Dog training is all about communication

If we want to teach our dog how to unlearn unwanted behaviour and how to perform wanted behaviour instead, the sustainable success of that mission strongly depends on our communication skills. We want to be able to send information precisely and to receive and interpret feedback – we want to clearly and effortlessly communicate with our dog.

As we as humans consider ourselves the more intelligent species, let’s make use of that and learn how to speak & understand dog language. Here is the good news: Everyone can learn it, it’s a pleasure to progress in that process and the reward is a deep and trustful bond to a furry family member that is well behaved and surprisingly easy to talk to!

“The best result

in communication

and therefore training

will be achieved when

we communicate

through all channels.”

dog expresses himself via body language

body language

Dogs as very physical creatures are constantly expressing themselves in their body language, including facial expressions & touch. From their perspective, it only makes sense to read ours as well, no matter if we’re consciously sending out signals or not. So we want to become more aware of our own body-language during training sessions as well as learn what physical expressions dogs use to communicate. 

grey dog howling

sounds

Dogs communicate with a variety of sounds like various barking, growling, howling, whining, whimpering, and sighing. We as humans actively talk to our pooches and they are able to understand on average 160 words, depending on how consistent words are being used. This makes clear that we want to learn more about their sounds and be clear about the words we use to enable communication.

dogs are feeling us

feeling

As highly sensual beings, dogs sense our energy, our emotions. They can feel it in their own bodies, they perceive what is going on inside of us. They pick up our level of excitement or calmness, they sense when we’re sad and they become goofy when we’re playful. As humans we are able to feel our dog’s energy, too – we just don’t do it intentionally. Hence, our own energy & mindset is equally important. 

Dog training essentials

love

The most important ingredient is love. A loving and trustful relationship is fundamental for genuine engagement in dog training, for us as well as for our dogs. Dog training needs to be a full-hearted decision, driven by our desire to live happily with our canines.

patience

If we want to achieve a sustainable change in a dog’s behavior, we want to give it time. We rather choose to go 2 steps back in the training process than overwhelming our dog once. Patience is required, it a learning process for humans & dogs together.

consequence

For a dog to know what we want him to do (and what we don’t) becomes clear and easy if we are being consistent with our behavior and the rules we set up. Consequence as a matter of consistent communication is vital for our dogs to act according to our wishes.

joy

Joy is the elixir of life, for all of us. We always want to enjoy our training sessions as much as possible, and we also want our dog to enjoy what we’re teaching him. A happy dog is way more motivated to become a well-behaved happy dog.

behavior analysis

We want to understand why our dog is showing a certain behavior, what is it that causes him to act like he does, in order to approach the issue with from a holistic perspective that provides training which focuses on the actual root cause rather than just treating the symptoms.

positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement basically means we increase a behavior by adding something to it when it occurs. What we add to it can be considered as a reward, every dog has their own currency here (treats, cuddles, toys, etc.). This is the most gentle and playful way for a dog to learn new behavior, a way that he is motivated to follow.

working with instincts

Dogs are very instinctual, they were bred to have certain instincts. We want to work with those instincts, gently and cleverly redirect them, and allow our dogs to express their instincts in a way that is beneficial for us. 

scientific training methods

Science and research tell us, among others, what conditions we need for the canine brain in order to be able to actually learn new behavior. Professional dog training always works with scientific training methods, including the latest research and studies. 

The 3 phases of my dog training

character & behavior analysis

individual training methods

support & progression

The first phase is fundamental for a suitable and sustainable training: I want and need to get to know your dog and the routines you have together. And of course, we talk in detail about the issues you’re dealing with. As a result of that phase 1

  • I’ll explain in detail to you the main character traits & instinctual predisposition of your dog and how they are reflected in his behavior &
  • You’ll get an understandable analysis of your specific issue containing why your dog is behaving as he does
As we now know why your dog does a certain unwanted behavior, I figure out an individual training for the both of you to cut out the unwanted behavior by replacing it with wanted behavior. My work in phase 2 includes that

  • I’ll give you the key to success: I’ll teach you to read and speak your dog’s language and how to respond in a way he is able to understand and
  • An individual training schedule suitable for your every-day-life.
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Now you know how to communicate properly with your dog and you integrate your training in your every-day-life. In phase 3 I like to make sure that you feel comfortable, therefore

  • I review your training and assist you with your performance regarding potential adjustments and further progression
  • You can count on my support concerning your communication with each other – you just learned a new language, I’m happy to help you improve.
Got something to work on?

Angelina Behrendt

@ Vancouver, Canada

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