Dog doesn’t listen?

Question:

Why does my dog seem to ignore commands?

Answer:

Ever look at the caller ID on your phone and think, “It’s so-and-so with more complaining–this time I’m not picking up…”?

Like people, dogs are moved to action by what they associate with pain and pleasure. We will do anything to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Most likely, listening to someone complain falls into “pain” category. The same goes for dogs.

Imagine the guy at the dog park who calls his dog to come. When the dog complies, the owner leashes the dog, takes her away from all the fun, and drives home. This type of action may eventually result in the dog ignoring commands in order to avoid unpleasant outcomes.

Take the “stay” command: The conventional way to praise or reward your dog comes only after she is released. This system leads to the dog wanting to be done with the command as soon as possible. The Loved Dog way is to reward her for just lying there. The result is a dog that enjoys “staying.”

When giving an instruction, set the stage so the dog will truly like doing things your way. This is a complete change from the old way of training where the owner was the feared master. It’s better to be a benevolent leader and keep owner and dog on the same team.