Why Won’t My Dog Listen?
One of a dog owner’s greatest frustrations can be a dog that doesn’t listen to what they are told to do. All dogs can be good listeners, but they need the proper guidance and relationship with their owners to achieve this. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, it’s probably due to one of the following reasons.)
1. You Aren’t Fun Enough
If your dog isn’t listening, they may have learned that there is a greater reward in ignoring you— more squirrels to chase, more time to smell the grass, you name it. The only way to get your dog’s attention is to become more interesting than whatever they are currently doing.)
2. Fear of Punishment
Think carefully before you correct your dog for misbehavior. Don’t use punishment or inappropriate forms of correction. For example, your dog gets out the front door and leads you on an hour long chase through the neighborhood. If you punish your dog for finally returning home (or merely allowing themselves to be caught), your dog will associate that correction with the last action they took— coming back.)
3. Dog Requires (More) Training
Our dogs genuinely want to do the right thing, but we need to give them the tools. If you feel your dog isn’t listening because she’s being difficult or stubborn, consider that maybe she just doesn’t get it. The way to fix this is formal training: go to a class, get a private lesson from a professional trainer or read up on current, positive methods.)
4. You’re Speaking the Wrong Language
If your dog seems to be ignoring you, maybe it’s just a “language barrier” of sorts. You speak English (or Spanish or some other language) and she speaks canine. It’s not just about interpreting a bark. Dogs are very tuned into body language. They communicate mostly through posture, movement, eye contact…all without a single spoken word. The next time your dog doesn’t listen to you, consider if she truly understands the question.)
5. Your Timing is Off
When your dog won’t listen to you, timing may be an issue. Timing is critical for dogs to understand what they are being rewarded or punished for (focus on rewarding if you can). You have about 2 to 3 seconds after their behavior before the meaning is lost.)
If All Else Fails, Seek Professional Dog Training Help
If your dog is not listening, regardless of why, the best solution may be found through a professional dog trainer (try the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers for help finding one). Good dog trainers don’t just know how to get a dog to sit, or lie down; they can interpret relationships between dogs and owners and help you learn how to improve them. That leads to a happy ending for both you and your dog, and lots more listening!