Combining Animal Training with Animal Communication

I’ve talked in past posts about the bond that occurs between trainer and animal.  Experienced trainers do this on some level, whether they are conscious of the psychic/telepathic connection or not.

This exchange from a few years ago, between myself and my two dogs, Xander and Gary, is a good example of how you can use both to enhance clarity and understanding between you and your companion.

I was working the dogs in tandem. When working with multiple animals, each must pay close attention. Some signals were for Xander, some for Gary, and some for both.

Working animals in tandem requires the trainer monitor and maintain the animals focus, as well as ensure the signals are clear for each animal. Trainers must also be able to reinforce the animals individually as well as simultaneously. For food reinforcements, it means the animals can’t be food competitive, so the trainer must be alert to these types of situations and be ready to redirect if issues arise.

This was one of those golden sessions.

Communication flowed psychically as well as training wise. There was some initial confusion/hesitation, because it was the first time I’d tried working them in this particular manner.

However they swiftly understood what the expectations were, and thought it a fine, fun game.

Working with your dogs in tandem helps to develop their focus and attention. You can easily add to the challenge by asking them to do different tasks.

During this particular session, I asked both dogs sit and stay. Then released one dog, and worked him through behaviors while the second dog maintained the sit-stay.

Using variable reinforcers also helps to maintain your dog’s interest and engagement. For example, Gary will do anything to chase a ball, and eat anything I toss his way. Xander likes food sometimes, but loves attention and tactile.

Adding in the psychic component, before I would give a verbal signal, I would visualize and project the behavior I was asking for, and what it should look like. The important part of this is “Before” giving any sort of verbal or hand signal. I was also careful to be as neutral as possible while visualizing to avoid telegraphing.

Worked beautifully!

So! Much! Fun!

It was the rainy season, and we’d taken advantage of a break in a system but both were pretty wet after splashing and running around.

I grabbed some towels, and Xander hurried over. Turned and sat with his back to my feet, curving his head back to gaze at me.

“Please Mama” He asked nicely. He is such a soft and gentle soul.

I had to laugh, even as I told him how grateful I am that he’s here, and how much richer my life is with him. 

Toweling off his head and back was the easy part. He stood and moved away to avoid the next – drying off his wet paws.

He’d been resistant to letting me pick up his feet to dry them. He would sit, but break when I reached for his paws.

This time using both modalities, I got very different results.

Here’s a brief break-down of what I did for each.

Training –

  • Sit, stay, then approximate slowly running my hand down to his foreleg a couple times.
  • Reinforced with “Good” at several steps, but did not release.
  • Progressed to touching his foot, then lifting it.
  • Put it back down immediately without wiping, careful to keep it in a soft grip and relaxed position.
  • Released and praised with verbal and a food.

Psychically –

I told him this was an important part of taking care of him. If I held his paw so it was uncomfortable I promised to more careful and pay closer attention. Gentle emphasis on asking him to work with me and tolerate me picking up his foot.

He was a champ. Sat like a rock, tensed slightly when I paused at his wrist, but then relaxed, realizing I was moving very slowly and gently. Tensed slightly again when I picked up his foot. Relaxed again when I just as quickly and carefully replaced it. Each time he tensed, I reassured him by both slowing down, and reassuring him psychically.

When I released him, he walked away, and his look was thoughtful.

In one of those flashes of insight, that hits like a download, I realized something important.

In Xander’s progression to 3-D, he’s becoming more aware, and so beginning to have similar doubts as to what he’s hearing psychically. Much as we do when we’re first starting.

I realized in that look he’d been questioning if he was really understanding me and this was a sort of validation for him.




How do I know what my animals are saying? How did I learn to communicate with them?

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