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  • John Whittaker

Dog Training: Tone and Volume Matter (Part 1 of 2)

Updated: Jul 18

An outraged dog owner

Strong tone and physiology works, but there's a better way!

After learning to not be Charlie Brown’s teacher the second most important principle to learn 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.

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.

We are not saying strong tones and physiology doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work well, over time. Plus, it’s just not nice. No one likes to be spoken to harshly or forcefully, dog or person. That’s why we refer to this approach as being a tyrant. If it’s all you know, and you want the kids to go to bed and the dog out of the trash, strong tone and physiology may be the only thing that has ever worked.

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, however, there is a better way.

The better way is principle based learning, and creative associations.

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