A dog is a man’s best friend. In fact, 38.4% of dogs are owned by homeowners in the US. This translates to 45.255 million households with dogs. Based on studies, each household has an average of two dogs. While dogs are great companions, there are times when they will not obey your commands.
This is quite frustrating. For example, you can call your dog and he or she fails to come. When you call, your dog simply stands or lies down watching you calling him or her. A majority of homeowners think it’s the dog’s fault for not responding to commands.
Well, it’s not. The problem could be you, the dog owner.
Here are the 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Ignores Your Commands.
1. You Talk Too Much
While your family and friends will hang on to your every word, your dog thinks you talk too much. Dogs use visual signs to communicate. This is evident in the different gestures they display. When you command your dog to do something, he will be trying to figure out what you want by watching for any visual communication.
What you need to know is that your constant talking is noise to your dog. Want to ensure your dog listens to your commands? Use visual language. With visual language, you ensure that your commands count. For example, if your dog rolls over, it could be an invitation for a belly rub or something else.
Remember, not all dogs love belly rubs. This means when you stand over your dog and he growls when he is one his back, then it means “give me space.”
Also, when training your dog and he fails to respond to a certain command after 5 times, stop commanding him.
2. You Offer Low-Value Treats
The type of reward you choose to give your dog can motivate or not motivate him to respond to your commands. When you give your dog soft, smelly and small bite-sized treats, he will be more inclined to respond to your commands than giving him low-value treats.
The reason why small bite-sized treats work best is that they are easy to gobble down. As such, your dog will eat the treats and await your next command. Low value treats like dry treats are not exciting to your dog.
As such, they will decrease his overall performance and motivation. In fact, they can decrease his performance and motivation up to the point he no longer responds to any commands. Switch to high value treats if you want your dog to respond to your commands.
3. You Lose Your Temper Easily
Do you lose your temper when your dog fails to respond to your commands? How would you respond when your boss loses his or her temper every time you fail to respond to his or her requests? I bet you will not feel good.
If you have been yelling, losing your temper and probably kicking your dog when he does not respond to your commands, you are making your relationship to be worse. When you abuse your dog, it shuts him down. As such, your dog will fail to comply with your commands.
Other dogs have attacked their owners for being mistreated. Want to ensure you have a happy and obedient dog? Treat your dog nicely. Avoid yelling, kicking or losing your temper. Save your pent-up energy for the gym.
4. Your Commands Are Difficult to Comprehend
What experts have observed is that failure for dogs to respond to commands stems from issuing difficult commands. For example, your dog has been peeing on the carpet instead of outside in your backyard. How do you potty train him?
The secret is to make your commands as simple as possible. By instilling good habits, not only do you get to attain your objective but you build a loving bond with your dog. To do so, start house training your dog when he is 12 weeks to 16 weeks.
At this time, he has control of his bladder and bowel movements. To achieve your objective, break it down into attainable steps. Remember, reshape your dog’s behavior with reward and encouragement.
5. Too Many Distractions in the Room
Can you concentrate on your work or studies when someone is playing loud music or yelling? I bet you can’t. This is the same as your dog. If there are too many distractions in the room, he will not respond to your commands.
To ensure he does, eliminate all distractions. To do so, choose a quiet room. Start training your dog in a quiet room. Once he learns the commands, you can proceed to another environment. For example, you can choose to train him at the dog park, a busy street or your front yard.
Remember, it may take time for your dog to adjust to the new environment. Be patient and have fun.
6. You Are Sending Unclear Signals
When you command your dog and he ends up staring at you, the reason could be that you are sending unclear signals. To ensure your dog responds to your commands, make sure that you are consistent with your signals.
For example, if you are teaching your dog to respond to his new name, all family members should start calling him by his name. By doing so, your dog will learn to respond to the name. But, if some family members call him by a different name while you call him by his name, he will get confused.
Don’t forget that you should not repeat your commands over and over. If you do so, your dog will not listen to the first command. He will wait for you to finish the command before responding.
7. Your Dog Is Nervous, Anxious or Fearful
Dogs produce emotions just like humans. In fact, scientists have found out that dogs have similar hormones and undergo similar chemical changes that humans do in different emotional states. Dogs have the hormone oxytocin.
This hormone controls affection and love for others. With this in mind, dogs also become nervous, anxious and fearful. In this emotional state, your dog will be in a fight or flight response. This affects his cognitive function.
If you train your dog while in this state, it will be difficult for him to respond to your commands. To ensure your dog responds to your commands, desensitize your dog during training. To do so, identify your dog triggers.
Whether it’s a person, object, place or sound, identify and note the triggers. Rank the triggers and begin exposing the triggers to your dog gradually.
8. Your Dog Is Uncomfortable or Unwell
When your dog is unwell or uncomfortable, it will be difficult for him to respond to your commands. To know if your dog is unwell or uncomfortable, check for these signs. Is your dog keeping to himself? Is he eating or not? Does he keep coughing and are the eyes runny?
Well, if you identify the signs above and more, your dog is unwell. The first step you should take is to visit your vet. He or she will conduct a checkup to know what is ailing your dog. Apart from being unwell, the weather could be making your dog uncomfortable.
If it’s too hot, too cold or too windy when training your dog, your dog will be uncomfortable. If it’s too hot, he will quench his thirst with every chance he gets.
9. Your Dog Is Too Tired, Lethargic or Bored
If your dog sees you issuing the command but does not see the point of responding, then he is either too tired, lethargic or bored. This is common with large dogs. What a large dog wants to ensure is that when they lumber towards the owner, it better be worthwhile.
If it’s not, your dog will go on strike. As such, you will call him over and over again but he will not respond. To ensure that your dog always responds to your commands, not only should you teach him the commands but the reason for responding to the command.
That means doing attention-grabbing gestures. For example, you can kick the dog’s food bowl, rattle the furniture or bang the door. When your dog does not respond, do not punish or reprimand him. Instead, show your dog what he missed. You can waggle a tasty treat or tease him with the treat and give it to another dog.
10. You Are Not Engaging Your Dog’s Mind
Like people, a dog will become mischievous and even disobey your commands simply because you are not engaging his mind. If you leave your dog to his vices, it will lead to untold behaviors. To ensure your dog responds to your commands, engage his mind.
This will get him thinking. There are several ways you can give your dog more mental stimulation. For example, you can ensure your dog works for their food. You can teach your dog new tricks, play free shaping games and create an obstacle course for your dog.
You can also play nose work games or let your dog sniff and explore on walks. By mentally stimulating your dog, not only do you instill obedience but vital tricks and skills. Also, you get to improve his intelligence and fight boredom. By the end of your training, your dog will be responding to all commands.
Best of luck!