Why doesn't my dog listen to me?

Why doesn't my dog listen to me?

1. You only rely on verbal cues
Dogs are great at reading body language but they are not as good at  recognising verbal cues, unless they are paired with a gesture.

It's really important you teach your dog an action using a hand gesture, then once they've mastered it, start to add the verbal cue such as 'sit'.

Reinforce this cue by repeating it again and again and try to use gestures instead of words, so you speak their language!


2. Age, oh to be young again!
Remember, adolescence in dog's occurs around 6-12 months and ends 18-24 months. This means that although your puppy is growing, they have not yet become an adult.

Puppies will also go through a teenage stage where often everything you taught them gets temporarily forgotten!

Be forgiving by giving your puppy time and space to explore and learn this big old world.


3. Distractions
All dog's get distracted, and generally they will not be thinking about listening to your commands when this happens.

First evaluate how distracted they are by putting your arm into the air, then place a treat in front of your foot, and repeat.

Silently count to yourself. Do not call your dog and do not make eye contact. If you count more than five, then your dog is too distracted to train or listen at this time.

Instead wait and repeat again in 5 minutes.

When your dog does come to you, make a big fuss. Your dog will soon associate your arm in the air to mean 'Come'.

No more shouting it across the field!


4. Overcrowding
If you constantly tell your dog what to do, such as calling them back to you on walks when they don't need to, they will soon start to ignore your requests.

Allow your dog time to sniff, to explore, and remember a walk is their time not yours, so give them space to enjoy it.

Only use these commands if you genuinely need to.


5. Unreasonable expectations
Just like you, your dog gets scared, anxious, insecure, and on occasion can misbehave!

But, never just see the bad days, remember that your dog is still learning, and just like a child, they are not perfect no matter how much you may will them to be so.

Praise the good, and ignore the bad. If you highlight it by telling them off, they won't know the difference.

Be calm, praise, and never expect perfect behaviour all of the time.