Is your dog just not listening to you? Having a well-behaved dog is important whether you are out in public or just staying at home. Here are 5 lessons to learn to help you train your dog to listen to you.
But, Before We Dive Into The Lessons…
Dogs Tend To Ignore You Due To Lack Of Exercise
Every dog requires daily exercise, no matter their breed. Some dogs require more than others. Meeting their daily exercise needs is the first thing you should accomplish before expecting them to listen to you.
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The Most Important Thing To Remember On How To Train Your Dog To Listen To You
Training your dog to listen to you will never happen overnight. When applying these tools, remember that they are a long-term solution.
You will probably have good days and bad days. The important thing is to stay consistent with the training. The best life lesson having a dog teaches you is patience. Sticking to this long-term commitment will benefit your safety, peace of mind, and your relationship with your dog.
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1) Teach Your Dog The “Watch” Command
Training your dog to understand the “watch” command is the best way to train them to listen to you. The aim is to train them to have their eyes on you. Once they do this, you have their concentration and they are then open to listening to you.
As simple as this may sound to teach your dog, the challenge comes in when there are distractions. Firstly, train them in a distraction-free environment, then later you can move on to train them in a variety of environments.
Choose a reward that most motivates your dog the most. It is probably a treat or a toy. Take the treat and hold it up in between your eyes. As soon as your dog makes eye contact, praise them with an encouraging “yes!” and reward them. Your timing needs to be spot on.
You don’t want your dog to associate your eyes with treats. Instead, they should associate your eyes with the area they should concentrate on. Bringing your hand down with the treat to your waist before giving them the treat will accomplish this.
Repeat this exercise multiple times.
Once they are practiced, you can start to include a hand signal. Pointing your finger between your eyes and giving them the command works well. Don’t forget to reward them!
Once your dog has mastered the skill at close range and without distractions, you’ll want to start training them in busier environments. Starting small and taking baby steps will get you the best results.
2) Using Your Dog’s Name In A Negative Way Is How NOT To Get Them To Listen To You
Basically, when you were a child and if your parents ever yelled your name at you, they taught you to have fear when hearing your name. It is exactly the same with dogs.
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When you make them fear their name, you will create a connection to it and their bad behavior. That is why they will stop listening to you when you use their name when you want them to listen to you.
Instead, create a positive association with their name by only using it during praise and love. In the event that you need to correct a behavior, rather use “no” for undesired behavior.
3) Your Dog’s Reward Must Be High-Value
The trick is in the treat. Especially in the early stages of training, your treat must be higher in value than any distraction, including chasing a cat!
Many dogs are highly motivated by food. Take caution when choosing a treat for them. Choosing a healthy treat will prevent them from gaining weight. A healthy and tasty option would be frozen dried beef liver.
It was mentioned before that once you have practiced the basics of the “Watch” command, you’ll need to progress into a scenario where there are distractions. It is like teaching them to walk before they can run.
This is a really vital step in getting your dog to listen to you. Training them in a variety of environments full of distractions is important because it is during these times that you need them to listen the most.
It is important that you take small steps.
Most definitely the most important scenario is one where there are other dogs, as this is where danger may lie. If this is your major concern, the best place to take your next step in your training would be the dog park.
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Take your dog about 20-30 feet outside of the dog park. Have them on a leash while training. Practice the “Watch” command here rewarding them when they have done it correctly.
As they accomplish the task, move 5 feet closer to the park and repeat the exercise. As you move towards the fence keep in mind that the difficulty of the task drastically increases for your dog as you will most likely encounter dogs closer to the park.
Remember the most important lesson, stay patient! If it takes you a few sessions to get to the fence of the park, that is okay. It is very important that you do not skip this step if you want to get your dog to listen to you.
5) Have A Long Lead While Training
Once your puppy has learned the command from a short distance, a long lead (about 20-30 feet) is the key to training them from further away. It is great to use in those situations where your dog is just not listening. It gives you more control of the situation.
The purpose of the lead is to redirect their attention back to you at a distance. It is not to be used for pulling or yanking your dog. Instead, giving them a slight redirection towards you when they are distracted will facilitate their training.
Your dog will start to listen to you if you follow these 5 steps consistently over time. It can take a few months to train your dog to listen to you.
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Working from home means that you get to spend more time with your dog. If you are settling into working part-time or full-time remotely, you may have the challenge of keeping productive when your pooch is irresistibly demanding attention.