10 Reasons Why Your Dog Ignores Your Commands

by | Jan 9, 2023 | Training

Is your dog ignoring you when you try to direct them? Avoid repeating the same command repeatedly and trying to force your dog to obey until you get a response. Instead, consider these scenarios, which represent some of the most common problems when training dogs.

Are You Using the Right Treats for Motivation?

It is a romantic myth that dogs are trained to please humans. According to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, dogs, who are opportunistic creatures, often think “what’s in this for me?” It is possible to make a difference in a dog’s attitude toward work by using the right treats. Low-value treats, such as kibble, can cause your dog to lose interest. This is especially true during learning stages or when there are distractions.

Remember to give your dog soft, chewy treats that are smelly and small. This will allow your dog to quickly eat the treat and keep his eyes on you instead of being distracted by a longer-lasting treat.

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Frequent Treats for Good Behavior

Your dog might find it more enjoyable to sniff the grass, look around, mark territory, and pull on the leash than training in the beginning stages. What’s the reason? This is likely because there are stimuli that are more interesting and worth paying attention to. Your dog may have had little training in the past. You can increase the rate at which your dog learns. During this time, you can reward your dog with more treats to help him train. This will motivate him and teach him to pay more attention when he is distracted by the environment.

Low rates of reinforcement can cause your dog to become frustrated and make them give up. You should reward your dog for success. Only after your dog responds well can you allow them to continue with the training program.

cute smart pug puppy dog sitting in front of  blackboard with chalk question marks

Too Much, Too Fast – Don’t Overstimulate Your Dog

Here is where the old saying “Be a splitter, not a lumper” comes in. It can be tempting to try to teach all new behaviors in one evening. You may find yourself asking too much of your dog when they are not responding to you. Don’t try to make it too difficult. Instead, take small steps and help your dog achieve their goal. For example, let’s say you wanted to teach your dog how to touch the tip of a target stick with its nose. They don’t have to do it perfectly every time to receive a reward. It is perfectly fine to reward him for touching any part of the stick. Once your dog is comfortable with this, you can reward him for only touching the tip of the stick.

Do your best to keep your dog’s progress moving forward. Also, don’t make your training sessions too lengthy.

Too Many Distractions Can Make Training Difficult

Dogs learn best in quiet environments. Starting your training in a distracting area such as outside or at a park can be a recipe for failure. Begin training in a quiet area that won’t distract your pup from the task at hand. When your dog can perform the behavior in a quiet area, you can gradually ask your dog to do the same in a noisy room. Next, move on to the yard, busy streets, dog park, and so forth. Your dog might not respond if you begin on a busy street or in a dog park immediately.

Poor Training or Lack of Training

Past trainers or owners may have performed little training or it may have been done incorrectly. There is a possibility that the handler has a history of being inconsistent with the dog and not following through, and the dog might have learned to ignore him. Dogs who have not been trained or have been allowed to do what they want for most of their lives can find it difficult to learn the concepts. The handler must be interesting and worth listening to. This can be done by investing in reward-based training methods such as Adrienne Farricelli’s Brain Training for Dogs course.

Man training dog

Keep Your Cues Clear and Easily Understood by Your Dog

Dogs thrive when you use the same command every time. Ensure that the dog’s trainer and all others are on the same page. If your dog stares at you when you ask them for a command, it is possible that the command has not been used regularly in the past.

Staying consistent with your commands and cues is integral for any proper training. It is common in households for each family member to have different commands to call the family dog. “Here”, “come”, “let’s go”, and calling the dog by name are only a few variations that the animal must parse to determine what its owner wants. Getting the entire family or trainer on the same page will go a long way to ensure a successful training session every time. Additionally, dogs respond to body language more readily than verbal cues. Ensure that your body language matches the verbal command.

You should also try to not repeat the same commands repeatedly. Otherwise, your dog may not listen to you the first time you say it. Instead, they will wait until you finish your sentence.

Don’t Let Frustration Build During Training

Dogs can read body language well and are able to sense frustration. Dogs will often become less cooperative if their handler is frustrated. To end the session on positive notes, ask your dog to perform a behavior that he is familiar with (such as a sit) and provide a treat for a successful attempt. If your dog finds the exercise too difficult, you can give him another chance to try it and make it easier by possibly breaking it into smaller parts.

Keep in mind, however, that if your voice starts rising, your body is bending down, or you get into your dog’s face you are intimidating him. Instead of listening to your cues, he or she will feel the need to appease you.

Young pretty woman with her husky dog sitting in the floor at indoors having doubts

Are Emotions Interfering with Your Decisions?

Training may be affected if a dog is anxious, fearful, or nervous. The dog may be in a fight-or-flight state, which can affect his cognitive function and impair his ability to learn. You may have to start by working in areas that your dog is less likely to be afraid of and then slowly introduce more stimuli to make him react.

If your dog is afraid of thunder, rather than playing recordings at full volume and exposing him immediately, play the recordings at a low volume so that he can hear the sound but not be scared. You will reward your dog for listening to the sound and then gradually increase the volume over time and through multiple training sessions. This is called desensitization and is a very common method used in dog training.

Health Questions

Your dog may not be listening to you if he is feeling sick or uncomfortable. Your veterinarian should check for any medical conditions if your dog is not being as attentive as usual. Orthopedic problems may manifest as sloppy sitting or refusal to lie down.

Some dogs might not like certain surfaces or the weather. Sometimes a distracted dog just needs to go and use the bathroom. It is important to determine what could be distracting your dog and causing odd behavior.

Brain Train Your Dog

Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated

Dog owners often don’t realize this, but idle minds can lead to serious problems. Many owners allow their dogs to lie by the fire all day long, which can lead to boredom and many behavior problems. The simple trick to a well-trained pet is getting them to think and engage their minds.

Dogs would have spent a lot of their lives in the wild before they were domesticated. Dogs had special roles in human relationships, even in modern times. These natural instincts are still evident in dogs today. You will see how beagles are drawn to scents and terriers love digging. Tree-loving coonhounds can bark when they spot prey on a tree. Dogs are more motivated than humans to be productive, which can lead to behavioral problems, disobedience, and poor psychological health. Dog owners often spend thousands on training their dogs, when what they really need is more mental stimulation.

Brain Training for Dogs is a simple training solution for young and old dogs. Adrienne Farricelli, CPDT-KA, a professional trainer, wrote Brain Training for Dogs. Her work has been featured in USA Today and Nest Pets. Through 21 fun and simple games, the novel and scientifically proven methods taught by Adrienne are sure to improve the lives of both you and your dog! Brain Training for Dogs will help your dog become a more well-behaved, respectful dog.

Learn More About Brain Training for Dogs

Final Words

There are many reasons your dog might not be listening to what you say. You shouldn’t label your dog stubborn and stop shouting commands like a drill sergeant. Don’t abandon training. Instead, give your dog some time to think about what might be happening. Better training is possible if you have a better understanding of dogs’ learning processes.