My Dog & I: Talk to Me.

Training or teaching your dog anything is most easily accomplished without words

If you could see me training my dogs up here on the mountain… You would probably be surprised by how limited the “soundtrack” is.

Training” or “Teaching” your dog anything is most easily accomplished without words.

The dog is a being with its own complex and intricate communication methods. He can “hear” many things that are inaudible to the human ear and see/smell thousands of things that we cannot. He cannot, I repeat, cannot be informed by a stream of words in any human language.

I know, you are going to tell me stories about brilliant border collies that can discern one hundred different colored tennis balls but I remain resolute!!

In order to show your dog what you would like him to do, you need to “show” him.

There are many ways to do this but sitting down with him and repeating your request with varying degrees of emphasis is just not effective. MANY different “training methods” are employed in the dog training industry, not to go into too much detail but “lure”, “compulsion” and “positive reward” are just a few examples. Any good trainer may use one or a combination of any of these methods but a good trainer will not be “explaining” to the dog what he requires, he will be “showing” him.

I have many calls from folks worried that their dogs are not “listening” to them… Yes, your dog can hear you but he may not understand what you are trying to say. In order for a “verbal command “ to be used as a cue to tell your dog what you require, you will need to “overlay” or “twin” the word to an action that you have taught him. He will need to have been shown how to place his butt on the floor before you start saying “sit”.

It is so hard to “deliberately” refrain from using our “normal” communication tools – Eyes, hands, voices but sometimes they really do get in the way.

Blocking your dog at the door with your leg will allow you to be the first one out and is easily understood.

A movement towards your dog will have him move backwards and out of your personal space much faster than telling him to “back” Blocking your dog at the door with your leg will allow you to be the first one out and is easily understood. Taking a finger and firmly touching your dog’s butt when he is focused on the cat will redirect his attention away from the object he is focused on….without words.

I have a favorite saying in class when people ask me how to show the dog what they want and it is “How would his Momma show him??” Now, I do not advise you to nip your puppy’s nose but you can certainly move quickly away from a little biting demon and take your body parts with you!

In that silence, you may find a whole new language to use together…

I have had great success with deaf dogs and I will say that they learn even faster than hearing dogs because they only have to pay attention to what you are doing not what you are saying.

So, next time you go to work with your dog (and trust me, they are learning from you all the time), try zipping up for 10 minutes and notice the different kind of attention you get. In that silence, you may find a whole new language to use together…

– Janine Lazarus. Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper, November 2020. Follow Janine at and on facebook @goodladddogtraining.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Submit a Comment



Spirits up this December w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper!  - LEWISBURG BOASTS A MAJOR ANTIQUES SCENE Spirits up this December w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper! Lewisburg boasts a major antiques scene and is home to Brick House Antiques, The Sign of the Golden Rabbit which boasts generational heirlooms, Patina, The Very Thing, Lewisburg Diamond and Gold’s estate jewelry, and Tattered & Worn Antiques and Primitives. […]

Local Resources


Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

Patrick4CMPLTshrp "Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV
Adam DeGraff "HashtagWV always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)

Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]


P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901


"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your HASHTAGWV is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa


Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.


We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND HASHTAG

Donating = Loving

Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper remains D.I.Y. in nature and it takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee at The Wild Bean and a good dinner at The Asylum