“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate…”. This is the timeless line from Cool Hand Luke. It appeared that “Cool Hand Luke” Jackson and “The Captain” were not paying attention to what the other was communicating. It wasn’t that they didn’t understand what the other was saying, they just didn’t want to listen or care.
We often think we have the same problem with our dogs. We tell them to do things and it is like we aren’t even there. We assume that our dogs are being obstinate and making the decision that they are going to disrespect us and not follow our commands. This is when we get mad and normally start to yell and sometimes even become physical.
Yelling and hitting and kicking might work with chain gangs, but it sure doesn’t work with our dogs. This is because the lack of attention and disobedience being displayed by our dogs is not based on disrespect or contempt. Our dogs just don’t know what we are saying.
You then may ask yourself, “My dog can hear me talk, why doesn’t he listen?”. Let me answer your question with a question. You can hear birds chirp. What are they saying? Your answer is “I have no idea. It is a bird and I have no idea how birds talk!”.
Bingo! You need to know how dogs talk. Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains how dogs verbalize and how that is used in their overall communication process. Please read our dog training article titled “Why Isn’t My Dog Listening to Me”.