Using the Wrong Tone of Voice Might Make Your Dog do Some Weird Stuff

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Some people think it is about what you say when it comes to training dogs. That is not the case. It is all about tone of voice when training or talking to dogs. We had a good friend who trained their dog to sit every time he said “look out”. He would use it to great comic effect, and the dog also seemed to enjoy the attention it brought. This is because it was a matter of repetition in how he said, rather than what he said. The truth is, dogs are far more receptive to tone of voice than most people would assume. They pick more up on how you say something, than what you say.

Why this is important is twofold. One, it really helps when training. By using certain inflections in your voice, and changing the tone, the dog is more likely to understand the scenario it is in. You use a kind, higher pitched voice when rewarding the dog. You use a lower pitched voice that is also a bit louder when reprimanding the dog so it knows not to do said action again. Again, the dog is not so much learning the language as learning to understand the nuances in your voice. See, all about tone of voice.

The other reason it is important (even more important in our opinion) is that you need to be aware of the tone of voice you use with others when the dog is around. If you are always mad and yelling at those around you, the dog will pick up on that energy. On the other extreme, if you always approach your dog with docile tones, it will not see you as an authority figure, and will be less likely to bother listening when you do choose to try to communicate.

So remember, it is important what we say to dogs. But not nearly as important as the tone of voice with which we say it.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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