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Why your dog isn’t listening to your commands?

Although most dogs want to engage with their owners and are willing to please them, don’t forget that the dogs are opportunists. There are times when no matter what you do, something else is more interesting to them.

Your dog would rather take the steak right off your plate than lie on their bed. But, there are no bad dogs – there are dogs that lack training.

If you think your dog is not interested in listening to you, you might want to question yourself what is the reason for that. Usually, your dog isn’t being strong-willed or stubborn – it can be a training or communication issue.

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Weak rewards

You’ve likely met the dog that performs obedience commands and tricks simply because it loves his owner. But most dogs are not going to do something just because they love you. They are likely to do what provides them with the highest reward. If you tell your canine friend to be calm and offer a delicious treat, your dog is going to oblige, just because they’re getting something out of it. But, if you tell your dog to sit and offer nothing, they may just ignore you. 

Shaping behavior with treats, toys, and food is important in the foundations of obedience training. You need to make obeying commands fun for your friend to make them find joy in working with you. 

Lacking consistency

Every trainer, regardless of their experiences and methods, will tell you that consistency is probably the key aspect of training. The more consistent you are, the more useful the training will be. Consistency provides clear rules for the dog to follow with every specific behavior they learn. 

That means it’s easier for them to understand what you want and follow through with it. And we must be extremely clear in our training since this is the only possible communication with our dogs.

Too much training

You can get a little carried away when you are teaching your furry friend something new and exciting. It’s important to remember, especially when it comes to young dogs, that patience is a virtue. You can easily overwhelm your dog with many commands that are too complex. 

Asking too much of your dogs too soon results in burnout for both owner and dog! Take a step back if your dog isn’t listening and ensure you aren’t asking too much. Sometimes the dogs don’t understand a command, so take a moment to revisit older behaviors.

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Many distractions

A park full of other dogs and people is different from the inside of your living room. Your dog is in your home daily, but he doesn’t see many other things daily. What you don’t consider as a big deal, might be a big distraction for the dog. If your dog behaves well at the park unless there is a baseball game going on, then you know that a baseball game is a distraction for your pet and you’ll need to work up to that level of disturbance.

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No consequences

Dogs need consequences just like people do. Sometimes the dog will choose to disobey regardless of the reward, no matter how well-trained they are. Besides withholding the toy or treat, giving a correction is your dog’s consequence. The correction is needed to teach your dog that good behavior comes with rewards, while bad behavior comes with negative consequences. Many trainers believe this makes training clear to dogs and gives an easy way to communicate and teach them.

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Train your dog to clean up his toys

Most dogs get every toy they have and spread it all over the house just like kids. So, you probably spend time daily picking up their toys and putting them away.

If you can’t teach your kids to clean up their toys, why not train your dog? It’ll be helpful for you, but it’s great for your dog too. 

Why?

• Makes him think 

• Expends energy

• It won’t bother you while you are watching TV or cooking

Your dog needs to be a fetcher to make the trick easy since it’s a bit of a complicated trick. In the case, your dog doesn’t fetch, first teach him to pick up the toy. Keep in mind it is a long process. This article is about dogs that already fetch.

Set-up

• Some of your dog’s favorite toys

• Box for toys

• Treats

• Clicker (optional)

Related story:

The best life lessons from dogs

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Steps to train how to pick up toys

1)    Targeting the box

The box needs to be near you since your dog is used to fetching you; then toss the toy. You can use a cue for fetch, but you don’t have to.

When the dog approaches you with the toy, point toward the box. Important: Do NOT use a verbal cue yet!

If your dog accomplishes the task and drops the toy into the box, say “yes/good” etc. or just click, and put some treats into the box. This shows the box is important.

If your dog does not drop the toy in the box, say nothing, and try again. If you place the box in your dog’s line of retrieve, between you and him, it can help him drop it inside.

2)    Proofing

You need to make it clear to your dog that the toy must be in the box to get a treat. When he begins dropping it in the box almost every time (80% of the time or better!), move the box a couple of inches from you and see if he still drops the toy in.

You can continue to move the box away from you if he does it successfully (8/10 times).

You need to move the box back closer to you if he is not successful in doing that. He isn’t still ready for it.

NOTE: REWARD YOUR DOG IN THE BOX!

3)     Picking up non-moving toys

Stop tossing the toy far once your dog is targeting the box. Now, layout the toy near the box. Your dog knows that putting the toy into the box will get him a reward if you have already proved the box enough.

If he doesn’t do it, then you need to toss the toy longer, slowly building up to a stationary toy.  

4)    Adding your cue

When you teach him to pick up a stationary toy and place it in the box, it’s time to add the cue. Say your cue as the dog drops the toy in the box.

Ideas for the cue:

• Pick up toys

• Clean house

• Clean up

• Tidy up

These are some suggestions, you can call it whatever you want.

Dog Toys

5)    Adding more toys

Once your dog has it on cue, you can begin adding toys. So, start by saying the cue and rewarding him for picking up just one toy.

After that, put two toys out. Do not reward him when he picks up the first toy and drops it in the box, wait him out. The dog will look for something else to do to get the reward and eventually will pick up the other toy and drop it in. Reward him well for doing that.

Related story:

How to train your hyperactive dog

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Do not stop adding toys! When you get to six or seven, the dog needs to understand for getting his reward, he must pick all the toys.

Help him out if he is not picking up the second by putting it close to the box. Also, you can toss it slightly as you did at the beginning. 

