But when one speaks English (the two-legged one) and the other relies on body language (the four-legged one), it is essential to reach a common ground for mutual understanding. You’ve probably already taught your dog some commands….no….aaakkkk…..good dog…..want to go out…. Also, most dogs hear better than humans, so unless he is deaf there’s no need to shout as we have a tendency to do.
Consistency means that you don't use different or multiple commands for the same action. It also means that you give the command once, and if your dog doesn’t comply (assuming he knows that command), make him do the action. During initial training, it's better to not give a command that you aren't willing to enforce. If you do, your dog will soon realize when they can get away with things and when they can’t. Keep voice commands simple, using one or two word commands, then follow through physically, showing the dog what you want him to do.
In order to make sure your family is on the same page with the commands for your dog, make a list of the ones that you’ll use and then be consistent. A good place to post this list is on the refrigerator so everyone can see it.
If you teach your dog SIT and DOWN and then a family member tells your dog to sit-down expecting him to sit, you dog will hear the last word “down “ and then that family member will think that your dog isn’t listening and your dog will be confused. Down is also used by some to mean “get OFF the couch” so if your dog is quietly sleeping on the couch and is told to get DOWN, he’ll probably think he’s already complying and you’ll have a frustrated family member.
So, to get you started, here are a few ideas. Make your own list with definitions for each word to be clear as to what it means and then your human family won’t be confused also!
You get the picture! Have fun with it and you’ll have a dog that understands clearly what your say!