in order for the game to continue smoothly without turning into a game of chase. If your dog is having trouble playing, make sure it knows the basic commands involved in playing the game.

Choose Games According to the Dog’s Interests

Not every dog is going to like every kind of game. Try to choose games that best suit your dog’s personality. A retriever is likely to enjoy a game of fetch. A terrier might really get into a game of tug-of-war. Herding dogs, such as border collies and Australian shepherds, tend to do well at agility and Frisbee. By matching the games you choose to suit the things your dog was bred to do (retrieving or herding, for example), it’ll be easier to teach your dog to play, and a lot more fun for your dog.

When your dog does something you don’t like, what’s your first reaction? A lot of people immediately sternly shout, “No!” And if their canine kid doesn’t listen the first time, they may say it again … only this time louder and longer. “NOOOO!”

Let me ask you another question: Do you really think your dog didn’t hear you the first time? Dogs have exceptional hearing. In fact, canines can hear sounds about 4 times better than us humans. Repeatedly shouting the same command over and over isn’t going to get your dog to listen. Rather, it’s only going to cause your dog stress and confusion. Because, at the end of the day, your dog may not actually understand what the word “no” really means.

The Problems With “No”

When your dog barks excessively, jumps on guests, chews up your shoes, and digs holes in your perfectly manicured yards, it’s important to remember that he’s only doing what comes naturally to him. He doesn’t know he’s doing something “wrong.” In order to modify your pup’s bad behavior, you actually have to teach him what you want him to do instead.

The two big problems with the word “no”:

  1. It doesn’t teach your dog what he should do. For example, if your dog jumps on people when they walk through the door, it’s much more effective to instruct your dog to sit. By constantly redirecting your dog’s behavior—vs. negatively telling him what not to do—he will eventually learn good habits.
  2. It’s a rather ambiguous command. For example, say your dog is laying on the couch eating some stolen food scraps. If you yell “no,” how does your dog know exactly what he did wrong? Was it bad to lay on the couch or eat the leftover food scraps?

What To Do Instead

Rather than saying “no” and focusing on the action you don’t want your dog doing, switch your focus to what you actually want your dog to do. Then, clearly redirect and teach good behavior. Here are a few examples:

  • If you catch your dog chewing one of your shoes then tell him to “drop it” and redirect him to play with an appropriate toy instead
  • If you find your dog sniffing a bug or something he shouldn’t eat then tell him to “leave it“
  • If your dog is barking excessively then tell him “quiet”
  • If you don’t want your dog on the couch then tell him “off”
  • If your dog tugs on the leash during walks then simply stop walking and teach the word “heel”

See the difference?

Training Takes Time

Telling your dog what you want him to do isn’t an overnight fix. Set aside about 15 minutes each day to work with your pooch. Over time, this training method will create better communication between you and your canine cutie!

Communication is vital in any relationship, so it would be really helpful if our pets could talk. If they could tell you what they wanted, it would take the guesswork out of establishing routines, right?

Well, good news! Teaching your dog to ask to go out is possible through training.

Signs Your Dog Wants to Go Out

Before diving into training your dog, know that they may already be telling you that they need to go out. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Sniffing and circling the area
  • Whining
  • Pacing or fidgeting

Developing a routine for your dog’s potty breaks will help alleviate the uncertainty.

If your dog is still soiling inside, proper housetraining steps should be taken first. Creating a pattern for feeding and going outside will help them get into a routine. This prevents them from relieving themselves in your house. Reward them for going outside with affirmations and treats immediately when they’re finished to condition the act.

Similar tactics are used to train them to tell you they need to go out.

Classical Conditioning

Training your pets comes down to classical conditioning. If Ivan Pavlov could teach a dog to salivate on command, surely you can use the same techniques to teach them to ask to go out.

Classical conditioning is fairly simple. The original experiment involved ringing a bell when the dogs were fed. After enough time repeating this act, simply ringing the bell caused the dogs to salivate. They were ready to eat. This type of basic learning is called “reflexive.”

Classical Conditioning and Potty Training

Housetraining your dog involves a lot of conditioning. For example, you may already have a routine with your dog to go potty a half-hour after each meal. Your dog may even be conditioned to need to potty when your alarm goes off in the morning.

Training your dog to ask to go out involves adding an extra stimulus into their housetraining routine. The most common technique trains your dog to ring a bell when they need to go out.

Ring a Bell, Go Outside

You may prefer teaching your dog to ring a bell when housetraining, rather than to bark or stand quietly at the door. This technique trains your dog to pair ringing a bell with their need to relieve themselves. It’s not as simple as Pavlov’s initial experiment.

Step 1. You need to train your dog to ring the bell:

  1. Hold the bell close to their nose. When they touch the bell, reward them. The reward depends on your dog, but a treat usually works fine.
  2. Repeat until your dog doesn’t hesitate to touch their nose to the bell.
  3. Start adding a cue or command word like “touch” to their act of touching the bell.
  4. Hold the bell far enough away from them so that they must take a few steps to touch their nose to it. This adds a physical aspect to the task.

Step 2. This step trains them to ring the bell on the door on command:

  1. Choose the door in your house that you will typically take your dog out of and hang the bell on the door.
  2. Continue the training from step 1 with the bell on the door, using the command word.
  3. Don’t forget about rewards and affirmations when your dog touches the bell!
  4. Repeat this step until your dog touches the bell on cue.

There are products you can buy that allow your dog to simply touch a button with their paw to ring a bell. Whatever you think is best for you and your pet will work fine.

Step 3. At this point, your dog will be trained to touch the bell on cue. This step teaches your dog to touch the bell at a specific time:

  1. Approach the door and cue your dog to touch the bell with your command word.
  2. When they do, react with excitement, open the door, and take them outside.
  3. With enough repetition, your dog will learn that you will open the door and take them out whenever they ring the bell.

Sometimes, your dog may ring the bell just to go outside and play. You’ll have to reinforce to them that the bell is for potty time. When they ring the bell, put on their leash and take them to the part of the yard where they typically relieve themselves for a few minutes. If they go potty, affirm and reward. If they do not, go back inside.

With enough repetition, your dog will learn that ringing the bell means going out to potty. This requires a lot of repetition, patience, and participation from everyone in your household.

How do i teach my dog no

One of the very first, if not THE very first thing you will train your puppy is to respond to their name!

Your puppy’s name helps establish initial communication between the two of you, gains their attention when you need to, and helps facilitate teaching your puppy obedience commands and coming to you when called.

Hi! My Name is ______

Whatever name you picked for your puppy, start using it from day one!

Puppies can learn their names quickly (most can pick it up within 1-3 days!) but generally, you’ll want to practice using their name regularly. A good way to start teaching your puppy their name is to use it to gain their attention by saying their name and rewarding them when they look at you!.

By creating a positive association for your puppy responding whenever you say their name, you’re reinforcing that behavior, establishing this good habit, and getting your puppy used to their new name!

Tip: Nicknames are cute but in those first few days, refrain from using anything other than your puppy’s proper name to avoid any confusion!

Use food as a motivator

How do i teach my dog no

Use food as a reinforcer and reward!

Food rewards and using a food lure work wonders to speed up the name-learning process! Not only are they excellent puppy motivators, but they also reward and reinforce the behaviors your want to see more of.

In the beginning, when you say your puppy’s name the first few times, they may just look at you out of curiosity. But if you say their name and give a quick reward when they look at you, it will help establish that this sound has a good — and delicious — outcome.

To practice, take your puppy to a spot in your home with minimal or no distractions. A harness and leash can be super helpful in this process too, so your pup doesn’t wander off! With your puppy in front of you, gain their attention by saying your puppy’s name clearly, then put a treat in front of their nose and guide that same piece of food up to your eyes (which will draw their eyes up to yours to establish eye contact). Next, say “Good!” when they look at you and reward them with the treat! Check out our video later in this blog for s step-by-step on how to do this!

We recommend our students’ parents to do training sessions like these at their mealtime, and use a portion of that food for training. Puppies love to work (especially for their food!) and it’s a great way to combine mental and physical activity, while you speed up the process of teaching them their name.

As they get better, you can start adding obedience commands to these training sessions to ensure they respond consistently to their given name when said out loud This can sound like, “Puppy, Sit. Good!” and then give them food reward for listening!

Tip: If your puppy isn’t that food-motivated, you can try using a higher value treat or their favorite toy instead!

Practice using your puppy’s name regularly

Repeat this name exercise daily for about three to five minutes a session. You can split up practice sessions by keeping some of their food on you and saying their name throughout the day anytime you are seeking to gain your puppy’s attention and rewarding them when they respond.

Shorter training sessions are better in the beginning as young puppies don’t have very long attention spans and can get tired and start tuning out.

New owners sometimes make the mistake of trying to get their puppy to learn too much too soon. And the same goes for learning their name! If you notice your pup’s attention starts to fade during the training session, switch it up and finish up with some playtime. Always end training with fun to keep your puppy wanting to do more of it and looking forward to the next time.

Once your puppy starts to look at you when you say their name, you can start practicing in other spots in your home and slowly adding more distractions.

Tip: Don’t repeat your puppy’s name over and over again. It will lose value, they’ll start to tune you out, and they won’t respond to it! (The same goes when saying verbal obedience commands!)

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How do i teach my dog no

Dogs jump for all kinds of reasons: attention, excitement or not knowing what else to do when they see a person.

Does your dog jump on you as if they’ve got springs on their feet? Like it or not, we humans are to blame. We not only permit this behavior, we encourage it. We know we shouldn’t encourage jumping, but a fuzzy puppy is just too cute to resist. We forget that cute behavior in a puppy can become a real nuisance when they grow up.

Allowing your dog to jump on people can be dangerous too. You can end up scratched and bruised. A child or frail adult can be knocked down and seriously injured.

Solving a behavior problem like jumping requires both management of the situation and training your dog.

Management

Management means you must control the situation so your dog doesn’t have the opportunity to jump up. Use management techniques until your dog is adequately trained not to jump.

As an example, let’s take the dog who jumps on visitors. To manage your dog’s behavior, you could do one of the following before your guest arrives:

  • Put your dog in their crate.
  • Confine them in another room.
  • Restrain your dog on a leash and ask them to sit while the guest enters. Be sure to reward good behavior.

This will prevent jumping while they are learning proper behavior.

Training

Teach your dog that they receive no attention for jumping on you or anyone else. You can turn your back and only pet your dog when all four paws are on the floor.

Teach your dog to do something that is incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting. They can’t sit and jump up at the same time. If they are not sitting, they get no attention.

It is important to be consistent. Everyone in your family must follow the training program all the time. You can’t let your dog jump on people in some circumstances, but not others.

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DOGUE » Posts » 10 Commands to Teach Your Dog

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According to the latest statistics from the RSPCA – 38% of households in Australia own a dog. In total, there are 4.8 million dogs in Australia, accounting for roughly $7 billion of the pet industry expenditures.

We love our dogs so much – we are willing to spend money on grooming, vet check-ups, food and everything else to keep our pups happy and healthy.

However, apart from these must-haves, pet owners need to train their dogs and teach them the basic commands properly. Dog training creates mental stimulation and encourages discipline and obedience to make your dog more active and well-behaved. Not to mention it is a rewarding way to strengthen the human-pet relationship even more.

There are various dog obedience training facts you need to understand – but here are some of the essential commands you can teach to your pooch

Name Recognition

Purpose: to address your dog properly while teaching commands.

Description: before you train your dog any activities, teach your dog to recognise their name. This should be the very first step to instil discipline. It is easier to teach your pup commands and exercises if you address them appropriately. An obvious sign that your dog responds well is if they stare or look at you upon calling their name. Don’t forget to provide a reward or affection when they get it right.

Leave it or No

Purpose: to tell your dog not to grab or pick up something they are approaching or about to ingest.

Description: you may not want your dog eating whatever is unnecessary to digest. This is the reason why a ‘No’ or ‘Leave It’ command is helpful. Begin by holding treats on both hands. Gradually move the first hand or treat to your pooches’ face to trigger them to lick or sniff at the treat, then say the ‘leave it’ or ‘no’ command. Whenever your dog is trying to grab the first treat from your hand, do not give it to them. Give the second treat from the other hand when your dog finds no interest in the first treat anymore. This action signals that they followed the desired behaviour. Make sure to practice the exercise until your dog masters it.

Come

Purpose: to signal your dog to come back to you, keeping your pup out of trouble.

Description: this command should start by putting a collar and leash on your dog. With a certain distance away from your dog, gently pull the dog’s leash towards you then say ‘come’. As your dog manages to move towards you, make sure to give them a treat, praise or affection. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Watch me or Look

Purpose: to guarantee that your dog’s attention stays or focuses on you.

Description: this command is executed by offering your dog a treat in your closed hand. Carefully move your hand closer to the dog’s nose then towards the face. Once you get your dog’s full attention while establishing eye contact, say the ‘watch me’ or ‘look’ command. As a reward, give your dog a treat or praise.

Down or Lie Down

Purpose: to calm down an excited dog and address some dog’s behavioural issues.

Description: this activity is a little challenging as it requires your dog to be in a passive position. Execute this command by offering a treat for your dog. Hold the treat with your closed fist then gently move it closer towards your dog’s nose and face. Let your dog sniff at the object then allow them to follow by gradually moving your hand to the floor. Continue to slide your hand along the floor until your dog assumes a lying position. Once they are down, that is the perfect time to give the ‘down’ command. Offer your dog a treat or praise them for their behaviour. Repeat this exercise until they master it.

Take it and Drop it

Purpose: to train your dog to drop the object they have taken.

Description: to execute this command, start by giving the ‘take it’ command when your dog opens their mouth and is willing to grab or catch the object. Give them time to play with the object then gradually introduce another object which is completely the same as the first one. Creating an impression that it provides the same value to your dog, it will trigger your dog to move towards the second object and grab it. Once your Dog dropped the first one, give the ‘drop it’ command. Say the ‘take it’ command when your dog catches or grabs the second object. Reward your dog and practice this activity until they learn it properly.

Sit-Stay

Purpose: to calm your dog down and keep them self-controlled.

Description: this activity is a combination of two commands: sit and stay. Train your dog with ‘sit’ command first. To execute this exercise, begin by offering your dog a treat. Hold the treat and position it closer to your dog’s nose then gradually move your hand up, so your dog will also move their head and follow the direction of your hand. When the dog assumes the natural sitting position, give the ‘sit’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise and repeat this activity until they master it.

By the time your dog has perfected the ‘sit’ command, teach them the ‘stay’ command. When your dog is in a natural sitting position, open the palm of your hand facing your dog then give the ‘stay’ command. Continue the exercise by gradually moving further away from your dog, then say the ‘stay’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise by doing a great job. Repeat until they have perfected the exercise.

Stand

Purpose: to easily position the dog in cases where standing is required such as brushing the dog or being examined by the veterinarian.

Description: start by giving the ‘sit’ command. With a treat in your hand, move it towards your dog’s nose forward then down. Following the direction of your hand holding the treat, move your hand forward until your dog assumes a standing position. Say the ‘stand’ command and reward your dog with praise or a treat.

Wait

Purpose: to train your dog not to move or wander.

Description: execute this task by giving the command ‘sit’ when your dog is outside your car or just in front of a closed door. Open the palm of your hand then say the ‘wait’ command. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Heel

Purpose: to teach the dog to be well-behaved when you are beside them.

Description: start this command by holding the dog’s leash with your right hand. Let your dog stay on your left side. Using your left hand, hold the treat and guide your Dog while walking or instructing them to sit. Give the ‘heel’ command. Make a few steps while guiding your dog at your side. Praise your dog or give him or her a treat.

Final Thoughts

We always want to have enjoyable relationship with our canine companions wherever we go. Teach your pooch these basic commands to address any behavioural problems and ensure a healthy and happy companion.

How do i teach my dog no

Did you know that teaching your dog a few basic commands isn’t just for tricks? We all want a dog that listens to us, but it’s more than just a way to impress our friends. It is also a way to keep them safe. When they know basic commands they are more likely to listen to you in a dangerous situation.

That’s why teaching your dog how to sit before crossing the road is one of the best things you can do for them.

Earlier is better

The most effective way is to start training before they are 16 weeks of age. Although, you can train them at any time, but earlier is always better. Take them for walks and cross the street while implementing sit commands and giving treats. This will give them positive reinforcement for stopping and sitting before they cross the road.

Train them to sit with a treat lure

Take a treat in your hand and how it to your dog. Then raise your hand straight up in the air in front of their nose. Your dog’s behind usually does the opposite of their nose. As you hold up the treat their bottoms will go down.

Avoid holding your hand too high above the dog’s head, as this will force him to sit too far back on their hind legs.

Place your dog directly in front of you and then raise your hand up and back toward his tail. This motion should cause your dog to sit down so that he can follow the treat with his nose. Be sure to say “sit” while you are raising the treat. Continue practicing until your dog will sit on command, without the need for a treat.

Work with your dog daily in 5 to 15-minute sessions.

Move the training outside to the road.

Finally, once they have learned the sit command pretty well it’s time to move the training outside. Find a street that is not too busy. Or even a park with paved trails would work too.

Anytime you have to cross a street, no matter if a car is coming or not stop at the curb and tell your dog to sit. Pause for a few seconds.

Give them praise and move on. You can go back and forth crossing the same street or continue your walk and do this at every cross. Pretty soon your dog will naturally start to sit next to you when you stop at the curb before crossing.

The keys to success in teaching your dog commands are patience, practice, praise, and persistence. When training your dog, every step he takes in the right direction should be rewarded as though they had just won the lottery. These commands will keep your dog safe and impress everyone around!

Recently my neighbour relayed that my 2-year-old spaniel was barking for an hour after I left to go to work. This came as a shock to me as my dog never barks! And what was more worrying is that I thought it was separation anxiety.

Fact checking

Before any management modifications I videoed his activities during the day so we can get facts straight. This surprised me. My first thoughts prior to viewing the video was that he would be crying/howling/barking at the gate or doors, or that maybe he is barking at a bird flying by, or even barking at strange noises… well I was wrong! It turned out that my dog was barking at my other dog to get his attention to play and interact with him …… no off switch! This went on for 5-10 minutes at times, to which my older dog (the perfect boy that he is) just lays there ignoring the 2-year-old spaniel (a.k.a the dog had no off switch) circling and barking at him. Prior to this behaviour on the day he did spend the first hour enjoying his kongs that I had left for him and foraging for the food that I had placed out as a food hunt. So, the question is, is my dog bored? … No, he just doesn’t know how to stop, he doesn’t have an off switch.

Now the challenge is to teach my dog ‘how’ to switch off.

Tips for teaching “off”:

The ‘settle’ game – The aim of this game is to teach your dog to lay down when there is nothing else going on.

1. Put the lead on your dog and sit down. Keep the lead loose. The lead is only attached to your dog to help them make good choices and stay near you.

2. Do not say anything to your dog, but calmly reward them for being calm or offering any calm behaviour.

3. Continue this for a few days until your dog begins to understand that it is being rewarded for being calm.

Walking – does your dog become excited as soon as the lead comes out? Calm behaviour starts in the home!

1. Don’t excite your dog with words such as “walkies!” if you are aiming for a quiet walk!

2. Devalue the dogs lead. If your dog becomes really excited when the lead comes out then change the association to the lead by;

· Putting your dog’s lead on when you are not planning on going for a walk. Put their lead on and give them something else to do instead, such as a Kong or food hunt or similar.

1. Teach your dog to be calm at the front door. Play the settle game near the front door then add the lead once your dog understands the game.

2. Allow your dog to sniff as much as it likes on walks! Remember that we see the world with our eyes whilst our dogs see the world with their noses. Sniffing is also mentally exhausting for your dog!

Jumping – I love this one, especially if the dog jumps on visitors! Why, because often it’s the visitors that need training rather than the dog.

1. Put a sign up on your front door explaining to visitors how you would like them to behave around your dog.

2. Set your dog up to succeed by either putting them in another location with a rewarding activity to do, such as a Kong whilst the visitors arrive, or put them on lead.

How to Teach Your Dog to Sit, Drop, Come and Stay

Nothing is more beautiful than welcoming a new puppy or dog into your home. They bring so much joy into our lives and fill every corner of the house with fun and laughter. Part of the pleasure of owning a puppy or a dog is teaching them how to sit, drop, come and stay.

There’s nothing quite like watching your puppy pick up commands, and with every new command the bond between you and your dog just grows stronger. So, here is a guide to teaching your dog some of the most important commands – sit, drop, come and stay.

Remember, no matter what command you’re trying to teach your dog, it’s all about positive reinforcement. You want your dog to love and respect you, not fear you. So, be sure to reward your pooch for good behaviour—never punish your dog or puppy if they get things wrong occasionally.

How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

We suggest teaching your dog how to sit first. This is one of the easiest commands for your dog to master. Training your dog to sit is also the base for many other commands.

To teach your dog to sit:

  1. With your puppy in a standing position, hold the treat in front of their nose allowing them to sniff it. Avoid holding the treat too high or they will jump up instead of sitting.
  2. In a slow, steady motion move the treat up and slowly back over your puppy’s head. As your puppy’s nose points up, their rear end will ease down to the floor, taking them into the sitting position.
  3. Reward them immediately when they sit with the treat and some verbal praise.
  4. Only add the word ‘sit’ when your puppy is reliably responding to the visual hand cue.
  5. You should gradually phase out giving food every time, however your puppy will still need intermittent food rewards throughout its life.
  6. Continue to say ‘good dog’ when your puppy sits on cue.
  7. With practice your puppy should sit with a visual cue such as with a sweep of the hand in an upward movement, even without treats.

Things to look out for when teaching your dog to sit:

  • If your puppy or dog backs away when you try to reward him or her, this is a sign of uncertainty, possibly fear. Monitor your body language and try to approach your dog a friendlier, more open manner. If your dog feels safe and loved, it will be able to learn much more quickly.
  • Remember, training is never done. Continue to reward your dog with both verbal and food treats when it sits on cue.
  • If your puppy raises its front paws you are raising the treat too high.
  • If your puppy consistently backs away go back to just rewarding the puppy for approaching you and then restart the sit training again at a later date .

How to Teach Your Dog to Come

Getting your dog to come back to you on command is the next step in training and an important one. If you can’t recall your dog, it may not be safe to let it off the leash in dog parks and other areas.

To teach this vital skill:

  1. In a safe environment, stand a short distance away and say your dog’s name in a happy, friendly voice so that your dog turns around and make that all important eye contact with you.
  2. Next, move your hand towards your dog with some food or a treat.
  3. In a clear motion, move the treat towards you and say ‘come’. As soon as your dog moves towards you, give him/her the treat. Follow this up with some verbal praise.
  4. Grab a second treat. Move away from your dog again, and repeat ‘come’. Once your dog comes towards you, follow the reward process again.
  5. You should practice this at home on a regular basis, moving further and further away from your dog until you can recall your dog when they’re not even looking at you.

How to Teach Your Dog to Stay

This is another important command, as it can keep your puppy or dog out of danger. To teach your dog how to stay:

  1. It’s essential your dog can sit reliably before you try to teach him or her how to stay. So, ensure that your puppy has mastered the art of sitting first!
  2. Calmly lean towards your dog and extend your hand. You should position your hand so that your palm is facing your dog. Say ‘stay’ in a calm voice, being sure to keep your hand and body still. Once your dog remains still, be sure to give them a treat and reinforce this with some verbal praise.
  3. Remember that it is important that the command to ‘stay’ is backed up with a verbal cue that lets your dog know that they can move—be sure to say ‘go’ or ‘free’.
  4. You can increase the amount of time your dog must sit still every two days or so. Once your puppy can reliably stay for up to 15 seconds, you can begin practising stays when you are moving away. Just say ‘stay’, take a step backwards, and the give your release command.

Only teach this command when your puppy or dog is calm. It’s a lot to ask your dog to sit still if they’re excited about something! If you teach your dog how to stay when they are calm, eventually, they will stay when they’re excited too.

How to Teach Your Dog to Drop

This is an excellent trick for puppies or dogs that tend to jump at food, people or anything else that excites them. To teach your dog to drop:

  1. Get your dog into a sitting position, and give them a treat.
  2. Grab a second treat, and slowly move the treat from your dog’s nose to the floor until the treat is between your dog’s front paws. Your dog will naturally follow the treat with its nose, so that their chest eventually rests on the ground.
  3. You can repeat step two until your dog reliably drops to the floor each time, using the verbal cue ‘drop.’ Only use this cue when the dog’s front end has reached the floor and reward immediately. Remember to reward when your puppy or dog takes the treat from your hand with a nice, ‘good boy’, or ‘good girl’.

If you’re teaching a very young puppy, make sure the floor is nice and soft. You can even use a dedicated mat. It’s also a good idea to practice when the puppy is tired. Again, teaching an excited puppy or dog can make it that much harder to learn. And remember, training is for life. It is important to reinforce these behaviours with dedicated training sessions and intermittent rewards every so often so they do not forget what is expected.

For more information about training your dog, you make also want to take a look at:

How do i teach my dog no

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Honestly, some dogs have learned “no” is their name. It’s true, as a dog trainer, I’ve watched pet owners say “no, No, NO” over and over again to their dogs. Sometimes, the “no” command makes up the entire interaction between pet owners and their dogs. Not only is this puzzling and depressing, but it also doesn’t work.

Dogs learn to tune out unimportant information and the “no” command soon becomes background noise. So, let’s look at this word differently and see if “no” even teaches your dog anything. The answer just might surprise you.

What Does the “No” Command Mean?

Seriously, what does “no” mean? It could mean:

  • Stop that
  • Don’t move
  • Stay there
  • Don’t look at me
  • Don’t walk toward me
  • Stop touching me
  • Stop licking
  • Stop jumping
  • Don’t run away
  • Don’t dig
  • Stop barking
  • Wrong
  • Stop pulling

“No” has multiple meanings, so when telling your dog “no,” what are you asking your dog to do? It gets confusing, especially for the dog. Basically, telling a dog to stop doing something is the most common reason pet owners say “no.” Here’s the tricky part though: if your dog stops doing a behavior (i.e. barking, jumping, pulling, or growling), what do you want your dog to do instead? Before you answer, let’s visit this scenario from a human perspective.

Let’s say you and your husband go out to dinner. As you’re driving down the road, you notice that your husband is speeding. The moment you notice he’s speeding, you tell her “no.” In this situation, what are you asking her to do? “No” could mean take your hands off the wheel, close your eyes, turn around, look at you, stop the car or go faster. The word “no” provides little information. Instead, say “please slow down” and your husband will lift his foot off the accelerator.

Does “N0” Teach Your Dog Anything?

It really doesn’t. Instead of saying “no,” teach your dog an alternative behavior. When teaching your dog an alternative behavior, you’re rewarding a behavior that’s opposite of what you’re asking your dog to stop doing. This may sound complicated, but it’s actually quite easy and works quickly. Basically, you’re asking your dog to do this instead of that. Check out these examples:

  • If your dog is jumping on guests, ask your dog to “sit” instead.
  • When a dog barks, reward her for being quiet.
  • If your dog potties inside your home, reward her when she potties outside.
  • When your dog pulls on leash, reward a loose leash.
  • If your dog moves around while brushing, reward your dog when she stands still.
  • If your dog runs away from you, reward your dog for running toward you.
  • If your dog tries to eat food on the ground, teach the “leave it” cue and reward when she “leaves it.”
  • If your dog has something in her mouth, teach “trade game.”

Believe it or not, teaching and rewarding an alternative behavior works every time! Instead of focusing on what your dog did wrong, figure out what your dog should do instead. Here’s a huge hint: choose the opposite behavior. It’s really hard for a dog to jump and sit at the same time. 🙂

Should You Teach Your Dog the “No” Command?

No, you shouldn’t. Remember the word “no” is meaningless. Instead, teach your dog what to do instead. When I explain this “no” concept, most pet owners ask, “Well, what should I say when my dog is running toward a busy road?” My response to that is: “Teach your dog a rocket recall, and say “Rover, come here” when this happens. Then, reward your dog thoroughly with treats and tons of praise.” Screaming “no” won’t stop your dog from running away. I wish it were that simple.

Beware of dog trainers and websites claiming that dogs must learn the “no” command. Remember, “no” could mean anything. Plus, “no” means nothing during the learning process. If you were learning a foreign language, such as French, and I said “no” when you spoke French, what am I teaching you? Not to speak French, it would seem. But, if I asked you to pronounce a French word differently, that would help you learn quicker and faster. It’s the same with dogs, horses, snails, fish and even children. Teach an alternative behavior instead of saying “no.”

Teaching an alternative behavior may seem a bit different, but it’s the best way to stop unwanted dog behavior. Before saying “no,” figure out what your dog should do instead. Remember, teach your dog to do this instead of that!

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 no

Your new puppy may be cute and cuddly, but their teeth can pack a serious punch when they decide to nip you.

Nipping is a completely normal, natural behavior for puppies who are teething and learning to use their teeth, but it’s a behavior that must be stopped to protect you and your family as your dog grows.

Putting a stop to biting behaviors as soon as you notice them is key to teaching your puppy not to nip. Here are 6 things you can do to help them stop biting:

Teach Bite Inhibition

As puppies grow, they tend to play bite as they wrestle with their littermates.

In these situations, if they bite down too hard on the other animal, this can earn them a warning bite or yelp in return. The pain the puppy feels at that warning bite, or the unexpected yelping sound, snaps them out of their bite and causes them to release the other dog.

To mimic this effect in your home, try letting out a loud, high-pitched “Ow!” when your puppy nips you. In some dogs, this will cause them to release you and back off.

Beware, though: Yelping can cause some dogs to get more riled up and make them more likely to bite.

If this is your dog, it’s best to turn quietly around and walk away, or put the puppy in their crate for a while to calm down.

End Playtime

If your puppy bites while playing, make sure they know it means that playtime is over, no exceptions.

Yelling at or punishing your puppy for nipping may seem to be a way to get your message across, but it actually has the opposite effect. Rather than showing your dog that their behavior is unacceptable, they learn that biting gets them attention, and they’ll continue biting.

Instead, put your puppy down and quietly walk away. Tuck your hands into your armpits to make yourself seem physically smaller, sending a signal to your puppy that they no longer have your attention.

This will help them see that the things they do impact your attention, and they will learn to avoid the behaviors that cause you to walk away.

Offer Alternatives

Teething, for puppies, is similar to teething for babies. They suddenly have all these new teeth and they’re looking for ways to use them. Sometimes, your arms and legs get in the way and your puppy bites.

If your puppy nips you, immediately offer a chew toy as an alternative. When your puppy is in the thick of biting behaviors, it’s best to carry a toy with you as often as possible so you always have it at the ready.

This teaches your puppy that it’s not OK to bite people or furniture, but it is OK to bite these toys.

Time Out

Often, puppies nip because they get overstimulated and overexcited, and don’t know how to calm themselves down.

When your puppy nips you or someone else, quietly, gently remove them and place them in their crate or a separate room so they can calm down. This action shows them both that biting means they lose your attention and allows them to self-soothe, two important things all puppies need to learn.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Teaching your dog what behaviors you want to see can sometimes mean catching them doing good.

If your puppy is playing nicely or sitting quietly, reward them with a gentle pat and a “Good dog.” They will learn that this good behavior gets them attention, and they will want to repeat that behavior to continue receiving the reward.

Try a Class

If you feel that you’ve tried all the at-home tricks but your puppy still won’t stop biting, it may be time to consider an obedience class.

These classes, when led by a trained professional, can not only teach your puppy not to bite, but also give you some strategies and tips to use to reinforce lessons learned in class.

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How do i teach my dog no

It’s really common to run into this problem when you’re first learning how to properly train with treats. While it might be a sign of a smart dog when your dog will only listen if there are treats around, it’s certainly a frustrating scenario for owners.

In today’s “Ask a Behavior Consultant,” we tackle this question:

My dog is pretty well trained (sit, lay down, come, go to bed). The issue is that she will only do these things if she believes she will be getting a treat. She wants to see it in my hand before she does the command. Am I doing something wrong?

– Greedy Puppy

PS – If you want to submit your own Ask a Behavior Consultant question, you can do that here. Be sure to try all of the tips in this article and check out our training videos and blogs before submitting a question – we don’t answer duplicate questions.

How to Teach Your Dog to Listen Without Treats

It’s almost always best to teach a dog a new behavior using treats ( I really like the Merrick Power Bites or Zuke’s Training Treats). They’re fast, they’re small, and most dogs love them!

But once your dog is starting to really learn the behavior, it’s important for most people to start weaning off treats.

Whether you need your dog to listen without treats for competition, for safety, or for convenience, it’s handy to have a dog that listens without treats.

