Yes, you can get your dog to obey commands…

You get a dog to listen by being patient with it, especially if you are teaching it new commands or tricks.

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Most pets are usually eager to please their owners, so when you find a pet not listening to you, it can be very frustrating. More often than not, there is a reason why your dog is not listening, especially if it did before and it is now demonstrating a new behaviour. Here are a few reasons why the dog is not following your instructions.

It could be the dog has lost its hearing. If your dog stops turning its head when you call it and sleeping through very loud noises, then have its hearing checked. Deafness affects dogs at any age but it is more common with older dogs.

Another reason could be that your dog is overwhelmed with something else. It could also be that you were hostile to it and it is sulking to frustrate and ignore you.

A thousand tries

You get a dog to listen by being patient with it, especially if you are teaching it new commands or tricks. It can take some dogs a thousand tries to learn commands. You will need to remain patient day after day until your pet retains the command.

While in training, be happy and cheerful. Dogs can sense when you are unhappy. Shower them with praise when they get something right and avoid looking upset when they get something wrong. The happier you get when they get a command right, the more they will be willing to try.

Same time each day

Consistency is another way to get dogs to hear and catch your commands. Get the training done at the same time each day. Dogs have a good internal clock and are very schedule based. So if you get them to a routine, try not to change it. You can for instance train them when going for a walk. They are likely to be keen because one of the happiest and most relaxed times for dogs is during walks.

When getting your dog to hear you, your tone matters. Yelling or shouting commands may confuse and distract the dog from what you are trying to say. They will pick that you are distressed not giving a command.

Overexcited dogs are hard to keep still enough to listen to commands. Have the dog burn the excess energy first. A great way to do this is to do a run with them or any active exercise that will get them tired out. And always remember to have your dog’s favourite treat when training them.

Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]