If you're a dog owner, then you don't need us to tell you how much joy our canine companions can bring to our lives. But in amongst all the walks, play, and cuddle sessions, there are also plenty of challenges and perhaps the most frustrating one of all is having our dogs refuse to listen to us.
While giving your pup one of the longest lasting dog chews or a few treats can motivate them to pay attention in the short term, expert dog trainer Miles Hamilton says it's important to get to the root cause of why your dog is ignoring you - a behavior that he says is typically the result of a mistake we pet parents make without realizing it.
In a video shared to TikTok, which you can view below, Hamilton reveals that the most common reason a dog will become unresponsive to their owner is because they're speaking to them far too much and diluting their message.
"I see people every day bringing their dogs out to the training sessions and in the span of just a few minutes, they've given the dog like 20 different commands," Hamilton explains.
Whether it's telling your dog to 'come' or 'sit' several times in a row, Hamilton says that repeating commands weakens the relationship you have with your dog and teaches them to ignore you.
"When you give a command to your dog, there should be an intent behind it. You should be speaking with a purpose. If you tell your dog to 'come', you mean it. If you tell your dog to 'sit', you mean it," says Hamilton.
"By constantly talking to your dog and always giving the commands, they're just going to learn to tune you out. They're going to learn that your words aren't important."
Hamilton goes on to say that one of the most important principles in good communication is to say something once and to mean it. Learning to do this will not only improve your dog's behavior and help them become more obedient, it will also earn you their trust and respect, deepening the bond you share.
There could be several reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable or why they're ignoring commands, so it's always worth speaking to a professional trainer if you feel you and your pup could benefit from some one-to-one support.
For more great training tips, check out our guide to how to deal with a badly behaved dog.
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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.