I read an interesting article about how a bunch of studies were done testing how dogs relate to human tones and speech patterns. It reminded me how humans complicate and waste time testing and "proving" things about animals that are pretty easy to observe and "get" if you spend any quality time paying attention.
These studies found that adult dogs, as well as puppies, respond happily to "baby talk," or higher pitched tones, than to lower ones when a person is present. And, low and behold, dogs brains process meaning in the left hemispheres and tone in the right, just like us.
What Dogs Taught Me
Dogs taught me that they learn all about tone and meaning from their mothers. In addition to the higher tones examined in the studies, dogs taught me more. High, happy tones indicate mama's pleasure, affection and play. Low tones, such as a growl, indicate her displeasure and demand attention. If mama dog's vocalizations were always the same, or had no expression or tone, there would be no meaning and soon the puppy wouldn't pay attention and their bond would suffer.
Talk Clearly to Your Dog
If you need to get your dog's attention, teach them something to not do or to do, which tone would you use? Just like mama, you need to use a low, deep tone. This immediately lets your dog know that you mean business and he better pay attention. Volume is not as important unless there's a safety issue or food about to be snatched. A high, happy tone is for play and affection.
NOTE: if you use a high, happy tone or even "baby talk" all the time, your dog will have a tough time growing up and becoming responsible. Would you talk to your teenager in baby talk?
Next time you find a "mistake," a chewed shoe, pee or poop on the floor, call your dog over and point to the mistake, even if you didn't catch him doing it. Say in a low tone, with your head down, "Oh no, this is a mistake," or "this doesn't belong here." Next, pick up the poo or pee with a paper towel and take it and your dog outside. Put the towel or poop on the grass where you want it, smile, and say in a high, happy voice, "Good boy! Always do your business outside. Good Boy!" This communication is crystal clear for your dog and will help him learn very quickly.
The same goes with the chewed shoe. Hold the shoe and say in your low, mommy-means-business-voice, "Oh no, this is mommy's shoe." Offer an appropriate toy and use you happy voice to say, "Good boy! Always chew your toys."
Using the appropriate voice with your right action will create great success and happiness for
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