If you look at the history between dogs and people, you will find out that dogs have evolved from wolves and have become our canine companions. But the bond goes much further and much deeper. Wolves have always helped humans. For example, wolves helped human hunter-gatherers with hunting.
Over the years, with dogs living in close contact with humans, they have developed specific skills that enable them to interact and communicate with people.
How to use our behavior as medicine?
Now here is a fun fact for you. Do you know you can use your behavior as medicine for your dog? The way we behave, we can trigger a response in our dog that generates a problem. Dog trainers have stopped using the word “command” anymore. We have now transferred to cues.
What is different with cues is that they can be verbal and non-verbal. Basically, any behavior can serve as a cue to your puppy.
And this is where we can use our behavior as medicine. If you are not careful, you might do the opposite. Scare your puppy unknowingly.
The trick is to adjust our behavior when the problem occurs, and this way we help solve the problem with our behavior. Do not underestimate it. Our behavior is a remarkable tool to use in dog training and changing a dog’s behavior.
Here is a simple example. When you walk with your dog, if you feel scared, your dog will sense your stress, and if you approach other dogs with fear, your dog will follow. The goal here is to discharge the weight of the environment on our dogs. Release your puppy from the stress.
Stop blaming your pup for all the issues. We can do a lot just by changing our behavior. We have the power for responsibility. And by changing our behavior, we change the environment for our dogs.
This will, in turn, set up your dog to win. The more your dog wins, the happier he will get, and the more he will listen to and obey you.
Examples of how to use behavior as medicine
As I have said, and studies have shown to be true, dogs are capable of understanding the emotions behind an expression on a human face.
Here is an example. If your dog turns its head to the left, it could be picking up that someone is angry, fearful, or happy.
If, for example, there is a look of surprise on a person’s face, most dogs tend to turn their heads to the right.
The heart rates of dogs can go up when they see someone is having a bad day.
These are all examples that show just how connected our canine friends are with people. Do not underestimate your emotions and how they have an effect on dog training.