As a Las Vegas County dog trainer, my clients often ask me: “Why won’t my dog listen? I may as well be talking in a foreign language!”
Indeed you are talking in a foreign language to your dog. When you issue a command, you may as well be speaking in Greek. Think about it – your dog doesn’t speak English. It’s no different than you sitting in a Greek language class when you have no understanding of Greek. How often have you seen your dog tilt his head to the side as if he is confused?
Generally, dogs don’t listen for five reasons:
- They don’t understand what you are saying. Think about the ways dogs communicate with each other. They don’t speak English – they use body language, movements, and sounds to get each other’s attention. From the minute they are born, they learn from their Mom. She doesn’t use treats, clickers or shock collars to get them to behave. When they are thrust into your home and constantly hear “No”, they don’t understand what you mean. That’s why Bark Busters uses the natural ways dogs communicate to get them to obey. Until you learn how to communicate with your dog in a language he understands, your dog won’t listen.
- You have not established yourself as the “pack leader”. Understand that dogs understand the “pack mentality” and the hierarchy that comes with it. There is usually a dominant dog who assumes control. If you don’t assume the role of “Top Dog” right from the start, your dog will think he has to be in control. Once you display calm, assertive leadership, your dog will begin to trust you have taken over that role. Then he will relax and actually be relieved. Being in control doesn’t mean you have to be mean – Bark Busters only uses positive reinforcement methods.
- You are inconsistent in your commands. Do you give your dog inconsistent commands and fail to praise him for good behavior? For instance, you may say “no” to your dog, your partner may say “stop” and your children may simply call his name. All of you use different voice tones, some being high pitched and others being low. There may even be different rules throughout your household. Some of you may allow your dog on the couch, some don’t, or you find yourself not correcting your dog when you are tired. Some may sneak him table scraps yet you don’t want him begging at the dinner table. Some may allow him to jump up, some may only discourage him when they’re in nice clothes or the dog is muddy. All of these inconsistencies result in a very confused dog!
Also, remember that the dog’s name is not a command. So, if you are calling your dog by shouting his name over and over again, your dog will hear what you are saying but not understand what you want him to do. He may come to you or not. He may come to you this time if he thinks you have something for him, but this command may not work outdoors with interesting people, dogs and smells.
- You have not used repetition. Dogs learn through consistent, repetition. You can’t give up. The first time you ask him to “sit” he may not get it. If you keep practicing and praising him when he does well, he will catch on. Some dogs learn at a slower pace than others. Be patient.
- Your dog is not focused. It is very difficult to learn in training classes when there are so many other dogs to sniff and explore. That’s why Bark Busters Las Vegas provides in home training – where your dog is able to focus and is the most comfortable.
Once your dog has mastered the basics of obedience training and responds to “come”, sit” “stay”, etc. you can move on to more advanced behavior training. If you need our help, Bark Busters Las Vegas trainers are ready … your dog will thank you for it!