How To Make Your Dog Listen To You

One of the most common complaints we hear from people who have just started basic obedience training is that their dog just “doesn’t seem to listen” when they give commands.

While it does take some time for your dog to fully learn what you want from them, there are also several mistakes that beginner dog trainers tend to make.

These mistakes can make the process take much longer than it otherwise would, but correcting them will often yield quick benefits.

With this in mind, we’ve written this guide to share some tips and advice on getting your dog to listen to you -so let’s take a closer look.

Use Short, Simple Commands

In general, most dogs will respond best to short, sharp verbal commands spoken in an assertive manner. So try to avoid using long words and sentences, or having a “conversation” with your dog.

Instead, you should aim to keep it simple and clear, so your dog can learn to associate the command with the task at a faster rate. It can also help to use simple hand signals as well, as this extra information can make it easier for your dog to decipher your commands.

Avoid Too Much Repetition

Next, you need to avoid constantly repeating a command over and over again whenever you’re training your dog. Why? Simply because when you constantly repeat the same command, your dog will soon become confused and struggle to understand what you actually want them to do.

In fact, they may have actually learned what the initial command meant – but all of the additional reputation makes it harder to understand, leaving your dog thoroughly confused.

The Tone Of Your Voice

The tone of your voice is also crucial, as well as your facial expressions. Try to be aware of this when you issue a command for your dog to follow.

A good tip is to smile at your dog when you’re pleased with what he did, and ‘scowl’ at your dog if he is disobeying your command.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to actually be angry or frustrated – but the change of facial expression tends to change the tone of your voice as well – and this is something your dog will be eagerly receptive to.

It’s also best to use a friendly and exciting tone of voice when you talk to your dog and open your arms when they come over to you. Be welcoming to your dog, and they’ll be more invested in listening to you.

How To Attract Your Dog’s Attention

Another stumbling block beginners often have is when it comes to attracting and keeping the attention of their dog, especially if your dog tends to be full of energy and not particularly interested in what you’re trying to teach.

Overall, it’s best to use your dog’s name to attract their attention before you issue any other command. Ultimately, if they’re not paying attention to you, then there’s no use in trying to teach a command just yet.

Yet another useful way to win your dog’s attention is to show your dog a food reward as an incentive, but don’t give it to them until they’ve given you their full attention.

Alternatively, just showing the treat should help to captivate them for long enough to begin teaching them a new command.

Use Hand Signals Whenever Possible

It’s a smart idea to train your dog to respond to a combination of both spoken and visual commands. By doing this, you can control your dog even if he is some distance away from you.

Just call his name while using hand signals that he has learned to associate with your verbal commands – and he’ll get the message.

Using Your Body Language

Something many owners don’t realize is that dogs are astonishingly perceptive at reading the body language of humans.

For example, your dog can easily tell when you’re losing concentration or becoming bored with what you’re trying to teach them, and this will make it harder for your dog to stay engaged, too. To counter this, it’s best to take the lead with whatever emotion you’d like your dog to have. So if you want excitement and active engagement, you’ll need to go first. Equally, when you want your dog to relax and calm down when they’re overexcited, showing a calm demeanor yourself will go a long way towards influencing their behavior.

To counter this, it’s best to take the lead with whatever emotion you’d like your dog to have. So if you want excitement and active engagement, you’ll need to go first. Equally, when you want your dog to relax and calm down when they’re overexcited, showing a calm demeanor yourself will go a long way towards influencing their behavior.

Use Hand Signals

It’s a smart idea to train your dog to respond to a combination of both spoken and visual commands. By doing this, you can control your dog even if he is some distance away from you.

Just call his name while using hand signals that he has learned to associate with your verbal commands – and he’ll get the message.

Does Your Dog Understand You?

Interestingly, dogs do have a limited ability to understand the language that you speak. However, they only really learn short, sharp words, and they respond heavily to the tone you use rather than the word itself.

So this is something to keep in mind when you’re training him – try to keep things simple and keep the tone relevant to the reward.

Saying “No”

The word “No” is one of the most important commands a dog can learn. Knowing when to say “no”, and more importantly, the timing of when you say it, are some of the most important things to master when it comes to training your dog.

Again, make sure the tone you use matches the command you’re giving him. If you sound too upbeat and friendly, the word “no” could easily sound like a positive reward for your dog!

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