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Tips for Frustrated Dog Owners

Tips for Frustrated Dog Owners
By Justin Bryce

Ever felt like your dog just wasn’t paying any attention to you at all? You talked, you yelled, you shouted, maybe you jumped up and down and waved your arms, but he just wasn’t interested in anything you had to say to him in any tone of voice.

Well don’t worry. This happens to all dog owners at some time. But there are things that you can remember to help you through it.

1. Your dog isn’t human.

Unless you believe in dog whisperer’s, there’s really no way for you to read your pooch’s mind and figure out exactly what he’s thinking. The good news is that, like many dog owners, the problems you’re having can probably be traced to one simple thing: you’re trying to communicate with your dog from a human standpoint, and your dog isn’t a human. Sure, you know that, but lots of humans try to relate with their dogs in the ways that they think are rational as humans. The problem is that strong instincts drive dogs in every act and every moment. Deciphering those instincts and leveraging them to build a productive relationship is like finding the keys to the city.

2. Your dog doesn't speak English/French/German or any other language.

Take the word “no,” for example. Does your dog speak English? What’s meaningful to your dog is your tone of voice, not the word itself. Now let’s think about that – we’re taking up excess time trying to teach our dog a word he’ll never speak and that probably doesn’t mean much to him anyway. Sure, it’s meaningful to us, but that’s only one side of the equation. What about something that’s meaningful to both human and dog?

3. You know what a growl means, and your dog knows what a growl means.

If you think that mutually meaningful language doesn’t exist, you’re not thinking creatively enough. What does it say to you when a dog growls at you? Anything from “get away from my food” to “back off, dude,” right? Yet in every case, a dog’s growl typically means that he is not happy with whatever you’ve done. And you’ve seen dogs react to other dogs’ growls, right? So you know what a growl means, and your dog knows what a growl means. Where’s the disconnect? Growl at your dog!

I am serious here. The next time your dog starts stepping outside her bounds or doing something you don’t like, growl at her. A nice, strong, guttural growl that would put the alpha wolf in a pack to shame. While you’re growling, look directly into her eyes. You’re almost guaranteed that she’ll back off.

4. Instincts save time and communicate effectively.

See that? You worked with the instinct and the information hardwired into the brain, and the result was instantaneous. Why spend your time working against the instinct to only end up frustrated, angry, and still miscommunicating? This approach works in everything from basic discipline to full-on obedience training. You just need to figure out how to apply it in each of those situations.

Justin Bryce is the Proprietor of Stop by for over 400 dog treat recipes and fantastic dog health and care tips.

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