K9 Magazine

Why Does My Dog Ignore Me?

Why does my dog ignore me? is, believe it or not, one of the more popular questions we get asked at K9 Magazine, so fear not if this is a question you've been pondering, you are not alone.

In fact, it happens to the best of us, so I've told myself.

It's not so much a philosophical question, more a 'please can you give me advice to help me get my dog to pay attention to me' kind of plea. So, let's do exactly that.

This special report will give you an insight into why dogs can, and do, ignore you as well as advice on how to capture your dog's attention and change their thought process.

Getting frustrated that your dog jumps up on people when you are visiting friends? Can’t understand why your dog runs away from you at the park while everyone else’s happily comes back?

Don't worry. The reality is, there's probably not a dog owner alive who hasn't struggled with their dog 'throwing a deaf un' from time to time. That is, the dog who just seems incapable of listening to you when distracted or hyped up.

The basics of dog obedience training and teaching your dog to sit, stay and come all require your dog to actually listen to you. It's all very well having a dog who'll listen sometimes, but until we have attained a consistent response in all scenarios when never truly claim to own a fully trained dog.

In our special report: Why Does My Dog Ignore Me? you will learn:

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No! Non! Nein! Нет! No matter in what language you say it, this one word will hold you back when dealing with dogs. And they don’t even know what it means! But what they do know is that the sound it makes when coming from your mouth means that you are not happy. And when you are not happy, your dog is not happy. And when your dog is not happy, it is harder to train him. So why beat your head against a linguistic wall? Get rid of the word from your vocabulary and see the results.

Linguistically, you could argue that the word ‘no’ is wholly appropriate as a marker to correct undesired behaviours, but what people fail to realise is that by issuing the word ‘no’, they have not only uttered a word, but their body language will have changed, the tone of voice will have changed, and when dealing with a creature as perceptive as a dog, these non-verbal communications will be noted, remembered and disliked. So how do we get around using this ugly, ugly word?

Positive reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement is a popular alternative to the grind and graft of using the word ‘no’ in training. Many seasoned dog trainers swear by the agreeable effect that using this method has. In essence, positive reinforcement relies on the trainer not drawing attention to the shortcomings of a dog but giving hearty consent to the progress, however small, made during the session.

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To fully understand why dogs ignore their owners, we must accept that it is, nearly 100% of the time, attributable to 'white noise'. Owners speaking too much, using too many different words or simply using the right word without reinforcement.