  1. Start with treats. That’s just the fastest and most efficient way to teach a behavior. Blue Bits from Blue Buffalo are great for small dogs – the heart-shaped treats break in half really easily!
  2. Fade treats ASAP. Many people start teaching their dogs using a lure. They teach a sit by pulling the treat up and back; they teach a down by curving the treat down and forward. It’s important to remove the treat from your hand within 3-5 tries using the lure. Just use your hand to lure the dog, then produce the treat from your other hand.
  3. Make the reward a surprise. Sometimes, ask your dog to sit or lie down when there’s no apparent treat in sight. Then produce a piece of chicken from a hiding spot! Or go outside and several tasty meal-toppers near your mailbox, then practice come when called and surprise your dog with a huge jackpot! Sometimes, I give my dog five treats for a behavior. Other times, he gets one (or none). Your dog will quickly learn that it’s worth it to listen to you because you usually have something good, even if she can’t see or smell it.
  4. Switch up the rewards. It’s not always possible to have treats lying around. Though I try to have dog treats handy as much as I can, I’m not perfect at this either! Instead, I use life rewards whenever I can to reward my dog. Your dog can sit in order to earn a walk, lie down to earn belly rubs, or come when called in order to play tug o war. Teach your dog that if she listens when you ask, she’ll get something good (but it might not be food).

It all comes down to motivation and trust. You need to demonstrate to your dog that it’s a good bet to listen when you ask, because you almost always deliver.

Think of a friend who asks a lot of favors. If your friend almost always pays you back with a beer or a return favor (or at least plenty of gratitude), you’re likely to keep the favors coming. But if your friend never acknowledges your favors, you probably won’t keep showing up for her.

The same goes for your dog. There’s a misconception that your dog should listen to you just because she’s a dog, you’re a human, and you are The Leader of the House.

The fact is, well-behaved dogs listen because something is in it for them.

I recommend teaching your dog that you’ll provide good stuff when she listens rather than trying to enforce her obedience by threatening “listen, or else.”

An Example of Fading Treats from a Dog’s Training

Let’s give this a concrete example, because it can be a bit hard to visualize how you fade treats and teach your dog to listen without treats.

Last week, I was teaching my dog to weave between my legs. This is a cute behavior that also helps stretch his back out – important before we go on long hikes!

  1. I lured Barley through my legs using a treat. Each time he took a few steps in the right direction, I released the treat from my fingers and gave it to him. I did this about 5 times until he seemed to have the motion down.
  2. I lured Barley through my legs but only gave him a treat when he finished the leg weave. I did this about 10 times, weaving him through my legs with the treat but only releasing the treat when he finished the weave.
  3. I put the treat in my other hand and then lured Barley through my legs using my empty hand. When he finished weaving, I gave him the treat from my other hand. We did this about 10 times.
    • We then took a break for a few hours.
  4. I repeated Step 3, but asked him to weave two or three times before he got a treat. We did this 10 times, varying whether Barley got the treat after one, two, or three successful leg weaves.
  5. I repeated Step 3 again, but this time I made my hand movements smaller each repetition. Rather than moving my hand through my legs right with Barley, I made the movements smaller and smaller. We did this about 10 times.
  6. I started adding a verbal cue. Now I moved my leg, offered my hand on the other side of my leg, and said “weave.” If he got it right, I produced treats from my hand, treat pouch, or hidden around the house.
    • We took another break.
  7. I started asking Barley to “weave” at random times throughout the day. He “weaved” through my legs before I clipped his leash on, before I opened the front door, before I clipped his leash off at the beach, in order to earn a tug toy or a tennis ball, praise, petting, and for other real-life rewards.

That’s how I taught Barley to leg weave without treats in just a few days.

Sure, I still give him treats about 50% of the time when he does the behavior (because I want him to love doing leg weaves), but he listens when I say “weave” even if he can’t see the treats!

He trusts that I’ll pay him somehow soon. We call this a trust bank account, and it’s a hallmark of a great relationship with your dog.

So, it’s not so much a matter of not rewarding your dog: it’s teaching your dog that other rewards are possible, and that you’ll usually pull through with something good!

Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.

If you have a dog who’s keen to learn, or even if they’re a bit on the reluctant side, teaching them to high five is nice and simple, so you’ll have them doing it in no time at all.

Your dog is more likely to learn when there are no other distractions. So, training them is best done indoors in an area they feel comfortable in, with plenty of space.

Note: For your dog to learn this, you’ll need to have a good sit command already in place and have some tasty treats handy

Five steps to high five

How do i teach my dog no

Step one: Hold a treat for your dog in a closed fist. Allow them to sniff and lick at your hand, which will eventually lead to them pawing at your hand.

Step two: As soon as they paw at your hand, give them the treat and either use a clicker to mark the action or say ‘yes’.

Step three: Continue doing this a few times before marking the action by saying ‘high five’.

Step four: Once they seem to have this mastered, switch your hand position to meet your hand with their paw. Then repeat until they meet your hand with their paw every time.

Step five: Now go and show off your hard work and your dog’s new skill!

Not only does this trick look great when you’re wanting to show off, it also helps your dog feel more comfortable having their paws handled; useful for grooming and a trip to the vets.

Training your dog also increases the bond between you and keeps your four-legged friend mentally stimulated.

As a dog trainer, I hear expressions like “My dog is stubborn” or “My dog refuses to listen to me” on a weekly basis. I empathize with dog parents’ frustrations, while also empathizing with another species who can’t talk and who is most often not being defiant or stubborn. Think you’ve got a stubborn dog, or a dog who seems to ignore you or not listen?

How do i teach my dog no

Think you’ve got a stubborn dog? How you’re training your dog might be a big part of the problem. Photography ©Jamie Garbutt | Getty Images.

Is your dog being stubborn? Is your dog ignoring you?

So what’s happening when your dog seemingly ignores you, and what can you do about it?

We ask and expect a lot of our dogs, sometimes even expecting a new dog in the home to understand all of the house rules and boundaries on the first day!

Even with our language skills, you or I would need time to settle in to a new environment. Dogs need time to settle in as well. It doesn’t mean they can do unwanted things like knocking trash cans over — it means we need to be patient as we begin showing the dog his new home.

Step 1: Be patient when training a new (or old) dog new skills.

Understand that dogs really do need training. They don’t arrive already understanding our human-made house rules.

Step 2: Possess very clear communication skills.

Let’s take a dog continually jumping on people in the home. If one pet parent consistently asks for an incompatible behavior — let’s say a sit — and often rewards that sit, the dog will begin to sit and will cease jumping if he gets zero out of it.

But then when the other pet parent comes home from work, he or she enjoys the dog jumping up to say hello and inadvertently reinforces that behavior by playing with the dog, perhaps even patting him on the sides and talking joyfully to him. This dog is getting very mixed messages.

Some dogs are good at weaving their way through people in the same home reinforcing a behavior one day and other people correcting that same behavior another day. Most dogs are simply confused because we haven’t communicated the behavior we do want clearly enough. Agree on your house rules before you bring a dog into your home, and then all work together to reinforce the behavior wanted.

Step 3: Repetition, repetition, repetition.

I train new skills at home first because it’s a quiet, private space where I can control what’s happening in the environment. Imagine a young elementary school student trying to learn math problems with other kids running around the playground, chasing each other and laughing. It’s hard to focus.

You can set your training sessions up for success by first teaching your dog in a calm setting. Once you have reinforced your dog’s new skill with terrific food many, many times in the home, and once he’s giving you the asked-for behavior 90 percent of the time in that environment, then take it to the backyard or front porch (on leash in unfenced areas).

Be aware of your dog’s incredibly powerful nose that kicks into high gear outside or in new environments. You could first do a sniffing nose walk around your backyard and then begin the training session. Or, ask for something the dog knows well, such as a sit and just after he sits, tell him “Let’s go explore!” and walk or run around the yard.

Step 4: Realize that some things are harder than others for dogs.

Dogs do what works — for them. Therefore, it’s in our own best interest to have the behaviors we want for our dog work best for them as well. Two skills that seem hardest for dog parents to teach consistently are “leave it” and a solid recall. Both skills are vital and can even be life saving.

What is involved from the dog’s point of view in these two skills? His nose. It takes him right to that delicious piece of hamburger meat you accidentally dropped on the kitchen floor. And his nose is leading him to run away from you at a dead run while he chases the scent of the wild rabbit that hopped through his yard.

Instead of fighting that powerful nose, work with it. For example, when teaching “leave it,” ask your dog to leave a boring piece of kibble. The second he removes his nose from it, mark with a “Yes!” and give him a much better-smelling meat reward. A dog can learn to leave things once he understands that doing so will get him a much better reward.

How do i teach my dog no

Remember — treats like meat and cheese go a long way when training a stubborn dog! Photography ©mdmilliman | Getty Images.

Teaching even a stubborn dog a good recall

Entire books and DVDs have been created to help dog parents teach a solid recall, something all dogs should know. While we don’t have the space here to delve deep into this cue, I can give you some quick pointers.

Begin teaching a recall off leash inside your home. Use your cue word to call your dog in for meals. Use your cue to call your dog for a walk. Reinforce recalls with truly wonderful meat or cheese reinforcers when your dog does come to you. Call your dog five to 10 times a day in your home and back up as he comes bounding to you to engage him even more.

Praise and treat, praise and treat. When he is super excited to come to you, take it outside to your backyard or other calm, fenced location. Do not punish a dog who is coming to you, even if it took him longer than you wished.

The final word on teaching a stubborn dog or a dog who seemingly doesn’t listen

All in all, it’s far more likely that we need to take a step back in our own communication skills than it is that a dog is purposefully ignoring us. We have the bigger brain (and thumbs!), so let’s work to employ that intelligence and set our dogs up to succeed.

Still need help training a stubborn dog?

So, what if you have done all the recommended steps above and Fido STILL ignores you? Here are some other things to consider:

  1. What reinforcers are you using and are they truly exciting for your dog? Some dogs, for example, will do anything for a chance to play fetch, so a ball outranks a piece of cheese.
  2. Is the skill too new for the environment you are asking your dog to demonstrate?
  3. Have you insufficiently trained the skill in a calm setting first?
  4. If your dog is ignoring your cue, back up in his training to the last spot where he was
    performing well, and start anew from that spot.
  5. Keep in mind that some dogs do seemingly go a bit deaf as they go through adolescence. Keep with the program, and you will have a nicely trained mature dog on the other side of the teenage years.

Thumbnail: Photography ©LightFieldStudios | Getty Images.

  • Tags: Behavior, Dogster Magazine, Training

Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA

Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA, is a professional dog trainer based in Utah. She is a force-free trainer specializing in working with troubled dogs. She is the author of The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living With a Reactive or Aggressive Dog. For more information, visit phenixdogs.com.

What commands teach dogs first

There comes a time in pretty much every dog’s life that he will not take a given command. The reasons for this are numerous, ranging from just an age related phase, not adequate training, fear, or just simple distraction issues. The first step a frustrated owner should take is to try to assess WHY their dog is not taking a command, as the solution differs for each reason.

Age

Just like human babies, puppies go through quite a few learning stages. For example, puppies have an ideal socialization “window” before 12 weeks of age where they are very accepting of new places, people, sounds etc. After 12 weeks of age, pups become more aware and skeptical of their surroundings and socialization doesn’t come as easily. Pups also go through several fear phases where they are suddenly frightened of things that didn’t bug them before! When adolescence approaches, many pups go through a period of rebellion. Usually this is when a pup that was well trained seems to not have any training at all! This stage occurs most often between 6 and 18 months. What is going on? For dogs that are not altered, this is the time of sexual maturation and the hormones and drive that go along with that create a dog that is less inclined to listen to his owner. Even altered dogs are going to have attention issues because there is a whole world out there that he has just discovered! Follow instinct is now gone and most pups no longer have the desire to stick near their owner when there is action going on. The solution to this issue is to go back a little bit with training. Be sure to proof commands in order of less distracting environments first (house, yard, front yard, neighborhood, empty park, slightly busy park, friend’s house, dog park). If your dog cannot listen to your command in the backyard, he surely cannot listen at the dog park! During this time you may have to use high value treats, start incorporating play-training, and even take a look at a “Nothing In Life is Free” protocol.

Not Fully Trained

Some dogs aren’t listening simply because their owners have a misunderstanding of how well they trained their dog. If the dog has a so/so recall in the yard, expecting him to come at the park is just silly. Humans feel embarrassed and tend to ask too much of their dog when in public places (such as the park, pet store, vet or groom shop). Getting frustrated that their dog won’t sit at the vet when he has to be told and lured at home is the owner setting the dog up for failure. The solution is to simply not ask the dog to things he is not capable of doing and go back and do more training!

Fear

Every dog is going to have a fear of something or someone in their life. Dogs are not very obedient when afraid, and for good reason! They are worried about themselves and there are chemical reactions and bio-feedback going in in their brain that makes it extremely difficult to listen to what the human is saying. During a small fearful event such as visiting the vet, the best solution is to just be comforting and understanding. Don’t ask your dog to sit, stay etc. when he is terrified of anything, and do not force a position especially! If the fear is an ongoing thing of something that is a regular occurrence, seek training help to start a counter-conditioning and desensitizing program.

Distraction

Distraction goes back to a dog that doesn’t have adequate training. I hear all the time from clients, things like, “My dog listens great, till he sees a squirrel!” My reply usually is that my dogs don’t have issues with squirrels or prey animals or food dropped because I worked on it. I systemically worked up to each distraction level with each command essentially. Distractions can be objects, people, animals and even environments. To work on distractions, start with something like can my dog sit in the kitchen with no distraction? Yes, then move onto asking for a sit in the kitchen with people milling about, family members talking, eating, throwing a toy to each other. Move out into the yard and start over with minimal distractions and work up again. Do the same in each new environment. When you add an aspect, you must go back a little in another area, meaning if your dog can sit in the most distracting environment you can think of, don’t suddenly switch gears to asking for a down stay in that same environment if you haven’t worked on the down stay in the lower distraction scenarios first.

Pain

Lastly, there are times a dog doesn’t listen because he is in pain and the owner is not aware. This can obviously happen at any age, but senior dogs are more likely to have pain related to unseen issues like arthritis. My own dog refused to hold a down on hard surfaces for about a month and I was pressuring her and working on it till I realized she will hold a down for a long time on any soft surface. When it occurred to me that she was around 7 years old, it was winter and her joints were bugging her, I put her on some joint medication, gave her a little break and she was back to holding downs on any surface. Listen to what your dog is telling you! A well trained older dog proofed with distractions that isn’t showing fear, most likely has a very good reason for not complying with a command.

So remember, dogs don’t just “blow you off” for no reason. Find the reason and remedy it, and your dog will be back to listening in no time (or as much time as it takes to fix)!

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DOGUE » Posts » 10 Commands to Teach Your Dog

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According to the latest statistics from the RSPCA – 38% of households in Australia own a dog. In total, there are 4.8 million dogs in Australia, accounting for roughly $7 billion of the pet industry expenditures.

We love our dogs so much – we are willing to spend money on grooming, vet check-ups, food and everything else to keep our pups happy and healthy.

However, apart from these must-haves, pet owners need to train their dogs and teach them the basic commands properly. Dog training creates mental stimulation and encourages discipline and obedience to make your dog more active and well-behaved. Not to mention it is a rewarding way to strengthen the human-pet relationship even more.

There are various dog obedience training facts you need to understand – but here are some of the essential commands you can teach to your pooch

Name Recognition

Purpose: to address your dog properly while teaching commands.

Description: before you train your dog any activities, teach your dog to recognise their name. This should be the very first step to instil discipline. It is easier to teach your pup commands and exercises if you address them appropriately. An obvious sign that your dog responds well is if they stare or look at you upon calling their name. Don’t forget to provide a reward or affection when they get it right.

Leave it or No

Purpose: to tell your dog not to grab or pick up something they are approaching or about to ingest.

Description: you may not want your dog eating whatever is unnecessary to digest. This is the reason why a ‘No’ or ‘Leave It’ command is helpful. Begin by holding treats on both hands. Gradually move the first hand or treat to your pooches’ face to trigger them to lick or sniff at the treat, then say the ‘leave it’ or ‘no’ command. Whenever your dog is trying to grab the first treat from your hand, do not give it to them. Give the second treat from the other hand when your dog finds no interest in the first treat anymore. This action signals that they followed the desired behaviour. Make sure to practice the exercise until your dog masters it.

Come

Purpose: to signal your dog to come back to you, keeping your pup out of trouble.

Description: this command should start by putting a collar and leash on your dog. With a certain distance away from your dog, gently pull the dog’s leash towards you then say ‘come’. As your dog manages to move towards you, make sure to give them a treat, praise or affection. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Watch me or Look

Purpose: to guarantee that your dog’s attention stays or focuses on you.

Description: this command is executed by offering your dog a treat in your closed hand. Carefully move your hand closer to the dog’s nose then towards the face. Once you get your dog’s full attention while establishing eye contact, say the ‘watch me’ or ‘look’ command. As a reward, give your dog a treat or praise.

Down or Lie Down

Purpose: to calm down an excited dog and address some dog’s behavioural issues.

Description: this activity is a little challenging as it requires your dog to be in a passive position. Execute this command by offering a treat for your dog. Hold the treat with your closed fist then gently move it closer towards your dog’s nose and face. Let your dog sniff at the object then allow them to follow by gradually moving your hand to the floor. Continue to slide your hand along the floor until your dog assumes a lying position. Once they are down, that is the perfect time to give the ‘down’ command. Offer your dog a treat or praise them for their behaviour. Repeat this exercise until they master it.

Take it and Drop it

Purpose: to train your dog to drop the object they have taken.

Description: to execute this command, start by giving the ‘take it’ command when your dog opens their mouth and is willing to grab or catch the object. Give them time to play with the object then gradually introduce another object which is completely the same as the first one. Creating an impression that it provides the same value to your dog, it will trigger your dog to move towards the second object and grab it. Once your Dog dropped the first one, give the ‘drop it’ command. Say the ‘take it’ command when your dog catches or grabs the second object. Reward your dog and practice this activity until they learn it properly.

Sit-Stay

Purpose: to calm your dog down and keep them self-controlled.

Description: this activity is a combination of two commands: sit and stay. Train your dog with ‘sit’ command first. To execute this exercise, begin by offering your dog a treat. Hold the treat and position it closer to your dog’s nose then gradually move your hand up, so your dog will also move their head and follow the direction of your hand. When the dog assumes the natural sitting position, give the ‘sit’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise and repeat this activity until they master it.

By the time your dog has perfected the ‘sit’ command, teach them the ‘stay’ command. When your dog is in a natural sitting position, open the palm of your hand facing your dog then give the ‘stay’ command. Continue the exercise by gradually moving further away from your dog, then say the ‘stay’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise by doing a great job. Repeat until they have perfected the exercise.

Stand

Purpose: to easily position the dog in cases where standing is required such as brushing the dog or being examined by the veterinarian.

Description: start by giving the ‘sit’ command. With a treat in your hand, move it towards your dog’s nose forward then down. Following the direction of your hand holding the treat, move your hand forward until your dog assumes a standing position. Say the ‘stand’ command and reward your dog with praise or a treat.

Wait

Purpose: to train your dog not to move or wander.

Description: execute this task by giving the command ‘sit’ when your dog is outside your car or just in front of a closed door. Open the palm of your hand then say the ‘wait’ command. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Heel

Purpose: to teach the dog to be well-behaved when you are beside them.

Description: start this command by holding the dog’s leash with your right hand. Let your dog stay on your left side. Using your left hand, hold the treat and guide your Dog while walking or instructing them to sit. Give the ‘heel’ command. Make a few steps while guiding your dog at your side. Praise your dog or give him or her a treat.

Final Thoughts

We always want to have enjoyable relationship with our canine companions wherever we go. Teach your pooch these basic commands to address any behavioural problems and ensure a healthy and happy companion.

What commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

It’s important your dog learns the basics of obedience. A dog that will respond to your commands is more likely to keep out of harm’s way.

Having a well-behaved dog helps to keep him safe. If you allow yours to walk off-leash, or he tends to bolt from the house when the door is opened, it’s imperative that he comes back when called. Keeping your dog away from a speeding car or an aggressive animal could save his life.

Dogs with good manners are also good neighbors. You don’t want to allow yours to show unbridled enthusiasm to a child who’s afraid of dogs, or an elderly neighbor unsteady on her feet.

When should you begin training? For a puppy less than three months old, you should start right away with very light training. Start with potty training and household ground rules, like where he sleeps, where he should stay during your mealtimes, which rooms he is allowed in, if he is permitted on the couch, and so on.

Once a dog is around three or four months old, he has a long enough attention span to start learn basic commands. While you can teach an old dog new tricks, “It’s always easier to teach a new command than break an old habit,” says Robin Ray, a dog trainer in Wellington, Florida. Training sends a message that you’re the leader of the pack. It’s also a wonderful way to bond.

Before you start, acquire the tools you’ll need. Your veterinarian can be a good resource to recommend a proper training collar and leash that takes your dog’s size and weight into consideration. You’ll also need a supply of small treats that you can stash in your pocket. Rare is the dog that isn’t motivated by something good to eat.

According to Ray, the basic commands that every dog should learn (in this order) are: heel, sit, stay, and come.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

What commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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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August 30, 2019 By Beth Frumkin

Have you ever met a dog who was simply ill-behaved and awful? Chances are, this is because their owners were not serious about training them when they were just puppies. When you first receive him, begin to train your puppy as soon as possible. Brand new puppies come into your home ready to learn and grow. But whether they learn good or bad habits is entirely up to you!
Some of the most important habits you train your puppy will likely happen within their first month of life. This builds a foundation which you can use to add further training. Here are five of the most critical training points for your puppy’s first month:

First things first. Pups need to know that you are the Alpha in the relationship. This may be accomplished partially when you train your puppy to “Sit”. This idea of sitting helps to instill self-control into your puppy (because we all know that puppies have none on their own!) without asking too much of them. “Sit” is a basic command that allows your puppy to follow a simple instruction and be rewarded easily.
Teaching your young dog to sit is the perfect scenario for him to learn positive reinforcement. You can do this by using a treat, holding it close to your pup’s mouth (so they can smell or even lick it) but make sure they can’t get it. Lure your pup’s nose into the air by using the treat. And what happens when his nose goes up? His bottom goes down! Once he sits, he can have the treat. Eventually you can change your positive reinforcement from treats to praise and he’ll be just as happy.

It might be cute when your tiny puppy won’t listen and simply crawls all over you. But that quickly stops being so cute when your puppy has turned into a large dog. Starting your dog early with the term “Down” helps to establish your control over the situation as the Alpha.

The technique for teaching a dog to lie down is similar to that for sitting but this one might be harder to train your puppy to master. When your pup is seated, place a treat near his nose, letting him smell and lick it. Then slowly try to lure his nose to the ground without giving him the treat. Be sure not to move too far away or he’ll stand up again. If this happens, tell him “No” and start over with the “Down” command. Be patient. When your dog eventually gets it, reward him with the treat and praise. Release with an “Okay” command.

Anyone who has ever met a puppy knows that they have a hard time sitting still! Using the “Stay” command can be difficult and this step should be taken very slowly. This command requires a great deal of patience and building a strong foundation of commands.
In order to train your puppy to Stay:

  • Begin by having your puppy sit at your side.
  • Tell your pup to “Stay”. (Many puppies respond well to a stop hand sign.)
  • Slowly pivot around so that you are in front of him.
  • Repeat the command “Stay”, but don’t step away.
  • After one second, repeat the command again and return to your pup’s side.
  • If he has remained still, offer praise, give a treat, and then release with “Okay”.

Repeat these steps and increase time and distance in extremely small increments. Make it a goal to get up to 5 seconds and two steps away. If your dog can’t quite handle this, then back off until he can master it. Then move on.

Practicing good leash manners is important to prepare your pup to eventually go for walks. Teach the “Heel” command by remembering that it literally means to follow your heel. Showing your puppy how to walk strictly at your side helps him learn not to pull on the leash. Eventually they can then walk more comfortably beside you.

Again, in order to train your puppy to “Heel”, your best bet is to use treats. As you step off to walk, say the command “Heel” and then lure him along with the food. The purpose of this is to keep his focus on you so that he does not run ahead. If he does move ahead, say “No”, stop walking, and put him back where he belongs next to you. Walk very slowly at first, guiding your pup the whole time and commanding him, praising him, telling him “No”, or guiding him back to the proper place. As he begins to understand what you are asking, stop luring with treats and use them as a reward.

Getting your puppy to come to you willingly works as a critical part of his training. This is particularly true if he is ever off leash (playing in a dog park) or gets away from you accidentally. Difficult for puppies to learn, the “Come” command may take up to six months to master. But beginning in his first month of life is still important.
Many small pups won’t stray very far away from their masters. Use this to your advantage by only saying the command “Come” when you are certain that your pup will obey. Or if you are willing to actually go over and retrieve the dog yourself. Make sure your dog knows that “Come” is not an optional command.
One way to be sure that your puppy will come is by being more interesting than whatever he is doing. Bend down to his level, use a very excited voice, and be extremely encouraging. As soon as he comes, sit him at your feet, offer praise, and give a treat. This will positively reinforce his good behavior. At this stage you are trying to get your pup to believe that coming to you is the very best thing in the world!
Practice training your pup to “Come” in an area that is contained, such as in a hallway, our in a secured area. You need to be prepared to go get your puppy if he chooses to ignore you. Then praise him as soon as you touch him, so he associates this with something positive.

Puppies in their first months of life are small and sometimes silly. But they are never too young to start learning to behave and obey. The sooner you begin to train your puppy, the better a foundation you will lay. And your pup will appreciate your efforts to help him live a happy, obedient life.

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About Beth Frumkin

Beth (Jeffery) Frumkin is a dog trainer and animal behaviorist with 17 years experience, based in San Diego, CA. She has trained Guide Dogs, Assistance Dogs, and thousands of pet dogs. Her goal is to help enrich the lives of both pets and their owners, and help to strengthen the human animal bond. Beth has not only trained dogs, she has also owned grooming salons and pet supply shops, as well as published many articles as well as a kindle book, “The First 100 Days With Your Puppy; Train Your Dog Like a Dog Trainer”.

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What commands teach dogs first

The necessary tools for training a dog are enthusiasm, consistency, and praise. Achieving your goal of a well-behaved dog, however, can take different methods. First, we’ll talk about the different ways people choose to train their dogs, and then we’ll go over five basic dog training commands to help address a wide range of dog behavior.

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Most dogs are food motivated, so using treats to train them is a common and proven method. That said there are many dog parents who would rather use praise, petting, or toys as positive reinforcement to teach their dogs how to behave. Both are effective if done properly, so it comes down to finding what works best for you and your dog. Break down your training sessions into manageable lessons, focusing on a command for no more than 10-15 minutes. This will help maintain your pet’s attention and allow for breaks between practice sessions. Positive reinforcement training requires commitment and is most effective when practiced consistently.

If you use treats, be sure to choose a tiny, soft treat that doesn’t crumble. You want your dog to be able to gulp it down fast before she loses her train of thought. Don’t forget to consider calorie and fat content in conjunction with your pet’s diet. Pet health can be compromised by too many treats, especially human food like cheese or bread.

Online Dog Training

Dog trainers or animal behaviorist are another effective method when it comes to training your new puppy. Dog training books, online videos, or even dedicated smart phone apps are available to pet parents. Any one of these options allows them to receive training tips or advice and work one-on-one with their dog. This approach can be very convenient as it allows owners to train on their own schedule. Pulling out a phone and performing a quick search to teach your dog to shake provides a wide range of results, all within reach of your fingertips.

Advantages of Puppy Training Classes

Other dog owners may prefer obedience training programs where their dog gets a chance to socialize with a variety of other breeds. Socialization early in a dog’s life is crucial for their future experiences with dogs and is a key advantage to this training method. Puppies in particular need to learn how to play and get along with other dogs as soon as possible. In addition to playing with other dogs, a group environment exposes your dog to different settings and situations, as well as a mix of people.

The key to all of these approaches is the same—to form a bond with your dog. A strong bond between you and your dog will help build a relationship in which you are the leader. Being the leader in your dog’s life will help to ensure they follow the rules you establish. Finally, find out what training tips the experts recommend. The CIA’s K-9 Unit uses many of the methods outlined above, but also offers some great advice when it comes to training your dog.

5 Basic Dog Obedience Commands

However you decide to train your dog, learning these five dog obedience commands will be essential. Substitute praise for treats if you choose that as your reward method.

Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and motion up and back at a 45-degree angle. Your dog will follow the treat, bending her head back until she sits. Say yes or click and then reward them with the treat. Repeat this a few times. Next, show her the treat, but don’t lure her with it. Wait until she sits on her own, then click and treat. Repeat this until she immediately sits every time you show her a treat.

Leave it

Hold a desirable object in front of you in the palm of your hand. When your dog reaches for the object, close your hand and pull away and say, “Leave it.” Repeat this step until your dog stops reaching for the object. Now, place the object on the floor. If your dog reaches for it, cover it with your foot or hand. When your pup consistently leaves the object alone, add the cue, “Leave it” just before you present the object. As soon as she backs off, click and say, “Leave it.” This command will enable you to stop your dog from engaging in things like discarded chicken bones, toxic plants, or an unfriendly dog.

Lie Down

Start with your dog sitting. Hold a treat in front of her nose, and motion with it straight down to the floor between her paws. She most likely will follow the treat to the floor, lying down as she does. As soon as she is lying down, click and give her a treat.

Use this in conjunction with the “sit” command. As your puppy sits, hold your open palm in front of her face and say, “Stay” while you hold the leash with your other hand. When she stays for a few seconds, say, “Good stay” and treat. Repeat a few times. Gradually move further away from your dog and increase the time you ask her to stay. This command is crucial in emergency situations. Let’s say you’re visiting a local park with your kiddo and he or she takes a tumble off a swing. You can put your dog into a “stay,” and go help your child without having your dog suddenly invading another family’s picnic, or running off and getting hurt.

Turn training into play time by using the classic children’s game of hide and seek to reinforce the “come” command. Practice this game inside your house. Have someone hold your dog while you hide in the house. Then call your puppy by saying, “Come!” You may need to repeat the command a few times before she follows your instruction. Once she does, click and treat. This is a fun way to teach the “come” command, and it also teaches your pup persistence. If your dog takes after a squirrel into a busy street, or if you get separated from your dog in a crowded area, using this command can avert a potentially dangerous situation.

It’s never too early to begin training your dog. You’ll get the best results from your effort if you keep the learning process fun and engaging. A well-behaved and socialized dog, along with pet insurance, gives you the peace of mind that your dog has what she needs to live a happy and healthy life.

What commands teach dogs first

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.

What commands teach dogs first

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!

What commands teach dogs first What commands teach dogs first

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!

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.

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.”

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:

What commands teach dogs first

  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.

The first few days with your puppy is sure to be filled with cuddles, play time and pats, but it’s important to also focus on training. Using positive methods will not only establish a love of training but will also develop a strong bond between you and your puppy. Here are some easy steps to teach your puppy to sit, stay and come.

To learn even more basic commands, enrol your puppy in your nearest Petbarn puppy school where a qualified trainer will take you both through all the fundamentals including toilet training and walking on a lead.

Recommended Training Treats

What commands teach dogs first

What commands teach dogs first

What commands teach dogs first

How to teach a puppy to sit

This is one of the easiest commands you can teach your puppy and mastering this cue means you’ll be well on your way to a great relationship with your pet! Soon your puppy will learn that sitting is like saying ‘please’ which is a great behaviour that you want to encourage.

Step 1. Hold a treat over your puppy’s nose and slowly move it above their head.
Step 2. Your puppy will tilt their head back and most likely sit down of their own accord.
Step 3. As soon as their bottom is on the floor, reward your puppy with the treat and praise them.
Step 4. Repeat this exercise again but add the word ‘sit’ right at the moment they sit down, rewarding your puppy if they respond correctly.
Practice these steps regularly and encourage your puppy to sit before meals, when you’re putting their collar on and other situations when you want them to be calm and well-behaved.

How to teach a puppy to stay

Once you and your puppy have mastered ‘sit’, it’s best to tackle this cue next. ‘Stay’ is a useful command when you want your puppy to hold their position and not run off.

Step 1. Use a light, long lead and ask your puppy to sit.
Step 2. Place your palm out in front of the dog and say clearly ‘stay’ or ‘wait’.
Step 3. Reward your puppy if they do not move. Congratulations – you have just taught your puppy what a palm hand signal means.
Step 4. Once again, place your palm out in front of the puppy and say ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ and then take one backwards step away from them.
Step 5. If your puppy stays, reward them.
Step 6. Now try again, but this time taking two steps backwards.
Step 7. Over time you can continue taking one extra step moving further away from your puppy and without the lead until they have mastered this cue.

