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Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to impress a dog

Lots of folks claim to believe in Cesar Millan's philosophies and techniques of dog communication, and yet they don't put these simple beliefs to practice. I wonder why. Their dogs would be so much happier for it.

We all yearn to be in an environment where our "native tongue" is the primary spoken word. This is natural. Communication is so important, and we humans rely heavily on speech to get our messages across.

Yet we try to force the human language and human value system onto our dogs instead of meeting them at least halfway in an effort to learn THEIR language system.

Cesar believes in "speaking dog," and so do I. From the moment I first meet a dog, I try to meet it on "dog terms" rather than people terms. I don't instantly pet the dog. I assess the dog first, and allow him to assess me. I don't show emotional weakness or make high, squeaky sounds that distress and confuse the dog. Instead, I approach from a neutral or superior position, wanting the dog's first impression of me to show strength, courage, confidence and intelligence...all characteristics of a good leader. As Cesar says, "No touch, no look, no talk" for the first couple minutes in the new dog's presence.

If you want to make a truly good and favorable impression on a new dog, try this technique. It's different from human interaction. Smiling, shaking hands, and exchanging pleasantries might work for people, but it's not natural in the dog world. Your dog will have a much better first impression of you if you remain friendly but strong, and just a tad aloof.

Remember your energy should always be "calm/assertive," and your dog's energy should be "calm/submissive." This is the proper balance for a healthy leader/subordinate relationship.

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