If you want to teach your pet English, you’ll love Stage 2 in dog training. This is actually the part where we develop a bridge within the language barrier that exists between us.

It’s the 2nd stage in training a dog or puppy to carry out any new skill (the very first stage is how we teach your dog what actions we are looking for).

This is the 'Pair It' stage of my:

  • 'Get It',
  • 'Pair It',
  • 'Teach It'

dog training system.

It's about helping your pup understand what you say. Of pairing the action you have taught him, with the English word that will trigger that action in the future.

The Language Barrier Between Man and Dog

There is a language barrier that exists between man and dog.

Before we are able to begin to expect ‘obedience’ from the dog, we have to overcome that barrier.

People and puppies have completely different communication styles.

The Importance of Body Language to Dogs

People prefer to communicate using speech. Dogs, however, like to communicate through body gestures.

Fortunately, dogs are clever enough to learn to understand our spoken language

At least in a limited way.

And they are doing it, quite like we do, by pairing actions or object with sounds or visual signals

So the term ‘ball’ becomes of a your dog’s favorite red ball

And the word ‘sit’ becomes associated with that action of sitting

Learning Through Association: ‘Pair It!’

Learning this is of a sound comes through repeatedly hearing that sound in association with a specific object or activity.

Repetition Accelerates Your Dog’s Learning

How quickly your puppy involves make this association depends partly on his natural ability to learn.

And partly around the frequency with which this new sound is paired along with the object or activity under consideration, inside a relaxed and happy environment

Experiments show that this ‘pairing’ process doesn’t work so well if your puppy is stressed.

This is one of the reasons why modern canine training has largely abandoned punishment and incorporates many rewarding experiences for the dog

When Words Become Cues

The objective of this second stage in training is to develop a connection, in your dog’s mind, between an action that you want your dog to do, and the signal that you would like him to respond.

Behaviorists usually refer to this signal as a ‘cue’. Dog trainers, especially traditional trainers, are more likely to refer to it as a ‘command’.

Teach Your Dog English – That old Way

Traditionally, trainers would try and build this ‘association’ or understanding of the meaning of a word, at the same time frame as teaching an ‘obedient response’ to the new word.

They would commence training your dog by giving a ‘command’ and then forcing or manipulating the dog right into a particular position or action.

For example, we used to say ‘SIT’ to a puppy, and then push his bottom into a sitting position.

We might also have given a recall command ‘HERE’ after which reeled the puppy in towards us using a long line or lead.

The old methods worked.

Eventually, the pup would make an association between the action required and also the activity that he had been forced into.

But these methods had some disadvantages.

The Drawbacks of Traditional Manipulative Canine training Methods

It is actually very distracting to become pushed around physically.

If someone pushed you unexpectedly right into a chair, whilst saying a thing you haven’t heard before, you might even feel quite annoyed with them.

The chances are, you most likely wouldn’t even remember hearing the word they shouted in your ear once they pushed you.

You certainly wouldn’t leap in to the nearest chair next time you heard it.

Unsurprisingly, most people resist if they are pushed. Their instinctive reaction is to break the rules. Dogs are just the same. And being pushed for no apparent reason can be quite confusing.

Teach Your Dog English – The Fast Way

Young dogs and sensitive dogs can become quite stressed and even distressed by these traditional techniques.

And learning could be a slow process. Having a determined dog, it may become a battle of wills which one individuals eventually loses.

But with an anxious dog, it can cause a lot of upset.

Modern dog trainers have therefore adopted another approach. And that is what Stage Two ‘Pair It!’ is all about.

It is a different thought process, and it has been shown to hurry up learning in these early stages.

Building Associations the New Way

In modern dog training, we build a connection between our signal and the action we would like your dog to perform, without touching him or pushing him around.

We simply the word, whilst he's undertaking the experience required. And we do this over and over again before the connection is solid.

Each time your pet runs towards you in the speed you say ‘HERE’, each time he sits in front of you, you say ‘SIT’.

You aren't asking or telling him to operate in your direction, you are simply offering him your word for that action.

You are gently teaching him how to understand English.

Don’t Ask – Begin to see the Behavior First Then Provide the Word

The crucial difference with this type of training is that you don’t ask the puppy, or tell the pup, to sit down.

You don’t need to say almost anything to him at all!

You simply describe for him, the position he's in, or the experience he is taking.

For example, because he moves into the sit position, by providing him your word. Crisply, clearly, and plainly. ‘Sit’.

This enables him to learn and soak up this new language, free of distraction or confusion.

Teach Your pet English Without Force

Unlike that old method, it also ensures that your ‘signal’ word is never associated with any activity apart from the experience you need.

Gently and without force, you're building an awareness of your verbal language inside your dog’s mind.

Preparing For Obedience

This whole process of comprehending the concept of a word is completed before we begin to make use of the word as any type of signal, and before we expect any kind of obedience or reaction to it.

It is the perfect preparation for Stage 3 ‘Teach It!’ The stage where you teach your dog to reply to a command.

Stage 3 is so much easier to complete because you now make sense to your dog.

How Do I Obtain a Dog to sit down Basically Can’t Say SIT??

That’s a great question! If you'll need your dog to handle the act of his own free will, you’ll be wondering how you make him SIT or Are available in the first place.

There may be opportunities throughout an ordinary day to practice some of our word associations, but others will need to be contrived or ‘set up’ .

We use techniques for example ‘shaping’, ‘capturing’, and ‘luring’ for this function. You can see about capturing and luring in ‘3 ways to show your puppy to sit’ and shaping is covered in this article.

These are all kind, fun ways to get a dog to adopt a situation, or execute an action or sequence of actions

Teach Your pet English – Summary

Stage Two is about language. This is to start to teach your dog English. It’s negligence training where we teach dogs exactly what the words and signals we use mean.

We teach our dogs the meaning of a word or signal by pairing that signal having a particular action.

Stage Two is built upon Stage One, very similar as Stage Two prepares your dog for ‘obedience’ which begins in Stage Three.

Remember, Stage Two is about language, not obedience. Just ‘Pair It!’ and allow your dog soak up the meaning of your words.

To find out how the ‘Get It!’Pair It!’Teach It!’ system works for individual skills, take a look at our training tips which summary of modern dog training

Don’t forget to share your personal canine training adventures within the comments box below!

And learn to teach your dog to stay here.