5 Reasons Why Your Dog Isn’t Listening to Your Commands

Although most dogs want to engage with their owners and are willing to please them, don’t forget that the dogs are opportunists.

There are times when no matter what you do, something else is more interesting and doing what makes them happy.

Many dogs, for example, would rather take the steak right off your plate than lie on their bed during your dinner time.

But, there are no bad dogs, there are dogs which lack training.

If you think your dog is not interested in listening to you, you might want to question yourself why that is.

Usually, your dog isn’t being strong-willed or stubborn, it can be a training or communication issue.

1. Weak Rewards

You’ve likely met the dog that performs obedience commands and tricks simply because loves his owner.

But most dogs are not going to do something just because they love for you.

As mentioned before, dogs are opportunists and they are likely to do what provides them with the highest reward.

If you tell your dog to be calm and offer a delicious treat, your dog is going to oblige, just because they’re getting something out of it.

But, if you tell your dog to sit and offer nothing, they may just ignore you.

Shaping behavior with treats, toys, and food is important in the foundations of obedience training.

You need to make obeying commands fun for your dog to make them find joy in working with you.

If you’re using toys or treats and your dog still doesn’t want to engage, find what your dog likes and use it!

2. Lacking Consistency

Every trainer, regardless of their experiences and methods, will tell you that consistency is probably the key aspect of training.

It can be difficult for you to be consistent with your pet, but the more consistent you are, the more useful the training will be.

Consistency provides clear rules for the dog to follow with every specific behavior they learn.

That means it’s easier for them to understand what you want and follow through with it.

We can’t explain to our dogs in human language what we want them to do it and why, so we must be extremely clear in our training since this is the only possible communication with our dogs.

3. Too Much Training

You can get a little carried away when you are teaching your dog something new and exciting.

It’s important to remember, especially when it comes to young dogs, that patience is a virtue.

You can easily overwhelm your dog with many commands that are too complex.

Asking too much of your dogs too soon results in burn out for both owner and dog!

Take a step back if your dog isn’t listening and ensure you aren’t asking too much.

Sometimes the dogs don’t understand a command, so take a moment to revisit older behaviors.

4. Many Distractions

Just because the dog can sit for an hour in your home while you are cooking, it doesn’t necessarily mean he can sit at a park with a game of soccer game going on.

Often owners forget to take distractions into consideration when it comes to their dog’s performance.

A park full of other dogs and people is different from the inside of your living room.

Your dog is in your home daily, but he doesn’t see many other things daily.

What you don’t consider as a big deal, might be a big distraction for the dog.

If your dog behaves well at the park unless there is a baseball game going on, then you know that a baseball game is large of a distraction for your dog and you’ll need to work up to that level of disturbance.

5. No Consequences

Dogs need consequences just like people do.

There are many consequences you can give your dog and only you with your trainer can decide what’s best for him, so we can’t discuss them here.

However, sometimes the dog will choose to disobey regardless of the reward, no matter how well-trained they are.

Besides withholding the toy or treat, giving a correction is your dog’s consequence.

The correction is needed to teach your dog that good behavior comes with rewards, while bad behavior comes with negative consequences.

Many trainers believe this makes training clear to dogs and gives an easy way to communicate and teach them.


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