How to teach a puppy to come

This basic cue is one of the most important to master and one that your puppy should know before you let them off leash outside.

Step 1. Hold your puppy’s lead and keep them on a long lead, letting them wander around as they please.
Step 2. When you want your puppy to come, hold a treat at their level and say the word “come”.
When they respond correctly to this cue, it’s important to praise them. Give them a treat and a gentle pat. As training progresses, you won’t have to reward them with a treat every time. Eventually just a pat or a praising word will do the trick.
Step 3. Focus on your intonation and make the word “come” sound more interesting than anything else in your puppy’s environment. It’s a good idea to play games with your puppy that involve the ‘come’ cue to keep them excited about returning to you when called.

Your puppy looks to you for guidance, so fostering a strong relationship of love and respect is key at this early stage. Keep at your training and don’t let your hard work go to waste by not practising. It’s important start your training early using positive methods, by keeping things light and fun to ensure your puppy is happy – which makes for happier humans, too!

Why is puppy school so important?

During the early months of your puppy’s life, it is crucial that they learn socialisation and communication skills. These early life experiences influence how your puppy will play, communicate and learn as they develop into an adult dog, and puppy school is the best way to ensure you and your puppy learn and grow together in a safe and positive learning environment. Enrol your puppy into the puppy school at your local Petbarn today and give them a great foundation to learn in life.

For young and very active dogs, a ‘bed’ cue or command is a great way to divert their extra energy and gives them a brief ‘time-out’ to help them learn to calm themselves down when they get over-excited.

Before teaching your dog to go to bed it’s best if they already know a “down.” We’ve got more information about teaching your dog a ‘down’ in our advice section.

You can follow along with the steps to teaching your dog a ‘bed’ command using this video, and the steps are also written out below.

View the audio transcript for this video

To get started, you will need some treats and your dog’s bed.

Step 1

First, stand near your dog’s bed and use some treats to tempt them over to you.

Put the treats in the bed to encourage them inside. If your dog is reluctant to go all the way onto the bed, reward them for putting one or two paws on the bed. Gradually build this up until you’re rewarding your dog is rewarded for having all four paws on the bed.

Step 2

Once your dog is comfortable standing on the bed, encourage them into a down position using your hand signal. When they’re in a down on the bed, reward them with a treat between the front paws. If they stay down, give them a few more treats to encourage them to stay in that position. After a few seconds, say ‘OK’ and throw them a treat away from the bed to let them know they can get up. Repeat this 5 times until your dog is reliably going to bed and lying down every time you ask.

Step 3

Next, stand next to the bed again, but don’t tempt your dog over. Instead, wait and see if they go into their bed on their own. If they do, give them a reward between their front paws to encourage them to lie down. Keep practicing this until they go to bed and lie down without being asked. When they do, give them a ‘jackpot’ tasty treat, or multiple treats, as a reward. If they’re not quite there yet, go back a few steps and try tempting them over again. Once your dog is happy going to bed and lying down, you can add a cue word like “bed”. Stand near the bed again, and as your dog starts to move towards it, say ‘bed’ and reward them after they lie down.

Step 4

Now you can start to build the amount of time your dog stays in the bed. Do this by standing close to the bed again. When your dog goes to bed and stays lying down, reward them with a treat, gradually increasing the time between each reward. You may need to start by rewarding your dog every couple of seconds, but once they’re settled, try withholding the treat for a few more seconds before rewarding. Build this up until your dog is able to settle on the bed for 20 seconds or so and increase from there. Remember to give your dog frequent breaks by using your ‘OK’ cue to give them a time-out. If at any stage your dog is struggling, reduce the time slightly between your rewards and then build it back up again.

Step 5

Next, it’s time to get your dog used to staying in bed when you’re not nearby. Once your dog is settled using the ‘bed’ command, step one foot back, away from your dog. If they stay still, give them a reward. Repeat this five times, and then try taking two steps back. Keep increasing the distance gradually until you are able to walk away and sit down before going back and rewarding your dog.

If your dog gets up at any point, reduce the distance and build up again. Once they’re happy with you being further away you can start to introduce distractions like toys and people and build up in the same way again.

Remember, if your dog becomes frustrated or starts acting out, they may have had enough training for one day. It’s important to go at their pace and if necessary, stop the session and come back to it the following day when they’re feeling refreshed, focussed, and ready to learn.

Download this guidance as a handy advice sheet and use it to train regularly:

What commands teach dogs first

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can learn how to teach a dog to speak as well as how to train a dog not to bark on command, says Mikkel Becker, a certified dog trainer and the lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets, an educational organization that provides resources for pet professionals and owners. The best way to do this is to train a dog to speak first, and then work on teaching the quiet command.

Before You Begin Training

Prior to starting, it helps to understand why your furball is yapping in the first place.

“Barking is a natural expression dogs use to communicate,” Becker says, “and it’s useful as a way to release stress and tension from the body.”

Some dogs yelp from excitement, while others bark out of fear and anxiety. If your pup is fearful or anxious, it’s best to work on those emotions first, preferably with your vet, a behaviorist or a rewards-based trainer.

The goal is to change the way your pooch feels and foster feelings of happiness and relaxation when confronted by someone at the door. Once you do that, the excessive barking might fade away naturally as a result.

While learning how to train a dog not to bark, Becker advises not to yell at your dog to shut up. She says that when you yell or keep repeating words like “shut up,” your pup doesn’t understand. Instead, she’s more likely to think you’re as excited or as upset as she is and join in the commotion. Therefore, whenever you teach your dog the quiet command or to speak on command, it’s important to stay calm.

Remember, too, that anytime you request or expect something from your pooch, you set her up for success by making the behavior pay off so she’s more likely to repeat it, says Becker, co-author of the forthcoming book “From Fearful to Fear Free.” For most dogs, the biggest reward comes in the form of dog treats .

So grab your pup’s favorite treats—ideally a small one, like Blue Buffalo’s Blue Bits, so as not to overfeed your dog—and let’s learn how to teach a dog to speak.

How to Train a Dog to Speak

Step 1. Find something that will set off barking

Before you teach the cue “speak” or “talk,” find a surefire way to get your pup yapping. Ideas include using a recording of other dogs barking or of a siren.

If your smart dog knows it’s a recording, try standing at the door and knocking on it behind your back; or simply bark or howl yourself.

“You’ll be surprised at just how many dogs naturally join in,” Becker says.

Step 2. Give a cue.

Use a word like “speak” or “bark,” and follow up one second later with the sound you chose, whether it’s a ring, a bark or a siren.

Step 3. Praise your pup for barking.

Say “yes” and “thank you” when your pooch yaps, and then give her a treat, such as Zuke’s Mini Naturals dog treats.

“Most dogs will be surprised when they’re being encouraged rather than reprimanded or reacted to negatively,” Becker says. This helps prime them for success.

Practice this cue a few times a day in short sessions until you know your dog has learned the behavior. Once you master how to teach a dog to talk, it’s time to teach your pup to be quiet.

How to Teach a Dog to Be Quiet

Step 1. Cue the barking.

Say “speak” or “bark” and play the sound that gets your pup yipping. Let her bark a few times.

Step 2. Give a cue.

Calmly say “quiet” while you hold out a higher-value toy or treat reward than the one used for getting your dog to speak. (Think bacon or American Journey’s turkey jerky treats.) Your aim is to get your dog to close her mouth to investigate what is in your hand

Note: If you’ve been using “Quiet!” without much success, try swapping it for something else like “hush” or “shush,” Becker says.

Step 3. Praise your pup’s silence.

As soon as she quiets down, reward her. After a while, she’ll begin to understand that she can control her barking.

Step 4. Bump up the training.

To really reinforce the behavior, add in other variables, such as a pup-savvy friend at the door. Because another person probably will get your dog overly excited, give her something else to channel her energy after she’s quieted down. For example, teach her to go to her dog bed or nose out dog biscuits , like American Journey’s grain-free lamb treats, hidden inside a food puzzle.

As your dog gets more practice, you can begin to phase out the treats or add other commands to the “quiet” cue, such as sit, touch or down.

“It’s also important to randomly treat your dog for times she remains quiet without needing any reminder,” Becker says. “That way, you make sure she realizes her ability to be quiet gets noticed and rewarded—and thus increases the likelihood she’ll repeat it in the future.”

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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 commands teach dogs first

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.

We just adopted a 4 month old American Bulldog / American Pit Bull mix who is not only beautiful, but extremely intelligent.

He learned to sit without incentive after two days and today (we adopted him today) has been his only day with crate training and he’s taking to it extremely well.

Not fearful of the crate and playing in it when he relaxes.

We do have a 14 year old Pomeranian who wants nothing to do with him and he only barks when he wants to play with her.

Luckily he’s always on his leash / harness at the moment and not allowed alone with her, and her disinterest helps with us reinforcing positive behavior when he stops barking.

That being said, what commands / behavior skills take prevalence in order of importance?

We’re working on “leave it” with his toys and he’s already picking that up today as well. He’s teething, but not mouthy whatsoever. Only licks your face.

He’s great about eye contact and seems to check in with me often already.

I just want to keep him active and continually challenge him because he really aims to please. And has such incredible potential as a young dog and companion.

“Here” is the first command I teach any dog. Most important. Then, in order of preference:

Sit (good manners)

Go pee (so they associate the back yard with peeing)

Drop (can teach this easily with a tug toy)

Okay (a release command – you can do what you like now)

Off (applies to mouth off fingers, paws off legs, etc)

Wait (until released – before going through doors, jumping out of cars, etc)

Heel (or just loose leash walking in general)

Sit for food (just a sit, but they have to stay in it until the bowl goes down AND they are released)

Leave it (self explanatory, but advance past food in hand to food/toy on floor)

Touch (touch your nose to my hand and get a treat – useful paired with recall)

In your crate / Outside / Go back in (useful directional commands)

Non-commands that are super important include getting them used to nail clipping, baths, being alone, being in the crate, being okay at the vet and more. Socialisation is a huge deal that should be your main focus right now.

Order of specific cues does not matter as much as being consistent, and lots of socialization- as in getting him to see 50+ new dogs and humans every week. A puppy class in a busy store is a great way to do that, even if you do the “training” at home.

Consistency- having him regularly perform for every little thing, or “life rewards” so he continues to view cues as chances to earn stuff, rather than a chore.

First off your pup sounds amazing. Anyways, with your Pom in its life it might be a good idea to socialize with smaller dogs to eliminate any prey drive. P.S can I please see a picture of this little guy?

My heart is breaking, none more than my fiancée’s because my grandmother (who we’re currently staying with) is forcing us to return him to the humane society tomorrow.

She knows he’s smart, he’s sweet, a total love. Incredibly passionate with pleasing, gentle, and focused. She knows he’s a very bright boy for his age.

She won’t acknowledge it though I see through it. And she said he “is ugly, and I’ll never like him”

Yet she said the same about Pomeranians “which are too small, possessive, and ankle biters”. And golden retrievers. “too big, too destructive, too much fur and energy.”. Yet she has a pom, her favorite dog ever was a golden, she said “no Fucking cats, they scratch, they smell, and they spray” and she loves our cat like crazy now.

She never even pet him once. He has literally done nothing wrong, and she won’t even pet him.

He’s a fucking puppy. He’s innocent. He plays. He learns. He’s a fucking puppy.

But I know she won’t pet him because that would make him real. That would make him soft and cuddly.

That would create a slight attachment.

The fucker is crate trained after one day.

He whined twice tonight when we put him in, then passed out.

His first time in a crate was today.

He plays with his toys in it while it’s open.

He’s Fucking perfect. He’s Fucking perfect.

My fiancée is even worse off than I am.

She lost her dog a year ago this week (old age, had to put him down)

I’m going to tell the humane society not to reimburse me for his cost and to cover the cost of whomever adopts him..

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.

What commands teach dogs first

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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

What commands teach dogs first

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

What commands teach dogs first

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.

Discover tips & tricks on training your dog with obedience!

Training your dog can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re new to pet parenthood. Rest assured that whether you’re a first-time dog-owner or an experienced one, obedience training requires the same basic ingredients: patience, diligence, and consistency.

Taking your dog to obedience school can be a wonderful experience. For times when classes led by a pro are not in your budget, a DIY-approach can be a fun (and effective) alternative. Get started with these seven easy steps.

1. Get Advice From Your Vet

Before you start your obedience-training adventures, speak with a veterinarian who has treated your dog. The vet may have breed-specific advice for how to get your dog to obey. If your dog comes from a rescue facility, has a health condition, or has anxiety, your approach to obedience training may need to differ from the norm. Make sure you get your facts from an expert before you get started on the next step.

Standard commands like teaching your dog to sit, heel, and lie down may take a few weeks. But once your favorite fluffy bestie has nailed the basics, new cues will get easier to introduce. And even if it takes a while, it’s worth it to stick with obedience training– the first time your dog obeys you without any coaxing, you’ll feel like the Dog Whisperer himself.

Our dogs are incredibly smart and can learn so much about the human world, including words and phrases.

Every dog owner has enjoyed conversations with their canine companions. We tell them how our day went, we share our secrets, we comment on their adorable fluffy faces. Our dogs respond with toothy smiles, tail wags, and sometimes licks to the cheek. But when it comes to our dogs talking back to us, we’re usually limited to interpreting their canine body language.

On the other hand, maybe you’ve seen some of those recent popular talking dog videos on TikTok or Instagram where dogs push sound-emitting “buttons” to communicate with their owners. The dog stands next to a row of buttons that have pre-recorded words, pushes one of the buttons with their paw, and words like “more” and “now” are heard. It seems as though these dogs are using human words to tell their dog moms and dads that they want more walkies or need more snacks. But are these button-pushing dogs actually talking? Well, the science is still out on this one—but it’s definitely a neat trick you can teach your pup.

If you want to give Spot another way to communicate his needs with you, you can certainly teach your dog to “talk” using word buttons. By using positive reinforcement and a learning technique called shaping, where you teach a behavior bit by bit over time, you can teach any dog this fun skill.

Can Dogs Communicate Like Us?

Canines most definitely can communicate with us and other animals…in a canine way. Dogs tell us how they feel or what they want through their body language and vocalizations. Sometimes those vocalizations even sound like words. However, communication is not the same as speech or even language, and it’s important to define which one we’re referring to before we can decide if our dogs can do it.

Most often when we say “talking” we are referring to the ability for language. Although our dogs can certainly understand lots and lots of human words, and can learn the meaning of new words quickly (and across contexts), canine research has not yet shown if a dog can make observations, understand spatial relationships, have abstract thoughts, or create narratives—which are all aspects of language.

So, if a dog learns to press word buttons and then presses “outside, toy” we don’t know if that’s actually a request, an observation, or if it’s just the dog pushing random buttons to earn a treat. The story of Clever Hans is a good example of this dilemma. Although Hans was clearly a wonderfully smart horse, it was eventually discovered that when he appeared to do math, read, or perform other amazing mental feats, he was picking up on cues from his teacher—not actually answering the problems himself. His abilities did not prove that he could use “language” the way people do. And science hasn’t yet been able to show that dogs possess those higher-level language skills either.

Can You Teach a Dog to Talk?

Teaching a dog to use human words isn’t the same as teaching a dog human language, but we can teach them ways to use human words. Dogs are great at building associations and picking up on cues in different contexts to create meaning. Like in the Stella the talking dog videos, we can teach our dogs to press buttons that say things like “outside,” “play,” or “ouch.” From there, it’s really up to you to decide if you think you are carrying on a conversation with your doggo.

Dogs love learning new skills with you. When you’re done learning together, celebrate with a tasty GREENIES treat made with natural ingredients plus vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

What commands teach dogs first

“Stay” is a lifesaving dog training command. When can “stay” save your dog’s life? Whenever giving the cue would prevent your dog from making a mad dash out the front door, the car, or the backyard gate. Stay is a cue that many people forget to practice – and without practice, your dog may not have this skill when it truly matters.

Teaching ‘stay’

Prepare yourself for the lesson with pea-sized treats in a treat pouch you wear and/or a favorite toy tucked in your pocket. Select a place with few distractions. I offer a flat pad or mat for the dog to lie on. I think it helps communicate to the dog that if he moves from that spot, he will be going back and trying again before a reward comes his way. For the dog’s comfort, I teach him to stay in a “down” position. He can wiggle in a “down” without leaving his stay, whereas wiggling in a “sit” or “stand” often means leaving the desired position.

Teaching ‘down’

What commands teach dogs first

If your dog doesn’t know “down,” here’s how to teach him: Start with the dog sitting in front of you. Hold a treat near his face, then move the treat down toward the floor. Wait a moment, holding the treat close in to the dog’s body, then move the treat slowly away from the dog. Be patient with this exercise – it may not work perfectly the first time. If the dog gets up instead of lying down, try again. Once the dog lies down, praise him and give him the treat.

What commands teach dogs first

When the dog is consistently doing a “down,” add a verbal cue (e.g., “down”) when the dog is lying down. If you start giving the cue before the animal is doing the behavior, the dog will not clearly associate the cue with the behavior. Instead, get the behavior first and then start giving the cue while the dog performs the behavior. Gradually move the cue back in time until you are giving the cue before the behavior. If done correctly, this is an easy way for the animal to learn that a particular cue is associated with a particular behavior.

Stay

To teach “stay”: Have your dog lie down. Put one hand out toward him and say “stay.” Give a treat quickly, before he moves. He may then get excited and stand up. Have him lie down again and repeat: Say “stay” and give a treat quickly so he gets the idea that the treat is given only when he is down.

What commands teach dogs first

Then, start lengthening the time before the treat is popped into his mouth. I start using a release word to indicate that the dog may move. In fact, I use the word “release” because it is a word not often used in casual conversation. Once your dog is waiting consistently in a “down,” move one step away before stepping back and giving him the treat. Use small steps for best results. I continue this process, gradually increasing the number of steps back, until I have the dog waiting for a treat while I leave the room and return.

If your dog is high energy or easily bored, you can start the lessons with a tether on him so he cannot move away. If you started with a tether, remove it once you have a brief “stay.” If your dog needs many lessons with the tether before he has the self-control necessary to do a “stay,” don’t worry. Some dogs need more time to get the idea.

Remember to keep all learning as fun as possible. Use a happy tone, be patient, and keep lessons short and frequent.

What should i train my dog

My dogs make me laugh, keep me company, provide security, make sure I’m more active than I might otherwise be and overall are just fun to have around. My dogs are also well trained. Training is something that I make a part of my life with my dogs. Training doesn’t happen only when we go outside, with leashes on, and practice our skills. Instead, training happens all the time. Don’t think my dogs are robots, though. They are active, happy, involved members of my family. Training simply teaches (and reminds them of) the rules that I wish them to follow. Many dog owners teach their dogs the basic obedience exercises, either at home or in a class, but just teaching these exercises doesn’t make them work for you. Implementing the exercises, using them at home or in your life with your dog, is what makes them work. Here are some of the many ways I use the basic obedience exercises. Your household routine is going to be different, of course, but this will give you some ideas.

Sit for Attention

Dogs jump on people to get attention. Unfortunately, jumping on people can ruin clothes, scratch skin and knock people down. It’s a bad and potentially dangerous habit. So I teach my dogs to sit for attention. Sit is usually one of the first exercises people teach their dog, and it’s an excellent exercise to teach self control. So practice the sit, having your dog sit for his meals and for treats. Then, when you’re in a situation where you know your dog is apt to jump on you, ask him to sit first (before he jumps), and then keeping a hand on his collar to help him remain in the sitting position, praise and pet him. The sit becomes an alternative action for jumping. When, one day, he dashes towards you and slides into a sit in front of you, smile at him, pet him and praise him.

Sit/Stay is More Self Control

The sit exercise begins to teach the concept of self control. I ask my dogs to sit and then remain in the sit until I tell them they are free to move; usually a few seconds to maybe a minute or so, while I remain close to them. However, if I’m going to walk away from them, I tell them, “Dogs, stay.” Stay means they should remain in the sit (or alternatively the down) while I walk away and hold that position until I come back to release them. That puts the responsibility of this exercise on me; I cannot walk away and forget my dogs as it’s my job to go back to them and release them. I ask my dogs to sit and stay when I’m fixing their meals. This keeps them out of the kitchen and out from under foot. After I place their bowls on the floor, I go to them, praise and release them and then let them eat. I also teach my dogs to sit and stay when doors to the outside world are opened. This prevents door dashing. I also ask them to sit and stay when I am ready to hook up leashes before going on a walk as this will prevent jumping, circling and other antics that might be okay with one dog but is not acceptable with three. Think of sit/stay as a short period (from a few seconds to a minute or so) of self control when you need to move away from your dog and don’t want your dog to follow you.

©istockphoto/MarkCoffeyPhoto

Down/Stay Teaches Calmness

The primary difference between sit and down (when your dog is lying down on the floor or the ground) is time. In the sit (and sit/stay), your dog will hold it for up to a minute or so, not much more. If you want your dog to remain in one spot for longer than that, ask him to lie down and stay. Obviously, your dog is more comfortable lying down for a longer period of time, but there is also a second reason for doing it this way. With practice, the position in which you ask your dog to stay will give him a clue as to what to expect. If you say, “Sweetie, sit. Stay,” he’ll learn, through practice, that you’re only going to step away for a few seconds. However if you ask him to lie down and stay, he can sigh, relax and prepare to stay for a longer period of time. I use the down/stay when I want the dogs to be calm and quiet. This works well during meals and keeps them away from the table while people are eating. When guests come over, if the dogs are doing a down/stay, they aren’t annoying my guests. I foster kittens from the local shelter and new kittens are often frightened of the dogs so I’ll ask the dogs to stay while the kittens get used to them.

Wait is a Temporary Hold

Whereas stay teaches your dog to hold still until you come back to him to release him, wait is a temporary hold. For example, before letting your dog jump in your car, ask him to sit and wait, then open the car door, spread out a blanket, and then tell your dog to jump in the car. You can do the same thing before asking your dog to jump out of the car. Tell him to wait, make sure his leash is hooked to his collar, and then invite him to jump out of the car. The wait also works at home. Before letting him in the house from outside, ask him to wait while you towel off his paws, then invite him in. Ask him to wait at the gate while you wheel the trash cans out to the curb. There are lots of ways you can use the wait; just think of your normal routine with your dog and begin using it. Wait is taught just like you taught the stay; however, with practice your dog will learn that it’s generally of shorter duration and usually followed by an invitation to do something else.

©istockphoto/LexiTheMonster

Leave It is Wonderful

I teach my dogs that the exercise leave it means, “Ignore that!” This is not the game of the biscuit on the paw where the dog is supposed to ignore the biscuit and then gets to eat it; instead, leave it means that is not yours and you cannot have it. I consider this a safety exercise as well as a training exercise that can prevent problem behaviors. The leave it is wonderful for teaching the dog he cannot steal food off the kitchen table, the dining room table or any other place where food might be within reach. You can also teach your dog to ignore trash cans, cat food, the kitty litter box and even the cat. Use the leave it to teach your dog to ignore anything at home, out in public, on walks or at the local park that you don’t want him to have no matter what the reason.

Make Your Training Fun

We’re much like our dogs in that we’re much more apt to do things that are rewarding or fun than we are to do things that aren’t enjoyable. So as you begin to practice your dog’s training and implement it more during your daily life with your dog, don’t forget to make it fun. Smile at your dog, enjoy your time with him, don’t forget to give him a belly rub and play with him while working with him. If you find yourself getting upset, angry or short tempered, take a break. Breathe deeply and figure out why you’re upset. Many dog owners get frustrated when the dog isn’t cooperating, but why is he not doing what you want? Does he not understand? Break the training into smaller steps then and reintroduce it. Is your dog not paying attention? Get some better training treats, try using a toy, as a reward and motivator, and remember you have to be engaged with your dog during the training process too. Keep the training fun for both you and your dog and the results will be more than you expect.

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.”

What should i train my dog

It’s important your dog learns the basics of obedience. A dog that will respond to your commands is more likely to keep out of harm’s way.

Having a well-behaved dog helps to keep him safe. If you allow yours to walk off-leash, or he tends to bolt from the house when the door is opened, it’s imperative that he comes back when called. Keeping your dog away from a speeding car or an aggressive animal could save his life.

Dogs with good manners are also good neighbors. You don’t want to allow yours to show unbridled enthusiasm to a child who’s afraid of dogs, or an elderly neighbor unsteady on her feet.

When should you begin training? For a puppy less than three months old, you should start right away with very light training. Start with potty training and household ground rules, like where he sleeps, where he should stay during your mealtimes, which rooms he is allowed in, if he is permitted on the couch, and so on.

Once a dog is around three or four months old, he has a long enough attention span to start learn basic commands. While you can teach an old dog new tricks, “It’s always easier to teach a new command than break an old habit,” says Robin Ray, a dog trainer in Wellington, Florida. Training sends a message that you’re the leader of the pack. It’s also a wonderful way to bond.

Before you start, acquire the tools you’ll need. Your veterinarian can be a good resource to recommend a proper training collar and leash that takes your dog’s size and weight into consideration. You’ll also need a supply of small treats that you can stash in your pocket. Rare is the dog that isn’t motivated by something good to eat.

According to Ray, the basic commands that every dog should learn (in this order) are: heel, sit, stay, and come.

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DOGUE » Posts » 10 Commands to Teach Your Dog

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According to the latest statistics from the RSPCA – 38% of households in Australia own a dog. In total, there are 4.8 million dogs in Australia, accounting for roughly $7 billion of the pet industry expenditures.

We love our dogs so much – we are willing to spend money on grooming, vet check-ups, food and everything else to keep our pups happy and healthy.

However, apart from these must-haves, pet owners need to train their dogs and teach them the basic commands properly. Dog training creates mental stimulation and encourages discipline and obedience to make your dog more active and well-behaved. Not to mention it is a rewarding way to strengthen the human-pet relationship even more.

There are various dog obedience training facts you need to understand – but here are some of the essential commands you can teach to your pooch

Name Recognition

Purpose: to address your dog properly while teaching commands.

Description: before you train your dog any activities, teach your dog to recognise their name. This should be the very first step to instil discipline. It is easier to teach your pup commands and exercises if you address them appropriately. An obvious sign that your dog responds well is if they stare or look at you upon calling their name. Don’t forget to provide a reward or affection when they get it right.

Leave it or No

Purpose: to tell your dog not to grab or pick up something they are approaching or about to ingest.

Description: you may not want your dog eating whatever is unnecessary to digest. This is the reason why a ‘No’ or ‘Leave It’ command is helpful. Begin by holding treats on both hands. Gradually move the first hand or treat to your pooches’ face to trigger them to lick or sniff at the treat, then say the ‘leave it’ or ‘no’ command. Whenever your dog is trying to grab the first treat from your hand, do not give it to them. Give the second treat from the other hand when your dog finds no interest in the first treat anymore. This action signals that they followed the desired behaviour. Make sure to practice the exercise until your dog masters it.

Come

Purpose: to signal your dog to come back to you, keeping your pup out of trouble.

Description: this command should start by putting a collar and leash on your dog. With a certain distance away from your dog, gently pull the dog’s leash towards you then say ‘come’. As your dog manages to move towards you, make sure to give them a treat, praise or affection. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Watch me or Look

Purpose: to guarantee that your dog’s attention stays or focuses on you.

Description: this command is executed by offering your dog a treat in your closed hand. Carefully move your hand closer to the dog’s nose then towards the face. Once you get your dog’s full attention while establishing eye contact, say the ‘watch me’ or ‘look’ command. As a reward, give your dog a treat or praise.

Down or Lie Down

Purpose: to calm down an excited dog and address some dog’s behavioural issues.

Description: this activity is a little challenging as it requires your dog to be in a passive position. Execute this command by offering a treat for your dog. Hold the treat with your closed fist then gently move it closer towards your dog’s nose and face. Let your dog sniff at the object then allow them to follow by gradually moving your hand to the floor. Continue to slide your hand along the floor until your dog assumes a lying position. Once they are down, that is the perfect time to give the ‘down’ command. Offer your dog a treat or praise them for their behaviour. Repeat this exercise until they master it.

Take it and Drop it

Purpose: to train your dog to drop the object they have taken.

Description: to execute this command, start by giving the ‘take it’ command when your dog opens their mouth and is willing to grab or catch the object. Give them time to play with the object then gradually introduce another object which is completely the same as the first one. Creating an impression that it provides the same value to your dog, it will trigger your dog to move towards the second object and grab it. Once your Dog dropped the first one, give the ‘drop it’ command. Say the ‘take it’ command when your dog catches or grabs the second object. Reward your dog and practice this activity until they learn it properly.

Sit-Stay

Purpose: to calm your dog down and keep them self-controlled.

Description: this activity is a combination of two commands: sit and stay. Train your dog with ‘sit’ command first. To execute this exercise, begin by offering your dog a treat. Hold the treat and position it closer to your dog’s nose then gradually move your hand up, so your dog will also move their head and follow the direction of your hand. When the dog assumes the natural sitting position, give the ‘sit’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise and repeat this activity until they master it.

By the time your dog has perfected the ‘sit’ command, teach them the ‘stay’ command. When your dog is in a natural sitting position, open the palm of your hand facing your dog then give the ‘stay’ command. Continue the exercise by gradually moving further away from your dog, then say the ‘stay’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise by doing a great job. Repeat until they have perfected the exercise.

Stand

Purpose: to easily position the dog in cases where standing is required such as brushing the dog or being examined by the veterinarian.

Description: start by giving the ‘sit’ command. With a treat in your hand, move it towards your dog’s nose forward then down. Following the direction of your hand holding the treat, move your hand forward until your dog assumes a standing position. Say the ‘stand’ command and reward your dog with praise or a treat.

Wait

Purpose: to train your dog not to move or wander.

Description: execute this task by giving the command ‘sit’ when your dog is outside your car or just in front of a closed door. Open the palm of your hand then say the ‘wait’ command. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Heel

Purpose: to teach the dog to be well-behaved when you are beside them.

Description: start this command by holding the dog’s leash with your right hand. Let your dog stay on your left side. Using your left hand, hold the treat and guide your Dog while walking or instructing them to sit. Give the ‘heel’ command. Make a few steps while guiding your dog at your side. Praise your dog or give him or her a treat.

Final Thoughts

We always want to have enjoyable relationship with our canine companions wherever we go. Teach your pooch these basic commands to address any behavioural problems and ensure a healthy and happy companion.

Training is an important part of any dog’s life, and is important for several reasons. It provides mental stimulation which helps to keep your dog happy, and if combined with morning exercise your dog will be mentally and physically tired at the end and far more likely to sleep during the day.

The RSPCA supports reward-based training methods whereby the dog is set up to succeed and then rewarded for performing the ‘good’ behaviour (positive reinforcement).

Reward-based training is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship between the dog and handler. This approach revolves around positive reinforcement – i.e. rewarding behaviour that we like. Rewards may be in the form of a tasty food treat or verbal praise such as “good dog!” in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the ‘good’ behaviour.

Reward-based training also involves generally ignoring any ‘unwanted’ behaviours. In this way, the dog is not rewarded for any unwanted behaviour. If dogs are not rewarded (i.e. receives no attention or treats) for a certain behaviour, then they tend to stop doing it. For example if a dog is jumping up to greet people they should be ignored if they jump up and only receive attention (including eye contact) when they have four paws on the ground. Only when they are standing or sitting should they be rewarded with attention and treats.

Sometimes if owners react to ‘unwanted’ behaviour by yelling or getting angry they may inadvertently reinforce the behaviour – dogs perceive this as attention and the ‘unwanted’ behaviour is simply reinforced. For some dogs, any form of attention/reaction from the owner is better than no reaction at all. For example, if an owner shouts at a dog who is barking excessively, the dog may interpret this as getting attention and thus the barking continues whereas it is more effective to try to ignore this behaviour.

Aversion therapy or physical punishment must not be used in training programs. Punishing a dog for ‘unwanted’ behaviour can actually exacerbate the problem.

We highly recommend booking your puppy into puppy school classes, which are an important way of socialising your puppy with other dogs. Your puppy can then use this practice and learning when they meet other dogs at the park or on walks as they grow into adult dogs. Puppies have a ‘critical socialisation period’ from about 3-17 weeks of age. This is the time when they need to socialise with other dogs in order to learn social cues and how to communicate well with other dogs.

For dogs that are no longer in the puppy stage, training classes are offered in most areas. RSPCA recommends classes that use reward-based training that revolves around positive reinforcement as the basis of training. For more information please see AVA Reward-based Training.

Anyone who adopts from the RSPCA is strongly encouraged to incorporate training for the well-being of their dog. In addition, all our communication activities encourage other dog owners to do the same as part of our responsible pet ownership campaign.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

What should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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 should i train my 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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What should i train my 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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Training is an essential part of owning a dog and can be started at any age. Training builds confidence, provides mental stimulation and strengthens the human-animal bond. Dogs are always learning. It is never too late to start training.

