Learning to Communicate

Having fosters… rescues, in our house, always amazes me by how they don’t know how to communicate. Bianca and Hudson know more than Tatum. Tony knows how, too, in basic ways, though he can learn a whole bunch more communication with time and love and patience and training.

Tatum hasn’t known how to communicate with humans up until now. And she is still just learning. The fact that she gave me 10 seconds of attention on Wednesday is a huge step, as is her offered sit. She is starting to realize what humans are for. 🙂 I swear she looks at me, when I work with her in the back yard, like she is wondering what the heck I am for. Treats? Yeah.. but I’m wanting her to do things before I give her treats. She doesn’t quiet get that. But that is the first step in learning how to communicate. Learning how to Learn.

I love clicker training. It is such an excellent tool for communication. In time, she will realize what she does causes results with us humans. Positive results. She will have some control over us, and her own environment. I want my dogs to know they influence and have control of their own lives. They are not slaves. They are not automatons. They are living, feeling, individuals.

Teaching them how to communicate reminds of me how Helen Keller was taught. She had no idea about communication. Eventually she learned. Dogs are so different from humans, even while, at the same time, there are so many similarities. Bridging the gap and communicating between species is, to me, one of the most fascinating aspects of life.

8 thoughts on “Learning to Communicate”

  1. Wow, very insightful ideas. I have never dabbled in clicker training with any of my dogs before but you have me intrigued and I think I am going to do some research on it.

  2. Wow, very insightful ideas. I have never dabbled in clicker training with any of my dogs before but you have me intrigued and I think I am going to do some research on it.

  3. Ain’t it the truth!

    Communicating with a dog, never mind a pack, is a real skill. Of course, they’re smarter than we are, ’cause we take much longer to understand dog than they do English.

    I am absolutely fascinated to watch how dogs communicate amongst themselves, and I try hard to learn from that how I can communicate better with them. But it’s really the process of watching them learn how to communicate with us that is so amazing. Some dogs get it immediately, while others take a loooong time.

    Cynthia, your comment about “learning how to learn” is really spot on. Back when I had my first Sheltie, Merlin (OTCh Merlin!), people asked me all the time how I had “trained” him to know and do so much. My answer was always that I had ensured that he knew how to learn and how much fun learning could be, and the rest was mostly showing him something a couple of times or leaving a rule book with him overnight 🙂

    Thanks for the insights!

  4. Ain't it the truth! Communicating with a dog, never mind a pack, is a real skill. Of course, they're smarter than we are, 'cause we take much longer to understand dog than they do English. I am absolutely fascinated to watch how dogs communicate amongst themselves, and I try hard to learn from that how I can communicate better with them. But it's really the process of watching them learn how to communicate with us that is so amazing. Some dogs get it immediately, while others take a loooong time. Cynthia, your comment about "learning how to learn" is really spot on. Back when I had my first Sheltie, Merlin (OTCh Merlin!), people asked me all the time how I had "trained" him to know and do so much. My answer was always that I had ensured that he knew how to learn and how much fun learning could be, and the rest was mostly showing him something a couple of times or leaving a rule book with him overnight 🙂 Thanks for the insights!

  5. Hi Jim thanks for your comment. I agree… if learning is fun then they will keep wanting to do it. Same with people too! Kids should learn that learning is fun and they can succeed!

  6. Hi Jim thanks for your comment. I agree… if learning is fun then they will keep wanting to do it. Same with people too! Kids should learn that learning is fun and they can succeed!

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