Does your dog refuse to listen to you? Trainer reveals where you’re going wrong

Guilty dog on the floor next to an overturned pot plant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you have a disobedient dog on your hands? Whether it's trying to figure out how to stop a dog from jumping up, or feeling bemused as to the reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, there's nothing more frustrating than having a pup who won't do what you ask them to. 

But as it turns out, there's a very common mistake we pet parents make that can derail our dog's progress and cause them to not take us seriously when it comes to training and basic commands.

So, what exactly is this mistake? Well, according to expert trainer Amelia Steele, it's asking your dog more than once to do something. You can learn more about this by watching her instagram video below, or read on for a summary...

According to Steele, repeating commands is problematic for a number of reasons.

"If you fall into the habit of constantly repeating what you're asking your dog, a few things are going to happen," Steele explains. 

"First of all, they're going to learn that your words are just white noise and they're going to learn to ignore you. 

"You're also robbing them of really, really important learning time."

In the clip, Steele can be seen issuing the command 'flat' to her dog Indy while her pup is sitting on his dog bed.

It takes a good 10 seconds after Steele has issued the command for Indy to process what's being asked of him and lie down fully on his bed.

"Now, it would be really, really easy in this time to think he's just ignoring me and keep asking him for the same thing," says Steele.

"But sometimes your dog is genuinely processing what you've just asked them and this is a really, really important stage of learning. So it's helpful to give your dog time to think, process what you've asked them for and then respond."

If we don't do this, our dogs come to learn that they don't have to do anything until we've asked them a million times, or even worse, that our words are totally meaningless and they don't have to listen. 

So, next time your dog doesn't seem to be listening to you, pause for a moment and see how your fur friend responds — they might just surprise you! 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.