Second Collar Training - Pack

Sirius Pups don't engage in human pup play as a totally solo endeavour. There is always the Sirius Pup Squad, the pack, to relate to and receive love and support from. When you gather with the other Sirius pups you want to be able to function as a group together. Pups need to be able to understand each other and communicate clearly.

SCT Voice taught you how to use sounds to express some concepts and desires. Now it is time to learn how those sounds are made is crucial to the pack. Your eyes are often on your Owner and Trainer and not other pups, so you will tend to rely on hearing to know what other pups feel.  Of course sounds alone are not the only measure of pack intra-pack communication, but they are important and extremely useful to you pup, so its time to learn the rules of making sounds to communicate within the pack. These rules are also useful when it is just you and master too. The basic rules of pup speech have to do with three factors - the pitch of a pups sound; the duration of a pups sound; and the repetition rate of the sounds a pup makes.

Pitch expresses aggression

Pitch is the tone of your voice. Humans have a tremendous range with which they can express themselves, and canines use tone for expression as well. With pitch, it varies from low pitched growl to the high pitched yip. A pup chooses to vary his pitch to express one, and only one trait - aggression. Low pitched sounds convey to the listener that you are feeling aggressive. You might not want to be touched, or simply are wary of being approached, or are feeling dominant. Whatever the reason, you resort to using a low pitch to let others know that you are not happy and content. You are feeling aggressive and it's wise to let you be and important to be aware of how you feel right now.

That choice of pitch can spare altercations arising from misunderstandings, as your warning tone gets other pups to back off and gives everyone in earshot an opportunity to change what they are doing and how to approach you. That opportunity to change approach is important. It helps stop fights for canines and this works for human pups too. The warning low tone can be acknowledged by other pups as by using a high pitch when vocalising submissive non threatening pup sounds to you. The use of high pitch demonstrates to everyone who can hear that you are safe and non threatening, a pup who means no harm to anyone. The high pitch signals pacifism, the opposite to aggression. Within pack communication you will usually just sound normal, using a low or high pitch only when you deliberately choose to tell others how aggressive, or not, you are feeling. You should practice making your sounds you learnt using a high passive pitch and a low aggressive pitch. 

Duration expresses confidence

How long a sound is made for, its duration, expresses only one thing - your level of anxiety. The duration of a pup sound communicates across confidence or lack of it. Short sounds relay to the  listener that you are anxious, uncertain of yourself. Short growls convey a tense nervous aggression, and short hight pitched yips convey fear and worry. Making a long sound reveals that you are deliberately trying to communicate power and confidence. You mean what you are saying as you sound off, and you expect it to be heard. This long sound can work obviously to communicate dominance to other pups in the pack, with a long growl. You can find your position quickly in the pack by engaging in the long growl off. You let another pup be dominant other you be submitting and changing to short high pitched tones, making submissive sounds and gestures. After the dominance is determined, its very natural to show each other affection and bond as packmates. If you are separated from packmates, a long ahroo lets them know you are lonely and insecure. 

Repetition expresses excitement

The last factor you use when communicating with sound is the frequency, or rate of repetition of the sound. How rapidly you make a sound indicates only one thing - your level of interest and excitement. Having long pauses between sounds shows that yes, you are noticing what is going on, but you aren't too bothered by it. Your long pauses show you are not too involved or committed to something, and most certainly have a low level of excitement. This is a helpful to let others know that you may not be in the mood for that thing, or are not agitated by what you are seeing. On the other hand, when you rapidly repeat a sound you show you are highly excited. Doing that sound more often conveys your urgent interest, even your arousal at what you are seeing.

You should find time during your day to practice a sound, varying its pitch and duration and repetition. After a while you will understand how you are actually beginning to communicate like a dog.

There is an exercise you should do to help you define your vocal sounds better, giving you a more sustaining tone and pitch. When doing this exercise it is important to be patient and make sure you grasp the sequence of sounds you will practice before doing the exercise. 

Start on the lowest comfortable note, with your voice very deep. You will speak, or sing if you prefer, each pair of sounds. That is you will say, for example

Hah Hoo, Hah Hee, Hah Hoo, Hah Hee

Starting in a low tone, you speak the sequence of sounds very softly. You say each pair of sounds, gradually getting louder as you repeat the sequence. Do this as many times as you wish pup. Remember to start very softly, then get louder, but never shout or force your voice. The point of the exercise pup is to focus on tone not loudness. 

After you have a done a few minutes of one set of sounds, vary it with another set. Use any combination of simple vowels, so long as it is only ever two pair. Use any of these 

Haw, Her, Hay, Hee, Hu, Ho, Hah

Don't stress out doing the exercise pup. Take it slowly, and focus on the change of tone as you practice.