What to Do When Your Dog Ignores Commands? - 9 Effective Tips

What to do if your dog ignores commands

Doggy commands - Getting Through the Selective Hearing

Having a dog that ignores commands can be frustrating and, in some cases, potentially dangerous. Whether your dog has just started ignoring you or if they've never really listened to you, there are several steps you can take to encourage better obedience.

  1. Training Refresher: Your dog may need to remember what specific commands mean if they weren't firmly established initially. Return to basics and re-teach the commands as if your dog were a puppy. Be patient and consistent.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Always reward your dog for listening to a command. This could be with treats, praise, or a favorite toy. This makes it more likely they will listen in the future.
  3. Avoid Punishment: Don't punish your dog for not listening; it can create fear and confusion. Positive reinforcement is far more effective.
  4. Check Your Tone: Your voice and body language convey a lot to your dog. Use a cheerful, encouraging tone when giving commands, not one of anger or frustration.
  5. Consistent Commands: Everyone in the household should use the same commands for the same behavior. If one person says 'down' when they want the dog off the furniture, and another says 'off,' it can confuse the dog.
  6. Gradual Training: Start training in a quiet, distraction-free environment. Gradually add distractions and practice in different settings as your dog listens better.
  7. Regular Exercise: A dog not getting enough physical and mental exercise may have too much pent-up energy to focus on commands. Regular exercise can help them be more attentive.
  8. Health Check: If your previously obedient dog has suddenly stopped listening, it may be worth a trip to the vet. Pain and certain illnesses can lead to changes in behavior.
  9. Professional Help: If you're still struggling, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer. They can identify issues you might be missing and give you strategies to address them.

Remember, training a dog takes patience and consistency. Celebrate small successes, and don't expect overnight changes. With time and persistence, you can have a well-behaved dog that listens to your commands.