“Why Won’t My Dog Listen?”: Fixing the Dogs That Disobey

 Dogs are the most popular pet in the US. Nearly 40% of all households have at least one furry pal to join their family. With almost 76 million dogs having fun with families across the country, it’s no surprise that some of them will be a bit troublesome.

Many dog owners complain that their dogs won’t listen, which can be immensely frustrating on occasion. When a dog doesn’t listen, it’s essentially being disobedient. Obedience is one of the measures of the intelligence of your pupper. So if you have any one of the dogs on this list, such as the Afghan Hound or the Chow Chow, you’ll be in for a rough time.

Don’t worry, though. Getting your stubborn dog listening isn’t the most challenging task there is. With a lot of training and care, you can get it done! Just be patient. Let’s get into it!

Do you have a specific question about dealing with the fact that your dog won’t listen? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Why won’t the dog listen to the owner?

It can be very frustrating for a dog owner when their pet refuses to listen to them. In many cases, they try, but with no way to get it to actually obey what they’re saying.

I know somebody who took his dog to the vet because they were scared it was deaf! But nope, it was just a puppy that really didn’t like to listen.

There are a few reasons why your dog just doesn’t want to listen to you, and knowing these are the first step in raising an obedient pet.

  • You’re giving your dog two triggers for one action. We’re humans, so it is really tough for us to talk at length without gesturing to some degree. When you tell your dog to sit, you say the words, but you might also be making the gesture. If that’s the case, your dog might have initially seemed to obey the command, but it wasn’t obeying the word, but the action!
  • You’re overdoing the treats. Treats and rewards are essential in getting a dog to obey the things you say. Still, you’re not meant to give it treats with every single properly followed command. You might end up giving it so many treats that it ends up not obeying if there are no treats involved!
  • You’re not doing enough with the treats. This is the flipside. Dogs don’t like some things sufficient for them to be a proper reward. You can’t give your dog a chunk of watermelon as a pat on the back if it doesn’t even like watermelon! 
  • There are too many distractions. First of all, if you have a new dog or your puppy doesn’t listen, then the best place to try and train it isn’t the dog park. There are toys flying everywhere and dogs running around. It will be challenging to train one there!
  • You don’t help it burn off the excess energy. It’s going to be very tough to train a dog that is absolutely bubbling with energy. The more energy it has, the harder it will be for you to keep its attention, and of course, that results in a dog that just doesn’t listen to you.

How to train a dog that doesn’t listen?

You have a new puppy. Let’s say it’s a Shetland Sheepdog. But for some reason, no matter how hard you try to train it, it just doesn’t listen to you or obey your commands. 

Well, the truth is, if your dog doesn’t listen to you, there’s no way that you can train it! Training is all about listening (and visual cues sometimes). So if your dog won’t even pay attention to what you’re saying, you’re going to have a tough time trying to get it to learn the commands.

How to make your dog listen to your every time?

To get your dog to listen to you each and every time, you need to be able to set the scene in such a manner that its attention will always be on you. Have you ever seen guard dogs that obey even when they seem to be actively engaging an intruder or opponent? That shows how possible it is to gain total obedience from a dog.

Of course, some breeds will be tougher to gain obedience from than others. However, it is still mostly possible to get any dog breed to listen. Here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Always try to talk to your dog in a situation where there are as few distractions as possible.
  • Exercise your dog as regularly as possible to help reduce energy levels.
  • Teach your dog to look at you before speaking. This can be done by using treats to grab its attention and only giving them when it obeys.
  • Don’t use your dog’s name in negative connotations. If you’re angry or see that your dog has made a mess, you can use alternate words like “bad” instead of calling its name. It may begin to associate its name with being scolded otherwise.

How to train your dog to listen to commands?

You might have struggled before if your dog suddenly stops obeying. Now, to get your dog to listen to your commands, you need to follow basic rules:

  • Use your dog’s name, and make sure to enunciate its name loud and clear for it to hear you. After doing that, use a treat. Soon, it will continue to turn and come to you when it hears its name. If you can’t get it to at least know its name, you’re going to have a tough time, so that’s the first step.
  • Be calm when training. It can be frustrating when your dog simply doesn’t listen but doesn’t get angry. Dogs are smart and will be able to notice the change in tone.
  • Keep it on a leash so you can prevent it from leaving your domain when it is being trained. This will improve focus.
  • Look directly at your dog. Make sure to maintain eye contact.

How to get your puppy to listen?

Puppies are young and energetic, so it can be hard to get them to settle long enough to train them. However, if you apply all the tips that I’ve mentioned so far you will find out that even the most hyperactive puppies can be made to listen.

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

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