Dogs that have anxiety or more timid personalities can benefit from training. It provides a sense of accomplishment and provides a way for us to communicate with our four-legged family members. This strengthens the bond we have with our dogs through positive attention. Plus, they can spend time with us, which is what most dogs want, to be close to us.

Mental stimulation is an important part of a dog’s overall well-being. It is just as vital as daily physical exercise. When it is too cold or rainy outside, going through basic training skills indoors can be the exercise our bored dogs need. Or if your dog must limit exercise due to an injury or after a surgery, mental stimulation is necessary to keep them occupied.

Will training make my dog behave better?

Sometimes it is challenging for our dogs to understand what it is we are asking of them. This can cause frustration for both us and our dogs. Typically, what we think of as “bad” behavior is really normal dog behavior. These may include chewing on things or digging. Dogs explore their environment by using their noses, mouths and paws. If these normal behaviors are not used in an appropriate way, they can lead to trouble. Dogs will learn to do things when people are not around. Dogs have no concept of right or wrong. It is up to us to teach our dogs what is “right.” If a dog is taught to chew on toys, he/she will look for these instead of your shoes. The key is consistency with training and it can take a time to achieve the exact results you want.

What method of training is recommended?

The preferred method of training is positive reinforcement. This consists of rewarding your dog for doing something “right.” Rewards can be tasty treats, a favorite toy or praise. Training methods that use punishment can cause the “bad” behavior to get worse or even lead to aggression. Seeking help from a professional trainer is best. He or she can recommend a specific class or one-on-one sessions. Trainers that have gone through the Karen Pryor Academy have an extensive knowledge of positive reinforcement.

When should I start training my new puppy?

It is recommended to start socializing and training your puppy as soon as you get them home. Some breeders recommend waiting until the puppy has completed their vaccine series. However this is too late! When puppies are between the ages of 6 to 16 weeks they are in an ideal developmental stage to socialize them to all aspects of our world. This means exploring new people, new dogs, new cats and new locations. Enrolling your puppy in a “Puppy Socialization” class will help with both socializing and beginning early training process. Additionally young dogs will go through an adolescent phase between 8 – 18 months when socializing and training can be important tools to keep your dog friendly and happy as they go through the “teenage years”.

My dog knows basic commands, why do I need to train him or her?

If you recently adopted an adult dog or have had a dog for several years, training is possible. Obedience is the most common training people are aware of. There is also training for agility, nose work, therapy dogs, dock diving and trick dogs. If your dog has mastered sit and stay, it may be good to try something new. Contrary to the saying, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

Owning a dog can bring lots of joy to your life. But obedience training for dogs is a vital part of socializing them. Without the right training, your dog will struggle to integrate with your friends and family, as well as other dogs.

In some cases, this can be stressful or embarrassing. And in serious cases, it could have devastating consequences.

As a good dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your dog is properly trained. Ideally, you should bring your dog to obedience classes when it’s still a puppy. During this time in your dog’s life, your dog will be a lot more receptive to training and will have a greater capacity for learning.

Obedience classes are also a great place for your dog to get some experience interacting with other dogs. In this article, we give you all the reasons why training your dog is important.

It Teaches Your Dog Life Skills

When you properly train your dog, you’re giving it the skills it needs to live peacefully among humans and other animals. You might think that domestic dogs have easy lives compared to how they’d live in the wild. But living in a human household puts pressure on your dog that it needs to learn to deal with.

Failure to properly train your dog could result in destructive behaviors. For example, they could become anxious and chew up your furniture when you’re not around. Or they could also behave aggressively towards people or other pets.

What should i train my dog

Alleviate Stress

If you don’t properly train your dog, you’re doing it a lot of harm in the long-run. Well-trained dogs can integrate well with humans and are generally calm and relaxed.

On the other hand, if your dog hasn’t been properly trained, it could be aggressive and scared. If your dog displays anxious behaviors, you can help them by making them feel more secure.

If they’re fearful of visitors, you could set up a baby gate that can separate them from the visitors. You could also simply put them in another room.

On the flip side, if your dog is over-excitable and jumps up at visitors, you should train them to greet people properly without being so boisterous. It’s important that these kinds of things are addressed early on, as they could cause the dog or other people to be harmed.

It Helps Avoid Conflict

It’s important that your dog gets experience socializing with other people and other animals. If your dog is uncomfortable with others, it could lead to conflict and perhaps even injury to your dog or someone else’s pet.

It simply isn’t practical to keep your dog away from other animals permanently. Inevitably, your dog will be approached by another at some point in time. In order to avoid anxiety or aggression around other animals, your dog should interact with others regularly.

Taking your dog to obedience training for puppies when they’re still young is a great way to do this. This doesn’t necessarily mean your dog needs to be enthusiastic about playing with other pets. Some dogs would rather not play with others.

Your dog just needs to be comfortable around other animals, without showing any signs of aggression or anxiety. If your dog doesn’t get this kind of exposure, there’s a chance that they’ll react aggressively when they run into another animal.

What should i train my dog

It Can Help You Understand Your Dog Better

Obedience training is about much more than just educating your dog. It can also help you to gain an understanding of your dog’s needs.

When it comes to training dogs, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Many people inadvertently make their dogs anxious without even realizing it.

When you go to obedience training for dogs, you can be sure you’re getting good advice.

Your Dog Will Behave When Left Alone

One of the most difficult parts of owning a dog can be leaving them on their own. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to leave your dog home alone at some point. When that time comes, you need to be able to trust that they’ll behave properly.

Dogs that haven’t been properly trained might bark and howl for hours on end or they might chew up anything they can get their paws on. Not only can this sort of behavior be very costly, but it can also result in noise complaints being filed against you.

When a dog engages in these kinds of behaviors, it means they’re not in a good state of mind. When you train your dog well from an early age, it reinforces good patterns of behavior and reduces separation anxiety.

In the majority of cases, a dog that misbehaves when it’s left on its own can be taught to act correctly with the right kind of obedience training.

What should i train my dog

It’ll Help Make Your Dog Safer

A dog that doesn’t listen to commands is in danger. The world is full of hazards that dogs might not necessarily understand.

For example, a dog doesn’t have an understanding of what a road is. If your dog doesn’t listen to commands, they could run into the road and get hit by a car.

When a dog is well-trained, they’re safe from the majority of danger, as they can be directed to avoid it. It’s good practice to teach your dog to sit and wait before crossing the road. When this behavior is ingrained into your dog, they’ll even do it if they get separated from you.

Obedience Training for Dogs: Better Late Than Never

Of course, the best time to train your dog is when it’s still a puppy. But it’s never too late to train your dog. Despite what conventional wisdom might suggest, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

If your furry friend is having behavioral issues, obedience training for dogs might just be the answer. Training your dog can be a challenge, but the rewards are worth it. When your dog is properly trained, you can take it on all kinds of adventures without worrying about their behavior.

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What should i train my dog

Once you bring your new dog home, it’s smart to begin training immediately. But where should you start? What’s the best way to train a puppy? And how do you train an adult dog?

There are a number of options for training your new pet. Whether you opt to train your puppy or dog yourself, take classes or hire a private trainer, you can implement the following basic training tips right away to make the process easier.

Top 10 Dog Training Tips

These top 10 tips from professional dog trainers will help get you and your new pal on the right track.

Tip 1: Choose Your Dog’s Name Wisely

Part of the fun of bringing home a new puppy or dog is finding the perfect name for them. But did you know certain names are better for training? It helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant that they can always hear clearly. A strong ending, like in the names “Jasper,” “Jack” and “Ginger,” perks up puppy ears — especially when you place emphasis at the end.

If your new pet is an older dog, they’re probably used to their name at this point. However, changing it isn’t out of the question. And if your new pal is coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may even represent a fresh start. Dogs are extremely adaptable. If you decide to give them a new name, use it consistently and soon enough your pup will respond to it.

Whatever their name, be sure to associate it with fun, pleasant experiences as much as possible, rather than negative ones. Ideally, your pup should think of their name in the same way they think of other fun stuff like walks or dinnertime.

Tip 2: Decide on the House Rules

Before your new furry pal comes home, decide what they can and can’t do. Are they allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will they have their own chair at your dining table? If the rules are determined early, you can avoid confusion — for both of you.

Tip 3: Set Up a Private Den

Like humans, dogs need their own space. As early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place, such as a crate. Your dog will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of their den; it can also be a valuable tool for housetraining. Be sure to reward your puppy or dog if they remain relaxed and quiet in their den.

Tip 4: Help Your Dog Relax

When your puppy gets home, give them a warm hot-water bottle and put a ticking clock near their sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of litter mates and will soothe your puppy in their new environment.

This tip may be even more important for a new dog that previously lived in a busy, loud shelter, particularly if they’ve had a rough time early in life. Whatever you can do to help your new pet get comfortable in their forever home will be good for both of you.

What should i train my dog

Tip 5: Reward Good Behavior

Reward your puppy or dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use toys, love and lots of praise — and don’t forget the treats, such as DENTASTIX™ treats. Let them know when they’re getting it right. Along those same lines, never reward bad behavior, as it’ll only confuse them.

Tip 6: Teach Your Pup to Come When Called

Come, Jasper! Good boy!

The first command you teach your pet should be to come. Get down on their level and tell your pup to come using their name. When they do, get excited and use lots of positive reinforcement. Next time, try the “come” command when they’re distracted with food or a toy. As your puppy gets older, you’ll continue to see the benefits of perfecting this command.

Tip 7: Train on “Dog Time”

Puppies and dogs live in the moment — two minutes after they’ve done something, they’ve already forgotten about it. So when your pup is doing something bad, use your chosen training technique right away so they have a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what they’ve learned.

Tip 8: Discourage Jumping Right Away

Puppies love to jump up in greeting, and some adult dogs have learned bad habits. When your puppy or dog jumps on a person, don’t reprimand them; just turn your back on them, ignore the behavior and wait until they settle down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when they’re in a “jumping up” position.

Tip 9: Say No to Biting and Nipping

Instead of scolding your new pet, a great way to discourage your mouthy canine is to pretend you’re in a lot of pain when they bite or nip you — a sharp, loud yell should work. Most dogs are so surprised that they stop immediately.

If verbal cues don’t work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. This swap trick can also work when a puppy discovers the joys of chewing on your favorite shoes. They tend to prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, interrupt the biting behavior and respond by ignoring them.

Tip 10: End Training Sessions on a Positive Note

Your puppy or dog has worked hard to please you throughout their training. Leave them with lots of praise, a treat, some petting or five minutes of play. This almost guarantees they’ll show up at their next class or training session with their tail wagging, ready to work!

Bonus tip: When your puppy is old enough, think about getting them neutered or spayed. The same goes if you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog might be more docile, less aggressive and more open to successful training.

Is it best to train your dog daily or once or twice a week? Scientists investigated and found that once or twice a week is the best frequency for dog training sessions, but dogs trained daily learned the commands too.

Photo: dezi / Shutterstock.com

By Zazie Todd, PhD

If you want a well-behaved dog, you have to teach it how to behave. It’s often advised to train the dog frequently, for example to have three short training sessions a day. On the other hand, if you go to training classes, they are usually once a week (though of course you can practise at home).

But how often is it advisable to train a dog? Is it better to train frequently or less often, and should the sessions be short or long? This is the question posed by Demant et al (2011).

For the study, they used 44 dogs that lived at a laboratory, so that they could control extraneous factors. The dogs were all the same breed (beagles), were housed and fed in the same way, and were trained by the same trainer (who they had not met before the study began).

The dogs were trained to go to a basket and stay there. This is a complex task, and for the purposes of the training, it was broken down into 18 steps, starting from habituating to the trainer and basket, progressing through going to the basket and putting all four paws in, and gradually increasing the time in the basket and the distance of the trainer from the basket.

All of the dogs went through the same training sequence, and in order to progress from one stage to the next, they had to get it right eighty per cent of the time.

The dogs were divided into a group that was trained 1-2 times a week, and a group that was trained daily. In addition, some dogs received one training session at a time (made up of six trials at one stage of the task), and others received three at a time (i.e. three stages of the task, with six trials at each); in other words, the duration of the training varied. At the end, the dogs were tested on their ability.

The results showed that it is better to train once or twice a week rather than every day. In addition, it was also better to train for a shorter duration than a longer one.

Four weeks later, all of the dogs were tested, and regardless of the group they had been in, they were able to recall the command.

The authors suggest several reasons why training once or twice a week is better than daily. One idea is that it gives more time for rehearsal; it’s known that sleep is important to learning, and having longer gaps between training sessions allows for more rehearsal during sleep. It allows more rehearsal during wake time as well.

Another idea is that the shorter infrequent sessions require more cognitive effort, and hence lead to better retention in long-term memory, whereas during daily, longer sessions the behaviour can be almost automatic.

Of course, the results might be different for different kinds of task. But this result ties in with other animal learning studies that suggest that shorter, less frequent sessions are better for training. This is perhaps counter-intuitive, but it seems that the answer to how often you should train the dog is once or twice a week.

You might also like my user-friendly guide to positive reinforcement in dog training and my post on how to choose a dog trainer. I also have a page all about dog training and keep a list of dog training research resources (research on dog training and places where you can read about it for free).

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

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Our dogs should bring us joy, companionship, and a sense of pride. But when a dog continually disobeys or exhibits behavioral issues, dealing with them can be a constant source of stress for both us and them.

Making sure your dog is properly trained is the responsibility of every dog owner—not just for your dog’s welfare, but for your own peace of mind as well.

No matter its age, breed, or temperament, every dog can benefit from a little instruction. Here are five reasons to consider training your dog, or having her enrolled in an obedience class.

1. Training benefits both dog and owner

When it comes to training, your dog isn’t the only one reaping the rewards. Working regularly with your dog helps you to understand her needs better, making you an even better owner as well.

It can also be a great source of exercise and open up new possibilities for you—the better behaved your dog is, the easier it is to take her along wherever you go.

2. For their own safety

The better you can control your dog with voice commands, the better you can protect her when unrestrained. A dog that bolts when off the leash is much more likely to run in front of a car, or to slip out the front door before you’re ready to leave.

Also, should your dog ever become lost or need to be placed in a shelter, being well-trained only increases the likelihood she will behave well, or in the event it’s necessary, be placed with a new family.

3. It helps your dog to be more sociable

As your dog learns to respect boundaries and behave properly in social situations, other dogs (and people) will be more comfortable and at ease around her as well. As a result, more of these interactions will be positive experiences for your dog.

If he begins to enjoy these social encounters, your dog will be more relaxed and manageable with each interaction.

4. Training makes boarding your dog go smoothly

That increased sociability we just mentioned becomes even more critical when it’s time to board your dogor when friends offer to take her in while you’re out of town.

It’s one thing for your dog to obey owner’s commands, but a successfully trained dog will also follow others’ orders when you’re not there. Unless you want to cut your vacation short because your dog isn’t playing well with others, making sure she’s properly trained should be a top priority.

5. Because you can teach old dogs new tricks

There are plenty of myths out there that might be stopping you from moving forward with your dog’s education. But many of them are just plain wrong, and some may even be causing you to encourage bad behavior.

For one, a dog’s age is no indication of his capacity to be trained. Older dogs may be need a few physical accommodations, particularly larger dogs or those with weight problems, but they can learn to take instruction just as well as younger dogs.

A well-behaved dog experiences less stress, interacts better with others, and forms a stronger bond with you. At Pet Palace, our team is committed to helping your dog live the healthiest, happiest life possible, and a well-behaved dog will have much more fun on her next stay with us. Contact us or stop by one of our locations to make your next reservation.

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.

Who wouldn’t feel safer knowing their family pet was also a trained guard dog!? If you have small children, live alone, or in a less than safe neighborhood, a trained protection dog can be an extra element of protection for you and your family.

If you don’t like guns, or worry about whether you’re skilled in self-defense, think about training your dog to be a protector. While you should have a full line of home protection options (security cameras, good locks, alarms etc.), a dog is an important part of your security options.


​There are pros and cons to having a personal-protection dog.

Cons of Having a Personal Protection Dog:

  • Before you even consider training your dog to be a guard dog, they must be rock solid on all their basic commands, like sit, stay, leave it, heel, and lie down. Don’t even think about training them to guard or protect until they have the basic commands down.
  • Once a dog is trained to be a guard dog you must keep up their training daily. It’s a lifetime commitment to your dog.
  • A true protection trained dog cannot make friends with anyone but his or her primary handler. Some do well in a family, but they perform better when they only have one handler.
  • While trained guard dogs may appear calm and friendly when with their handler, they are still guard dogs and shouldn’t be allowed to be left unsupervised with outside people.
  • The best guard dog breeds are large, working breeds and require a lot of exercise and room to roam.
  • A trained protection or guard dog may be considered a liability and open you up for lawsuits if they do bite someone.

Pros of Having a Personal Protection Dog:

  • Guard dog breeds, when raised from puppyhood, tend to be extremely loyal and protective of their owners, and often of their owner’s positions.
  • Many guard dog breeds are just intimidating because of their breed – like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Bulldogs, Boxers, and Doberman Pinschers and don’t really even need training, although they should be trained in all the basic commands.
  • You don’t have to worry about a protection guard “jamming” or running out of ammunition like you would a gun.
  • Dogs can sense invaders outside the home and alert you before you even know someone else is around.
  • You will rarely, if ever, be surprised by a stranger walking up on you, or getting close to your home while your dog is around.
  • Dogs can go where guns can’t.
  • You can feel safer knowing you and your family are protected wherever you and your dog are.

Contrary to popular belief, the mere fact you have a dog will not make him/her a natural protector. Some dogs will naturally protect a family member, but most will not — and some will even run and hide if a stranger breaks into your home. So, while not every dog has the personality or temperament to be a guard dog, there are things you can teach your dog to do to appear protective.

Train your dog in the basic commands like sit, stay, lie down, leave it, and heel. Once they have those down pat, teach your dog to bark and/or growl on command using a word and/or hand signal only the two of you know means to bark. This ability alone can convince all but the most determined of attackers or burglars to turn and run away. If you want a dog that will do even more, then consider additional training.

Before attempting to train your dog to be a guard dog, it’s important to have a professional trainer evaluate them for the skills, temperament and personality to see if they would make a good guard dog. Some breeds are naturally friendly and trusting and can’t really be trained to be a guard dog, while other breeds are naturally protective and take to the role of guard dog like they were born to it — which of course they were! Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does your dog enjoy playing? Dogs that like to play are easier to train as they see learning as play, and fun.
  • Is your dog even tempered, or aggressive or shy around other dogs? Even tempered dogs make better guard dogs as they are less likely to be too aggressive. Even tempered dogs know when to be calm, and when to be aggressive.
  • Is your dog calm, but attentive when approached by strangers? Dogs are incredibly skilled at spotting dangerous people. Dogs that don’t lunge, or don’t run or hide, but remain alert and curious are good candidates for guard training.
  • Do you love your dog and show it? The more attention, affection, and interaction you have with your dog the more loyal they are likely to be. If you treat them as just another part of the furniture, leave them crated or chained in the backyard all day, or don’t play with them daily, they’re less likely to make a good guard dog.

No one can tell if their dog is a good candidate for guard or protection training just by reading an article or taking a quiz. If you’re serious about finding out if your dog would be a good candidate, have them assessed by a trainer who trains guard dogs.

If you have questions or need help with your dog, reserve a complimentary consultation or call now (720) 239-2424.

Ben’s blog discusses aspects of dog training, gives training tips for basic behaviors, and goings-on within the dog training world from an insider’s perspective.

The fast answer is “Yes! Of course!” But let’s delve deeper and understand why over-training is a thing, and how you can avoid it.

What is overtraining?

Dog brains aren’t significantly different from human brains in the way they learn skills and format memories. Without getting too much into the neuroscience of things like synaptic formation and dendritic pruning, we can still discuss what happens when we try to overdo it. We’ve all heard the advice to get a good night’s sleep before an exam, and the importance of studying in small chunks instead of cramming. The advice has merit and is backed by all the research on the subject.

Overtraining in dogs has all the downsides of cramming right before an exam. The memory retention suffers, the skills are poorly learned, and performance is sloppy. In addition to those problems, the training exercises get tedious for the dog and instead of your sessions being “fun with my human!” the dog learns to dread them as a source of boredom. Avoiding the pitfalls of too many training sessions (or sessions that are far too long) results in a dog that learns their skills faster, enjoys working with you more, and performs the skills you teach it better.

How long should a session last?

An individual training session should last only as long as the dog is having fun with it. This may be an infuriatingly vague answer for people who love solid numbers, but that’s because it’s like everything else in dog training: it depends. Puppies have shorter attention spans than older dogs. Different breeds are able to focus on a singular task for longer. Even individual dogs have their own preferences. While it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it’s fair to say that “about five minutes” is in the ballpark for most dogs. Your dog may be able to handle a lot longer, or much shorter.

Be hypervigilant for signs of boredom or frustration. Your sessions should stay fun so the dog always wants more. If you start seeing slow responses during a training session, or your dog is ignoring you to find something more interesting to do, your sessions might be lasting too long (or maybe you’re training at higher criteria than your dog is ready for – I’ll tackle that issue in a different article). Get a feel for your dog and train for as long as they’re still having fun – quit while they still want more.

How often should we train?

Again, it depends. At a minimum, a few sessions per week can be sufficient for some skills. Other concepts can benefit from daily practice or even several sessions per day. Our intuition can get us in trouble here because it’s natural to think that the more difficult the task the more often it should be trained. This is the opposite of the truth. Think about mental work the way physical work is done. The harder you work your muscles (or your brain) the longer you’ll need to recover. Your brain and your muscles recover using different cellular mechanisms, but both have a common factor: it takes time. So perhaps with something simple like “sit,” you could do three short sessions per day with no ill effects, but with a long chain of behaviors put together like an obstacle course you might give your dog a few days off between practices.

What to do when not training?

How long and how often you train your dog is part of the picture, but just as important is what you’re doing when you’re not actively involved in a session. Just this year research was released specifically about dog training and activities that followed. The dogs were split into four groups, each given a different post-training activity for one hour: sleep, toy play, walking, or learning something else. The dogs in the sleep group showed the most success when retested after the hour, but every group BUT the learning group showed improvement when tested after a week. Passive learning is real. When we (humans, dogs, whatever) spend some time learning something, our brain spends time after that consolidating the new memories. Trying to stack other learning immediately after can interrupt those neural pathways.

In practice, what this means again is pay attention to your dog. When you’re all finished with a training session, find something completely different to do. Go for a walk. Give them a chew or interactive toy to play with. Let them take a nap. Use your understanding of what activities your dog enjoys combined with their attitude at the time (example: maybe don’t try to make a sleepy dog go for a walk, let them nap).

Learning is happening all the time, and a lot of what your dog is learning isn’t what you’re actively trying to teach. They’re learning about how fun you are to hang out with. They’re learning about how respectful you are of their needs. They’re learning about your routines and what that means for their life. Use that to your advantage! Be fun. Structure your activities in ways that benefit your dog’s lessons. And most importantly, pay attention to the dog in front of you, no two dogs are the same and no two dogs will have the exact same needs.

Benjamin is the owner of Good Doggy Saratoga. You can follow him on Facebook.
If you liked this article, please like and share below. You can also subscribe to receive blog updates in your email.

Jacqueline Boyd is affiliated with The Kennel Club (UK) through membership, as Chair of the Activities Health and Welfare Subgroup, member of the Dog Health Group and Chair of the Heelwork to Music Working Party. Jacqueline also writes, consults and coaches on canine matters on an independent basis, in addition to her academic role.

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Nottingham Trent University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

Every year at Crufts, the UK’s largest dog show, canines and their people can participate in all manner of exciting competitions. Whether heelwork-to-music (essentially dancing with dogs) or obedience, or the high-speed relay races of flyball, it can be a marvellous feast of fun for performance dogs.

Of course, the reality is that most companion dogs will never enter the dog show ring – what they need to learn are the skills for everyday life.

The importance of a “canine good citizen” – a dog that can happily co-exist in human society – cannot be underestimated. A well trained dog benefits humans and dogs alike by enhancing the bond between animal and owner. And well behaved dogs are less likely to be relinquished too.

So, helping our dogs learn how to conduct themselves is one of the most important things we can do. But what skills are “must have” and what factors do we need to take into account before beginning the training process? Here are some things to think about.

The key “essential” skills

Having dogs brings with it many responsibilities. The Kennel Club’s canine code highlights issues such as what identification your dog should wear on their collar and the importance of cleaning up after your dog defecates in a public place.

But our dogs also need to be able to function in society. This means they need to be able to cope with other people, other dogs and a whole host of situations. If not, dogs can become fearful or start to display other problem behaviours that can decrease their quality of life.

We can teach young dogs how to behave appropriately through building positive associations with everyday situations and rewarding the behaviours we want. Allowing them to rehearse and repeat good behaviour is key.

Recall – your dog returning to you when called – is one of the most crucial skills for all dogs, and it can be dangerous to others if it’s not well learned.

Every time our dogs return to us whether called, or spontaneously, we should reward and “pay” them well. That ensures that they will want to come back to us when called, rather than follow their urge to chase the runner or squirrels, or go to greet other dogs in the park.

The principle of rehearse and reward applies to all the life skills we want from our dogs, from walking calmly on lead to interacting with people and other animals in a friendly way – or simply sitting quietly beside us while we have a coffee. Training our dogs to be able to spend time alone is also important to avoid problematic separation-related behaviour.

What should i train my dog

Reward-based training works for older dogs too. Dogs that have been rehomed, and perhaps had a less than ideal start to life, can begin to regain confidence and learn (or relearn) skills while also building a close partnership with their new human.

Doggy differences

It’s important to remember that different dog breeds and types have different “inbuilt” skill sets. Thousands of years of selective breeding means that dogs are one of the most diverse species on the planet, varying in shape, size, overall appearance and behaviour.

Different dog breeds and types, from gundogs to hounds, terriers to toy dogs all have individual characteristics. Some, such as gundog breeds – which include spaniels and retrievers – will be more likely to carry items or sniff when on lead. Others will be more likely to chase and be interested in moving objects, such as collies and terriers. Dogs that are mixed breed will often show mixed characteristics too.

Learning all about your dog’s breed and personality traits is important for effective training and rewarding.

It will allow you to channel instinctive behaviours in a positive way to minimise the chance of problem behaviour developing. Instead of developing an interest in chasing the local cats or wildlife, for example, terriers can be encouraged to partake in controlled chasing of toys. Hounds who love to sniff everyone and everything can be trained in scent work as a fun way to exercise their nose, brain and body in a managed way.

Trainers are available

It is our responsibility to help our dogs learn the key skills for a happy life in a fair and effective way. Dog training has come a long way from the excessively regimented, domineering and sometimes punishment-based training of before.

Skilled training now involves working as a partnership and building a good relationship with your dog. Training in this way also makes the experience enjoyable for our dogs, and more likely that they will engage with us.

If you are looking for a trainer to work with you and your dog, find someone who is knowledgeable, appropriately qualified and can make training fun and fair for both you and your dog – after all, much of dog training involves training their humans too. You can also join a training class, and it’s always a good idea to go and view a session or speak to the trainer in advance of signing up.

To ensure we have a happy canine companion we must equip our dogs with the skills that will help them to enjoy a fulfilling and stress-free life. And who knows, maybe next year you’ll want to join your canine chum in the “Good Citizen” ring at Crufts, where less show-savvy dogs can demonstrate their life skills in a fun and less formal atmosphere.

What should i train my dog

Toilet training your puppy should be quite a simple process, as long as you make the time and investment to get into a good routine.

Initially, you will have to build your routine around your puppy’s needs, and these are reliably predictable when they are very young.

You may find it useful to keep a record of when your puppy eats sleeps, urinates and defecates. A simple diary list will do. Repeat cue words like ‘wee wees’ and ‘poo poos’ or ‘be busy’ and ‘be clean’ while the puppy is actually urinating or defecating. Use different words for each action so that you will be able to prompt the puppy later on.

Puppies need to urinate immediately after waking up, so you need to be there to take your puppy straight into the garden without any delay.

Eating its meal stimulates its digestive system, and puppies normally urinate within fifteen minutes of eating, and defecate within half an hour of eating (although this might vary slightly with each individual).

Puppies have very poor bladder control, and need to urinate at least every hour or two. They can urinate spontaneously when they get excited, so take your puppy out frequently if it has been active, playing or exploring.

Always go with your puppy into the garden so you are there to reward and attach the cue words to the successful actions. Fortunately, puppies are creatures of habit, so as long as you introduce the garden to your puppy as its toilet area early on, you should be able to avoid most of the common pitfalls.

Unfortunately there are many reasons why ‘toilet training’ might not go as smoothly as it could, so make sure you do not make any of the following mistakes:

  • Over-feeding
  • Feeding an unsuitable diet or giving a variety of foods
  • Not feeding at regular times
  • Feeding at the wrong times (which could cause overnight defecation)
  • Punishing the puppy for its indoor accidents (which can make it scared of toileting in front of you – even outside)
  • Feeding salty foods (e.g. stock from cubes) which makes them drink more
  • Using ammonia-based cleaning compounds (which smell similar to urine)
  • Expecting the puppy to tell you when it needs to go out; this is unrealistic, so it is better to take them out at regular intervals
  • Leaving the back door open for the puppy to come and go as it pleases (a puppy will think that the garden is an adventure playground, rather than a toilet area. Also, what is a puppy meant to do when the weather gets cold, and it is faced with a closed back door?)
  • Leaving the puppy on its own too long, so that it is forced to go indoors (which sets a bad precedent, or even a habit of going indoors)
  • Mistakenly associating the words ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’ when they toilet, as opposed to the specific cue words. Guess what could happen the next time you praise your dog?
  • Access to rugs or carpet (which are nice and absorbent – just like grass)
  • Laziness on your part, resulting in more wees indoors than outdoors
  • Leaving the puppy alone in the garden, so you are not there to reward them for going outdoors. How are they supposed to learn that going outdoors it the preferred option, if you are not there to show your approval?
  • Submissive or excited urination on greeting (if this occurs, take your puppy outside before you greet it and tone down your greeting so it is less exciting or overwhelming)
  • It is unfair to expect your puppy to go right through the night when it is very young
  • Sleeping the puppy in a crate or puppy pen can help with house training but you should let it out in the garden to relieve itself during the night

How to teach your puppy to toilet out on a walk

Many owners appear disappointed that their young puppy will not toilet when out on a walk, yet relieves itself the second it gets back home. This is because the puppy has been taught to toilet only at home (hopefully in its garden), and being creatures of habit, they often wait until they have returned home before evacuating their bladder and/or bowels.

To break this habit, you will have to get up very early one morning (when you have plenty of time), and get your puppy out on a walk before it has had its morning wee. You should not bring it home until it has been forced to go out of desperation. If however, you are unsuccessful, and your puppy has not toileted, then take it immediately into the garden on your return, or you risk it relieving itself indoors.

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.

What should i train my dog

This is a really common question we get asked over and over, how long will it take? When will I be finished?

Ongoing training for the lifetime of your dog is essential. Training provides all-important mental stimulation and enrichment, builds confidence, improves relationship between dog and owner, and gives our dogs a sense of purpose. Meeting these needs for our pet dogs is essential in ensuring our dogs have a happy, fulfilled life. What does change over time is how much and what type of training you are doing.

Puppies require far more intensive training (for the most part) than a mature well trained adult dog. This is also specific foundation training that you want the puppy to use for the rest of their lives, as the dog matures training will become more generalised and once the foundation skills are taught we then move onto things like tricks or sports.

However, we shouldn’t look as training as yet another “thing” we have to fit into our lives. Just one more time consuming task we need to schedule or something we dread having to complete because we are already so busy. Our dogs learn from every experience they have, so turning everyday activities we already do with our dog into training opportunities is far easier than we may have first thought.

Use your daily walk as an opportunity to teach lead manners. Practice recalls next time you go to the park. Turn playtime into training time by asking your dog to work before you throw the ball or start the tug game. Reinforce your dog for laying down calmly whilst you have coffee at a café. Dinner time for your dog is perfect for working on impulse control. Asking your dog to stay on their bed or mat whilst the family eats dinner or watches a movie together – that’s right, this is also training!

By working in training opportunities to our everyday life with our dog, we are off to a great start in meeting their training needs. It is important we understand however that many dogs will have a higher need for mental activity than we can meet just through living well together. Structured training sessions working on learning new skills and maintaining known skills are a fun way for us to bond with our dog and meet their training needs. Short, regular sessions are perfect for dog training. Finding 5 minutes a few times a day is ideal and achievable!!

