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I Was Talking To the Dog, the Magic of Non-Verbal Communication.

Discover how dogs react to different tones of voice and non-verbal cues. Learn how to effectively communicate with your dog using the right style for positive interactions and commands.

I was talking to the dog, the magic of non-verbal communication.

Tone of voice for dogs. The other night, Kyle came to the storeroom door next to the kitchen and stuck his snout in it. He absolutely must not do this because the closet is the ‘den’ of Sandra, my wife, where she stores all the cleaning material for the house. No dogs are even allowed in there.

Everyone knows this, and it is sporadic that they break the ban. For Jack and Kyle, that place does not exist: it is a non-place, and consequently, they don’t go there. But the other night, as I was saying, Kyle forgot about the ban and tried to explore briefly like a curious dog.

Nuances of voice and body language are crucial when interacting with another animal. Often it is not important what you say to them, but how.

When I say “no!” in a firm, dry tone (you must never shout, except in really extreme cases, because shouting frightens the dog and, therefore, instead of reinforcing the command, often cancels it), our French Bulldogs suddenly stop what they are doing and meekly freeze. This time, however, without overthinking it, I pronounced his name in the same tone and approach with which I would have intimated ‘no!’ to him.

Kyle stopped instantly and – probably also because he remembered that the closet did not exist – immediately stepped back. He looked at me, and I repeated his name, this time, however, in a cheerful and affectionate tone, just as if I had said ‘bravo!’ to him to confirm the correctness of his behaviour. He approached me on the sofa and snuggled up next to me, as he often likes to do.

I was talking to the dog. The tone of voice is essential.

I was talking to the dog, the magic of non-verbal communication.
She is talking to the pet.

I knew that tone of voice is essential when giving a command – it’s something every trainer teaches straight away – but I honestly didn’t think it was even more than enough to communicate effectively.

The thing itself is not so surprising if we think about it for a moment: our tone is fundamental even among humans, who like to chatter far too much. And the same word – starting with the very name of our interlocutor – can take on different and even opposite meanings just under our tone of voice. Moreover, by changing our style, we also change our facial expressions, make specific and unmistakable micro-movements, and often even alter our overall posture.

Non-verbal communication, so essential for us, is decisive for communicating with another animal that, unlike us, cannot speak and does not know the verbal language. This is why a dog can understand how we think simply by looking at us: our body language is more eloquent than any speech.

But if that is the case, I discovered hot water the other night: it does not matter what I say, only how I say it. Of course, there are cases where commands are essential, and the sound the dog memorises responds accordingly: a working dog or hunting dog cannot be guided by the tone of voice alone. But at home, let’s say, it might be wonderfully sufficient.

What tone of voice do dogs like? Final thoughts

Oh, I see. In that case, here are some tips on how to use a tone of voice when talking to your dog:

  • Use a high-pitched, happy voice when playing or praising your dog. This will help them associate those activities with positive emotions.
  • Use a firm, but not harsh, voice when giving commands. This will help them understand that you’re serious and that they need to listen.
  • Use a soft, soothing voice when trying to calm your dog down. This will help them feel safe and secure.
  • Be consistent with your tone of voice. This will help your dog understand what you’re trying to communicate.

Here are some examples of how you might use different tones of voice when talking to your dog:

  • Cheerful voice: “Good boy! Who’s a good boy?”
  • Firm voice: “No, drop it.”
  • Soothing voice: “It’s okay, I’m here.”

It’s important to remember that dogs are susceptible to changes in tone of voice. Using the right tone of voice, you can communicate with your dog more effectively and build a stronger bond with them.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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