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Dog Language

Dog Trainer Basil Theofanides teaches dog owners how to communicate effectively with their dogs. Whilst dogs communicate by barking and sniffing, people communicate via body language and their voices

“Okay guys welcome to today’s session and today it’s all about communication skills. How to communicate to your dog effectively because at the end of the day if you don’t understand this, you will have a very, very confused dog. So first of all, let's look at how dogs communicate with each other. So who can tell me, how does a dog communicate?”


“They bark, excellent Ken. Good and what else? Come on Kat!”

“Boss just runs at other dogs”

“He just runs at other dogs? Okay just keep him on a leash. Okay so he runs at other dogs but what does he do when he gets there?”

“Just sniffs them”

“Sniffs them, like this, have a look at that. Alright and have a look at this guy over here Charlie’s saying ‘hang on I’m challenging you, don’t come over here to my space!’ So the thing is, how does that relate to us? How do we communicate as humans?”

“We use our body language”

“Exactly Ken, top of the class - what else?”

“Our voice”

“Our voice yes, that’s right! Fantastic and that’s why its important as humans we are aware of our body language but also our voice and how we communicate to dogs. So to simplify things we use three tones - corrective, command and praise. You’ve got to be consistent with these tones. If you vary it you confuse your dog. I hear so many people do this to their dogs, or say this I should say, they go -(growls) ‘no, good boy, who’s a good boy!’ How does the dog know the difference? He’s got no idea he’s getting confused. On the other hand I hear people doing this -'sit, sit, sit, oh good boy' it's all the same. Other people doing this - 'sit, sit, sit, sit" oh boy my dogs going to fall asleep, that’s called nagging

"Let's practice our voices. We are going to go for a corrective tone first. This will be really easy for you guys, at least I hope it will. Alright so Jake give us a growling voice say "no!"

(growls) "No!"

“Good sound okay well done, you mean business mate, good stare. Okay Sam?”

(growls) "No!"

“Good sound, one more time, good sound mate. Okay Kat give us your best shot”



(growls) “No!”

“Okay that’s not bad but you know the best way of doing it? Lower your chin.”

“You’re giving me double chin on TV?”

“Just give us the no”

(growls) “No!”

“Good sound, now that you’ve got it, you’ve got it right. Now you guys have got to start going high pitch for the praise”

“Alright so here we go with the praise tone Kat, give us your best!”

"Good boy Boss, good boy!"

“Excellent easy, you’ve got plenty practice with that one I think”

“Alright, come on Ken”

"Good boy Sam"

“Come on mate what was that?”

“Good boy Sam!”

“Oh he’s got it, well done mate. Okay guys so we’ve done our two tones - corrective and what else have we done? The one that I laughed at.


“Yeah we were having a great laugh over that one, that was great. So the third tone is the command voice. “

“So it's got to be firm and it's got to be a thorough take. So take control, let's give that a shot. So we are going to start over here with Jake, give us a firm ‘sit!’”


“Good sound mate, nice and firm that’s good. Ken?”




“Excellent, oh that’s a good sound, I would too! Yeah you’ve got it and you know something?”

“I have the authority”

“Yeah you have. Well-done guys. Now listen, those tones are the tones you need to use so three simple tones - corrective, command and praise. If you're consistent with them you're going to get some great results with your dogs. Well done, great training today and we'll see you at the next session!”

“Thanks Basil!”