Why Is My Dog Ignoring My Commands?

If you have been struggling with getting your dog to listen to you and exhibit basic obedience, you may be wondering why your dog ignores your commands but will listen to a skilled dog trainer almost immediately.

Your dog may be ignoring your commands if they are older, not fully trained, or distracted by fear, pain, or other external Stimuli. The most common reason your dog will ignore your commands is the improper use of repetition on your part.

Improper Use of Repetition

girl rewarding her dog after it obeys a command
In some cases, reputation can be bad if done improperly. There are many dog owners who accidentally teach their dogs to ignore crucial cues because they repeat the same command over and over but do not attach any specific meaning to the command.

When your dog hears a command repeatedly, with no meaning attached to the command, their brain turns it into background noise, and they ignore it.

What is an Example of Repetition Without Meaning?

Command repetition without meaning is a common issue that occurs when a dog is called to “come” by command or by its name. This is taught to your dog in several ways:

  • You repeatedly say the command while your dog is more motivated by something else, such as a toy, another person, or an animal.
  • If your dog comes back to you but then you put them on a leash or take them home when they want to be out, this is another example of repetition without meaning.
  • Your dog obeys your command, but they are not rewarded.

Your dog may ignore your commands if they are distracted by something or someone else, if they are receiving signals from you that oppose what they want to do, or if no reward is present to reinforce their good behavior while they are still learning.

How Can I Resolve Repetition Issues?

To show your dog that your communication has meaning, you need to show consistent meaning between your words and your body language. Essentially, you need to make obeying the command rewarding. You also want to avoid repeating the command if your dog is not listening to you.

The need for showing consistent meaning goes for the word “no” as well. If you use a command like “no,” then you need to make sure that nothing rewarding such as treats or playtime, is given right after the command. The trainers at Spitze K9 do not like the use of “no” and use different methods to discourage behavior issues that have been proven over time to work.

While you do not need to punish your dog in a harsh manner, you do need to give them consistent time-outs or take away the object they have that they should not or stop them from doing the bad thing they are doing.

Consistency is key to your dog understanding your communication and obeying the command.

Trainers Provide Clear and Consistent Communication

When you see your dog interact with a trainer at Spitze K9, you may notice how your dog obeys the trainer fairly quickly. This is because we use clear and consistent communication in our training which is what dogs respond to best. While typical owners may repeat cues, our trainers will not.

Additionally, our commands have consistent stipulations attached to them. We will give your dog a command, watch how the dog responds, and then the trainer will respond based on the dog’s response rather than use improper repetition and confuse the dog.

For example, if an object is dropped on the floor and we do not want the dog to pick it up, we would them give a command such as “leave it” and then block them from picking up the object. This acts as a way to explain to the dog is expected of them.

In summary, we recommend that you use clear communication with your dog and use consistent follow-through on your commands. After working with Spitze K9, we show you the proper commands to use, and when to use them.

We even add you to a private Facebook group after training with tips to keep your dog’s behavior where it was when your dog finished training with us as well as answer any questions you might have.

Dog Training Services in Pittsburgh

At Spitze K9, we specialize in dog training for the Pittsburgh area. You can rely on us to provide quality training for your dog.

We have many services to meet your needs such as in home training, basic to advanced obedience training, and our dog board and train program. These are just a few of the services that we offer to you and your dog. Spitze K9 leverages a wide range of skills to correct your dog’s behavior as needed.

Our board and train program is the most effective, well-rounded option, giving your dog two weeks of intense daily training and socialization with other dogs on our 27-acre property. Contact Spitze K9 today to learn more about our dog training services!

Owner at Spitze K9 | About | + posts

Antonio has taken care of dogs since his youth and has worked with law enforcement agencies to train dogs in the US and Internationally as well as countless other pet dogs since he started Spitze K9.
He has been an established dog expert for years.