Petiquette With Jim Burwell: Dog Not Listening To You? Here’s An Easy Secret To Changing That

Does your dog ignore you and not listen to you when you attempt to get him to obey? This is a pretty common dog training complaint with dog owners, but it is also a complaint that is pretty easy to solve. Here’s one way to look at understanding how to make your dog listen to you. Dogs are much like children. You must have patience and be consistent in your training in order for any type of dog training to work. Here are a few tips to help you understand the best way to get your dog to listen:

  • Relevancy is key in dog training. What this means is: If you teach your dog certain behaviors, but only teach those behaviors in the kitchen, then the dog will very likely only perform the behavior in the kitchen. Dogs learn in context. So to have your dog respond to your request for a certain behavior, you need to practice teaching that behavior or behaviors in many different settings. Especially settings that are highly relevant to you. Example: You like to take your dog to Starbucks, sit on the patio and have your dog sit next to you. Then you must practice teaching him sit at Starbucks.
  • Consistency. Teaching your dog obedience isn’t really that difficult, but you must be consistent. Practicing dog training only occasionally will not work. Taking the right action each and every time is what will instill obedience in your dog. If you choose to train your dog only when you are in the mood, it won’t work.

Here’s a little secret for you. Understand what your dog views as important. This can include anything from going to a walk ,to playing with other dogs, to dinner time. Once you understand what’s important to your dog, you begin to show your dog that he has to earn those important things. He want’s to go for a walk. Require a sit before you put on the leash. He wants to go outside, require a sit or a down before you open the door and let him out. If the requested behavior is not given, the dog does not get what he wants. Walk away and come back in 2 or 3 minutes and try again. Dogs do what works. Once they realize you are not going to give in and instead they have to give you the behavior you request, they’ll do it.

You will find that by training your dog in this manner which is totally positive and non-confrontational, training get easier and can be a lot of fun. Remember to train in different locations and around different distractions. That’s what will give you a well trained dog.

Dog training is really common sense and understanding what dogs need to be balanced and what are the things that are important to your dog and how do you control those things. Put all that together and you become a good leader to your dog and your dog becomes a wonderful, obedient pet. All achieved through patience and practice.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

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