At some point, you may have found yourself in a situation where your dog ignores you and disobeys your commands. This situation can become very frustrating and hopeless. Disobedience can occur at different levels and in different contexts. To help you solve this problem, in today’s article, we will show you how to get your dog to listen to you.
Why Does Your Dog Ignore You?
Education and training of dogs in the early stages of their lives is very important, as it goes a long way in preventing future behavior problems. On many occasions, dogs disobey commands and misbehave, which becomes a frustrating situation for owners. At this point, it is normal for you to ask yourself, “Why isn’t my dog paying attention to me?” Here are some of the possible reasons:
- Lack of training or education: Sometimes inexperience or lack of knowledge means that the right behavior patterns are not established in dogs. Difficult situations can arise during training: reinforcement of unwanted behaviors, trying to go faster than the animal can assimilate, lack of patience, etc. It is therefore important to train and prepare for these moments.
- Age: it is important to take this factor into account because learning is not done in the same way at all stages of development, and we cannot demand the same level from all dogs.
- Command interpretation problems: Dogs often do not pay attention to commands because they do not interpret them as such. It is important that your verbal and non-verbal language reflects the same message and is consistent with the command you want to convey.
- Bonding issues: Having a dog as a companion in your home is more than just meeting your basic needs. You need to build a strong bond and trust if you want your dog to pay attention to you.
- Use of punishment: As dogs grow up, they learn to adapt to the environment around them. They often do things you don’t like and make mistakes because they are learning. In these situations, it’s normal to raise your voice and scold them. However, punishment cannot be the basis for learning. It generates feelings of fear, makes learning difficult and affects the bond. It is much more effective and rewarding to use positive reinforcement.
- High standards: Remember that dogs are very different from humans and learn and function differently. It is important to understand this and accept that they also have their needs and require a certain level of freedom. Just as when a person sees something they like or get their attention, they stop to look at it, a dog needs to stop to sniff, play, run around, etc.
- Reinforcers used do not like: Reinforcers are very stimulating to increase appropriate behaviors. However, it is important to use a reinforcer that the animal likes. Find out what you like best: sausages, candy, etc.
- Environment with many distractions: If there are many elements in the environment that generate distraction, the animal’s ability to obey decreases.
How to Make Your Dog Listen to You
Becoming a Leader
Dogs are pack animals and need a leader. It is very important that you become their leader through respect and trust. It is essential that you show him that he can trust you and that you have the ability to protect him and resolve difficult situations.
This way, he will be convinced that the decisions you make and the things you ask of him are the best for him, and your dog will be much more likely to listen to you.
Get His Attention
To get your dog to obey you, it’s important that you get his attention first. You can do this by teaching him a command that shows him it’s time to turn his attention to you. Try picking up an object, putting it in your hand and bringing it up to your eyes while you give him the command. It can be, “Look!”, “Pay attention!”, or whichever one you like best.
Dogs don’t innately understand the words you use, they are guided by your tone of voice and non-verbal behavior. Therefore, it is important that you take care of these factors when you show him a command.
On the other hand, you should not use his name to scold him or tell him that the game or walk is over, as he will associate it with something negative and you will not get your dog’s attention.
Set Clear Rules
Choose the rules you want your friend to learn, then show him the commands clearly and consistently. It is very important that you maintain consistent guidelines for his behavior so that learning is consolidated.
You can apply different exercises and turn the training into games to make it more challenging. This step takes time and should be practiced daily. It may take weeks or months.
Tips for When Your Dog Ignores You
One of the most common problems is that dogs do not pay attention to their owners’ calls on the street or when they are released. There are a few tips that can help you solve this problem:
- Choose a word to call him and always use the same one.
- In your dog, associate that word with something positive like rewards or petting.
- Give a treat or reward every time you use the word.
- Start learning the word in an easier place, such as at home, and gradually expand the behavior to other settings.
- Don’t use the word to scold.
There you are! With those tips, making your dog listen to you would be easy. What’s your favorite dog breed and why? Let us know in the comments below.