Do you identify with the phrase “My dog does not listen to me”? Would you like someone to give you an effective solution? So I think this article is going to interest you😉
Many of the people who live with a dog at home (or more than one) have found themselves in situations that are compromised by not being able to control their behavior.
- My dog does not listen to me and that’s why I never dare let him go.
- My dog is fighting with other dogs and I do not know what to do anymore.
- My dog barks at strangers and there is no way to get him not to do it.
- My dog chases people who run or ride a bike.
- My dog does not come when I call him if he is doing something that interests him more.
It is likely that, if you are reading this post, it is because you have seen yourself reflected in any of the above situations, right? Well, I’ll tell you one thing:
Obedience problems in dogs, most of the time, are anything but simple obedience problems. Their causes tend to be more related to the insecurity of the dog compared to other dogs or people, fear, lack of self-control and / or the lack of a consistent and trusting link between the animal and its owner.
How to make your dog pay attention to you
Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe to solve any “obedience” problem. This is because, luckily for all, these are emotionally complex beings and not flat. They are not programmable robots.
Therefore, if your dog does not pay attention to you, you will first have to identify in what concrete situations it does not obey and then analyze, with the help of a professional, if that lack of obedience has some common pattern. In short, analyze what the dog’s motivation is when he does what he should not do, or when he ignores your claims / reprimands.
It is not possible to give a general solution to the problems of canine obedience because each case has its particularities.
To guide a treatment that manages to solve a behavioral problem it is always necessary for a professional to value all the agents involved: the dog, the owners and their skill in handling the animal, the context / environment in which the problem occurs, the seriousness thereof and the risk to the dog itself or to third parties, etc.
The general solutions are a cheat-fool. However, there is a factor that is often at the root of most canine behavior problems: the lack of an appropriate link between dog and guide or owner.
Build an appropriate link
Behind the complaint “My dog does not pay attention to me” there is usually a lack of understanding and communication between dog and owner.
Science has already pointed out that dogs want to collaborate with us, that it motivates them to help us without the need for external rewards or reinforcements.So, if your dog does not do it, it’s probably because a solid bond of trust has not been established between you, or because you do not seem sufficiently “sexy” (fun, reliable, good companion) to stop doing something that he likes you just because you ask him to.
Dogs and owners who maintain a bond of mutual trust usually have a pleasant and non-conflictive coexistence.
Dr. Juliane Kaminski is one of the most important scientists in the world in canine cognition and a great scholar of the link between humans and dogs. In this interview with Educan , he said a very interesting phrase, which can help you understand what it means to have a good bond with your dog:
“I deeply believe in having a natural relationship with our dogs. Natural, to me, it means respectful. “
What can you do to build a bond of trust with your dog?
From the reflection of Kaminski, I am going to propose some ideas to create an appropriate and positive link with your dog:
1- Learn canine language: if you do not know the basic expressions of dogs, it will be impossible for you to communicate with yours in an appropriate way.
2- Keep in mind that your dog is a dog: do not expect your dog to understand things as if he were a person. It is not and, therefore, has other capacities and limitations different from ours. Remember, too, that “canine social norms” are different from human ones.
3- Know and attend to your needs as a dog: dogs, as individuals of the canine species, have a series of physical and behavioral needs of their own. In addition, your dog as an individual will also have his own: it does not need the same a young dog and active as an old dog, for example.
4- Be natural: naturalize the relationship with your dog and let yourself go. Some people worry so much about knowing how to educate their dog that they end up “following instructions for everything” and forget to be natural.
5- Do things with your dog: obviously, if you do not do things with him or her, no kind of bond between you can be generated. As the phrase says: “rubbing makes love”. Of course, try to make those things as fun for you as for your dog. That you enjoy the same, or at least compensated: today you and tomorrow I😉
6- Respect it and treat it as an individual from another species, but not from an “inferior” species: respect is the basis of any relationship between individuals, also between your dog and you.
7- Do not use physical punishment as a habitual way of explaining things to your dog:no one likes to learn based on punishment . A relationship based on them is a relationship based on fear and submission, something totally opposed to trust.
8- Help him when he needs it, but do not overprotect him. Become your best guide:your dog needs to know that, in you, you will find a secure figure when you need it. However, you also need to be able to make your own decisions and face your own challenges. Like any animal, it has to learn to relate adequately to the environment in which it lives.
9- Be consistent with the rules: your dog needs to understand that you are a stable figure, so be consistent and consistent with the rules of coexistence that you establish and do not modify them at your whim. That is, if you want your dog not to ask while you eat, for example, never give him food from the table. And do not skip the norm “sometimes” because your dog will not understand why today and another day not.
The creation of a positive and consistent link between dogs and people is not only the solution to the problem of “My dog does not pay attention to me”. It is also the solution to a much greater evil: abandonment and canine abuse .
I want to finish this post with the reflection of Eva Quiñones, expert in canine behavior, master in Anthrozoology (the science that studies the link between human beings and other animals) and director of Educanimals: “The nearly 140,000 animals that are abandoned annually in Spain, and the behavioral problems that canine educators encounter on a daily basis, show us the need for a change of vision regarding coexistence with these animals. “
Eva Quiñones is very clear that much of the problem occurs when the dog is seen more as an object than as a living being:
If the relationship between dog and person starts in a responsible and conscious way, worrying about the emotionally complex being that will be part of our life, everything else will always be easier.