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What should i train my dog

House training your dog or puppy requires patience, commitment and lots of consistency. Accidents are part of the process, but if you follow these basic house training guidelines, you can get the newest member of your family on the right track.

To potty train your puppy, establish a routine

Puppies do best on a regular schedule. The schedule teaches them that there are times to eat, times to play and times to do their business. Typically, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is 2 months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don’t go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re likely to have an accident.

Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.

Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot. While your puppy is relieving themselves, use a specific word or phrase that you can eventually use before they go to remind them what to do. Take them out for a longer walk or some playtime only after they have eliminated.

Reward your puppy every time they eliminate outdoors. Praise or give treats—but remember to do so immediately after they’ve finished, not after they come back inside. This step is vital, because rewarding your dog for going outdoors is the only way to teach what’s expected of them. Before rewarding, be sure they’re finished. Puppies are easily distracted and if you praise too soon, they may forget to finish until they’re back in the house.

Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. What goes into a puppy on a schedule comes out of a puppy on a schedule. Depending on their age, puppies may need to be fed two or three times a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that they’ll eliminate at consistent times as well, making house training easier for both of you.

Pick up your puppy’s water dish about two and a half hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that they’ll need to relieve themselves during the night. Most puppies can sleep for approximately seven hours without needing a bathroom break. If your puppy does wake you up in the night, don’t make a big deal of it; otherwise, they will think it is time to play and won’t want to go back to sleep. Turn on as few lights as possible, don’t talk to or play with your puppy, take them out to the spot where they relieve themselves and then return them to bed.

What should i train my 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!

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

What should i train my dog

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What should i train my dog

Although there is some truth to the statement “too many cooks in the kitchen,” it doesn’t always apply to dog training! Families – households with more than one human – can successfully train their dogs together and help their dogs maintain those desired behaviors. Here are a few ways to ensure everyone in your family is creating a positive training experience for your dog!

Create a cue sheet.

This cue sheet will list all the skills and their corresponding verbal cues (words) and body language cues to request a behavior from the family dog. For example, the word “sit” with the gesture of the right hand moving toward the bicep is to request that the dog place his caboose on the ground in a sit. This cue sheet will help family members be consistent with the dog. When your dog receives consistent information, he will learn faster!

Have everyone learn the concepts.

All family members should attend training classes, read the class handouts, read books about dog training, and so on. If all family members are unable to attend training classes due to limitations on the number of human attendees or due to busy schedules, the family members who went to class – the attenders – should schedule time with the non-attenders each week to demonstrate what was learned. The attenders should pretend to be the dog training class instructor – demonstrating skills, offering positive feedback, and assisting the non-attenders with the skills.

One important concept is properly handling and touching the dog. All family members should learn to gently and respectfully handle and interact with your dog. In addition, adult family members should supervise the kid’s interactions and training sessions.

Take turns working with the dog.

Your dog notices who supplies all the good resources, such as walks, hikes, food, treats, playtime, and snuggling. Naturally your dog will bond the most with the family members who spend the most time with him! To help ensure everyone has a special connection and so that the dog learns to work with and listen to all family members, have everyone take part in his care. Vary who exercises, trains, feeds, gives water to, plays with, and cuddles your pup!

Keep track of everything!

If all family members are participating in the dog’s care, it could be easy to get confused about how far the dog walked today or how much he ate. Track this information, along with the family member who performed the care item, in a notebook or on a wall calendar. Not only will this help you see trends over time of who is doing what and how often, it will also help prevent a skipped or double meal. You can even order a personalized notebook or calendar that displays a favorite photo of your dog and family members!

Use one handler at a time.

Have you ever had two managers ask you to do two different, conflicting things? Not only is that confusing, but it’s also very stressful. Imagine being the dog – one of the humans is talking to you and asking you to do skills and the other human has the leash and all the treats! Who should you look at? Perhaps you should pay more attention to the body gestures of the human who has all the treats?

To help your dog and family succeed, have one family member at a time be the “trainer.” The trainer has all the tools and performs all the actions with the dog. The trainer has the leash, clicker, and treats in a pouch. The trainer holds the dog’s leash, says the cue word, gives the hand gesture, tells the dog he was correct, reinforces the dog with a treat, and releases the dog from the skill (“ok”). The other family members may watch – often from a seated position a few feet away – and offer positive, helpful comments to the trainer. Be careful not to have another family member hold the rest of the treats – this will tempt the dog to think that that person is being the trainer. After the trainer has mastered the basic steps and sequencing of a skill, the trainer may pass all the tools and the leash off to another family member for her turn to be the trainer. Read this blog for more tips on how to be a successful communicator to the dog during training.

How can kids help train your dog?

The above tips will need to be modified for families with small children or children who cannot control the dog without an adult’s help. In these instances, the children may need to be the second trainer who works the dog after the other trainers in the family have reached fluency with the dog – meaning the dog understands and performs the skill in a variety of settings and distractions – and possibly when the dog can be off-leash in the safety of the home. If a leash is needed, parents can always hook up two leashes to a dog’s collar or harness – one can be held by the child and one can be held by the parent as a back-up. This two-leash method may work best in an indoor, at-home session to prevent the dog from dashing off to another room to explore.

With parental supervision, children may also be good at changing water bowls, measuring food, putting down food bowls, filling out the care notebook or calendar, and giving the dog a “good night cookie” treat at the end of the day with a flat hand.

For more resources, check out AKC’s Family Dog Program.

What should i train my dog

About the Author
Jasey Day

Jasey Day holds the Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT) credential through the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Bobbie Lyons K9FITteam – a team of compassionate canine fitness instructors who actively teach others and continually expand their own knowledge. Since 2004, Jasey has taught a variety of workshops and classes on the following: Puppy, Canine Good Citizen/Family Pet, Advanced Family Pet, Canine Fitness, Canine Swimming, Rally, and Agility. In addition, Jasey has earned over 60 titles in Dock Diving, Agility, Rally, CGC and Trick Dog. Jasey has worked full time for the American Kennel Club since 2007 and teaches at Care First Animal Hospital in Raleigh, NC. Jasey’s Labrador Retrievers spend their free time hiking, training, and snuggling with Jasey.

PetPartners, Inc. is located at 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 350, Raleigh, NC 27617.

What should i train my dog

How much training does my dog need? There are basic skills every dog needs for their own safety and well-being, such as learning commands. Some dogs, though, get additional training based on their breed, on the abilities desired by their owners, or on keeping a dog challenged. Some dogs also have jobs, like working in a K9 Unit for the police, that require them to have master-level skills.

The big question, though, is how much training does my dog actually need ? Your knowledgeable team at Union Lake Pet Services can help you answer the question.

Basic Obedience Training

Ideally, a puppy receives basic training. This includes housetraining and essential commands, such as “stay”, “sit”, “come”, and “drop it”. Without these important skills, your pet will not have the tools it takes to be a good pup at home or out in the world.

Training covers basic commands, but other important skills, including:

  • Crate training
  • Leash training
  • Socialization skills (how to interact with other animals and people)
  • Housetraining (potty training, how to use the dog door, rules of the house)
  • Behavior diversion (teaching not to chew, dig, bark excessively, resource guard, etc.)

There are many things to learn in a dog’s life, and the complexity of what is needed can be a combination of an owner’s desires as well as each dog’s innate ability to learn. Some dogs are more adaptable to training, and they are pretty much off on the right paw. Other dogs are a little more…Let’s just say, “doggy”, and need additional training to cover problem behaviors.

Each dog is different, but most dogs do well with positive rewards-based training , such as what you would receive at Union Lake Pet Services. Positive reinforcement training means providing a reward in response to the behavior you’re trying to achieve. It is the most recommended training method.

Additional Dog Training

Refresh Training

Dogs who aren’t often asked to respond to commands may need to refresh and sharpen their obedience skills from time to time.

Agility Training, Trick or Stunt Dog Training

Many dogs enjoy the fun and challenge of agility training where they learn to navigate an agility course. There are basic and advanced classes and dogs also have the option to go on to compete. Trick training presents a fun challenge for pets and their owners. Stunt Dog training builds on existing trick training. Dogs learn to do tricks at a distance and can then go on to compete in AKC ring trials.

Training for Anxious or Reactive Dogs, or Dogs with Behavior Issues

Dogs that are anxious or reactive need training to gain confidence and new ways of responding when encountering things in daily life that generate frustration or anxiety. Other dogs with behavioral issues can use the help of counter-conditioning, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to overcome those behavioral difficulties.

Advanced Dog Training

After a pet successfully completes basic training techniques, you may both enjoy the challenge of more advanced training. There are many forms of advanced training, and the number of skills you can teach your pet seems limitless.

Off-Leash Training

Pet owners who enjoy the great outdoors often like to teach their pets off-leash skills. This is for the dog who is responsive to most verbal commands and has been successfully leashed trained.

Distance Training

This form of training uses a long leash, up to 25 feet long, to work with the dog at a distance, teaching verbal commands. This is a good form of training whenever you need to call your pet to you, such as at a dog park.

Hand Signals

Along with distance training, teaching your pet hand signals can be helpful when you need to get them to respond, but you are too far away from them to use verbal commands. Teaching various hand signals in lieu of verbal commands is another challenging task for the dog who is ready for additional skills.

Other advanced dog training includes vocational training (for a specific job) and agility training.

How Much Training Does My Dog Need?

So, how much training does my dog need ? The answer to this question comes down to the individual dog and how much time and money the owner wants to commit. Most dogs do well with basic training. Being pushed beyond those skills may trigger anxiety for some dogs . Other dogs will relish the new challenge. If your pet masters the basics, and you have the motivation or need for additional skills, advanced training can be a great way to form a stronger bond with your pet.

If you would like information on our training and socialization classes , please do not hesitate to call . We offer an extensive list of training classes as well as private drop-off and in-home training.

What words dogs understand

Scanners show that canine brains respond to words like humans

  • 30 Aug 2016
  • By Virginia Morell

Enikő Kubinyi

It’s the eternal question for pet owners: Does your dog understand what you’re saying? Even if Fido doesn’t “get” your words, surely he gets your tone when you let loose about another accident on the carpet. But a new imaging study shows that dogs’ brains respond to actual words, not just the tone in which they’re said. The study will likely shake up research into the origins of language, scientists say, as well as gratify dog lovers.

“It’s an important study that shows that basic aspects of speech perception can be shared with quite distant relatives,” says Tecumseh Fitch, a cognitive biologist at the University of Vienna, who was not involved in the work.

Words, the basic building blocks of human languages, are seldom found among other species. Bottlenose dolphins and green-rumped parrotlets make sounds that function like names, and animals including chickens, prairie dogs, and some primates utter alarm calls that identify specific predators. Dogs don’t produce words, but some are known to recognize more than 1000 human words—behavior that suggests they may attach meaning to human sounds. The new study shows that it is indeed the words themselves—and not the tone in which they’re spoken or the context in which they’re used—that dogs comprehend.

To find out how dogs process human speech, Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and his colleagues used brain scanners and 13 willing family dogs from four breeds: border collies, golden retrievers, Chinese crested dogs, and German shepherds. The dogs had been trained to lie motionless in the scanner while they listened to recordings of their trainer’s voice. The dogs heard meaningful words (“well done!” in Hungarian) in a praising tone and in a neutral tone. They also heard meaningless words (“as if”) in a neutral or praising tone of voice.

When the scientists analyzed the brain scans, they saw that—regardless of the trainer’s intonation—the dogs processed the meaningful words in the left hemisphere of the brain, just as humans do, they write this week in Science . But the dogs didn’t do this for the meaningless words. “There’s no acoustic reason for this difference,” Andics says. “It shows that these words have meaning to dogs.”

The dogs also processed intonation in the right hemisphere of their brains, also like humans. And when they heard words of praise delivered in a praising tone, yet another part of their brain lit up: the reward area. Meaning and tone enhanced each other. “They integrate the two types of information to interpret what they heard, just as we do,” Andics says.

The new results add to scientists’ knowledge of how canine brains process human speech. Dogs have brain areas dedicated to interpreting voices, distinguishing sounds (in the left hemisphere), and analyzing the sounds that convey emotions (in the right hemisphere).

The finding “doesn’t mean that dogs understand everything we say,” says Julie Hecht, who studies canine behavior and cognition at City University of New York in New York City and who was not involved in the study. “But our words and intonations are not meaningless to dogs.” Fitch hopes that similar studies will be done on other domestic animals and on human-raised wolves to see how much of this ability is hardwired in dogs and how much is due to growing up among talking humans.

Researchers say canines can understand words including water, park, cat and gentle.

By Casey Magloire, news reporter

Wednesday 8 December 2021 15:54, UK

What words dogs understand

Image: Heal, roll over, bye and treat were all on the list of phrases that dogs can understand, researchers say

It is a question that has been pondered by dog owners since the animals were first domesticated: Does my pet understand me?

And according to a new study, canines are capable of comprehending more than many might think.

Canadian researchers who studied 165 dogs and their owners found that the animals responded to between 15 and 215 words and phrases.

What words dogs understand

On average, the pets in the study could understand 89 words – the same number as an 18-month-old baby.

Researchers Catherine Reeve and Sophie Jacques from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University linked the animals’ capacity to learn to their close relationship with humans.

“Due to their evolutionary history and close association with humans, domestic dogs have learned to respond to human verbal and nonverbal cues at a level unmatched by other species,” they said.

The study concluded that dogs were particularly strong at responding to commands, as opposed to object words.

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Almost all dogs responded to their own name and basic commands like: come, down, stay, wait, no, okay and leave it.

What words dogs understand

Image: Our ability to communicate with canines has been linked to humans’ close relationship with the animals as they evolved

Most of the dogs would wag their tails when hearing treat-seeking phrases like “good girl” or “good boy”, while only a small minority would respond to less common commands such as “whisper” or “loud”.

The study released a list of words that dogs were found to respond to consistently.

It includes a number of phrases most of us might expect, such as “watch” and “sit” – alongside a few more surprising examples, including “vacuum”, “lake” and “peanut butter”.

“Dogs seem to vary greatly not only in the number but also in the kinds of words to which they purportedly respond,” said the researchers.

And while some dog owners may disagree, the researchers did acknowledge that the animals may have simply learned to respond correctly to the words and commands they hear – while not necessarily fully understanding their meaning.

The way dogs have come to understand the nuances of human language is incredibly impressive for an animal that doesn’t speak words itself.

Just a fraction of a second after we start saying a word – like ‘walk’ or ‘treat’ – dogs can predict and respond to what we are trying to say. To some extent, they can even understand the tone of our voice.

While a dog’s vocabulary is not nearly as large as our own, a new study suggests the average canine can consistently respond to 89 words or phrases. Nearly half of these are commands, like ‘sit’ or ‘stay’, but some general words, like ‘wait’, and nouns, like ‘treat’, are also understood.

The most learned pooches of the lot were actually found to respond to over 200 specific words, which is roughly equivalent to the vocabulary of a two-year-old human child.

Obviously, a dog isn’t speaking these words like a toddler would, but canines do seem to respond to certain words in a specific and consistent way, which suggests they have some level of language comprehension.

The findings are based on an established vocabulary checklist, used by parents to assess a human infant’s vocabulary. In this case, however, it was given to 165 owners of dogs, including canines from a range of breed types, ages and professions.

While breed type and work status (for instance, a police dog) seemed to have an impact on the size of a canine’s vocabulary, its age and the qualities of its owner did not seem to influence the list.

“Thus,” the authors write, “based on owner reports, dogs seem to vary greatly not only in the number but also in the kinds of words to which they purportedly respond.”

Studies in the past have shown how dogs can learn to respond to an incredible number of human words if they undergo intense training. In 2004, for instance, researchers reported on a border collie named Rico who’d learned to retrieve over 200 items, including ‘stuffed toys’ and ‘balls’, just by hearing their names.

In 2011, after three years of training, another border collie had acquired a toy vocabulary of over 1,000 words. Some particularly clever canines can even learn new words after hearing them only a handful of times.

But what about your average household dog?

Using an online survey, the authors of the current study had dog owners report how their pet responded to 172 words and phrases.

There’s always a chance with this type of research that the owners will overestimate their pet’s understanding. But previous research on this specific vocabulary test among infants has found parents are better at understanding their child than a trained observer, so the same may apply to their pets, too.

What’s more, by giving dog owners a fixed list of words to work through, this method ensures a pet owner doesn’t forget to test some words, as might have happened in previous studies on canine vocabulary that came up with an average doggy lexicon about three times smaller.

Dog owners in the current survey were asked to rate their canine’s response to certain words and phrases on a scale of 0 to five.

A score of 0 points meant their dog never responded specifically or consistently to a word or phrase. Whereas a score of five points meant the dog often did, even when the words were said in different locations, in different tones, and by different people.

Altogether, there were ten words or phrases specifically recognized by more than 90 percent of all the dogs. These common words and phrases included the dog’s name, as well as ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘good girl/boy’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘wait’, ‘no’, ‘ok’, and ‘leave it’.

In contrast, only a rare few dogs could consistently and specifically respond to phrases and words like ‘wipe your feet’, ‘whisper’, ‘loud’, ‘antler’, as well as names for the dog walker, the doggy daycare, the groomer, or the kennel.

When using the established vocabulary list, pet owners also had the opportunity to add more words and phrases. The owners that added the most commands, nouns or verbs tended to have professionally trained dogs, or dogs they believed were good at learning quickly.

Professional dogs, like those trained for the military, the police force, or search and rescue, had vocabularies 1.5 times larger than dogs without this career training.

The authors of the study didn’t have enough dogs from each breed to figure out whether certain ones are better at learning words than others, but more general ‘breed types’, like herding dogs, toy companions, hounds, and terriers, did show significant variations in their word-learning abilities.

The owners of herding dogs and toy-companion dogs, for instance, tended to believe their dogs responded to more words than the owners of terriers, sporting-gun dogs, companion dogs, and other purebreds and mixed breed dogs.

Those are interesting findings, but because of the “exploratory nature” of this research, the authors say firm conclusions about the ability of certain dog types to respond to human language is premature.

Given how subjective it can be to interpret dog behavior and understanding, the findings of the current study come with limitations.

There’s always a chance the dogs in the survey were incorporating human gestures and other contextual information into their understanding of certain words. What’s more, because many of these dogs had received basic obedience training, there’s the possibility a completely untrained dog would have a lower vocabulary than 89 words.

Still, the research is a good first step, and it highlights a potential way for scientists to measure dog responses to language in the future.

With larger sample sizes, this tool could one day allow us to identify which words are most likely to be responded to by which dogs.

“With additional research, our tool could become an efficient, effective, and economical research instrument for mapping out some of their competences and perhaps help predict early the potential of individual dogs for various professions,” the authors conclude.

What words dogs understand

Our dogs might be familiar with understanding phrases such as ‘sit’, ‘walk’ and ‘catch’, but new research has found that our pups can understand more human language than we thought.

A study conducted by the University of Sussex has discovered that our canine companions were able to identify the difference between words such as ‘hid’ and ‘had’. They also found that pups can understand different dialects and accents around the country.

What the study found.

As part of the research, dogs were given different words to listen to through a speaker. Various voices, both male and female, spoke simple words to see how the dogs would respond.

They found that.

  • The dogs responded strongly to the first word they heard, looking at the speaker
  • As different people repeated the same word, the attention span of the dogs drifted
  • When the word changed slightly (from ‘hood’ to ‘had’ for example) the dogs showed more interest again
  • Scientists explained that the dogs were able to recognise short words spoken by various people

An author from the study, Dr Holly Root-Gutteridge, told the Daily Mail: “These results show they have more advanced language skills than we give them credit for, and I actually know dogs that can respond to 75 different commands.

What words dogs understand

“Dogs probably gained the ability to distinguish between the barks of other dogs so they could work out their size, and then they started paying attention to our language after we domesticated them.

The study explains: “Our results indicate that the ability to spontaneously recognise both the same phonemes across different speakers, and cues to identity across speech utterances from unfamiliar speakers, is present in domestic dogs and thus not a uniquely human trait.”

Elsewhere, earlier this year, one dog in North Carolina was able to identify more than 1,000 toy names and was able to fetch them when his owner asked. While not all dogs may not obey everything their owners say, this shows that pups are indeed intellectual animals.

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8 of the best dog subscription boxes to treat your pet

What words dogs understand

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What words dogs understand

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What words dogs understand

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What words dogs understand

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What words dogs understand

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What words dogs understand

This box really will make your dog a happy pup. Filled with a generous selection of soft chew toys, snacks, meals and games they can play with their owner, this will bring joy to all. Order ‘The Happy Box’ — our personal favourite.

What words dogs understand

These eco-friendly and natural boxes will put the health of your dog first. Once you’ve filled in the details of your dog, they will ensure your boxes are tailored to suit their needs. You can choose from one month plans, right up to yearly ones if that’s what suits you best.

What words dogs understand

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This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

As early as 1928, scientists have sought to assess the ability of dogs to comprehend what humans say to them.

In that year, psychologists C.J. Warden and L.H. Warner documented the ability of Fellow, a young male German Shepherd, to respond to spoken commands by his owner.

Fellow was observed to respond appropriately to roughly 68 words or phrases, including phrases such as, ‘go outside and wait for me’, after which Fellow left the room and sat outside the door.

What words dogs understand

In 1928, Warden and Warner documented the ability of Fellow, a young male German Shepherd, to respond to spoken commands by his owner. Fellow (pictured) understood between 300 and 400 words and has the intelligence of an eight-year-old boy, according to his master at the time, Jacob Herbert of Detroit

DOGS CAN ‘EFFORTLESSLY’ LEARN NAMES OF TOYS

Dogs can ‘effortlessly’ learn the names of their toys, a 2021 study revealed – most likely if they’re a Border Collie.

In a sample of 40 dogs, seven were able to learn the names of their toys – like Turtle, Squirrel and Mickey Mouse – after three months of training.

One of the dogs, a Border Collie, was able to recognise the names of 37 toys.

It’s clear that the average domesticated dog understands at least a handful of words, but the researchers wanted to use a consistent methodology for a large number to work out the average.

Researchers team surveyed 165 dog owners of varying breeds and ages. Participants were both locally and globally based, but because they were recruited online and surveys were anonymous, the researchers don’t know exactly where they were all from.

‘The only requirement was that owners speak only English to their dogs,’ Jacques told MailOnline.

The team asked them to report the number of words that their dog was able to respond to and understand. For each word or phrase, participants were asked to indicate if they believed their dog responded to that item.

Dog responses were defined as becoming excited, looking for someone or something, looking up, whining, running, wagging tail or performing the action requested (i.e. ‘sit!’).

Owners rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale what they perceived to be their dog’s level of response to that item.

Dog owners reported that their dogs responded to between 15 and 215 words and phrases, with a mean of 89, the academics found.

Looking at dogs by breed, herding dogs (bred to herd sheep and cattle) and toy-companion dogs (bred for human companionship) responded to more words and phrases than other breed types.

Herding dogs include Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, German Shepherd, Miniature American Shepherd and Shetland Sheepdog.

Toy-companion dogs, meanwhile, include Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua and multiple poodle types.

Other breed types that were not quite as adept were hounds (Beagle, Whippet, Afghan Hound), Working-Guardian (Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Cane Corso), Terrier (American Staffordshire, Manchester) and Sporting-Gun (American Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, Golden Retriever).

What words dogs understand

Looking at dogs by breed, herding dogs and toy-companion dogs responded to more words and phrases than other breed types. Toy-companion dogs, include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (pictured)

‘There may be breed-related differences in the number of words to which dogs may learn to respond, although additional research is necessary to determine if such differences exist between breeds themselves or between owners of different breeds,’ the team say.

The researchers admit that dogs might learn to respond in particular ways to specific words and phrases without responding to them ‘on the basis of their meaning’.

Another limitation is the study relied on surveys of owners, who may have exaggerated the extent of their pets’ responses.

The new research has been new research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

WEIRD DEVICE LETS DOGS CALL THEIR OWNER BY SHAKING A BALL

A bizarre new prototype device lets dogs call their owner by picking up and shaking a ball when they’re home alone.

Devised at the University of Glasgow, the device, called ‘DogPhone’, is a toy ball containing an accelerometer – a device that detects motion of an object.

When the accelerometer senses movement, it initiates a video call on a laptop, allowing dogs to see and interact with their owner while he or she is at work.

Initially, dogs will be mystified by seeing and hearing their owner when they shake DogPhone, but they’ll soon start to associate touching it with their owner appearing.

Over time, they’ll therefore learn to pick up and shake the ball when they’re missing their owner and want to see them – via the internet at least.

With DogPhone, the human owner can also use the system to call the dog. When they do so, DogPhone makes a ringing sound, to draw the dog’s attention.

But the pooch is ‘free to answer or ignore the call’, simply by ignoring the device.

Our furry friends might be understanding more than you think.

By Margo Milanowski | Published Nov 1, 2021 8:55 AM

What words dogs understand

A family pooch probably knows the words “sit” and “stay,” but new research suggests they might understand far more than these simple commands. Researchers already knew that a human infant, at eight months old, can figure out that a group of syllables often strung together are words, whereas ungrouped sounds are probably not. Now, in a study done at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, scientists found that dogs do the same thing.

Humans constantly speak to and around dogs, making these mammals most likely to make connections about the words people are saying. The researchers in this study also knew that this kind of complex computation of sounds exists in the animal world, too, between creatures.

“This is the first time that we show that a non-human mammal can do this,” says Mariana Boros, one of the lead authors on the study. “[Dogs] can apply the exact same computations that infants are doing to segment the speech.”

The researchers also wanted to understand what parts of the dogs’ brains are making these calculations. To understand this, the researchers brought in K9 pets to their lab to study their brain activity. These dogs sat for electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing, both of which allowed the dogs to be awake and unrestrained for the study. Owners trained their dogs to sit still for at least eight minutes for MRI testing, a feat of its own.

In the EEG tests, researchers applied electrodes to the dogs’ heads, let them hang out with their owners, and then played recorded stimuli. First, they played long streams of speech made up of artificial words, varying the frequency in which these words were played, and sometimes playing just syllables of words. Then, they played isolated recordings of each word, and of syllables that did not make up one of the artificial words. The EEG activity showed the dogs were able to tell the difference between both the frequently and infrequently played words, but also, could tell the difference between a full word and equally frequently played syllables of words, a much more complex distinction.

Researchers sought to find exactly where in the brain this was happening with MRI tests. While the dogs sat in MRI scanners, they played speech streams either built up from words that were repeated in a pattern, or from randomized syllables of words. Two areas of the brain were associated with being able to tell the difference: a more generalist brain region, and a specialized brain region. The general brain region, the basal ganglia, responded more strongly to the randomized syllables, whereas the auditory cortex, a much more specialized region, responded more strongly to the structured word speeches.

“In humans, in the auditory cortex, the language related brain regions are the ones that are active in such tasks” says Boros. “So it was interesting to see that also in dogs, the auditory cortex plays a very important role in the segmentation of words.”

The study showed for the first time that non-human mammals, specifically dogs, are capable of making these complex judgements, and additionally, these distinctions are being made in the same brain regions as humans. Many questions are left unanswered still, though, like how exactly these dogs came to have these capabilities, and how their language development will continue into the future.

We’ve all heard a story of a whip-smart dog who learned strategic words, like “walk” or “treat.” But do those dogs really understand human language, and if so, what are the limits on their language learning? A burgeoning field of scientific research is beginning to find some answers.

The Average Dog Doesn’t Distinguish the Details of Human Speech

Try telling your dog to “sit” or “sid” and you’ll likely get the same result: a good pup in a nice sitting posture. That’s because, as recently demonstrated in a study from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, dogs don’t access phonetic details when they’re listening to human speech.

Researchers used a groundbreaking non-invasive method to observe dogs’ cognitive responses to three types of word: instruction words they already knew (like sit, stay, or down), nonsense words that sound similar to those known instruction words, and nonsense words that sound nothing like the known instruction words.

They found that when it comes to distinguishing an instruction word from a totally different nonsense word, dogs’ brains process speech very quickly—on a similar timescale to humans, in fact. But when a nonsense word sounds just like an instruction word, they don’t distinguish at all.

What words dogs understand

This means that dogs aren’t listening to or learning words in quite the same way as humans—or at least, not in the same way as adult humans. This kind of non-detailed phonetic recognition is also the way babies process speech up to the age of about 14 months, and goes some way toward explaining why most dogs can only learn a small handful of words, since a big vocabulary requires precision.

So what does all this mean for you and your pup? Dr. Lilla Magyari, one of the researchers on the project, notes that first and foremost, it means that dogs are listening to your speech. “If some owners are thinking that it doesn’t matter what I say to my dog because the dog is watching the gestures I do or finding out from context what he or she should do, it’s not entirely true. They do listen to human speech,” Dr. Magyari says. It just seems that their attention isn’t on the phonetic details—and yet even that isn’t set in stone. “There are studies that show that after some training, some dogs can differentiate similar-sounding words,” Dr. Magyari continued. “So it doesn’t mean even that they don’t hear these differences. It is just that they probably don’t think that those differences are important.”

In short: keep talking to your dog, and keep using clear commands while training them. They are listening. They just have their own way of processing the information.

Some Dogs Really Are Linguistically Gifted

Then there are the exceptions: dogs who can learn hundreds of vocabulary words. These pups are currently the subjects of another study at Eötvös Loránd University, and recently made headlines after going to head-to-head in a live Genius Dog Challenge, which challenged them to learn up to 12 new words in the space of a week. All six dogs successfully learned between 10 and 12 words in one week.

Perhaps even more interestingly, the words they learned were not command words, like those tested in Dr. Magyari’s study, but names for toys—a category of word that dogs seem to have much more trouble picking up. “We know that dogs can learn commands or cues or sound stimuli or any stimulus for a behavior, which is basically a process of association,” Genius Dog researcher Dr. Claudia Fugazza says. “But there was [no existing research] about learning the names of objects. So we started investigating and we found that, irrespective of the age when you start training, most dogs do not learn the name of objects. We trained a group of dogs very intensively for three months, we included a group of puppies around three months old and a group of adult dogs, and none of them could learn any words.”

What words dogs understand

Today, we’ve gained insight into how the smartest dogs learn. Chaser, shown here with her toys, learned the names of more than one thousand objects.

Yet the six dogs that participated in the Genius Dog Challenge were able to learn the names of objects with no training. In fact, astonishingly, some dogs could learn the name of a toy after just four repetitions. Perhaps even more fascinatingly, most of the dogs that have this trait seem to be Border Collies.

Dr. Fugazza and her team are now hard at work finding out how and why certain dogs have such advanced linguistic skills. “We suspect that there might be a genetic basis for this talent,” she says, “but for the moment we don’t know. Of course the fact that most of the dogs that have this capacity are Border Collies points to some genetic factors, but we need to run some studies to find out.” Dr. Fugazza adds that the ability could very well come down to a combination of genetic and environmental factors—dogs with a particular gene meeting the right conditions for their vocabularies to soar.

How Can Dog Lovers Help Foster Better Communication Between Humans and Dogs?

So where does this leave the average dog owner or dog lover? Since we now know for sure that every dog really is listening when we talk, there’s every reason to continue lavishing attention on our pups, linguistically and otherwise. And when you train, make sure to use clear command words, to make it as easy as possible for your pup to understand. After all, they’re the ones doing most of the work here: humans have not yet learned any words in Doggish.

How about if you suspect you know a linguistically gifted dog? Dr. Claudia Fugazza and her team are still looking for genius dogs to help further our understanding of dogs’ linguistic abilities. If your pup knows the names of more than 10 objects or toys, you can apply to participate in gifted-dog studies, and bring humankind one step closer to our best friends.

Do you ever talk to your dog? Of course, you do! I mean, don’t we all? And if you’re anything like me then you probably have entire conversations with your pooch. But how much of it does he understand? Some? All? None? Keep reading to find out how many words a dog can actually understand.

The Name Game

When you bring home your new pooch, what’s the first thing you do?

Name him, of course.

Although we probably aren’t thinking of it in such concrete terms, communication begins here. So, in the beginning, everywhere your pooch goes, it’s Fido this and FeFe that. You just keep repeating your pup’s name over and over as many times as possible until all of a sudden you say his name and he turns his head to look at you. Isn’t that the best feeling? Fido knows his name!

More Words

Then you introduce more words. Many people refer to these as commands, but they’re just human words that your pooch will learn to understand. I always start with sit. Then I move on to paw, stay, down, wait, come, fetch, heel, up, and so on. With a little time and a lot of patience, you’ll be communicating before you know it.

So … How Many Words Can A Dog Learn To Understand?

This varies slightly depending on what expert you ask. According to psychologist Stanley Coren, “The average dog can learn 165 words and dogs in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence can learn 250 words.”

