4 Things Frustrated Dog Owners should Know
You’ve probably had a day or two when you felt like your dog just
wasn’t paying any attention to you at all, right? You talked, you
yelled, you shouted, maybe you jumped up and down and waved your
arms, but she just wasn’t interested in anything you had to say
to her in any tone of voice. You’re not alone.
1. Your dog isn’t human.
Unless you believe in pet psychics, there’s really no way for you
to read your pooch’s mind and figure out exactly what she’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 dogs are
driven in every act and every moment by very strong instincts.
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.
Take the word “no,” for example. Does your dog speak English? Not
understand English. Does she speak it? What’s meaningful to her
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
she’ll never speak and that probably doesn’t mean much to her
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
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 she 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!
No, seriously. The next time your pooch 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 her instinct and the information
hardwired into her brain, and the result was instantaneous. Why
spend tons of time trying to work against that instinct and end
up frustrated, angry, and still mis-communicating? 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
I’d like to help you learn to apply it, and that’s why I created
the multimedia presentation Instinct vs. Man. It addresses
day-to-day life with your dog as well as specific topics like
playtime, training, and territory. Beyond that, you’ll get some
great insight into why your dog thinks the way she does and how
it affects her actions and reactions. You’ll understand why those
months of training stopped working after a few weeks and how to
get her back into the routine and acting like the fun, upbeat dog
Mark Eckenrode is a lover of dogs, his own is named Ryker. Mark
is also the creator of an amazing website that offers free
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