Ways To Make Your Dog Smile
Before initiating your “Mission Doggo Smile,” ensure that they are comfortable in your home environment. If they feel uncomfortable and you still go ahead with their obedience training session, the chances are they will get aggressive or bite you.
Is there anything better than a dog smiling? Teach your dog to smile. It’s worth it.
Sometimes they open their mouths and put their tongues out while they’re panting or snarling in anger too. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze your dog’s current mood before you embark upon making them smile.
Just like us, dogs also need a reason to be happy. Whenever they showcase positive behavior, reward them with treats or shower praises (Positive Reinforcement). This will encourage them to repeat the action and lead to a smile in most cases.
Using the same logic, when they smile the next time, feed them their favorite treats, and you can expect more smiles from them in the days to come. Assigning a physical command that makes them smile is also a good idea. It will make it more straightforward for them the next time you demand a smile.
Another method is to try ticking the dog’s whiskers. As a response, they will lift their lips. At that moment, you can provide them a treat. So the next time you tickle their whiskers, they will give a smiling expression. They may even lift their lips on their own to receive more treats.
Identifying the ticklish spots in a dog’s body can be an intelligent way of making them smile or give a submissive grin. You can even get a camera ready to capture the natural behavior for some fun memories.
This step may succeed in a few minutes, or it can take weeks. The important thing is to be patient and never use force or other forms of violence to make the dog smile. Punishing them for not responding to training will only make things worse. They will lose interest in the whole process.
Using A Clicker
Clickers are small tools that emit a high-frequency sound that captures a dog’s attention. Next time your dog smiles, hit a training clicker and give them a treat. You can remodel their behavior in this way.
The next time they hear the clicker, they will be inclined to smile to get a treat. With sufficient repetitions, they will start associating the sounds to actions they need to perform.
Transition From Physical To Verbal Command
Once you have gained a good grasp on making your dog smile via a physical cue, you can think of making a switch to a verbal cue. This change will also help you take photos or videos in parallel while the dog smiles.
Please keep in mind to make the transition slowly and steadily instead of rushing things and nullifying the progress made so far.
Please start the process with the same physical command that made them smile. In addition, use the verbal command along with it. With time, the sound of the verbal command will be a part of the whole command in their mind.
Follow this by gradually stopping the physical command and only use verbal cues. Assess the success rates while doing so. If your dog is responding well so far, stop the physical element completely. And there you have it; your dog will now start to smile at your verbal commands alone.
At the end of these steps, reward your dog handsomely to reinforce this significant achievement.
Points To Remember
There are a few pointers to consider while you attempt the above steps for better results. We will list them in this section:
- Each dog has their learning curve. Respect and accept that fact and never use violence or haste to make your dog smile.
- Keep the training sessions limited to 10-15 minutes regularly divided throughout the week.
- Limit the number of treats. Providing treats each time they smile can lead to it being considered as a bribe. Giving random treats once in a while is a good ploy.
- Alter the treats. Feeding them different treats will keep them guessing and cement the behavior even further in their mind.
- Regularly assess their moods. Never continue to train your dog if they start getting moody or aggressive. Stop the session right away when you sense this.
- Do not stop the regular physical training or cognitive exercises of your dog. Ensure that goes as planned along with the smile training.