A common issue that many dog owners have is that their dog ignores them when they call him. It can be hard to try to figure out why your dog is not listening to you. You see other people playing with their dogs and you see that their dogs obey every command that is given, right away, and you are completely stunned as to why your own dog is not behaving the same way. If you want to get to the bottom of this issue, you must learn to think like a dog and communicate like a dog so that you can earn the dog’s trust. Bonding with your dog and learning trust with a different species is not an easy feat. What are the reasons that your dog may be ignoring you?
You are non-Committal
Humans have a difficult time making decisions. Life decisions are among the hardest – should I change jobs? Should I finally get married? Should I have children? These are all life decisions that can change your life, but dog training is not a life decision. It is a plan that you must commit to. An example would be that if you do not want your dog to sleep on the bed with you, then you must keep him off the bed. If the dog is jumping up on people, then you must stop that too. Never let the dog do bad behaviours sometimes and get away with them. Commit to ensuring that your dog follows all the rules, always.
You are Talking too Much to your Dog
You talk too much to your dog and he does not listen to you because of it. A dog’s natural language does not use words or noises. They use posture, their eyes, ears and tails. A dog will watch you for what to do, not listen to what you say. When you talk this is just noise to a dog. If you are telling your dog to do something and he is not listening to you then you are training him to ignore you. If your dog is not listening, you need to change your focus, and this leads to the biggest difference between the way humans and dogs experience this world.
You Get Angry
When you lose your temper and yell at your dog or physically correct him it will shut your dog down totally and they will not even perform a simple task. Dogs that suffer abuse from owners will begin to refuse to comply or they may even attack you. When you lose your temper with your dog whether it is verbal or physical, it will lead to a very unhappy dog. Negative reinforcement causes a dog to go into protection or survival mode. Your dog can become defensive, and this will cause your dog to react instead of complying with what you want him to do. Training your dog with positive reinforcement is a great way to teach your dog to perform certain behaviours including using treats and foods or positive actions to reward the dog when he does what you want him to.
Your Timing is Wrong
When you want your dog to do something you need to create motivation by rewarding the dog. In other words, when your dog does something good or right, reward him immediately, do not wait until later to give the dog a reward. They never make the connection between a behaviour that they do hours prior to a reward. Repetition is key also because when you repeat the training with a reward, the dog starts to understand that when he does a certain behaviour it is good, and he will get a reward right away. Your dog is a creature of the moment, they live in the present and do not sit around thinking about the future or the past. Feedback must be given right away when your dog does a behaviour.
Your Rewards are not Good Behaviour Worthy
If you want your dog to be motivated, bring something that will get his attention to your training. Your dog is not going to motivated by the food that he eats daily, he wants something tasty. You should choose treats that are small and soft and can be broken into smaller pieces. You do not want to give your dog a weight problem during training, you just want to get his attention. Some dogs are not motivated by treats and instead like positive reinforcement or “happy talk”. It is up to you to discover what motivates your dog and use that as a reward.
You are Not Willing to Invest Your Time
Your dog is not born with your rules and expectations engrained in his behaviour. You must spend the time with a dog to show it, from the time that it is a puppy, what you expect from it. Puppies are a different species than humans and you must show them how to get along in a human world. Puppies need structure including a time to wake up and a time to go to bed, specific feeding times, mental stimulation and entertainment. We must make an investment in the relationship so that our puppy will become the dog we love as a member of our family.
If you want your dog to listen to you, make time for him. You cannot build a bond with your dog if you do not spend time with him and if you do not have a bond with your dog then he will not want to do anything for you. When you do not spend time on the bond with your dog, he will not care about you, he needs to have an important space in your life.
Your dog is a member of the family from the day you bring him home until the day that he crosses the rainbow bridge. It is important to make an investment of your time to spend with your dog each day. Once you build a bond with your dog and he understands his place in your life, he will start to listen to you, but you must build that bond first.