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Dog Whisperer

02 May 2013 | by Shilpy | Posted in: Training

dog whisperer“I'll believe it if I see it" for dogs translates to "I'll believe it if I smell it." So don't bother yelling at them; it's the energy and scent they pay attention to, not your words.”– Cesar Milan.

Cesar Milan is a world famous dog behavior expert and host of the renowned TV series ‘The Dog Whisperer’ on National Geographic. He has written several books on canine behavior. Although his tools and techniques have been known to be uncanny, his methods have been found very useful by dog owners around the world.

A basic internet search on dog training will yield results on plentiful dog experts who offer advices on dog training and label themselves as ‘dog behaviorists’ or ‘dog whisperers’. However one must keep in mind that there is a difference between ‘dog behaviorists’ or ‘dog whisperers’ and dog trainers. Dog trainers fall into the management and obedience training category. Dog behaviorists come to rescue in situations where dogs have problems in adjusting to live with human beings.  Dog behaviorists or dog whisperers have in-depth expertise of dogs and their behaviors.  Hence, a person who has an expertise in understanding and interpreting canine behavior is known as a Dog Whisperer. He comes in when the regular obedience training stops working. Dog whisperers can be of great help if your dog is facing problems like anxiety fears, aggression, fear related behavior or any other abnormal behavior.

The benefits of Dog Whisperer

A dog whisperer can recognize behavior issues with dog and find apt techniques to solve them. These techniques are entirely different from regular obedience training sessions. A dog whisperer can give tips to the dog owners on how to treat their dog in order to behave well with their owners.

One of the best methods used by dog whisperers to correct dog behavior issues is the use of positive attitude. According to this method, dogs respond to the energy and frame of mind of the owner or trainer. Dog whisperers have an opinion that having a negative energy influences your dog to react in unwanted ways. Dog whisperers tell owners to have a positive attitude when dealing with canine issues.  You must have a belief that you can train your dog and he can do whatever you ask him to do. According to dog whisperers, positive attitude yields in positive results.

Dogs do not understand our words but they can judge it from the tone of our voice and perceive our actions.  For example, if you want to take your dog out for a walk, you use a positive tone of your voice and walk towards the door. Your dog observes what you are going to do. You must use the same tone of voice every time you want to walk your dog so that he can relate the tone with the event of going out for a walk.

Several issues with dog behaviors can be solved using ‘alpha dog training’.  This technique is used to build your dominance over your dog. A dog whisperer would teach you how to build up a dominant position over your dog and be the leader of his pack. Every dog needs to have a leader. It is important that he identifies you as the leader otherwise he will try to dominate you. Alpha dog training helps your dog to identify you as his pack leader and to obey your commands.

Dog owners are always skeptical about taking advice from dog behaviorists. However, they should know that dog whisperers are expert in the ways dog learn and communicate. They can identify the best techniques to train your dog turning him to be your perfect buddy and pet.

Below I have mentioned some of the tips and tricks used by Cesar Milan. I am sure it will help dog owners who are facing any behavior issues with their dog.

Being Leader of the pack

If you have not established your dominance over your dog, he will assume the role of a leader and will try to dominate you. Have you noticed any of the following behavior issues in your dog such as being overprotective/ possessive, territorial about your home, suffering from separation anxiety when you go out or becoming hyperactive?  These things happen when you are not in control and he is not taking his commands from you. There are many people who are submissive to their pets unknowingly. Let us take one example- While closing the door you often let your dog run first so that you can easily lock the door. But in your dog’s world, it is the pack leader who goes first. Like this way he assumes himself as a pack leader. Another common mistake we do is giving them food before we eat so that they stay quietly till the time we have our dinner. This gives wrong signal to dogs. In such situations, they assume that since they are pack leader so they are the first to get food. Pack leaders always eat first. Does your dog lean against you and demand to be ‘petted’? All these behaviors indicate that your dog has assumed the role of a leader. This may sound intimidating but all this can be fixed easily. It is your responsibility to be regular and kind while showing your leadership. Dogs do not mind being number one or number two. Make sure you always eat before you give them food. It is you who is to decide when to pet, when to play with them.

How to have a happy dog

There are two main needs of a dog- activity and a pack leader. Give these two things to your dog and he will be happy forever. Do not make your dog sit inside the house idle. Get him some toys such as Kongs so that he can keep himself busy. Sitting inactive for a long duration of time can make him tense and agitated. Make sure you give him a daily physical activity of not less than 45 minutes.  So make a move, take him every morning and make him run with you!

How to walk your dog

Always make sure that you lead your dog while walking. When you take him for a walk, he should be behind or beside you, never ahead of you. By doing this, he will assume that you are his pack leader. His eyes should follow your steps. This will make him to be submissive as he will have to watch your steps for stops, turns and changes of speed. Visual cues are very vital in dog training.  If he has indentified you as his pack leader, he will stop when you stop. There is no need of yelling ‘stop’ just stop when you want him to do the same. If your dog pulls at the leash, you must react quickly.  Keep him close by shortening the leash and walk at fast pace. Keep a little pressure on the leash to guide him. If you practice this consistently, you will see that after a while even if you loosen the leash, he will just follow you.

Most of the obedience trainers do not have enough knowledge of a behaviorist and can actually do further damages to your pet’s abnormal behavior by attempting to solve it themselves. If you are having some behavioral issues with your dog and you feel the need of professional help, then find out a good dog behaviorist or dog whisperer.

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