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  • John Whittaker

Dog Training by NDT: Tone and Volume Matter

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

An outraged dog owner

There's no doubt in dog training and parenting strong tone and physiology works, but there's a better way!

After learning not to be Charlie Brown’s teacher the second most important principle in our approach to dog training is there is no need to raise your voice, speak harshly or forcefully. You can speak in a matter-of-fact tone and enjoy complete off-leash control of your dog everywhere, and all the time, regardless of situation. Of course this is not most people’s experience, nor is it what is taught in the majority of dog training centers. Let’s take a closer look to better understand.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Dogs, like people, are influenced by tone and physiology. Deeper, stronger or more intense tones naturally command more respect then softer gentler tones. The larger a person’s size, and the stronger their physiology or presence, the more respect is naturally given. Unfortunately, this places a lot of men at an advantage of women. If you’re a man, enjoy it for whatever short time the differences in tone and physiology gives you an advantage. The problem is respect from these sources typically produces diminishing returns, over time. Tones have to be increased, and become even more intense. Physiology has to become more extreme (face turning red) to get the same result. Eventually, even the red face with a vein popping out isn’t enough.

At the end of the day not only do we experience diminishing returns, using strong tones and physiology just isn't nice. No one likes to be spoken to harshly or forcefully, the same is true for dogs. Maybe the only way you’ve ever been able to get the kids to go to bed and the dog out of the trash is using harsh tones and physiology. We get it. The better way is principle based learning, and creative associations.

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