Dog not responding to you? Trainer shares one surprising reason for this and how to fix it with a game!

Dog lying in a field tilting it's head
(Image credit: Getty)

Are you always calling your dog's name and only sometimes getting a response from them? You aren't the only owner with this problem and thankfully the solution may be much easier than you're imagining.

If you have a significantly badly behaved dog on your hands then it can take more work than a few training sessions and some of the best dog treats to fix their recall. However, sometimes a dog not responding is as simple as the dog's name being overused and as a result, losing its value to them.

Professional dog trainer & behavioral specialist, Amelia Steele, also known as Amelia the Dog Trainer, shared this point on her Instagram page. Have you ever thought that you say your dog's name too often? 

Although using their name is extremely important and can save them from getting into any trouble, Steele says, "There is a good chance that they're actually not going to listen when you need them too." 

She doesn't leave it at that though, she goes on to share an easy game to play with your dog to ensure that your dog responds to their name first time.

The game is really simple and only requires some space to move around and some form of food reward for your pup. Steele demonstrates the game in her video as she works with a dog called Indy. 

To play this game you will need to take your dog off the leash and begin taking standing a short distance away from them. Now call them by their name and reward them with a treat for coming to you. If like Indy, your dog stops coming to you after a few times you should now repeat the process but don't use their name, just continue to reward them every time they walk over to you following you and the treat.

This game is a good way to help build meaning to your dog's name and shows you that it doesn't have to be used for every single action your dog makes. Exercises and playtime like this can also help to maintain a strong bond between the two of you. Chances are if you find the sound of your voice annoying some days, then your dog will too so it's not a bad thing to use your voice a little less.

If you liked Steele's fun way of training a dog through play then you should check out these 12 great brain games for dogs.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.