Have you ever had the radio on – but not really listened to it, only paying attention when a particular word, phrase or subject was mentioned? I call it the “Jeremy Vine” syndrome!
Dogs are the same. If you are in the habit of talking to or at Fido (and everybody does!), most of it will be white noise (or Jeremy Vine noise) that will not be listened to or acted upon. After all, Fido doesn’t understand English, just a few key noises. We all make the mistake of chatting away to our dogs, asking them to do things or questioning them about their food, how they slept, not to bark at the postman etc, as if we expect our dog somehow to understand! But the more we witter, the less authority our voices have, the less likely Fido is to focus on you, watch you and heed your words.
If, however, you can discipline yourself when training to say nothing other than key words of command, praise and correction, Fido will focus on you and pay you much more attention. Then, when you say something to break the silence, Fido is much more likely to act upon what has been said. It takes a lot of practice, I know, as we all tend to witter on at our dogs (I do too!). I only found this out when I watched a video someone took of me training Tilly. I was shocked at how much I was talking to her, only a fraction of which was necessary or will have been understood.
So, when you train, the less you say the better. Don’t allow your words to become just Jeremy Vine background noise.
Why don’t you try it for yourself? It works, I promise!