Body Language - When your dog does well, your face should show it – smile and really express it! There should be a twinkle in your eye! Dogs are experts at reading facial expressions and will gather much about how you feel by your expressions. Your body language should be open with your arms and hands open if possible and you should appear relaxed and welcoming. Stroking your dog on the head can also let your dog know you are happy with his behavior.
Voice – Your voice should be upbeat and rewarding with a higher pitch than that used for a command. This is for your average energy dog. For a high energy, or high arousal dog, you need to be careful to show your approval without getting your dog too excited. For my high arousal type dog I smile and use a gentle “there you go”. The only time I use more than that for her is when she comes to me off leash - then I respond like she saved the world! For a low energy dog, you will need to up the excitement level in your voice to really encourage a positive response and more willingness to do more. This is part of your training that you really need to adjust according to your dog’s energy level to be the most effective.
Got a story to share? Would love to hear it!