Using voice to control your dog

Michael Peer, Dog Behavior Specialist, Fairfax County, Va: Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 12:26 AM

Have you tried changing your pitch or tone when voicing dog commands? Utilizing higher sounding voices can help encourage your pup to perform or learn new behaviors. In my Police K9 training school I learned to develop a "baby voice". By this I mean a higher pitch similarly used when talking "Gaga-GooGoo" to your baby. Sound ridiculous? It works. For example, sounding your Come command with a high pitched voice reminds your dog that its a great thing to be with you! Likewise, a firm, deeper sounding voice aids Sassy to remain in a Stay position. The stronger tone sort of "wards off" the dog's attempt to break and move closer to you. When teaching or encouraging her to perform something new or difficult, it's preferable to voice softly and with that higher sounding pitch. Another example of voice control would be say on a second or (hopefully not ;) third attempt at a Down/Stay the mutt rises yet again. After quickly returning to him I would ratchet up my stronger tone a bit to help remind Willy that he DOES need to stay down- thank you. Dogs possess such keen senses and working with their hearing sense in -how we sound when we say things- definitely can made a big difference in delivering the message.