Coren lists the top 10 most intelligent dogs as:

  1. Border collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German shepherd
  4. Golden retriever
  5. Doberman pinscher
  6. Shetland sheepdog
  7. Labrador retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian cattle dog

But according to psychologist J.Paul Scott, the average canine can understand approximately 200 spoken human words. Some trainers even claim they’ve taught dogs up to nearly 350 words. This means you can compare the average pooch to your typical two-year-old human kid’s language ability.

Meet A Real Super Dog: “Chaser”

Chaser is a border collie who knows over 1000 words. 1022 to be exact. John W. Pilley, a professor of psychology at the Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is Chaser’s owner. In 2004, he set out to work with Chaser as he taught him the names of two toys a day over a period of three years. Chaser skyrocketed to fame in 2011 after the study was released in Behavioural Processes Journal. In 2013, Pilley wrote the New York Times Bestseller “Chaser.”

Although many of us load up on treats when teaching our dogs new tricks, according to Pilley:

“There’s only one thing every owner needs to know when teaching their dog: play is key. Play is much more powerful than food. They don’t ever get tired of play”

Humor writer Dave Barry once wrote, “You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will just give you this look that says, ‘My GOSH, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!” Most dog owners will admit that they talk freely to their dogs, and their dogs always seem to appreciate their thoughts. But even the most intelligent dogs in the world don’t really understand everything their humans say.

Even if your dog never fully grasps most of what you tell them, most dogs can learn quite a few verbal commands. Experts have studied dogs to know whether they grasp the meaning of words or if they respond to the tone of voice and context clues. Learn more about how much your dog can understand.

Dog Intelligence

Some experts in dog behavior estimate that the average dog has intelligence similar to that of a human toddler. Like a 2-year-old child, dogs can understand between 100 and 200 words. They recognize the words in verbal commands as well as commands that are given with physical gestures.

Dogs are capable of problem-solving. Dogs can figure out the best path to get to a favorite toy or treat. They can learn to push buttons or operate latches to get into a space that’s blocked off. Some dogs can learn to count and do simple arithmetic.

Word Recognition

Every dog owner knows that certain words will send their dog into a frenzy of excitement. Say the phrase ” let’s go for a walk,” and your dog might run for the door expecting a quick trip around the block. Some dogs seem so attuned to certain words like “walk” that their owners have to spell them instead of saying them aloud.

Experts find that dogs recognize important words. In some cases, the dog responds to the word itself. In other cases, dogs recognize the tone of voice and body language humans use as well as the words. A dog who ignores the word “walk” if you say it into the phone will get excited if you say it while also getting their leash.

Dogs might not have a perfect understanding of command words, but they understand the basic sound of important words. In one study, researchers found that dogs respond the same way to nonsense words that sound like familiar command words. For example, a dog might still sit if you give them the command but say “sid” or “git”.

Researchers also found that dogs don’t respond to nonsense words that don’t sound like command words. The tone of voice humans used didn’t change that. Even if you use your normal tone and body language, your dog won’t sit if you say a word like “fluff” or “book” in place of the word sit.

What Does This Mean for Dog Owners?

Your dog will probably never learn enough vocabulary words to ace the SATs. But dogs can learn enough to have a meaningful connection with their owners. Dogs listen to humans and easily learn to recognize words, gestures, and tone.

If you want your dog to be attentive and obedient, you can take advantage of their verbal abilities. Use a few basic training strategies to teach them how to obey.

Choose your words. Plan ahead when training a dog to respond to words. Pick words that you can use only for commands. Avoid words that you often say in conversation with people. That way, your dog knows those words only have one meaning.

Be consistent. Use the same words the same way every time. Pair command words with the same gesture and tone of voice. Always reward your dog for following the command. This way, they will associate the word with the action and with a treat or praise.

Keep it simple. Remember that your dog’s vocabulary is limited. Stick to commands that are only one or two words.

Positive reinforcement. The best way to reinforce training is with positive rewards. Dogs want to please people. You can take advantage of that by using praise, treats, and favorite toys to reward good behavior. Your dog associates command words with the special attention they get after following the command.

Short and sweet. Don’t overwhelm your dog with too many commands at once. Do multiple short training sessions. Work on one verbal command at a time. Once your dog has mastered one skill, move on to the next one.

Show Sources

American Kennel Club: “How Much Language Do Dogs Really Understand?”

American Psychological Association: “Smarter Than You Think: Renowned Canine Researcher Puts Dogs’ Intelligence on Par with 2-Year-Old Human.”

RSPCA: “Dog training.”

VCA Hospitals: “Eavesdropping Dogs. Do Dogs Understand Our Conversations?” “Human-Canine Communication: Tone vs. Volume.”

You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.

Dogs have at least a rudimentary neural representation of meaning for words they have been taught, differentiating words they have heard before from those they have not, new research suggests.

When some dogs hear their owners say “squirrel,” they perk up or become agitated. They may even run to a window and look out of it. But what does the word mean to the dog? Does it mean, “Pay attention, something is happening?” Or does the dog actually picture a small, bushy-tailed rodent in its mind?

“Many dog owners think that their dogs know what some words mean, but there really isn’t much scientific evidence to support that,” says first author Ashley Prichard, a PhD candidate in the psychology department at Emory University. “We wanted to get data from the dogs themselves—not just owner reports.”

What words dogs understand

Eddie, one of the dogs that participated in the study, poses in the fMRI scanner with two of the toys researchers used in the experiments, “Monkey” and “Piggy.” (Credit: Gregory Berns)

“We know that dogs have the capacity to process at least some aspects of human language since they can learn to follow verbal commands,” says senior author and neuroscientist Gregory Berns. “Previous research, however, suggests dogs may rely on many other cues to follow a verbal command, such as gaze, gestures, and even emotional expressions from their owners.”

Say, what?

Researchers focused on questions surrounding the brain mechanisms dogs use to differentiate between words, or even what constitutes a word to a dog.

Owners trained twelve dogs of varying breeds for months to retrieve two different objects, based on the objects’ names. Each dog’s pair of objects consisted of one with a soft texture, such as a stuffed animal, and another of a different texture, such as rubber, to facilitate discrimination.

Training consisted of instructing the dogs to fetch one of the objects and then rewarding them with food or praise. Training was considered complete when a dog showed that it could discriminate between the two objects by consistently fetching the one the owner requested.

During one experiment, the trained dog lay in the fMRI scanner while the dog’s owner stood directly in front of the dog at the opening of the machine and said the names of the dog’s toys at set intervals, then showed the dog the corresponding toys.

Eddie, a golden retriever-Labrador mix, for instance, heard his owner say the words “piggy” or “monkey,” then his owner held up the matching toy. As a control, the owner then spoke gibberish words, such as “bobbu” and “bodmick,” then held up different objects like a hat or a doll.

Aim to please

The results showed greater activation in auditory regions of the brain to the made-up words relative to the trained words.

“We expected to see that dogs neurally discriminate between words that they know and words that they don’t,” Prichard says. “What’s surprising is that the result is opposite to that of research on humans—people typically show greater neural activation for known words than novel words.”

The researchers hypothesize that the dogs may show greater neural activation to a novel word because they sense their owners want them to understand what they are saying, and they are trying to do so.

“Dogs ultimately want to please their owners, and perhaps also receive praise or food,” Berns says.

Different dogs, different brains

Half of the dogs in the experiment showed the increased activation for the novel words in their parietotemporal cortex, an area of the brain that the researchers believe may be analogous to the angular gyrus in humans, where we process lexical differences.

The other half of the dogs, however, showed heightened activity to novel words in other brain regions, including the other parts of the left temporal cortex and amygdala, caudate nucleus, and the thalamus.

These differences may be related to a limitation of the study—the varying range in breeds and sizes of the dogs, as well as possible variations in their cognitive abilities. A major challenge in mapping the cognitive processes of the canine brain, the researchers acknowledge, is the variety of shapes and sizes of dogs’ brains across breeds.

“Dogs may have varying capacity and motivation for learning and understanding human words,” Berns says, “but they appear to have a neural representation for the meaning of words they have been taught, beyond just a low-level Pavlovian response.”

This conclusion doesn’t mean that spoken words are the most effective way for an owner to communicate with a dog. In fact, other research also led by Prichard and Berns that appears in Scientific Reports, shows that the neural reward system of dogs is more attuned to visual and scent cues than to verbal ones.

“When people want to teach their dog a trick, they often use a verbal command because that’s what we humans prefer,” Prichard says. “From the dog’s perspective, however, a visual command might be more effective, helping the dog learn the trick faster.”

Berns is founder of the Dog Project, which was the first to train dogs to voluntarily enter a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner and remain motionless during scanning, without restraint or sedation.

Additional coauthors are from Emory, the New College of Florida, and Comprehensive Pet Therapy.

Science trends populating TikTok can inspire plant parents or strike morbid awe over human anatomy. Others make you question your relationship with man’s best friend.

In one of the latest challenges on the platform, dog owners are using their pets’ “favorite” words in a story and filming how the dogs react. Researchers weigh in on what the dogs are likely paying attention to, and tell Inverse how much dogs can really understand when humans speak.

In the videos, dog ears perk up and their heads tilt when they seemingly hear their favorite words. The reaction suggests that these specific words — car, ride, park, grandma’s house — mean something to the pups.

Here’s an example, posted by @kaitlyn_daughtry on TikTok:

Do dogs understand human words? — There’s some evidence that when dogs’ ears perk up, it’s because they really do grasp what their humans are saying.

In a 2011 study, a border collie named Chaser learned the names of more than 1,000 objects over three years.

Holly Root-Gutteridge, a researcher at the University of Sussex, led a 2019 study on how dogs recognize human speech sounds. From previous work, researchers knew that dogs can recognize familiar humans by their voices. Root-Gutteridge’s team found that dogs can also recognize the same word, spoken by different people, even unfamiliar voices.

“Dogs learn words that mean something to them,” Root-Gutteridge tells Inverse.

When they hear humans, dogs are responding to both:

  • The words
  • The tone of voice

That’s how pets learn commands, like “sit” or “shake.” It’s also how they’re able to respond to the promise of something awesome — like a game, toy, or treat.

“Tell my dog Sheba ‘chicken wing’ or ‘biscuit’ and she knows exactly what she’s going to get and will go to the fridge or the cupboard and wait for it there,” Root-Gutteridge says. “She has made the association that the noise I make, or the hand gesture I use, is associated with an outcome I want and if she does it, she’ll get something she wants.”

In many of the TikTok challenge videos, dog owners are similarly using a Good Dog Voice — even emphasizing certain “favorite” words. The intonation isn’t necessary for dogs to recognize a verbal cue, but it certainly helps.

“It’s a signal that we’re saying something exciting,” Root-Gutteridge says.

Context cues — Understanding individual words and their definitions is impressive. But researchers note that this isn’t quite the same as conceptually understanding words like “chicken wing.”

Root-Gutteridge’s dog Sheba “doesn’t realize that a chicken wing from the fridge is the same as a bird on a farm,” for instance. She wouldn’t be able to learn chicken in another language and associate that word with chicken.

“She learns words as associations of meaning, but I don’t think she uses them for abstract thought,” Root-Gutteridge says.

Anna Gábor, a researcher at Eötvös Loránd University, agrees. It’s true that dogs “are at least able to learn words and associate them to the corresponding context,” Gábor tells Inverse, “but the dog is not able to transfer this meaning to other contexts.”

Gábor led a recent study to determine how dogs categorize sounds — finding that dogs sort intonation and word sound into a hierarchy similar to humans. Intonation matters more, while the sound of the word itself is secondary, Gábor’s team reported Monday in the journal Scientific Reports.

“I think no one can exactly tell how much dogs understand when we talk to them,” Gábor says, “but there are exciting scientific studies on this question.”

Sophie Jacques previously received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Partners

Dalhousie University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.

Dalhousie University provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA-FR.

Languages

Humans are unique in their ability to develop sophisticated language abilities. Language allows us to communicate with each other and live in complex societies. It is key to our advanced cognitive abilities and technological prowess.

As a developmental psychologist, I have extensively studied the role of language in children’s cognitive development, especially their executive functions – the cognitive skills that allow them to control their behaviour, plan for the future, solve difficult problems and resist temptation.

Executive functions

The development of executive functions occurs slowly over the course of childhood. As they get older, children get better at organizing their thoughts and controlling their behaviours and emotions. In fact, humans are the only known species to develop advanced executive functions, although other species like birds, primates and dogs have rudimentary executive functions similar to young children.

In humans, our ability to develop executive functions has been linked to our language development. Language permits us to form and hold representations of our goals and plans in mind, allowing us to govern our behaviour over the long term.

What is not clear is whether language actually causes the emergence of executive functions, and whether the relation between language and executive functions exists only in humans.

Canine behaviour

For humans, studying dogs offers the perfect opportunity to consider these questions. First, dogs possess rudimentary executive functions. These can be measured in a variety of ways, including asking owners about their dogs’ ability to control their behaviours, as well as behavioural tests designed to assess dogs’ control abilities.

Second, not only do we expose dogs regularly to human language, but research also indicates that dogs can perceive different words and can learn to respond to specific words. For example, three dogs — two border collies named Chaser and Rico, and a Yorkshire terrier named Bailey — learned to respond to over 1,000, 200 and 100 words, respectively.

What words dogs understand

However, many dog language studies have been limited in scope, either examining the word-based responses of only one or a small sample of dogs, or the responses of multiple dogs but only to select words.

One exception was a study in which 37 dog owners were asked to list words they believed their dogs responded to consistently. Owners reported that their dogs responded to an average of 29 words, although this likely is an underestimation. Indeed, research using a similar free-recall approach with parents shows that they are prone to forget many words when asked to generate lists of words to which their babies respond consistently.

Communicating with dogs

Research with human infants does provide a solution for systematically and reliably assessing word-based responding in large samples of dogs. Arguably the best and most widely used measure of early language abilities of infants is the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories, a parent-report checklist of words responded to consistently. Remarkably, the number of words selected on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory predicts children’s language development years later.

In 2015, I began a collaboration with psychologist Catherine Reeve, at the time a graduate student working on dogs’ scent detection abilities. Our goal was to develop a similar measure of vocabulary for use with dog owners that we could then use to examine links between language and executive functions.

We developed a list of 172 words organized in different categories (for example, toys, food, commands, outdoor places) and gave it to an online sample of 165 owners of family and professional dogs. We asked them to select words that their dogs responded to consistently.

We found that, on average, service dogs respond to about 120 words, whereas family pets respond to about 80 words, ranging between 15 to 215 words across all dogs. We also found that certain breed groups, such as herding dogs like border collies and toy dogs like chihuahuas, respond to more words and phrases than other breed types like terriers, retrievers and mixed breeds.

What words dogs understand

What we don’t yet know is whether dogs who respond to more words also have better executive functions. We recently assessed 100 dogs on a behavioural measure of executive functions and had their owners identify words on our vocabulary checklist. We are now analysing the results.

I first became interested in studying dogs to see what they might tell us about child development. That said, this research might also provide important practical information about dogs. For example, it is very expensive to train puppies for service work and many do not make the final cut. However, if early word-based responding abilities predict later behavioural and cognitive abilities, our measure could become an early and simple tool to help predict which dogs are likely to become good service animals.

developed a list of 172 words organized in different categories (for example, toys, food, commands, outdoor places) and gave it to an online sample of 165 owners of family and professional dogs. We asked them to select words that their dogs responded to consistently. We found that, on average, service dogs respond to about 120 words, whereas family pets respond to about 80 words, ranging between 15 to 215 words across all dogs. We also found that certain breed groups, such as herding dogs like border collies and toy dogs like chihuahuas, respond to more words and phrases than other breed types like terriers, retrievers and mixed breeds.

Sophie Jacques, “Yes, Your Dog Can Understand What You’re Saying — to a Point” at The Epoch Times (January 22, 2022)

What words dogs understand

Sophie Jacques

There is a practical value to Jacques’s work with dogs and language:

… it is very expensive to train puppies for service work and many do not make the final cut. However, if early word-based responding abilities predict later behavioural and cognitive abilities, our measure could become an early and simple tool to help predict which dogs are likely to become good service animals.The Conversation

Sophie Jacques, “Yes, Your Dog Can Understand What You’re Saying — to a Point” at The Epoch Times (January 22, 2022)

Of course, the dog is responding to words as signals, not as components of sentences.

What dogs are really good at is picking up on and responding to human emotions:

Just as human toddlers look to their parents for cues about how to react to the people and world around them, dogs often look to humans for similar signs. When their people project feelings of calm and confidence, dogs tend to view their surroundings as safe and secure.

“The emotional connection between humans and dogs is the essence of the relationship,” says Clive Wynne, a professor of psychology and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. “Dogs are amazingly social beings, so they are easily infected with our warmth and joy.” But the converse is true as well, which means their owner’s stress and anxiety can also become the dog’s stress and anxiety.

Stacey Colino, “Yes, dogs can ‘catch’ their owners’ emotions” at National Geographic (October 1, 2021) The paper referenced is open access.

Of course, that makes sense. The dog is living in a human environment and much of the time, he doesn’t know for sure what to think, so he looks to his human friends for clues.

Sensory factors also can influence emotional contagion between people and their canine companions. For one thing, dogs have a remarkable ability to read the facial expressions and body cues of human beings, experts say. While some research has found that dogs focus more on bodily expressions of emotion than on facial cues in both humans and other dogs, other studies have shown that dogs process human facial expressions similarly to the way people do. A study in a 2018 issue of the journal Learning & Behavior found that dogs respond to human faces that express six basic emotions— anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust—with changes in their gaze and heart rate.

Stacey Colino, “Yes, dogs can ‘catch’ their owners’ emotions” at National Geographic (October 1, 2021) The paper referenced is open access. Both papers cited are open access.

Dogs find out what they need to know any way they can. In one recent study, researchers gave dogs a choice of getting help with obtaining food either from a human who had shown a positive expression or one who had shown a negative expression:

The study involved presenting the dogs with a social interaction between two unfamiliar people, which could be positive (happy), negative (angry) or neutral (did not display a particular emotion). After witnessing the two people engaging silently with each other, the dogs were given the opportunity to approach food that varied in how easy it was to access. It was either freely available or the dogs needed the humans’ help to get the food. At the time of their choice, only neutral expressions were displayed, so the dogs had to use their knowledge about the meaning of the humans’ previous emotional expressions to decide which course to take.

First author of the study, Dr Natalia Albuquerque, an animal behaviour and cognition scientist from the University of São Paulo, said, “We found that dogs generally chose the human that had shown a positive expression and avoided the human that had shown a negative one. Moreover, the available emotional information was more important when the dogs could not reach the food by themselves and had to get help from the humans, meaning that they were taking into consideration the emotions displayed by each person.

News Staff, “Your Dog Does Understand You – They Use Your Emotions To Predict Your Actions Much Like People Do” at Science 2.0 (September 23, 2021)

Left to himself, the dog would probably prefer to use information like emotional expressions rather than words; for one thing, he shares many emotions with humans. Emotions may be the one thing he really understands in many cases. On the other hand, learning word cues about things that concern him makes it easier for him to understand what is going on among the humans.

You may also wish to read:

In what ways are dogs intelligent? There is no human counterpart to some types of dog intelligence.

Study: Cats DO recognize their names. They recognize them as sound cues, rather than recognizing the human language as such.

What words dogs understand

Denyse O’Leary

Denyse O’Leary is a freelance journalist based in Victoria, Canada. Specializing in faith and science issues, she has published two books on the topic: [email protected] and By Design or by Chance? She has written for publications such as The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, and Canadian Living. She is co-author, with neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. She received her degree in honors English language and literature. Follow Denyse Twitter

What words dogs understand

On average, dogs understand 89 wordsBut a smart dog can double that number.

The above information was discovered thanks to scientific research conducted in Canada.

Here we tell you the most interesting data on this topic.

Chihuahuas understand many words (Photo: Pixabay)

dogs understand you

every owner dog You’ve tried to communicate with your pet, not just using training words like “sit.”

We usually talk to dogs, but often we don’t know how well they understand us.

according to Study conducted in CanadaSurveying 165 owners of dogs of different breeds, on average, dogs can understand 89 words.

In addition, a particularly intelligent dog that can understand what it looks like has been analyzed 215 words Total.

They follow orders

The authors of the research, conducted at Dalhousie University, found that Request #%s These are the words that dogs mostly understand.

They found that nearly all of the dogs reacted to their names, with most responding to commands such as ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘wait’, ‘no’, ‘okay’ and ‘leave it’.

However, it is possible that dogs who understood more words did so by having more formal training than the rest.

Which dogs understand the most words?

When looking at dogs by breed, it is found that herding dogs, including the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, and German shepherd, miniatures, such as the bichon fries and the knight Charles spaniel and Chihuahua, respond to more words and phrases than other types of breeds.

Man’s best friend

According to Catherine Reeve and Sophie Jack, the researchers behind the study, the close relationship between dogs and humans allowed us to understand each other well.

The study could read that “pet dogs learned to respond to human verbal and nonverbal cues at a level unmatched by other species.”

Perhaps because of their role as a companion animal, dogs, according to the study, understand commands better.

“The study suggests that dogs may be particularly adept at responding to commands rather than objective words.”

However, they also understood words unrelated to commands, but undoubtedly commands were what they understood the most.

words they understand

According to the study, these are the words most dogs understand (although analyzed in English):

  • sat down
  • Friend
  • still
  • waiting
  • Yes
  • turn around
  • You wanna go home?
  • Farewell
  • where is he [inserte el nombre del objeto]?
  • go to the water
  • bone
  • He walks
  • Do you want to go for a walk?
  • poop
  • Water
  • You Hungry?
  • the mother
  • breakfast
  • squirrel
  • ball
  • Getting out of [inserta el nombre del objeto]
  • dog
  • who is that?
  • Go find a file [nombre del juguete]
  • without salt
  • come eat
  • don’t bite
  • inside
  • Go get it!
  • Under
  • Copega
  • room
  • dad
  • Never
  • Teddy bear
  • beautiful
  • Plato
  • I love you!
  • leave him alone
  • out of place
  • Kiss
  • Thanks!
  • Don’t eat it!
  • Plato
  • bathroom
  • Korea
  • Wide

Experts knew that the average domestic dog understood at least a few words, but they wanted to use a consistent methodology to calculate the average.

Less skilled dogs

According to the study, the dogs that were not good at understanding words were Bloodhounds (Beagle, Whippet, and Afghani Hound), Watchdogs (Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Can Corso), Terrier (American Staffordshire, Manchester) and (American) Spaniel Hounds Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, and Golden Retriever).

Researchers acknowledge that dogs can learn to respond to specific words and phrases in certain ways, without responding according to their actual meaning.

They also confirmed that they all lived with their owners for more than three years.

And you, how many words do you think your tenderloin understands? Also, remember to feed him well.

Dogs can’t speak, but their brains respond to spoken words, suggesting human language has deep evolutionary roots.

Every dog owner knows that saying Good dog! in a happy, high-pitched voice will evoke a flurry of joyful tail wagging in their pet.

That made scientists curious: What exactly happens in your dog’s brain when it hears praise, and is it similar to the hierarchical way our own brain processes such acoustic information?

When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation—the emotional force of spoken words. Next, the brain taps the more recently evolved auditory cortex to figure out the meaning of the words, which is learned.

In 2016, a team of scientists discovered that dogs’ brains, like those of humans, compute the intonation and meaning of a word separately—although dogs use their right brain hemisphere to do so, whereas we use our left hemisphere. Still, a mystery remained: Do their brains go through the same steps to process approval?

“It’s an important question, because dogs are a speechless species, yet they respond correctly to our words,” says Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, and co-author of both the previous study and the new one, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. For instance, some dogs are capable of recognizing thousands of names of individual objects, and can link each name to a specific object.

When the scientists studied scans of the brains of pet dogs, they found that theirs, like ours, process the sounds of spoken words in a hierarchical manner—analyzing first the emotional component with the older region of the brain, the subcortical regions, and then the words’ meaning with the newer part, the cortex. (Read how dogs are more like us than we thought.)

Watch dogs get MRI scans—for science

This discovery deepens our understanding of how human language evolved, the authors say. Most strikingly, dogs and humans last shared a common ancestor some 100 million years ago, so it’s likely that “the brains of many mammals respond to vocal sounds in a similar way,” says Andics says.

Good listeners

For their experiments, the Hungarian researchers recruited 12 pet dogs (six border collies, five golden retrievers, and a German shepherd) from homes near Budapest. The researchers trained the canines to willingly enter and lie quietly in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or fMRI, where they listened to a dog trainer speaking known words of praise, such as “clever” and “well done,” as well as unknown, neutral words, such as “if” and “yet.”

The trainer spoke in Hungarian, sometimes uttering the words with an enthusiastic, praising intonation, and at other times, a neutral tone. She also deliberately repeated the words and intonations. The machines scanned the dogs’ brain activity as she spoke. (Read how centuries of breeding have reshaped dog brains.)

At first, auditory regions in both the subcortical and cortical regions of the dogs’ brains showed increased activity as they heard the words.

But when the dogs listened to the same (praise or neutral) intonation repeated numerous times, regardless of knowing the words, the activity level in the older part quickly decreased. This rapid decline suggests that intonation is processed in the more ancient dog brain regions.

A History of Dogs 101

Similarly, if they listened to repetitions of known words, the activity level in the newer region of their brains slowly declined—but not when they listened to unknown words. This very slow decline in activity in response to known words suggests that newer brain regions are involved in processing the meaning of words.

The study “suggests that what we say and how we say it are both important to dogs,” David Reby, an ethologist at the University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom, said by email.

“We may infer that from our interactions with dogs, but it is somewhat surprising as dogs do not speak, and their [own] communication system [barking] does not have a clear separation between meaning and intonation.”

Special relationship

Previous studies have shown that many animals, from songbirds to dolphins, use the subcortex to process emotional cues, and the cortex to analyze more complex learned signals—even though they can’t talk. Zebras, for instance, can eavesdrop on the emotions in other herbivore species’ calls to learn if predators are nearby.

It’s likely that human language evolved from such cues, recruiting the same neurological systems to develop speech, notes Terrence Deacon, a neuroanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

And as domesticated animals that have evolved alongside humans for the past 10,000 years, dogs make special use of this ancient ability to process human emotions, Andics adds.

“It helps explain why dogs are so successful at partnering with us”—and at times manipulating us with those soulful eyes.

Depending on the canine in question, some can learn many — others very few.

What words dogs understand

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Dogs can apparently understand enough of the English language to have full-on conversations with their owners. At least, that appears to be the case on TikTok and Instagram, where dogs can be seen “talking” by tapping buttons that sound out particular words. Most of the words selected by these internet-famous canines tend to be something a dog might want or need such as “thirsty,” “hungry” or “toilet.”

But some interactions appear more profound than simple requests. Take Bunny, for example. She’s a sheepadoodle — a cross between an old English sheepdog and a poodle — with over a million followers on Instagram . This breed is recognized as particularly intelligent, but Bunny seems to have reached a whole other level: Her repertoire of buttons includes more advanced concepts like “different,” “happy” and “stranger.”

In some videos, she seems to tell her owner that she loves her. In others, they discuss whether Bunny enjoyed a new kind of food that her owner gave her for dinner that night. Heart-warming stuff, sure, but do these clips indicate that Bunny can actually hold a sophisticated conversation?

“You can easily teach a dog to ring a bell if he needs to go out and do his business or for food or for play. That I don’t doubt,” says Claudia Fugazza, a dog trainer who studies the animals’ cognitive abilities at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. “But when it comes to the more complicated stuff, I think humans are just good at making sense of whatever it is the dogs end up pressing.”

In reality, dogs may just press buttons at random because every time they do, they receive some sort of attention from their owner (which is what most pups desire).

Don’t Underestimate Canine Cognition

While genuine chats are unlikely between us and our canine friends, that doesn’t mean dogs are necessarily clueless. Some exceptionally gifted dogs can easily learn the names of new objects, as Fugazza has shown in her own research. She has verified the word-learning capacity of six “knowledgeable” dogs whose owners said they knew the names of at least 15 of their own toys.

Fugazza tested the dogs by introducing them to new toys and playing with them. During the play, the owner says the name of the new toy four times. The same was then repeated with another new toy. “After just hearing the names of the two objects just four times each, it’s enough for them to tell the difference between the new toys,” she says. But there’s a caveat: the memory fades just as quickly as it was created. “After just ten minutes, they forget,” says Fugazza. “So, we thought they must need more exposure for longer term memory.”

That’s why Fugazza and her colleagues then conducted a follow-up study . This time they looked at more intensive exposures over a period of five months. “The dogs trained every day with their owners and once a week with a dog trainer. Then we tested them once a month,” she says. “They could learn multiple new toys. It was impressive.”

In another subsequent study , the researchers had the dogs learn new toy names in a similarly involved way and then put the toys in a box for one month — during this period, the dogs couldn’t see or play with them anymore. Later, they tested the dogs to see if their memories had held up. “They could still remember, it was enough to consolidate the memory of the toy names,” Fugazza says.

Comparable experiments with regular dogs, however, did not yield significant results, which suggests that this kind of word recognition may be unique to a select few dogs.

So if you feel you have an intelligent dog who enjoys playing with things, then they might be able to learn the names of those objects. But as far as conversational buttons go, if you’re looking to use them for interactions with your dog beyond “I need to pee” or “please feed me,” then you’re likely to be left disappointed.

What words dogs understand

Your dog gets you. I mean, he really gets you.

No, really — he actually does. So say scientists in Hungary, who have published a groundbreaking study that found dogs understand both the meaning of words and the intonation used to speak them. Put simply: Even if you use a very excited tone of voice to tell the dog he’s going to the vet, he’ll probably see through you and be bummed about going.

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It had already been established that dogs respond to human voices better than their wolf brethren, are able to match hundreds of objects to words and learn elements of grammar, and can be directed by human speech. But the new findings mean dogs are more like humans than was previously known: They process language using the same regions of the brain as people, according to the researchers, whose paper was published in Science.

This had already been demonstrated in studies that observed dogs, but no one had seen how it works inside the canine brain. To determine this, Attila Andics and colleagues at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest recruited 13 family dogs — mostly golden retrievers and border collies — and trained them to sit totally still for seven minutes in an fMRI scanner that measured their brain activity. (The pups were not restrained, and they “could leave the scanner at any time,” the authors assured.)

A female trainer familiar to the dogs then spoke words of praise that all their owners said they used — “that’s it,” “clever,” and “well done” — and neutral, common words such as “yet” and “if,” which the researchers believed were meaningless to the animals. Each dog heard each word in both a neutral tone and a happy, atta-boy tone.

This is what dog brain activity hearing human speech looks like. The yellow and red areas are a dog’s auditory regions responding to words. The green area is the dog’s “reward center” which is activated when listening to praise words spoken in a praising tone. (Video: Anna Gabor, MRIcron)

Using the brain activity images, the researchers saw that the dogs processed the familiar words regardless of intonation, and they did so using the left hemisphere, just like humans. Tone, or the emotion behind the word, on the other hand, was analyzed in the auditory regions of the right hemisphere — just as it is in people, the study said.

The first study to investigate how dog brains process speech shows that dogs care about both what humans say and how we say it. (Video: Family Dog Project)

In an e-mail, co-author Tamás Faragó acknowledged that the left hemisphere’s response to praise words didn’t prove the dogs were comprehending meaning and not simply reacting to familiarity. But, he said, it’s safe to assume the dogs hear the neutral words in daily human conversation as often as they hear the praise words, “so the main difference will be not familiarity, but whether the word is addressed to the dog or not.” In other words, whether it has meaning for the pooch.

If you’re like most pet owners, you likely have full conversations with your furry friend throughout the day, but have you ever wished that your pet could talk back? Your daydream might not be as far fetched as you think. A new study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science conducted by researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada revealed that the average dog understands 89 words and phrases. “We aimed to develop a comprehensive owner-reported inventory of words to which owners believe their dogs respond differentially and consistently,” researchers Catherine Reeve and Sophie Jacques write in the journal.

The team surveyed 165 dog owners who are the pet parents of several different breeds. The owners reported on the different words and phrases their pets seem to understand, as well the breed, age, sex, and training background of their dogs. The participants reported that, on average, their dogs responded to 89 words—78 from the list provided by researchers and 11 added by the pet owners themselves. However, the least responsive dogs only reacted to 15 words, while the most responsive pets knew up to 215.

When it comes to counting which words the dogs actually know, the study authors only counted words or phrases that made each dog look up, whine, run, wag their tail, or perform a task related to that word, like sitting or laying down. Most of the known phrases were commands, such as “sit,” “come,” “down,” “stay,” “wait,” “no,” and “leave it.” Some of the dogs also knew words related to food and toys, including “treat,” “breakfast,” “dinner,” and “ball.”

