K8's Gr8 K9s

fun for both ends of the leash

Communication

“A word, a sound, my kingdom for a sound.”  Or “How to build a bridge so you and your dog can cross it to communicate together.”

As you may have noticed, you don’t speak Doglish and your dog has a hard time with English (or Spanish, Frenchish whatever).  This exercise helps you speak the same language – or at least 1 relevant word.

This word that you are about to teach is going to mean: “that was exactly what I was asking for”

This word can also be a sound.  It needs to be quick, one syllable and not sound like “No”

  • Good!
  • Yes!
  • Click!
  • This word must be “charged” to work.

HOW:

  1. Take a handful of good treats
  2. Make your sound and give a treat.
  3. Repeat about 10 times
  4. Check for understanding by tossing a treat on the floor away from you (your dog can go get it or not)
  5. Make your noise
  6. Your dog should flip its head around and obviously show that it is expecting a treat from you.

You often need to “recharge” your word at the beginning of a training session

Didn’t work?  Go back to step one

Got a head flip? Carry on.  You now have a “Bridge” to communicate across.

Example:

Human: “Sit!”

Dog: “Right, butt on floor, am sitting!”

Human: “Click”

Dog: “Oh good! Quite right! I did it correctly!”

Human pays off with a treat

And so the dog learns (this is a great sentence to fill out if you are trying to figure out if your dog IS learning) that the click means “Correct, treat coming”  and that a butt on the floor is worth a bit of liver.  (And that jumping up earns nothing so we get “sits” rather than jumps, but that is another handout).