I have come to realize that the one thing that all dog owners have in common is that they are dog owners. What I initially thought was the dog was a stuffed toy or was it really that important to worry about? Thankfully, to my dismay, when I truly think about it, I realized that there is a real reason for why we are owners. We will lose perspective and possibly get frustrated if we think that our dog is just a piece of a toy that we have to play with. In a sense, you (and your dog) are playing a game of survival. There are many different factors to consider when deciding how to keep your dog happy, healthy, and fit. This article will cover a number of those factors in various sub-eguards. 1. The tone of your voice The tone of your voice is incredibly important. When you are excited about something the strength of your voice will reflect that. If you are calmly working with your dog, and using a strong voice you may be saying things such as "Learn this stance", "Back up", "Get down" or "Don't bite". If you are yelling these things at your dog you may very well scare him or her and create a negative response to your voice. When you are training your dog you will be using a strong, firm voice. If you are yelling, you obviously expect the dog to be afraid and scared. This is not a good idea. On the other hand, if you are saying calm, soothing things, you will send a positive message that the dog understand that this is a good place to be. The message you are trying to achieve is your dog must understand that there is a boundary that is very clear. To achieve this you will also need to use a strong voice and do not change the subject between the firm, calm voice and the loving voice. 2. Body language The way you position yourself, your body language and how you position your hands will all affect how your dog interprets your message. For example, if you are in a friendly mood and you approach your dog and bend over him to welcome him, he may interpret this as you being becoming friendly towards him. If you bend over him, he will come to think of you as being a dominant rather then a friend. If you face your face straight ahead and wag your tail confidently and repeatedly, you are displaying friendly dominance. Dogs like to have fun and they constantly play games even with their owners. On the other hand, if you opt to wrinkles your lips and bare your teeth, you are being unprovoked and although you mean no harm, your actions are interpreted as aggressive, dominant and threatening. Make sure you interpret your body language correctly. In time you will get the connection between your body language and the actions of your dog. 3. How your dog feels It is helpful to understand your dog's state of mind at different stages throughout the day. As you walk through the mornings routine, your dog may be ahead of you, may enter the room immediately after you begun your morning routines, or may take a few minutes to sit and look at the floor. This is not always an indication of your dog's level of alertness, caution and interest in the situation. It is simply his state of mind and how he is oriented to the day. Try to maneuver your dog into these states by minimized distraction and setting your expectations of the situation at hand. For example, if you are sensing your dog is feeling frightened by, say a loud noise, instead of rushing quickly to find out what is causing the sound, slowly move toward the origin of the noise to discover what is causing the fear. Then, slowly move toward the noise again and see how your dog reacts. If he remains aloof he is likely to remain so unless you can bring him closer to the source of fear. On the other hand, if your dog bulls eyes, while looking at the floor, or appears possibly snarling, he is likely to be highly alert and reactive to the stimulus. Now we can turn our attention to the situation and see if our dog is reacting in a negative way. Gently stroke his hair around the eyes to see if it moves. If it, that is a warning sign of aggression. Reassure him that there is nothing harmful or threatening and to keep calm. Slowly move the hair and see what happens. If his eyes do not come up at all, that is a good indication that he is surmounting the moment to come to you. If they do they may be showing aggression.