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Discussion Starter #1
I don't mean like you'd stop speaking to your husband. :p I mean, have you ever tried to go a certain amount of time with your dog without speaking, but instead just depending on the visual cues he picks up from you? It's really interesting and fun. :D

I haven't spoken to my dogs today and we've done everything we usually do so far. I fed them, took them out to the pasture for frisbee, got them back inside the yard, and everything just like a normal day, but I haven't said a word to them. I did whistle once because Mia was out in the woods oblivious to the fact that the rest of us were going inside. But when I whistled, B'asia took off and went and rounded up Mia and herded her back into the yard. LOL

I'm reading The Other End of the Leash again and I thought this would be a neat experiment. I'm going to see if I can go a whole day without speaking to them... The training sessions this afternoon should be interesting as I usually use their names so they know whose turn it is...

Any idea how to indicate that it's a certain dog's turn?
 

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Look at them or point to them.

Last night was Hadley's first puppy class. I didn't say a word to her. In fact, the only time I spoke was to introduce us. She calmly laid at my feet and performed all the cues I asked her to, while everyone else's puppies were screaming, lunging, and well, being puppies. The whole time their humans were talking at them. By the end of class a few of the other parents kept giving me the evil eye. WTF? Anyway I spend most of my time with Hadley not speaking. I talk more to Sadie because several cues Sadie only knows verbal, and Sadie has a bigger vocab.
 

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Sure, since Mabel doesn't listen anyway :D

Of course, she does listen. She just doesn't need verbal communication. She's made my wife and I into creatures of routine (eat at this time, walk at this time, etc) so she pretty much knows what's going to happen and when.
 

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Studies tend to show that dogs pick up visual cues better than verbal ones. I pair all my verbal cues with visual ones because of this. I can point to the ground and my dog will lay down or point out the door and he goes outside. If I slap my thigh twice, he comes to me. I can cue pretty much any behavior just with my hand.
 

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I've never tried going the whole day without talking to them, but I occassionally do agility with Coal without speaking. I find it to be challenging and fun, as well as a good exercise to work on "communication" with him on the course. It makes me more aware of him and vise versa. I also have to pay more attention to my surroundings while on the course lol
 

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Just for fun...some might want to take the next step and do corrections without talking. Just a look can be extremely effective.
 

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Just for fun...some might want to take the next step and do corrections without talking. Just a look can be extremely effective.
No kidding. A raised eyebrow is often all it takes to make a point in my household. Because I live alone (w/out another human) with my dogs and cats, I really don't talk out loud all that much. We communicate mainly through looks and body language. They've taught me to be a good observer, though they are masters of my body language; I'm learning.
 

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I don't talk a lot to Wally.

When I do, it's mostly like hulkamaniac described - pairing it with a visual/body movement cue, or if teaching/practicing what to do in a certain context.

Just for fun...some might want to take the next step and do corrections without talking. Just a look can be extremely effective.
Yeah, nothing gets my point across to Wally than slowly walking towards him with my eyes glaring directly at his. Last time he tried to sneak and eat some poop, I body blocked him from it and did this. He backed up and sat immediately his eyes fixed on mine.

Or if he's acting "badly" on a walk, I'll just abruptly stop, bend over a little and stare a hole in his head.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I just had to tell Jaia to drop something. So, it's not going to be 100%, but I think the training session should be interesting.

On corrections, I know how effective a look or body movement can be. Pretty amazing.

The thing is, my husband was gone for a week recently and I talked to the dogs CONSTANTLY! When he got back, I noticed I had gotten into the habit of having entire conversations with the dogs. LOL He's always saying, "Are you talking to me"?

And I say, "No. The dogs." LOL
 

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I too have read "The Other End of the Leash" and done entire training sessions with no more sound than a clicker. I like my dog to work off hand signals and whistles anyhow.

It is interesting.

I do talk to my cats, but they start it (much more vocal than the dog).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well the training sessions yesterday only posed one problem. And that is that B'asia kept doing "kiss attacks" on me, where she'd get real excited and lunge at my face, licking me to beat the band. I don't know why she did this, but she's our smartest dog and perhaps she was aware that I wasn't running on at the mouth like I usually do. :D I cut her turn short, though, as I already had my shower for the day... The others did just fine, though. I think Cara may have done even better than usual.

My husband joined me in the dog silence mid-day and did a great job. He played a certain game with Mia that involves a lot of excited verbal expression (usually) and she played just as well and seemed to enjoy it just as much when he was totally silent. He just used the arm motions and facial expressions.

I REALLY want him to read The Other End of the Leash because he's not a "natural" dog person and needs some help in how to act with them. It's a fantastic book, highly recommended.
 

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Because I live alone (w/out another human) with my dogs and cats, I really don't talk out loud all that much.
LOL - I think that's exactly why I do talk to Hershey. I also did that before she joined the household but that's another story. ;)

A raised eyebrow does go a long way with Hershey though, and for training we've been working on both verbal and hand signals as I'd like her to respond to either/both.
 
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