According to the research team, the most responsive dog breeds include the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Chihuahua. Breeds with the smallest vocabulary are Beagles and Boxers. However, the researchers note that a dog responding to a word doesn’t mean they truly understand its meaning. It’s possible that the furry animals have learned to associate certain human sounds with the events that follow—such as getting a treat after being told to “sit.” “With additional research, our tool could become an efficient, effective, and economical research instrument for mapping out some of their competences and perhaps help predict early the potential of individual dogs for various professions,” the team writes.

American Psychological Association. (2009, August 8). Canine researcher puts dogs’ intelligence on par with 2-year-old human [Press release]. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/08/dogs-think

TORONTO—Although you wouldn’t want one to balance your checkbook, dogs can count.

They can also understand more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats, according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. He spoke Saturday on the topic “How Dogs Think” at the American Psychological Association’s 117th Annual Convention.

Coren, author of more than a half-dozen popular books on dogs and dog behavior, has reviewed numerous studies to conclude that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.

“We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that] Lassie or Rover demonstrate,” Coren said in an interview. “Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought.”

According to several behavioral measures, Coren says dogs’ mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.

The intelligence of various types of dogs does differ and the dog’s breed determines some of these differences, Coren says. “There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and working and obedience (the equivalent of ‘school learning’).”

Data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada showed the differences in working and obedience intelligence of dog breeds, according to Coren. “Border collies are number one; poodles are second, followed by German shepherds. Fourth on the list is golden retrievers; fifth, dobermans; sixth, Shetland sheepdogs; and finally, Labrador retrievers,” said Coren.

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. “The upper limit of dogs’ ability to learn language is partly based on a study of a border collie named Rico who showed knowledge of 200 spoken words and demonstrated ’fast-track learning,’ which scientists believed to be found only in humans and language learning apes,” Coren said.

Dogs can also count up to four or five, said Coren. And they have a basic understanding of arithmetic and will notice errors in simple computations, such as 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.

Four studies he examined looked how dogs solve spatial problems by modeling human or other dogs’ behavior using a barrier type problem. Through observation, Coren said, dogs can learn the location of valued items (treats), better routes in the environment (the fastest way to a favorite chair), how to operate mechanisms (such as latches and simple machines) and the meaning of words and symbolic concepts (sometimes by simply listening to people speak and watching their actions).

During play, dogs are capable of deliberately trying to deceive other dogs and people in order to get rewards, said Coren. “And they are nearly as successful in deceiving humans as humans are in deceiving dogs.”

Invited Address: “How Dogs Think,” Stanley Coren, PhD, University of British Columbia, Session: 3282, 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Saturday, Aug. 8, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building – Level 800, Meeting Room 801A

For more information or an interview, contact Stanley Coren at 604-876-4658 or cell 778-869-5776 or by e-mail.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

What words dogs understand

The eternal question that puzzled many a dog lovers ― does your dog understand words? has just been answered with scientific evidence. Your dog not only understands the words you speak, but also interprets how you say them!

Dogs understand more than humans have traditionally given them credit for, according to a new study by researchers at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, published in the journal Science.

Do Dogs understand words?

Researchers recruited 13 family dogs living with their human owners, and trained them to sit in an fMRI scanner — a device that measures brain activity — while awake.

What words dogs understand

The dogs were never restrained inside the scanner and were free to leave if they chose.

Inside the scanner, the researchers played a trainer’s voice saying certain phrases with varying types of intonation.

The dogs’ brains process language in a similar way to humans, with the right side dealing with emotion and the left processing meaning. The positive words spoken in a positive tone prompted the strongest activity in the brain’s reward centers.

It was only when both sides of the brain agreed they were hearing praise that the dog was truly happy.

Also read: How dogs help you deal with depression and are the best stress busters

“Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it. Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match.” ―Attila Andics, Lead researcher

What words dogs understand

The study proves that Dogs know the difference between genuine praise and meaningless words.

This is the first major finding using noninvasive neuroscience with awake animals — usually, they have to be drugged or restrained.

But then didn’t the dog lovers always know that their little Snoopy understands words and grammar both? 🙂

What words dogs understand

Photo credit: Samia Liamani on Unsplash.

Sophie Jacques, Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, came up with some interesting figures on dogs recognizing words. Starting in 2015, she and a colleague

developed a list of 172 words organized in different categories (for example, toys, food, commands, outdoor places) and gave it to an online sample of 165 owners of family and professional dogs. We asked them to select words that their dogs responded to consistently. We found that, on average, service dogs respond to about 120 words, whereas family pets respond to about 80 words, ranging between 15 to 215 words across all dogs. We also found that certain breed groups, such as herding dogs like border collies and toy dogs like chihuahuas, respond to more words and phrases than other breed types like terriers, retrievers and mixed breeds.

SOPHIE JACQUES, “YES, YOUR DOG CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING — TO A POINT” AT THE EPOCH TIMES (JANUARY 22, 2022)

There is a practical value to Jacques’s work with dogs and language:

… it is very expensive to train puppies for service work and many do not make the final cut. However, if early word-based responding abilities predict later behavioural and cognitive abilities, our measure could become an early and simple tool to help predict which dogs are likely to become good service animals.

SOPHIE JACQUES, “YES, YOUR DOG CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING — TO A POINT” AT THE EPOCH TIMES (JANUARY 22, 2022)

Of course, the dog is responding to words as signals, not as components of sentences. What dogs are really good at is picking up on and responding to human emotions:

Just as human toddlers look to their parents for cues about how to react to the people and world around them, dogs often look to humans for similar signs. When their people project feelings of calm and confidence, dogs tend to view their surroundings as safe and secure.

“The emotional connection between humans and dogs is the essence of the relationship,” says Clive Wynne, a professor of psychology and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. “Dogs are amazingly social beings, so they are easily infected with our warmth and joy.” But the converse is true as well, which means their owner’s stress and anxiety can also become the dog’s stress and anxiety.

STACEY COLINO, “YES, DOGS CAN ‘CATCH’ THEIR OWNERS’ EMOTIONS” AT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (OCTOBER 1, 2021)

Of course, that makes sense. The dog is living in a human environment and much of the time, he doesn’t know for sure what to think, so he looks to his human friends for clues.

Read the rest at Mind Matters News, published by Discovery Institute’s Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

What words dogs understand

Denyse O’Leary

Denyse O’Leary is a freelance journalist based in Victoria, Canada. Specializing in faith and science issues, she has published two books on the topic: [email protected] and By Design or by Chance? She has written for publications such as The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, and Canadian Living. She is co-author, with neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. She received her degree in honors English language and literature. Follow Denyse Twitter

What words dogs understand

They are cute, cuddly and beloved by the people who take them in as family pets. But a dog’s sweet, at times wholesome demeanor may belie a certain facility with verbal communication that humans have not yet fully appreciated.

Many canines may, in fact, have receptive vocabularies similar in size to year-old infants, even though they seem to respond to different kinds of words. Dogs seem to respond to action-related words, whereas human babies exposed to English respond to object and people names.

“We found that dogs with jobs respond to about 120 words, and those without jobs respond to about 80 words on average. Across all the dogs in our study, they responded to between 15 and 215 words and phrases, with the average being 89,” says Sophie Jacques, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, of her new research.

“We don’t claim that dogs understand or know all the words that their owners listed. Nor do we claim that dogs with more words are more intelligent. What we measured was the number of words that their owners believed that their dog responded to consistently.”

Breed differences

Dr. Jacques and colleague Catherine Reeve surveyed 165 dog owners around the world on what English words and phrases their pets responded to. Their unique findings were published recently in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, in which they describe how the various mixed and pure breeds responded to 89 terms on average, with commands comprising the greatest responses. Those included such basic orders as ‘come,’ ‘roll over’ and ‘down.’

What words dogs understand

The researchers found that certain breeds, such as herding dogs like Border Collies and German Shepherds, responded to more words and phrases than others. Toy-companion dogs, like Chihuahuas, also had a high response rate, unlike some hounds, terriers (seen left), setters and Golden Retrievers, which reportedly responded to fewer words. Of the 165 dogs, 94 were purebreds representing 50 different breeds.

Overall, the study shows that dogs responded to between 15 and 215 words and phrases.

The research project came together when Dr. Reeve was doing her PhD at Dal and was interested in child development. She met with Dr. Jacques, a child psychologist who also had an interest in dogs, and the pair decided to collaborate by marrying their individual skills involving children and canines to try to determine how many words family and professional dogs might know.

“We started looking into the scientific literature on this and found there was actually no systematic tool to measure the number of words that dogs respond to,” says Dr. Reeve.

However, child researchers rely on parents to measure pre-verbal infants’ early vocabulary.

“Before children speak, they give us clear signs they understand what is being said. Parents are good at picking up on responses to spoken words. So, we thought we could do something similar with dog owners.”

The pair developed an anonymous survey modelled after a parent-report checklist that assesses infants’ understanding and development of early language to words. They recruited owners through online social media sites, presented them with words and asked them to identify what dogs would respond to consistently.

They gave the owners lists of 172 words organized in different categories, such as toys, foods, commands, outdoor places and objects and asked owners to pick out the words that their dogs respond to in a similar way at least some of the time. Those included directives like ‘no jumping’ and words like ball, treat and park.

What words dogs understand

A new tool to measure canine vocabulary

Scientists have for decades been trying to get an accurate handle on the extent of dogs’ vocabulary.

As early as 1928, researchers showed that a young male German Shepherd named Fellow could respond to 68 spoken commands, phrases and words spoken by his owner. More recently, a Border Collie named Rico was shown to be able to retrieve more than 200 items by their unique names. Chaser, another Border Collie, responded to the names of over 1,000 toy items.

Dr. Jacques, whose own dog recognized about 45 to 50 words but was not included in the study, says their methodology will add to the growing body of research around that enduring question.

“The field now has a tool to systematically measure vocabulary in dogs. Second, by identifying similarities and differences between infants’ and dogs’ early vocabulary growth it will give us some clues as to how each learns to communicate,” she says.

“Finally, we hope that it might come to be used an early indicator of which dogs may be likely to succeed in training programs to become service dogs.”

What words dogs understand

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All dogs have the ability to recognize words. After all, they know their own name. The average dog has a vocabulary of around 165 words and can count to five. Some breeds are better at it than others. Psychologists took tests designed to gauge how many words human children know and adapted them for dogs. In their testing they discovered that most dogs have the vocabulary of a 2-year-old toddler.

Exceptional Dogs

A male border collie in Germany named Rico held the world record for the largest known canine vocabulary. His vocabulary was well over 200 words in 2004. In 2011, a female border collie named Chaser surprised the science community with her 1,022-word vocabulary. Chaser’s vocabulary didn’t seem to be able to reach a maximum. Her 82-year-old owner said he couldn’t keep up with her four to five hour a day demand for more vocabulary training.

How Experts Test Dog Vocabulary

One method researchers used with Rico is called fast mapping. The researchers placed a new toy that Rico didn’t have a name for among other toys that he did know. His trainer gave Rico a fetch command with the name of the unfamiliar toy. Through a process of elimination, Rico was able to figure out that the unfamiliar word and unfamiliar toy matched and retrieved the proper toy. Chaser’s vocabulary was tested hundreds of times using not only proper nouns, but also verbs. She was able to tell the difference between a noun and the command to retrieve the object.

Most Teachable Breeds

According to WebMD, Dr. Stanley Coren, author of best seller “The Intelligence of Dogs,” assessed a variety of dog breeds to determine which were the most intelligent by measuring their ability to be trained. He used top dog obedience judges to measure how many breeds could understand a command in less than five repetitions and obeyed the command at least 95 percent of the time. Dogs who are bred to herd, retrieve and hunt have the largest vocabularies. The top 10 breeds based on his work are: border collie, poodle, German shepherd, golden retriever, Doberman pinscher, Shetland sheepdog, Labrador retriever, papillon, rottweiler and Australian cattle dog.

How to Teach Your Dog New Words

One of the first things you have to do is to understand what natural abilities your dog has. Dogs who were bred to work with humans tend to like to please and love to work. The next important factor is to know what motivates your dog. Some dogs respond best to food rewards, while others would rather play with a ball as a treat. Dogs will understand a concrete word like “ball” because they can associate an object with it. They have trouble with abstract words like “love” because it is not something they can see. Present a toy to your dog while telling him what the name of the toy is. For example, if your dog has a lot of balls, expand on the type or color of the ball. Don’t teach more than two words per day and review the ones she has learned daily to reinforce her understanding. When she has a good grasp of toy names, move on to action verbs like “fetch.” Try to catch her naturally doing the action and give it a name. If she picks up the blue ball and brings it you wanting to play, praise her and give her the command “fetch the blue ball.” With consistency, she will catch on quickly.

What trick can i teach my dog

There are an almost endless list of benefits to teaching your dog a few (or more!) new tricks. Perhaps most importantly, teaching any behavior using a gentle, motivation based approach is a wonderful way to form a closer, more communicative bond with your dog. And an amazing side benefit is the more you teach your dog the quicker they learn because your teaching skills improve as does your dog’s ability to understand the training game and learn most efficiently.

Your dog’s overall obedience and manners is also likely to improve. This means you will have a dog who knows fun tricks to show off to friends and family, but also a dog who is generally more pleasant to be around.

Trick training is likely to result in better health (as many tricks help build muscle tone and stamina), increased flexibility, balance and concentration, as well as a boost in your dog’s confidence in him or herself and you. At the same time each new behavior you teach provides you with yet another useful way to channel your dog’s energy into something positive. For example, if your dog is attempting to jump on someone you can ask for a trick to refocus him or her onto something appropriate (and fun).

When setting a course for trick training success, be sure to move at your dog’s pace and to choose behaviors which are appropriate for your dog’s abilities, age, temperament and health. Keep training sessions brief and be sure to have a number of motivators (rewards) for your dog so that he or she sees one of the benefits of playing the trick training game with you.

If you are interested in treating your dog and yourself to a trick training course, check out our Level I and Level II Trick Training Classes held at Animal Haven (251 Centre Street) and the Uptown Dog Spa (415 East 91st Street).

What trick can i teach my 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!

What trick can i teach my dog

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.

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 trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my 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.

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 trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my 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.

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!

Do you ever watch dog shows or hang out with friends and see their dogs doing adorable, and seemingly difficult, tricks and wonder, “can I teach my dog or puppy to do these?” Guess what? You can! There are many tricks that aren’t as tricky as they appear!

Here are five simple tricks you can teach your dog:
1. Shake hands
2. Kiss me
3. Fetch
4. Roll over
5. Play Dead

Shake paw (hand). As tricks go, this one is kind of adorable. To teach your dog to shake hands with you, you will first need to teach him the sit command. Once he has mastered sit here are the steps for shake:

  • Present your closed fist (into which you’ve hidden a few treats) and your dog will naturally paw it to get to the treats.
  • Each time they lift their paw toward your hand, say the word, “shake.”
  • Repeat this several times, rewarding your dog with praise and with one of the treats you have hidden in your fist.
  • After a few times of repeating shake, you can open your hand, hold it palm up and say, “shake.”

Your dog will move his paw into your hand, and you can reward him when he does that. Work with him until it gets to the point where you say “shake” and he automatically puts his paw in your hand.

Kiss me. Your dog probably already kisses you; and if you want her to do it on command, you can train her to do just that! Teaching your dog to kiss involves targeting—this is where you get your dog to focus on a particular target, until the target is your cheek and your dog has mastered kiss. Tip: The initial target can be a piece of masking tape or a sticky note.

  • Hold the target by your dog’s face and when she touches it, give her a treat. (Don’t worry about saying the word kiss just yet.)
  • Keep holding the target up and rewarding your dog when she touches it with her nose.
  • Once she touches the target consistently, start saying “kiss” and reward her every time she touches the target.
  • Eventually, put the target on your cheek. When your dog touches the target on your cheek when you say “kiss,” reward her to reinforce the behavior.
  • After she consistently touches the target, remove that and simply say the word “kiss.”

She will now be accustomed to touching your cheek when you say kiss and you’ve taught her an adorable trick!

Fetch. This is an ideal trick if you want to give your dog exercise and don’t want to have to continually chase the ball or frisbee yourself.

  • You will begin this trick by playing with your dog and one of his favorite toys. When he is fully involved in the game, toss the toy away from you, only a short distance at first.
  • When your dog runs after it, say “fetch,” and hold out your hands encouraging your dog to grab the toy and bring it back to you. (Keep in mind that not all dogs will want to fetch, and it could be frustrating for you to teach a dog who simply isn’t into chasing toys.)
  • If he gets up and chases the toy, urge him to come running back to you and say “fetch” as soon as he chases the ball.
  • Make it exciting when he chases it, grabs it and brings it back to you. Praise and reward him for the action.

Many dogs will be so excited about the particular toy you’re throwing that they will naturally run and chase it. That is the beginning of fetch – the ultimate goal of fetch is for your dog to chase the toy and bring it back.

Roll over. To teach this trick your dog needs to know the lie down or a similar down command. Once she has mastered that you can teach roll over. The ultimate goal is to get your dog to do a complete rotation (instead of just side-to-side). When your dog is in the down position, take a treat, hold it in front of her nose then rotate it around her nose/head. As long as she stays in the down position she will roll toward the side where the treat is, then back again when you move the treat the other way.

  • When training roll over you’re using a technique called luring. To lure your dog into rolling over you will use a treat to get him to lie down. Give him the treat.
  • Keep a new treat by his nose and lure him to roll onto his side, then give him the treat.
  • Once you’ve done that several times, use a treat to get him to lie down, another to get him to roll to his side, then a third to get him to roll completely over.
  • Keep the treat by his nose and his body will follow the treat and that will result in the rolling over. Say the words “roll” or “roll over” when you’re doing the luring.

Eventually he will roll on command. Make sure you treat and praise each time he performs the trick.

Play dead. This is a fun trick to teach your dog. It is also a complex trick that you will teach backwards.

  • Start with your dog in a down position, then lure him with a treat to lie on his side.
  • Treat him when he lies still on his side until you give him a release word like “up.”
  • Once your dog will lie down in the dead pose, you can start using the words “play dead” (or whatever phrase you plan to use to have him drop to the ground and lie completely still).
  • You will want to use a hand signal for down, then a different hand signal for the playing dead position. You may want to flip your hand, palm up to get your down to the “dead” position and keep your hand there so he can rest his head in it.

Eventually, with practice you should be able to say, “play dead” and he will automatically drop to the ground. This trick requires a lot of patience and a lot of treats.

Conclusion

Praise and treats and positive reinforcement will strengthen the bond you have with your dog and will make her more eager to please and perform the tricks you’re teaching. As with any type of trick, you may want to connect with a positive reinforcement trainer or sign your pup up for a training class.

Tip: Keep your training sessions short and practice frequently; two to three times a day for two to three minutes at a time. If your dog isn’t enjoying the training, he will not be inclined to interact.

Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words Matter, My Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.

What trick can i teach my dog

Easy to Teach Dog Tricks

How to Teach Your Dog “Sit”

Show your dog a tasty treat and let them taste it before slowly lifting it above their head. Most dogs will eventually lean backwards into a sitting position. As soon as they do sit, offer praise and give them the treat.

How to Teach Your Dog “Down”

With your dog already in a sit position, let them taste a treat again before slowly moving the treat down towards their chest and front paws. As soon as your pup bends down and lies on the floor, praise and reward!

How to Teach Your Dog “Paw”

Get your dog in a sitting position and show them you have a treat. Hold the treat in your hand close to your dog’s face and under their chin. Most dogs will try to paw at your hand to get to the treat. If your dog does this and touches your hand, give them the treat and praise.

How to Teach Your Dog “Catch”

Teach your dog the concept of catching by dropping treats in their mouth to start and slowly increasing the distance at which you are dropping or throwing. Practice makes perfect and your dog will never complain about that!

How to Teach Your Dog “Bang”

Use treats held low to the ground to encourage and reward your dog to drop and roll over on their side. At first, sit on the ground and use your legs as a support with your dog on their back between them. Give rewards for your dog staying on their back. Slowly adjust to decrease the amount of leg support you’re providing until your dog is able to stay on their back on their own.

How to Teach Your Dog “Focus”

Show your dog a treat and slowly lift it up towards your face while saying the word “”Focus.” As soon as your dog looks up at your face, give them the treat. As they improve, you can increase the amount of time you ask for eye contact. This trick is great for working on your pup’s attention skills and can help with impulse control!

Now that you’re ready to teach your dog new tricks, don’t forget the treats! Stella & Chewy’s treats like Crav’n Bac’n Bites are perfect for rewarding after a job well done.

Training Tips

Leash Skills
If your dog eats kibble and could use some leash manners, take some of their breakfast or dinner with you on your morning or evening walk. Use the kibble as a reward for walking well on a leash, paying attention to you, and not giving into distractions like other dogs or walkers. You can also take regular dog treats with you instead, but be sure not to overfeed your pup with excessive treats!

Sitting for Grooming/Nail Trims
Make grooming and nail trims a positive at-home experience for your dog with food or treats as rewards. Keep your dog in a comfortable position and encourage them to remain calm with treats. Reward them for relaxing so they can be still while you’re trying to brush them or cut their nails and give more rewards as they let you handle them. Watch for any signs of stress and be patient with this process.

Building Confidence
Use treats to help build your dog’s confidence and make little things less scary, such as items in your home like stairs, or objects they tend to avoid in fear. Offer treats when your dog is in the vicinity of the item and reward them for going closer, sniffing, or pawing. Keep up this process and, soon enough, they will associate this “scary” thing with something positive!

Potty Training
When you’re in the process of potty training your puppy or dog, make sure you always know where they are or confine them to a crate or behind a gate if you can’t watch them. Set a schedule for yourself to take your dog outside to go potty at frequent, regular intervals and reward them for going outside each time.

About the Creators

What trick can i teach my dog

@bordernerd

Aki Yamaguchi was born in Tokyo, Japan and is currently residing in Texas. She’s a photographer/videographer and a reward-based dog trainer. She was an active member in Search and Rescue and animal-assisted therapy programs with dogs Jazzy and Cooper. She now shares her training videos of her dogs BB and Phoebe on social media in hopes of motivating other dog parents to do more fun training with their pups.

What trick can i teach my dog

@amberaquart

Amber Oliver Aquart is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Studio Animal Trainer, Pet Lifestyle Expert and Influencer. Amber and her two talented rescue mutts, Tuckey and Oakley, have been featured on Animal Planet and in several films and productions. Amber created Pawsitive Development to help educate and inspire others to develop a better relationship with their dogs through positive relationship-based tips and techniques.

Teaching your dog to roll over, spin around and shake hands

Teaching your dog tricks can give you hours of entertainment and the wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your pooch. However, it can also seem daunting if you don’t know what you are doing.

In this post, James Wellbeloved provides teaching instructions on fun tricks suitable for novices. Learn how to teach your dog to roll over, shake hands, and even to spin around. These are a great start for your journey beyond the basics of dog training.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE STARTING

There are a few simple rules you need to follow when training your pooch.

First, no shouting. Remember that training is supposed to be a fun and relationship-building exercise for you and your dog. Shouting at them isn’t likely to build trust or be any fun for either of you. Furthermore, this negative reinforcement is often merely confusing for dogs and is therefore an ineffective way of training them.

Second, use plenty of rewards. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. Treats are a good way to do this, however remember they should only be a small portion of your dog’s daily diet. Try breaking these into small pieces, so that you can minimise the quantity of treats being given. Alternatively, you could try using a portion of their usual daily feed for reward – dogs are often happy to work for any kind of food.

Third, make sure there are no distractions. We all know that dogs can be a bit scatter-brained – you need to help maintain their focus by making the training environment as calm as possible. This means a large, indoor space, without other people, animals or noises. Once your dog has learned the trick in this environment, you can begin practicing it in other locations that have more distractions.

HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO ROLL OVER

The first trick in our guide is a relatively easy one to train, although you must ensure your dog knows the “lie down” command before starting. If they do, teach your dog how to roll over with the following steps:

  1. Get your dog to lie down
  2. Present a treat in your hand to your dog, with your fingers closed so they can’t take it. Hold it close to their nose so they can smell it
  3. Move the treat up and around your dog’s head, so that their nose follows. A dog’s nose leads, so their head and body should follow it in this circular motion, causing them to roll over
  4. As you are doing this, issue the command “roll over” in a clear and encouraging tone.
  5. Don’t expect that your dog will roll over all the way on the first attempt. Reward them with the treat and some praise as long as they are moving in the right direction, otherwise you risk frustrating them
  6. Repeat this several times each training session, scheduling several practices a day. Soon enough your dog will begin rolling over just at the command and sight of the treat, without you needing to perform your arm motion
  7. Once they start rolling over successfully every time you attempt the trick, you can begin to phase the treats out. Continue verbal praise every time your dog performs the trick, but only give treats occasionally, so that they learn not to expect the reward

What trick can i teach my dog

HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO SPIN AROUND

This trick is a staple for all dogs to master. Easy to learn, but also impressive to perform, this fun trick is something all dogs should learn to do. Teach your dog how to spin around with the following steps:

  1. First choose the direction you would like to teach your dog to spin. It is best to teach one way at a time, so you don’t confuse them.
  2. Get your dog’s attention with a treat.
  3. Hold the treat close to your dog’s nose, being careful not to let them take it.
  4. Slowly move the treat in a large circle in the direction you have chosen. Your dog ought to follow the treat, causing them to spin.
  5. As they finish the spin, issue the command “spin right/left,” depending on the direction you are teaching.
  6. Once they’ve successfully spun, praise your dog and give them the treat.
  7. When they are consistently spinning, start performing the trick with the treat gradually higher above your dog’s head.
  8. Once you can hold the treat approximately a foot above your dog’s head and they still spin at your command, try performing the trick without a treat in your hand. If they still perform the trick, praise and reward your dog.

HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO SHAKE HANDS

This adorable trick will enable you to show all your friends that you really are your dog’s best friend. It’s also very simple to teach.

  1. Show your dog a treat in your hand and then close your fist so they can’t take it
  2. Give the command “shake” and whilst holding your closed hand in front of them.
  3. Your dog should sniff and eventually start pawing at your hand to get the treat. If they don’t you can give their paw a nudge for encouragement
  4. As soon as they start pawing at your hand, open your fist and let them have the treat, whilst also praising verbally
  5. Repeat this a few times a day.

Once your dog has started responding to your command, you need to start phasing out the treat. To do this:

  1. Hold out your hand, but with no treat in
  2. Tell your dog “shake”
  3. As soon as they paw at your outstretched hand, give your dog a treat from the other. This will help to separate the action and the treat
  4. After a few practices like this, start giving the treat less frequently, although continue the verbal praise each time

Follow these simple steps and soon you won’t need treats to get your dog to shake your hand. So, there we have James Wellbeloved’s fun tricks to teach your dog. These basic behaviours are a great place to begin your journey into dog training. Master these and soon you could be leading your pet through agility training or teaching them the most advanced tricks.

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 trick can i teach my 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.

‘Go around’ is a great trick to try with your dog when you are looking for things to do at home.

Watch Lindsay, a Behaviour and Training Specialist at Woodgreen in the video above to find out how you can teach your dog to do this simple but fun trick!

Need to contact us?

Whether you are looking for one-on-one behavioural advice and training, or you have any questions about your pet, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Get to know our favorite pet expert and learn more about positive reinforcement.

IAABC

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) is a global organization that believes in minimal use of aversive stimuli and maximal use of effective reinforcers to modify animal behavior.

Laura DeMaio Roy

Laura DeMaio Roy is a family pet and service dog trainer in Connecticut who trains tricks, disc, agility, herding and shed hunt in her free time with her rescued cattle dog Jake and her German Coolie puppy, Cool “Whip.”

Shoshi Parks

Shoshi Parks, Ph.D. is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-ka), Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), the owner of Modern Hound Dog Training in San Francisco, CA and a dog training instructor at the San Francisco SPCA.

By Shoshi Parks

Why not make some fun New Year’s resolutions for your dog in 2018? Teaching new tricks provides mental stimulation and in some cases, it’s a great way to work your pup’s muscles. Ring in a new year with your favorite furry friend and make it a goal to teach these three simple tricks!

Blow Bubbles

Teaching your dog to blow bubbles in a bowl of water really just harnesses a natural response. When a dog’s nose goes underwater, it expels air to prevent the water from getting in. If you can “catch” and train this response, voilà, bubbles!

You’ll want a clicker to help shape your dog’s actions in this trick.

  1. Set a large empty bowl on the floor.
  2. Click and reward your dog with a treat every time he looks at or turns his body toward the bowl.
  3. Click and reward your dog for moving toward the bowl.
  4. Click and reward your dog for touching the bowl with their nose.
  5. Click and reward your dog for touching their nose to the inside bottom of the bowl.
  6. Add a little bit of water and continue to click and reward your dog for touching their nose to the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Continue to add water so that every time your dog touches the bowl they have to hold their breath briefly, blowing bubbles from their nose.

Army Crawl

A super cute party trick that will impress any guest, the army crawl is another fun trick. It’s also a great way to work some underused muscles and improve your dog’s physical health.

  1. Cue your dog to lay down. Face them standing or kneeling.
  2. Hold a treat firmly between your fingers (so your dog can lick it but can’t snatch it away) in front of your dog’s nose. Slowly pull the treat along the floor back toward yourself.
  3. If your dog inches their body forward along the floor, even just a tiny bit, mark it with a “Yes!” or a clicker and reward them with the treat. Repeat several times. If your dog stands up instead of crawling on the floor, quickly remove your hand/the treat and start again at step 1.
  4. Back a foot or two farther away from your dog. Take the treat firmly between your fingers again and stretch your arm towards your dog, pulling it back toward yourself as they crawl toward you. Mark and reward your dog when they reach you.
  5. Continue to slowly increase your distance from your dog until they can crawl ten feet or more.

Kiss

This isn’t your typical doggy kiss full of typical doggy drool—it’s a real, bona fide, human-style kiss on the cheek.

  1. Hold a treat at your cheek and say “Kiss!”
  2. Wait for your dog to touch their nose to your face in search of the treat. The moment you feel it, mark it with the word “Yes!” then quickly pull your face away and give your dog the treat. Repeat several times.
  3. Next, with no treat in your hand, touch your cheek and say “Kiss!” Mark, pull away and reward your dog when you feel their nose touch you.

Note: If you have a large or excitable dog, do not practice this trick with children or guests.

These tricks are intended for recreational purposes only, and are not meant to be used, nor should be used, in a harmful manner. Vita Bone® is a proud supporter of positive reinforcement training methods.

What trick can i teach my 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.

What trick can i teach my dog

This is a good start, but it really does you no good when training counts. All the training in the world won’t matter if your dog won’t pay attention to you when distractions are present.. Getting your dog to respond reliably and consistently will help you live peacefully with your dog with reciprocal communication.

The trick to success is…ENGAGEMENT!

Getting your dog to cue into you and listen for what to do next is the foundation of all training.

YOUR DOG’S NAME should be your ENGAGEMENT word. If I were to say your name, you would look at me for further engagement. We need to teach dogs to respond just as we would. Your dog’s name needs to mean “look at me, I am about to give you something/go somewhere/ask you to do something”.

Here are some simple tricks to get your dog engaging with you when you say their name:

Say their name directly before:

  • you feed your dog breakfast and dinner
  • randomly popping a treat in their mouth
  • having them do a well known and reliable command that you can predict they will respond to (be sure to follow this with a reward)
  • going for a walk
  • going for a car ride
  • playing with their favorite toy
  • getting a love fest (petting) from you

Timing is really important with these actions

You need to observe your dog’s trigger points so that you can get the timing right here. Lets say your dog loves going for rides in the car. You will want the timing of saying their name to be right before the action that triggers excitement. Some common trigger points for going for a walk or taking a ride in the car might be grabbing the keys, opening the garage door, slipping your shoes on or picking up their leash. I had a German Shepherd that knew I was leaving the house the moment I put lotion on my hands. That was his “trigger point”. So in his case I would say his name the moment before I put lotion on.

When your dog hears their name, they should feel: “something is about to happen so I need to pay attention”

By doing this, you are conditioning an association within your dog. A word (in this case, their name) followed by an action. Early on, these associations should always be positive. They should also be varied. Make sure you are doing at least 3 variations of actions after saying your dogs name. For example, if you only say their name before feeding them dinner, they will only associate the word (their name) with one action (dinner). You want their name to be associated with focus, and an unknown action, not a singular action. This creates better focus and attention to you. Every dog is different and there are many scenarios in which you can condition the word to action response, just remember the process.

What trick can i teach my 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.

Training your dog to do tricks can be a fun, enriching experience for both of you. Dogs enjoy training because they get lots of attention, stimulating mental exercise and treats, of course. Training your dog can be a rewarding way to bond with your pup.

