One of the most common questions dog owners have is why isn’t my pooch listening to my instructions? This can be disheartening, but it happens due to many reasons which we can help you figure out.
Having a dog with you is synonymous with having a compassionate and loyal friend. The understanding which is found between an owner and a pet is unparalleled in any relationship.
And we understand how disturbing it is for you if your dog does not respond to your instructions.
The behavior of not responding to the command can be irritating but is also dangerous in many ways. Communication plays a vital role between you and your pet. Proper support and contact between the two will help in the long run.
Being a pet parent, you need to understand canine behavior; after all, it is the responsibility of being a good guardian, right?
Since many times people do not understand the change in their pet’s behavior, so here you must look out for the reasons of your dog not responding to your instructions or commands:
Reasons Why Dogs May Have Behavior Issues
- Repetitive Instructions
Do you say “run” two to three times in front of your dog before he does it? Dog owners usually train them by issuing repetitive instructions.
Suppose, if you command your dog to run, and he does not do it immediately, you would repeat your instructions until he responds, right? And then when he finally responds after the fourth try, you immediately shower your love upon him.
So, it would be embedded in his mind that he has to only run after three to four instructions from his owner.
Therefore, you have to avoid giving repeated instructions to your dog for common activities. Otherwise, he would modify his behavior to respond only after continuous commands.
- Poor Training Sessions
Teaching behaviors to your dog is a challenging yet engaging task. Many times he does not respond to your commands only because of the poor training sessions he has had with you.
Don’t work your little friend too hard by having overly long training sessions. They generally become bored and fatigued due to long training hours.
Don’t make these sessions so long that your dog becomes disinterested in learning any new behavior. You need to invest only about 15 minutes in training at a time to ensure positive results from your pet.
- Training Your Dog in a Single Environment
Have you ever wondered why your dog does not listen to your commands in a noisy area?
That’s because of your lack of training in a different environment! As responsible pet parents, you must train them in a quiet environment where there is minimal disturbance and no commotions.
Once you have trained them in a quiet environment, you must then start shifting your pooch’s training to more lively places, so that your dog understands that he has to follow your instruction immediately, irrespective of the environment.
Avoid training in a single environment for a considerable period, otherwise, your dog will not respond to your command in a different environment. You can even take them to parks and open areas to make them feel better.
- Language Barrier
Dogs are known for understanding our emotions empathically. However, they do not relate to our instructions sometimes. In these situations, the language barrier is responsible for our dog’s disregard of the instructions.
They are always receptive to your body language, though. Therefore, whenever your adorable friend does not pay attention to your instructions, consider changing your body language so that he understands your command well!
- No Treats Involved
Pets love to be served with treats while training or in general. When they don’t get them, they try to ignore your instructions.
However, too many treats can have negative results, and they won’t listen to your command without getting served. It is best to keep treats handy when training or going for a walk; it will help them to stay with you and listen to you.
- Negative Reinforcement and Strained Relationship
Dogs are lovely creatures that are always loyal to their owners. They always shower love on their owners and look after their well-being in whatever way they can. However, it is disheartening to see when any short-tempered owner yells at or even hits their dog. This type of horrid behavior stops the dog from completing the easiest task for its owners.
Dogs that are abused by their owners can become obstinate and will not follow their owner’s commands. If you want to have a happy experience with your lovely partner-in-crime, avoid losing your temper, and never abuse those wonderful creatures!
- Inconsistent Decisions on Your End
You must not make inconsistent decisions while handling your furry friend. If you do not want him to sit on your sofa, do not allow him to do so. If you do not want your friend to jump up on your friend, make this happen. Avoid making inconsistent decisions while handling your four-legged companion.
If you do not take the uniform approach in these matters, your dog will not respond to your command whenever you tell him to get off the sofa or to avoid chasing your friends. So, stay vigilant and consistent in handling your dog’s manners to foster a good training environment.
- Ruptured Eardrum
You must become careful if your dog starts ignoring you out of the blue, as it may happen due to medical reasons. If he becomes off-balance and becomes uneasy, he may have a ruptured eardrum. He will not be able to hear your instructions if he has a ruptured eardrum.
Other symptoms signaling towards ruptured eardrum include tilting of the head, liquid draining from his ear, and rubbing near his ears. If your dog is having any of the above symptoms, take him to a vet. If you need a specialized vet, you can find one on GreatVet.com, where all the specialized veterinary clinics near you can be found.
Has your dog stopped eating? Has he started sitting in one place for hours? Stay alert and take care of your furry friend as these are the symptoms of doggy depression. Your dog may ignore playing with you, and may not participate with you in routine activities if he is suffering from depression. He may not eat much, sleep a lot more, and show a lack of enthusiasm towards you.
Other symptoms of depression involve vomiting, fever, and lethargy. Your dog can become depressed due to sudden situational changes that happen around him. For instance, when you have moved to a new house, he may start missing his old home and not engage with you for the time being.
Further, your pet may also get depressed due to some serious illness afflicting the body. Diseases like diabetes and kidney failure affect the mental state of your furry friend. So be careful and visit your nearest vet immediately if your dog appears to be depressed. After all, it is our responsibility to ensure the good health of our family members, right?
- Don’t Call Them for Irrelevant Reasons
Do you know that your dog may start taking you lightly due to your habit of irrelevant instructions? Yes, you heard it right! Your dog may start avoiding you if you have called them for unnecessary reasons in the past.
Many times, pet parents call their furry members for trivial reasons, thereby making them feel lethargic and bored. If this keeps happening, the dog will no longer respond to their call. So make sure you do not bore him with your unnecessary fun, and avoid calling him for irrelevant activities!
This is the most common mistake that dog owners make during the training of their dogs. If two things are presented to him at the same time, your dog will only follow the thing which is more relevant to him, and he will completely ignore the other command.
For instance, if you pair your physical and verbal commands at the same time, the physical command will override the verbal one, and your dog will obey your physical instructions.
So make sure your verbal command always comes before the physical cue so that it is easy for your friend to follow your instructions.
Training your dog in a professional manner is very necessary. Initially, it can be challenging for you, but after a few sessions, things can feel normal. More importantly, avoiding the above mistakes can further help to deal with the problem.
We hope this article was helpful in informing you about the reasons behind your dog’s unresponsiveness to instructions. Thanks for reading!