If you have a dog, then you are likely very aware of whey they are called man’s best friend. A dog is a truly special creature. They love you, you love them back, and the relationship continues to grow from there. Some dogs are protectors of the home, while others seem to love everyone who stops by to pay a visit. Some dogs are great with children, while others might be so keen with the little ones. When it is all said and done, you love your dog for who they are, even if others don’t. That being said, you sure would like it if they would listen to you and follow your commands from time to time.
Every relationship is about give and take. The special bond that develops between dog and owner is no different. If you really stop to think about, you begin to listen to your dog over time. They tell you when they are hungry, when they are ready to play or go for a walk, and when they need to go to the restroom among other things. You get to where you respond when they give you a command, so you expect them to listen to you when you return the favor. As we all know, just as with children, this is definitely not always the case. Continue reading to learn why your dog might be terrible at following commands and discover some tips to help in this area.
Be Slow About It
Some dogs need more time to learn your commands than others. You cannot rush this. You will want to go slow and help your dog adapt to the behaviors you are expecting them to observe. You can begin doing this by developing a positive association with the behavior whereby you reward the dog when even the smallest of achievements is observed. Over time, this will help your dog realize the importance of being trained to follow your commands. Eventually, they will get it. It just takes time. If you get frustrated and give up, then it is no wonder the dog will end up becoming terrible at following commands at the end.
Be In Control
When you are training your dog to observe your commands, you need to be consistent and in control. This will your dog to stay focused as well. You might want to focus on teaching commands in the same location each and every time. That location should be quiet and free of distractions. Think back to your schooling days. Your teacher controlled the environment and work hard to create a situation that was conducive to learning. You are now the teacher and the dog is the student. Take charge. Be patient and kind. Take it upon yourself to find a location that is conducive to your dog actually being able to learn your commands. If you can do this, then your dog will end up feeling good about their achievements as well.
You also want to be consistent with the commands that you are issuing. If there is more than one person issuing commands, then it is important that you are all on the same page with one another. It does no good for you to treat a command one way, only to have your spouse do it differently. This will just confuse the dog and that is another reason they are terrible at following commands. Do it the same way, every time. Consistency rules the day here. Do not deviate from your technique. The goal is that your dog will eventually get it.
Keep Punishment Out of It
If you have not noticed, your dog might not understand you. This fact alone does not meant that you should punish the dog when he fails to follow your command. If you do that, then the dog will have increased anxiety and will begin to lose trust in you. Punishment is reserved for when a human or an animal actually does something wrong. Not understand you is not a reason for punishment. In reality, it becomes your responsibility to find a way for the dog to understand you. If your dog is terrible at following commands, then you need to find out why that is. In the meantime, you need to be patient, do not get overly frustrated, and above all leave punishment out of it.
Rewards Should Be Meaningful
Positive reinforcement often works with children, and it really works with dogs. The same principle applies to both. If you offer a child something that is of not value to them, then you cannot expect the behavior you want to come out of them. The reward needs to be meaningful to them. It needs to be something that they actually want to gain. If you are offering your dog something that they do not even care about, then it is little wonder that they do not follow your commands on a regular basis. Instead, focus on finding rewards that your dog really enjoys and then go from there.
Habits Breed Success
Training your dog to follow commands should become a habit. It is not something you try just a few times and then forget about. If you really want your dog to become good at following commands, then you need to make it a routine. Once they do become good at certain commands, make sure you use those often. This will instill confidence in your dog, and that will mean something as you begin to introduce new commands.
So, if your dog is terrible at following commands, you need to examine your approach. Take a look at the key concepts mentioned in this article. Are you following all of them? If not, then you will want to consider changing a few things up so that your dog can begin to more fully embrace your commands. Remember to stay the course and remain patient. You and your dog speak different languages. That being said, you can eventually begin to understand one another if you will stay consistent and work hard at it together.