Some Thoughts on Communicating with your Dog
I've found the 2 most effective forms of communicating with your dog are:
to stimulate the dog's sense of touch and
to stimulate the dog's sense of hearing.
So, put simply....how you touch or handle your dog and how you use your voice.
Using either (or both) will instantly communicate your feelings to your dog.
To reward or calm a dog, I always use firm, slow hand strokes over the skull and down the spine.
This rhythmic, slow contact instantly slows the dog's breathing and settles the dog's heart-rate.
If I use my voice at the same time, I use a very calm and controlled (but normal toned) voice.
I do these actions to sell the message that as pack leader I'm cool, calm and collected and completely in control of the situation.
Alternatively, I've found that fast and hectic hand contact or a rapid, high-pitched voice will only sell the message that I'm stressed or highly excited and not really in a controlled state of mind.
You'll never convince your dog to calm-down with this type of hectic communication.
But, if you want to play with your dog.............that's a whole other story !!
You can be as hectic and wild as you like and in return you WILL get nipped, scratched and jumped-on, but that's all part of the game, isn't it !!
Practice controlled communication to reward your dog for great behaviours and leave the hectic handling for playing games.