They don’t speak English, of course they’re not listening to you!
Okay, that was a little joke. Obviously, dogs don’t speak the human language at all, so this has nothing to do with why they aren’t listening to you. As frustrating as it can be, you need to remain calm and figure out why your dog never does what you ask of them. Firstly, be aware that they aren’t doing this on purpose. Unlike a child that purposely ignores you, a dog isn’t trying to get on your nerves.
So, why aren’t they listening? Here are three common reasons:
They never learned the verbal cue
When training your dog, you will usually say words and perform actions. A common mistake is for your dog to learn the physical action, not the verbal cue. This isn’t a mistake on their behalf; it’s yours.
You see, dogs pick up on body language before responding to the actual words themselves. When you tell your dog to sit, you motion for them to do so. They learn the motion, see it, and sit. You assume their training is done, so you leave it at that. Then, when you tell them to sit without the correct motion, they don’t do it. Whether you send your dog to puppy school or you train them yourself, you need to ensure they learn the audio cue as well as the visual.
Otherwise, it will seem like they never listen to you!
They’re going through puppy puberty
Just like humans, dogs go through a period of adolescence where their hormones change. This is typically between 6 and 18 months, and it’s basically their version of puberty.
Unfortunately, this means they are more likely to act like teenagers! Dogs become quite rebellious during this stage, and they might stop responding to your training. Don’t worry, they will get through it and should return to their normal selves eventually.
Be aware of how old your dog is when they don’t seem to listen. Likewise, very old dogs can stop listening because they’re old and tired. Puppies are usually the easiest to train, so keep all of this in mind.
All dogs will be afraid of something at some point. For many, this could be visiting the vet – or loud noises, like thunder. Pay attention to your dog and look at how they are acting when they don’t respond to you. If they exhibit signs of fear, you should stop shouting commands at them.
Instead, be more gentle and comfort them. Pet your dog and make them feel more relaxed and less afraid. When they calm down, you will find it a lot easier to get them to listen to you. Often, it is hard to get your dog to do something when they’re barking like crazy. Well, this could be because they’re afraid of something and barking is their way of trying to defend themselves and your family.
In summary, dogs don’t choose to be disobedient. There are lots of factors that can make it seem like a dog is purposely not listening to you. Figure out why this is the case, and you’ll soon have much more success with your pup.