Your Dog Does Not Understand English or Spanish

© 2014 Jerry D. Patillo, CPDT-KA, Phoenix Behavior Consulting

Your dog was not born understanding English, French, Swahili, or Mandarin Chinese. Your dog was born understanding Dog. A German Shepherd dog born in Germany does not automatically understand German. A Chihuahua born in Mexico does not automatically understand Spanish. Dogs are born understanding Dog, not any human language.

So it’s our job as dog-behavior specialists and trainers to teach you how to speak Dog, figuratively speaking. It’s our job to teach you how to communicate to your dog:

  • “This is the behavior that we want.”
  • “This is is the name for this new behavior.”

For example, you don’t want to chant – or shout – “Sit, sit, SIT!” if your dog is jump, jump, jumping. Why? Because your dog will associate the word “Sit” or the expression “Sit, sit, SIT!” to its jumping behavior.

Instead, you want first to teach your dog to sit on cue. Put a very delicious treat in front of your dog’s nose. Then, without saying anything, bring the treat slightly upward over your dog’s eyes. Many dogs will then put their butt on the floor to give them a better look and smell of the treat going over their head. The instant your dog’s rear end hits the floor, mark! (Mark with a clicker or a “Yes!” the instant the desired behavior occurs.)

AFTER – and AFTER is important – AFTER you’ve marked your dog’s behavior, give your dog a high-value, extremely delicious treat.

If you need further help teaching your dog a new behavior or strengthening an old one, then call us TODAY!

We can help!