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How to Become a Dog Whisperer

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When people hear the term “dog whisperer,” they see it as something different than being a dog trainer. The term derives from “horse whisperer,” meaning someone who can train horses by using methods that include trying to understand and empathize with the horse’s motives, needs and desires. In other words, understanding the reasons behind an animal’s behavior and employing modern equine psychology. Horse whisperers came into the public eye through the movie of the same name directed by Robert Redford. The most famous dog whisperer is Cesar Milan, through his networked cable TV show “The Dog Whisperer.”

Attempt to understand the reasons for your dog’s bad behavior -- what his reasons are and what he is asking for might be the same thing.

Understand your dog’s social needs: stimulation, interaction with you, food, water and a defined sleeping area.

Realize that dogs are pack animals and every animal has his or her place within that pack. This is not necessarily a linear arrangement, with one animal clearly being above another, but there are relationships established with each pack member. As your dog’s owner, you are part of that pack and need to clearly establish the relationship you have with your dog.

Establish yourself as the pack leader by showing that you are in control and that you are the one that establishes the rules. This does not mean inflicting heavy discipline or harshness towards your dog, just demonstrating that you decide eating times, sleep areas, the games played and by training your dog to walk, heel and obey simple commands like stay, sit or lie down.

Maintain a positive tone to training. Reward and reinforce good behavior, rather than concentrating on negative traits.

Warning

If your dog has serious behavioral problems, consult a professional trainer or dog whisperer. While it is possible to explain the basic ideas behind such skills, it involves years of training to become a skilled professional in the field. If you desire to pursue this as a career, contact local training schools or veterinary practices to get details of courses available in your area.

About the Author

Peter Matthews has been a freelance writer since 2004 with works published online for UpDown, Bloomberg and other websites. He has more than 30 years experience in financial markets, during which he has penned everything from conference materials to daily comment pages for organizations such as ABN Amro and Tradition. He is FSA-registered in London and holds series 7 and 24 licenses from the SFA.

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