Handler Signals in Dog Training

Nov 4, 2020

dog training body language

In training, the dog is the only one who can say, “Yep, that’s right” or “Nope, that bugs me.” Make some changes, and then ask the dog, “How is this for you?” © Can Stock Photo / Madrabothair

While much of dog training seems to be focused on the dog, smart trainers know that handlers can and do affect their dog’s behavior and learning. Masters of body language subtleties, dogs are finely attuned to us, aware of how we move, act, speak, breathe. Many training problems are rooted in communication issues, caused by a handler’s body language and unintended messages…

A straight on, frontal approach to others is often considered to be confident and polite. Unfortunately, in dog language, the same approach can be threatening, whether subtly or overtly. A slight turning of the body sideways to the dog is useful for handlers who may, without realizing it, be pushing dogs away or even frightening or overwhelming a sensitive dog. (Issue 44, September 2020, pp.28-30). Read article