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Why doesn’t my dog listen to me?

Does your dog have selective hearing? Do you find yourself constantly repeating your commands? And asking yourself why is my dog listening to me?

To understand why your dog doesn’t listen to you, you need to attempt to see things from the perspective of your dog. Dogs most of the time will do things for themselves (and sometimes for us). If you allow your dog to find its rewards in external sources (e.g smells, other dogs, etc) that is where the dog will learn to find what it values.

If you take your dog to dog parks and just let them roam free, they will engage in his arousal; high adrenaline play with other dogs. They learn to associate other dogs with this time of play, and they learn that other dogs are more fun than you. Instead of learning to be calm around other dogs and to focus and engage with you instead. Is it any wonder, why when our dogs see another dog they don’t listen to us?

Do you let every man, child, and living being pat your Dog? Many people over socialise their puppies when they are young as they get told that they must provide a positive experience with all people or their puppy will be fearful. But, what they do is they teach their dog that they are allowed to greet every person and that other people are highly rewarding.

And later on, when we’re walking our dogs, and they see another person, they pull like a freight train to get to that person.

As owners, we need to be very selective in how are dogs receive reinforcement. We want our dogs to learn that reinforcement/rewards come from us. We need to create a dog that actively wants to work for us (engagement).

Also, we need a clear communication system (marker training), so that we can mark good behavouir. And then reinforce this good behavouir with our reward systems.

That is why you should spend time on showing your dog where to find reinforcement. Set your dog up to succeed, be very selective in where your dog is allowed to access rewards.

If you need help in getting your Dog to listen to you, our dedicated trainer can help, complete an online booking form here.