Dog's Interaction Without Words

Dogs do not speak using words; they interact through constant energy.


Dogs do not speak using words; they interact through constant energy. Barking is one part of interaction but not the only way dogs communicate.

Think of a newborn puppy: First the nose starts to work; then the eyes; then the ears. The nose is the most powerful thing for them to use to relate and connect with their surroundings.

Humans often rely on verbal communication when they interact with dogs: Come on, Johnny, please, please stop eating the flowers! The pack leader doesn't negotiate or cajole to get what he or she wants. No wonder the dog is ignoring you!

When you meet a dog for the first time, share the same energy that they would receive from their pack leader. This calm, assertive way of being will let them understand who you are and really see you. Crouching down to their level while smiling and cooing tells a dog absolutely nothing; you might as well be speaking Martian.

The dog will respond to your calm, assertive energy by balancing it with a calm, submissive state. Once he achieves this state you can share affection and love.

Unspoken Rules
The mom or the pack leader also uses this calm, assertive energy to set rules, boundaries and limitations for how the dog interacts with his surroundings. The pack leader enforces these laws in a quiet way: maybe the mom picks up the puppy if he strays outside the den.

The pack leader doesn't project emotional or nervous energy and neither should you. If you don't set rules, boundaries and limitations in calm, assertive ways, your dog will not respect you.

Waiting is another way that pack leaders assert their position. Puppies wait to eat; dogs wait until the pack leader wants them to travel. Waiting is a form of work for the dog psychological work. Domestication means dogs don't need to hunt for food, but they can still work for food.

Establish your position as pack leader by asking your dog to work. Take him on a walk before you feed him. And just as you don't give affection without your dog being in a calm, submissive state, don't give food until your dog acts calm and submissive. (Exercise will help the dog especially high-energy ones achieve this state.)

Try this: To further achieve a calm and submissive state before feeding, ask your dog to sit and wait a moment while you place his meal in his bowl. When he has sat patiently, give him the OK to eat. 

Interact as the dogs parents interact with their puppies. Begin your day with calm, assertive energy before you share emotions or excitement. Establish rules, limitations and boundaries to create a healthy state of mind in the dog. Finally, enjoy a simple walk primal activity for dogs accustomed to following pack leaders over hundreds of miles. It will say more than any word ever could.

Next Step: How to Claim Leadership Over the Pack

Cesar and his pack
Get more tips from Cesar.

Note: Cesar Millan is a professional. Please consult a qualified trainer before attempting these techniques with your dog.

For more information, visit Cesar Millans Dog Psychology Center where the express purpose is to rehabilitate and maintain a dogs natural state of being.


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Karen   Sarasota, Florida

7/1/2015 2:05:54 PM

We have a 5 year old Pomeranian we just adopted from our local Humane society. He was very quiet at the shelter, but now he hides under the bed and will not come out unless we gently pull him out. I am at my whits end with this behavior. I have been really gentle with him, but he will not interact with us at all and I am really worried. Any help out there?

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Joyce   Lubec, Maine

3/15/2013 10:20:56 AM

We gave our golden a voice. When he was a puppy we taught him to ring a bell to go out. It was very useful for us to know when he needed to go out.We have a big property and just let him out. Now he will ring the bell to play ball, and to go out. He has also improved the game by ringing the bell at his dinnertime if we are late, and just now he rang the bell very clearly and led me to the counter where I had some cheese out. Luckily he does not use this all the time, just when he thinks it is likely we will respond. He is a very kind, obedient, calm and patient dog and real asset to us and joy to own.

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Brad P.   Calgary, AB

10/9/2009 10:32:46 PM

1. Dogs interact not through energy but through sound, postures, looks, positioning, and physical interactions.

2. Aside from the fact that dogs don't have pack leaders, there is much 'negotiation' among dogs and among any group of social animals. The dog doesn't respond, not because of lack of leadership but because of lack of

3. Millan is right about this. It is a good idea to meet a dog using calm BEHAVIOR, but crouching down does make you less threatening so it is more of a prosocial posture. The dog will respond to your calm

4. Respect is a human putting emotional conotation behind a behavior. If you train the dog - then you don't have to worry about being a

5. Actually pups don't wait. They are quite demanding and will en-masse jump on the dam to nurse. If she is unwilling she backs away - which under Millan's construct makes her

6. Here Millan confuses fatique with submission. Neither are applicable for a dog in a house environment. Dominance/Submision is the state of a relationship at a given point, normally when two individuals are contesting a resource.

7. Millan's suggestion for feeding is good but not for the reasons he posits.

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Tina   Birdsboro, PA

8/23/2009 7:49:10 PM

I have a nine month old French/English mixed bulldog. I have two children, 8 and 10 who, along with me absolutely love this dog. However, we found a few months into having him that he is DEAF. I am having a terrible time training him to go to the bathroom outside. We also have two Japanese Chins, who if anyone knows them, weight 6 and 9 pounds. Our bulldog is 40 pounds and likes to sit on them (he has already hurt my one dogs back) and he runs full force at them when he is playing. He still bites the kids (when

I would really like to make this work. We all love PUD very much (believe me the name fits). However, he just pees and poops whenever he sees fit and I am becoming very discouraged. I am also afraid he is going to hurt the little

Does anyone have any advice for a DEAF bulldog??? Please help me. Signed - Frusterated

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