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Dog AdviceTraining

How to NOT send Fido Mixed messages

By August 23, 2013March 26th, 2015No Comments

Many times we are awed by dog trainers who seem to be more like dog whispers when they are around our dogs and we wonder why that is.  When talking to our in-house trainer Ryan Bondoc of New York Dog Nanny, he shared with me the reason why and how it is that dogs really listen to him.  The key actually lies in the previous sentence with the word “listen”. Listen can mean one thing to humans and in communication, but in communication or good communication and being an effective communicator, it sometimes boils down to how we say things and what our true intentions are.  

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For starters, dogs pick up on energy. They don’t follow a nervous leader (nervous= weak in the animal’s world) and they don’t follow mixed messages well (then again, do humans like that either?) Not so much.  One way to really mean what you say and say what you mean is to embody the energy of what you are commanding of your dog. If you want your dog to “listen” to your commands.  Are you a worthy leader? Are you speaking from a place of certainty? Are you calm?

Does your posture and body language reflect being in a calm and confident place?  Dogs like people look to and pick up on non-verbal and verbal communication.  If you are not sure if you are sending your dog mixed messages, one sure fire indicator—does your dog do what you ask?


You say sit, he sits. You say come, he comes.  You walk, he follows. He doesn’t beg, pant, plead, whine.  He respects you. 

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Cynthia Okimoto


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