Keep in mind the whole time during the training it is a trick and it should be fun! If your dog or you are getting frustrated just STOP! Come back to training later. It may take a few weeks for your dog to get it since it is a complicated trick. But it’s definitely worth it and a great trick to work on when you can’t go for a walk with your dog.

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5 words your dog needs to learn

There are many opinions on how to raise your dog, house them, train them, and treat them when it comes to living with them.

Every person has a different way of “parenting” their dog, just like with children. However, most agree that basic obedience training is important for all dogs, regardless of breed, size, and age. 

Many even agree there are some basic commands all dogs should learn, and we’d like to share some of those with you in this article. These commands are believed to be the foundation of all other obedience. They make your dog a better citizen and housemate.

Related story:
How to train your hyperactive dog

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Word your dog needs to learn: Their name

Despite this doesn’t seem like a command or word to most people, it certainly is! You can see how hard it is with a new dog that doesn’t know its name yet. For example, you can get their attention just by going over to them when you see them get into something. We take our dogs’ understanding of their names for granted because it’s a natural thing for us to know. But you should teach your dog his or her name. This will help get their attention before you give a command. Think about trying to call your dog in the house when he’s outside chasing a cat. During the chase, yelling “Come!” might blow right through his ears since he isn’t paying attention to you. But if you yell, “Chris, come!” you’re getting his attention by saying his name first. We use their names to know who we’re talking to, the same way as we do with people.

Down

This is one of the most useful commands you’ll ever teach your dog! That is because you can use it in different ways. For example, if you’ve got a dog that wants to play when you’re working around the house, you can tell them to relax and lie down. This is beneficial for your guests as well. Teaching your dog to lie down and not bother them is extremely helpful. Also, you might want to take your dog to dinner and have him lie beside you without begging for food from you or other diners. This command allows the dog to be near his owner, but no bother.

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Here/Come

This command could be a lifesaver, as our dogs want to chase many things. A recall is one of the essential commands you need to teach your dog since even a trained dog can get distracted by some animal and want to chase them.  If your dog accidentally slips out of their collar and leash in the park or gets out of the house or yard, you’ll need a way to get them back before they run into dangerous traffic or simply run too far. Whatever command you choose, having a reliable recall is most important.

Word your dog needs to learn: Sit

A “sit” command is extremely helpful, just like the down. Instead of jumping on everyone they meet, you need to teach your dog to sit before being greeted. Maybe you want to stop for a minute and chat with a neighbor while you’re walking your dog, so in this way, you could ask your dog to sit and relax. Also, it is helpful when your dog sits while being examined by a veterinarian. There are many ways when you can use a “sit” command, so it’s advisable to teach him right away.

Related story:
Why your dog isn’t listening to your commands?

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Stay

With sit and down comes the stay command. Most people find it simpler to teach the word “stay” as a command. It doesn’t really make a difference either way, so long as your dog stays where he is until you ask them to move. A stay command makes the dog wait in whatever area you place them. You can ask your dog to lie down while you’re eating, but you might not want the dog right under your feet. By teaching them this command, you can ask them to lie down and stay on the nearby bed or mat. 

It’s your choice how you use these commands, but it’s important to understand how beneficial they are to your dog’s life, to your life, and the lives of people around you.

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5 signs showing your dog needs a professional dog trainer

Don’t be ashamed of that, it isn’t a bad thing at all. There are minor issues that can turn into big problems. These issues may not even seem like behavior problems to you now, but they can grow into major disturbances.

Most dog owners need to go to an obedience class or hire a professional dog trainer at some time, whether they’d like to admit it or not. 

Your best choice is to hire a professional dog trainer at the first sign rather than wait until someone is harmed. Even if your loving dog means well, bad behavior is frowned upon and it can lead to legal issues. It’s only our responsibility to ensure our dogs are good canine neighbors! So, if you notice any of the following signs, you’ll need to hire a dog trainer.

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Pulling on the leash

This may seem like a minor behavior, but it can grow into something more. First, if your dog constantly drags you around, it is uncomfortable and annoying. But most importantly, this means you’re not in control at all and the dog will take you wherever he wants to go. 

Heavy pulling can strain your muscles and it can even drag you to the ground. This is dangerous for everyone around, not only you, especially when your dog will notice a strange person or another dog. 

Jumping

When dogs jump, they show their affection and love, but it’s extremely inappropriate. Jumping may hurt. People around you don’t want to be knocked over and scratched. Also, this can lead to serious injuries. Even if your dog is friendly, make sure your dog knows that jumping on people is not an option. To be a responsible dog owner you need to show your dog ways to display love and affection that don’t hurt or scare anyone.

Nipping/Growling

Nipping and growling are the earliest signs of aggression in dogs. Dogs that started with light warning nips and growls escalated into full-blown attacks. So, the most serious bites come from those nips and growls. You need to teach your dog that behavior is unacceptable, no matter when or why the dog has nipped or growled at anyone. This is a warning sign indicating to hire a professional trainer immediately since this danger could pose if it escalates.  

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Guarding objects

Even if someone is trying to take your dog’s favorite bone, he should never bite or growl at anyone. Resource guarding is a serious problem and should be addressed by a trainer instantly. The dog might decide to resource guard anything from a treat, toy, bone, to bed, chair, couch, etc. This means the dog is claiming that a particular item is his or hers and will be aggressively defended if needed.

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Door bolting

Door bolting is a serious issue that many dog owners face. This is considered a serious problem since it poses a safety concern to both the public and your dog. When your dog escapes from your house, he could easily wind up in dangerous traffic or run far away. Whatever his or her reason is, the dog should know to stay inside your house unless you release him for a walk.

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