It can be challenging to Communication With Your Labrador Puppy. In this article, we will help you understand what your puppy is thinking and how his communication style differs from your own.
Quite often, I read or hear new puppy owners saying, “My ‘sit’ command isn’t working!” or, “My puppy does not listen to my ‘come’ command.” This is usually in reference to a tiny little ball of fluff that has been in their house for three days. Having trouble with your commands is not uncommon, so you are not alone.
You speak a foreign language
The fact that their puppy is effectively ignoring them can be frustrating for new Labrador puppy owners. People don’t like to be ignored.
However, here’s the problem. This puppy does not understand English (or French, or Spanish). He doesn’t understand a word. All you say to him is “Blah, blah, blah” – he doesn’t understand a word you say.
Don’t panic, everything will change. However, let’s first look at how puppies actually communicate. During the past few weeks, you have been teaching your puppy how to speak.
Dog body language
Furthermore, puppies are not wired to communicate through sound, so they cannot speak English. A dog’s natural means of communicating is through body language.
As a puppy, you can teach him a number of body shapes and signals that his mother used to communicate with him. These body signals communicate what other dogs are thinking and feeling to you. It is instinctive for him to communicate with other dogs to help keep him safe. Examples include appeasement and submission.
People can receive these signals from dogs as well, but they are often interpreted as signs of guilt or shyness. He knows he messed up!” the exasperated owner will cry.
Understanding is essential
Understanding your puppy’s body language will allow you to adjust your behavior so that he remains happy and confident. Your new friend can feel intimidated if you give off intimidating signals to him. When you know what scares your puppy, you can recognize when he is feeling anxious. There’s nothing wrong with knowing when you’re being scary and when you’re not, but won’t you sometimes need to scare your puppy – just a little?
New puppy owners are often concerned about discipline and good behavior. Suppose you are too nice to your puppy. Won’t it end up spoiled and misbehaved? Nowadays, we know that it is entirely possible to train puppies without using force or intimidation. Furthermore, puppies who are happy will learn more quickly. The reason for this is that when he is not anxious, his brain can easily process new information.
Kindness is not the same as permissiveness. It will still be necessary to train your Labrador puppy to obey you, but you can do so without making him afraid. Many people inadvertently frighten or undermine their puppy’s confidence, even though it is not their intention.
Learn the language of your puppy
Both you and your puppy will benefit if you have a basic understanding of what your puppy is trying to tell you through his language. Sometimes the message is not readily apparent. For example, many new puppy owners (and some experienced ones) believe that a puppy is happy if it’s wagging its tail. However, a fearful or uncertain puppy may wag its tail as well. His tail will be held low and just the tip will be wagging.
If your puppy is feeling stressed, watch the base of his ears and how his carriage changes. Worried puppies will shift their ears back on their heads. Puppies who are scared may tuck their tails between their legs, or freeze and refuse to move. If a puppy is truly frightened, his whole body may fall to the floor.
The act of growing in puppies is often misconstrued and accompanies play and invitations to play. No matter how hard your puppy is growling, if he sticks his bottom in the air with his elbows on the floor, he is inviting you to play with him.
The first days
After being separated from his mother and placed in a strange new household where no one speaks ‘dog’, your puppy will find it difficult to understand anything you say at first. In families where puppies are often corrected or ‘disciplined’, a puppy will notice signs of anger or irritation in the adults from quite an early age. But he won’t understand why they are annoyed; all he wants is for them to be happy again.
It’s important to keep in mind that your puppy is not fluent in his body language yet, let alone yours. Nevertheless, he may still misinterpret the language of older, strange dogs, so you will need to protect him and supervise his interactions with new friends, just as you would do with a three-year-old.
How to help your puppy
As new puppies try to figure out what makes their humans happy or grumpy, these first few days are often confusing for them. Although, you can do quite a bit to help your puppy while he becomes familiar with our language.
As a result of thousands of years of domestication, dogs have developed the ability to understand human body language as well. Many dogs will follow human glances and gestures without hesitation. With his natural ability to discriminate between small changes in posture and expression, your puppy may not understand much of what you say, but he will understand quite a bit of what you do.
He may go and take a look at something if you point at it. Patting your leg after you turn away will make him follow you. You will not be chased if you run. Crouching down and offering him a wide-armed welcome, he will rush into your embrace. Your puppy may cower if you stare at him, look angry at him, or stiffen your posture. It is considered threatening to look directly at another dog, but if you relax and smile while looking at your puppy, he will look back at you. Your bond with your dog prevails over his animal instincts.
Creating a bond
Making your puppy feel at home can be achieved by understanding his language. You can help your pup establish a bond with you by learning basic forms of communication like this. If someone is not interested in you, or if they are afraid of you, it is very difficult to communicate. It is crucial to building an affectionate, trusting relationship with your puppy in order to get along well together.
Bonds are formed through physical contact, proximity, and shared experiences, particularly play exercise, and most importantly training.
Puppies don’t soak up the English language by immersing themselves in it as children do. Dogs may not be able to respond to verbal cues naturally, but puppies can be taught to do so. Dog training involves teaching a dog to respond to our verbal commands. A puppy’s training, and the relationship you build with him through training, are the foundation of your bond and understanding.
It is important to use positive reinforcement training methods on young puppies because the bond between you and your puppy influences your training and vice versa. It is important to remember that training takes time, often more time than new puppy owners anticipate. Try not to rush the process.
Despite being smart, it will take your puppy a few weeks to figure out what you want him to do. Due to the fact that puppies are different from humans when it comes to learning abilities, they have different strengths and weaknesses.
Dogs have great discriminating abilities and will notice even the tiniest of changes in your behavior. Unfortunately, they lack the ability to generalize. In other words, when you teach your puppy what a word means in one place, he won’t necessarily understand what it means in another.
For you to be able to communicate clearly with each other, you will have to ‘proof’ all the commands that you teach him by teaching them multiple times. It is the most efficient way to help your puppy learn, and ensure that he understands what you want.
This website has a section dedicated to puppy training. When your puppy doesn’t understand you, he is not being difficult or naughty. The puppy is just being a puppy, so he needs your support and help. A thousandfold reward awaits you if you put in the effort now. Remember that he does not speak English, be patient with him while you teach him, and most importantly, be friends with your puppy.
With his natural ability to discriminate between small changes in posture and expression, your puppy may not understand much of what you say, but he will understand quite a lot of what you do. So if you point at something, he may go and look at it. If you turn away and pat your leg, he’ll follow you.
Most Labradors can understand many words. But very often that understanding is quite specific to a context. For example, a lot of dogs won’t ‘sit’ if you turn your back on them when you give the command sit. They only understand the word sit if you are facing the dog.
The chances are your dog has a few naughty behaviors. Most dogs pick up a few bad habits along the way, especially if their owners are inexperienced. The last two tend to feature most strongly in the first eighteen months. But the first two can occur in Labradors of any age.
A happy Labrador will look relaxed and ‘natural’, not displaying much in the way of signals, nor trying to make himself look large or small. He’ll stand balanced evenly on all 4 legs, with tail and ears held naturally, relaxed facial muscles and his mouth closed or slightly open if panting to cool down.
The dog word for “hello” is woof (pronounced wuf, wüf, and sometimes wrüf, depending on breed and regional dialect). Facing your dog, say woof in as energetically and friendly a way as possible (tone of voice is very important; the similar-sounding weuf means “Back off! This is my food!”).
You can communicate back to them using the same language of eye contact. When a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.