When your dog won’t listen to your directions, it can be irritating – and it can also be hazardous. After all, having this kind of connection with your dog can help keep him out of trouble by stopping him from doing things like rushing out into traffic or eating something he shouldn’t. It can also help you keep your sanity by helping you deal with bad habits.
However, getting to the bottom of the issue is not always a simple process. Where can you even begin if your dog does not obey you, either in certain circumstances or all the time? The following are some issues that you might be running across right now.
If you’ve ever tried to converse with an energetic child, then you know how eager energy can be distracting. Dogs are the same way in this regard. When your pup is raring to go, his entire concentration is on unleashing all that pent-up energy inside, and he’s going to have a hard time listening to you.
So keep in mind that you should work out first, then implement discipline, and then show affection. A daily stroll that actually empties all of your dog’s energy will go a long way.
If your dog is receiving different messages regarding his behavior, he won’t grasp what you want from him. That’s also true if separate family members implement different rules. Sit down as a family and discuss the rules, boundaries, and constraints you wish to create for your dog. It can be beneficial to write them down and display them somewhere noticeable.
Control Your Energy
Dogs listen to their pack leaders, and you can only be that leader if you are demonstrating calm-assertive energy. If you’re agitated or hesitant when you offer a command, your dog will tune you out. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t truly conscious of the energy we are sending off. Have a friend examine your behavior and offer you comments — or even a video of it so you can see for yourself.
Go Back to Basics
Does your dog genuinely know the command? It can take hundreds or even thousands of repetitions for some dogs to acquire new talent. Practice makes perfect. You may need to focus on training again to ensure your dog really gets it down.
Stop Relying on Verbal Commands
Dogs don’t speak to one another; they utilize energy and body language to communicate. So it’s not strange that they sometimes have trouble following our spoken instructions, especially since they have to listen to us talk all day.
Even if they know a command, they may actually link it more with a non-verbal indication you offer at the same moment — something you may not even be aware you’re doing.
If your dog is listening to you, consider what has changed in your physical presence.Are you holding a baby? Are you sitting down? Are you averting your gaze?Small changes like these might be making it harder for you to get your message across the way you usually do.
Notice Your Dog’s Emotional State
Beyond pent-up energy, your dog may be distracted by a number of emotions. If you are trying to train her to come when a neighbor’s dog approaches, your pup may instead be so focused on marking her territory that she’s tuned you out. Or she may be so startled by the sound of thunder and lightning that there’s little cerebral space to hear your command to go to her box. You have to deal with the underlying issue before you can get your dog to genuinely listen to you.
If you continue to experience trouble, consider contacting an expert for help. Communication between you and your dog is crucial for both of you and is worth the investment of your time and effort.
Exposure to New Environments
One of the most crucial components of educating your dog to listen to you is to expose them to a wide array of scenarios in which you want them to listen. Odds are you’re finding it tough to get your pet to listen while you are out on walks, at a dog park, in a new setting, etc.! It’s not a coincidence…
If your pooch’s largest listening challenge is when other dogs are nearby, it’s probably time for some concentrated training sessions in the company of other dogs.
For example, take your pup outside of a dog park (on a leash, of course) (on a leash, of course). Start maybe 20-30 feet away from the fence of the park. Get your pup to perform a “look at me” (we covered it above, remember?), lie down, sit, etc., and maybe even a nice “come when called” from a short distance.
As your pup nails certain activities from a distance of 20-30 feet, move 5-10 feet closer and repeat.
Keep working on this technique until you’re very close to the fence. Remember, the fence will probably have a handful of dogs right next to it! Don’t forget that every pup learns and improves at a different pace. Stay patient and if the 20-30 foot distance from the fence takes a few training sessions to get down, that’s okay!
This form of “exposure,” or what is frequently referred to as “conditioning,” is vitally crucial for getting your dog to listen to you in all types of distractions and settings.
It is not easy to teach your dog every little thing, especially when it comes to listening to you and paying attention to you. It may take several months of dedicated training and physical preparation. Keep in mind that you should begin slowly and concentrate on achieving success in baby steps.
Figuratively speaking, your new puppy needs to gain their footing by learning to crawl before they can walk.
It is really essential to make use of a treat with a high value whenever you are teaching your dog any behavior, whether it be focus, recall, or anything else! Something they will look forward to every time they attend a training session.