How to Train Your Dog with Verbal Cues.
Did you know that your furry friend communicates primarily through body movement? That is how they talk with one another, through body movement, how they stand, sit, lie down, and the look on their faces. They can learn from their human that way as well. When we begin to train our furry friends, we can use our hands and body easy. It is more reliable for them to learn to respond to our voice cues.
That is why our furry dog friend sometimes does not respond just to the voice command. They are often looking for a body gesture to go along with it.
What is so special about the voice command?
Voice command or verbal cues is how we humans first learn to communicate with one another. Since dogs live in our world, that would normally be the desired way we like them to respond.
That is the easiest way to begin the training. Once our dog learns by our voice commands, then adding body movement with those commands will make for easy learning. It becomes a more enjoyable and rewarding process for both the human and their dog. Learning both will help insure when your dog is not in sight, that you voice command will be heard.
Teaching by voice command.
Hold a treat at your dog’s nose. Begin to move the treat down toward the floor or ground. When you touch the ground and your dog is down their also, then use a sound or word as a sign that your dog has responded. Give them the treat. Try this a few times so your dog understands what you are asking for.
Now try the same thing, but with just the sound or word. Wait a moment, then try moving your hand toward the floor or ground to get them to move down as well. When your dog is down, use that affirming sound or word and reward with the treat. Try these 5 or 6 times to secure the understanding of what you are asking for.
Try this again, but now wait a little longer from the point of your sound or word. If your dog begins to respond by making movement toward the floor or ground, or looks down, then affirm them. Continue to encourage the full movement to the floor or ground before you reward with a treat. Practice makes perfect.
The desired result, over time, is for your dog to respond to your voice command or sound apart from a treat. Remember to affirm their positive with your voice or petting.
Now you want to help your dog respond to this sound or word when you are in different locations and environments. Show your dog what you want them to do by beginning with the treat, directing them to respond. Affirm with the sound or word and once responded, reward with the treat. Again, repetition will give you are the desired result. Congratulations!
Some Do’s and Don’ts regarding sound or word commands.
Give your commands or sounds in a positive tone. Do not give them in a forceful tone. A verbal clue or sound is just an opportunity for your dog to respond and be rewarded for their behavior. Keep things simple so they can learn to respond to one clue and one behavior.
Although dogs can understand multi-word clues, keep them short. This will work better in the beginning and make it easier to train. Keep your tone consistent so your dog can easily recognize what your expectation is. Be consistent.
If you put in the time, it will be worth it, even though your sounds or voice clues may take longer to learn than your body signals. You are your dog will be happier when you are communicating with them in a positive way.