Why Won’t My Dog Listen To Me?

dog on grass

Some dog owners find that their pets ignore them, when they issue a command or instruct them to ‘come’. If this applies to you, your feelings might have been hurt, because you think that your dog dislikes you. Alternatively, you might feel as if your authority is being challenged. Most of the time though, your dog is ignoring you because you have unintentionally conditioned it to do this. Every dog can be attentive, however you have to guide and interact with it correctly to accomplish this. If your dog seems oblivious to your existence, it is probably due to one of these reasons:


It is Afraid of Being Punished

Whenever you punish your pet for something, it is important to do so in a way that tackles the undesirable behavior directly. This way, your dog will link the punishment with that specific behavior, and not be confused. For instance, let’s say that your pet runs out of your house and you have to spend hours looking for it in your local area. Once you finally locate your dog, you are bound to feel exasperated or even cross.


Nonetheless, punishing your dog at this moment would be a mistake, because it will link the punishment with being caught and brought home. Dogs only have a brief attention span, so they will not make the link between the behavior you are annoyed at (running out of the house hours ago), and the correction they are now receiving. Consequently, if you punish your dog when it returns home, the next time it will probably hide when you call for it. To avoid falling into this trap, always try to use positive correction methods, rather than punitive based training.


Other Activities are More Appealing Than you

Much of the time, when your dog gives you the cold shoulder, it is because it has found something more entertaining to do. If your dog fails to respond, when you try to call it in from the garden, your pet has probably decided that it has more to gain by ignoring you. Perhaps the grass smells nice, or there are lots of hedgehogs to chase, etc.


Many dogs are good listeners while they are at home, however once you take them outdoors to the town or park, they stop paying attention to even the most basic instructions. In all of these circumstances, becoming exasperated or upset will not make your animal want to do as you ask. You can only capture the attention of your dog, by becoming more entertaining than whatever is presently occupying them. Act in a more jovial, entertaining and outgoing manner, so your pet will enjoy your company more.


Your Method of Communication is Ineffective

Frequently, without realizing it, you probably expect your pet to comprehend things like humans and behave like you do. However, this is expecting too much. If your dog does not respond to you, it could be a form of communication breakdown. Dogs are highly aware of body language. For them, eye contact, movement and posture are more revealing than spoken words. When your dog next ignores you, think about whether it properly understood the command.


Your Animal Lacks Formal Training

Lots of owners assume that their dogs will respond to instructions, without giving them the proper training to do so. Maybe you believe your dog understands a command, however in reality they might have responded correctly by chance. Alternatively, perhaps they have some comprehension of your instructions, however they can not focus sufficiently when distractions are present, or if they are bored or tired. In all likelihood, your dog wants to behave correctly, however you have to guide it appropriately. If you think that your pet ignores you because it is a stubborn creature, consider that perhaps it just doesn’t understand. To remedy this situation, it is best to try some formal training. Read a good book, arrange a session with a professional dog trainer, or attend a class. Teach yourself, so you are familiar with the correct way to train your dog.


Your dog is Naturally Wary of Other Dogs or Strangers

Whenever humans become frightened, they either run, fight or freeze. Dogs are exactly the same. Some are only scared of men. Others are frightened of all dogs they see, and some can behave in a scared or aggressive way towards anyone who enters your home. If you have any experience of dealing with skittish dogs, you will be familiar with this phenomena. During the initial few days, these animals are in an observational state. They closely evaluate your actions to gauge whether you are friendly, noisy, consistent, strong, mean, clever, assertive, psychotic or just stupid. And, needless to say, they will challenge and test your training expertise. The best way to win the trust of shy, fearful dogs who have been abused, is to adopt nonthreatening body language and give them delicious treats.


E-collars are useful tools for dog training that can assist dogs, and even save their lives in some circumstances. These collars are not always the best way to address behavioral problem with dogs though. If your dog receives lots of punishments for many types of behavior, it could quickly become frightened, bewildered or stressed. As with prong or choke collars, e-collars should be used correctly. Using an e-collar for training shares many similarities with using a clicker, because the vibration has to be delivered at the exact moment the animal misbehaves. There’s no cleaner or faster method to correct a pet, than to press a button that triggers a vibration. These collars are excellent for stopping barking or jumping, and for teaching dogs physical boundaries.


If your dog does not listen to you, irrespective of the reason, visiting a professional trainer might be the ideal solution. Reputable dog trainers can do more than just teach your dog to heel. They can read relationships between owners and dogs, and teach you how to enhance yours. This results in a desirable outcome for you and your pet, and more attentiveness in future.