Your dog won’t listen to you. It’s so frustrating! Even more frustrating, sometimes a dog will listen to one person, but not their spouse/partner/significant other.
Why is this?
Your Dog Won’t Listen If He Doesn’t Have To
Dogs are masters at observation. If the rules and structure shared by one person aren’t maintained at the same level for the dog by another person, there will be a different relationship. The dog will know he can get away with more with the person who doesn’t hold the dog accountable for knows rules or is softer in general.
What does this look like in real life?
Meet Fido. Fido knows the command “Sit.”
Fido is asked by Person A to “Sit.” Fido instead sniffs around and ignores the command. Person A says “No,” takes Fido’s leash, and gives leash guidance (or leash correction, depending on how well Fido knows the command) to get Fido to sit. Fido realizes that Person A will follow through on commands.
Fido is asked by Person B to “Sit.” Fido instead sniffs around and ignores the command. Person B says “Fido, Sit, Sit, come over here,” but Fido continues to sniff and ignore Person B. Person B gets a cookie and calls Fido again, “Fido, Sit,” and Fido comes over and sits for the cookie. Fido realizes that Person A can be ignored and manipulated into providing cookies.
When these types of interactions are repeated daily, the dog really gets to know which person he can push the limits with, and which person he needs to toes the line for.
To improve your relationship with your dog and get him listening to you more, here are steps to follow:
- Say commands 1 time only
- If commands are ignored, say “No” and use the leash to guide the dog into command (or correct if dog 100% knows command)
- If the dog breaks command, say “No” and return the dog to command (or issue correction if dog 100% knows command)
Being consistent and following through every time will create a relationship where your dog knows that you are to be listened to, because you hold your dog accountable to the structure and rules.
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