With the right techniques and a bit of practice, any dog can learn to do the following five tricks.

What trick can i teach my dog

Trick 1: Sit

One of the most popular and simple commands, “sit” is a great first trick to teach your dog.

  1. Hold a treat firmly in your hand and get your dog’s attention with it. Position your hand with the treat above your dog’s head, high enough that they can’t reach it, but not so high that they try to jump for it.
  2. Give the “sit” command. At the same time, slowly move your hand away from your body, toward your dog’s back and tail. Many dogs will tip their heads back as they follow the treat and will sit instinctively.
  3. If your dog sits, say, “Yes!” as soon as their back end hits the ground. Give your dog the treat, followed by praise.

If your dog doesn’t sit after the first few attempts with this method, avoid pushing down on their backside or forcing them into the “sit” position. Instead, observe your dog’s normal behavior. When you see your dog getting ready to sit, say “Sit,” followed by “Yes!” or “Good!” and give them a treat. They will slowly begin to associate sitting with your positive reinforcement and verbal cues.

Trick 2: Shake Hands

Though this trick looks impressive, it’s actually simple to teach. Follow these seven steps.

  1. Start with a 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 mouths.
  3. The moment your dog reaches up to your hand with their paw, say “Yes!” 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 these steps a few times, your dog will have learned the trick.

Trick 3: Roll Over

Repetition is key in teaching your dog any trick. This especially holds true for the “roll over” trick. The more your dog completes the following steps, the better they will get.

  1. Start with your dog lying down.
  2. Offer a treat near your dog’s nose without letting it go. Move your hand to the side, over their shoulder, so that your dog has to lift their head and shift onto their side to retrieve it. Give them 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 that your dog has to roll all the way over to get it. If your dog achieves this, praise them and give them another treat.
  4. After several successful rolls, start giving the “roll over” command and slowly phase out the treat.

Keep practicing consistently. It may take a while before your dog smoothly rolls over using just one treat.

Trick 4: Play Dead

Similar to the “roll over” trick, for the “play dead” trick, your dog will roll on their back and stay in position without rolling all the way over. Once your dog has mastered “roll over,” encourage them to “play dead.”

What trick can i teach my dog

Dogs love to learn and enjoy the chance to problem solve.
Moreover, many people find that teaching their dog to “Shake” or “Sit Up” is more fun and upbeat than teaching basic manners like “Sit Stay” or “Drop It”. This takes the pressure off both you and your dog and makes for a lively training session that feels more like a game than a lesson. Using Positive Reinforcement Training, we can easily teach your old dog some new tricks.

One trick everybody loves is “Play Dead”.
Just like Cops and Robbers when you were a kid, use your hand to create a fake gun and the cue “Bang!” and watch your dog drop to the floor and roll on his side. Begin with your dog in the down position. If he doesn’t know the verbal cue for down yet, use a Dog Treat to lure him to the floor.

Once there, use gentle pressure to roll your dog on to his side. Say “Bang!” and give lots of dog treats. Release your dog with “Ok” (remember you always want to give your dog on and off switches when teaching any behavior) and repeat. Gradually extend the amount of time your dog is on his side until he can maintain the behavior for 20 or 30 seconds.

Now that Fido is beginning to understand that “Bang!” means drop to the floor and roll over on your side, try cueing him in different locations like outside in the grass or in the dining room. Dogs are contextual so if you teach your dog new skills in the living room and then ask him to perform that behavior in a different location it can be confusing. By changing location, you are expanding your dog’s understanding of the cue.

What trick can i teach my dog


Above: These Organic Dog Training Treats from Full Moon are perfect for dog training, or just for rewards. Our pets love them!

Another favorite dog trick is, of course, “Shake”.
You can add a twist to this old standby when you teach your dog the difference between left and right. Trust me, your friends will be amazed! Start by picking up your dog’s paw and giving him a treat. Once he’s comfortable he’ll most likely start offering his paw to you. At this point, add your verbal cue “Shake,” “Paw” or even better “Shake Left” or “Shake Right” and pick up the appropriate paw and give a treat. Help ensure your dog’s success by focusing on one paw at a time.

When Fido has a solid understanding of “Shake Left” then you can teach him “Shake Right”. Initially, you may find that your dog has a difficult time making the transition (remember, dogs are contextual). Don’t get discouraged, just start from the beginning and Fido will catch on quickly.

Teaching tricks is a fun, lighthearted way to interact with your dog. You’ll learn new ways to communicate with your pooch while stimulating his mind and keeping him active and alert. Plus, you’ll have a great way to entertain your friends and family when you’re through.

Ready for some more training fun? Read How To Teach Your Dog To Fetch and how to Play Tug With Your Dog. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to have tons of fun with your dog.

Can’t come to us? Don’t miss out on our expert training methods. Learn from the professionals online.

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At first it seems like a really cool trick – and yes, it totally is. However it is also so much more than that! Middle has so many uses and once you start using it yourself, you will find you start to call on it all the time.

What trick can i teach my dog

Here are just 6 of our favourite reasons you should teach your dog a middle today:

1. Relaxed Vet Visits

It’s inevitable that at some point you will end up at the vets with your dog – maybe you need a routine check up or it is time for vaccinations, or heaven forbid they’ve had an accident.

Middle is a calm, relaxed place to chill out while waiting for your turn without getting them stressed out and over aroused. Middle is the perfect position to put your pooch in to stop them wandering all over the vet practice, trying to greet that grumpy cat in a basket or slip sliding around the shiney floor like Bambi on ice while you are waiting to be called in.

This is not even the best bit, where Middle really shines at the vets is when it’s time for the examination..

Being handled by a new person in a strange outfit can be stressful and it’s can be so easy for dogs to build a negative association with the vets because generally we only go there when something is wrong, or when our dogs are already feeling poorly.

You can use Middle as your superpower, allowing you to get your dog into a position where they are close to you for reassurance and you can feed them to help with calmness.

In turn you will find you can build a positive association and detect quickly if your dog has hit their threshold and no longer takes food.

It also allows the vet to be able to perform an examination safely and deliver vaccinations while you keep your dog focused or for nail care, whether that’s by your vet nurse, groomer or yourself.

Give it a try, you’ll be amazed!

2. Relationship Building

A middle for a dog is like a person holding someone’s hand. It can make them feel safe and connected to you. It allows them to communicate with you, that they are perhaps worried or concerned, not feeling entirely secure or even that they just want to be close to you and have fun.

How amazing is that! Giving your dog a channel to talk to you and share how they are feeling, their wants and needs. It’s the ultimate relationship booster.

3. Reliable Recall

As your dog builds lots of value in being in Middle it will become their favourite place to be. Given the chance they will never miss out on an opportunity to play Middle.

This is incredibly useful as part of your recall games. Recall is its strongest when your dog thinks the fun is always with you and Middle is a party they will love.

It’s also the perfect position for them to be in for you to put their lead on their collar. Win, win!

4. Managing Tricky Situations

Middle is amazing for managing dogs that are nervous or reactive to other dog, people or vehicles. It enables you to take away their line of sight of the thing they are nervous of, and gives them something positive to focus on instead. Once you get really good at it you will even be able to walk away from the situation in middle!

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you are out with your pup. Suddenly you spot a squirrel in the distance and you know any minute your dog will spot it and turn into an unstoppable squirrel-chasing machine.

Or you calmly call them to a middle position, spin around to face a different direction and they don’t get the opportunity to even see it. For them, it’s a great game and are none the wiser and you averted a Fenton rerun and all is good in the world.

5. Perfect Portable Boundary

Boundaries can be really useful out and about. You can use it to stop and have a chat with a friend, take an important phone call or waiting for other people and dogs to pass by. What if there is nothing around in the environment to use though? Middle saves the day!

Boundaries are the same as bed and mat training, teaching your dog to settle and be calm in a set space. We instead call it a boundary so that we can be creative with what we use! Sofas, tree stumps, drain covers, the possibilities of what can be a boundary are limitless.

Your dog can sit in middle or even lie down, that way you can focus on what you need for 5 minutes and be aware of where your dog is and what they are doing.

6. Top Training Tool

It’s great to kick off your training sessions with some easy wins for your dog. Middle is perfect for this, it sets the tone for your training by being fun and warming up their brain ready to work.

You can also pop your dog into a middle to give you time to think about your next steps in the training session without them wandering off.

Middle is the foundation of many other behaviours too! You can use it to teach a range of awesome tricks, a base for fitness and stretching or as a startline wait in sports.

What trick can i teach my 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 trick can i teach my dog

What trick can i teach my 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.

What trick can i teach my dog

#wecare4care. Just like you, the Edgard & Cooper team has infinite respect for all the carers who are working so hard to contain and treat COVID-19. From rooftop serenades to mass organised clapping and cheering, people around the world are finding creative ways to say thank you to their frontline teams. Well, we had our own idea for how to say thanks. What if we teach our four-legged friends to take a bow on command for all these heroes? Curious about the different steps? We’ll explain!

What’s your goal?

To have your dog bow on demand with their front legs bent and their hind legs stretched.

What do you need?

What trick can i teach my dog

A solid portion of patience

Good to know

Start your training session with the same signal each time, for example: “We’re going to practice!” Then give your dog a reward snack.

Start at step 1. If you get to step 3 in your first session, start the next training session from there. You only need to repeat steps if your dog is struggling to understand.

Step 1: follow the treat down

Hold a treat between your thumb and forefinger so your dog can smell it, but can’t grab it right away.

Move your hand from their nose down slowly towards the ground.

If your dog follows the treat with their head, say “Good boy/girl!” and then let them eat the treat out of your hand.

Repeat this step until your dog follows the treat down smoothly.

What trick can i teach my dog

Step 2: head and front legs to the ground

Hold a treat between your thumb and forefinger so your dog can smell it, but can’t grab it right away.

Slowly move your hand from in front of their nose down between their forelegs. If you move your hand a little towards your dog’s body, it will bend its forelegs more easily.

If your dog bends its front legs, say “Good boy/girl!” and let them eat the treat out of your hand again (the lucky guy!).

Repeat until your dog has fully mastered this step.

Timing is crucial. Is your dog bending their front legs a little but not fully? Reward this step before you go to step 3. Is your dog lying down? Then don’t give them the treat. Give your dog time to think, and build sufficient rest time into the exercise..

Step 3: forelegs on the ground

You know the drill… hold a treat between your thumb and finger.

Move your hand from their nose down between their front legs.

As soon as your dog puts their front legs on the ground right up to their elbows, and doesn’t lie down yet, say “Good boy/girl!!” and give them the treat.

If your dog stays in this position, give them some more treats. If they lie down, stop offering rewards.

You know what they say… practice makes perfect. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

Step 4: Finish up

The final step is for your dog to perform the trick without receiving a treat. To start, alternate between using a treat and not using one. If necessary, hold the treat in your other hand.

Perform exactly the same movement, with or without the treat. As soon as your dog executes the trick when following your hand, say ‘well done’ and give the treat from your hand or pocket.

If your dog lies down while you’re getting the treat of your pocket, don’t offer the reward just start over. If it happens often, try giving the treat from your other hand after the “well done”, or take a step back.

Step 5: Learning the command

Say “Bow” to your dog. Wait 2 seconds and move your hand in the pattern learned above. If they bow, say “Well done” and offer a reward.

After a while, your dog will go to “Bow” in anticipation of your hand moving.. 🙂

What trick can i teach my 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.

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.

What trick can i teach my 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

How do you speak dog language

We will be hosting a two-day webinar to better understand your dog’s unique way of communicating and how we can use this new knowledge to alleviate stress and miscommunication, avoid fights and bites, and build a stronger relationship with our dogs. This webinar is a four-hour power-point style presentation with pictures, videos, quizzes, and more! Due to the length of the presentation, we will be breaking it in half. The first two hours will be presented on Saturday, May 16th from 11am-1pm. The second two hours will be presented on Sunday, May 17th from 11am-1pm. Attendees do not need to be present at the webinar in order to watch it. We will record the broadcast and you will have access to the recordings for two weeks from the date of broadcast. This will give you lots of time to rewatch and absorb the information as much as possible. While this webinar takes place over a two-day period, the full cost is only $20.

In this seminar, you will learn:

Why understanding your dog’s unique way of communicating is important.

Socialization and how dogs develop cognitively and emotionally.

How reading your dog’s body language keeps everybody happy.

Differing play styles, when to intervene during playtime, and how to successfully break up a dog fight.

The Dog Interaction Spectrum and how it affects you and your dog.

Myths about dog body language, play styles, socialization, and more!

Wondering if this seminar is for you?

Are you interested in learning a second language? 🙂

Do you want to find out how to increase the bond with your dog?

Has your dog ever seemed timid, fearful, or nervous meeting a new person or dog?

Does your dog struggle to relax, calm down, focus on, or listen to you, especially outside or in new situations?

Has your dog growled, showed teeth, snapped at, or bitten a guest or family member?

Has your dog ended up in a fight with another dog?

Has a dog bitten you and it seemed to be out of nowhere?

If so, this seminar is most definitely for you.

No matter how great your relationship with your dog, we can get you to a new level of understanding. Since this is a webinar, you’ll be able to watch in the comfort of your own home. Please help us spread the word to friends or family members that may need help opening two-way communication with their dog.

Despite common misconceptions, dogs do not understand English. The way a dog learns, and consequently behaves, is by association. This means that their brains connect certain sounds (not words) to certain behaviours, activities, people, and objects.

For example, the sound ‘sit’ means that their two-legged friend wishes them to fold their rear legs underneath themselves; the sound ‘dinner’ means their two-legged friend might be going to bring some food out shortly; the word ‘ball’ means their favourite round thing is going to be launched across the park.

Below is a crash course in dog communication: remember that this sort of thing can take years to master, so if you’re having difficulties with your dog understanding you, why not book one of our group obedience classes?

Keep It Short & Simple

When we speak in sentences, dogs hear a jumble of sounds with no meaning. Over their lifetime some dogs build up an extraordinary vocabulary of sounds, but as soon as you string these sounds together, your pup will simply tune out. To them we are speaking a foreign language and they have no way to decode the message.

It’s not just sentences that have the potential to complicate things: even telling your dog to ‘sit down’ instead of ‘sit’ qualifies as a different sound, and is more likely to confuse them. For this reason, when training our dogs it is best to assign commands which are a single syllable wherever possible. This leads to the least amount of confusion and your dog has the best chance at being successful.

How do you speak dog language

No Need To Repeat

You must remember that ‘sit – sit – sit – sit’ is a completely different sound to ‘sit’. Repeating the communication will only confuse your dog more – your dog has mobile ears with 3x as many ear muscles as a human – they heard you the first time. Repeating a command isn’t necessary and it certainly won’t help you to communicate with your dog.

Remain Calm

You do not need to shout and gesticulate wildly to be understood by your dog. Your dog can pick up extremely subtle changes in your posture, tone, and signals. Simply changing your pitch of voice can have an effect on the message that your dog receives. High pitched sounds tend to signify excitement, and can be used to communicate happiness with the dog, or to liven a dog up during training. However, for the most part, commands should be issued using a clear, distinct, medium tone of voice to keep the dog relaxed and focused. A lower than normal tone of voice (similar in pitch to a growl) can be used to issue a verbal correction.

Consistency Is Key

It is crucial that we are consistent with the words that we use with our dogs. This consistency will enable the dog to form a stronger association between the sound and the desired behaviour, activity, person or object. If one day you say ‘come’ and the next day you say ‘here’ then your dog is essentially having to learn two different sounds that both relate to the same action, and he is only practising each one half as often.

If you follow these few tips, be assured that you are giving your dog the best chance of understanding of your wishes. If your dog has learnt what a particular command signifies but chooses not to comply, then you may need to work on motivating your dog, building your leadership, or possibly desensitising your dog to particular distractions. In this case, you may benefit from our private in-home dog training.

How do you speak dog language

Amy Fox has more than 15 years of experience in the veterinary field and is skilled in emergency medicine, surgery, dentistry, shelter medicine, and general medicine. She is committed to making sure pet owners have the up-to-date information they need.Dr. Fox continues to practice emergency medicine, general medicine, surgery, and dentistry in New York City and has worked as a medical writer and editor in a variety of roles. Dr. Fox is passionate about client education and making sure pet parents have the most up-to-date, accurate, and accessible information to empower them as caregivers and companions.

How do you speak dog language

Jessica Wrubel has an accomplished background as a writer and copy editor, working for various publications, newspapers, and in public libraries assisting with reference, research, and special projects for 8 years. She reviews articles on a range of lifestyle topics—including pet care and pet products—for The Spruce Pets and The Spruce, checking for factual accuracy and consistency.

How do you speak dog language

Once you understand the language of dogs and what your puppy “says” with barks, wagging tail talk, and other body language, you’ll know how to talk to a dog with effective puppy communication. Remember that your puppy is not a mind reader and what’s “normal” behavior for people may be a totally foreign language and offensive to dogs. Instead, you can use “dog talk” to get your message across.

Humans are primates that touch and hug, gesture with hands, and have a loud and higher-pitched tone of voice when upset. All of these things can be confusing or even threatening to puppies especially, but also to adult dogs.

5 Common Puppy Communication Mistakes

Avoid these errors when you are talking to your puppy:

  • Leaning over your puppy: Humans are taller than pups, and it’s natural to lean down to talk or pet them. But “looming” over the top of a dog is intimidating because, in dog talk, this means “I’m the boss, I’m in control.” That can be upsetting or even frightening to pups that already accept your status as the boss. They may use appeasement gestures such as submissive wetting to show they’re no threat. Strange dogs that don’t know you may become aggressive or defensive when you lean over them. They simply fight back what they think of as a challenge. Instead of leaning over the top of the puppy, give the dog space to approach you. Turn sideways and crouch or kneel on the floor so your height and stance don’t seem a challenge.
  • Staring with hard eye contact:Direct eye contact can also be intimidating. Use the pup’s own calming signals to tell it you mean no harm. Turn your head away, avert your eyes, and move slowly to give the pup time to build up the courage to approach.
  • Pats on the head: Imagine you are puppy-sized and a hand half the size of your whole body swoops down toward the top of your head. Wouldn’t you dodge and yelp, and run for cover, too? Instead, think how puppies and dogs meet each other—smell communication with sniffs first, contact later. So offer your hand, palm down, for the baby dog to sniff the back of your fingers without risk of being grabbed. Then offer a scratch on the front of its chest or side of its neck. Avoid patting the top of the head until you know the pet very well and it’s shown a good understanding of “human talk.”
  • Hugging: For puppies and dogs, hugs are not a sign of affection. Our pets use clasping to grab and wrestle during play or fights, during mating behavior, or simply to show dominance. Forego the hugging and teach your children alternate ways to show affection to dogs. Otherwise, the puppy may lash out in retaliation of what it perceives to be an attack.
  • Kissing: Yes, the new puppy seems to lick-lick-lick you all the time, sort of like a kissing maniac. You may think of kissing as exclusively an expression of love and affection. But even among people, a kiss also can signify respect rather than adoration. Dogs and puppies show their love in other ways. Licking is instead used to show deference, respect, and a declaration that, “I am no threat.” Many dogs also lick when they are anxious, as a displacement behavior, or because they like how you taste. Subordinate dogs lick a more dominant dog—or person’s—face or side of the mouth as an appeasement gesture. If you or your child try to mimic this doggy signal and “kiss” the dog on or near the mouth or eyes, this could feel threatening to the dog as a large human is approaching the dog’s face. A large majority of dog bites target kid faces because the child hugged or tried to kiss a dog who was not comfortable with that. This is also a common location for bites since many dogs are face-to-face with small children anyway due to their similar heights.

How do you speak dog language

How to Talk Your Puppy

Now that you understand what your own body language means, use it to talk dog to your puppy. Whether you want your pup to straighten up or you want to encourage the shy pup to be more confident, just communicate with them like a canine. And nope, you don’t have to wag your tail.

Clear Signals

These signals will help your dog see you as a trusted leader:

  • Use a calm, low-pitched tone of voice and short clipped words. High-pitched upset voices can sound whiny and send the wrong signals that you are not in charge.
  • Use the same words for the same thing each time so your pup learns your language with repetition. It won’t know that “wait” and “stay here” and “I’ll be right back” or “don’t move” mean the same thing to you. Choose one. Puppies thrive on routine. A clicker training technique works particularly well to communicate what these words mean.
  • Stand tall. Dogs in charge don’t have to make a production out of it, they simply carry themselves like the boss. Everyone believes them so they don’t have to prove it.
  • Dogs don’t use hands to control other’s movements—they use body blocks, shove and lean, and control space. Think of the way a shepherd dog herds livestock and prompts sheep to move without ever touching. You can do the same thing, by using your body to control puppy movements.

Calming Signals

Learn these ways to communicate the puppy does not have to be fearful or agitated:

Learning how to read dog body language is not as easy as you think.

Dogs are always communicating. They don’t speak our language, they speak dog. A dog’s first language is body language and energy. They have very elaborate ways of expressing how they’re feeling. They can tell us when they’re angry, afraid, anxious, curious, happy and much more, by using every part of their body to convey their emotional state of being.

In the image below, you may think that this is a sweet exchange. But look again. When a dog looks away, they are signaling that they are uncomfortable with what’s happening. Notice in the image from the Dog Decoder app, showing you the body parts that are talking. These are all signs of discomfort.

How do you speak dog language

This dog is NOT comfortable with being pet on the head. Image from Dog Decoder Smartphone App. Illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings

The Details

How do you speak dog language

Image from the Dog Decoder Smartphone App/Details. Illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings

Reading dog body language can be confusing because it’s a very sophisticated and complex system of non-verbal communication but thankfully we can learn how to read and interpret what they’re trying so hard to tell us.

How do you speak dog language

In the image below, you’ll see a lot of body parts talking. They happen so fast, if you don’t know how to read them, you may miss them. This image was drawn from a real life situation. Kyle Dyer the news anchor in Denver, CO was doing a good samaritan show about a fireman rescuing a dog from a frozen pond. The dog was rescued only the day before, and was still traumatized. Add this trauma to being in a TV studio with strangers petting you, lights blaring and you have a dog who is over his threshold of tolerance and now he’s on camera in between his owners legs while Kyle Dyer is petting him having no idea that the dog was not liking it one bit and about to bite. She was bitten in the face, taking part of her lip off, just a few seconds after the dog looked away and she had to run off the set and was taken to the hospital. See the image below.

How do you speak dog language

This dog is NOT happy. Image from Dog Decoder Smartphone App. Illustrated by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings.

Dogs use their ears, eyes, tail, body posture, body orientation, facial tension and body tension in various ways signaling their intentions and feelings to other dogs and to us.

In order to interpret dog body language, we must look at the entire body, not just one part. For example, a wagging tail doesn’t necessarily mean a happy dog. If the tail is straight up, stiff and wagging fast and short, this is most likely a dog who feels threatened and may bite. A horizontal tail wag, is one of joy. In this way, we can put all the parts together to determine what a dog is telling us. Context is as important as reading all the body parts talking. When you look at the parts talking you must also look at what’s happening while the dog is expressing herself.

By learning to speak dog, we will go far in keeping our families safe from injury. Did you know that 77% of dog bites are from friends and family dogs and the only reason for this is lack of understanding when a dog is not feeling comfortable in any given situation and lack of proper supervision.

Some other subtle signs to be aware of that dogs communicate to each other and to us; scratching, blinking in appeasement and many more. Some of these communications are what are called displacement behaviors, like scratching, like in the image below. The bigger dogs doesn’t have an itch, it’s telling the little dog that he’s friend by looking away and scratching.

How do you speak dog language

I’m not gonna hurt you, little fella. Image from the Dog Decoder smarthphone app. Illustrated by Lili Chin

If you can imagine all the ways dogs talk and how fast these signs can be, you’ll realize how it’s easy to miss some of the more subtle cues, giving way to some pretty big misunderstandings between humans and dogs. When we misunderstand dogs, we may be asking something of a dog who is telling us she’s very confused, which looks to us like refusal when in fact, it’s confusion. Responding as if the dog is being disobedient instead of confused we may get upset with them rather than realizing they need our help to better understand what we are asking for. Each time we misunderstand our dogs, we are breaking down the very fabric of our relationship, destroying the thing we want most, a healthy respectful and reciprocal bond.

Dogs also convey signs of joy or appeasement as shown in the image below. If you want the deepest, most profound bond with your dog, learning to speak her language is the best thing you can do for your relationship.

How do you speak dog language

Soft gentle expression of appeasement. Image from Dog Decoder smartphone app. Illustration by Lili Chin

About the author: Jill Breitner, is a professional dog trainer, award winning author, writing articles for Dogster, The Whole Dog Journal, Animal Wellness and her own blog. She is also a dog body language expert, loving and living her life on the west coast of the USA. She is the author of Dog Decoder, a smartphone app about dog body language recommended and used by veterinarians, shelters, trainers, educators and guardians worldwide. It’s available in iTunes and Google play. Jill, is Fear Free Certified and has been teaching gentle handling/basic husbandry skills to clients dogs for over 40 years. She helps you to be your pets advocate for a happier and stress free life. She also does online dog training, worldwide. Join Jill on her Dog Decoder Facebook page

The Dog Decoder App is right there when you need it; in the palm of your hands. So, don’t hesitate. Get your app today. Your dog will thank you.

University of Portsmouth provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

How do you speak dog language

Dogs are special. Every dog owner knows that. And most dog owners feel their dog understands every word they say and every move they make. Research over the last two decades shows dogs really can understand human communication in ways no other species can. But a new study confirms that if you want to train your new puppy, you should be speaking to it in a certain way to maximise the chances that it follows what you’re saying.

There is already quite a lot of research evidence showing that the way we communicate to dogs is different from the way we communicate to other humans. When we talk to dogs, we use what is called “dog directed speech”. This means we change the structure of our sentences, shortening and simplifying them. We also tend to speak with a higher pitch in our voices. We also do this when we are not sure we are understood or when talking to very young infants.

A new study has shown we use an even higher pitch when talking to puppies, and that this tactic really does help the animals to pay attention more. The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, showed that talking to puppies using dog-directed speech makes them react and attend more to their human instructor than regular speech.

To test this, the researchers use so-called “play back” experiments. They made recordings of humans repeating the phrase “Hi! Hello cutie! Who’s a good boy? Come here! Good boy! Yes! Come here sweetie pie! What a good boy!”. Each time, the speaker was asked to look at photos of either puppies, adult dogs, old dogs or at no photos. Analysing the recordings showed the volunteers did change how they spoke to different aged dogs.

The researchers then played the recordings back to several puppies and adult dogs and recorded the animals’ behaviour in response. They found the puppies responded more strongly to the recordings made while the speakers looked at pictures of dogs (the dog-directed speech).

The study didn’t find the same effect applied for adult dogs. But other studies that recorded dogs’ reactions to the human voice in live interactions, including work I have done, have suggested dog-directed speech can be useful for communicating with canines of any age.

Following the point

It’s also been proven (and most dog-owners will tell you) that we can communicate with dogs through physical gestures. From puppy age on, dogs respond to human gestures, such as pointing, in ways other species can not. The test is very simple. Place two identical cups covering small pieces of food in front of your dog, making sure it cannot see the food and doesn’t have any information about the contents of the cups. Now point to one of the two cups while establishing eye contact with your dog. Your dog will follow your gesture to the cup you pointed to and explore the cup, expecting to find something underneath.

This is because your dog understands that your action is an attempt to communicate. This is fascinating because not even human’s closest living relatives, chimpanzees, seem to understand that humans communicate intent in this situation. Nor do wolves – dog’s closest living relatives – even if they are raised like dogs in a human environment.

This has led to the idea that dogs’ skills and behaviours in this area are actually adaptations to the human environment. That means living in close contact with humans for over 30,000 years has led dogs to evolve communication skills that are effectively equal to those of human children.

But there are significant differences in how dogs understand our communication and how children do. The theory is that dogs, unlike children, view human pointing as some kind of mild command, telling them where to go, rather than a way of transferring information. When you point for a child, on the other hand, they will think you are informing them about something.

This ability of dogs to recognise “spatial directives” would be the perfect adaptation to life with humans. For example, dogs have been used for thousands of years as a kind of “social tool” to help with herding and hunting, when they had to be guided over a great distance by gestural instructions. The latest research affirms the idea that not only have dogs developed an ability to recognise gestures but also a special sensitivity to the human voice that helps them identify when they need to respond to what’s being said.

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.

How do you speak dog language?

How To Speak Dog: A Guide To Communicating With Your Best Friend Keep It Short & Simple. When we speak in sentences, dogs hear a jumble of sounds with no meaning. No Need To Repeat. You must remember that ‘sit – sit – sit – sit’ is a completely different sound to ‘sit’. Remain Calm. Consistency Is Key.

Can you actually speak dog?

To test this, they had a group of 40 volunteers listen to dog growls. While canine growls may seem menacing to some, dogs use them for many different forms of communication.

What is I love you in dog language?

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.

How do dogs say sorry?

Dogs say sorry by expressing physical signs like the tail-between-the-legs pose, dropped ears, wide eyes, reduce panting, rubbing their face against the paw or wagging the tail. Usually, it’s the dog’s way to accept that they made a mistake and it is a submissione expression rather than saying sorry.

Do dogs cry?

No… and yes. Dogs can “cry,” but this doesn’t necessarily mean that their eyes expel tears… at least not due to their feelings. “However, humans are thought to be the only animals that cry tears of emotion.” Dog-crying really is more like whimpering and unlike humans, dogs don’t tear up when they are sad.

How do I tell my dog I love him?

5 ways to tell your dog you love them in their own language Training and positive reinforcement. An excellent way to communicate your love is through positive reinforcement. Read to your dog. Do you read to your kids at bedtime? Give human touch. Engage in deep conversations. Rub your dog’s ears.

Why do dogs lick you?

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. Dogs might lick your face if they can get to it.

How does a dog laugh?

What does a dog laugh sound like? All laughter is a sound made by exhaling and inhaling air. Human laughter is made when the chest muscles squeeze air out of the ribcage, creating a vocalised, spoken “ha ha” sound. Dog laughter is created by panting without any vocalisation, creating a more “hhuh hhah” sound.

Why can’t animals talk?

The Broca’s area in the cerebrum of our brain is closely associated with speech comprehension. This part of the brain is less developed, or absent, in other animals. Therefore, it is said to confer upon us the ability to talk. There is also the presence of certain pathways found only in some animals, humans among them.

Can dogs go extinct?

If you follow the history of dogs, you’ll see that many breeds come and go. But unlike other animals that become extinct due to environmental factors, dogs tend to disappear for more superficial reasons: they simply become unfashionable.

Do dogs like kisses?

Most dogs tolerate kisses from their owners fairly well. Some may even come to associate kisses with love and attention, and quite a few even enjoy kisses from their people. They’ll usually show their pleasure by wagging their tails, looking alert and happy, and licking you back.

Do dogs like hugs?

Dogs, really do not like hugs. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. Some absolutely adore cuddles, but most dogs prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze.

Do dogs know their names?

Dogs are able to learn different words through the process of deductive reasoning and positive reinforcement. Dogs will also learn their name through classical conditioning. This means that they learn to respond to their name when it is said, not that they actually know their own name is Fido.

Why do dogs lie on your feet?

It’s a normal behavior for a dog to settle down at their owner’s feet. This may be a way of showing affection, just as you would choose to sit next to a friend or loved one. Some dogs may want to be at their owner’s feet so they can be prepared to stand and follow them at the slightest movement.

Do dogs really dream?

If you’ve ever watched your dog twitching, chattering or moving their paws while sleeping, you may have wondered if they are dreaming. The answer is yes. Dogs do dream. They then compared their brain activity while asleep and discovered exactly the same.

Why does a dog bite?

Why do dogs bite? Dogs can bite because they’re scared or have been startled, or because they feel threatened. They can bite to protect something that is valuable to them, like their puppies, their food, or a toy. Dogs also might nip and bite during play.

The I Speak Dog campaign week just wrapped up, and professionals all over the world are thrilled about this new website, ispeakdog.org. Why do we feel this website is so critical for dog guardians?

Dogs are constantly communicating with each other and with people. The problem is, most people don’t understand dog language. So whatever the dog is attempting to communicate gets lost in translation.

Dogs can’t use words, instead they use body language and vocalization, like barking and growling.

A growl can mean a multitude of things, but many people are immediately offended by a dog’s growl. Why is that? Why do owners take it so personally when their dog growls at them? It might be because we’ve been told over and over that dogs are attempting to take over the household, be the leader or top dog, and a dog growling at us is showing that he feels he’s the one in charge and we need to show him who’s boss. Or maybe, people just don’t know very much about dogs. In fact, dogs growl when they’re scared, to tell something