74. How to Communicate Well with Animals

“Just as humans often need help figuring out how to live their best lives, humans often need help helping their animals figure out how to live their best lives,” explains guest Shannon Bolt. As an animal care business owner and operator, Shannon understands animals deeply, particularly dogs and cats with behavioral needs. Today, Shannon and host Alejandra discuss tangible ways to communicate with our animals to enhance harmony in the home. 


When we speak to our pets, we often use words and tones that would be effective with other humans, rather than animals. We may believe that yelling at our dogs or cats will work, but this often leaves them in a position where they are confused and not sure what to do instead. By learning the constructive consequences for our animals and understanding their communication style, we can strengthen our bond with our fur babies, and give them happier lives as a result.


Although animals don’t have the same language as humans, they certainly communicate. Learn more about the miscommunication between pets and humans, bridging the language barrier, and how to make your animals feel seen and safe.



 “Just as humans often need help figuring out how to live their best lives, humans often need help helping their animals figure out how to live their best lives.” (2:37-2:43 | Shannon)

 "Our animals don't have language. So, it makes it very hard for us to clarify to our animals what we think is happening, what we mean to communicate to them, and how we interpret their communication as well. (4:52-5:12 | Shannon)

 "Our animals communicate with us all the time, and we are also communicating with our animals all the time. That doesn't mean the messages always come through on the other end." (5:12-5:23 | Shannon)

 “We think that by yelling at our animals, that they're being bad, that that's an effective way because our animals don't want to hear that from us. We think yelling is an effective consequence. And that consequence just doesn't land for animals the same way that it might, if we were communicating to an animal with language, right, they don't perceive our judgment and disapproval, necessarily, in the same way that another human might. So that's not to say that they don't sense it. They don't necessarily know what to do with that feedback. And another thing is that when we're only telling our animals what we don't want them to do, they don't know what we want them to do instead. And so we're not helping them understand the other options.” (12:45-13:38 | Shannon

 “We have to be conscious of the fact that when we respond to demand behavior, we get more demand behavior in the future. That might make us want to think about anticipating our animals’ needs before they have to demand it from us.” (20:45-21:01 | Shannon

 “If you have enough awareness about what's going with your dog, and what's going on in the environment, you can get a lot further than if you are letting yourself be distracted.” (34:08-34:19 | Shannon




Connect with Shannon Bolt:

Shannon's Domestic Animal: https://www.facebook.com/DomesticAnimal

Shannon Bolt's email: [email protected]

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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: open.spotify.com/artist/1HlMhcNfKIELxYil5mVqDI

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