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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?”

“Barking”

“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”

"No!"

“Deeper”

(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.

“Praise”

“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!’”

"Sit!"

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

"Sit!"

“Kat?”

"Sit!"

“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!”

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.